For all its polish, Windows Phone still lags the competition in certain features that seem obvious to include. Windows Phone 8.1, set for a public reveal at Microsoft’s Build conference in April, brings two iOS and Android standards to the Windows Phone quiver, including a Notification Center and a smart personal assistant.
Sources familiar with the unreleased update for Microsoft’s mobile operating system told The Verge that we’ll see a Siri-style personal assistant introduced, codenamed “Cortana,” (nice Halo ref, Redmond) and also a notification center that collects all your notices in one place. There’s also potentially going to be a move away from hardware keys and to on-screen soft keys, similar to the move made by Android in recent versions.
Cortana was a known quantity previously, or at least a frequently leaked one, though the latest report confirms when it’ll make its first official appearance. Other things are also being added including VPN support, separate volume control for different types of things like calls and music, and more depending on different devices from different companies. But there’s a fairly common thread here: most of these are what I’d consider table stakes for a mobile OS at this point.
It’s true that Windows Phone offers some things that the other players in the space don’t (I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but they’re there), but a lot of the work left to do is just making sure that anyone coming from another platform will be comfortable with what they find when and if they switch from either Android or iOS. There are expectations out there now about what you get with a smartphone, and those expectations are growing as Apple and Google raise to impress and win more of that top half of the market.
Of course, it’s possible to trail in feature-richness but then lead in execution once you do get the stuff out there, and Microsoft could implement a notification repository and digital assistant that blow away their equivalents on iOS and Android. But it’s hard to see that happening given the current state of mobile affairs. Still, Microsoft might just need to call in order to earn that third spot at the table permanently, especially if its plan of attack on the low end of the market works out.
Singer Sri Lanka (PLC), national distributor for Huawei, has launched the much anticipated Ascend W1, and also simultaneously launched the Huawei Ascend G510 and Y300 smartphones in the local market.
Packed with enticing features, including a 4-inch display, 1GHz dual core possessor, a 5-megapixel AF dual camera with flash and 4GB onboard storage (with expandable storage up to 32GB), the Ascend W1 also has a powerful battery which gives users up to 470 hours of standby time, considered the longest among all smartphones in its class and considered extremely practical for users on the go.
“The Windows 8 mobile platform is considered the most intuitive and streamlined interface, placing focus on ease of use with the introduction of its innovative Modern UI, a key feature of which is the user’s ability to multi-task efficiently,” stated Asoka Pieris, CEO Singer Sri Lanka PLC. “The Ascend W1 is a smart and stylish alternative for consumers looking for great technology at a competitive price.”
“The Ascend W1, powered by the intuitive Microsoft Windows 8 operating system and featuring cutting-edge design, ensures that this is a smartphone geared for productivity and functionality to complement the consumer’s lifestyle,” explained Daniel Sun, CEO Huawei Technologies Lanka Ltd. “Seamlessly integrating Windows applications and tools from the familiar desktop Windows operating system, users will find that the Ascend W1 is akin to a personal computer in the palm of their hand.”
The Ascend G510, which was also launched with the Ascend W1, possesses great functionality; equipped with 1.2GHz dual-core CPU together with 512MB of RAM and 4GB internal memory, the smartphone boasts outstanding specifications in a smart and stylish package. In addition, the Ascend G510 also comes with a 4.5-inch 850×450 IPS display, 5-megapixel rear camera and 0.3-megapixel front camera and is powered by a 1750mAh battery utilising HUAWEI’s leading battery optimization technology, thus giving users 30% longer standby time. A key feature of the Ascend G510 is the NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities. Huawei’s Ascend Y300, targeted at youth, brings users the very best technology and smartphone experience in its class. The smartphone has a 4-inch screen, a 1730mAh battery, five megapixel camera with auto-focus, flash, panorama function and video record at 30 frames per second.
The Ascend Y300 runs Android 4.1 Jellybean, giving users access to hundreds of thousands of apps via the Google Play store. Face Detection is a new and exciting feature of Jelly Bean products which can be enjoyed by consumers in both the HUAWEI Y300 and G510 models. “We are excited about the introduction of this range of HUAWEI smartphones to the local market and to see our strong partner, Singer brings the Windows Phone 8 experience through the HUAWEI Ascend W1 to more Sri Lankans,” noted Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager – Microsoft Sri Lanka who was a special guest at the event.
The range of smartphones will be made available at Singer Mega, Singer Plus and Sisil World stores and dealers island-wide and are available with a two year warranty. Singer Sri Lanka PLC is exclusive distributor for the Huawei range of smartphones and devices in the country. With a 161 year tradition of service excellence, Singer is recognised for its diverse multi-brand product portfolio.
The company has a strong presence and expansive network island-wide in order to make Singer’s range of products easily accessible, and presently stocks a range of world-renowned Huawei devices. Singer is the No. 01 destination for smart phones, stocking the world’s leading brands which are made available at over 390 Singer Mega, Singer Plus and Sisil World stores island-wide and offers the best range and value for money.
Source: Huawei Ascend G510 and Y300 simultaneously launched in the country DailyFT