Just over a week ago, we reported that early adopters of Windows Phone 8 smartphones have been experiencing random rebooting issues and, sometimes, poor battery life. Soon after, Microsoft confirmed that it was looking into the reported issues; today, the Redmond-based corporation has delivered on that promise by confirming that the rebooting issue does indeed exist and that it hopes to release an over-the-air software update in December to resolve the problem.
“We’re continuing to investigate some reports of phones rebooting and have identified a cause with our partners,” Microsoft said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are working to get an over-the-air update out in December.”
Both the HTC Windows Phone 8X and Nokia Lumia 920 are affected, so users of those smartphones can expect to receive a software update pushed to their devices by next month. Microsoft will likely release the fix on “Patch Tuesday,” the day of the week that it typically releases software fixes and firmware updates for its products. We’ll be sure to let you know when the update drops.
Tom Warren for The Verge reports that Microsoft is planning a Windows Phone 8 update, codenamed “Apollo Plus,” that will include a Wi-Fi connection fix, audio improvements and possibly VPN support. The update isn’t expected to be the next major Windows Phone software version, but rather a “point update to push fixes and features.”
Also, this software update will be the first to be delivered over-the-air by Microsoft. In the past, Microsoft has claimed that it simply “ran out of time” on making a Notification Center for Windows Phone, so there may be even further features included in this update that have yet to be uncovered. Microsoft is expected to unveil Apollo Plus at the Mobile World Congress in February.
Microsoft has come under heat recently for failing to provide any status update on the release of its promised Windows Phone 7.8 platform for older Windows Phone smartphones. A new rumor has surfaced on WMPoweruser, however, suggesting that the operating system update will be released this upcoming Wednesday, November 28th. Both Microsoft and Nokia officials have already teased the platform in recent days.
Microsoft originally previewed Windows Phone 7.8 earlier this year as a forthcoming update for Windows Phone 7.5 devices, intended to bring as many Windows Phone 8 features to older Windows Phone smartphones as possible. The actual Windows Phone 8 software itself is incompatible with Windows Phone 7.5 devices, because it requires a new kernel, so this update will bring the new home screen, accent colors and a few other minor features to older Windows Phone devices.
As reported by WMPoweruser, Microsoft today announced the release of the Windows Phone 8 version of its Windows Phone Toolkit, which is a set of additional tools alongside the Windows Phone SDK that developers can use to add useful controls to their Windows Phone apps. This new software combines the Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 toolkits into one package, in addition to providing bug fixes and additional controls and features. The new toolkit is downloadable from CodePlex and is installed exclusively through NuGet.
The list of new controls and features in the updated Windows Phone toolkit is as follows: MapExtensions (limited to Windows Phone 8), Various Effects/Transitions, CustomMessageBox, RatingControl, LongListMultiSelector – List Layout (WP8 only), LongListMultiSelector – Grid Layout (WP8 only), ExpanderView, ListPicker, HubTile, DatePicker, TimePicker, ContextMenu, ToggleSwitch Control and AutoCompleteBox. Microsoft provides installation instructions, screenshots and further details in its official blog post.
Skype today rolled out version 3.0 of its Android app, per Engadget, available now from the Google Play Store. Skype 3.0 offers the same voice and video calling features as it always has, but has been redesigned to provide a better tablet experience. Additionally, the update brings along improved audio quality and a number of general bug fixes. You can now login to Skype with your Microsoft Account, as the Redmond-based company attempts to merge Microsoft and Skype usernames into one unified account. The new tablet design in particular provides more spacious menus and navigation options and larger video calls.
[Google Play via Engadget]