Announcing the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL

Today at Mobile World Congress, we announced two new, affordable Lumia phones that are designed to give people the flexibility to do more anywhere, and at any time – the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL.

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Lumia 640

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Lumia 640 XL

The Lumia 640 has a 5-inch HD (1280×720) IPS LCD display while the Lumia 640 XL has a 5.7-inch IPS LCD display. Both come with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The Lumia 640 has an 8-megapixel camera while the Lumia 640 XL has a 13-megapixel camera and Carl Zeiss optics. Both are powered by 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, and have 8GB of internal storage that can be further expanded with up to 128GB with a microSD card (plus 30GB of free OneDrive online storage). Both also offer long lasting battery and fast LTE connectivity. The Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL will come with the Windows Phone 8.1 and the Lumia Denim update and will be upgradable to Windows 10 when it becomes available later this year.

UPDATE: AT&T will carry the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, while T-Mobile and MetroPCS will carry the Lumia 640.

For more information on the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, check out this blog post from Stephen Elop –  Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Devices Group. Stephen also talks a little more about Windows 10 and Lumia phones and delivering devices at the flagship level later this year.

Google Play services 7.0 – Places Everyone!

Posted by Ian Lake, Developer Advocate

Today, we’re bringing you new tools to build better apps with the rollout of Google Play services 7.0. With this release, we’re delivering improvements to location settings experiences, a brand new API for place information, new fitness data, automatic integration of AdMob and Google Analytics, Google Play Games, and more.

Location Settings Dialog

While the FusedLocationProviderApi combines multiple sensors to give you the optimal location, the accuracy of the location your app receives still depends greatly on what settings are enabled on the device (e.g. GPS, wifi, airplane mode, etc). In Google Play services 7.0, we’re introducing a standard mechanism to check that the necessary location settings are enabled for a given LocationRequest to succeed. If there are possible improvements, you can display a one touch control for the user to change their settings without leaving your app.

This API provides a great opportunity to make for a much better user experience, particularly if location information is critical to the user experience of your app such as was the case with Google Maps when they integrated the Location Settings dialog and saw a dramatic increase in the number of users in a good location state.

Places API

Location can be so much more than a latitude and longitude: the new Places API makes it easy to get details from Google’s database of places and businesses. The built-in place picker makes it easy for the user to pick their current place and provides all the relevant place details including name, address, phone number, website, and more.

If you prefer to provide your own UI, the getCurrentPlace() API returns places directly around the user’s current location. Autocomplete predictions are also provided to allow a low latency search experience directly within your app.

You can also manually add places with the addPlace() API and report that the user is at a particular place, ensuring that even the most explorative users can input and share their favorite new places.

The Places API will also be available cross-platform: in a few days, you’ll be able to apply for the Places API for iOS beta program to ensure a great and consistent user experience across mobile platforms.

Google Fit

Google Fit makes building fitness apps easier with fitness specific APIs on retrieving sensor data like current location and speed, collecting and storing activity data in Google Fit’s open platform, and automatically aggregating that data into a single view of the user’s fitness data.

In Google Play services 7.0, the previous Fitness.API that you passed into your GoogleApiClient has now been replaced with a number of APIs, matching the high level set of Google Fit Android APIs:

  • SENSORS_API to access raw sensor data via SensorsApi
  • RECORDING_API to record data via RecordingApi
  • HISTORY_API for inserting, deleting, or reading data via HistoryApi
  • SESSIONS_API for managing sessions via SessionsApi
  • BLE_API to interact with Bluetooth Low Energy devices via BleApi
  • CONFIG_API to access custom data types and settings for Google Fit via ConfigApi

This change significantly reduces the memory requirement for Google Fit enabled apps running in the background. Like always, apps built on previous versions of Google Play services will continue to work, but we strongly suggest you rebuild your Google Fit enabled apps to take advantage of this change.

Having all the data can be an empowering part of making meaningful changes and Google Fit is augmenting their existing data types with the addition of body fat percentage and sleep data.

Google Mobile Ads

We’ve found integration of AdMob and Google Analytics a powerful combination for analyzing how your users really use your app since we launched Google Analytics in AdMob last year. This new release enables any Google Mobile Ads SDK implementation to automatically get Google Analytics integration giving you the number of users and sessions, session duration, operating systems, device models, geography, and automatic screen reporting without any additional development work.

In addition, we’ve made numerous improvements across the SDK including ad request prefetching (saving battery usage and improving apparent latency) and making the SDK MRAIDv2 compliant.

Google Play Games

Announced at Game Developers Conference (GDC), we’re offering new tools to supercharge your games on Google Play. Included in Google Play services 7.0 is the Nearby Connections API, allowing games to seamlessly connect smartphones and tablets as second-screen controls to the game running on your TV.

App Indexing

App Indexing lets Google index apps just like websites, enabling Google search results to deep-link directly into your native app. We’ve simplified the App Indexing API to make this integration even easier for you by combining the existing view()/viewEnd() and action()/end() flows into a single start() and end() API.

Changes to GoogleApiClient

GoogleApiClient serves as the common entry point for accessing Google APIs. For this release, we’ve made retrieval of Google OAuth 2.0 tokens part of GoogleApiClient, making it much easier to request server auth codes to access Google APIs.

SDK Coming Soon!

We will be rolling out Google Play services 7.0 over the next few days. Expect an update to this blog post, published documentation, and the availability of the SDK once the rollout is completed.

To learn more about Google Play services and the APIs available to you through it, visit the Google Services section on the Android Developer site.

Update to Candy Crush Saga for Windows Phone brings new episodes, obstacles and challenges

Just when you thought this awesome game couldn’t get any sweeter, we’ve got some exciting news for all you Candy Crush Saga players! Candy Crush Saga for Windows Phone* received a nice update today bringing you 268 new levels, new obstacles and new challenges. Match your way through gorgeous graphics in tasty environments like Nougat Noir, Candy Calaboose and Charming Carnival.

Candy Crush Update for Windows Phone

Candy Crush Saga is an easy and fun to play game that takes you on a deliciously sweet adventure through the Candy Kingdom. Whether you’re playing alone or with your friends the candy graphics will leave you hungry for more! Download Candy Crush Saga for free from the Windows Phone Store today.

*New content available only to users running Windows Phone 8.1.  Users running Windows Phone 8.0 should check for OS upgrade eligibility.

New Tools to Supercharge Your Games on Google Play

Posted by Greg Hartrell, Senior Product Manager of Google Play Games

Everyone has a gaming-ready device in their pocket today. In fact, of the one billion Android users in more than 190 countries, three out of four of them are gamers. This allows game developers to reach a global audience and build a successful business. Over the past year, we paid out more than $7 billion to developers distributing apps and games on Google Play.

At our Developer Day during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) taking place this week, we announced a set of new features for Google Play Games and AdMob to power great gaming. Rolling out over the next few weeks, these launches can help you better measure and monetize your games.

Better measure and adapt to player needs

“Player Analytics has helped me hone in on BombSquad’s shortcomings, right the ship, and get to a point where I can financially justify making the games I want to make.”

Eric Froemling, BombSquad developer

Google Play Games is a set of services that help game developers reach and engage their audience. To further that effort, we’re introducing Player Analytics, giving developers access to powerful analytics reports to better measure overall business success and understand in-game player behavior. Launching in the next few weeks in the Google Play Developer Console, the new tool will give indie developers and big studios better insight into how their players are progressing, spending, and churning; access to critical metrics like ARPPU and sessions per user; and assistance setting daily revenue targets.

BombSquad, created by a one-person game studio in San Francisco, was able to more than double its revenue per user on Google Play after implementing design changes informed during beta testing Player Analytics.

Optimizing ads to earn the most revenue

After optimizing your game for performance, it’s important to build a smarter monetization experience tailored to each user. That’s why we’re announcing three important updates to the AdMob platform:

  • Native Ads: Currently available as a limited beta, participating game developers will be able to show ads in their app from Google advertisers, and then customize them so that users see ads that match the visual design of the game. Atari is looking to innovate on its games, like RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile, and more effectively engage users with this new feature.
  • In-App Purchase House Ads Beta: Game developers will be able to smartly grow their in-app purchase revenue for free. AdMob can now predict which users are more likely to spend on in-app purchases, and developers will be able to show these users customized text or display ads promoting items for sale. Currently in beta, this feature will be coming to all AdMob accounts in the next few weeks.
  • Audience Builder: A powerful tool that enables game developers to create lists of audiences based on how they use their game. They will be able to create customized experiences for users, and ultimately grow their app revenue.

“Atari creates great game experiences for our broad audience. We’re happy to be partnering with Google and be the first games company to take part in the native ads beta and help monetize games in a way that enhances our users’ experience.”

Todd Shallbetter, Chief Operating Officer, Atari

New game experiences powered by Google

Last year, we launched Android TV as a way to bring Android into the living room, optimizing games for the big screen. The OEM ecosystem is growing with announced SmartTVs and micro-consoles from partners like Sony, TPVision/Philips and Razer.

To make gaming even more dynamic on Android TV, we’re launching the Nearby Connections API with the upcoming update of Google Play services. With this new protocol, games can seamlessly connect smartphones and tablets as second-screen controls to the game running on your TV. Beach Buggy Racing is a fun and competitive multiplayer racing game on Android TV that plans to use Nearby Connections in their summer release, and we are looking forward to more living room multiplayer games taking advantage of mobile devices as second screen controls.

At Google I/O last June, we also unveiled Google Cardboard with the goal of making virtual reality (VR) accessible to everyone. With Cardboard, we are giving game developers more opportunities to build unique and immersive experiences from nothing more than a piece of cardboard and your smartphone. The Cardboard SDKs for Android and Unity enable you to easily build VR apps or adapt your existing app for VR.

Check us out at GDC

Visit us at the Google booth #502 on the Expo floor to get hands on experience with Project Tango, Niantic Labs and Cardboard starting on Wednesday, March 4. Our teams from AdMob, AdWords, Analytics, Cloud Platform and Firebase will also be available to answer any of your product questions.

For more information on what we’re doing at GDC, please visit g.co/dev/gdc2015.

Continued Growth of the Windows Phone Ecosystem

This is an exciting time to be in the technology industry! We’re seeing incredible and rapid change, from smaller and more powerful components that enable ultra-mobile devices to immersive computing and blended reality. This week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it’s all about mobility.  One of the most important capabilities for a mobile device to be always-connected in all markets is mobile broadband (MBB), or more specifically, support for 3G, 4G, LTE. We have an incredible selection of MBB Windows devices from smartphones to phablets, tablets, 2-in-1s and laptops from our partners, with the latest additions being announce this week.

Continuing the impressive growth of the Windows Phone ecosystem we are excited more partners are unveiling Windows Phone devices. In the past year we have worked with 25 partners to bring 31 Windows Phone models to market.

A broader, stronger ecosystem is good for everyone. Customers can count on a consistent Windows experience across any device, while having the ability to choose from a wide range of designs, sizes, price points, capabilities, services and solutions offered by our hardware partners.

We’re welcoming new partners with new devices on new networks with broader global coverage in every region. At MWC in particular, we’ve seen a wave of new mobile broadband devices including phones, tablets and notebooks. This is an exciting time for us and for our partners.

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Click the above image to see larger version!

Kicking off the news earlier this week, our British-based mobile partner KAZAM announced new Windows tablets and Phones. The KAZAM Thunder 450W and 450WL are their two new Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones and they include Microsoft services like OneNote and OneDrive so users can sync files across devices.

Also announced ahead of MWC is the next Windows Phone from XOLO for the India market. The Win Q1000 comes with 1.2 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon Processor and 1GB RAM to ensure quick switching between favorite apps and games without any lag.

We have worked with Philippine-based Cherry Mobile on their previous Windows Phones and we are glad to see their next generation of devices that includes the 5″ Alpha Neon and 6″ Alpha View devices announced during MWC.

We also have the pleasure of working with new Windows Phone partners including K Touch, Coship and Acer.

Microsoft partnered with the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer, K-touch to release two new Windows Phones: K-touch 5757A and K-touch E8. The 4.5-inch 5757A Windows Phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processer and supports TDD-LTE, WCDMA, EVDO, and GSM, and it will also have the FDD-LTE version to meet the international market’s needs.

Microsoft has also been working more closely with ODMs to expand the Windows device portfolio. An example of this work is Coship Mobile who unveiled its first Windows Phone 8.1 device, the BVC X1, a 4G LTE smartphone available in Europe, the United States and Asia for OEM partners. We will help facilitate connections between ODMs, OEMs and retailors to bring this device to market.

Another first and very exciting announcement comes from our long-time partner, Acer.  Today, they unveiled the Liquid M220 Windows Phone for the EMEA market. This 4-inch 233 pixels per inch (PPI) display, 5MP auto-focus main and 2MP front cameras and elegant design will come to market in April.

While smartphones and other small devices are poised to take center stage at MWC, some of our PC partners are also making big news. Today, Lenovo announced the MIIX Windows Tablets for the European market. The Lenovo IdeaPad MIIX 300 offers the extreme portability of an 8-in tablet and proves productivity can come in any size with Office applications (1 year subscription included).

Finally, we are excited to see HP reveal the new Spectre x360 and Spectre Pro x360. These devices bring the beauty of the Spectre line and the functionality of a 13.3” convertible PC together in one amazing device. When asked about the new Windows 2-in-1 device, Mike Nash, vice president, portfolio strategy and customer experience, Personal Systems at HP said, “Customers told us that for a mobile PC to truly be the center of their life, it needs to deliver exceptional quality while combining an uncompromised, powerful experience with tablet capabilities. Starting with an innovative industrial design, we worked closely with Microsoft to curate the hardware and software in the HP Spectre x360 to offer customers the versatility, quality and power they crave.”

It’s great to see the continued device innovation from our hardware partners across the Windows ecosystem. We continue to work closely with our hardware partners to design and build devices, across categories and price points that will take advantage of the new capabilities and experiences that Windows 10 will enable.

For more information on all the devices announced by Microsoft partners, see a slideshow and product images on our News Center.

Acer announces their first Windows Phone 8.1 device

Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain – Acer has unveiled their very first Windows Phone 8.1 device. The Liquid M220 smartphone will come with Windows Phone 8.1 and be upgradeable to Windows 10 in the future.

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The Liquid M220 has a textured surface design with a fabric inspired pattern – making it easy to grip that helps prevent the smartphone from slipping out of your hand. It looks pretty good too with its silver middle frame that has an interesting square pyramid design. It’s 4-inch display packs 233 pixels per inch (PPI) and it has a 5MP rear (main) camera and 2MP front camera. Its rear camera has an 89-degree wide-angle lens so you can fit more of the scene into photos you’re taking.

Android Wear: apps and watches for every occasion

Android Wear has a device for just about everyone, with watches that range from traditional and round, to sporty and square. Throw in custom watch faces and apps that accentuate your style and you’ve got countless ways to express who you are, right on your wrist.

Today, there are now even more ways to show people what you’re about, including a new batch of apps, a growing ecosystem of partners, and new watches coming from LG and Huawei.


All kinds of apps for all kinds of interests


Life is about doing, not just viewing, and with Android Wear there are now thousands of feature-rich apps for nearly any activity.

  • Time to start the day. Want to color coordinate your outfit? DressWatch lets you take a picture of what you’re wearing and set your watch face to match your clothes. Or, if you happen to be eating a kiwi, you can use Fruity Slices to match your breakfast.

  • Once you’re feeling stylish, PixtoCam lets you take a high-tech selfie, using your watch as a remote viewfinder to zoom and click. You can review all your photos with MyRoll and share them right from your watch.

  • Waiting for the bus with time to kill? Leap from building to building with Skyscraper Jumper, dig for gold with Mineshaft, or check up on news from your favorite sites with Palabre.

  • If you need to send a quick text during the day, Coffee includes more than 100 customizable messages. You can also jot down a task on Todoist by saying “OK Google, take a note.”

  • When it’s time for a run, Google Play Music can turn your watch into a music player, so you can leave your phone at home. If you need a little extra motivation, My Fitness Racer lets you unlock speed boosts with the more steps you take.

  • Golf Swing Analyzer uses the watch’s accelerometer and gyroscope to measure the tempo, speed, and angle of your swing. And if (when?) you run out of golf balls, you can grab a few more with Amazon Shopping.
  • If you’re more the musical type, you can install atHandTuner to precisely tune your guitar, ukulele, or didgeridoo using the watch’s built-in microphone. And if you come across a song that inspires, you can use Musixmatch to identify it in seconds.

  • Before you call it a night, you can check in on the baby with tinyCam, right from your watch. And when it’s finally time to turn in, you can track your sleep cycle—and even detect your snoring—using Sleep as Android.

Android Wear makes your everyday life easier. Why dig around your purse or pocket to answer a call when you can see (and ignore) the caller directly from your wrist? ;-) And why interrupt a perfectly good conversation when you can just glance at your watch for updates? Many apps on Google Play include these Android Wear notifications, so you can stay connected and stay present.

Whatever you’re into, and whatever you’re up for, you’re bound to find an app that fits your wrist. Browse any one of our hand-picked collections on Google Play—including Health & Fitness, Travel & Local, Communication, and Watch Facesand try one on for size. And if you’re a developer, keep taking advantage of the flexibility of Android Wear to build more awesome apps.

More watches, more choices

Making an Android Wear device your own is made possible by an amazing community of partners—from manufacturers like ASUS, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony, to chip makers like Broadcom, Intel, Mediatek, MIPS, and Qualcomm, to fashion brands like Fossil.

The ASUS ZenWatch, which went on sale in November, recently won an iF Product Design Award – congratulations ASUS. Sony just announced swappable metal, brown leather, and black leather straps for the SmartWatch 3. In March, Motorola will introduce the ability to design your own personal Moto 360 using their Moto Maker design studio. LG recently announced their latest watch, the LG Watch Urbane, the first all metal luxury Android Wear watch.

And just today, Huawei announced the Huawei Watch, featuring a beautiful 286 ppi circular AMOLED display.

So choose your favorite watch, add a beautiful watch face, install a great app, and voila. Dress code: wear what you want.

Posted by Jeff Chang, Senior Product Manager, Android Wear

WinHEC Shenzhen session agenda is live

We’re looking forward to the start of the Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) Summit in Shenzhen in just a few weeks. Today, I’m pleased to share the formal agenda with you.

WinHEC Shenzhen will have a great line up of deep technical sessions, executive keynotes, partner demos and discussions led by local, regional and global leaders across the Windows hardware ecosystem.

That said, we know you want to spend time building what’s next, and we’ve built the schedule so attendees can spend time with Windows 10 code and learn how to build the  best application, components and hardware that can span PCs, Tablets, Phones, and beyond. In addition to the technical trainings and hands-on labs, we’re offering sessions with Microsoft executives and engineering experts to further discuss how the greater China community as we all work together to make Windows devices great.

Session topics include:

  • Optimizing Windows 10 Devices
  • Windows 10 Hardware Technology Investments
  • Windows Partner Showcase
  • Driver Development Fundamentals
  • Windows 10 Device Imaging –Hands On
  • Business Opportunities with Windows Devices
  • Windows 10 Hardware Technology Investments
  • Internet of Things (IoT)

To see the full agenda, please visit https://microsoft.eventcore.com/WinHEC/Shenzhen2015/en-US/schedule#/.

Update for OneDrive app for Windows Phone brings a few new features

The OneDrive app for Windows Phone received a cool new update today. Now you can sign in to OneDrive on your Windows Phone with additional Microsoft accounts, protect OneDrive access with a PIN code, and create and view albums.

Multiple User Accounts for OneDrive on Windows Phone

Sign into OneDrive with additional Microsoft accounts.

OneDrive PIN setup for Windows Phone

Adding a PIN code helps prevent other people who use your device from accidentally accessing, changing, or deleting your files. You can set that up from the Settings page inside the app.

Albums for OneDrive on Windows Phone

The Albums update is exciting because it used to be a web-only feature and now you can create, view and share them from the app. Albums aren’t like traditional folders.  You can create an album using pictures and videos from anywhere in your OneDrive.  And, when you or people who share them with view them, it’s a much better experience: your photos stand front and center, thumbnails are larger, photos are edge-to-edge, and everything is arranged together into a beautiful collage.

If you haven’t given OneDrive a try yet, we encourage you to do so.  Get up to 30 GB for free when you sign up and automatically upload your photos from your phone.

LINE Messenger app for Windows Phone gets two new exciting features

Today the LINE Messenger app for Windows Phone received an exciting new update bringing Windows Phone users two of LINE’s most wanted features – Timeline and Group Home. LINE Messenger is a free app in the Windows Phone Store that allows users to conveniently exchange messages, photos, videos, voice messages, even their location with friends and family.

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The Timeline feature allows users to post their special photos and activities with their friend list, friends on this list can then comment on the photos and activities, generating fun conversation around what’s shared. It’s a great way to keep close friends and loved ones updated on key moments in your life.

LINE Messenger for Windows Phone

Group Home consists of two key features – Album and Note. Album and Note are based on secured groups. Users can create groups that include specific friends they want to add, within the group pictures and notes can be shared. Users have the ability to save important messages in these group communication threads within the messenger app.

Be sure to explore these two new exciting features in the update! If you don’t already have LINE Messenger installed on your Windows Phone, you can do that in the Windows Phone Store.