We've gone through a rather busy week and while we're sure many of you are battling through both Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and South Park: Stick of Truth, there are some Windows Phone app updates you may not be aware of. Pass the break to learn what's new in Maxthon, SongArc, Fhotolens and more.
When Windows Phone first launched back in 2010 there weren’t too many messaging apps available. Over the years we’ve seen most major messaging platforms join the ecosystem. Today we have great services like WhatsApp, Skype, Kik, Facebook Messenger, Line, GroupMe and Telegram. Others, like BBM, are on the horizon and will join Windows Phone sooner than later.
We’re curious though as to which messaging platform you use the most. We also want to know which messaging platform you prefer. It’s completely possible to have a different app that you prefer over one that you use the most. The majority of your friends might be communicating through FB Messenger, but you’d prefer if they were on something else like WhatsApp or Telegram.
We’re going to look at seven major messaging platforms today. Skype, Telegram, GroupMe, WhatsApp, Kik, Facebook Messenger and Line are being given our full attention. They’re the apps we see the Windows Phone community coalescing around the most.
A couple of days ago India’s leading daily, Times of India, carried a report quoting a Microsoft India executive that the company is looking forward to make available Windows tablets with a price of INR 10,000 (<$175) in India by middle of this year.
While that sounds pretty darn good, like the maxim, it is too good to be true. I met the quoted executive, Amrish Goyal, Director of the Windows Business Group at Microsoft India yesterday. Goyal clarified that he was misquoted and a forward looking statement like that would be inappropriate.
When it comes to video games there’s not much we like more than Halo. Which is why we’re pretty stoked to see this endless runner game from the Halo universe. It’s called Spartan Runner and you play as a Spartan. Your objective? Get as far as you can and kill as many members of the Covenant as possible.
HD Photo Viewer is an interesting Windows Phone 8 photography app that lets you view and share your images at full resolution. When viewing images through your Windows Phone Pictures Hub, image quality is reduced to improve performance when you pan and zoom. HD Photo Viewer presents the images in full resolution for a more quality viewing experience.
HD Photo Viewer was updated today to version 3.4, which includes a dynamic zoom feature and a few other enhancements to improve the app's overall performance.
A few days ago Rudy Huyn released his new Dropbox client for Windows Phone – CloudSix for Dropbox. It’s the first of many cloud storage apps that Rudy will be working on in the near future. Not only does it bring all the functionality of Dropbox to Windows Phone, but it also offers up new opportunities for developers to add cloud storage to their apps with minimal effort. CloudSix for Dropbox has also just picked up its first update. Let’s see what’s new.
Election season is coming up on us, and while some of us find that fascinating, many others just want to escape from the back and forth of political jabs and advertisements by turning to our gaming consoles. But if Microsoft has their way, your Xbox will no longer be an oasis from the politics.
According to the Washington Post, Microsoft was working CPAC, the yearly meeting of conservatives, pushing the idea of using Xbox Live gamertags and public information to build a demographic database to use for targeted political ads on your dashboard, as well as in Skype and MSN.
Next week, Microsoft is set to patch a collection of security loopholes that have served as a major vulnerability within Internet Explorer. A few months ago, security firm FireEye, discovered that they could exploit machines by using a piece of code that was drilled up by hackers. A second security confirm, Websense, later confirmed the issue and now a patch is ready to be sent out this Tuesday.
The XOLO Win has finally earned the tag of ‘coming soon’. At a Microsoft hosted event in New Delhi yesterday, the Indian device manufacturer LAVA International showcased their maiden Windows tablet in India. XOLO is a premium smart devices brand from LAVA, one of the top 3 Indian handset companies.
This March 11, PC and Xbox One gamers around the globe will be suiting up for Titanfall; the game that will mark the largest launch thus far for Microsoft’s Xbox One console library. Unfortunately, if you live in South Africa and have preordered Titanfall, you will not actually get to play it, as Electronic Arts has canceled the game’s launch there.
The education space is a battle arena for business notebooks that want to prove they are durable enough to serve use by hundreds of kids and cheap enough to fit into the local school budget. While Dell and Lenovo are both shooting for first place, Dell still has the advantage of having more government contracts already signed off. To improve their existing lineup of machines, the company has announced the new “classroom-ready” Latitude 13 laptop.
Last night, Microsoft inadvertently leaked Windows 8.1 Update 1 on its own Windows Update servers. They’ve since pulled the links, but you can find the update mirrored on various file sharing websites. A lot of you were fast and were able to update a few of your Windows 8.1 machines to Update 1. Now we’re curious what you think about the new changes.
There are lots of apps out there that use the local network trick to facilitate data transfer. You may have your favorite, but there’s always room for another. Music Drop, made by Codeceptive Studios, is a relatively new app that received a necessary bug fix update today. It’s a neat app if only because of its laser-like focus: send music from your PC to your Windows Phone.
Music Drop is simple enough. You launch it and it generates a specific URL, which you then type in your desktop browser (HTML5). From there, a Music Drop page is generated where you can simply drag and drop music off of your computer. Those tunes then get sent to your phone and voila, you have music on your device without a wired file transfer.
Yesterday, I finally picked up my matte white/silver Lumia Icon from Verizon. Nokia wanted back the review device, so I had to decide if I wanted the Icon on my Verizon account. Of course I did, it’s a great phone.
In playing with the white/silver version, which in my opinion looks much better than the all black one, I can’t help but notice how much it borrows from the Surface 2 design language. Let me be clear here: I’m not saying this is the oft rumored ‘Surface Phone’ from Microsoft. Or that Nokia worked with Microsoft in any way on this device. That’s not true at all.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on is that Windows Phone has a perception problem, especially in the US and Canada. The phone hardware is often reviewed favorably, but critics tend to ding the OS for lack of apps. This so-called ‘app-gap’ has become less of problem as of late 2013, but the perception is still there. Also, MIA apps like Sonos don’t help either.
Nokia’s new ad, showcased on their Canadian YouTube channel, does a really good job of breaking it all down for the consumer. In fact, it’s one of the best we’ve seen. With bold bright graphics, the narrator talks about how impressive the Windows Phone store has become, highlighting things like UI design, Live Tiles, Windows Phone exclusive apps, and how major titles like Vine, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are all here already.
Sonos (www.sonos.com) is a pretty wild service. Not to be confused with Songza, which also works on Sonos (and is just as awesome), Sonos is a ‘Multi-Room Music System’ and it relies on HIFI-WIFI speakers placed throughout your abode. You can then stream music to all or just some of your speakers, using various sources like Songza, Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, Beats Music etc.
There’s also a familiar story here: on Android and iOS, users get free software to control their Sonos Zones at home. Windows 8 and Windows Phone? Not so much.
Dark Lands is a tremendously popular Windows Phone game that was updated this morning to version 1.1.4 to add cloud saving to the table.
For those not familiar with Dark Lands, it is an endless runner styled game that adds combat and role-playing game elements into the mix. The graphics are stunning and game play addictively challenging. Along with fighting orcs, goblins and other monster the game also includes unique boss battles as you progress through the game.
Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Beer Apps
Beers and breweries have seen a rise in popularity over the past few years, to the point it can be a challenge to keep up with all the brands, styles and breweries that are now available. Luckily, we have a small collection of Windows Phone apps in the Store to help those who indulge in the sudsy beverages keep tabs on things.
This week’s Windows Phone Central roundup focuses on a handful of these beer apps. We’ve picked four of the top rated beer oriented apps to shine the spotlight on. Three the help you search and find the various beer brands, styles and breweries and one to help those who dabble in home brewing.
As with all of our roundups, if we have over looked your favorite beer app sound off down below in the comments and share your recommendation.
The highly popular podcast app for Windows Phone, Podcast Lounge has received a substantial update today. If you're not familiar with the name, the app enables users to stream and enjoy a variety of podcasts covering multiple genres.
Originally starting off as a unofficial BBC podcast client, Igneous Software has broadened the appeal of Podcast Lounge by adding in a new catalogue of podcasts, bringing with it international support. Should you be an active user, you’ll love what’s new in version 2.
Nokia is keeping its promise of ‘coming soon’ at the time of announcing both the Nokia X and Nokia X+ at Mobile World Congress 2014 last month. India, an emerging smartphone market, is one of the primary markets for the Nokia X series.
A press invite to "Xperience a new beginning" has been fired out today, marking March 10, 2014 as the launch of Nokia X in India.
At this rate we might not have much surprises left for Build 2014 next month in San Francisco. We’ve learned a lot about the big picture for the future of Windows Phone ever since the beta Windows Phone 8.1 SDK was leaked. Since then it’s been a steady stream of information about the upcoming update.
Earlier this week we finally got out first look at Cortana in action on video. Earlier today some more Windows Phone 8.1 information made its way onto the web. Today we’re learning a bit more about the Action Center in Windows Phone 8.1.
Big screen with an affordable price makes the Nokia Lumia 1320 really interesting. It’s not going to match the specs of the Lumia 1520, but that’s exactly the point. If the Lumia 1320 device hasn’t been on your radar yet, maybe Nokia’s latest video might get you interested. It doesn’t really show what the phone can do in detail, but we think the video is very cool, nonetheless. Go watch it after the break.
We’re a few short weeks away from Microsoft rolling out Update 1 for Windows 8.1. The update comes to your tablet, laptop and desktop in order to make Windows 8.1 a little friendlier for users that heavily rely on mice and keyboards. April’s Patch Tuesday, April 8th, is the expected day for when regular folk will get the update. But you’re not regular and if you want it, you can get it today. Window 8.1 Update 1 has apparently been accidently leaked by Microsoft.