We recently covered the forthcoming update for Xbox Music on Windows Phone 8.1. Needless to say, the app is chock full of problems. But it also has a ton of potential. The group behind the app has promised bi-weekly updates, which is probably one of the reasons why they tore it out of the core OS and made it an app. Smart, eh?
One of the more interesting side effects of constantly taking photos of your phone, especially during such a high profile week, is everyone is curious as to what app that is or where’d I get the background. They’re all fine inquiries, the challenge for me is trying to respond to every tweet, email, DM or comment here to satisfy everyone!
Hence this post. This is nothing more than me going: here is my wallpaper.
In addition to hunting down hidden Easter eggs this weekend, you can save 20% and find new cases and accessories for your Windows Phones during our Store.WPCentral.com Easter Sale (now through 4/22). To take advantage of the savings, all you need to do is enter in coupon code HOP14 during the checkout process. FREE shipping is available on all orders over $50 (domestic US / Canada), and you have lots of payment methods beyond standard credit card including Amazon payments, Paypal and Bitcoin!
And for those of you taking a spare device along for the ride, don't forget the HOP14 coupon also works at the iMore Store, ShopCrackBerry.com and our ShopAndroid Store. Your shopping cart will follow you through all four stores, so you can buy from all four stores and checkout once.
For today only, purchase the Amzer ShellCase w/ Holster for Nokia Lumia 920 and save 45% off the list price!
This durable case combines the protection of a shell case and the power of a clip stand holster. The form fit rear shell is impact resistant for complete protection and quickly slides in and out of the holster for instant phone access!
Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Star Wars
There is little argument that the Star Wars franchise has had its fair share of success. From the movies to action figures to video games the Star Wars logo always seems to draw a crowd. I can remember watching the first installment, Episode IV: A New Hope, countless times in theaters and being amazed at the special effects (that seem to pale in comparison with what we have today).
This week we’re taking an easy approach to the roundup, focusing on the top Star Wars games (and a few apps) that are available for the Windows Phone platform. While Star Wars is a popular genre, its presence in the Windows Phone Store is a little on the thin side. There are some entertaining and challenging Star Wars games but some rather obvious omissions. Hopefully that will change.
Nokia has been delving into different technologies, some weird and wonderful and others just plain awesome. This year, to celebrate the Easter holidays, Nokia is introducing #Chokia. If you haven't quite guessed from the name (and the above image), the company is producing 3D-printed logos made of chocolate.
Are you prepared to see something fairly awesome? This latest advertisement from Nokia sees the company team up with Finnish goalkeeper Lassi Hurskainen. The end result is a spectacular montage of some trick shots knocking smartphones out the hands of their owners. These unlucky targets are subsequently reimbursed with a shiny new Lumia 630.
We are absolutely loving the translucent Live tiles in Windows Phone 8.1. Don’t worry, we’re just as confused by how much we love this new feature. It’s one thing to see it leaked in videos recorded with a potato, but it’s another to actually use it. We’re not alone, a lot of you seem to love the feature and developers are moving to support the translucent tiles in their own applications. Looking for a weather app that plays by the translucent rules? Then check out the updated version of Vieather.
It’s been awhile since Microsoft shared any official stats on how the Xbox One is faring. The last set of solid numbers we had was from mid-January when the Xbox One moved 908,000 units in December. We knew March was going to be a big month with the launch of Titanfall. We now have the latest numbers from the NPD and you’re probably wondering how the Xbox One is doing since launching last November. According to Microsoft, over 5 million Xbox One consoles have been sold to retailers since launch. For comparison, the PlayStation 4 has moved over 7 million units. More numbers after the break.
Yesterday we posted about folks being unable to set an alarm using Cortana. They’d try and meet error code 8000ffff. It undoubtedly made a lot of you frustrated as you played around with Cortana. Soft resets and hard resets didn’t fix the problem. What was going on? It’s most likely third-party alarm apps messing with Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1. Details below.
Windows Phone 8.1 brings a handful of new features to the mix. Cortana and the new Notification center obviously steal the headlines, but other features like Battery Saver, Wi-Fi Sense, Start backgrounds and more all add up to create a wonderful update. Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy these features. Cortana is currently only available as a beta to those in the United States, though you can get it to work internationally with a few tricks.
And it looks like Cortana is also only available to those over a certain age. Seriously.
Update 7:45 PM ET: As predicted, the beta app has now been unpublished from the Store
After the dust has settled with the Preview of Windows Phone 8.1, early adopters are noticing quite a few changes, some of which are causing some speed bumps. For instance, Twitter. The app works quite well on 8.1, but the ability to Share to the app has disappeared and it doesn’t fully leverage the capabilities of the 8.1 operating system.
The beta build of the app is circulating in an open beta, though it's sure to be closed now that it has leaked publicly. Regardless, here’s what to expect in Twitter for Windows Phone 8.1...
Simple Calendar is one of our favorite third-party calendar apps for Windows Phone, and even though the native calendar improved in Windows Phone 8.1, this app still has a great design. Today, version 220.127.116.11 is live in the Store and if you’re on 8.1, you may have had the app auto-update.
So what’s new? We have all the details.
Rogers just activated their fresh 700 MHz spectrum in a few regions across Canada. Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver are the lucky cities today, though we can expect a nationwide rollout eventually. 700 MHz has been widely described as “beachfront” spectrum that’s particularly good at penetration, so you can keep a signal in elevators and parking garages, for example. It also provides added stability to everyday LTE connections.
Thanks to the Preview for Developers program we’ve been playing with Windows Phone 8.1 for more than three days. It’s been very well received by most everyone in the community. Now it’s time to check out how your battery is doing after upgrading from Windows Phone 8.0 to Windows Phone 8.1. Has your battery life improved or taken a turn for the worst? Maybe is it just the same as it was before. Let’s find out.
WMW? XYY is the latest installment with Disney’s Where’s My Water? series of Windows Phone games. WMW? XYY features Chinese TV cartoon character XYY on an epic adventure through China to save his friends trapped in an underground city and defeat the Big Bad Wolf.
The physics game plays much like the previous versions of Where’s My Water? with new fire and oil mechanics. WMW? XYY may have an odd gaming title but it makes a nice first impression.
For those of us who love our apps, or have limited storage on our phones, freeing up space can be a concern. Prior to the Windows Phone 8.1 update, we were limited to installing apps directly on the phone, so when things got tight, one might take to uninstalling rarely-used apps to free up precious space. And anyone who has had to uninstall a bunch of apps at once can tell you how much of a hassle it can be to go through the list one by one to clear them out.
However, in this new post-8.1 era, we now have the ability to conserve device storage by installing apps directly to a micro SD card, should our device have one. With Storage Sense, it becomes easy to move apps that are already installed on your phone over to micro SD in a group, rather than individually. Similarly, if you want to uninstall several apps at once, you can use Storage Sense to do that as well.
The Windows Phone family includes a few devices that are rather impressive but lose some of their appeal due to lower storage space and RAM memory.
Fortunately, most of these low storage Windows Phones have expansion card slots and with the release of Windows Phone 8.1 some relief is in sight that may make these entry level Windows Phones more attractive.
One of the key attractions for the Windows Phone platform is the Live Tiles. It allows you get a glance at key information such as new emails, the current temperature, your next appointment or sports scores. The recent Windows Phone 8.1 update only adds to this attraction with new features such as transparent tiles, a third-column option, and a few new apps that liven up your Start Screen.
Continuing the series on what is on our Windows Phone Start Screen, it is my turn to share.
We’re not IP lawyers by a long shot, but we know when a company appears to be making a spurious claim. Such is the case with the French site Weave.eu, who have filed a complaint against the developers behind Weave News Reader on Windows Phone.
The claim looks to be IP trolling for a few reasons, including the fact that the French site isn’t a news, or a news aggregator that uses RSS technology. What’s more, their "community trademark" was established in 2012, which is about two years after Weave hit Windows Phone way back in 2010.
Enjoying the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers? We're sure you all are. We can see there are numerous discussions underway as to what are your favorite Windows Phone 8.1 features. Whether you're a Cortana fan or simply worship Joe Belfiore for adding in the Notification Center (better late than never), there's a lot in this preview release.
In this roundup, we'll be running you through some of our favorites, just in case you're wanting to know what the Windows Phone Central team likes most on their smartphones. Head past the break to see our favorites.
We've previously looked at how bad Xbox Music is on Windows Phone 8.1 (in the Preview for Developers, anyway), but the experience has never been flawless on Windows Phone. Microsoft evidently knows this as the company is looking to roll out an update next week (April 22nd), which will kick off bi-weekly releases for the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview client.
This is superb news for Xbox Music Pass holders who wish to have a decent experience on the phone.
While the vast majority of changes to Windows Phone 8.1 have been a welcome gust of fresh air to our phones, there are some things that take getting used to. The fact that Cortana doesn’t have Bing Vision may be chalked up to it being in ‘beta’, although we hope Microsoft at some point brings the feature back to search. The Bing service is used by many people on this site for scanning our app QR codes at the end of articles, so not having it readily available is a turnoff.