Today, Microsoft has kicked off the release of Windows 8.1 Update 1, the highly anticipated release for the desktop operating system and RT devices like the Surface 2. What makes this update special to consumers is the vast array of improvements implemented for mouse and keyboard users.
Windows 8 was a major step forward for touch, introducing numerous Windows-based tablets, but it’s time the classic peripheral setup received some much needed attention. If you're rocking Windows 8 and/or Windows 8.1, be sure to check the store and/or system updates to see if it’s available in your region.
Last week was a slow week for Xbox console releases, but not this week. The Xbox One gets three new releases: Kinect Sports Rivals from Rare and Microsoft Studios, LEGO The Hobbit from Traveler’s Tales and Warner Bros., and the downloadable Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut from Born Ready Games. Strike Suit Zero is the very first ID@Xbox game to reach the market!
The week is no less special for Xbox 360, either. Microsoft’s still-popular previous-gen console gets several new games of its own: the long-awaited Titanfall, LEGO The Hobbit, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, and a new episode of The Wolf Among Us. Not too shabby!
The new features are available to anybody running Windows 8.1.It seems a little silly that there wasn’t an option to sign out before, but at least things are improving. Recently Skype’s modern version was also updated to so you can pin it to your desktop taskbar, which is great.
Lenovo has announced their new ultra-portable - the IdeaPad Flex 10 – in India. The Flex 10 flips 300° from laptop to stand mode, making it an interesting convertible device for work and entertainment while on the go.
Unlike most convertibles in the market, the Flex 10 does not convert into a tablet, but into a stand mode which is quite useful for media consumption or casual browsing. The 2-in-1 features 10-point multitouch display optimized for Windows 8.
For today only, purchase the Amzer Snap-On Case for Nokia Lumia 920 and save 47% off the list price!
This polycarbonate case comes in one piece that wraps around the sides of your device leaving complete access to your display, camera, ports and buttons. The back sports a unique texture that enhances your overall grip with an Amzer logo at the bottom.
Are you a Windows Phone user in Canada? Metro, the country’s most read daily national newspaper, has recently released an official app. Metro Canada publishes coast to coast in Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Windsor, London, Kitchener, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. Now, you can read those stories with the app on Windows Phone.
For those who may not know, Cortana is the newly announced intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator that will be released as a beta with Windows Phone 8.1.
We’re always, always glad to discover new Xbox games coming to Windows Phone. That’s the whole reason I started working here three years ago! Today an eagle-eyed reader by the name of John Lampard discovered a new Xbox Windows Phone game called Drop 7. I smiled, then frowned when I realized it’s just a puzzle game. After downloading the game my smile dropped even further…
Drop 7 is a puzzle game that launched on iOS and Android in 2012. Those versions came from developer Area Code, now known as Zynga New York. Wouldn’t it be rad if Zynga started making Xbox games for Windows Phone? You bet! But the Windows Phone game comes from a developer called Zanga. Something looks a little off…
The now Facebook-owned messaging service, WhatsApp has unveiled a new SIM deal in Germany. This prepaid SIM provides consumers with unlimited access to WhatsApp on top of agreed data limits. It's a milestone since this is the first time the popular service has partnered with carriers to sell a SIM package. If you're a massive fan of WhatsApp and use it on a daily basis, you may wish to read on and keep your eyes open for a similar deal in your region, should one be made available.
The super-popular fast food outlet McDonald's has released multiple Windows Phone apps for a number of regions. The company has now launched the official app for the UK market, enabling consumers to search for nearest restaurants, get directions to selected McDonald's and even save favorite restaurants for future use. It's a neat little app that we're sure many fans will enjoy using.
As there are a large number of McDonald's restaurants available throughout the UK, it's possible to filter through listings by establishments that sport a drive thru, are open 24/7, baby changing facilities, host birthday parties, offer free Wi-Fi and more. Currently active promotions can also be viewed form within the app, perfect for those bargain hunters.
Some other highlighted features:
- View the full McDonald’s UK menu
- See nutrition in formation on all products, learn more about ingredients and check allergies guide
- Create your own meal combinations
- Discover the combined nutritional information behind your favorite meals
Also, since the Monopoly promotion is currently underway, you'll be able to check to see if you've won any prizes while on the move. You can grab McDonald's for the UK from the Windows Phone Store for free.
Concerns over Microsoft's purchase of Nokia have been highlighted in some regions, including China and Korea. The former country has since approved the deal with the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China giving the green light. While the deal itself has been subject to regulatory and other customary approvals, some competitors have voiced concerns over the strengthening position Microsoft will have patents-wise.
This ruling was expected, especially after the government in China ordered further probing into the deal to ensure everything was in place and local manufacturers weren't going to be negatively affected by potential patent abuse. Nokia has not been requested to make alterations to its licensing program, nor has the company had its compliance with FRAND on standard-essential patents challenged.
The deal is expected to be finalized later this month.
Source: 4-Traders; cheers, riffraffy, for the tip!
You probably have browsed Reddit and Imgur many times if, like us, you’re a child of the internet. Baconit and Readit are two killer Reddit apps for Windows Phone that we use and love daily. For Imgur we’ve been rocking Grin since we first covered it last summer. Now we’re adding another Imgur app to our collection – Imgura for Windows Phone.
As the General Elections 2014 get underway in the largest democracy of the world, Microsoft has partnered with the Network18 media conglomerate to create the CNN-IBN Microsoft Election Analytics Centre to allow the citizens to search and engage with election data like never before.
The initiative brings comprehensive analytics on Indian election trends over the years across parties, candidates, and constituencies to www.bing.com/elections (Location aware).
We're kicking off a new week with our Newsroom is full swing and Build 2014 well and truly behind us. That said, there's still some news and app updates to cover for you all to remain up-to-date with platform business. We'll catch a few apps and games in today's roundup to kick off the week.
Surfy is a pretty decent alternative web browser to Internet Explorer on Windows Phone. The app was previously re-released late last year, but today we're looking at a new release with some highly requested functionality.
Here's what's new in version 3.8:
- Share link via NFC
- Save Login credentials
- Find on Page
- Voice support for Spanish, Portuguese and Italian
Both the free and the paid versions of Surfy have been updated. Check them out on the Windows Phone Store using the links and QR codes below:
No, you’re not literally wearing the same shirt that Joe Belfiore wore last week during the day one keynote at Build 2014. Hopefully that one has been washed and framed at the Belfiore residence as a trophy for all the hard work that went into Cortana. But you too can join history and show off your support for Cortana on Windows Phone. Microsoft’s company store has the swag up for sale. Details below.
Internet Explorer isn't necessarily a bad web browser for Windows Phone, but there's definitely room for improvement. This is where third-party developers come into play with the likes of Maxthon and SurfCube. These alternative web browsers offer more choice for the consumer. We’ll take a look at some highlighted options available on the store.
You may be familiar with the name, especially if you come from a PC background. Maxthon (www.maxthon.com) is a popular web browser for Microsoft’s desktop operating system and the company has brought the same experience across to Windows Phone. Released back in October 2013, the app has been updated with new features and has accumulated positive reviews.
Here are just some of the improvements being implemented (in a previous update, version 220.127.116.110) as development progresses:
Mid-February we told you guys and gals about a beta for an upcoming app called Threepointer. It's a third-party client for Dribbble, the popular design community and social network. If you're a graphic designer you probably have an account on Dribbble and frequent the site for inspiration and to share your work. Now you can browse the network with Threepointer, one of the most beautiful apps on Windows Phone.
New information revealed to Windows Phone Central confirms that Microsoft is planning at least two OS updates for Windows Phone 8.1 in 2014. Internally known as ‘general distribution releases – or GDRs – GDR1 and GDR2 are already on the roadmap for this year, with a possible third one in 2015 before the next OS revision, codenamed ‘Threshold’.
It should be of little surprise that Microsoft plans on repeating the same update schedule for Windows Phone 8 for 8.1, as it has proven to be a relatively successful method for adding new features to the OS and keeping Windows Phone in the news. A twelve-month cycle for major OS revisions also seems to be the new norm both for Phone and Windows.
Microsoft is not resting on their laurels when it comes to gaming as new features have been announced for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Ironically, they’re unique features to each system, so hopefully you still have both of them.
First up is the Xbox 360, which is gaining an official GoPro app to view a curated channel of GoPro videos. GoPro has become the defacto source of stomach nauseating point-of-view videos, often featuring extreme sports. It’s hard to fathom how much the mini-camera system has changed our experience in watching people perform wild and crazy stunts in such a short time. Now, you’ll be able to watch all the latest right on your Xbox 360.
Last week, Microsoft finally unveiled Windows Phone 8.1 to the world. One of the subtle new features was the Word Flow keyboard, which brings ‘shape writing’ to the mix, in addition to the familiar ‘touch typing’ for text input. Developed by Microsoft Research, the technology behind Word Flow is completely unique to Redmond, being proprietary technology and building off of the already excellent auto-complete feature. Heck, it now even predicts emoji for you too.
We demoed the new keyboard in our hands-on video but now it’s been confirmed to be the fastest in the world. In a video posted by Microsoft Research a few days ago – and lost in our shuffle – Word Flow can certainly hold its own as it was used to set the world record for fastest keyboard by a 15-year old named Gaurav Sharma.
Careem, a chauffeur-driven car booking service in the Middle East, has just launched their official app for Windows Phone. The service allows you to order hassle-free rides in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam from your smartphone. You can track rides in real-time, pay with credit cards, and access receipts online. Careem originally launched in Google Play and the App Store. Now, Windows Phone users can join the fun.