We’re very excited to see what developers can do by integrating their apps with Cortana. It’s a very promising future for those on Windows Phone 8.1. One developer has already started to play around with Cortana. Matt Cavanagh, a guy from South Africa who is well-known in the Windows Phone developer scene, has hooked up Cortana to control his lights. Check the video after the break.
6tag has received CloudSix integration, which is Huyn’s other pet project. CloudSix offers an unparalleled experience for cloud hosting companies on Windows Phone, including Dropbox (Huyn mentioned that he plans to expand CloudSix coverage to OneDrive, Mega, Google Drive and more in the future). Today’s update includes that along with support for “phablets under Windows Phone 8.1”.
AT&T's pre-paid GoPhone customers are in for a nice little treat: their monthly data allotments are going up, but their monthly cost is staying the same. Starting April 25th, GoPhone's 2GB $60-a-month plan will be bumped up to 2.5GB, while the $40-for-250MB plan will double to 500MB. Additionally, those on the larger and more expensive plan will gain mobile Wi-Fi hotspot support at no additional charge. And if you happen to be wanting to buy your smartphone from Wal-Mart, GoPhone shoppers there will have the option of a $45 monthly 1GB plan.
Take a break from playing with all the new features of Windows Phone 8.1 and play some actual games. If you’re into racing games, it may be worthwhile to check out Uber Racer. The game has been available for iOS for a while, but now Windows Phone users can play it too. It’s not related to the popular car booking service, in case you were wondering.
Head past the break to watch our gameplay video.
Since Windows Phone 8.1’s preview release this week, you folks can’t enough of the new Start screen backgrounds. And here you thought you’d hate them ;)
We covered a cool little app dubbed Transparency Tiles earlier this week, as it’s used to re-create Tiles for your 8.1 Start screen for native and popular apps. On first release it covered just Xbox Games, Music and Video, but we told you more apps would be coming. Since that time, the app has had a few updates, with the latest just going live a few moments ago.
One of the complaints cropping up with Windows Phone 8.1 was performance issues with the Xbox Games app. Like Xbox Video and Xbox Music, the Games hub is also no longer in the OS, but rather a separate, updatable app.
Some users recently complained that the app wouldn’t load their profile or worse, games would not populate. (We didn’t see it ourselves, but it was reported in our forums often enough).
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 184.108.40.206 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.