Articles

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Official TV commercial for FIFA 15 is pretty awesome

EA Sports has just published on YouTube the official TV commercial for FIFA 15. It is epic. Running just over 2 minutes, it shows multiple gamers playing FIFA 15. They're so tuned in that they actually feel like they're inside the game. They can feel the grabbing, pushing, and even the nasty tackles. Messi, of course, makes an appearance. Make sure to watch video.

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A month ago Microsoft gave Windows Phone developers the ability to respond to Store reviews. This was a new feature welcomed by the developer community as it gave them a way to address misinformed reviews or customer complaints. Now a month later, Microsoft has shared some details on the success of the program so far. For example, most developers see an average star rating increase of +1.2 when they respond to reviews.

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OAuth, app permissions, and a false sense of security

Disclaimer

There is nothing new in this post. I'm just bringing this up now because a lot of people seem to not know the facts. It also has nothing to do with Windows Phone specifically, but rather pretty much every platform. The point of this post is not to spread FUD, but to remind people to not take security for granted.

OAuth

For those that don't know what OAuth is, it is an open standard for authorization. OAuth provides client applications a 'secure delegated access' to server resources on behalf of a resource owner. It specifies a process for resource owners to authorize third-party access to their server resources without sharing their credentials.

These days OAuth is used pretty much everywhere where an external client needs to login to some sort of service. You've used it with Google (I used it to upload the video in this post), Microsoft apps (Skype, Xbox Smartglass, Visual Studio), Twitter, Facebook, and countless others.

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Multi-desktop support may be coming in the next major version of Windows. At least if what alleged video leaks are to be believed. Germany-based site called WinFuture.de has been leaking screenshots and video of an early build of " Windows 9." So far we've seen a screenshot of the new Start menu and a video of said Start menu. Now we have two more videos: one showing new multi-desktop support and the ability to hide Live tiles in the Start menu.

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Looking for a new game to play on your Windows Phone this weekend? If so, you should check out Shapist. It's a new mobile game that comes to us from iOS. It's not a super popular app (yet) but is well reviewed and received a nomination for in the Best Mobile Game category at Indie Prize Amsterdam 2014. Let's check out this new sliding block puzzle game for Windows Phone.

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There is no official Meetup (meetup.com) application for Windows Phone, but there's a cool third-party app you might want to check out called Clique. The app makes it easy for anyone to find and join thousands of local groups around the world. You can browse and search for groups to get involved in and find events to attend.

We've installed Clique on our Lumia 930. Make sure to watch our hands-on video.

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Just over one year ago, I brought news of the first release of SongArc, an exclusive Windows Phone music game reminiscent of Guitar Hero and Audio Surf. SongArc lets users download 'sheets' of preprogrammed data to hammer away to their music collection on their phone with colorful graphics, and it is driven by a 1.2 million user community. SongArc maintains an astounding 4.7 (out of 5) rating on the Store from 6K reviews and is consistently the top in its category.

Today, the developers behind SongArc have announced that they have accepted funding from European accelerator Traction Tribe to bring the game to the next level. Previously, SongArc was a hobby by András Velvárt and his team, but now with Traction Tribe, the SongArc group is looking to expand the one-of-a-kind game to iOS, Windows tablets, and later this year, Android.

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Either HTC's Twitter account is drunk and spouting off random timeframes, or HTC and Sprint are really in no rush for to update their HTC 8XT, a custom phone that looks like a cross between the HTC 8s and HTC 8x.

Asked about the Windows Phone 8.1 update, and presumably not the capital 'U' version aka 8.1.1, and HTC responded to Aaron B. on Twitter with the succinct "You can expect the Windows 8.1 update to roll out to Sprint's HTC 8X in November." Note not by November, but in November.

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Blue Mo-Fi Headphones Review

Ever since I started working in the tech field and traveling more often than I ever did, I've always been in pursuit of the best set of headphones. Not just for podcasting or zoning out at home, but for when I'm sitting in airports, on a plane, or just trying to put myself to sleep in a hotel room. I'm not a huge fan of earbuds, so I've opted for over-the-ear headphones in my search. Some of my favorites in the past have been the Urbanears Zinken and the Bose Around Ear Headphones — though I've been through quite a few sets trying to find one that suits me best. I recently received a pair of Blue's new Mo-Fi headphones however, changing everything I thought a solid pair of headphones should be.

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Spin 2014 is physics-based puzzle game inspired by the ancient Chinese philosophy of YIN and YANG, that describes how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world. Yin 陰 or 阴 is the female/passive/negative principle in nature while the Yang 陽 or 阳 is the positive/active/male principle in nature.

Of course, you don't have to know the givens of the philosophy to play the game. Your objective is to restore the balance which is lost since YIN and YANG have been separated, and both cease to exist without another.

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Popular weather app Atmosphere Weather for Windows Phone has just been updated to version 1.4. Today's update marks the biggest yet in Atmosphere's history on Windows Phone. Highlights of today's update to the popular weather app include a complete redesign, including 1080p support for devices like the Lumia 930/Icon, HTC One, and Lumia 1520, user customizable themes, "feels like" temperature and much more.

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Terraria has just arrived on Windows Phone and it's Xbox Live enabled! The critically-acclaimed sandbox adventure PC game has made its rounds across to mobile platforms and today is Windows Phone's turn. Players will be able to pick up their favorite mobile device, boot up Terraria and explore numerous biomes, as well as travel to the edges of the world and destroy enraged bosses. There's a lot to do here.

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A new video has surfaced that details the return of the Start menu from what is believed to be an early build of Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 9 release code named Threshold. The video walks through various components of the Start menu, though its functionality has been leaked in the past numerous times. Still, as this is a technical preview of Windows 9 Threshold, it's still unclear if all, or any, of these features will make the cut to a consumer release.

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If you are into watching videos on your Windows Phone, you will want to go and grab the Xbox Video update that just went live.

Version 2.6.284 is now live for those who want the practical details. However, there are no new functions revealed, just "minor fixes and improvements". But wait, there's more!

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You've seen the proclamations: "Windows Phone is doomed." "…a distant third." "No chance to catch up." Anyone who follows technology sites these days, especially the mainstream US-based ones, have seen those quotes used in news articles and often even in comments. It reflects the slow, but middling growth of Windows Phone, which has never taken off in the US, hovering at just 4% (Kantar, August 2014).

Sure, worldwide Windows Phone fares better, with Italy at 13% and the UK nearly at 10%, but I am not here to sugarcoat the stats. They speak for themselves, and I am not taking issue here with their accuracy or what they mean.

I am more interested in perception, the way people talk about these things because although Windows Phone market share is comparatively small, it says nothing of user satisfaction, which consistently ranks very high, if not the highest, amongst all the operating systems. Although not many people are using Windows Phone, comparatively, those who do are enjoying the experience, both for hardware and software. That is something not easily dismissed. Now, if Microsoft had little market share and the users hated the devices and the OS experience that I think would be worthy of media Schadenfreude, but I digress.

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