Windows 8 Apps+Games

Microsoft recently released the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers and introduced a collection of new features, including an updated version of the mobile Internet Explorer 11. The new software update brought forward a collection of new exciting features along with an ability we have had for quite a bit in Windows 8.1’s IE11 browser – Reading Mode.

The Reading Mode embedded within IE11 on Windows 8.1 has spent quite a bit of time being overlooked, but in fact, can provide a simple and distraction free reading experience for your favorite news and blog sites (including Windows Phone Central!)

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Have you been loving Titanfall on the Xbox One, PC or Xbox 360? We have and that’s why we’re pretty excited to check out The Final Hours of Titanfall for Windows 8. Unless you’re immersed in video game culture, you might not be too familiar with The Final Hours series. It comes from videogame journalist Geoff Keighley, in it he chronicles the development of many popular games. The Final Hours of Titanfall offers an in-depth and behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this generation’s most popular first-person shooter.

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Universal game purchases have long been one of the most requested features from avid Windows Phone gamers, right behind SD card support (at last!) and more Xbox games (no luck yet). Already popular on iOS, the universal app concept allows users to buy a game or app once and then play it on both Windows Phone and Windows 8 and RT.

Yesterday Microsoft and 343’s Halo: Spartan Assault officially became the first universal app on Windows Phone and Windows 8. It turns out that several more Windows Phone/Windows 8 Xbox games also went universal alongside Halo. Most are technically free and thus the universal label is more symbolic than anything. But another paid game is now universal as well: Skulls of the Shogun from 17-BIT. Head past the break for more details and word on which mobile Xbox games still need to go universal!

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Last fall, I had the pleasure of traveling to Casual Connect USA and interviewing Polish game developer Artifex Mundi. They announced three upcoming games to us during the event: Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call, Deadlings, and Enigmatis: The Mists of Ravenwood. Siren’s Call came out in November, followed by Deadlings in February, leaving only Mists of Ravenwood unreleased.

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Amanita Design’s classic point-and-click adventure game Machinarium arrived on Windows Phone last month. I was so impressed by its beautiful hand-drawn artwork and fascinating world of living robots that I named it one of the best games of March.

Shortly after the phone game popped up, we broke the news that Machinarium would be coming to Windows 8 and RT as well. We didn’t have to wait very long, because the game is now available on Windows tablets and PCs. Read on for Windows 8 impressions, plus news of another update for the Windows Phone game.

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Tonight, we got a chance to see a demo of EyeLock myris, a USB-enabled iris identity authenticator. Iris authentication has been available to corporations and enterprises for years, but this product promises to be user-friendly or cost-effective enough for individuals to use in everyday situations. Instead of typing in usernames and passwords, place the EyeLock myris in front of your face to log in.

Head past the break to watch the demo.

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Last month we told you guys about a beta for a Windows Phone app called Boxcryptor. It’s an app that a lot of folks concerned over privacy and protecting their data might want to look into. Most of us use services like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box to store and retrieve files in the cloud. Those services retain the right to search the content that you store on their services. Boxcryptor allows you to encrypt your data before storing it to the cloud. There’s been a Windows desktop app for quite some time, but we’re now getting a Windows Phone and Windows 8 app today. Let’s check it out.

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If you had a childhood similar to ours you probably played a lot of solitaire on the nearest computer. Now you can get your kids into the game, but with a little bit of Disney flair. Head to the Windows Store and you’ll find a new game called Disney Solitaire that combines your favorite Disney characters and the very popular card game. Let’s check it out.

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Ready to add one more Xbox Live game to your Surface 2? Then you’re going to want to grab WSOP: Full House Pro for Windows 8. We’ve seen the game before on the Xbox 360, but have patiently been waiting for the Windows version. Sadly, nothing here for Windows Phone users. If you want your poker fix you’re going to have to remember Full House Poker, which sadly has no support for Windows Phone 8. Enough of the past, let’s focus on the future with WSOP: Full House Pro on Windows 8!

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In 2014, if you are looking to watch television shows or movies, there are a plethora of different apps and services available to fulfill your need of entertainment consumption. We are going to look at what we currently consider the best TV and movie apps available in the Windows Store for Windows 8/RT devices. We will begin by noting that all of these application will work within the United States, but elsewhere your results will vary.

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It is four months into 2014, and there is a good chance that some of us who have set our New Year’s goals to be healthier have fallen off the track a bit. If you are looking to get healthy and in shape, or simply want tips to improve your current routine, we are going to check out some of our favorite health and fitness apps within the Windows Store. So sit back, grab some water, munch on a rice cake, and let us explore the Windows Store.

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Skype’s for modern Windows has recently been updated with a toggle for invisible mode and the ability to sign out completely.

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.

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We’ve just reviewed Airport City, the latest Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 release from international publisher Game Insight. Observant readers will notice a pattern with Game Insight’s mobile Windows releases: three out of their four games are pure city builders. The fourth game Rule the Kingdom is sort of a city builder/RPG hybrid.

Clearly city building is Game Insight’s specialty – these titles are doing very well for them on Windows Phone and Windows 8. But you do need something to differentiate one of these games from the crowd, especially when they all come from the same publisher. As luck would have it, Game Insight’s next title Cloud Raiders adds something really cool to the mix: fantasy-based strategic battles. Read on for exclusive news and impressions!

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Russian publisher Game Insight produces titles in many genres (mostly on other platforms), but its specialty is city-building games. Their previous Windows Phone and Windows 8 release 2020: My Country impressed me with its futuristic setting and wealth of content (see our review). But still, I longed to see more Game Insight titles make their way to mobile Windows platforms.

As luck would have it, Game Insight has just released Airport City on both Windows Phone (1 GB of RAM or higher at present) and Windows 8 and RT. It comes from Innowate, the same team who bought us the My Country series. Although the two game look and play a lot alike, Airport City does a few things differently as well. Namely it combines traditional city building with airport management, which proves more interesting than you might expect.

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Folks who take advantage of their Surface Pro 2 for gaming are probably in the minority, but Microsoft is tossing up a pretty sweet deal for those who want to get a little more than just productivity done on the device. The Microsoft Store is offering up what it calls a "Geek & Sundry" bundle deal with the Surface Pro 2 that shaves over $100 off buying the tablet, an Xbox Wireless Controller for Windows and two game downloads — War Thunder Mustang Advanced Pack and Farming Simulator 2013 — all together.

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Here at Windows Phone Central, some apps just sit clear above the rest as our favorites. When it comes to gathering your favorite news sources and reading them in an efficient fashion, we do not go farther than NextMatter’s Nextgen Reader.

The popular RSS reading app for Windows 8 has received an update today and a plethora of new features and abilities have been introduced.

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When you pick up a tablet for multi-media consumption, it may be a safe bet that a good magazine app will be on your Start Screen. From our forums, Windows Phone Central member rkeenan wants to know your suggestions for a good magazine application for his Windows RT tablet.

In addition to carrying around his Windows tablet, rkeenan also carries around his Galaxy Note 8 (which he'd like to get rid of) to access his Google Play subscriptions. Let us take a look at a few magazine apps from the Windows Store that might help rkeenan cut his ties to the Galaxy Note.

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