companion

Let's get ready to...wait, wrong sport

When you’re done pounding down your scotch, you may want to watch some brawny guys beat the heck out of each other—if so the official UFC companion app for Windows Phone may just be your next download.

We say 'companion' because it expands upon the official Xbox UFC Live app for the 360--that app allows you to watch UFC fights through your 360 to your TV and more. (Of course you can use the app without an Xbox 360 too).

The app just landed on the Store for Windows Phone and it’s not half bad (though it does have the default load screen for a split second). Actually, the app had a really gorgeous Metro layout and logs into your Xbox Live account automatically.

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Ceton Corp, who make some cool Media Center products such as the InfiniTV cable cards and the soon to be released ceton echo Media Centre Extenders have finally brought their Companion app out of Beta and into the Windows Phone Marketplace.  The app is designed to allow management of your home theatre PC from the comfort of your own Windows Phone.

Where Microsoft does not provide, others step in to take up the slack. The combined PC software and Windows Phone app will allow for scheduling, searching and of course remote control duties. Media Center is a fantastic product and its great to see good solutions coming for Windows Phone users to connect up the two devices.

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Microsoft continues to flesh out their Xbox live app for those of us that have iPads. The latest update brings more of the once exclusive features of the Windows Phone Companion App to iOS users. Unlike Windows Phone, which has a combination of apps to take care of Xbox live business, the iPad rolls all the functions into one. Personally, I like it all integrated into one whole and have been a little confused as to why the Windows Phone has essentially stuck with the Xbox Hub plus the two addition apps called Xbox Companion app and Xbox LIVE Extras App.

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Fans of game developers Ubisoft, who are known for Assassin’s Creed, Fitness Evolved, Just Dance and many other popular titles on Xbox 360, will be pleased to check out their new companion app simply called Uplay.

If you use Ubisoft’s games, you probably already know what Uplay is for but for those who don’t, it's is their system to provide a “wide range of exclusive services and free content" to their customers.  Basically you create an account and they give you “points” for purchasing things, keeping track of new games, getting extra weapons or features for your games, etc.

We were already registered since we use Fitness Evolved for Xbox Kinect and use their other companion app, Your Shape. Heck, we just had a birthday recently and Ubisoft sent us a $10 coupon for any of their games, so yeah there are some benefits.  Here’s the feature list:

  • UPLAY WIN - Uplay Win helps you… win! It lets you expand your enjoyment of the games you play by redeeming great free content like extra weapons, new characters or additional maps.
  • UPLAY GAMES - When the going gets tough, the tough get Uplay! The Games section gives you guidance and tips to enjoy Ubisoft games at their best.
  • UPLAY PROFILE - Manage your Uplay Profile. View your Games, Actions, Rewards, Unit Balance and more!
  • UPLAY SHOP - Enjoy Ubisoft’s best games on your device! Uplay Shop brings together all Ubisoft mobile content into one view, readily available for you to download.
  • Uplay Friends (coming soon…) - The ultimate realm to connect with your Uplay Friends. Share your own content, keep track of your friends’ activity and taunt them with your most impressive deeds!

The app itself is well laid out and gives you access to some cool features. You can already do all of it at a PC through the web (http://uplay.ubi.com) but it’s kind of neat having a dedicated app for your Windows Phone. And heck, it is free, so why not.

Pick up Uplay for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Avid A., for the heads up

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Microsoft's SmartGlass on Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8

As E3 is just getting started we managed to sit down with Microsoft's Peter Orullian who not only has the most wicked ponytail ever but also gave us a personal tour of SmartGlass. As many of you know, Microsoft yesterday pulled the cover's off of the new technology which looks to unify media playback and enable "second screening" while watching a movie or TV Show.

SmartGlass will be device agnostic as there will be companion apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and of course it's all powered by Xbox 360. 

Many in our audience are already familiar with the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone--a virtual remote control for the Xbox 360. From our discussion and hands on with SmartGlass we can tell you that this is in essence version 2.0 of the Xbox Companion app. Although SmartGlass won't be ready until this holiday season, the app in its early stages looks very similar to Xbox Companion and is in fact built off of the concept and UI, making this app feel quite familiar.

SmartGlass for Windows Phone looks a lot like the Xbox Companion app

From our demonstration, we were impressed. Although "School of Rock" is a test movie for the system, the ability to see dynamically as characters came on and off the screen reflected on the tablet was simply amazing. What's really neat about the SmartGlass concept is that creators are free to do whatever they want with the system, giving them powerful leeway to make new experiences. It's universal, optional and will deliver a similar experience across platforms.

Make no mistake, we think SmartGlass is a game changer and can't wait till this Fall to get our hands on it. Watch our video below to see it all in action.

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Official 'Need For Speed Autolog' released

For those of you who are Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit freak (see review), you'll want to get this companion app ASAP. Official released via EA, it's similar to Halo Waypoint, allowing you to track and follow your friends playing N4S on console or PC:

The award-winning Need For Speed Hot Pursuit is built around Autolog. It’s the intelligent engine and the centre of the most connected Need For Speed ever, keeping you in the middle of the action both in and out of the game. Autolog is created to allow you to connect, compare and compete with your Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Friends. When playing as a Cop or a Racer, your accomplishments are constantly compared against your friends to deliver the very best in connected social competition. Features:

  • Recommendations
  • Wall
  • Profile
  • News
  • Photos

Overall, the app looks well polished and a great way to extend your racing stats and keep "social" with your competition. Plus it's free, of course. If it appeals to you, race on over to the Marketplace to pick it up.

(Thanks, VisceralBishop, for the heads up!)

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So this Redfly thing made the internet rounds yesterday and we didn't post it because, well, we can't post everything. If you missed it, it's a “Smartphone Companion” that's designed to give you a full keyboard and a (relatively) expansive screen to work with when you're on the go. All your data lives on the smartphone. In shorts, it's darn close to filling the curious absence left in the wake of the Foleo cancellation.

Like we said, we weren't going to comment on it, but TreoCentral just weighed in on it, and that got us to thinking: It looks like the Redfly gets right what the Foleo got wrong in every aspect but one - price. What the Redfly appears to have gotten right is that the way to quickly construct a “mobile companion” is to make it just a “dummy terminal” to your smartphone. A glance at what little information is available seems to imply (though we're not sure!) that the Redfly is meant to work directly with Windows Mobile and to give WM a larger resolution (as in - hey, Windows Mobile, you know how you think you're working on a 240x320 device. Ignore that, we're bigger now).

IF that's how it works, then that's smart. It eliminates the need for complex synchronization software. However, if that's in fact how it works, then why on earth is it priced at $399 (or perhaps 499?)? Gah! Anyhow, like the Foleo before it, we want this. Should be available in March.

The REDFLY Mobile Companion is a sleek clamshell design that includes an 8“ display, a full function keyboard, and a touchpad mouse. Measuring just 1x6x9 inches and only 2 pounds, the REDFLY Mobile Companion offers over 8 hours of battery life and boots instantly! It also adds three new features - instant VGA output, access to USB flash drives, and the ability to charge your smartphone via USB.
REDFLY is very unique - it changes the resolution of your smartphone display so that applications, web sites, email, and attachments all have more room to play!

Read: treocentral.com >> Stories >> Commentary >> Redfly Mobile Companion Similar to Palm Foleo

Update: GerardoDada is on exactly the same page: a dumb terminal to your smartphone is the right way to go. We still wish it wasn't so darn expensive.

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