Digital Cloud Technologies has published VK (www.vk.com) apps for Windows 8 and RT. These clients will enable users to log into their VK accounts and enjoy social features within the familiar Windows 8 experience - perfect for tablets. If you're not into Facebook and would like to try out something new, it's certainly worth looking into (rather humorously, Facebook Connect is supported by VK). VK is the second most popular social network in Europe, but it is used particularly by Russian-speaking users, not being widely known in the US.
Next up in our coverage of Casual Connect USA is an interview regarding one of our favorite Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 games: Royal Revolt. The game comes from a collaboration between two German studios, Flare Games and Keen Games.
During last week’s event, we spoke with Georg Broxtermann, the Co-founder and Director of Business Development at Flare. He revealed how Royal Revolt came to mobile Windows platforms, some very encouraging performance numbers, and what we can expect from Flare Games in the future. See the video after the break!
Wheel of Wealth is an established game for Windows Phone, having been with us for almost two years. We've covered the game multiple times in the past, but today the developer is opening up the beta for version 3 to consumers. Billed as the "first major overhaul," version 3 has been completely rewritten from the ground up and sports numerous improvements. Interested? Read on and sign-up today.
At Casual Connect USA last week, I didn’t just interview big mobile studios like Handy Games and Game House. I also spoke to smaller gaming studios on the verge of releasing Windows Phone and Windows 8 games.
Take Sic’em Studios, for instance. They may not be a gaming giant, but they have sizable plans for mobile Windows platforms. Steven White, a former QA Lead at BioWare, is the owner and programmer at Sic’em. His studio will be releasing two games on Windows Phone 8 this year: Rambledam’s Escape and Detonation. See them on video after the break!
Casual Connect is an event dedicated to casual videogames, but you’ll often run into more than just game developers and PR people. One such attendee was Cal Morrell of Avenquest Software and Photo Affections. They’ve created a remarkable photo printing app for Windows Phone 8 that photography fans (especially Lumia 1020 owners) are going to love called FreePrints.
We sat down with Cal, who walked us through FreePrints’ features and the process of optimizing the app for Windows Phone 8. Note that this app is currently available only in the United States, but we do have good news for international users (and our hands on video footage) after the break!
For this weekend only, Xbox 360 owners will be able to access Hulu Plus for free through until Sunday, August 4th. If you're not familiar with the brand, the service enables you to watch TV and movies on consoles. If you're on your Xbox this weekend, you'll be able to enjoy unlimited instant streaming of top TV shows and movies on Xbox Live through Hulu Plus.
One of the more hard to find accessories for the Nokia Lumia 1020 is the Wireless Charging Cover. You can pre-order them through Expansys or Amazon.com and there's no telling when (or if AT&T will carry the charging cover). However, there is a ray of hope out there. We aren't sure as to the when but the Microsoft Store is listing the charging cover and best we can tell it is ready to ship.
The Microsoft Store is only listing the black cover (comes in white and yellow as well) at a price of $39. Standard shipping is free and you'll have to pay local taxes.
Next up in our Casual Connect USA gaming coverage are two titles from an established Windows Phone developer. Earlier this year, Handy Games (one of Germany’s largest mobile game studios) jumped onto our platform with two impressive Windows Phone 8 titles: Epic Battle Dude – a “one-dimensional“ casual RPG and Aces of Luftwaffe – a vertically-scrolling shoot-em-up. Both are great games (especially Aces) and both are free to play.
So what does the studio have in store for us next? Quite a lot, it turns out. Christopher Kassulke, CEO and owner of Handy Games revealed to us the next two games in the pipeline for Windows Phone 8: 1941: Frozen Front and Townsmen. We were in town for a casual games conference, but both games looked deeper and more fully featured than the average casual title. Get the full scoop in our video after the break!
Windows Phone users in the UK may be close to getting their hands on the Nokia Lumia 1020 with it's stunning 41MP PureView camera. We've been tipped that the Lumia 1020 has popped up in Carphone Warehouse's inventory.
The inventory screen that was sent to Windows Phone Central doesn't display any pricing information but does list the Lumia 1020 in the black, white, and yellow varieties.
If our last Casual Connect game preview Delicious: Emily’s Wedding was a little too feminine for you (shame!), then perhaps a space shooter will be more to your tastes. TegTap, a two man indie gaming studio is currently preparing to bring its most successful game Solar Warfare to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. It’s built with the Unity game engine, which should hopefully make for an easy dual platform release.
We met with CEO and game designer Troy Tegeder to discuss Solar Warfare’s development process, gameplay, and his future plans for mobile Windows platforms. We also demoed the Windows PC version of the game using the new Leap Motion controller. The Windows 8 game will support Leap Motion as well.
Head past the break for our exclusive video showing just how precise Solar Warfare’s motion controls really are!
If you're looking for a neat Bluetooth headset for your Windows Phone, the Nokia Luna Headset should be on your short list. Especially seeing that the Microsoft Store is offering the Luna for $19.99 (regularly $59.99).
The Luna features a unique cradle that doubles as a charging base and portable charger. When docked, the Luna's maximum standby time jumps from 35 hours to 60 days. Additionally, the Luna has NFC support to let you tap to pair the headset with your Windows Phone. Granted your Windows Phone needs to have NFC as well.
What’s up? Are you guys and gals getting ready for your big weekend plans? Before you run off and have fun, you might want to update an app a lot of you really use a lot –WhatsApp for Windows Phone. Tips are rolling in of an update. Let’s check it out.
Windows Phone Central has had few isolated reports recently of changes to the Bing search results on Windows Phone 8. We can now confirm that they are real and coming to all Windows Phone 8 devices soon. The changes include a new layout and appear to be the result of usability feedback to Bing.
One of those changes that was brought to our attention is the ability to receive a direct definition of a word in the results (seen above), as opposed to clicking a link to a dictionary site. The biggest change though is in the number of pivots, dropping from the previous four to three: Web, Local, Media, and Shopping versus the new Web, Images and Video. In addition to that change, the pivots themselves have been re-designed with a new layout for information.
Reports are coming, with scarce details, that the Nokia Lumia 925 is receiving an OS update today over the air.
The update bumps the OS from build 10327 to build 10328—both of which are considered part of the GDR2 release frame. Devices that are reported to be receiving the update include only unlocked devices with no reports (yet) of branded or carrier supported ones, including T-Mobile US.
This week Microsoft announced the new BlueHat Challenge, a series of challenges to test your reverse engineering, vulnerability discovery, and web browser manipulation skill set.
Microsoft states that the tests are simply about having fun.
Staring at your Xbox 360 dashboard thinking about what to do next? If you reside in the US, you'll be able to enjoy two TV brands on the console: Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. Xbox Live Gold subscribers can enjoy stand-up comedy and the top shows on Comedy Central and more than 6,000 videos of the funniest comedians are available. But what if you have children who want to enjoy media on the Xbox? This is where Nickelodeon comes into play.
If you have a Nokia Lumia 520 (on AT&T), 925 or 1020 you already have the GDR2 update for Windows Phone 8. Otherwise the update is slowly rolling out, devices like the HTC 8X and Samsung ATIV S have been seeing it show up for their devices. GDR2 (aka OS build 10327) brings some new features and fixes to Windows Phone for consumers as documented here by Microsoft, in addition to the Other storage fix and new hardware support.
But what about developers? Evidence for an update to the Windows Phone SDK recently appeared and disappeared last night.
Twitter has released an update for its official app on Windows 8, bumping the app up to a version that now caters for those who wield more than a single account. That's right, folks - you can now have multiple accounts loaded on Twitter, conversing with followers through multiple identities. As well as the new multiple account support, the team has also included some minor speed improvements.
This weekend, UFC 163 featherweight bout is going down on your Xbox 360 (www.ufc.com/event/UFC163) as a pay-per view event and we’re stoked, stocking up on beer and pizza for the Saturday night event.
Normally around this time we would break out our trusty official UFC app for Windows Phone, which lets you view all the upcoming fight cards, stats and it even allows you to choose who you think the winners will be (and by which method). That info could then be shared with your friends for friendly competition adding a unique social networking feature to the otherwise brutal showdown.
Ever imagine being a vigilante? You throw on a cape, some tights, and run out the door to serve the people! Sound exciting? Oh well, that isn’t going to happen. You can do the second closest thing though, you can take action and help to improve the future of Xbox Live.
Microsoft has just announced a new beta which will be known as “Xbox Enforcement United” (I know, it sounds epic). The new project calls upon Xbox Live members to become involved within the community and help create a “fun, fair, and safer place for everyone”.
Just over a week ago, Nokia pushed out a new app to their Collection with the title Nokia YouTube Upload for the Nokia Lumia 1020. While it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, it is admirably descriptive of its sole purpose: taking videos off of your Lumia and directly posting them to the popular video site. In a hands on demonstration, we noted that the app would upload the full version of your video over Wi-Fi though cellular connections would require a shorter video or waiting until Wi-Fi was present.
If you are enjoying Skype Premium, your happiness with the service is about to improve. This week the folks at Skype have introduced Free Wi-Fi for premium subscribers. The service will only be free throughout the month of August, but – free is free!
A new bot has made its way onto Twitter and this time, it’s created by Microsoft. A new project from the Redmond company’s Research FUSE Labs, dubbed “Asky”, is described as a “project about understanding people’s motivations and satisfactions when they ask questions using Twitter hashtags”.
We can’t help, but to love the United States Patent Office – it gives away too many good secrets. This week, a user at NeoGAF found a Microsoft patent filling for a pair of augmented reality glasses. The high-tech head mounted eye wear appears to be aimed at the gaming community and might just bring our favorite titles to the streets – literally.