Articles

It’s no secret that your Xbox One will be more than just a game console when it launches later this year. There’s of course the media aspects that are being expanded on from the Xbox 360, namely video and music capabilities. But it could be so much more than with rumors and hints of Windows 8 apps and games working on the machine. The latest fuel to the fire comes from Justin Angel who noticed something that’s been in front of all of us for a long time.

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Imagefusion is an interesting app, enabling you to create images for the lock screen background from local libraries. If you've used media players in the past where a collage of images are displayed from multiple artist albums, this is the same affect but with images you choose. The end result can be quite something and best of all: it's free and really simple to use.

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We know that Bluetooth 4.0 with low-energy support is coming to Windows Phone 8 sooner than later. Nokia has reportedly been hard at work getting their devices ready and we wouldn’t be shocked to see it come officially from Microsoft in GDR3, expected later this year.

In documents posted to the FCC on the upcoming Samsung ATIV S Neo, due on Sprint on August 16th, it’s revealed that the device has evidently been cleared with Bluetooth LE on board, meaning 4.0 status. That’s good news for those on Sprint waiting for a high end Windows Phone to carry them into 2014, as BT4.0 will ensure greater device capability, better battery usage and open new avenues for accessories.

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Users have been enjoying Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 Consumer Preview over the last few weeks and now enterprise users get their turn. Today Microsoft announced availability for their Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview. The new enterprise build adds premium features to the platform that improve mobility, security, management, and virtualization.

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Nokia's busy giving away Windows Phones. Actually, scrap that - when isn't good guy Nokia giving hardware to partners and developers? This is just a friendly reminder that the Nokia Future Capture submission process ends tomorrow. You've got to get your app ideas over to the OEM before the time is up to be in with a chance of winning your own Lumia 1020.

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Instagram has reportedly altered their security measures one more time today as users are now reporting that posts are sticking via third-party Windows Phone app Instance. Indeed, we can confirm via our own account that the third party app is working, but there is a catch: images are posted as private and not public.

Why the sudden change? We have no idea, though possibly there was some bad PR that Instagram was facing with the earlier move, which is said to have not been deliberately targeting third party apps. Of course, this has been a wild saga over the last 24 hours and for all we know, Instagram may make some API changes yet again to re-start the problem. Your guess is as good as ours. 

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One of the bugs that some of us noticed on Windows Phone, possibly starting after the GDR1 OS update, was a fuzzy and low resolution image of ourselves for the Me tile. It was particularly frustrating on devices with high resolution displays, as everything would look sharp and crisp except for your blurry mini me. Despite re-uploading the photo numerous times, the service, tied to your Live/Outlook account, would downgrade the image and push back a fuzzy version within a few hours.

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Three screens and a cloud is a powerful idea that is moving the technology industry forward. Each ecosystem has its own idea of how that cloud should look and function. If you’re in the Microsoft camp you’re probably using SkyDrive as your cloud. The latest update for the web version of SkyDrive just became even more awesome with high DPI support and much, much more.

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With the recent "security changes" from Instagram, causing all third party apps from being blocked from posting, we figured we’d recap at least two ways that we know of that still work. Think of these as your permanent fail-safes in case this is a prolonged outage or as a temporary solution until Daniel Gary (Instance) and others figure out a way around the problem.

To recap, using apps like Instance allows users to post to their Instagram account, but after about fifteen seconds, the image is deleted. That means somehow Instagram has flagged images uploaded by unauthorized apps in a clever way that has befuddled developers so far. But you can still post via other apps—one official, the other a hack.

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Those of us attempting to use Instagram on our Windows Phones are left with no alternative but to utilise third party solutions. These apps are solid offerings in place of an official app from Instagram, but of course we're essentially going through back doors to get our content published. All was well for a short while with uploads presently available for viewing, but Instagram has evidently had enough.

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Nextgen Reader is the popular RSS Reader for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, being continuously updated before and after Google shut down its Reader service. If you're looking for a solution to keep you on top of latest headlines, Nextgen Reader is certainly worth checking out - check out our review to see what our thoughts are on the apps.

The team has pushed out version 5.1 for Windows Phone, which includes numerous new design tweaks and improvements, as well as a few fixes to keep everyone happy.

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Twenty days or so ago, we showed you guys a few Windows 8 games that were in the process of a beta. We had Halo: Spartan Assault, Ty: The Tasmanian Devil, and AlphaJax. Since then, two of those three games became available for you to officially download without being a resident of Trinidad and Tobago. Now, you can grab the last piece of the puzzle – Alphajax is on Windows 8.

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Ready for more mobile gaming event coverage, loyal readers? Casual Connect is upon us again. Last year we traveled to Casual Connect Seattle, where we brought you a tour of Microsoft headquarters, studio visits and hands on footage with the makers of Skulls of the Shogun and Ascend: Hand of Kul, and lots more exciting Windows Phone gaming news.

This year’s domestic event has been dubbed Casual Connect USA and takes place in San Francisco, the same city we visited for GDC 2013. Casual Connect is the premiere industry event dedicated to casual games. These include mobile and tablet games, so we expect to learn lots of juicy Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 news at the show.

Head past the break for our mobile Windows news predictions and a sneak peek at the developers we’ll be interviewing at Casual Connect USA!

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It’s hard to ignore the tablet category of computing devices. The iPad made them accessible to the mainstream with a relatively easy and familiar interface combined with sensible form factor. Since the first iPad releasing back in early 2010 we’ve seen the tablet segment explode with many platforms and players all wanting a piece of the pie.

Nearly a year and a half after the iPad launched, on June 1st 2011, we saw the first public preview of Microsoft’s answer to the tablet and the future of computing – Windows 8. So how are tablets running Windows 8 doing compared to Android and iOS? Let’s look.

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Microsoft and AT&T aren't slowing down with marketing the new Nokia Lumia 1020 as they have released a new thirty second ad for the Windows Phone. We've already seen one commercial from AT&T highlighting the Lumia 1020's "zoom later" feature and the latest focuses on the Lumia 1020 being the first smartphone to "put the camera first".

While the Lumia 1020 is a well rounded Windows Phone, the center piece is easily the 41MP PureView camera. With optical image stabilization, the Xenon flash, Zeiss optics, BSI sensor and the "zoom later" feature the Lumia 1020 is definitely a Windows Phone with the photographer in mind.  We've been very impressed with the Lumia 1020 (here's our review) and tend to agree that nothing else comes close.

Have you seen this ad air on TV yet? Have your friends noticed? Let us know in comments.

Source: Youtube

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One area where it’s always difficult to please your audience is in regards to technology. Between hardware and software advancements you have a public who not only yearns but demands frequent updates for their devices. Some of it is rational and some of it resembles the tantrums of children. But somewhere in between, there is the truth.

Microsoft is in a precarious situation with Windows Phone as they have a lot of so-called 'chicken versus egg' problems to solve. For instance, they need more mainstream apps. But in order to get more apps, they have to have enough devices in user’s hands to convince developers to get on board with Windows Phone. But how can you convince people to buy your phone if you don’t have the apps (either real or perceived)?

With Windows Phone 8 build 10327 (GDR2), Microsoft is pushing out their second minor update for their new operating system this year (the first was GDR1 aka Portico). The concern for a lot of current users is GDR2 doesn’t really bring much to the table in terms of new features. Sure FM radio and an improved Xbox Music library are nice to have, but it’s far from the dozens of features people are demanding on Microsoft’s UserVoice forum.

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Published an app on the Windows Phone Store? Wish there was some way to get noticed or perhaps tackle competition on the store? Developers who are attempting to break into the market may find it difficult to accumulate downloads and get their name out there, so how do you get apps and games noticed?

There are numerous ways (including Windows Phone Central - *hint*), but one that we'll highlight today is an example of a service that should be avoided (and reported where applicable) - fake reviews.

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Over the weekend, we posted an in depth article on the ‘Other Storage’ issue prevalent on Windows Phone 8 GDR1 devices. The problem is that for some users that area fills up with a lot of data, often of an unknown origin, with no way to gain it back besides a hard reset. From 2 to 10 GB, users have had their data disappear and it prevents them from installing new apps or games due to the restricted size. Case in point, our Lumia 720 has 2.4 GB of Other storage, which can be severely limiting on a device where you only start with around 5 GB.

Two things need to be separated here before going forward: the bug and the architecture of the OS. It is true that with GDR1 devices (any phone below OS build 10327) there is a bug related to uninstallation of XAP files for app installation than can leave remnants behind. While for small apps, this is not a big deal, if you uninstall or download a trial of say NOVA 3 (1 GB) it can have a devastating effect on space.

But there is also the design of the OS. In other words Windows Phone 8 is meant to have some space occupied by Other storage as a way to cache frequently accessed media, graphics, app and game data for fast, offline loading. That’s not a bug but the architecture and it can’t really be “fixed”.

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