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3 years ago

Tired of Cortana suggesting things to you? Now it's your turn with CORTANA.USERVOICE.COM

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Microsoft is very interested in what you think of their products, and they want your feedback. We’ve seen them take action on this by launching various ‘User Voice’ forums where users can submit feedback and suggestions. But the real cool feature is the ability to ‘vote’ for suggestions. In short, the more votes something gets the more likely Microsoft will take action.

Today, Microsoft has announced a new User Voice built specifically for Cortana, and it can be found at cortana.uservoice.com.

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3 years ago

91% of Windows Phone clicks were only for Camera Roll, urging Photos Hub redesign in 8.1

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Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore shared today why they gave the Photos Hub a drastic makeover in Windows Phone 8.1. For instance, opening the app now takes you directly to your Camera Roll, organized by date instead of the old menu system. This change reflects how iOS also organizes photos, though it deviates significantly from how the old Photos Hub did things.

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3 years ago

Official File Manager for Windows Phone 8.1 due in May, here's what it looks like

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If there’s one feature that people have been asking for on Windows Phone 8.1 is a proper file manager. Developers have been busy making third-party versions, but now Microsoft has announced via Reddit that an official File Manager app is in the works. Even better, the app may be released as early as the end of May. (We stress ‘may’ as things can change, but Microsoft is aiming for that time-frame).

Not much else was revealed about the app, but there were six screenshots posted of what it looks like. Users will be able to create folders, move files and do what comes normal to these types of apps. We’re hoping this quells enthusiasts who want the maximum control over their devices.

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3 years ago

Cortana to launch in China and UK for version 1, other English-speaking countries soon after

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Cortana is one of the most high profile new features of Windows Phone 8.1, which is why it can be frustrating for those outside the US. We’ve already shared the way to enable the new personal voice-assistant if you’re not in the States through our guide, but many of you want to know when (and why) she is not available now.

Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore took to answering this question and gave a few more details about their plans for the Siri competitor. As expected, one of the main reasons for the slow rollout for Cortana is to ensure a good user experience both in terms of voice recognition (including accents) and localized results for search. It’s definitely a balancing act.

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3 years ago

Xbox Live sign-in disrupted for some Xbox One users

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3 years ago

Microsoft 'talking' to Snapchat about a Windows Phone app, but nothing to announce yet

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Earlier this week, Snapchat announced new chatting and video calling features for their iOS app (with the update for Android coming later). Like everything else on Snapchat, conversations and videos all disappear once you leave the app. It’s yet another sign that Snapchat is becoming more of a big deal these days, and yet there’s still no Windows Phone app.

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3 years ago

Games are listed in the App list for discoverability in Windows Phone 8.1, may be optional with future update

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There aren’t many complaints about Windows Phone 8.1, but one of them is the ‘listing’ of games in the App list instead of just under the Games hub. If you have 5 or 10 games, it’s probably not a huge deal, but for gamers out there with dozens, it quickly makes things messy.

In the Reddit AMA today, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore took to answering this complaint about why they did it and if they could make it optional going forward.  Belfiore gave a pretty reasonable response to the question and it’s noted that the development team seemed pretty split on the decision.

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3 years ago

New Skype app headed to Windows Phone, Facebook getting a big update in June

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Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore is knee deep in his Reddit AMA at the moment, and a few interesting bits are being revealed. In a question targeted at apps lagging behind on iOS and Android, Belfiore singled out Skype and Facebook as examples of apps they’re working on.

Specially, a new Skype app is being tested that is supposed to help with performance. In addition, an update to the Facebook app is slated for June with “improvements to performance, having full-width photos in the newsfeed, and seeing photos & comments at the same time”.

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3 years ago

Joe Belfiore's Reddit AMA is now live!

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3 years ago

Blazin' Aces retro-aerial dogfighting headed to Windows Phone on May 9

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Back a few years ago, we briefly had one of the most fun games I have ever played on Windows Phone: MiniSquadron. It was an adorable and adventurous 2D aerial dogfighting game that was unceremoniously pulled from the Store, never to return. Now in 2014, we may be getting some analogous and just as awesome.

On May 9th, Red Dot Lab will be releasing Blazin’ Aces to Windows Phone and iOS on the same day, with an Android version coming later. Yes, you have read that correctly. Besides the fact that the company is paying attention to Windows Phone (bonus points for that), the game looks like a blast.

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3 years ago

Are you hot or are you not? Hot or Not will tell, now on Windows Phone

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Hot or Not is a service which works in a similar way to how Facebook was managed some time ago before being used by millions of people worldwide. You load up the app, sign in with either Facebook or your email and you're good to go. What you do from here is upload the "best" photos of yourself, connect with other people, rating them and becoming "hot". That's essentially Hot or Not in a nutshell, and now an official Windows Phone app is available on the store.

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3 years ago

MTV Shows lands for Windows Phone, Teen Wolf and Teen Mom 2 in tow

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MTV has launched an official app for Windows Phone, enabling those with TV subscriptions to catch up with their favorite shows, whether it be Catfish, Awkward, Teen Wolf or Teen Mom 2. Not only are there capabilities to enjoy playback of numerous episodes, but MTV has also added in its news division with pop culture and fashion covered, as well as movies. You then have MTV Geek bundled and Hive for music fans, making MTV Shows really a fully featured video experience.

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3 years ago

Pretend you're drunk in Vegas with 'Slots' from 3rd Floor Games

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3 years ago

Zello push-to-talk enters private beta testing for Windows Phone

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Back in January we reported on Zello, a new push-to-talk walkie-talkie service, was heading to Windows Phone with a beta sign-up announcement. That follows the June 2013 announcement that they were looking to even build and app.

Well, today is that day as the Zello app is in the Store, but unless you read our article back in January, you can’t quite have it yet. That’s because the app is now in private-beta testing, following their earlier promise of an April timeframe for that program. So far, they’re keeping to their word (even if the app is a few days late).

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3 years ago

Microsoft Research creates low-cost, transparent sensor for 3D hand and finger tracking

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Microsoft Research has published a project on its website for a low-cost electric field sensing concept. This allows for a transparent and thin receiver to detect 3D finger and hand tracking, combined with in-air gestures on mobile handsets. It's a cool implementation, which can be utilized in a compact form factor that is resilient to ambient illumination.

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