It has been nearly two weeks since our last update for the Windows Central App for Windows 10 and Mobile, but it is well worth the wait!
Build 34 of the Windows Central App is now live in the Store – or should be for many of soon. We're extremely proud of this update due to all the new features and improvements, making it one of the biggest refreshes yet.
Here is what to look for based on your feedback.
Windows Central App Build 34 (1.1.34)
- Podcast section. Found under the hamburger menu is the new dedicated Podcast area for the Windows Central Podcast and OneCast. Here you can find current and past episodes as well as play and download the shows for offline playback. (New!)
- Option to auto-download new podcasts for offline playback. Found under Settings. (New!)
- Podcast articles will load and display correctly; general iframe fixes (Fixed!)
- Background audio support for podcasts. You can play the podcast in the app, but then minimize the app and let it play in the background. Use (New!)
- Redesigned News Feed. We're adding a cleaner looking feed with all text overlaid on the darkened lead photo instead of a black bar (New look!)
- Redesigned Video feed. Matching the redesigned Newsfeed is the same for our dedicated video area (New look!)
- Hero images in notifications. For Fast and Slow Ring Insider builds only ('Redstone') you can now get full-width inline photos in new notifications (New!)
- Quiet hours for notifications. Under Settings, you can now set quiet hours to prevent audible and vibration notifications when new articles are posted. (New!)
- Manual refresh button (Mobile). Although we have Pull to Refresh (PTR) for the news feed, some users wanted an actual button like in desktop to force the feed to refresh. Done! You can now find that under the ellipsis menu at the bottom. (New!)
- Stability. You should see fewer (and hopefully no) resuming issues on Mobile as we address memory limitations. (Fixed!)
- Live Tiles (especially for mobile) should be more reliable. Note, if you just want a number badge/count of new stories without any image, just leave the Live Tile set to off. (Fixed!)
- Comment Signatures. With this build, we are permanently removing the option for signatures in comments. This bonus feature was abused too much by too many, so we are removing it to keep comments cleaner, load times shorter, and posting quality higher. (Removed)
As you can see, there are a lot of new features, improvements, and overall goodness with this update.
I should caution that podcast support is just starting with this release. For now, there are no player controls besides Play within the app itself, so you need to use the system controls to Pause, etc.
However, that is just for now.
We will be adding full inline player controls including seeking, pause, play, in a future release. We're also looking at a hand-off feature so you can play the podcast on your phone, pause, and pick up the show on your PC or Surface.
Still more to come!
Our next release may be just some bug fixes and improvements due to the fact we added so much to this build. Nonetheless, we still have a few more sections to add, improve the forums within the app, and even do things like adding the ability to save and download images from our news articles.
We are also officially removing the beta status of the app today as we feel that the app is now worthy of being a full release, even if we have more to do.
As always, we encourage you to leave a review in the Store for us so that it boosts our app's visibility. We want this app in as many hands as possible, and that is an excellent way to thank us. Likewise, if you have already left a review, and it was negative, please take the time to amend it if you feel our progress warrants it.
Finally, please use our Windows Central UserVoice page to continue to make requests and report bugs, as it helps us tremendously.
From our developer Daniel Gary, myself, and the whole Windows Central team, thanks!