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Car Starter is a dashboard app for Windows Phone 8 that places a decent amount of functionality at your fingertips while on the road.  The app was recently updated to version 2.0 that not only brings about a name change but also a few design changes.

Now known as Car Dash, the version 2.0 update adds a dial pad to the Contacts Page and a music selection feature to the Music Page.  The dial pad will allow you to dial a telephone number directly from the app.  The music selection feature lets you browse through your music collection to find what song you want to listen to.

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Microsoft has today published a new video showing off the new Xbox One dashboard experience. Yusuf Mehdi is joined by Marc Whitten, both walking through some of the things owners will be able to do with the next-generation console and demonstrating how Kinect is further integrated. It's well worth checking out if you're considering to pick an Xbox One up.

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We have seen bits and pieces of the dashboard for Microsoft’s latest entertainment console, Xbox One, but we haven’t seen a full immersive tour of it all. With Xbox One being released in less than a month, it definitely is a bit of an odd situation. Microsoft has heard our desires though, and released a full video showing a user interacting with the Xbox dashboard along with multitasking.

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Car Starter is a Windows Phone 8 app that delivers dashboard styled access to key features of your Windows Phone. It reduces the amount of navigation needed to move around your phone while traveling, making it a little safer to access your phone.

Car Starter was update to version 1.2 and adds a few new features and fine tunes others.

For starters you now have three programmable app buttons that sit at the top of the screen to give you quick and easy access to a collection of Windows Phone apps.

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CarStand is a Windows Phone 8 app designed to give you easy access to the basics on your phone without too much distraction while on the road.

The dashboard application has three well laid out main pages that taps into your music library, displays the weather, lists speed dial numbers and offers four application shortcuts.  CarStand makes a nice first impression and if your in the market for a dashboard Windows Phone 8 app for your travels, it's worth checking out.

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Car Starter is a handy dashboard app for your Windows Phone 8 device that puts a handful of tasks at your fingertips.  The app is designed to make accessing key features on your Windows Phone easier while traveling down the road.

The large, touch-friendly interface lets you set two destinations for quick navigational access, have access to your music library and pulls up a small collection of contacts for speed dialing.  You also have easy access to your WiFi, Cellular and Bluetooth settings.  

Car Starter's concept has appeal and the app delivers things rather nicely.  If you're looking for handy dashboard app, this Windows Phone 8 app worth a try.

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For those of you who weren't lucky enough to land a spot in the public beta test of the new Xbox 360 dashboard, fear not. The official version has begun rolling out to about 3 million consoles around the world and will continue for the next week. Once that first batch is finished, more and more LIVE subscribers will be added to the rollout over the next couple of weeks. Much like Windows Phone updates, the deployment was spread out over time and across different regions to make it go as smoothly as possible.

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In what seems like an obvious venue for pushing one of your flagship partner's phones, Microsoft and Nokia have evidently begun displaying Lumia ads on the Xbox 360's Dashboard.

The adverts appear to be localized, meaning if you're in the States you'll be hard pressed to find them. But at least in Europe and perhaps elsewhere, there's a good chance you could catch it.

Advertising Windows Phone on Xbox 360 has always seems like the most logical way to ramp up sales of the slow, but growing mobile OS. The Xbox is one of the top selling consumer devices (with the Kinect holding a world record), so riding on its coattails just comes across as the best choice. And while we think this is a right step, it is really just the beginning of what we think Microsoft should do with Xbox and Windows Phone.

Our advice? In every promo image or advert you have, place a Windows Phone next to it.

Source: @alextaylornet; via TheNokiaBlog; Thanks, @XB_Mod, for the tip!

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Xbox 360 Metro Dashboard coming December 6

We’ve been looking forward to the fall Xbox 360 dashboard update for quite some time now. Good news: it’s coming Tuesday, December 6, a few weeks before Winter kicks in.

In addition to switching over to the Metro UI, the upcoming dash includes a host of new features: full Kinect motion and voice control (sweet!), improved avatar animations (pretty cool), a quick launch list of your ten most recently played games and apps (so nice), Cloud storage for profiles and save data (whoo hoo!), the ability to set beacons, which advertize that you’ll be playing a game at a specific time, and better Facebook integration. It also opens up a new App section which will include stuff like YouTube and UFC apps, and enables the forthcoming Windows Phone Xbox 360 Companion App's connectivity with the console.

On the downside, the 360's Metro dash is even more overflowing with ads than the current version. The clutter of advertisements sometimes make it difficult to find the actual content you’re looking for. Premium themes, at least in the current beta version, lose some of their luster as Friends list backgrounds have vanished. Worst of all, the beta dashboard update completely the ability of one of my consoles to stay connected to Xbox Live through my router. The other system is fine though, and it’s apparently not a common problem. I hope hope hope they get that straightened out by December 6, because I hate not being able to connect and play online games and watch Netflix with my main system.

The new dashboard look is all part of Microsoft’s plan to have a unified interface between all of its platforms. Next year’s Windows 8 will also go Metro.

Source: Kotaku

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Those who are eagerly awaiting the Metro UI refresh coming this fall to the Xbox, now's your opportunity as Microsoft has announced a preview program which will be kick started soon. To refresh your memory of what's coming in the update, see a recent video (French). For now they will be collecting information from signups and we can make a safe bet that a large number of folk will register their interest.

Once registered and accepted, the update will be pushed to your console and you'll be able to enjoy the following select features:

  • New design with integrated Kinect voice and gesture controls
  • Beacons
  • Facebook Sharing
  • Cloud Storage for Game Saves and Xbox LIVE Profile
  • Other features as they become available

To register your interest, head on over to the signup process. Be quick and reserve your seat.

Source: Microsoft Connect, via: MajorNelson

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We first showed you a video of the upcoming fall Xbox 360 dashboard update back in August. A new video leaked recently that better reflects what the final update will look like. The only catch: the dashboard depicted is set to French instead of English. Brave the language barrier and you’ll see how various sections of the dashboard like the Games Marketplace actually look, as well as Kinect controls.

The fall 2011 dashboard update is rumored to debut on November 15. The update’s design philosophy should be immediately apparent to Windows Phone users: it’s Metro. I’m excited about the clean, streamlined appearance. What about you guys? Do you think Metro will work well as a console interface?

Source: NeoGAF forums via Kotaku

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While we're still banging away on this gaming news filled day, lets take a brief look at the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard update. Taking the Metro UI design cue, the new Xbox dashboard is reportedly coming this September or October and will feature YouTube, Bing and even supposedly Skype integration, making this quite a massive addition.

In a "video" shown on YouTube by iTzLuPo (since pulled by Microsoft), a series of images showing the new dashboard design and features were demonstrated. Evidently the Skype integration will work with Xbox LIVE friends and Xbox parties, which should be a lot of fun. In addition, a new "discoverable mode" was shown though its exact function is still a bit of a mystery. Certainly Bluetooth comes to mind (see the new headset) though WinRumors mentions Windows 8 support as a companion device and we can't help but wonder if Windows Phone won't be added to that feature set as well--makes sense, after all how else are you suppose to use your phone as a controller?

As noted above, the original video has been pulled due a copyright request by Microsoft, meaning it's authentic of course. Combined with the new Kinect features (you can control all of the Xbox now via voice and gesture), YouTube, Bing, Skype and the promise of Windows Phone gaming (see our Kinectimals post), we're pretty friggin' excited for this.

Source: VanquishCity (YouTue); via WinRumors

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