Alex Garden, General manager for Xbox MVR ( MVR – Music, Video and Reading) today blogged about their experience of building the updated Music app for Windows 8.1 devices. Xbox Music app got completely re-designed from its previous version and it has got some new UX which everyone demanded. It packs Xbox Music service features like ad-supported free streaming, custom internet radio stations and the ability to take their music and playlists to different devices, ability to import from SD card, etc,. As you can see, we have condensed what were 3 layers of the app into a simple, single page with clear callouts of our major app features – collection, streaming radio, the store and playlists. Moving between the features is as simple as clicking the title. In addition, playback controls are always visible on screen making it simple to pause the song you are listening to or skipping ...

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  Microsoft today detailed the new features that are coming to Windows 8.1 Photos and Camera apps. Both these apps together allows you to go from capturing images to making edits to sharing within a matter of moments. There are two interesting new features. First is the dual capture feature which can find in modern smartphones, you can take a photo while a video is recording. Second, the new Photo Loop feature which allows you to capture a series of pictures one second before and one second after you press the shutter button, allowing you to always select the best picture from a series of rapid shots. Read the full list of features below. Easy Controls: With the built-in Camera app, you have easy-to-use controls to help you capture photos and videos. You can even quickly access the camera from the lock screen. Video and Photo – yes, at the same ...

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Microsoft today released an update for Outlook.com mail app for Android devices. This new update brings in some of the most requested features such as server side search, support for aliases and more. What’s new? This update includes over 150 improvements, along with some new features including: Server-side search: You can now search through all of your email, even if the messages aren’t on your phone.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for on your phone, you have a new option to search Outlook.com to find your messages. Download all mail: Another popular request was to allow more choices for syncing your mail. We’ve added an option to let you download all your messages, regardless of how old they are (though keep in mind you can now search for messages even if they aren’t on your phone). Support for Aliases: People love using aliases, but they want to be ...

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Microsoft today detailed the upcoming Fresh Paint app for Windows 8.1 devices that is coming on Oct 18th. The new Fresh Paint features watercolor support, a new graphite pencil set, new ways to work with photos and a new modern user interface. Microsoft has also made improvements to stylus pressure, more realistic rendering for watercolor. The exciting part of the update is the ability to make high quality canvas prints. Microsoft has partnered with CanvasPop to print the paintings you make on FreshPaint. Fresh Paint is the first painting app to integrate CanvasPop’s new printing API. We believe in pushing the boundaries of what is possible with art in the digital age. We’re bringing that to life by helping you turn your digital paintings and drawings into amazing physical pieces that you can hang in your living room or give as gifts. This new functionality is a direct result of user feedback. And, we’re ...

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Microsoft today released an update for Skype app for Android tablets. This new v4.4 brings in new look that puts conversations first, displaying your most recent calls and chats, improved video call quality up to four times the resolution of previous versions, with enhanced clarity and frame rates. In addition, Skype for Android 4.4 has several bug fixes and quality improvements: Accessibility improvements with full support for TalkBack screen reader Updates that address incoming call issues, including one that was causing phones to reboot Additional changes to audio routing Display and UX enhancements when switching orientation You can download the update starting today in the Play Store. It will be available for the Kindle Fire tablets later this month. ...

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The modern mail app that was shipped as part of Windows 8 was not up to the mark. It was experiencing performance issues until Microsoft delivered an update 6 months later. Even after all the updates, the mail app remained as one of the weak points. Microsoft was aware of it and they delivered an much improved Outlook Mail app for Windows 8.1 devices. All Windows 8.1 devices will have this mail app pre-installed and it is the best email experience on any tablet. In a world of mobile devices like tablets, there’s an increasingly narrow distinction between your “work computer” and your “personal computer.” More and more people are bringing their personal tablets to work, and their work laptops home. Windows 8.1 is designed for this world, equally suited for your work life and your personal life. The Mail app is no exception—it’s designed to be great for your ...

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Microsoft today announced an updated Bing app for iOS devices. Along with the updated iOS app, Microsoft also revealed the Siri Bing search results experience. As you can see above, if Siri can’t find results for your voice search, it will bring up Bing search results. Check out the new features for Bing iOS app below: - Homepage Tiles: We’re adding four new tiles to our homepage to help people accomplish everyday tasks, including the ability to check trending news and images from Bing Trends, find nearby local businesses on a map, and check the weather. - Saving and Sharing: The new share button includes an updated design that makes it easy for people share their favorite images via Facebook and Twitter and save a screenshot of the full search results page, homepage image or image from Bing Image search. - New Menu: The new menu gives people more options. Browse ...

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Yesterday, Time Warner Cable released their new Xbox app that will allow you to watch over 300 live channels including ABC, FOX and Comedy Central. If you were concerned about this app that it will soon make you cross the data cap, you can forget that thought. TWC confirmed to GigaOM that subscribers can get access to live streams of up to 300 TV networks using this new Xbox 360 app without counting against their data caps. Last year, Comcast announced the same when launched their Xfinity app for Xbox 360 users. Do you think Net neutrality advocates will raise their voice again? Source: GigaOm ...

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Star Chart is a free app in the Windows Store which allows you to explore the solar system. We’ve modeled the swirling gas clouds on Saturn, Juptier, Neptune and Uranus. We allow you to remove the atmosphere on Venus, the Earth and even Titan to see the surface detail and seas beneath (Methane oceans on Titan!). We’ve even added twinkle to Earth’s night lights. And the list goes on and on… We’ve basically remastered the entire solar system and night sky (where data is available and some places used a bit of artistic license) and we’ve created what we believe to be the most amazingly detailed and visually stunning (free) astronomy app available anywhere on any platform.  – San Shepherd, co-founder of Escapist Games The app now supports voice control: Source: Neowin Download: Windows Store (warning 900+ mb)   ...

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OpenTable is the only app that helps you book a table at more than 20,000 restaurants in the US, Canada and Mexico. Plus, members can earn dining points to pay for meals at any OpenTable restaurant. Features include: See available restaurants in real-time, in a list and on a map Narrow your search by cuisine, price, or neighborhood Browse menus and reviews Make out-of-town reservations when you travel Download: Windows Store ...

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The new Food & Drink Bing app offers access to a variety of recipes from culinary publishers like AllRecipes, popular cookbooks and food bloggers like Food 52, as well as recipes and tips from top chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Tom Colicchio.  More sources will be added over time. The app also offers a wine encyclopedia with information on over 1.5 million bottles of wine, 3.3 million tasting notes and hundreds of popular cocktail recipes. Hands Free Swiping When you’re cooking, inevitably your hands will get messy, touching your tablet is probably not the best idea.  The Food & Drink App has a Hands-Free Cooking Mode, which allows you to follow recipes step by step from your device by waving your hand across the camera. Comprehensive Recipe and Wine List With Food & Drink you can browse recipes by cuisine, level of difficulty, preferred cooking method or by specific ingredients. You can ...

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The most popular podcast application for Windows Phone, ‘PODCASTS!’, has recently been released in the Windows 8 store, where it can be downloaded free of charge.  ‘PODCASTS!’ allows you to stream audio and video podcasts, subscribe to podcasts, download episodes for playback when you’re not on the app and search for podcasts efficiently and easily.  Furthermore, the app fully supports rotation and snapped modes and background audio playback is fully integrated with the Windows 8 system audio controls.  Best of all, it doesn’t cost a  penny.  With Xbox Music not really offering support for podcasts, either on Windows 8 or Windows Phone, this app is essential, and all it needs really is to find a way of synchronizing play position with Windows Phones also. Find the app in the Windows 8 Store here. ...

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The popular Windows Phone SkyMap application, downloaded by more than half of million users,  has now comes to Windows 8 and Windows RT platforms.! SkyMap is an amazing planetarium for your device. It enables you to point your device at the sky and see what stars, constellations, planets or deep space objects are out there in real time. SkyMap shows the sky in 3D, like you see it at night time exposing a collection of over 110000 stars.It’s very easy to use for any viewpoint, time and location on Earth: it determines your location automatically, supports pinch to zoom for more details and provides a highly customizable map.*Free trial availableSkyMap has a full set of features in order to help both casual stargazers and amateur astronomers to explore and locate the objects in the sky. can use the current time and location but you can also customize them interactive zoom ...

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Channel 4 has launched their 4OD video on demand app into the Windows 8 store. The app provides shows from Channel 4, E4 and More 4, including Homeland, Fresh Meat, and The Inbetweeners to Windows 8 and Surface tablet owners. Channel 4 will also promote the app across the rest of its channels in conjunction with Microsoft. “It demonstrates how we can work with clients collaboratively to create something that is new to market, bespoke and one that utilises all our 4oD platforms as well as linking in to relevant content on Channel 4 to provide a fully integrated cross media brand experience,” noted Channel 4’s group digital manager Michael McSharry. The app and content is free and can be found in the Windows 8 Store here. Via The Drum.com ...

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If you are hoping for a new Windows Phone or a Surface tablet this Christmas, you probably want to keep an eye on Santa’s progress on the most important day. The official NORAD app will help you countdown to December 24th and enable you to watch Santa traverse the globe in real time on Christmas Eve as he distributes gifts to all the world’s children! The app also features: Learn more about NORAD and how and why we track Santa Watch videos from all of our Commands Links to Windows Store games Find the app in the Windows 8 store here. Thanks Christopher for the tip. ...

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VideoLan is looking to raise £40,000 to port their popular VLC Media Player to Windows 8 Metro. The money is to help deliver a polished product that will work both on Windows 8 and the ARM-based Windows RT. As expected the team are aiming for wide codec support, DVD playback where applicable and the ability to play network streams. Ultimately all the code will be made open-source if possible. The kickstarter has already raised £12,588, and has 21 days to run. Contributors will have their name listed somewhere in the app. Read more at the KickStarter page here. Thanks Kristian for the tip. ...

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