For the Love of Mobile MS Apps on Windows 10

It is weekend, which means I have a few minutes to rant about my frustration on the direction MS is going concerning Mobile Apps (the so called Metro/Modern/Universal Apps) and Windows 10.

As you may recall, Microsoft put out the news this week they will nix their Lync Metro App in preference of the Desktop Skype App. Of course all the yuppies were clapping and shouting “giddy on” to Microsoft without considering the consequences and the trend this is setting.

The trend I see at the moment is the rejuvenation of the Desktop, a complete reversal of Microsoft from its mobile-first strategy of two or three years ago. Put bluntly, the Desktop people have won at Microsoft. Fine and good you say, but it didn’t address the reason why MS went full mobile a few years ago. Continue reading

Understanding Windows 10 TP Battery Performance on Mobile Devices

I’ll give you the poison pill straight away: Windows 10 cannot and will not be as Power-efficient compared to Windows 8! Not on an x86 device. On ARM, it’s another ball game. This is why MS is having issues with ARM devices and Desktop for Windows 10 generally.

See, the reason here is simple, since the rejection of Windows 8 platform by the masses who doesn’t understand the OS, Microsoft’s hand has been forced to abandon all the progress made on re-writing Windows from the ground up for a great mobile experience, and concentrate on the Keyboard & Mouse world to make Windows 10 acceptable to Desktop huggers and the Enterprise in general. Continue reading

Bing Wikipedia Browser — An Elegent App for your Windows Device

Hi, this is Nazmus, and I recently decided to download and try out a new app by Microsoft called “Bing Wikipedia”. At first, I was hesitant to download it because I wondered “why would I need a Wikipedia app when the website works well enough?” Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I did download the app. Continue reading

Pro Tip: Use Custom Colors for Windows Phone Start Screen Tiles

Windows Phone Logo Medium

With Windows Phone 8.1, you can now choose any background images for your Start screen tiles. A nice side effect of this is that you can now also put custom colors for your live tiles too! No, Windows Phone 8.1 did not add new accent colors for you to customize device with. Instead, you can use a solid color of your choice as the background picture for your tiles! Continue reading

Did you know: Windows Phone 8.1 Built-in Apps Update through the app Store

Windows Phones with Tiles

With Windows Phone (WP) 8.1, many of the built-in apps are now updatable from within the Windows Phone Store. Unlike on previous WP versions, the built-in apps do not need to wait for the next OS update to be updated. These apps now can and do update regularly just like other apps you install from the Store. I have already seen many of them being updated recently, and WPCentral documented today that the Games app has been updated. To compliment this, these apps now have their dedicated Windows Phone Store landing page just like any other apps you find in the store. Continue reading

Skewed Review System in the Store


Click on this pic to see “Helpful” Yes/No figures.

A picture they say is worth more than a thousand words. I think the picture above is a good testification of that age old adage. The picture shows what is wrong with the Windows Store review system. Here is an app that obviously is resonating with end users, but because some unhappy souls got to review the app early, they got the high “helpful” figures and pops to the top for Microsoft to feature them as most helpful reviews even when the are negative and has no bearing with the app popularity in the Store. I mean 4335 people couldn’t be wrong with 5-Stars compared to 134 with 1 Star.

So, there you have it, an app can be insanely popular with end users but still be deemed not suitable by review logic of the Store. Microsoft need to fix this ASAP. It is known fact that only frustrated and unhappy users take the time to vent their venom about a product. You don’t see happy users at a support desk. Happy users are too lazy and don’t take the time to review, they are just content to give the app 5-Stars and move on. This is end-user psych 101. A good Store logic should catch this and bubble up positive reviews above negative ones for very popular apps. Period.

Note that I have no bearing with this app nor it’s dev., I don’t know them, neither have I been contacted by them. I am just using the app as an example amongst other apps that fall into this negative review trap while being very popular with users.

Please fix this MS.

OpenShot – A Free, Professional Grade, Video Editing Software is Coming to Windows!

OpenShot Logo

We have exciting news for all of our readers! Whether you are a professional video editor or just want to make an elegant home movie as simply as possible, and you are on Windows, you will finally have a free tool to do just that. OpenShot video editor is coming to Windows!

For those of you who do not know what OpenShot is, it is a popular video editing program for Linux. The biggest appeal of this program is that it makes complex editing scenarios easy. The user interface is familiar, with drag-and-drop and point-and-click interface. You can do some pretty neat things using OpenShot, such as adding fancy titles, mixing music and sound effects to your videos, and, one of my favorites, layer videos on top of each other.

But the big caveat is that in order to use OpenShot you need to run Linux. That is about to change, as OpenShot has successfully completed a Kickstarter project to port the software to Windows and on the Mac. The campaign will help offset the costs of building the technical framework that makes allows the software to be cross platform. In fact, even if you are a Linux user, you will benefit from this, as the updates made to the software will be applicable to the Linux version as well. That is, because of a unified cross-platform framework, the developers will easily be able to add features to the application on all the supported platforms.

The OpenShot timeline, showing the ability to layer videos
The OpenShot timeline, showing the ability to layer videos

The Kickstarter campaign not only succeeded, but it raised more money than originally set. Therefore, the developer has added what they are calling “stretch goals”, which are additional features that will be implemented (God willing) to OpenShot.

There is still time left to back this project. At the time of this writing, there is less than 10 hours to go, so if you want to be a part of this wonderful project, this is your chance. The rewards for doing so are also…well rewarding. :P But seriously, folks, let us finish this with a bang!

OpenShot Kickstarter Campaign

OpenShot Website

Official Best Buy App in the Store!

Well, we have a another, familiar, member from the shopping family joining the Windows Store clup. Everyone, let’s welcome Best Buy. Yes, this is the real deal.


The Best Buy app provides a fresh new way to shop for the latest and greatest technology. Browse the full Best Buy product catalog and read ratings & reviews.

Age rating: 12+
Publisher: Best Buy Co., Inc.
© 2003-2013 BBY Solutions, Inc.


  • Browse the full Best Buy product catalog
  • Read ratings & reviews
  • Purchase Best Buy products for Shipment, Delivery, or Store Pickup
  • Get product details and make comparisons

Download now: Best Buy

News from the Windows Store – 50,000 Apps (Total App Count 3/23/2013)

Windows Store Games w Pocket Tanks

Today, we have reached another milestone with the total number of apps on the Windows Store. We are half way through reaching 100,000 apps. At the time of this writing, there are 50304 total apps in the Windows Store worldwide. This data comes courtesy of the AppCounter Windows 8 app that keeps track of the app count. Of the 50,304 plus apps, there are 46,784 free apps and 3,520 paid apps. This gives a whopping 99.9% apps being free! At this ratio, Windows Store should be renamed to Windows Buffet, with all you can eat apps, for free! The number of apps being added per day clocks in an average of 279.67 apps.

Country Count 3-13

The country with the highest number of apps is China, weighing at a total of 34,830 apps. That’s a far cry from 50,000 apps. This indicates that no user will be able to browse all 50,000 plus apps by visiting the Windows Store. Coming in second is the US version of the Windows Store, topping at 34,401 apps. According to AppCounter, the country with the least amount of apps is Chile, with a net total of 29,316 apps. The discrepancy, then, between the countries with the highest number of apps to the reported lowest number is only 5514. This is a good sign, as it shows that no one is left with a barren store.

Category Count 3-13

The Education category is the king, with 7828 worldwide apps, followed by Entertainment, with a total app count of 7025 apps. Books and References come in third with 6,440, and Games takes fourth place with 6058 apps. The categories with the lowest number of apps are Security and Government, with an embarrassing net count of only 220 and 213, respectively.

History 3-13

Source: AppCounter

Twitter for Windows 8 and RT App Demo

Published on Mar 13, 2013

A quick demo of the version 1.0 of the official twitter app for Windows! Enjoy. Download the app from here:…
Music by DNA Groove, titled Doomsday Cake, licensed under creative commons. Visit DNA Groove’s website:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Skulls of the Shogun – Xbox Game

Today, we have a release of the newest of the Xbox Games collection. This game, Skulls of the Shotgun, is an action strategy game and it integrates fully with Xbox services. This game is rated T (for teens), as it contains blood, suggestive themes, and violence. Here’s the game description.


“Washing up on the shores of the afterlife, players meet and join forces with vibrant ghost-samurai warriors, magical animal-monks, and mustachioed samurai generals on the way to capture Skulls of the Shogun. With its roots in classic turn-based strategy gaming, Skulls of the Shogun retains that depth while adding a smooth, streamlined interface, realtime physics, and over the top samurai action.

Players immerse themselves in battle with fun and unique game play features amidst lush, eerie environments. Also featuring up to 4-player local and networked multi-player and an original score inspired by old samurai films and dub, Skulls of the Shogun offers simple-yet-deep, refined and offbeat game-play.”


    • Fast-paced      arcade-inspired blend of arcade action and turn-based strategy!
    • Meet &      recruit magical animal monks, power up your army to imposing war demons,      and conquer the samurai afterlife!
    • Play 20 levels      of hand-painted, story-driven single player campaign mode.
    • Play anywhere!      Eat your friends’ skulls in online asynchronous multiplayer across Xbox      360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7
    • Battle up to 4      players at once on custom multiplayer maps, both locally and online      (asynchronously)
    • Play, save and      resume your game across resume across all three platforms.

Download Now: Skulls of the Shogun

Tech Crunch by AOL

TechCrunch by AOL
We have the official tech crunch app by AOL. I personally enjoy reading websites either via RSS reader or through the web browser. However, it’s always good to have an option. If you are interested, check it out!


The TechCrunch app is the best way to get the hottest technology news on your desktop, laptop, or tablet. Browse the latest headlines with a flick of your finger then tap to dive into an unparalleled source of stories about startups and Silicon Valley, gadgets and go-getters.


    • Free access to all content from the TechCrunch website
    • See what’s currently hot in tech with the Trending list
    • TechTweets shows the latest tech news and gossip hitting social media
    • Comprehensive integration with CrunchBase Custom designed interface

Download it: TechCrunch – The Inside Story On Innovation

ESPN Crickinfo – Keep in Touch with Latest Cricket Scores and News

ESPN Crickinfo 1

Before the official debut of the ESPN’s main app on Windows 8, we had another app by ESPN dedicated to the Cricket sport. I, for one, love cricket; so this app is a blessing. ESPN Crickinfo lets you stay in touch with the latest Cricket scores and news. You can even view game schedule and watch highlights from previous games. The only thing that’s missing is actual live games that you are able to watch on the ESPN3 website. I am still holding out for an ESPN3 app that also allows me to play to my HD TV using DLNA. But for now, we have this!


November 26, 2012: we’re aware of the slow-loading issues affecting some (not all) of you, and we’re actively working on it. We should have a fix in place very soon – we’ll update this page when we have more news.

The ESPN Cricinfo Windows 8 app provides comprehensive coverage of cricket from around the world from With live ball-by-ball scoring, comprehensive news, features and editorial content, it’s the most beautiful way yet to follow cricket.

Coming soon: push notifications for wickets and results.


Ball-by-ball live scoring of cricket matches from around the world.

Breaking news, previews and match reports keep you up-to-date with the latest in the sport.

Feature articles providing opinion, in-depth analysis, tributes, profiles and much more from ESPN Cricinfo’s global team of writers.

Download now from the Windows Store: ESPN Cricinfo. You can follow @McAkins and me, @NazmusLabs, on Twitter.

Format Converter X – Convert Multimedia File Formats


Format Conveter X 1

We are back with another app feature! Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I, myself, have been busy for the last several days; so I had to put off publishing for the time being. However, if you are following @Mcakins on twitter, we still frequently update you with new apps for you to check out. So do follow us on twitter to stay posted. Now, without further ado, let’s get to business.

Format Converter X is a very neat little utility that might come in very handy if you work with any sort of multimedia files, like audio, music, and video. Of course, if you are working on a media project, like a home movie, you might need to convert audio or video from one format to another. However, this app can come in handy for even simply and daily tasks. For example, if you have an audio file in WMA format, and your friend’s Mac computer can only read MP3 files, you can use this app to easily convert the file and email it to her.

Here’s the app description and some screenshots. Enjoy!


This App can Convert Video or Audio files in other formats.
You can convert a file in few simple steps maintaining or decreasing its quality, or for example you can extract the audio of a video..
In addition, when each operation will be completed, you’ll be noticed with a toast notification!

Advertising can be removed through the settings menu.

Saving formats:

Source formats:

NB. At the moment the App can’t support other formats because Windows 8 supports H264, MPEG2, WMV3, WVC1, AAC, AC3, MP3, MPEG, PCM, WMA8 and WMA9 codecs.

What’s included


Make conversions in background!

Really Easy!

Manages snapped mode

Toast notifications when a conversion ends

Download Format Converter X!

Star Chart – Solar System Explorer Update and a 75% Discount!

Star Chart, a massively popular astronomy app on Windows 8 has another major update, which adds the ability to explore the solar system in a very cool way! It also ads real time planetary positions of Earth and all other planets in our solar system. So, the position of the planets you see when using the app will correspond to their theoretical position at the date and time set on your PC. Of course, you can fast forward or rewind time and observe the orbit and rotation of the planets react It’s very cool! Check out the screenshots below for a visual representation of the new features.

Also, this week, the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Star Chart is 75% off of its original price. The app is six dollars, but at the time of this writing, you can get it for one and a half dollars. If you want to get it, now is a great time! Anyway, here’s some screenshots that I took. Below that, I included the developer’s description and a download link for your convenience. Enjoy!


With this new update, we can now have a closer look at each of the planets. This is Earth, but you can see more planets to choose from on your left.

Here, we are looking at the moon. You can pinch to zoom or rotate with your finger. Yes, it works with the mouse as well.

You can zoom out and see the solar system as a whole. Try fast forwarding time and watch the orbit around the sun at super speed.

Here’s another neat little feature. You can play “movies”, which basically adds horizontal film strips on your screen and automatically pans around the solar system for a lean-back experience. Turn off your lights and enjoy! :)


*** Special Discount this week only. Over 75% off! ***
Explore the wonders of the Solar System with Star Chart, the definitive star gazing and astronomy app. From our own star – the Sun, to the moons of Jupiter and rings of Saturn, Star Chart gives you a virtual window into the visible universe.
Make the most of your powerful Windows 8 Augmented Reality enabled device and hold it up to the sky. Star Chart will tell you exactly what you are looking at! Augmented Reality (AR) mode is available on tablets, laptops & devices with accelerometer and digital magnetometer sensors.
Alternatively, explore the universe from the comfort of your desktop to learn about the wonders of our solar system and beyond. Visit the planets, explore their rings and moons, learn about the constellations, discover majestic Messier objects, and travel both forwards and backwards in time.
Using state of the art GPS technology, an accurate 3D universe and the latest high-tech sensor functionality, Star Chart calculates – in real time – the current location of every star, planet and moon visible from Earth and shows you precisely where they are; even in broad daylight!
Want to know what that bright star is called? Point your AR device at it – you might just find out it’s a planet!
Want to know how the night sky appears to people on the other side of the earth? Well just point your AR device down!
Want to know where your star sign is in the sky? Star Chart will tell you all this and much more.
So point your Windows 8 AR device at the sky and see what’s out there!
Escape Velocity and Escapist Games will update Star Chart regularly, so please send us your feedback and feature requests to

Like us on Facebook:
Visit the Star Chart website:
View Star Chart tours:
Follow Star Chart on Twitter: StarChartApp –
Also follow our latest developments:


  • Explore our beautifully rendered Planets, Moons, Rings, Stars, Constellations, Messier objects and much much more.
  • Just point and view. Hold your Windows 8 AR enabled device up to the night sky and peer directly into the universe.
  • Sit back and enjoy tours of all the planets, as Star Chart shows you views of our Solar System that you have never seen before.
  • Shift forwards and backwards in time by up to 10,000 years.
  • Share your beautiful screen captures, astronomical discoveries and night sky viewing with your friends, with the help of Windows 8 Share.
  • A powerful and dynamic search function lets you search the entire night sky, utilising the new Windows 8 Search.
  • Supports dynamic device orientation viewing. Allows you to view the night sky with your Windows 8 screen at any angle.
  • Accurately depicts all the stars of the northern and southern hemispheres up to magnitude +10 – a total of over 120,000 stars!
  • Explore all the planets of the Solar System, their moons, our Sun and our Moon.
  • Features all 88 constellations, with intricate constellation imagery based on the beautiful artwork by 15th century astronomer Johannes Hevelius.
  • Includes a complete re-mastered and high quality Messier catalogue of exotic deep sky objects.
  • Select anything in the sky and get facts on what you are looking at, including distance, brightness and exact position in the sky.
  • Very powerful zoom function lets you view the sky in extra detail.


Download Now: Star Chart