Project Spark in E3, OneDrive, App Studio and more for the Week of June 9, 2014

Microsoft announces games, including Halo Masterchief Collection. OneDrive app for Windows 8.1 gets updated with more goodies for non-touch users, and there are a lot more happened on the week of June 9, 2014. Continue reading

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OneDrive on Windows 8.1 Updated with New Features for Desktop Users!

One of the updates for Patch Tuesday on June 10, 2014 was for Microsoft OneDrive. This update brought significant UI update for desktop users. Let’s check it out. Continue reading

App Highlight: Newseen–The New Kid on the Block

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Preview and Install

There’s a new kid on the block rocking the Windows Store at the moment, and it is the Newseen app, an app that is garnering straight 5-Stars in the Store at the moment. Got the hint of this app from a tweet from our buddy @WinObs, and when Richard recommends you’ve gotta check it out. Well I did, and I am pleased.

Newseen aggregates News for you so you don’t have to go chase after those popular News sites. You can choose your categories of interest after which you’re presented with panoramic view of your contents. There are themes built in to soothe your eyes, dark-theme for night-owls like us, and blue, while or girly pink. You pick your choice.

You have the option to view the trending news on the internetz via Top Stories option, or choose to see the latest news as they are breaking. There is a manual refresh button to reload your views with latest content, but the app features Auto-Refresh itself, the manual refresh is just can’t wait. When the app is in the Docked mode, you’re presented with just the titles, and clicking a title drops into the browser for details. A feature that I like very much.

Anyway, here is an app to compete with my favorite news app Discourse in the Store. I can’t decide which is the winner at the moment. They both even integrate with Twitter, so go figure.

Below is the details of the app from the Store:

Description

Newseen is a new kind of news reader. Instead of mimicking an inbox that piles up and becomes a burden, Newseen focuses on the news stories people are talking about right now. It groups articles from different sources together. This lets you see each story from as many or as few different angles as you like and then move along to other news.

If a story you’ve already read changes with updates or new articles, Newseen will let you know by bubbling it up to the top of the handy Recently Seen list. And if you use Twitter, you’ll see tweets from your friends and other followees pop up on stories they’re talking about, both for stories you’ve read and those you haven’t gotten to yet.

If the summary is enough for you, you can now mark a story as read without opening it. Just swipe the tile by putting your finger on it and dragging down until it disappears, or click the small checkbox that appears on mouse hover.

Features

  • • Shows you the top stories being talked about today
  • • Cleverly groups articles together
  • • Keeps you up-to-date as stories you’ve recently read evolve
  • • Customize your experience by choosing up to 5 categories from an ever-growing list (from Technology, to Politics, Entertainment, Video Games, Sports, and many more)
  • • If you sign-in with Twitter, you’ll be started off with categories based on whom you follow!
  • • Live tile always shows you the most popular stories from each of your chosen categories
  • • Fast and fluid design. Stories expand in-place to keep you oriented
  • • Several color schemes and background choices to choose from
  • • Adjust the font size for article contents if you like your text big (or really, really big!)
  • • Read state and settings roam with you to other devices (if enabled in Windows)
  • • Share articles via the Share charm
  • • Quickly work through news you don’t want to read in-depth by swiping stories away.
  • • More to come in future updates!

And a few more Screenshots:

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If you’re interested in this app, you can download now via the Source link below.

Source: Windows Store

The Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch Wants Your Time

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Earlier today, Samsung announced what is considered the first major smart watch; the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Samsung, being in a long running competition with Apple, seems to have finally beat Apple to the punch. But what benefit could this smartwatch have on an ever growing technological world?

Perhaps this taps into the dreams and fantasies of our youth of wanting to be like James Bond or some other super spy who could do almost anything with a simple watch. Though lacking the qualities that would make this smartwatch super spy worthy, there are features to the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch that do catch the eye and bring us closer to those childhood dreams.

To begin, Samsung is calling their new smart watch the Samsung Gear. Seems a little cliché but that’s okay, it’s a watch right? Samsung announced that the Samsung watch will have plenty of capabilities such as being able to take photos, answer calls (when connected via Bluetooth to a Samsung device), and run certain applications that would make this almost enticing to get. There are many other interesting things to do such as being able to SnapChat, which of course in our world of video/picture messaging, is very important.

I do find though that despite the cool features and near super spy appeal, there are concerns on how well this device will function. Regular watches are often worn as accessories and usually have a level of protection offered by being mechanical or semi-mechanical time pieces, bringing in the idea of a non-water-proof watch might be a little off setting for those who like cool tech but love to take on the elements.

Other concerns would be the battery life. As stated in Business Weekly among other news sites, having to charge this watch every day would require you to take along extra chargers and docking stations just to use this while on the go.

Other than those concerns though, Samsung doesn’t fail to deliver a decent product. Making it to the front of a market before Apple is a good accomplishment by any company standards, but the real test of how well this watch preforms and whether Apple will release their own smart watch, well that will take time.

To give an honest estimation of the success of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, I would say it will sell because it is the latest gadget and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to seem like a super spy answering calls on their watch? I do plan to acquire this watch in the near future (perhaps on debut) to give you an in-depth report of the actual functionality and usefulness of the Gear. Until then, below are listed the basic stats that Samsung released today for the gear.

 

Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch:

Processor clock speed: 800mhz

Memory: 4gb

Screen Size: 1.63 (type: Super AMOLED with gyroscopes and accelerometer)

Batter life: roughly a days worth of regular use

Other features: S Voice, camera (called Memographer)

App Highlight: WindowsObserver.com App In the Store

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Our buddy site WindowsObserver.com released their first Metro App into the Store a while back, I have been wanting to give a shout-out but couldn’t find the time. The App is a companion app to the main site, bringing you up-to-date stories of all things Tech in general and all things Microsoft in particular. If you’ve been following Richard’s quality high volume tweets on @WinObs, you would know he is a One-Stop-Shop for all the news you’ll ever need stay on top Technology happenings. So we welcome this App in the Windows Store. If you don’t believe us, believe these few Reviewers from the store:

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Here is how @WinObs described the app in the Store with a few screenshots:

Description

Keeping an eye on Windows, other things tech and home of the Observed Tech PODCAST.

Features

Keep up with the latest news from WindowsObserver.com and the Observed Tech PODCAST

Easily bookmark your favorite stories for future reference

Join the discussion by commenting on any stories directly from the app

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Download this app right away to keep up to date with latest Technology News all over the world. Download this app now from the Store via the following source link.

Source: Windows Store

Official SharePoint Newsfeed App from Microsoft now in the Store

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Wowza! Microsoft just released a SharePoint MX App for the Enterprise for Windows 8. With this app you can follow all the SharePoint News sites you’ve subscribed to at work. You can respond to messages and upload pictures. They also salted the app a bit with Social features. You can now mention people with @Name tag and tag keywords with harshtags. Here is the full test description from the Store:

Description

SharePoint Newsfeed lets you stay connected to your organization’s social pulse while on the go. You can easily navigate your feeds and interact with the conversations from SharePoint sites you are following.
Note: The SharePoint Newsfeed app works with SharePoint 2013 and the new SharePoint Online. Previous versions of SharePoint are not supported.
When you are signing in, you will need your username, password.
If you are having issues signing in, please contact your company’s SharePoint administrator to inquire about the proper credentials.

Features

  • Keep up with your colleagues’ latest posts and comments
  • Create new posts to share updates or ask questions
  • @mention a colleague or include #hashtag in your posts
  • Upload pictures
  • Discover the profile of anyone from your feed
  • Follow along with the newsfeed while staying productive in other apps by snapping to the side of your screen.
  • Share from other apps to your newsfeed.

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Well, we are glad MS is gradually pulling the Enterprise into the Metro world. A lot of Enterprise workers are now carrying tablets around, and most especially Windows 8 Tablets, with these tools, value is being added daily to Metro at the workplace. We welcome this development. Keep it coming Microsoft.

You can download the app now via the Store link below.

Source: Windows Store

Discourse App Updates with lots of Features!

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If there’s one Metro App that I use more than others after the Twitter App in the Windows Store, it is the Discourse App. This is my unsung hero App that I use to catch-up on news after I have been away for too long online. Here is one app to easily aggregate your News-world. You’ve heard everyone howling about the death of Google-feeds, if you’ve known this app, you know you have no need to fear as you can download your google-feeds into this app and be chucking along just fine.

Now, the app has upped the ante just a lot more with this latest update. There is so much features to this app, I’ll just copy-paste it for you as follows:

Release notes

New in this update:
1. Use SkyDrive to automatically keep Discourse in sync across your PCs and to provide an online backup of your sections etc. NOTE: Synchronization happens as sections are refreshed – it is not immediate (you can, of course, manually refresh to sync immediately).
2. Improved Import/Export of OPML. OPML can now be used to import sections as well as feeds.
3. A new "Recent Tiles" section shows the articles recently shown on your live tiles
4. Each column in the columns view now has "hot corners" at the top.
   – Tap the left corner for save toggling, Tap the right corner for read/unread toggling.
5. Optional in-app browser (enable/disable using settings charm)
6. Share either a link to an article or the full content (just tap the share icon within the article to choose, rather than using the share charm directly)
7. Unread counts now appear in the sections menu
8. Performance and memory improvements and bug fixes.
Many thanks to everyone who contacted support@kindredintellect.com – it’s the very best way to get the fixes and features you want. Special thanks to Miguel, Dustin and Denny.

For those of you new to Discourse, the following is the full detail:

Description

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Discourse lets you to keep up with your favorite news sources (including feeds from Twitter lists and searches) in a clear, picture-rich, easy to read newspaper-like format.
Create your own ‘Sections’ of news, combining one or more of the large number of included feeds, a topic of interest, Twitter searches and lists, or by searching for and adding fully custom feeds of your own.
You’ll get great readability of the full content, images too, for the majority of articles right from within Discourse, even for custom and Twitter feeds.
Discourse can automatically keep you in sync across your PCs by saving Sections, Feeds, Saved Stories and Read articles to your SkyDrive if you wish. As sections are refreshed they will be  synced.
A selection of visual themes are included if you prefer more variety (including Dark, of course).
Other features:
- Share individual articles into Discourse using the Share charm from other apps so you can read them later. If you have SkyDrive saving enabled they will automatically be synced.
- Support for many audio and video podcasts (those with audio and video enclosures)
- Optimized for great execution on Surface & Windows RT machines
- Pin a live tile to your start screen for sections, including custom sections (Twitter feeds currently not supported for live tiles).
- Import and Export your RSS and Atom feeds (as OPML files) and section definitions (as SECTIONS files). You can also export and import from SkyDrive, just use the picker and choose SkyDrive.
- Search for articles across your sections using the "Search Charm".
- You can also save pages to Discourse’s "Saved Stories" section so you can read them later, offline, at your leisure.
- Highly configurable via the settings charm.
- Twitter search required a Twitter account and uses the standard twitter search syntax. Details here:
https://support.twitter.com/articles/71577-how-to-use-advanced-twitter-search
Privacy policy: http://www.kindredintellect.com/privacy.html

Features

Full content, news and Twitter reader, using clear presentation for great readability

Combine your own custom feeds, including from Twitter, with the large number included

Discourse can keep in sync across your PCs by using your SkyDrive

‘Topic Sections’ use keywords to maintain a set of up-to-date news articles about a particular topic. (Powered by Bing, Google and Yahoo)

‘Twitter Sections’ use the powerful search and List facilities of Twitter to bring Tweets into Discourse (Twitter account required). Discourse will give you the full readable content of links in many

Import your Twitter Lists as Discourse sections right from the main Discourse page – just use the AppBar.

Import whole sections and individual feed subscriptions from Google Reader: Do it soon, before Google Reader is shut down in July.

Share your section definitions and articles with others using the Share Charm

For $2.99, this app is a steal. Really. And I can testify that it is actively being developed and improved. How do I know? Cause I am one of the beta tester for the app.

Download the app now in the Store from the following source link:

Source: Windows Store

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

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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

The Official CNN App for Windows 8 is in the Store!

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It took a while, but CNN is also now officially represented in the Windows Store. CNN INTERACTIVE GROUP, Inc. has decided they cannot afford to wait any longer. The Windows Store is where to be. Here is what CNN says about the App:

Description
CNN connects you to the world, wherever you are. 
Stay informed with the latest headlines and original stories from around the globe. Follow up-to-the-minute reporting with breaking news and video. Lead the conversation by sharing today’s news and dig deeper into the stories that matter most to you. 
• Get breaking news and follow stories as they develop.
• Go beyond the surface with international, politics, opinion, tech and entertainment stories and more. 
• Contribute your story or opinion to CNN iReport by uploading photos and video directly from your app. Follow other iReporters and see stories from their point of view.
• Read the top headlines on the go with the CNN Live Tile.
• Choose the font size that most appeals to you.
Have questions or feedback on the CNN App? E-mail us at WindowsTablet@cnn.com. We are always looking for suggestions on how to provide the best experience possible for you.

Features
Get breaking news and follow stories as they develop.
Go beyond the surface with international, politics, opinion, tech and entertainment stories and more.
Contribute your story or opinion to CNN iReport by uploading photos and video directly from your app. Follow other iReporters and see stories from their point of view.
Read the top headlines on the go with the CNN Live Tile.
Choose the font size that most appeals to you.

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Follow latest developments around the World, download this App right away via the source link below.

Source: Windows Store

Armed Services News App arrives in the Store

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Armed Services News App debuts in the Store bringing you comprehensive news about the Military and DoD. The App covers all aspects of the Armed Forces, and if you’re serving whether at home or abroad, a reservist, or just plain curious about Armed Forces, you’ll appreciate the information collated for you in this app. TrippleDSoftware says this about the App in the Store:

Description

Stay up to date on all the latest news features for the U.S. Armed Forces.
Armed Services News gives you one location to browse all the latest content available from the U.S. Armed Services. 
Over 140 data feeds are available from the application.
The latest news, pictures, audio and video podcasts are all accessible from the application.
Look at all the content or filter all the feeds to present just the most recent items.

Features
See the latest news feeds for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, DOD, and the Pentagon.
Browse the latest new items.
Browse twitter and Flickr feeds.
Play videos from the application.
Link to the website for the news item.

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Download the App right away via the Source link below, its free in the Store.

Source: Windows Store

The Official “The Economist” App is now in the Store

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The wait is over for all lovers of Windows 8 and The Economist weekly mag. Their official App is now in the Store for your pleasure. Subscribers have full access to all content, while non-subscriber will only have access to Editors’ Picks after registration. Here is the full description from the Store:

Description
The best way to read The Economist on your Windows device.
The app is free to download and includes free access to the editor’s picks – a weekly selection of articles from each week’s edition of The Economist.
Digital and print subscribers to The Economist receive unrestricted access to each week’s full print edition by signing in with their economist.com e-mail address and password. 
Non-subscribers can register for an economist.com account to read the free editor’s picks.
ABOUT THE ECONOMIST  
The Economist is a weekly international news and business publication, offering clear reporting, commentary and analysis on world current affairs, business, finance, science and technology, culture, society, media and the arts.

Features
Each week’s issue available from 9pm London time on Thursday
Download issues to your Windows device to read without an internet connection (if enabled in Settings)
Switch easily between reading and streaming The Economist in audio (when connected to the internet)
Subscribe from within the app and receive full access to The Economist on Windows, Android tablets, Android smartphones, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook and economist.com

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Yet another big name in the Store, and one by one they all join the Metro bandwagon. Feel free to download the App via the source link below.

Source: Windows Store

Welcome to the Fully Featured Web Version of the Windows Store

Ladies and gentlemen, this was unexpected. We now have a fully functioning web version of the Windows Store! We can finally browse, search, and explore apps directly from the web browser without actually needing a Windows 8 PC. I will note right now that this is not officially by Microsoft; it is a third party web app. However, it works like a charm (no pun intended).

Metro Scanner

This website is really cool; it’s called MetroStore Scanner. You can check it out here: http://metrostore.preweb.sk/

Unlike the Windows Store app on Windows 8, this site shows worldwide apps. You can search apps from any part of the world, even if it is not available in your country. Of course, you can filter by country or category. On the picture above, for example, I am filtering out everything but Games form worldwide. According to the website, the total worldwide app is 25,405!

Of course, that 25 thousand plus apps are not all available for your country. So if you want to find relevant apps for your country, make sure to filter it by selecting your country.

Credit goes to Windows 8 Core for pointing this out

Source: MetroStore Scanner

Discourse News Reader is Back in the Store! – Now for the Money

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Guys, good news! Kindred Intellect is back in the Store with Discourse, your awesome News Reader App of yore, and this time for the money. Those of you that started this Windows 8 journey with us right from DP will remember Discourse. It was the de facto News Reader till a few months before RTM. Kindred Intellect just mysteriously pulled the App from the Store without any form of warning nor reason. Yours truly have attempted to contact them severally to get a low-down on what transpired, no response. Did they have a blow-out with Microsoft? Were they using a component to which Microsoft objected? You know, you can only speculate when the news source refuses to talk to you. Like they say, Nature abhors vacuum, you just can’t evict yourself from the market and expect the whole world to wait, or collapse in your absence. Discourse space was promptly filled by News Bento App in the Store. Now Discourse has a competition in its hands. News Bento is free as air, and Discourse is $3,00 bucks with no option to try. They are really going for the money this time around. I wonder how they’ll fair now in the Store.

I have just done a feature comparison with their last version before they dropped out of limelight, I don’t see any difference, they are probably sporting their last version 1.3.2.202 with a bit of polish I guess. Here is the latest description of the new old app in the Store:

Read all your news articles in full detail regardless of source

Create your own news sections using any feeds you like

Take in the full detail of every article with great readability

Description
* Discourse allows you to keep up with your favorite news sources in a clear, picture-rich, easy to read newspaper-like format.
* Read the full content of the majority articles right from within Discourse, even for custom feeds, and pages you Share into Discourse using the Share charm!
* Optimized for great execution on Surface & Windows RT machines
* Pin a live tile to your start screen for any section, including custom sections.
* Create your own ‘Sections’ of news, combining one or more of the large number of included feeds, a topic of interest, or by searching for/adding fully custom feeds of your own.
* Share your section definitions with others using the Share Charm
* ‘Topic Sections’ use keywords to maintain a set of up-to-date news articles about a particular topic. (Powered by Bing, Google and Yahoo)
* Import whole sections and individual feed subscriptions directly from Google Reader
* Import and Export your feeds (as OPML files) and section definitions (as SECTION files). You can also export and import from SkyDrive, just use the picker and choose SkyDrive.
* Once your sections are created, simply running Discourse will sync your news and you can then go offline if you wish.
* Search for articles across your sections using the “Search Charm”.
* You can also save pages to Discourse’s “Saved Stories” section so you can read them later, offline, at your leisure.
Privacy policy: http://www.kindredintellect.com/privacy.html

Features
Offline, full content, news reader, using a clear presentation for great readability
Combine your own custom feeds with the large number included

Well, there you have it. The riddle resolved itself. Discourse is back in the Store. The question is would you plunk your cash down for the Reader now, especially seeing a free competition would give it a run for its money. If Discourse fails to gain traction in the Store, it will not be because the App is not worthy, but because the vendor made a gamble that backfired. When you are king, you just don’t abdicate, not without a reason. You just give people a chance to crown another king. Period. I’ll keep an eye on this development. I see news down the line.

If you are ready to buy Discourse, please download via the Source link below. I am curious if any of you that know Discourse in its hay days have anything to say in response to this. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Source: Windows Store

Announcing Tech Magnet in the Store

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Here is another awesome app in the Store to the joy of all Tech Enthusiasts around the World. The App aggregates all technology news into one manageable app. Read Article tidbits, dive-in to detailed in-app browser article, read reviews on any imaginable tech category. This app have you covered. Again, this is not an RSS reader but an aggregator of curated tech news. Here is the description from the Store:

Description
Interested in IT news?
Tech Magnet is an application which aims to provide user with the latest news from various IT news sources and web pages. It collects news data using RSS feeds and forms it in a structured and easy reading way.
The application collects data from bunch of popular IT news pages / sources:
Engadget, Gizmodo, Mashable, All Things Digital, Anand Tech, Android-app.com, Apple Insider, Ars Technica, Bits, CNET, Digital Trends, IntoMobile, Lifehacker, Technology Tell, PCWorld, TechCrunch, Computer World, Boy Genius Report, Electronista, I4U News, AAWP, Windows Phone Central and many more to come.

Features
News reading
Various news sources
Snap View
Share Contract
Pin individual news source
Reading in offline mode

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This app is another attestation of what a individual Dev. can achieve if they set their mind to it. Nicely done indeed. You can download the app now via the Source link.

Source: Windows Store