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
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
We kicked off our information about Windows 8.1 Update one with new taskbar features coming to Windows Store apps, namely the Jumplists and media controls. Today, I want to share with you another neat feature I uncovered. Windows Store (metro) applications running in multiple Windows show up in the taskbar as multiple windows. This behavior is the same in Desktop Applications since Windows 7. It is nice to see that it is being included in Windows Store applications. Continue reading
Microsoft yesterday published a new blog post discussing new features and user interface updates to Microsoft Office Word Web App. As you know, this is the web version of Microsoft Word, offered free of charge to everyone. The update includes a fresh new look and feel, footnotes, and even a new way to interact with Word and get things done! Continue reading
Microsoft has silently added a handy new user interface to the Windows Store in Windows 8.1. The Windows Store in Windows 8.1 updates differently than does the other parts of Windows. This is because most of the Windows Store’s user interface is delivered from Microsoft servers. In laymen’s term, the UI for the Windows Store comes from the internet; it is not loaded from your computer’s hard drive. This makes it possible for Microsoft to update the Store without having to go through Windows Update. Basically, you don’t have to update Windows to get the new updates and features to the Windows Store! Continue reading
I am excited to inform you that we are performing an upgrade to this website. We will be introducing some neat features that I think you will appreciate! In the meantime, however, please be aware that some existing features may not work properly or at all. This should only take a few hours at most. We’ll let you know when the upgrade is finished. When the upgrade is finished, everything should be working again. If you experience issues after that, please let us know.
Again, we can’t wait to push out the new and exciting features! See you on the other side!
Nazmus Shakib Khandaker
Assosiate Administrator of McAkins Online
The popular ebook reader by Amazon, Kindle, has a major update for Windows 8 users. One of the biggest feature is the now 2-column view. Here’s the full details:
- Improved page turn performance
– Increased book storage
– Added 2-column reading on ARM devices
– Disabled device dimming in reading mode
– Performance improvements and other enhancements throughout
Please note: After upgrading, an Internet connection is needed to complete the app update when opening the app for the first time.
DescriptionRead Kindle books on a beautiful, easy-to-use Windows 8 application. You’ll have access to over 1 million* books in the Kindle Store, including best sellers and new releases. Amazon’s Whispersync technology automatically syncs your furthest page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across all your devices that have the Kindle app installed and across any Kindle device. That means you can start reading on one device and pick up where you left off on another device.
Buy once, read everywhere. Sign in with an Amazon account, and sync Kindle books across all your devices that have the Kindle app installed across any Kindle device.Pin Kindle books from your Kindle library to the Windows Start screen for instant access to your favorites.Start reading in seconds. Your Kindle book downloads while you read.Shop the Kindle Store for over 1 million* Kindle books, including new releases and best sellers. Over 600,000 Kindle books are $4.99 or less, and over 1 million books are $9.99 or less.*Customize your reading experience by choosing the background color, font size, and number of reading columns.Highlight, take notes, and add bookmarks in any book. Look up word definitions and listen to how they are pronounced.* Selection and price of Kindle books in the Kindle Store vary by country.
Ladies and gentilemen, we have a massive update to Cut the Rope game. This update finally brings the long awaited Xbox LIVE integration we have been waiting for. In theory, you can now earn Xbox achievements, get on the leaderboards, and log in to the game with your Xbox account. I say in theory because there seems to be a bug that is preventing users from signing in. However, I expect we will see an update soon. But here you have it. Enjoy the limited screenshot and app description!
Source: Cut The Rope
I posted a couple of days ago of the potential that Office 365 preview that Microsoft launched last summer would expire today. However, it appears that we had a false alarm! A news reporter of Neowin.net, John Callaham, noted that different people were seeing different expiration dates for Office 365 preview. Newoin, hence, contacted Microsoft about the issue. Microsoft had this to say:
Your trial will not expire but in fact renew automatically. However, the trial will still expire 60 days after the next version of Office becomes available…..people who see the notification in their billing section will not have to reset anything, it will be done automatically. If people have not checked the billing site until now then they wouldn’t have known that something similar has happened in previous months.
I apologize for any inconvenience you may have had. You can still continue to use Office 365 preview or download a trial version of Office 2013 Professional Plus for free until the final version of Office 2013 and Office 365 ships.
Earlier this year, Microsoft released “Bing Desktop” for Windows 7 that put a Bing search box on your desktop and also set Bing’s daily homepage pictures as your desktop background. That way, every day, you had a fresh, new, and high quality, desktop wallpaper. However, if you were an early adaptor of Windows 8, you might have known that Bing Desktop would only install and run on Windows 7. It would not install on a Windows 8 PC even with compatibility settings. But today, there is good news for Windows 8 users! Continue reading
Windows 8 features the Sticky Notes app from Windows 7, but it’s outdated and doesn’t integrate with Metro and the Live Tiles. No fear, as we have a solution for you in the Windows Store. Sticky Tiles lets you place quick stick notes of various colors on your start screen for a quick reminder. You can add as many colorful notes you want to your Start screen, with each tiles either large or small.
DescriptionPost Notes, To Do Lists, Reminders etc. as Tiles on your Start Screen. Then, you can just glance at the tiles to get the information you care about in one place.Choose a size, Select a type, Pick a color, Jot down the data, Pin!
Rearrange, Resize, Group, Unpin the Sticky Tiles just like the other App Tiles on Start Screen.
- 2 Tile sizes
- 2 Tile types
- 6 Tile colors
Download from Windows Store
Greetings again! Today, let’s take a quick look at the state of the wave one of Xbox LIVE games on Windows 8. Microsoft has promised about 40 Xbox LIVE games to become available on Windows 8 in what they are calling the “first Wave”. Recall that Xbox LIVE games on Windows 8 are games that connect to the Xbox LIVE service and integrates with gamertags, gamerscore, achievements, leaderboards, and, optionally, multiplayer. Unlike games for the Xbox 360, multiplayer feature on Xbox games on Windows 8 does not require you to have a paid “Gold” account.
Microsoft didn’t promise that all of the 40 games would be available on the day of Windows 8 launch on October 26th, but they did tell us to expect them to be released slowly throughout and beyond the holiday season. We had few Xbox LIVE games for Windows 8 before the OS launched to the public, and even more arrived to make it to the October launch date. More have been coming in post launch. Let’s take a look at where we are today.
We are just over half way there, folks! At the time of this writing, we have 21 Xbox LIVE games available for Windows 8. Below is a list of all the Xbox LIVE games that have been announced. I have linked to the ones that where actually released. Those that are not hyper-linked are not yet released to the public. When they are released, though, we will blog about them in future posts. I will not go in detail of each of the games because that would be way too long for one post. Rather, clicking on the hyperlink should take you to the app listing page where you can read the descriptions, features, and view screenshots. We will try to cover some of the games individually in future blog posts, so stay tuned for those. For now, here is the list!
Xbox LIVE Games Available for Download
- 4 Elements II Special Edition
- Adera: Episode 1
- Angry Birds (Star Wars)
- Angry Birds Space
- Cut the Rope
- Fruit Ninja
- Gravity Guy
- Hydro Thunder Hurricane
- IloMilo (Plus)
- iStunt 2
- Jetpack Joyride
- Microsoft Mahjong
- Microsoft Minesweeper
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection
- Monster Island
- Pinball FX 2
- Reckless Racing Ultimate
- Rocket Riot 3D
- Shark Dash
Xbox LIVE Games Not Yet Released
- A World of Keflings
- Adera: Episode 2
- Adera: Episode 3
- Big Buck Hunter Pro
- BlazBlue Calamity Trigger
- Collateral Damage
- Crash Course GO
- Disney Fairies
- Dragon’s Lair
- Field & Stream Fishing
- Gunstringer: Dead Man Running
- Kinectimals Unleashed
- PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX
- Shuffle Party
- Skulls of the Shogun
- Team Crossword
- The Harvest HD
- Toy Soldiers Cold War
Well, there you have it. We hope to see the rest of the games to come along soon, but at the rate it is going, it will be a while. But nevertheless, let’s enjoy what we have now!
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).
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StarChart
Visit the Star Chart website: http://www.starchart.info
View Star Chart tours: http://www.starchart.tv
Follow Star Chart on Twitter: StarChartApp – twitter.com/StarChartApp
Also follow our latest developments: twitter.com/EscapistGames
- 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
Whether you are a Half-Life fan or have never played Half-Life you are in for a treat. Today marks the day Black Mesa is released to the world. Black Mesa is a complete remake, with hugely improved graphics, original new sounds, and new voices, of the famous Half-Life, that was released in the late 90′s. Half-Life was a revolution in first person shooters and gaming in general, introducing new ways of integrating story in a first person shooter games. When I go back and play the old game, I keep realizing just how impressive the game, even today, is. Continue reading