Goodbye Fake Facebook Apps — Microsoft Will Finally Police Fake Misleading Apps

I want to throw my arms up and cheer! Finally, the days of searching for Facebook and finding dozens of fake Facebook apps are hopefully behind us. Microsoft is finally making it against the Windows Store policy to make apps that are titled and have tiles to mislead customers into thinking it is an official popular app or game. Continue reading

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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

[Deal Over] Free for a Limited Time — Xbox Title Rabbits Big Bang on Windows Store

Rabbids Big Bang Store Pic 1

Update: The Deal is Officially Over

As part of the weekly red stripe deals, an Xbox title for Windows 8 is downloadable for free from the Windows Store. It is called Rabbits Bing Bang. It’s a puzzle game and worth checking out!.

Here’s the neat part: this game is available in many languages! Here are the languages it supports: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian. 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

Windows Store 3.0 – A Major Upgrade (with Screenshots)

Microsoft unveiled a nice surprise at its 2014 build conference: the third major upgrade to the Windows Store! Windows Store was introduced on Windows 8.0 as a software distribution platform. It received a major upgrade that drastically improved its usability with the launch of Windows 8.1. However, Microsoft still didn’t go far enough to make the browsing the Store a pleasant experience as it is in competing platforms. Although there were minor UI enhancements since the launch of Windows 8.1, the third upgrade to the Store truly brings it on par with the app stores of iOS and Android. I am very excited for this and I hope you are too. So let’s see what’s new! Continue reading

The Future of Software — Freemium and Subscriptions

Compact Disc

The business model for software has seen tremendous change in the last decade. Gone are the days of buying software in large boxes from retail store for a hefty price. Gone are the days when you needed to pay nearly as much to receive updates to the software you purchased. For instance, in the past, if you payed $50 for a version 1 of a software, you were expected to pay another $50 for version 2. In many instances, “upgrade” prices would slightly reduce the cost of the new version, but not by much. Today, with a few exception, that is not how it works. Only a few big name software has been able to hold on to the tradition, namely Microsoft Office and, until recently, Adobe Creative Suite. But even these software makers are moving away from the old model. We are truly moving to a new era in software business. Continue reading

Windows 8.1 Update 1: Multi-Window Taskbar Thumbnails for Windows Store (Metro) Apps

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

Windows Store UI Updated With Top Categories and Subcategories

Windows Store Logo

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

App Highlight: Podscout for your Podcast addiction

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Preview and Install

Are you in a shopping mode for a good Podcast App in the Windows Store? Well, look no further as we bring you another awesome app for your Podcast needs. Podscout promise to bridge your information world by bringing you the best of Internet News media, all collated for you for easy access.

Podscout is a full featured Podcast app with the following description and features:

Description

podscout has the most significant features for an ambitious podcast audience.

Subscribe your favorite podcasts by searching in popular catalogs like iTunes and gPodder or easily adding a podcast feed URL. Dependent on your settings. podscout updates the subscriptions and downloads the latest episodes automatically. So you can play episodes online and offline.

podscout is not only a simple media player to stream video and audio podcasts. podscout further supports stepping through chapters, reading shownotes and play episodes to other devices. podscout brings a sleep timer to pause the playback after specific time span and keeps playback position even after suspending the app.

With podscout you can back up your subscription database to SkyDrive and restore them on other devices. You can easily share your subscriptions and episodes through the Windows share charm.

With background audio playback capability podscout enables you to listening podcasts while working on Windows 8.

The app supports a trial mode. While in trial mode, the app display ads. If the trial mode expires, the app will not start anymore and the user has the ability to purchase the app.

Features

  • optimized for Windows 8.1
  • search podcasts through iTunes and gPodder
  • manage Subscriptions and easily browse through Episodes
  • adjust Settings for each Subscription
  • step through Chapters if local media or podcast feed supports it
  • read Shownotes in web view if podcast feed supports it
  • use background audio playback capability
  • play to other devices (DLNA)
  • watch videos on full screen
  • backup and restore the Subscription database with SkyDrive
  • share Subscriptions and Episodes through the Windows charms bar
  • use sleep timer to automatically pause the playback
  • add Secondary Live Tiles with badge notifications for each Subscription

And here are few more screenshots to whet your appetite:

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Podscout gives you a chance to test out the app for 15 days of trial period. If that is not enough to convince you, then I don’t know what will. Let op, a long period of trial period is an attestation of the confidence of the Developers that you will love the App so much you’ll purchase it. For $5.00, we are sure the app is worth your every cent.

Download the app now via the Source link below.

Source: Windows Store

Microsoft Updates Windows Store to Show Really Large Screenshots

Microsoft has quietly updated the Windows Store in Windows 8.1. The update is server side. That is, you will not need to update your operating system to see the changes; it is automatically available for all users of Windows 8.1. What is the update, you might ask? Basically, the screenshots in the app landing page are huge! It actually looks pretty nice. Before this update, the screenshots were much smaller, and you could see more of the panoramic view of the Store. But now, with the much larger screenshots, most of your screen is used by the app screenshots.

Here are some screenshots. Note that the resolution is 1920 by 1080. Before the update, I observed the app screenshots to be much smaller and I could see more stuff on screen than I can now.

Flixter App Landing Page

Windows Store Large Image

McAkins Online App Landing Page

McAkins Online App Updated With Improved UI

McAkins Tile Wide v2

Preview and Install

Hi folks! It’s Nazmus here, reporting to you that we have updated the official McAkins Online app. The update (now at version 1.1.0.3) is in certification with Microsoft and should be rolling out to you in the next few days. If you are running Windows 8.1, you will get the latest version automatically. If you are on Windows 8 or have turned off automatic app updates in Windows 8.1, you will need to manually update this app from the Store.

So what’s in this new update?

The most noticeable thing is the new look and feel. The app sports a cleaner, more beautiful design. The colors are pleasing to the eye and the entire design follows the Windows 8 design language. Gone are the gradients and unnecessary clutter!

The new update sports a new tile design that look cleaner and fits right in with your Start Screen! The tiles are live, so you will be notified of your latest posts without even having to open the app!

We fixed several annoying bugs, including the NaN bug that prevented content from showing up on the home page. We also made some performance improvements.

Check out the screenshots below to see what the new version looks like.

Help & Tips Explore Great Windows Apps and Games Xbox Games for Windows Playing a Video

[OBSOLETE] We Have Found a Solution to the Refresh and Reset Problem in Windows 8.1!

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Windows Blue

Warning! This solution doesn’t fully work and is now obsolete!!! We have a newer, easier, and more reliable solution that does work and have been tested multiple times with success! Please see the new article on how to download a Windows 8.1 ISO using you Windows 8.0 retail product key. http://mcakins.com/2013/10/19/download-windows-8-1-iso-using-you-windows-8-0-key/

I am very excited to share with you guys that my efforts to find a solution to the frustrating refresh and reset problem in Windows 8.1 has not been fruitless. As you may now, we have blogged earlier that if you upgrade your retail copy of Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 using the Windows Store, you will loose the ability to refresh or reset. Well, I have good news for you, as I have discovered one way to regain the functionality in your Windows 8.1 install!

As you may recall from the previous blog post, when you upgrade to Windows 8.1, you cannot refresh or reset your PC due to missing installation files. To make matters worse, Microsoft stubbornly refuses to provide any ISO image or recovery files to go along with the Windows Store upgrade. However, the good news is that Microsoft is providing an ISO of Windows 8.1 to any users for free. This ISO is the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation for IT professionals. And because all Windows 8 ISOs contains the files necessary to install any edition of Windows, you can use the Enterprise evaluation ISO to refresh or reset your Windows 8.1 PC!

Please follow the steps to restore the refresh and reset functionality to Windows 8.1

Tutorial Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Step 1: Download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation ISO

Please go to the following link to download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise ISO. Remember, you MUST download the version (32-bits or 64-bits) that match your current install of Windows 8.1!

Download link: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/hh699156.aspx?CR_CC=200320080

If you are using 64-bit Windows 8.1, download the 64-bit version of the evaluation. If you are using 32-bit version of Windows 8.1, then download the 32-bit version of the evaluation. If you don’t do this, it will NOT work.

Step 2: Mount the ISO Image

Right-click on the ISO image you downloaded and click “Mount”. Then, open “My Computer” aka “This PC” and double click on the ISO image you mounted.

Mounting ISO

Step 3: Locate and Copy Install.wim

Once you have double clicked on the mounted ISO image from “My Computer” aka “This PC”, go to the “Sources” folder. In that folder locate a file called “install.wim”. Right-click on it and click “Copy” to copy the file to the clipboard.

Finding Install.wim

Step 4: Setup the Refresh Folder

Open “This PC” and go to the C drive. There, create a new folder called Win8 (You can call it whatever you want, actually. Just remember to replace ‘Win8′ with the name you have given it in the steps below).

Paste the Install.wim file you copied earlier in this folder.

Pasting Install.wim

Step 5: Some Command Prompt Magic

Open the search charm and type “CMD.exe”. Do not press enter. Right-click on the first result you get below the search box and choose “Run as Administrator”.

Once a Command Prompt window opens, type the following commands:

reagentc.exe /setosimage /path C:\Win8 /target c:\Windows /Index 1

That is all you have to type. Press enter.

It should say:

Directory set to: \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\hardisk0\partition2\Win8

REAGENTIC.EXE: Operation Successful.

C:\Windows\system32>

Please replace “Win8″ if you named that folder something else. Also, if your copy of Windows is installed on a different lettered drive, replace the letter c with the appropriate letter in “C:\”.

Step 6: Refresh or reset your PC from PC settings

Now, whenever your PC is not running well, you can use the refresh and reset functionality in PC Settings.

For more information on how to do this, please see this Microsoft support article: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/restore-refresh-reset-pc

Refresh or Reset Windows 8.1

Concluding Thoughts

Since Microsoft failed to provide a proper solution to this problem, we as the community must help each other out. I really hope this helps you solve the refresh/reset problem in Windows 8.1. If you have any questions whatsoever, please leave a comment below. I will try to get back to you as soon as I can Inshallah (God Willing).

Helpful Links

Instructions on how to Reset and Refresh Windows 8 without DVD from our friends at IntoWindows

http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-reset-or-refresh-windows-8-without-dvd/

Download Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/hh699156.aspx?CR_CC=200320080

Warning! If You Upgrade to Windows 8.1 Through Windows Store, You May Loose The Ability to Refresh and Reset

Ready to Refresh Windows 8 (1)

I am reporting to you with a very important precaution for anyone who has Windows 8 retail and is planning to upgrade to Window 8.1 for free through the Windows Store. This is serious because you may loose the ability to refresh or reset Windows once you do the upgrade, and there is no easy way to fix this, currently. This applies to every one who bought and installed a retail copy of Windows 8 (including those who took advantage of the $40 upgrade offer).

Here’s a quick background on what the reset and refresh functionality is. Basically, it is a “push-button” reinstallation of Windows. The refresh option allows you to reinstall Windows while keeping your files and settings intact, and the reset option allows you to do a easy, once-click, clean install of Windows. This feature is very important, as you might need to reinstall your OS if you are experiencing slowdowns or are infected by a computer virus.

If you have purchased and installed a retail copy of Windows 8 and have upgraded to Windows 8.1, you have essentially lost this crucial feature, Please see below for details on this. Below, please refer to the scenario that applies to you. You either upgraded to Windows 8 electronically or used an upgrade DVD or ISO.

If You Installed Windows 8 Electronically from Windows.com

Many have installed Windows 8 electronically from Microsoft. This includes many who took advantage of the $40 upgrade offer. If you have done this, the web installer created an ESD file on your hard drive that allowed you to refresh or reset your Windows 8 PC.

The ESD file is located in a hidden ESD folder on your main drive (usually the C drive). It is a few gigabytes in size and provides all the necessary files needed to reset or refresh you PC at anytime you needed. See the image below:

Windows ESD files to refresh and reset (3)

You were also given the option to delete the ESD file using Disk Cleanup if you wanted to free up some disk space, but that would mean you would loose the ability to refresh or reset.

Windows ESD Installation file in Disk Cleanup

After You Install Windows 8.1 Through the Windows Store

When you upgrade to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store, you are not provided with an updated ESD file. Windows 8.1 cannot use the original Windows 8.0 ESD file to reset or refresh. As such, if you attempt to refresh or reset Windows 8.1, you will see this error message, asking you for the Install media. However, you were never provided the install media and you are stuck! Please see the image below:

Insert Media to Reset or Refresh

If You Installed Windows 8 from a DVD or ISO Image

You might have purchased a Windows 8 upgrade DVD from a retailer. Alternatively, you might have purchased Windows 8 upgrade electronically from Microsoft, but, instead, you might have created an ISO image, burned it to disk and installed it from there. In either case, the following applies to you.

Windows 8 installations that were done through the DVD or ISO can only refresh or reset using the DVD or USB drive containing the installation files. When you need to reset or refresh Windows 8, you will first need to insert the Installation media in your drive and then reset or refresh your PC from PC settings.

After You Install Windows 8.1 Through the Windows Store

When you upgrade to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store, you essentially get a brand new OS. Therefore, you can’t use your original Windows 8.0 install media to reset or refresh Windows 8.1 if you ever need to. Even if you have your original Windows 8 install media in the drive, you will get an error message when you attempt to refresh or reset your PC, asking you to provide the install media. However, you were never provided the install media and you are stuck! Please see the image below:

Insert Media to Reset or Refresh

Final Thoughts

If you care about being able to refresh or reset your PC for any reason, I suggest you do not yet upgrade to Windows 8.1 until Microsoft comes out with a fix or the community finds a solution to this problem. Of course, one solution is to give Microsoft over a hundred dollars to get a Windows 8.1 DVD, with which you can refresh or reset, but that is not a pleasant solution. We’ll keep you posted when a solution arrives, God Willing.

Windows 8.1 GA Sneak Peek — Windows 8.1 Apps on the Windows 8 Store

At the general availability of Windows 8.1 on October 18, new apps will flush into the store. Many of these apps are exclusive to Windows 8.1 and are not compatible with Windows 8.0. But how will Windows 8 users see these exclusive Windows 8.1 apps? As it turns out, Windows 8 users can, indeed, see Windows 8.1 apps on the Windows 8 store.

When Windows 8.1 launches, exclusive Windows 8.1 apps will be listed in the Windows 8.0 store with a big banner asking them to update to the new OS if they want to take advantage of the app. This is what it will look like.

8.1 app on Windows 8

 

As you can see, Movie Moments is an app incompatible with Windows 8. Therefore, users of Windows 8 still see the app on the Windows Store, but rather than an Install button, they have a button that takes them to the Windows 8.1 download page. Microsoft wants to do the best they can in order to promote the new OS as well as get users to the latest version so that developers can target more customers while taking advantage of the latest features and APIs of Windows 8.1.

Source: BUILD 2013

Windows 8.1 May Have Featured App Showcase on the Start Screen

We all are anxiously waiting for the general availability of Windows 8.1 on October the 18th. We are hoping that we will also see some influx of new apps designed for Windows 8.1 and apps that Microsoft has promised us in the 2013 BUILD conference, namely Facebook and Flipboard. Another thing we might find in GA of Windows 8.1 is a new presentation of featured apps on the Start Screen.

The new Windows (8.1)

If you see the image above (acquired from the Windows Website), you will notice that the Store Tile features a more prominent live tile. In Windows 8.0, the Windows Store tile was a live tile, but it would only show the number of app updates available. In Windows 8.1, it appears that the Windows Store is showing featured apps that users can download. You may already know that the RTM version of the Windows 8.1 allows you to set the Store tile to large, and on the picture above, it makes sense as to why one would want to do this. It seems that if you set the tile to large, you can see a collection of featured apps that Microsoft recommends.

Of course, if you choose to do so, you can turn off the live tile for Windows Store, or make it a small tile. You can also unpin a tile, as before. I am personally very excited for this feature, as it allows me to see new editorial app pics without having to launch the Windows Store. Secondly, it looks kind of nice. What do you think? If you are already running Windows 8.1 RTM, let us know if this feature is already available to you.

Update: This feature is not yet available in the RTM release that has been provided to MSDN and TechNet subscribers (as well as Dreamspark Premium users). It is very likely that it is part of the massive post-RTM updates that is coming before GA. All current RTM users will be able to download the updates from Windows Update for free in the near future.