Windows 8.1 Update 1, a small evolutionary update to the controversial operating system from Microsoft, has leaked ahead of its official March release. The update 1 is squarely aimed at desktop users, with enhancements made to lessen the gestural actions that don’t make sense for people using Windows 8 with a keyboard/mouse combination. New mouse-focused context menus, search and power/shutdown buttons on the lock screen and the ability to add metro apps to the taskbar are some of the notable changes in Update 1. This sets the stage for the next version of Windows codenamed “Threshold” which will be detailed at the Build developer event in April and released to OEMs sometime next year.
Motorola Moto G, the most highly awaited launch for the company here in India, just got more credibility with the leak of the list of Motorola Service Centers in India. This leak comes at a crucial time, just ahead of the February 5th launch Motorola has planned for releasing this device in India. The service center list is straight from the Motorola Mobility website, which lends a lot of credibility to the list, apart from it being Moto branded and all. A huge amount of doubt prevailed on how Moto was planning to bring back the distribution and service channels it abandoned, when it left the country years back, but now we are starting to see the details. The image above shows you just a glimpse of the list, which you can download as a PDF here –
Download the list of Motorola Mobility service centers in India (FoneArena can independently confirm that the list is real)
Grand Theft Auto is possibly one of the most controversial yet celebrated game franchises in the history of gamerkind. The company behind the series, Rockstar games, started releasing, or letting others port its games over to mobile platforms like iOS and Android. GTA III and Vice City released on both the platforms while availability still evaded the third ecosystem – Windows Phone. But when the company announced San Andreas for mobile, Windows Phone was surprisingly in the mix of platforms supported. Keeping up that promise, the company, through Wardrum studios which developed the iOS and Android versions, has made the game available on the Windows Phone store. However, the game is listed to support only a select few devices at the moment and costs a cool 6.99 USD. Head past the break for more details, and here is a gameplay video of us playing GTA San Andreas on a mobile platform –
Yahoo’s mission for today’s CES 2014 keynote was literally this – simplifying daily habits. One of them, according to Marissa Mayer, CEO, was daily news and the way we consume it. It’s a total information overload, with multiple news sources reporting the same news, according to Yahoo, so to fix that, they have announced a new app for the iPhone, called the Yahoo News Digest. This is basically the result of the Summly acquisition that happened during March last year, because the resulting app is striking and beautiful, very much like Summly, the very unique news summarizing app that was. Nick, Summly’s founder who got acquired by Yahoo in the process, demoed the new app, based on the same principles of news collection and short summaries that made Summly popular, but this takes that concept further.
After a long wait, the Xbox team at Microsoft has finally released of Xbox Video and a separate Xbox Music app for Windows Phone 8. It’s been long since the Zune brand was shunned and its services morphed into Xbox Music and Video, but Windows Phone 8 released only with Music functionality, and there was no video rentals or downloads. We now have two separate apps, one for Xbox Music which works only with a Music pass, much like a Spotify client and Xbox Video, which finally allows you to download or stream videos from the service full of TV shows and Movies. Currently it doesn’t offer HD playback either, so that’s a bummer, considering the fact that the Lumia 1520 just released and is perfect for watching movies. In the build up to separately updated apps for the platform moving forward to 8.1, these apps come as a much needed release for Windows Phone currently.
Subway Surfers is an extremely popular endless running game, set in an urban landscape with trains and tunnels and all you have to do is, get away from a security guard and his dog. This game has been in the spotlight for the past two years for its addictive gameplay. It initially debuted on the iPhone and then eventually Android where the popularity exploded. Now this game has finally arrived for the third ecosystem – Windows Phone. The game, usually seen as a must have for some people, was one of the things I personally missed when using Windows Phone. Of course, it was not a deal breaker, because it’s just a game, but the lack of it certainly proved costly for the ecosystem, but finally it’s here. Without further ado – download it from the link below.
Subway Surfers on Windows Phone Store – Only for 1 GB RAM devices, 512 MB support coming soon.
Tomb Raider, the highly acclaimed adventure video game franchise featuring the popular fictional character – Lara Croft as the protagonist, is now available on mobile, starting with the first and original Tomb Raider game. It is available for 0.99$ on the New Zealand iOS app store, with a universal binary for both iPhone and iPad and we hope to see it roll out to other countries real soon. The adventure game, where you play as Lara Croft, was initially seen as an adaption of the famous Indiana Jones movie franchise, but with a feminine twist. The original game features puzzles that need to be solved, creatures that need to be fought to ultimately attain a mysterious and powerful artefact. The game is controlled by virtual sticks and buttons, bringing back controls from the mid 90s, the time at which it released on the Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn and the PC.
Truecaller, a really popular phone book/caller ID application, is hugely popular in India. Taking advantage of the user base here, the company has announced a partnership with Twitter for an unique integration into its app. Users can now tweet or follow their contacts, or any number associated with a Twitter account, right from inside the Truecaller app. This unique integration is even more special, as it starts its roll out for Android users, first in India. In a bid to increase engagement, Twitter seems to have handed over its private APIs for accessing stored mobile numbers to Truecaller, as a part of this partnership, so that they can use it for this integration, again, starting with India. This is a genius move for courting the vast number of Truecaller users to Twitter, which is already gaining huge popularity in the country with sports, politics and Bollywood topics being the rage. The update also brings a clean new design and is immediately available for Android, with the iOS version slated for a 2014 release, with no solid dates for other platforms.
Instagram, the popular photo sharing network known for its huge user base and getting acquired by Facebook, today released a new feature called Instagram Direct. The uber popular app has finally received private messaging with the ability to send photos, videos and even text to an instagram user or just your own list of people. This is a bid to take on popular messaging apps like Whatsapp and Snapchat which have offered users with sharing personal pictures, with the latter even offering timed photos. With reports of failed acquisition attempts of Snapchat by Facebook, we had initially thought if this involved the parent company, but doesn’t look like it. True to their initial promise, Instagram is still independent, but has only gained a business model in ads. The update enabling Instagram Direct is immediately available for Android and iOS while the official blog reminds us that the Windows Phone client is still a beta.
Here’s a nicely made video showcasing Instagram Direct –
Download it here –
Visual Supply Co, a firm known for making tools for creators is the maker of the VSCO Cam app for iOS. The app is popular for its minimalistic UI and ultra-real film filters that professional photographers want on a mobile device. After a long wait, it is finally coming to Android tomorrow. The folks at VSCO have announced this at their blog with a small teaser video featuring the Android app, watch it here –
Update: Now available for download!
Remember the Nokia Music app and service that launched along with the first Lumia devices? Well, that’s now rechristened as Nokia MixRadio as the service has evolved from an a-la-carte store to a streaming service, most notably with its Windows app. The Mix Radio experience is more in line with current demands of music discovery and free streaming, like Pandora and Spotify. Well, technically, it requires a music unlimited subscription that comes with most of the Lumia devices that are on sale today, but you get the personalized radio service now, which aims to be much better than the Mix Radio offering that was offered before.
Easily the most awaited app launch for Windows Phone is here. Yes, Instagram is now available for download on the Windows Phone 8 platform. It has been conveniently labeled a “BETA” as it most definitely lacks video support at launch, but if the developers at Instagram are to be believed, the new feature are coming in fast, so there’s no reason to worry. Just ahead of the holiday season, it’s good that Windows Phone finally has the most wanted app, even though in a public BETA, on it’s store.
As if Moto G wasn’t enough of an indication that Google and its subsidiary Motorola are working closely, today the company announced that its Flagship product – Moto X will be getting an update to Android 4.4 KitKat. This is only for Verizon Wireless customers who have bought the Moto X, but it still is way ahead of the KitKat OTA update that has been evading the Nexus devices so far. The Moto X is a neat little device that runs on stock Android, with a couple of hardware related enhancements like the always listening Google Now and the fact that it is now getting all the Android 4.4 KitKat goodness is a nice gesture from Google/Motorola.
Talking Tom, the insanely popular app that kids loved, has now got its own “My Talking Tom” app that lets your pet and grow Tom the cat, hence validating the name. The previous versions only involved playing around with the cat which talks back to you in a hilarious voice but now it’s more of a pet simulation like Kinectimals where a kitten grows into your own cat, with lots of customization options to make it personal. The app is, unsurprisingly, available for iOS and Android, and for the first time, it is officially available on Windows Phone too, on the same day. Download My Talking here –
Gameloft’s GT Racing sequel has been a long time coming. The franchise, starting with the GT Racing: Motor Academy, opened with impressive graphics and over 45 million downloads for its time, but looks like it’s finally time to step up the ante. The sequel features better graphics and even more cars with official licenses. The game has been undergoing some intense beta testing in a couple of markets and a lot of changes have been made to accommodate fixes and even enhancements to the game. GT Racing 2 is all set to go live on the App Store and Google Play sometime around tomorrow noon, but what if you wanted early access to the game? What if you want to show off to your friends that you were one of the world’s first to get your hands on this game? Well, we have just the right answer for you.