Tag Archives: Insider

Store app updates point to zero-point Insider rings

week ago, we reported on the intention by Microsoft to stop compiling new Insiders ring development builds for Windows 10 Mobile. Effectively, from now on we just have the monthly security and bug fix updates for the OS. However, UWP application updates, not least for all Microsoft’s own applications will continue apace. And talking of app updates, the last few days have also shown another important trend moving away from Insiders builds – they’ve been used in the past to trial new versions of the likes of Skype, Outlook and Office apps, but it seems like these will now be pushed to production status handsets instead. And, curiously, only production.

Admittedly I’m conjecturing here, but I have a pretty major data point – the Microsoft Store application itself. The version number on my ‘Fast’ ring status handsets (shown below, left, on my Lumia 950 XL) is five builds (and two real world updates) older than the Store version on my (now) production status IDOL 4 Pro (below, right):

ScreenshotScreenshot

(The intermediate build was .13.0, in case you were wondering) Now, it’s true that there are no visible changes between the two minor versions, but there will have been bug fixes and it’s the cutting edge of the new trend, I think. 

My advice a week ago was to ‘Stop Insider builds’ on phones which had previously been left on the ‘Fast’ ring, if ony to hoover up new application updates, but it seems that this may not still be the best option. Leaving the Insiders programme on each phone may well result in newer applications and, hopefully, new features and less bugs. 

When you opt to ‘Stop Insider Builds’ (in Settings), the option to go for is ‘Keep giving me builds until the next Windows release’. This puts you back on track to pick up the monthly Windows 10 Mobile branch releases when they exceed the build number of whatever your device is currently on. And, yes, it lets the Store application know that your phone is now ‘production’ again, letting it pick up – ironically, in this case – a new version of itself!

Interesting times, though the pace of application development (if not the core mobile OS) is still impressive and not a day goes by without multiple app updates to core Microsoft phone properties.

Comments welcome – have you spotted any more major applications with newer versions on ‘production’ status phones than ‘Insiders’ devices?

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

All About Windows Phone

Store app updates point to zero-point Insider rings

week ago, we reported on the intention by Microsoft to stop compiling new Insiders ring development builds for Windows 10 Mobile. Effectively, from now on we just have the monthly security and bug fix updates for the OS. However, UWP application updates, not least for all Microsoft’s own applications will continue apace. And talking of app updates, the last few days have also shown another important trend moving away from Insiders builds – they’ve been used in the past to trial new versions of the likes of Skype, Outlook and Office apps, but it seems like these will now be pushed to production status handsets instead. And, curiously, only production.

Admittedly I’m conjecturing here, but I have a pretty major data point – the Microsoft Store application itself. The version number on my ‘Fast’ ring status handsets (shown below, left, on my Lumia 950 XL) is five builds (and two real world updates) older than the Store version on my (now) production status IDOL 4 Pro (below, right):

ScreenshotScreenshot

(The intermediate build was .13.0, in case you were wondering) Now, it’s true that there are no visible changes between the two minor versions, but there will have been bug fixes and it’s the cutting edge of the new trend, I think. 

My advice a week ago was to ‘Stop Insider builds’ on phones which had previously been left on the ‘Fast’ ring, if ony to hoover up new application updates, but it seems that this may not still be the best option. Leaving the Insiders programme on each phone may well result in newer applications and, hopefully, new features and less bugs. 

When you opt to ‘Stop Insider Builds’ (in Settings), the option to go for is ‘Keep giving me builds until the next Windows release’. This puts you back on track to pick up the monthly Windows 10 Mobile branch releases when they exceed the build number of whatever your device is currently on. And, yes, it lets the Store application know that your phone is now ‘production’ again, letting it pick up – ironically, in this case – a new version of itself!

Interesting times, though the pace of application development (if not the core mobile OS) is still impressive and not a day goes by without multiple app updates to core Microsoft phone properties.

Comments welcome – have you spotted any more major applications with newer versions on ‘production’ status phones than ‘Insiders’ devices?

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

All About Windows Phone

Store app updates point to zero-point Insider rings

week ago, we reported on the intention by Microsoft to stop compiling new Insiders ring development builds for Windows 10 Mobile. Effectively, from now on we just have the monthly security and bug fix updates for the OS. However, UWP application updates, not least for all Microsoft’s own applications will continue apace. And talking of app updates, the last few days have also shown another important trend moving away from Insiders builds – they’ve been used in the past to trial new versions of the likes of Skype, Outlook and Office apps, but it seems like these will now be pushed to production status handsets instead. And, curiously, only production.

Admittedly I’m conjecturing here, but I have a pretty major data point – the Microsoft Store application itself. The version number on my ‘Fast’ ring status handsets (shown below, left, on my Lumia 950 XL) is five builds (and two real world updates) older than the Store version on my (now) production status IDOL 4 Pro (below, right):

ScreenshotScreenshot

(The intermediate build was .13.0, in case you were wondering) Now, it’s true that there are no visible changes between the two minor versions, but there will have been bug fixes and it’s the cutting edge of the new trend, I think. 

My advice a week ago was to ‘Stop Insider builds’ on phones which had previously been left on the ‘Fast’ ring, if ony to hoover up new application updates, but it seems that this may not still be the best option. Leaving the Insiders programme on each phone may well result in newer applications and, hopefully, new features and less bugs. 

When you opt to ‘Stop Insider Builds’ (in Settings), the option to go for is ‘Keep giving me builds until the next Windows release’. This puts you back on track to pick up the monthly Windows 10 Mobile branch releases when they exceed the build number of whatever your device is currently on. And, yes, it lets the Store application know that your phone is now ‘production’ again, letting it pick up – ironically, in this case – a new version of itself!

Interesting times, though the pace of application development (if not the core mobile OS) is still impressive and not a day goes by without multiple app updates to core Microsoft phone properties.

Comments welcome – have you spotted any more major applications with newer versions on ‘production’ status phones than ‘Insiders’ devices?

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

All About Windows Phone

Pocketnow Insider: what’s in Taylor Martin’s bag?

I’ve tried being a minimalist … more than once.

It just doesn’t jive with my personality. I like to have all my things within reach at any time. I carry two smartphones – one Android and one iOS – for that very reason. I don’t like to be without the things I need; therefore, I need a big bag with lots of organization to keep my daily carry from being a total disaster inside.

This year, I’ve instilled a great deal of organization in my life and, thus, my bag. I’ve tried to cut down to the things I frequently need, not just the things I want to have near me.

I’m really bad at this organization thing, but I’ve done my best.

Carrying a lot of gear sort of comes with the territory for someone in my line of work. On any given day, I might need multiple phones, a tablet, a camera, and a laptop. All of those things need to stay charged, so I need cables – lots of cables – and AC adapters. And, well, the result is a bag that’s usually packed to the brim.

What’s in my bag? Take a look below to see for yourself!

 

The bag

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I used to have a problem with bags. I still own a lot, but I no longer buy a new bag every few weeks, nor do I switch bags anymore.

in-my-bag-2

in-my-bag-1I did some research, asked for some advice, and finally pulled the trigger on the nicest bag I’ve ever owned. I needed something with lots of space, lots of pockets, and it needed to be made of quality material. I picked the perfect bag: the booq Boa shift.

The laptop pocket, which holds up to 17-inch laptops, is heavily padded, it has a quick-release keychain holder, and a giant main pocket with lots of sleeves and overlapping pockets. It’s water-resistant and even comes with a tiny little man-purse to hold my little trinkets.

At $ 150, it was a tough bullet to bite, but I have no regrets. You can’t go cheap if you want to take care of your expensive gear.

 

Devices

As a guy to reviews mobile devices, you can find a wide array of devices in my bag on different days.

in-my-bag-devicesFor instance, in the last two weeks you might have found a LG Lucid 3, Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2, Nokia Lumia Icon, Oppo Find 7a, and the LG G2. But the devices I carry every day are much more predictable. You’ll find an iPad mini with a (RED) edition Smart Cover and a ZAGGkeys Cover, alongside a Verizon iPhone 5 and HTC One M8 for T-Mobile, as well.

In the back pocket, there’s a early 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina display, and I carry a Sony NEX-5N daily with a kit lens, Sigma 19mm f/2.8 lens, and a spare battery.

 

Peripherals, chargers, and accessories

in-my-bag-cables

This is where I go a little crazy, because there are few things in this world I hate more than dead batteries. I typically carry six full-length microUSB cables, one Lightning, and one Pebble charging cable. My favorite cables, however, are the short cables I have accrued over the years. I have a Nomad ChargeKey (Lightning), a Kero microUSB cable, and a short Jawbone microUSB cable. I keep all the longer cables tangle-free using Nite Ize Gear Ties (glorified and overpriced twist ties), and they’re incredible.

in-my-bag-chargers

in-my-bag-headphonesThere is also a MacBook charger with the extension cable and two USB AC adapters – one Motorola two-port 1A block and one 2.1A block. And I don’t leave the apartment without the Philips 3-outlet 2-USB surge protector.

Chargers don’t end there. (Yeah, I have a problem.) I have a Dark Energy Reservoir (8,000mAh) that I never go without and a myCharge Peak 6,000 battery packs, just in case.

I typically carry two sets on headphones every day, as well: a Bose MIE2i headset and Nokia Purity Pro active noise canceling, Bluetooth headphones.

Finally, I bring a 1.5TB Sony USB 3.0 external HDD to store large files – especially raw video footage – on. And I go nowhere without one of my favorite gadgets: a Meenova microSD card reader (the little orange square above).

 

Misc

in-my-bag-misc

Believe it or not, us tech guys need non-tech stuff, too.

For personal hygiene, I toss some Tweezerman nail clippers in the front mesh pouch, as well as a stick of Carmex lip balm.

in-my-bag-misc-2

I also carry some light tools, just in case. You’ll find a generic, extra-small screwdriver set (for swapping the bands on my Pebble) and a Kobalt screwdriver in the right side pocket. And I also toss a Gerber Dime multitool in the mesh pocket. I keep business cards (both mine and those of acquaintances) in a zip wallet, and I have a couple microfiber cloths in my bag. No one likes finger smudges.

For those rare occasions I have to write things on actual paper, I revert to the reliable Zebra F-301 (0.7mm) and a Sharpie pen. Those occasions are, however, quite rare.

Oh, and because the pollen is out of control this year in North Carolina, I carry an emergency bottle of store-brand allergy relief medicine to keep me from hating life too much during the spring and fall.

 

That about does it for all the gear in my bag. Many think it’s excessive, but I’d rather have everything I need than do without. I never have to deal with a dead battery, on any of my devices; I have tools … just in case; and everything has a dedicated space in my bag. I even have more room – in case I need to add something else to my list of daily carries – to boot.

What’s in your day bag, ladies and gents? Take to the comments to tell us about (and maybe show) us all the gear you can’t do without!


Pocketnow

Insider Q&A: Eutechnyx CEO talks emerging trends in game development, ACR Drift, and his company’s focus on F2P

Eutechnyx_1_650

With over 25 years of video game development and hits that include everything from Auto Club Revolution to NASCAR, U.K. studio Eutechnyx has switched its focus away from consoles, setting its sights squarely on mobile’s free-to-play market.

Inside Mobile Apps sat down with Eutechnyx CEO Darren Jobling to get his thoughts on the move to F2P, industry trends, and Eutechnyx’s plans for 2014, including details on their latest game, ACR Drift.

Inside Mobile Apps: Eutechnyx has been so successful on consoles and PC in the past, why did you feel like now was the right time to shift the company’s focus to mobile?

Darren Jobling: It’s a changing world out there. Back in 2010, we started off raising some money from private ventures in Amsterdam, specifically to tackle the free-to-play market. We’ve been known for our racing and driving games, but we wanted to have some variation, and we have some very passionate people who had some great ideas for mobile, so that’s how we got started. We setup a mobile division in our company and got some really, really motivated people to start working on our mobile products.

IMA: Are you still going to make console games, or is your focus now entirely on mobile?

DJ: We have NASCAR 14 going out in time for Daytona this February, and that’s PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. So we don’t see the console market going away, but instead of doing multiple console games, we’re really just concentrating on NASCAR on the console front, and then moving the other teams to mobile.

IMA: What’s been the biggest learning curve going from console games to the mobile market?

DJ: Somebody famously said, free isn’t cheap enough, and that about sums it up. It’s a very different market, a different skill set, and a different reward structure in terms of how quickly you want to get people on board. With a console game, somebody invested $ 50 in a product, so they’re quite motivated to learn everything about the game to understand it, but on mobile, if you don’t reward somebody straightaway, they’re gone and they’ve already moved on to something else. It’s a tough market, but it’s a really interesting market.

IMA: Is ACR Drift the next game you guys have coming out for mobile?

DJ: Yes. We have Auto Club Revolution, which is our free-to-play PC game, and we saw a huge opportunity to bring all of those licenses across to mobile. We have over 60 of the world’s biggest car manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes, and we wanted to bring these cars to a game where the control method was tailored specifically for mobile. We teamed up with Crooz, and these guys are one of the big players in the Japanese and Korean market, so they’re bringing their free-to-play and mobile expertise, we’re bring the driving expertise, and what we’ve come up with is ACR Drift. The game is currently in beta on iOS in Australia, and it’s been the number one, best-selling racing game. We’re looking at Q1 to release it world-wide. It’s really going to get people to sit up and take notice to what we’re doing. It’s a really cool, really simple game with incredible graphics.

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IMA: What do racing fans want in a mobile game that’s different from their desires when playing on a console?

DJ: I think everybody wants the realistic physics and great visuals, and now the bar has been set so high in racing and driving games, you need to have that to even begin to compete in the genre. You need great graphics, great physics, and great licenses, and that’s just your starting point. What we’ve done from there is taken some great locations from around the world, places like Moscow, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles, and we’ve created a game that combines some of that street racing excitement with that ease of accessibility. It’s a quick race/reward mechanic, so you don’t have to spend hours figuring out how to drive as you bounce off the barriers. You just get straight into it and get racing, then later on, it gets much harder. So it’s easy to get on board, but tough to master.

IMA: What mobile game trends do you expect to dominate the headlines in 2014?

DJ: Mobile is growing at a crazy rate, but I think we’ve only just started, especially when you look at places like Japan and see how big mobile has become out there. The rest of the world still has some catching up to do. I think what’ you’re going to start to see, though, are AAA games being produced just for mobile. So currently, you have the historical AAA games that come across from console and enter mobile, but pretty soon, you’re going to get somebody that brings those same AAA values, but makes the game mobile-native, and then that game doesn’t go anywhere else. I think as the budgets get bigger, you’re going to see more and more of these types of games exclusively on mobile.

IMA: So if someone releases a AAA game like you’re talking about, would they charge money for it, or are premium games pretty much dead from here on out?

DJ: Are paid apps dead? Possibly, but for the right game with the right content, you can still charge, but I think everything is headed to free-to-play. That’s what we saw in 2010, and it’s pretty much come to fruition.

Eutechnyx_300IMA: Beyond racing, last year you released Ninja Cats vs. Samurai Dogs, which was a surprise hit. Can we expect more games from Eutechnyx like this in the future?

DJ: It came out of left field. We had a guy from our mobile team who had it as an idea, so we worked it up as a playable demo, and when it was done, everybody really liked it. It’s one of the best reviewed games we ever made. It’s a fun little game, and for us, it was the start of a learning curve on how to approach the mobile market and how you find success on mobile. We learned a heck of a lot from that game.

IMA: Where do you guys stand on making games for Windows, and more specifically, the Surface? Obviously, iOS and Android are priorities, but it seems like Microsoft is making great strides in the tablet market.

DJ: We’re watching the space with great interest, but obviously, you can never write off Microsoft. Although they might not be successful the first time around, boy, do those guys know how to keep on going and keep on going and improve all the time.


Inside Mobile Apps

Insider Q&A: Kiwi CEO, Omar Siddiqui

Kiwi_1_650

After finishing 2013 with $ 9M in funding and three games in Google Play’s Top Grossing Charts –Shipwrecked: Lost Island (5M+ downloads), Hidden Object: Mystery Estate (1M+ downloads), Westbound (1M+ downloads) – Android-first mobile game developer Kiwi is looking for even bigger things in 2014.

Inside Mobile Apps caught up with CEO Omar Siddiui to get his thought on Android development, what it takes to stand out in the crowded app market, and why his company decided to focus on Android over iOS.

Here’s what Siddiqui had to say from his company’s Palo Alto office.

Inside Mobile Apps: Why did Kiwi decide to become an Android-first developer?

Omar Siddiqui: We saw the potential for growth that Android offered us at the time, and it was also the earlier days of Android, so it was less crowded. Another factor that became more significant over time is the pace at which you can release games on Android. It’s a huge advantage in terms of tuning your game, fine-tuning it, and making it the best you can for consumers. That really attracted us as a way of rolling out our products and making them compelling. We’re also releasing our top products on iOS, so we’re not planning on being an Android-only shop, but we found Android to be a great place to launch our products and then rapidly iterate them as we try to make them more compelling for consumers.

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IMA: What are some of the challenges developing for Android that maybe you didn’t anticipate when Kiwi first started out?

OS: Every platform presents its own challenges, but Android has actually gotten a lot better and a lot easier over the last couple of years. The developer tools have really improved. The biggest issue we face is the diversity of devices and the wide range of devices that we have to support. So for Android, if you’re going to bring your games to market, even today, we support everything from Android 2.3 and on, which means that there’s a range of devices that are running your game. This means that you need to make sure when you’re designing your game, you’re providing a good experience to people who are running it on an old device, while at the same time, you’re still taking advantage of the richness the new devices can offer. That’s definitely something you need to account for and design to right from the get go.

IMA: How difficult is it these days to just get your game noticed in such a crowded marketplace?

OS: Both iOS and Android have over 800,000 apps, so there’s no two ways about it, you need to make a great product if you want to breakthrough. At the end of the day, making a high quality product is what’s necessary if you want to get noticed on either platform. With Android, we’re really seeing a phenomenal growth both domestically and internationally, but domestically we’re not seeing as much of the volume in Android tablets in the U.S., so you’re not able to take advantage of that platform like you can on iOS with the iPad. On a relative basis, I’d say if you have a more tablet-oriented game and you’re optimizing for that type of device, the volume just isn’t there in the U.S. for Android like it is for the iPad, but that represents a huge area of opportunity and growth for Android in 2014 and on.

IMA: Kiwi is one of the few companies to have multiple products in Google Play’s Top 100 Grossing Games at the same time. Are you surprised by your company’s success with games like Shipwrecked: Lost Island and Westbound?

OS: Every game you make, you try and make sure that there’s enough stuff in it that’s special that you’ll be rewarded for it in the market. So it’s absolutely something that we planned for and it’s something that we try to hold ourselves up to a standard of. I think, obviously, being able to achieve this type of success comes from our methodology that works, and that’s what sets you up for success. This is a creative business, and there are risks with every game you launch, but the way we’ve been able to keep to our standard of launching only those games that we feel are among the best games of Android, have really led to our success. We also have all the analytics and support structure behind all of our games so that once the games are out in the market, we’re able to customize our games to the widest possible audience. You never know what people will find fun or not, but hopefully make great products and are able to get it out in front of enough people that the game is successful.

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IMA: You received $ 9M in funding last year. How do you plan to use the money to grow Kiwi in 2014?

OS: We’re going to continue to double down on what we’ve learned through the years. We’re developing story-driven games with strong characters and mechanics that are really fun for people. So in 2014, we’re looking to continue to evolve our games while continuing to hold ourselves up to a higher standard in creating immersive worlds within our games. So expect deeper stories and deeper mechanics so that even two years in, the game still feels fresh to players.

IMA: How many new titles will you launch in 2014?

OS: It’s hard for us to project because we only really launch once we are excited about a game and we’re seeing data metrics that we like, so it’s hard to hold us to a launched title number. We have the capability to build and launch four to six titles if we wanted to, but I think our focus is very much on high-quality and making sure anything we launch is held up to our standard.

IMA: When you look at mobile gaming as a whole, what trends are you seeing for 2014?

OS: I think the requirements consumers require from mobile games in order to remain loyal is going to continue to go up, so we can expect to see both deeper and higher production value games. I think we’ll also see the emergence of different types of genres and different types of games that will start to exploit mobile in ways that we haven’t seen yet. A lot of the games that have emerged have taken mechanics that have evolved on PC or in the Facebook ecosystem and applied them to mobile, and I think in the next few years, we’re going to see more and more games that are built with a mobile platform in mind … not just games applied to mobile, but games developed for mobile.

IMA: So if I’m a new developer trying to break into the Android market, what advice do you have for someone starting a new studio?

OS: Focus on finding a voice that you believe that is distinctive to you. There is a lot of cluttered product out there, but there is always room for excellence. I think it’s really important to bet on games that are not only distinctive, but are a really good reflection of what that studio wants to be amazing at. I think with that formula, anyone has the chance to breakthrough.


Inside Mobile Apps