Tag Archives: Live

(Xbox) Music gets live tile visualisations (at last)

Published by at 8:26 UTC, August 28th 2014

The Xbox Music development team are continuing to make progress (the previous update was reported on here), building in everything that used to be in the integral Windows Phone 7 music player, plus a lot more. See below for the official changelog.

From the official User Voice post:

The ninth update for the Windows Phone 8.1 Music App is now available in the store! This is a big one, and we’re happy to announce one of your most hotly anticipated features – Live Tile! Please enjoy, and as always – let us know what you think.

In version 2.6.224 you will find:

  • You can now see incredible artist art & visualizations when playing music on your LIVE TILE! Requires Update 1 (OS Version #8.10.14141 & higher)
  • Album art should show up much more reliably in all areas of the app 
  • We also fixed several significant bugs, with a focus on:
  • Performance / page loads
  • Preventing any unexpected app exits
  • Reducing our memory footprint, resulting in less app suspensions & terminations during multi-tasking
  • Addressing playlist duplication issues
  • Cleaning up Recent Plays interactions

Screenshot fragment

It all looks smooth and functional on our test Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 (DP) devices, although for all my albums ended up with just a simple animated album artist name animation, as shown above – see the User Voice link for a ‘tips’ link if you fancy messing around in Windows Media Player to embed artwork in the ‘right’ way. Most other platforms are now compatible with multiple album art schemes – why can’t Xbox Music do the same?

I did also note that the code still wasn’t 100% compiled for Windows Phone 8.1, i.e. there are still optimisations to come (watch for an editorial on this later today).

Source / Credit: User Voice

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Apps
 

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All About Windows Phone

AnTuTu 5 update goes live on Google Play

Benchmarking applications have been a hot topic as of late, as many manufacturers have cheated and gamed results, making headlines. The most popular benchmarking app out there though, is helping to thwart that by doing what it can – today, the AnTuTu 5 update has gone live in Google Play.

The AnTuTu 5 update was first covered by us, in video form and lengthy written form, back when we were able to obtain a beta version for review. Since then, the app has stabilized in a final version, and loose ends have been tied up.

We encourage you to give our previous in-depth coverage a look if you’re wondering what exactly is new in AnTuTu 5, but the gist of it is a few things: there’s now CPU single-threaded performance testing, testing with real game engines (Cocos2D and Havok Vision), an HTML 5 test, and full support for the Android Runtime (ART). This all adds up to provide for a metric that can better judge real-world performance, providing comparisons more relevant to the end user.

The AnTuTu update is now officially live on Google Play, so go check it out, download it, and let us know just how well your device performs by sharing your device’s benchmark score down below.

Source: Google Play


Pocketnow

Xbox Music animated Live Tile to return?

One of the biggest complaints that Windows and Windows Phone users have with both of these platforms, is how hot features get killed for no particular reason. Surely there must be a reason for these features to die, but you’d assume that the evolution of a platform should only make it look and perform better. Such is the case of the death of the animated Live Tile for Xbox Music, which died with the birth of Windows Phone 8, and which is rumored to make a come back.

It seems that there is a version of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 that is currently being tested in Italy, and one of the enhancements that’ll reportedly make this software update hot, is the inclusion of an animated Live Tile for Xbox Music. We sadly don’t have any information on what controls will be provided with this update, nor if we should expect this change to happen any time soon. It could also be that this feature will not make it to the final build, so we wouldn’t recommend that you cross your fingers.

Whatever the case may be, let’s hope Windows Phone continues to mature in ways that will help the platform retain its essence.

Source: WindowsBlogItalia
Via: WMPowerUser


Pocketnow

Early Samsung Gear Live owners report easily broken charger interface

Powering a smartwatch can be tricky business. Most of us aren’t used to the need to charge our (non-smart) watches weekly (if not daily), so if manufacturers want the public to embrace their products, they really need to make this chore as easy and seamless as possible. For companies like Motorola, that’s meant taking advantage of the latest wireless charging tech, while other OEMs go with a charging cradle of one form or another that physically connects to the watch. While you might think that a simple cradle would be a lot more straightforward than a wireless system (and less prone to failure), it looks like Samsung is hitting a ton of problems with what it came up with for its Gear Live, as reports of hardware failures arrive from multiple users.

The problems we’re seeing concern the clips that hold the adapter in place when connected to the Gear Live, and pictures have revealed failures both on the watch side as well as the adapter side. Efforts to get Samsung to replace damaged components have been met with frustration, though some owners have been able to turn to Google directly for support.

Besides criticizing Samsung for a charger design that’s prone to failure, users have also been complaining about how awkward the Gear Live’s charger is even when it’s working correctly. The image up top shows quite a few recent smartwatches being charged, and it’s only the Samsung (pictured on the far right) that doesn’t even come close to lying flat.

gear-live-charger-broken

Source: Markus Plänitz, Hasan Hosgel, Rory Glynn (all Google+)
Via: Android Police
Image: Artem Russakovskii (Google+)


Pocketnow

Android L developer preview source code now live in AOSP for many Nexus models

Google’s Android L release so far has differed from the norm in as many ways as possible — for one, an early developer preview version has been made available for non-public consumption until the general release comes around this fall. Now, an AOSP push has begun for the Android L developer preview source code for most Nexus devices.

To be clear, as Googler Bill Yi puts it (in the source link below), this is “not a full platform update and only for reference.” That means, yes, custom ROMs based off of this code won’t be possible quite yet.

For the devs among you, we’re sure you want to get your hands on the code as soon as possible. Download links can be found below for the LG Nexus 4 and 5, the ASUS Nexus 7 (both years, both WiFi and mobile data-supporting), and the Nexus 10.

We’re going ahead and assuming all of these devices will get their taste of Android L this fall, so if you were worried your old Nexus wouldn’t get the update, you can rest assured.

AOSP links:

Source: Android Building
Via: Android Police


Pocketnow

Apple’s 2014 Back to School promotion is now live

Apple’s historically made back-to-school promotions available for students during the summer season, and this year is no exception. There are deals to be had in the 2014 Apple Back to School promotion on iPads, iPhones, and Macs, so listen up to find out just how much you’ll be able to save.

Let’s talk iPhone first, as that’s always a hot topic among students. You’ll get a $ 50 Apple Store gift card (not the iTunes kind), with no further discount — that’s not to say that’s a bad deal, though.

If you’re buying an iPad, you’ll receive the same $ 50 gift card, but you will be able to couple that with up to a $ 30 discount through education pricing.

Mac purchasers get the best deal, with a $ 100 gift card right off the bat and up to $ 200 off your purchase through education pricing. Not bad, though you’ll have to buy premium hardware to get the full $ 300.

To be clear, these back-to-school promo deals require that you are affiliated with an educational instution. To elaborate further, “you must be a college student, a student accepted to a college, a parent buying for a college student, or a faculty or staff member from any grade level.”

If you are off to college (or have ties with a school through other means), though, you may find savings of a pretty penny. As for where to purchase hit up Apple’s Online Store for Education or a retail location nearby. For a link to the first choice, check the source link below.

Anyone taking advantage of one or more of these offers? Let us know which ones down in the comments section below.

Source: Apple


Pocketnow

Apple’s 2014 Back to School promotion is now live

Apple’s historically made back-to-school promotions available for students during the summer season, and this year is no exception. There are deals to be had in the 2014 Apple Back to School promotion on iPads, iPhones, and Macs, so listen up to find out just how much you’ll be able to save.

Let’s talk iPhone first, as that’s always a hot topic among students. You’ll get a $ 50 Apple Store gift card (not the iTunes kind), with no further discount — that’s not to say that’s a bad deal, though.

If you’re buying an iPad, you’ll receive the same $ 50 gift card, but you will be able to couple that with up to a $ 30 discount through education pricing.

Mac purchasers get the best deal, with a $ 100 gift card right off the bat and up to $ 200 off your purchase through education pricing. Not bad, though you’ll have to buy premium hardware to get the full $ 300.

To be clear, these back-to-school promo deals require that you are affiliated with an educational instution. To elaborate further, “you must be a college student, a student accepted to a college, a parent buying for a college student, or a faculty or staff member from any grade level.”

If you are off to college (or have ties with a school through other means), though, you may find savings of a pretty penny. As for where to purchase hit up Apple’s Online Store for Education or a retail location nearby. For a link to the first choice, check the source link below.

Anyone taking advantage of one or more of these offers? Let us know which ones down in the comments section below.

Source: Apple


Pocketnow

Samsung Gear Live Specs: a first stab at Android Wear

Just a few weeks ago, if you told us Samsung was going to launch an Android Wear-powered smartwatch at Google I/O, we’d have thought you’re crazy. But a report earlier this week suggested otherwise, and it turns out said report was correct. Samsung launched its Gear Live today at I/O, and it’ll be available for order later today, so you’re probably wondering — what are the Samsung Gear Live specs?

We’ve gone ahead and brought the specs for the Gear Live all into one place, and it’s actually not too terrible a product. It’s similar to a midrange phone just as the G Watch, but it does feature leaps ahead in a couple key categories. The screen’s a bit better, and there’s even a heart rate monitor involved (thanks, Samsung!).

Check out the full Samsung Gear Live specs right down below.

gear-live

Dimensions: 37.9 x 56.4 x 8.9 mm, 59g

CPU: 1.2 GHz Processor

RAM: 512MB

Internal storage: 4GB

Display: 1.63-inch Super AMOLED (320 x 320)

Battery: 300mAh

Connectivity: Bluetooth® v4.0 LE

Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Heart Rate

Colors: Black / Wine Red

Miscellaneous: IP67 Dust and Water Resistant, changeable strap


Pocketnow

Pool Live Tour impresses, but it’s early days on Windows Phone

From the Store description, which is worth quoting more or less in full:

Natural touch control — use your real pool skills!

The incredible pool game enjoyed by 2.5 million players every day is now available on Windows Phone! Challenge your friends, or compete against millions of players to win coins and trophies. Practice offline in single player mode or against a friend to perfect your technique, collect the best cues and discover all the lively locations that make up this fun-packed pool game.

#1 POOL GAME ON FACEBOOK! 
· Go head-to-head against real players live. 
· 2 500 000 players every day — you’ll find a worthy opponent in seconds, 24/7. 
· Invite your Facebook friends for a quick match.

NATURAL TOUCH CONTROL — USE YOUR REAL POOL SKILLS 
· The only touchscreen pool that feels just like the real thing. 
· Pull to set power and direction then release to shoot. Simple! 
· Add second finger to perform tricky spin shots. 

ONLINE, OFFLINE, ON THE BUS — PLAY ANYWHERE, ANYTIME 
· Compete for coins and glory in the head-to-head Play & Win mode. 
· Facebook, tablet, phone … play against your friends wherever they are. 
· Start a bluetooth duel for those times you’re offline. 
· 2 player duel on a single screen — just the thing for those long journeys!

FROM HUMBLE MOE’S PUB TO THE LUXURIOUS MANHATTAN SKY LOFT 
· 5 amazing levels, each supporting aim-assist and no aim-assist modes. 
· Move through the levels and play for increasingly high stakes. 
· Win big against progressively tougher opponents from all over the planet.

BECOME A CUE COLLECTOR MASTER 
· Steampunk? Classical? Pixel art fan? Find your perfect cue! 
· Choose from over 50 cues like the simple-but-crazy Broom stick to a beautiful masterpieces such as the Dragon. 
· Unlock more powerful cues as you level-up, then show off to your friends and opponents.

Being the AAWP pool maestro(!), I had to dive in, of course:

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

It’s all light and cheerful, and pretty stable – though see the big caveat below…

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

The central idea of multiplayer all the time, across the Internet, across all platforms, works well, and it dispenses with the usual choice of rules and aids by setting them in stone for each table/venue. So, as you play through them all, you get to play in each UI/rule variation.

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

The core aiming/shooting UI is excellent, drag back (from any point on the table) and release, with the twisting of your touch point determining aim adjustments and a second finger drag adding a touch of spin. 

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

You’re limited in power and spin at first, but other cues add more capability later, once you’ve bought them. There’s a time limit for each shot, note the way a black section is creeping across my player thumbnail etc.

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

A good start!

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

As you start winning, you get to access new tables (‘levels’), as you might expect, plus you get enough dough to start matches there, plus pick up more powerful (and outrageously styled) cues….

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

At any time, you can examine both your own, and your opponent’s, essential stats….

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

There’s an integrated quick message system, but you’re limited to canned text. Probably for the best?

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

The extra cues have to be charged, battery-style, if you want to keep on pulling off the power shots. This needs coins, which can be earned or bought, as you’d expect.

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

In addition to buying coins, you can buy gold, with some items in the game needing various combinations. All a little confusing, really, plus the usual excessive in-app-purchases for the unwary or careless….

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

Each cue looks different and acts different, though the biggest factor in success will still be your own skill…

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

Working your way through the tables/halls, you experience different rules, but don’t worry, there’s help text available for each.

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

Gotchas? Well, Pool Live Tour is buggy on Windows Phone… I was halfway through this heavyweight game against a great player, and then…. nothing. No timer activity from my opponent. I sent him messages… nothing. Turns out the Windows Phone app had disconnected behind the scenes and the server had duly awarded my opponent the win. VERY frustrating.

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

In addition, Pool Live Tour hung on me a few times, with a never ending ‘Resuming…’ looop…. A phone restart was needed.

There’s potential here, the fun of playing against real people always exceeds the frustration in waiting for opponents to line up their next shots. But the basic engine has to be foolproof and stable – and I think Pool Live Tour needs a couple of fix-up updates before I’m ready to review it formally and deliver a verdict.

See what you think. You can download Pool Live Tour here in the Store.


All About Windows Phone

Pool Live Tour impresses, but it’s early days on Windows Phone

From the Store description, which is worth quoting more or less in full:

Natural touch control — use your real pool skills!

The incredible pool game enjoyed by 2.5 million players every day is now available on Windows Phone! Challenge your friends, or compete against millions of players to win coins and trophies. Practice offline in single player mode or against a friend to perfect your technique, collect the best cues and discover all the lively locations that make up this fun-packed pool game.

#1 POOL GAME ON FACEBOOK! 
· Go head-to-head against real players live. 
· 2 500 000 players every day — you’ll find a worthy opponent in seconds, 24/7. 
· Invite your Facebook friends for a quick match.

NATURAL TOUCH CONTROL — USE YOUR REAL POOL SKILLS 
· The only touchscreen pool that feels just like the real thing. 
· Pull to set power and direction then release to shoot. Simple! 
· Add second finger to perform tricky spin shots. 

ONLINE, OFFLINE, ON THE BUS — PLAY ANYWHERE, ANYTIME 
· Compete for coins and glory in the head-to-head Play & Win mode. 
· Facebook, tablet, phone … play against your friends wherever they are. 
· Start a bluetooth duel for those times you’re offline. 
· 2 player duel on a single screen — just the thing for those long journeys!

FROM HUMBLE MOE’S PUB TO THE LUXURIOUS MANHATTAN SKY LOFT 
· 5 amazing levels, each supporting aim-assist and no aim-assist modes. 
· Move through the levels and play for increasingly high stakes. 
· Win big against progressively tougher opponents from all over the planet.

BECOME A CUE COLLECTOR MASTER 
· Steampunk? Classical? Pixel art fan? Find your perfect cue! 
· Choose from over 50 cues like the simple-but-crazy Broom stick to a beautiful masterpieces such as the Dragon. 
· Unlock more powerful cues as you level-up, then show off to your friends and opponents.

Being the AAWP pool maestro(!), I had to dive in, of course:

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

It’s all light and cheerful, and pretty stable – though see the big caveat below…

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

The central idea of multiplayer all the time, across the Internet, across all platforms, works well, and it dispenses with the usual choice of rules and aids by setting them in stone for each table/venue. So, as you play through them all, you get to play in each UI/rule variation.

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

The core aiming/shooting UI is excellent, drag back (from any point on the table) and release, with the twisting of your touch point determining aim adjustments and a second finger drag adding a touch of spin. 

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

You’re limited in power and spin at first, but other cues add more capability later, once you’ve bought them. There’s a time limit for each shot, note the way a black section is creeping across my player thumbnail etc.

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

A good start!

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

As you start winning, you get to access new tables (‘levels’), as you might expect, plus you get enough dough to start matches there, plus pick up more powerful (and outrageously styled) cues….

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

At any time, you can examine both your own, and your opponent’s, essential stats….

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

There’s an integrated quick message system, but you’re limited to canned text. Probably for the best?

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

The extra cues have to be charged, battery-style, if you want to keep on pulling off the power shots. This needs coins, which can be earned or bought, as you’d expect.

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

In addition to buying coins, you can buy gold, with some items in the game needing various combinations. All a little confusing, really, plus the usual excessive in-app-purchases for the unwary or careless….

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

Each cue looks different and acts different, though the biggest factor in success will still be your own skill…

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

Working your way through the tables/halls, you experience different rules, but don’t worry, there’s help text available for each.

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

Gotchas? Well, Pool Live Tour is buggy on Windows Phone… I was halfway through this heavyweight game against a great player, and then…. nothing. No timer activity from my opponent. I sent him messages… nothing. Turns out the Windows Phone app had disconnected behind the scenes and the server had duly awarded my opponent the win. VERY frustrating.

Screenshot, Pool Live Tour

In addition, Pool Live Tour hung on me a few times, with a never ending ‘Resuming…’ looop…. A phone restart was needed.

There’s potential here, the fun of playing against real people always exceeds the frustration in waiting for opponents to line up their next shots. But the basic engine has to be foolproof and stable – and I think Pool Live Tour needs a couple of fix-up updates before I’m ready to review it formally and deliver a verdict.

See what you think. You can download Pool Live Tour here in the Store.


All About Windows Phone