How do the Charms work with multiple apps running on Windows 8.1? Here’s how.

Multiple apps on Windows 8.1

While we use this weekend to recover from the whirlwind that is //BUILD/, there is still plenty of news to discuss from the past week. A preview of Windows 8.1 was released to everyone in attendance at Build and to anyone willing to try it out around the globe. Microsoft stressed that Windows 8.1 is just Windows 8, but refined. And in the short few days we’ve been playing we’re going to have to agree with that assessment.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be exploring Windows 8.1 side-by-side with you, finding new features and tricks. One of our new favorites is the ability to have two or more Windows 8 apps opened at once, without having to put one snap. But how do the apps interact with the Charms when you have more than one open? Let’s find out.

via Windows Phone Central – News – Forums – Reviews – Help for Windows Phone


Meet the developer behind several popular gaming emulators for Windows Phone

Samuel Blanchard Windows Phone emulator developer

With the scarcity of certain types of games on Windows Phone, many players turn to emulators to get their fix. Emulators allow us to play titles designed for older videogame consoles on our phones. Download an emulator and you’ll have access to hundreds of classic games, assuming you can find the ROMs (software images) for those games. Some people consider playing old games via emulation to be software piracy, while everybody else marvels at just how cool it is to play those old games on the go.

The gaming emulators on Windows Phone come from two key developers, M.k and Samuel Blanchard. Today we bring you an in-depth interview with Samuel, the French developer who created Purple Cherry (a GameBoy Color emulator) and Blue Tomato (a Sega Master System emulator). Read on to learn about the challenges of porting emulators to Windows Phone and what Samuel’s next projects will be!

via Windows Phone Central – News – Forums – Reviews – Help for Windows Phone

Samsung Found to Subsidize Phones More Than HTC and Apple

Samsung Galaxy S4
The cost of devices is always an important aspect when looking into potential purchases. A lot of times, consumers are willing to lock themselves into contracts in exchange for phone prices that are subsidized by the carriers. However, are certain devices more subsidized than others? It turns out that Samsung’s devices are actually subsidized more than both Apple and HTC devices, meaning the carriers are chipping in a little more.

For those of you confused about subsidizing, it is actually quite simple. If you are in the market for a new phone, you are generally given two prices: the on-contract price and the off-contract price. The off-contract, or unsubsidized price, is essentially paying full price for the device as if you were buying it straight from the manufacturer. This price is often in the range of $600-$800 depending on the device. As a result, most people opt for on-contract, or subsidized pricing. This means that carriers such as Verizon and AT&T will pay for the majority of the phone, and then make up for it by locking you into a contract, guaranteeing monthly revenue.

According to research firm ABI Research, Samsung’s device subsidies are actually about 84%. This means that carriers are essentially paying 84% percent of the price, leaving you to pay the remaining 16%. This trumps other manufacturers like HTC at 80%, and Apple at 74%.

US Handset Subsidy Price Ratios

Stuart Carlaw, chief research officer at ABI stated: “Samsung continues to squeeze its competitors at every turn. The Samsung Galaxy SIV is now considered on a par with Apple’s iPhone 5. Coupled with better subsidy, the breadth of its device portfolio, increasingly savvy marketing, and its excellence in channel execution, it is little wonder Samsung is dominating the mobile handset market from top to bottom.”

However, Senior practice director for devices at ABI Nick Spencer gave a contrasting view by saying: The smartphone market in particular is entering a new phase focusing on execution and price, rather than innovation and value. Samsung’s scale and supply chain excellence is allowing it to put its competitors under increasing price pressure and win market share. This is a major concern for the rest of the market, especially for smaller, less efficient vendors, as margins will be squeezed and overall market value reduced.”

While it is certainly fantastic that Samsung is doing so well, it is easy to understand Spencer’s statement on how it can hurt smaller vendors. Regardless, there is a reason why carriers are willing to pay more subsidies to Samsung. It all comes down to the fact that consumers love Samsung devices, they really do. With top notch advertising and cutting edge specifications combined with a higher subsidy than other companies, it is almost guaranteed that a purchase from Samsung will equal a great value for your money.

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AH Primetime: The Google Play Edition Devices Have Been Released, But Are They What We Wanted?


The Nexus program has grown to be synonymous with innovation and major pushes forward for the Android ecosystem. While LG’s Nexus 4 was a fantastic device, it didn’t wow users as much as they were expecting. As a result, Spring of 2013 proved to be a point where a lot users were more anxious for a new Nexus device than they normally were at this time of year. Google undoubtedly recognized this as they did something major. Something they had never done before.

Google took two popular devices, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, and replaced the skinned interfaces with stock, vanilla versions of Android. This could have been as a result of new leadership as Sundar Pichai clearly had a different approach when he took over for Andy Rubin as the head of Android. However, it is more likely that Google realized that the Nexus 4’s specifications were already out of date and could no longer compete with the current flagships’ offerings. Google decided that it was very important to have major devices available that were stock Android as it would keep consumers from automatically associating the Android operating system with the skinned versions.

Nexus 4

While this was a great move, it wasn’t exactly what the Android ecosystem was calling for. In reality, users want stock Android devices that got updates directly from Google while maintaining on-contract pricing. Google unfortunately did not follow through. Because Google knew that they could not push out another Nexus device so quickly, they turned to already existing phones to publicize their stock Android experience. Unfortunately, this resulted in two major flaws that went completely against the reputation that previous Google-supported devices built. While this wouldn’t normally be an issue, the fact that Hugo Berra wasn’t too shy about using the term “Nexus” during Google I/O made most users assume that the overall experience would be similar to that of a Nexus device.

The first issue was the price point that these devices were launched at. Every single Nexus device that was released has been extremely affordable and in most cases, were even cheaper than devices with similar specifications. The reason for this increase in price is because both HTC and Samsung believe that TouchWiz and Sense UI are the best possible forms of Android. This means that the only way they would agree to parting ways with the software is if they would be able to make money off the devices’ sales. This unfortunately meant that Google was unable to sell the devices at cost like they did with previous Nexus devices, making the overall pricing the same as other unlocked devices.

The second unfortunate aspect was that the updates would ultimately not come directly from Google. This was perhaps the biggest upset as most users have come to expect a steep price for unlocked devices. However, when Berra used the term “Nexus” it was implied that the updates would be maintained by Google. Again, this can be traced back to the fact that Samsung and HTC still need to have control over the devices, meaning they must test new updates themselves. While users won’t have to deal with typical carrier delays, it is highly unlikely that the devices will receive updates at the same time as Google’s Nexus devices.


So what does this mean for consumers? Google has presented us with two rather odd and confusing devices. As it stands, Google is expecting us to pay twice as much as their current Nexus offering while accepting the fact that the updates will not come from Google. Even worse is the fact that the specifications, while certainly better than the Nexus 4, are certainly not dazzling enough to justify paying twice as much. On top of that, Sundar Pichai has confirmed that they will still be making Nexus devices, with the next one suspected to be out in October. We can expect the next Nexus release to have the same specifications as these two devices and at the very least will be paired with the Nexus pricing that we’ve all grown to love.

The whole situation puts Android in a very awkward spot currently. With Nexus devices and new Motorola devices both being rumored for this fall with stock Android experiences, early adopters of these devices could become very upset when the pricing of these are finally announced.

So what do you think? Have any of you purchased these Google Play Edition devices? If you did, how do you feel about future devices possibly raining on your parade?

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Droid Weekly 6/30/13: Xperia Z Ultra, CyanogenMod 10.1.0, Facebook Home and More

CyanogenMod Working on an iMessage Killer?


This week we learned that the CM team is working on a type of “iMessage killer”. It would be very similar to iMessage where it’s part of the existing Messaging app and will determine whether your recipient is using CyanogenMod or another device and send it as either a regular IM or a text. Read More

LG Optimus G2 Stills from ‘Learning From You’ Video leak, Thanks @Evleaks


This week, some stills from a new promo video for LG’s upcoming G2 which we should see at their August 7th event in New York City. It doesn’t show much, except that we’ll probably have software buttons and volume rocker/power button will be on the back of the device. Read More

Survey Says 91% of Adults Don’t want Anything to do with Facebook Home

Welcome Home

Honestly, I was a bit surprised that its only 91%. I expected it to be a bit higher. But saying this many people don’t want to use an app that allows Facebook to take over their phone? Guess Zuckerberg didn’t see that coming. Read more

Sony Take Wraps off Smartwatch SW2; Higher-Res Display, Aluminum Body and NFC Pairing Launching September


This week Sony had their event in Germany and China where they announced a couple of new devices. There was the new Smartwatch which is pretty awesome. They are saying 3-4 days of battery life and it features a 1.6-inch 220×176 Transflective display. Not bad for a smartwatch right? Read More

Sony Officially Reveal Xperia Z Ultra: 1080p Display at 6.4-inches Powered by Snapdragon 800; Just 6.5mm thin


In addition to the smartwatch, Sony also announced their entry into the phablet world with their Xperia Z Ultra. It’s packing a 6.4-inch full HD display along with a Snapdragon 800 processor. This is also the first device to sport the Snapdragon 800. Read More

AT&T Apparently Sold Out of the Facebook Phone [HTC First]

Facebook Home

There have been so many reports about how bad the HTC First has done. To the point where AT&T even dropped it down to a penny to get rid of them. Now this week we were hearing that the HTC First sold out at AT&T. Read More

CM Team Releasing CyanogenMod 10.1.0 Tonight!


On Monday, the CM Team began releasing CyanogenMod 10.1.0 for many of its supported devices. CM 10.1.0 is the first very stable build for Android 4.2.2. Prior to that we had nightlies and release candidates which led up to this stable build. Read More

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New Images of the Sony “Honami” Leak Out Confirming Aluminum Frame and Dedicated Camera Button


We’ve been hearing of this upcoming camera phone from Sony codenamed Honami for a while now and someone recently got hold of a system dump of the device and guess what they found on the inside? Yes, images of the device itself, probably for some sort of tutorial on something. Luckily for the rest of us, the folks at Xperia Blog received those images and shared them with the world.

So let’s take a look at them, shall we? It certainly looks beautiful, following the lines of the new Sony design. The Honami is rumored to have an aluminum frame, which we can see in the images, and a camera button, also confirmed by the pictures if they are, in fact, real. There are no images of the back of the device, just these 3 front images.

welcome_explore_image welcome_share_image Xperiai1Honami

We’re not exactly sure what are this images supposed to be showing, they seem to be some sort of Google Now mixed with Google Goggles, maybe a new service from Sony? We’ll have to wait to the official announcement to see.

In the meantime, let’s remember the rumored specs for the Honami, also called Sony Xperia i1. This device should be the new beast from Sony, with a 5 inch screen or bigger, quad-core Snapdragon 800 and a 20 megapixel camera with Xenon flash. Not that bad, right?

Sony has recently released the Xperia Z Ultra, a 6.44 inch monster and still promotes it’s flagship, the Xperia Z, so we don’t know where Sony might try to position this device, maybe they’re already trying to replace the Xperia Z with a new 5 inch flagship, although that’s not likely to happen, or maybe they’re just releasing this somewhere in the middle, like a Note-sized device with 5.3 or 5.5 inches as a pure imaging device, if you have a 20 MP camera, you certainly would enjoy that screen size while still being more pocketable than the Z Ultra.

If this is the case, Sony would have 3 amazing devices at the high-end of the spectrum more than capable to compete with other flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One. Maybe this will finally help Sony gain some much-needed market share positioning itself as a top manufacturer once again.

What do you think? Do you see yourself waiting for the Honami instead of buying something else that’s available now? I was surprised when I saw so many people interested in the Xperia Z Ultra, so maybe this will draw the attention of all those people who want something not so massive but still big.

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ZEN & TECH 54: Change aversion

Windows 8 made us want our Start button back. iOS 7 caused icon strife. BlackBerry 10 was a huge departure. Going from TouchWiz to Sense can be stressful. And that’s just technology! Imagine changing jobs, partners, and places in life! Georgia and Rene discuss the challenges of change!


via Windows Phone Central – News – Forums – Reviews – Help for Windows Phone

Deal Alert: Verizon Nokia Lumia 928 for just $0.99 on

Nokia Lumia 928

We recently told you that Verizon dropped their price of the Lumia 928 from $99 on contract to just $49—a very competitive price (especially when compared to the $99 BlackBerry Z10, which itself was reduced from $199).

But for those of you still on the fence, you may want to check out, as they have Lumia 928 for $0.99 on a 2-year contract (Individual or Family) or for $499 without a contract. Since the phone has an unlocked GSM slot for Verizon’s LTE network, you can even use this on other carriers, were you to buy it out right (though you’d be missing some bands on some networks).

via Windows Phone Central – News – Forums – Reviews – Help for Windows Phone

AH Primetime: Top 10 Google Reader Replacement Services and Apps


Just in case you haven’t already heard, Google Reader is dying. In fact it’s funeral is this Monday, July 1st, 2013. For the past few months we’ve all been scrambling to find a replacement, with most of us checking out Feedly. But Feedly isn’t the only game in town. Sure it’s the most popular, but there are plenty others out there. So we’ve found 10 replacements for Google Reader so you can still get your RSS reading on.

10. RSSOwl


This is what we call a classic RSS reader and it’s designed for Windows, Mac and Linux. No it’s not a web-based RSS reader. But it does give you the ability to group your RSS entries, flip to a newspaper-style view, search your sources by keywords and re-use previous searches by saving them. Because RSSOwl doesn’t require a Google Reader account, it’ll continue to live on after Google Reader is gone.

9. NewsBlur


Here’s a great cloud-based RSS reader. It has an interface that is very similar to Google Reader’s. It’s also very easy to use. NewsBlur does have an Android app, which syncs your feeds between all your devices. NewsBlur also has two different packages. The free one allows you to have 64 feeds with 10 stories at a time and only update one site at a time. But for just $1/month you can add unlimited feeds and view all your stories at one and it allows 10 site updates as often as wanted.

8. NetVibes


This RSS service allows you to monitor apps, feeds, sentiments, and tweets all in real-time. Which makes it a rather unique RSS reader. You’ll be able to choose from over 200,000 apps and create custom layouts so you can display the information in a way that you like. NetVibes has apps for iOS, web and Android.

7. Feed Wrangler


This is another great cloud-based RSS reader which allows you to keep up with all the news quickly and efficiently. It has a rather simple and minimal interface, which is sometimes a good thing.It has features like Smart Stream, Filters and full text search that lets you get the full news reading experience.

6. NewsVibe


NewsVibe is another great RSS reader that allows you to import your existing feeds and bring them over to NewsVibe. You can easily organize your feeds into folders, if you desire. It’s nice and secure, integrated with offline reading functionality and has a ton of other great features. Of course it’s completely free and is web based.

5. Digg Reader


Digg has a brand new reader, in fact I just got into the beta this week. They are promising quick and rapid updates and already have an iOS app out. But their Android app will be about 6 weeks from now. You’ll want to visit Digg’s website so you can sign up for the beta. But you’re going to love it. It’s got a nice and clean interface.

4. Press


Press is a very popular Android app. It used to be a third-party Google Reader app, but it has now turned into a third-party Feedly app. Since Feedly has become a full fledged RSS reader, instead of just an extension, Press now has support for Feedly Cloud, which is great.

3. AOL Reader


AOL has a brand new RSS reader out too. It’s called AOL Reader. Pretty unique right? It’s also in beta, much like Digg’s reader. I just got into this one this week as well, and so far I like it. Except for the big banner ad on the right side. But for an early beta it’s really nice. You can also import all your Google Reader data and login via AOL, Twitter, Facebook and Google.

2. Pulse


Pulse is another great app for keeping up with your favorite news sites, like Android Headlines. In fact we are listed inside Pulse. It’s a great news app and service that allows you to find quality news sites and add them to your feeds and keep track of them anywhere. They have web-based apps, Android and iOS apps as well.

1. Feedly

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I’m not sure anyone has benefited more from Google Readers demise than Feedly. They’ve gone from a small RSS reader that was an extension in Chrome and Firefox to a full RSS Reader service. Just a few weeks ago they announced Feedly Cloud and support for apps like gReader and Press. It has many of the same features as Google Reader, with a pretty customizable interface as well.

Want to transfer your Google Reader Feeds?

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Google’s Takeout Page. 
  2. Click on Archive
  3. Once the archive is finished click the download button
  4. Next open the zip file and go through the folders inside.
  5. Inside the reader folder you’ll see subscriptions.xml, extract that to your desktop
  6. Open up your new favorite RSS reader and import that xml file
  7. You’re done.

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Does the Lumia 925’s Windows key act as a notification light? Possibly.

Lumia 925

Look, we’re as excited as you guys when headlines pop up across the Internet stating that the Lumia 925 has a notification light and the Windows logo flashes in the attempt to grab the owner’s attention, but we’re not convinced. And neither is Nokia (seriously, we’ve asked numerous times). That said, we’ve previously seen in person this blinking Windows capacitive key back when the Lumia 925 was announced (alongside the Lumia 928), but we were informed that it’s simply related to debugging (basically the current power-state, blinking was a low-cycle).

via Windows Phone Central – News – Forums – Reviews – Help for Windows Phone