First Xbox Live game for both Windows Phone and Windows 8 quietly released

galactic_reign2When Windows Phone 8 was released way back in October last year, much was made of the relationship prospective Windows Phone 8 purchasers would have between their mobile and their PCs. Since then, nothing much to that side of things has materialised, but yesterday that all changed.

Galactic Reign was teased by Microsoft last October, but there was no mention of platforms, nor was there a release date, but yesterday the game quietly slipped into both the Windows 8 Store and the Windows Phone Store as an Xbox Live title. Microsoft used to always announce upcoming Windows Phone games well in advance, but they haven’t done so much of that recently, and it seems crazy that such a huge milestone for the OS was released with so little fanfare, but hey, at least it’s here now.

galactic_reign3As you might have guessed from its name, the game is a sci-fi strategy number. You have to find the right balance between spaceships and weapons and hope your fleet is good enough to beat your opponents, and we won’t go into too much detail here, but there’s a single player mode with 60 challenges and a multiplayer side of things where you battle people online. There a bunch of Xbox achievements to aim for as well.

It’s great to finally see a game which bridges the Windows Phone 8/ Windows 8 divide. With the multiplayer game, you can play with different hardware to your opponent, i.e. it doesn’t matter whether you use a PC, Windows Phone or Surface. Galactic reign will cost $4.99 for Windows 8 or for Windows Phone 7 and 8. The best bit of all? You only need to purchase one version to have access to it on both platforms.

Source: Windows Phone Central

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Mozilla shows off developer phones for Firefox OS

firefoxphone Mozilla has just announced that they’ve got two “Developer Preview Phones” in the works which will run on their own Firefox OS. Both are made by relatively unknown Spanish company Geeksphone. The orange phone above is known as the Keon, and has 3.5-inch touchscreen and has a 3-megapixel camera on the back. It comes with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, and runs one of Qualcomm’s 1Ghz Snapdragon CPUs. The white model is called the Peak, and has higher specs than the Keon, with a 4.3-inch screen, 1.2Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU and an 8-megapixel camera, though it has the same storage and RAM. It runs on a 1800mAh battery, slightly larger than the Keon’s 1580mAh cell.

Mozilla didn’t mention anything to do with price or  a specific release date, but Digixav understands that the Keon will start shipping next month.

These handsets clearly aren’t going to set the world alight, and it seems as though Firefox might be targeting developing markets with cheaper smartphones. Software-wise, from a purely visual perspective the home screen looks very similar to the iOS one, simply with circular icons instead of Apple’s square ones. We have to say that it is a big disappointment that Mozilla couldn’t have found a fresh or innovative design rather than slightly altering one which is five years old.

Firefox OS works very differently to current mobile operating systems. The processors might seem tiny compared to the quad-core beasts powering the latest phones, but Mozilla have tried to make it so the phones don’t need huge processors to run smoothly. The big thing that sets it apart from rivals, however, is that Firefox OS doesn’t do native apps. What might look like native apps on the phone are actually website bookmarks. This means it can all be written in HTML5, which could be a big boost for some developers. This is a certainly a huge step Mozilla have taken, and it will be interesting to see how the consumer market responds. Mozilla reckons that we’re not doing apps right at present, and we could lose the wonderful open web we currently take for granted.

Here at Digixav we’ll certainly be watching closely to see whether Firefox OS can make a significant impact on the smartphone audience. With an Ubuntu mobile operating system on the way, it will be very interesting to see whether this new breed of open source software can have the desired impact on the iOS and Android dominated market.

Via Wired

Nokia 100 review

Nokia is still one of the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturers not purely because of high-end smartphones, but certain markets demand different devices, like the latest bargain from Espoo, the Nokia 100. Picking this phone up for £15 unlocked, you can’t really expect much other than Nokia’s standard durability, a feature I most value while finding the perfect phone. With no microSD slot for storage expansion, no camera or any other remarkable hardware this is not a phone for you gamers out there or lovers of music but for those who want a simple, reliable and frankly indestructible phone, this is definitely the phone for you.

Hardware

With a 800 mAh battery, a common capacity for most phones of its calibre, you almost never need to worry about charging your phone. The 100 will give you 7.5 hours of talk time and 850 hours on standby, meaning that you can leave it on in your pocket for a whole month before charging. The flash light equipped has proven useful, being bright and not munching on too much battery. This function can be activated by pressing the top cursor twice. Even though this phone hopelessly fails at providing you with entertainment, it still has a built-in FM radio tuner that, with a compatible headset, plays at an impressive quality. Another, and perhaps my final criticism of this phone is the alarm system. I can’t for the life of me figure out how, or if, it works. I have set an alarm on various occasions, each time going off on time but failing to make any noise, even with all the sound settings on loud. There may well be an obvious feature I have not yet activated but this is still a let down.

Due to the phones simplicity, there is not much more to talk about other than how indestructible it is. As I write this, Xavier and Kieran are playing catch with the 100, which is dust proof and made from very tough materials, just as you would expect from a Nokia.  On occasion, the battery does come out with a very sudden impact landing, but the phone boots in just under 4 seconds. Whether this phone is waterproof I do not know but I do not plan to try it out. (Digixav is not responsible for any broken Nokia phones as a result of them being plunged in water – ed) All visible hardware on this phone is either made from stainless steel, copper, zinc or aluminium and the plastics which make up the majority of the phone are ABS/PC, PET, PA and epoxy. These materials may well be the result of how light this phone is, weighing slightly over 70g including the battery.

Conclusion

If you want a cheap, durable, brick of a phone that does precisely what it should, ie. call and text, then look no further than the indestructible Nokia 100, or its dual-SIM cousin the 101. The phone is compact, simple and reliable, and it will almost certainly be able to handle anything you throw it at.