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

Windows Phone AOTW: GIFStudio

This week’s best Windows Phone app is GIFStudio by Daniel Gary.

This great app allows you to create animated GIFs from the comfort of your own Windows Phone. You use your phone camera to take a number of pictures that the app then stitches together into GIF form. You then can proceed to manipulate the GIF, by changing the speed, adding and removing frames, including those already saved on the phone, or sharing them with your friends. We at Digixav love GIFs and web have had quite a lot of fun with this app. Without GIFs, we would not have lives.

GIF Studio, Windows Phone,  £0.79
Download it from the Marketplace

Windows Phone App of the Week: SuperTube

I’m sorry that I haven’t done an app of the week for a while, but I’ve been busy at this thing called school. But sitting here gated to my room on a Saturday night and listening to Garden by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs inspired me to get back to the work that really matters. Without further ado, this week’s app of the week is YouTube Pro.

This fantastic app is better than any of the other YouTube apps that I have personally tried, simply because it is the only one I have tried that allowed you to log in to your YouTube account. Upon opening the app, you are faced with a Metro style start screen, you then slide along the panorama to view things such as the top rated videos and your subscriptions. However most of the interesting stuff is located on the first screen. The ‘Recorded Page’, where you can take and upload videos from within the app is a very useful addition, and this along with the uploading page makes mobile uploading a great deal easier. Also, as you would expect, there are pages for your playlists, your downloads and many other features that have in fact been missing from most other apps that I have used. The actual video playback in this app is good also. Before playing a video, you are taken to a page where you are given a choice of what quality you wish to play it in, the description of the video, and the like and dislike buttons. The only problem that I have with this app is the fact that in order to play low quality video, you need to have the standard YouTube app installed, but after having downloading it I have had no more problems.

YouTube Pro is an excellent app which I recommend to any person both with or without a YouTube account.

YouTube Pro, Windows Phone 7, Free or 79p
Download from the Marketplace


WP7 AOTW: Face Swap

This weeks WP7 AOTW is Face Swap by Microsoft Research.

This app, to put it simply, swaps two people’s faces. There is no practical purpose to this app as it is just to waste time. To use this app, you simply select a photo in your photo albums and the app automatically finds the faces in the image. You then proceed to select which faces to swap and the app does all the rest. You can then proceed to laugh at the results.


Face Swap, Windows Phone 7, Free

Download from the Marketplace

WP7 AOTW: Rainbow Rapture

This weeks AOTW is Rainbow Rapture by Kindling Games. This is the first game to appear as my AOTW, and for a very good reason. It’s just about the most random, weird, trippy and truly fantastic Tiny Wings rip off ever.

Yes, it is yet another game where you slide up and down hills trying to get as far as possible. However this app deserves an AOTW not for originality, but for the fact that it has taken an old idea and made it different. The whole basis of this game is that you are a rainbow/cloud/god thing that helped to create the world and all its beauty. The humans, however, have taken your world and turned it grey and boring. Because of this, you have decided to destroy them.

By eating them.

There are three main power-ups in the game. these are car, oil and blimp. The car gives you a speed boost, the oil allows you to slide across the ground and the blimp makes you suck up people as you fly over them.

Have a look at our gameplay demo (filmed in our office) in the video below.

See? Get it NOW!

Rainbow Rapture, Windows Phone 7, Free or £1.29

Download from the Marketplace or visit the website

WP7 AOTW: Smart Tile

This week’s AOTW for WP7 is called ‘Smart Tile’.

This is essentially an app that allows you to pin a note to your home screen. When you enter the app you are faced with four lines in which to write your notes. These notes will then appear on a live tile when you pin the app to your home screen. The idea of this app is great, I find it especially useful for things such as writing down my prep (homework but for private/boarding schools) and reminding me when I have music lessons.

The amount of customisation that is possible on the live tile makes this a very good app. You can change the colour of the tile to any of the theme colours on you WP7 device and a few additional ones such as slate, cherry and camel. It is also possible to change the background image to things such as a light bulb and an exclamation mark.

Smart Tile, Windows Phone 7, Free

Download from the Marketplace or visit the website

WP7 AOTW: MegaTile

This weeks App Of The Week for Windows Phone 7 is MegaTile.

This app allows you to create custom tiles to pin to the Metro UI home screen of your Windows Phone. This tile can be customized to fill a number of different functions from linking to a specific web page to acting as a speed dial for a single contact. This app is made even better by the fact that you can use a picture from your photo album as the image on the tile. In addition, such images can spread over multiple tiles relating to a single topic.

This is a great app which is a must have for all WP7 users who yearn for that extra bit of customisation.

MegaTile, Windows Phone 7, £0.79

Download from the Marketplace or visit the website

The Poll: What is the best smartphone at the moment?

Nokia Lumia: Meet the new king of smartphones

The Nokia Lumia range was launched on Wednesday morning at the annual Nokia World event in London. Along with the Asha range of budget Series 40 phones for the next billion internet users, Stephen Elop’s company unveiled the Lumia 710 and the flagship 800. This announcement would be the most important event in the history of Nokia. Symbian was seen by many as a disaster (THE FONT!) and MeeGo only appeared on one device before becoming Tizen. For Microsoft it was important as well. Windows Phone 7 has been well received, but has failed to gain traction in the overcrowded (by Android) smartphone market. Together they could rejuvenate both their brands with affordable, premium devices, full support, backing and promotion from networks and a multi-million pound ad campaign everywhere you look.

And that’s exactly what they’ve done.

Continue reading →

WP7 AOTW: Torchbear

From now on I will be doing (roughly once a week) a post on a good Windows Phone 7 app and what I think about it. For the first post I am going to do a free app called Torchbear.

Torchbear is a ‘social game’ in which the users create a torch which can be passed on from player to player via their phone’s location services. A torch can be passed on to any player within 1.6 km and each player can only carry one torch at a time. Each torch must be given a description of what it is for. The first torch that I created contained a link to this blog but others are created to spread a message, promote a cause or for people to post pictures on the torch on a specific subject.

The only problem that I have with Torchbear is that there are not enough users for passing on a torch to be easy. In order for me to pass one on I have to travel 9 km into Brighton.

Torchbear is a fun app that, if you have a Windows Phone, I recommend you download.

Torchbear, Windows Phone 7, Free

Download on the Marketplace or visit the website