Tiny Troopers, the top-down army assault game, has migrated from Windows Phone to Windows PC today. Tiny Troopers features 30 explosive missions spread across three chapters, all tied together into an involving, narrative-driven campaign. Your troops will get stronger and more battle hardened the more missions they survive. Can you keep your squad alive through the whole war? It’s a fun game and one that I’ve have spent hours playing on my Lumia 1320.
The official Instagram for Android app has been updated today, bringing two new editing tools for users to enhance their photos. The update, version 6.20.1 for those keeping score at home, is available now in the Play Store. it is a small update at 8.14MB and one well worth getting.
The first new tool is a Color Tool. This allows you to add a color overlay to your shadow or highlights. So you can make the shadows red or blue for example.
The ever popular Instagram app for Windows Phone, 6Tag, has received yet another update bringing several new features to users. The Instagram app is the work of developer Rudy Huyn, one of the most prolific in the Windows community and is hands-down superior to the official Instagram app for Windows Phone which has not seen an update in well over a year now. This latest update, version 4.2 for those keeping score at home, is available now in the Windows Phone Store.
A bit of good news on the app front for Windows Phone. Cut The Rope 2, a game which has been available for well over a year on Android and iOS, has made its way to the Little OS That Could. The free game is identical to the game on the other platforms and is a sequel to the original game where you help the main character Om Nom get to the candy by cutting ropes to swing him into the position to get the candy. It sounds easy but there are some levels of the game that are mighty difficult.
The OneDrive team has had a busy day today. Earlier this morning they released an update to OneDrive for Android with several new features and fixes and tonight we see a new OneDrive for Windows Phone version now available. The update, version 126.96.36.199 for those keeping score at home, brings mostly bug fixes and improvements but also brings a Transparent Live Tile to the app. I personally think that transparent Live tiles are one of the things that seperates Windows Phone from a user experience perspective than iOS or Android as it allow you to make your device more personal. OneDrive now is offers this for those who like it which is great to see.
Earlier this week I ordered a BLU VIVO IV Android phone from B&H Photo. The idea behind getting this phone was really two fold. First, I needed it for work to do some testing of software. Second, when it comes to this blog, the reality is that right now Microsoft’s apps for mobile devices are far superior on Android and iOS than they are to Windows Phone. That is going to change – soon I think – but in order for me to be a “Windows centric” site, I have to look at these other platforms for which Microsoft makes apps.
I will tell you though that I found the selection process for finding a new Android phone painful. With iOS you get two choices on screen size and three choices on how much storage you want. With Windows Phone, it is somewhat the same although you could argue there is a bit more variety available especially around screen size. Then there is Android. Not only do you have the normal screen size and storage capacity questions but you also have the question of what version of Android is on a device and if it is upgradable. It is a bit of a nightmare and I will argue with anyone who tells me there is not fragmentation in the Android ecosystem due to the wide range of versions of Android running on devices.
But I digress. I selected the BLU VIVO IV for several reasons. First, spec-wise, it is impressive. It is powered by a 1.7GHz Octa-Core processor with 2GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB of storage built in but that is not expandable. There is no MicroSD slot in this phone. For some that’s a deal breaker but the reality is, for what I’m using this phone for, that should be plenty of storage.
The OneDrive for Android app has receive a big update today, bringing several new features including the ability to stream videos within the app itself. The update, version 3.0 for those keeping score at home, is now available at the Play Store and is free. Like on Windows Phone, OneDrive is a free service for 15GB of storage and if you allow the app to upload your photos automatically from your camera roll, you get another 15GB free. It is one of the best values for cloud storage available today and sticking with Microsoft’s drive to have their apps on all platforms, is available on Windows Phone, Android, iOS, PC and Mac.
The Microsoft Outlook app for Android has received a minor update today, bringing performance and stability improvements to the app. The update, version 1.2.1 for those keeping score at home, is designed for both Android phones and tablets and requires your devices be running Android 4.0 or later. The app is free.
While the start of the Windows 10 Technical Preview was slow this year, the last few weeks are certainly making up for lost time. Yesterday Microsoft released Build 10061 to Windows Insiders who are in the Fast Ring that has a huge number of updates and fixes. The update was announced on the official Windows Blog by Gabe Aul and there is a laundry list of changes that Insiders will see in this build. Having upgraded my beta machine myself, I can tell you the improvements certainly are felt but there is still a bit of work to do before I will be putting it on my daily PC, much like Windows 10 for Phone today. Still, if you are an Insider and in the Fast Ring, get this update. It is worth it.
The official Amtrak app for Windows Phone has receive a big update today, bringing the ability to view your eTickets and monthly reservations amongst other changes. The update, version 2.2.0 for those keeping score at home, also brings the ability to purchase tickets right from within the app. For those outside of the United States, Amtrak is our national rail service and while not nearly as comprehensive as those you would find in Europe, it is pretty good especially if you live in the densely populated East Coast. Now you don’t have to always go to the Amtrak site while on the go with your Windows Phone.