Last week I told you about the all new Google Hangouts 4.0 that was released for Android as well as iOS (with a few less functions). If you haven’t tried it out, do yourself a favor. This is not the old Hangouts. It’s far smoother an experience and generally a much nicer experience. As part of that release, Google has quietly released a Google Hangouts website that allows you to use your browser to be your Hangouts app. Like the apps for the mobile devices, it’s buttery smooth and beautifully designed.
Although we have already had a Patch Tuesday for April, Microsoft is still busy releasing updates for their various platforms. Today it is expect we will see no less than 34 updates for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows RT. Yes, you read that correctly. Windows RT will be getting some updates today. There are some security updates in the mix but there are also going to be a lot of general fixes and updates to the various Windows platforms.
Age of Empires Castle Siege, the medieval civilization building game, has received another major update from Microsoft Studios. The game gets one of these about every month and this one is certainly an important one to get. The update is for both Windows and Windows Phone (remember, it is a universal app) and brings several game play improvements as well as a host of bug fixes.
The two biggest changes amongst them as a player is the decrease in resource producing things like farms and mills build time so you can start collecting resources faster while the other is the increased length of peace treaties so there is a longer time between attacks on your empire. This later is important if you are away from the game a day or two. The update, version 188.8.131.52 for those keeping score at home, is available now in both the Windows and Windows Phone Stores.
A feature that many of us have wanted has finally arrived. Microsoft today has flipped the switch and you can now store your music within OneDrive and stream that music directly from any device. The update means that you can have Xbox Music look in the new Music folder that is now in your OneDrive account and you can upload your music to that folder. Once you do that and everything is synchronized, you can stream your music straight from OneDrive, eliminating the need for storing it locally.
If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Lumia 640, you can at least get the next best thing while you wait: The wallpapers that ship on the 640. Thanks to the team at WindowsMania.pl (and a follow up link from the team at Wmpoweruser) you can now get a .rar file that contains all of the wallpapers that will ship with the Lumia 640 when it is released. As I posted Monday and Yesterday, it is expect that the Lumia 640 will start pre-orders this week or next with a mid-April ship date.
It has been a couple of months since the last Age of Empires Castle Siege update but today Microsoft Studios made up for lost time. Today they have issued an update for the popular tower-defense style game for both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. The update, version 184.108.40.206 is available now in their respective Windows and Windows Phone Stores and both are a hefty update with a lot of new features and a boatload of bug fixes.
The Fitbit for Windows Modern app has received a small but important update today that fixes a lot of sync issues users were facing with the fitness tracker software. The update, version 1.5.17 (12619) for those keeping score at home, specifically addresses synchronization setup and improved tracker syncing. The update is important as syncing with your Windows 8.1 PC or tablet is done via a USB dongle on Fitibits. It works but it hasn’t been to this point 100% reliable. That seems, based on my testing, to be resolved.
The popular Windows Phone photo editing app Afterlight is now a universal app and available for your Windows 8.1 PC or Tablet. Afterlight is a powerful photo editing app that allows you to make quick edit and adjustments to your photos with a load of different filters, textures and frames. To this point the .99 Cent app has been only available on Windows Phone but the update today, version 1.1.0 for those keeping score at home, is universal. That means if you have already bought the app for Windows Phone you now have it available for your PC or Tablet. This includes any in-app purchases you have made as well as the app itself.