Valve introduces new skins that will help its players customize their Steam Link and Steam controllers with various Valve properties’ logos and color schemes.
Valve has always been a bit of an oddity in the gaming world, going about its business with its customary flair and lack of concern over critics like it was the PC platform’s version of Nintendo. However, that willingness to embrace innovative, if sometimes bizarre, business models resulted in the birth of Steam, a program synonymous with PC gaming and the source of many a poor gamer‘s suddenly empty wallet.
It’s that popularity that has allowed Valve to launch its own pseudo-console in the Steam Linkdevice, an accessory that lets PC gamers play their Steam games on any television in their house, effectively turning their PC into a graphically-superior Xbox One or PS4. Valve has also released theSteam controller to more accurately simulate a console gaming environment, and now gamers who have either or both devices will also be able to show their true gaming colors. Valve introduced new skins today that will help players customize their Steam Link or Steam controllers, available in the Steam Store.
The skins, which are nearly all CS:GO themed, are available now and range from four different controller skins to three different Steam Link skins. Although a greater variety will likely be released if the initial skins sell well, there is at least a Portal skin for those Valve fans who aren’t part of the burgeoning CS:GO community.
Alongside the skins, Valve has also released a number of different Steam controller accessories. Gamers can pick up a wireless receiver, a custom battery door that also contains a storage spot for the wireless receiver, or a carrying case that fits the Steam controller, its wireless receiver, a wireless extender, and a few batteries. Given that many Valve games are multiplayer in nature and that LAN parties, although certainly not as prevalent, still happen now, the carrying case in particular could be a welcome addition to many traveling gamers’ arsenals.
Everything is available for 30% off to celebrate the new release, so interested gamers should make their decisions quickly to make sure they save some money. With a brand new Steam Store UI on the horizon and a Winter Sale looming, PC gamers will likely need some extra cash.
Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile users have been pining for Pokemon Go for some time now, with a petition for Niantic to bring the game to Microsoft’s mobile platform garnering well over 50,000 signatures (almost 100,000 now). There’s been hope for an official port of Pokemon Go for Windows 10 Mobile for some time, with Microsoft representatives across various teams stating that they’re working on it, however, none of those claims have come to fruition so far. That brings it back to the Windows phone community, who are known for their third-party apps, which, in some cases, turn out better than the official apps – such as YouTube, Reddit and SoundCloud.
This time, we’ve gained a third-party client for Pokemon Go, called PoGo-UWP (at least for now). It acts as a client between the Android version of the app and brings its features to the Windows 10 platform. With it being a client, it means that players are connected to the same world as players on the other mobile platforms and can complete many of the same tasks. It is important to note that the app is still in beta and is being actively worked on. It is also open-source, meaning that anybody can help out. It has some issues right now and a few missing features but it is a good start for a third-party version of Pokemon Go.
Features of the app so far include:
- Login with Pokemon™ Trainer Club accounts
- Similar UI as the Android/iOS version but 2D only
- Use the map to see both Pokemons and PokeStops near your location
- Catch Pokemons
- Visit PokeStops and get new items
For some of the missing features, they’ll be coming soon:
- Improve layout/UI/animations
- Fix crashes
- Add Google Login support
- Make better code
- Add eggs support
- Add Pokedex and inventory management
- Add gyms support
Get the app on your device
PoGo-UWP isn’t available in the Windows Store yet. It currently resides on GitHub, where users interested in giving the app a try will have to complete a few steps before being able to transfer it to their device. These steps can become a little advanced for the average user, as it requires tools such as Visual Studio, Bluestacks and more.
As promised, Gabe Aul and the gang over in the Windows development group have delivered Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 14322. Similar to the PC release of the latest preview build, the mobile release comes with a plethora of new features in tow.
The list of new features almost makes build 14322 feel like a new OS to some extent. Here’s what’s new in build 14322 for mobile:
Improvements to Action Center & Notifications
Visual changes to Action Center: Individual app notifications in Action Center no longer show the app icon repeated for each notification and will only be seen in the header that groups together all the notifications specific for that app. This change allows for more space in Action Center to show more content.
Visual Update for Action Center Notification Improvements
- Visual changes to Notifications: We’re making Action Center richer with support for notifications with more flexible layouts similar to the richness of Live Tiles. Notifications with images will now display larger than they did previously. Notifications can have “hero image” for content that is an even bigger image size to make content in notifications pop even more.
- Cortana notifications in Action Center: We have also added new insights from Cortana to ensure you are not missing anything important, such as a meeting conflict or anything she needs to remind you about.
- Notification prioritization in Action Center: You can manage the notification settings for individual apps by going to Settings > System > Notifications & actions and prioritize which app notifications are more important to you. You can prioritize its notifications to be in one of 3 levels: Normal, High, or Top. You can also adjust how many notifications are visible per app. The default is now 3 per app. If an app has more than 3 notifications, just click or tap to expand and see all notifications for that app. This feature is also available on PC starting with Build 14316.
- Customize your Quick Actions in Action Center: You can add, remove and re-arrange the Quick Actions that show up in Action Center. To customize your Quick Actions, just go to the Settings > System > Notifications & actions. In this settings page, you will see a replica of your Quick Actions as it appears in Action Center, and with a simple press and hold you can move the Quick Actions to the place where you want them to be. Then to add or remove a Quick Action, there is a link below the grid that will allow you to turn on or off the available Quick Actions.
- More ways to create Cortana Reminders: We are making it easier and quicker to set a reminder in Cortana with 2 new exciting ways to create reminders. You can now create a Photo Reminder by taking a picture of something you want to be reminded about, like that beer you just tried and want to pick up next time you’re at the store. You can also now set reminders on content from UWP apps that utilize the share contract in Windows, like Microsoft Edge and the News app, so you don’t forget to read that article your friend sent you. You can share an article from the News app to Cortana and have her remind you to read it at a later time. This even works with photos from your collection in the Photos app! Give it a try.
Updates to the Settings app
- Icons for individual settings pages: All pages in the Settings app now have individual icons associated with them. These individual icons will also be shown when you pin a settings page to Start. And we have also added a dropdown flyout with page suggestions that will appear as you type into the Settings search box. These changes are designed to make it easier to find the settings you are looking for.
- Navigation bar settings page and vibration setting: We created a page for the navigation bar at Settings > Personalization > Navigation bar. You can now use this page to configure preferences for vibration and double tap the navigation bar to turn off the screen.
Navigation bar settings page
- Glance screen settings have moved: As part of our work to make settings more discoverable and user friendly, we’ve simplified the Glance settings options and moved the page out of the Extras section in the Settings app. These settings can now be found via Settings > Personalization > Glance screen. With this change, Glance settings no longer need to be downloaded or updated from the Store.
- Updated Battery Settings and Battery Saving Experience: Just like what was seen in last week’s PC build, there is now a single entry point for all battery related settings in the Settings app – including Battery Saver. This also includes the updated the Detailed Battery Use page so you can now manage the per-app background settings inline without going to a second page. You can also adjust the percentage in which Battery Saver turns on (which is at 20% by default) – something we had with Windows Phone 8.1 that Insiders wanted to see us re-implement as we merged Battery Sense into the Settings app for both PC and mobile.
- Updated Windows Update Settings: You can now also set the time in which you are most active on your phone just like on your PC by adjusting active hours under Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. Windows Update will avoid automatically installing updates during your active hours on your device.
- This build brings our new emoji to your phone. As part of this work, the emoji section of the keyboard has been slightly reorganized to better align with the newly available emoji. It’s now arranged as follows: Favorites, Smileys and Animals, People, Celebrations and Objects, Food and Plants, Transportation and Places, Symbols, and ASCII emoticons.
Updated Emoji options
Microsoft Edge Improvements:
- Better copy/paste: We’ve made a couple of improvements to copy and paste on the phone. When you are typing into an edit box on a web page, you will now be able to use the paste button above the keyboard. Also, if you select text on a web page the copy button will appear immediately near the selection.
- Better tab behavior: Microsoft Edge keeps your tabs under control when you use it with apps on your phone. If you tap on a link in an app that opens a new tab in Microsoft Edge, pressing the back button when you’re done will close that tab, then take you back to the app. Your tabs list stays lean and relevant, by smartly closing tabs you’re done with.
You can also check out the Microsoft Edge changelog website for more information on platform changes in Microsoft Edge with Insider Preview builds.
USB Ethernet Support with Continuum (Mobile)
- Continuum-capable phones now include support for most USB Ethernet adapters. If you connect a USB Ethernet adapter your Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL via the Microsoft Display Dock for example – you will have network connectivity through an attached Ethernet cable. A few notes on this feature:
- You may see an error message the first time you connect. There is nothing wrong with your adapter, and the message will be eliminated in a future update.
- Not all adapters are supported yet – more will be added in a future update.
- In this update, you will not see a visual indicator that you are connected, so if you want to double-check that it’s working you can turn off Wi-Fi and cellular data.
- Windows 10 Mobile supports proxy configuration for Wi-Fi and VPN connections. Proxy support for LAN connections will be available in a future update.
Improved experience while on Lock screen
- Camera button on the Lock screen: When your phone is locked, the back button on the navigation bar is now replaced with a camera button. Press and hold this button to launch the Camera app from the Lock screen.
- Media controls show on top of the Lock screen: We’ve heard a lot of feedback on this so we’re really excited to get this out to Insiders. While you are listening to music, you will now be able to control the music you are listening to right from the Lock screen! If you turn on your phone’s screen, the media controls will now be shown embedded right on top of the Lock screen.
Commenting in the Feedback Hub
- Just like on PC, you also have the ability to comment on feedback inside the Feedback Hub on your phone in addition to the responses from our engineering team you have seen in the app already (we call these “sticky comments”). So in addition to up-voting on feedback, you can now comment on feedback too.
Messaging Everywhere Preview Coming Soon
- We will soon be enabling a preview of the “Messaging everywhere” feature in Windows 10 that allows you to send and receive text messages from your phone directly from your Windows 10 PC’s. You will see options for this feature in the Messaging app on PC but not on Mobile. A newer Mobile build is required for this experience to fully light up. More to come on this when the experience is live.
While there is no shortage of server vendors lending their weight to the official launch today of the new Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 processor series, otherwise known by the codename Broadwell, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) is taking advantage of the opportunity to add a new level of persistent memory to its x86 servers.
Susan Blocher, global vice president of marketing for the HPE Servers business unit, says applications will soon be able to take advantage of 8GB of non-volatile DIMMs (NVDIMMs) that HPE will offer on HPE ProLiant Gen9 servers configured with the latest Intel Xeon processor series. The end result is a form of persistent storage that provides a ten-fold increase in I/O performance, which HPE says results in as much as a factor of four improvement in database and analytics application performance.
HPE, says Blocher, expects to be able to provide this capability uniquely for roughly a year after the launch of the Intel Xeon E5- 2600 v4, during which time HPE will continue to increase the amount of NVDIMM capacity it will make available on its servers.
Couple that with the 22 cores provided by Intel Xeon E5- 2600 v4 series, memory speeds of up to 2400MT/s, and 2TB of solid-state drives (SSDs), and Blocher says the latest HPE ProLiant Gen9 servers represent a lot more than just your average Intel processor refresh.
Competition across the x86 server space is fierce. But for the first time in long while, it looks like server vendors such as HPE are investing in their own innovations versus simply packaging up innovations that Intel makes available across its entire base of x86 server vendor partners.