What’s on your Start Screen, Zac Bowden?

It’s been a little while since we last did a “What’s on your Start Screen?”, and that’s because so much has been changing within the world of Windows phone over the last couple of years. With the introduction of Windows 10 Mobile, the redesign of several Windows phone apps, and the slow transition from several different versions of Windows to one single Windows that works across every device, we just haven’t found the time!

A lot of Windows Phone users have since left the platform since our last Start Screen article, and that’s unfortunate. However, there’s still a few of us left using Windows phones as our daily drivers, and I thought it’d be a good idea to share some of the apps I’m using on the lead up to 2017.

I don’t have many apps pinned, and that’s simply because I don’t like scrolling on my Start Screen. I’m a huge user of live tiles, and I think live tiles should be on screen at all times so I can see what information they have to offer. Still, I try to make good use of my screen real estate.

My Apps

  • Messaging: I’m super big on SMS. I know that’s kind of odd leading into 2017, but I much prefer it over any form of instant messenger such as WhatsApp or Skype. If I can, I’ll always opt to send an SMS if trying to contact someone. Everybody has SMS.
  • Phone: The standard built-in Phone app. I don’t make calls all that often, but I feel like I need to have this app pinned on my Start Screen just in case I am in a situation in which I do need to make a call.
  • Outlook Calendar: I like being able to see the date and upcoming appointments on my Start Screen, and the Calendar app does just that. Rarely do I open the Calendar app, this is definitely one of those situations in which the live tile does everything I need it to do.
  • Microsoft Edge: Edge is the best way to browse the web on a Windows 10 Mobile device, so I’m constantly using it to view websites, read news, watch videos and more. It syncs favorites across Windows 10 devices, and is lightweight and easy to use.
  • Windows Store: The Windows Store is home to all purchasable Content in the Windows ecosystem. Whether it be apps, games, music or movies/TV, I’m always in the Store looking for something new to spend my money on. I often find a movie, or a game that catches my interest.

 

  • Twitter: When it comes to Twitter, I opt for the official Twitter app from Twitter themselves. Yes, I know there are far better Twitter clients out there built by third parties, but I like the simplicity of the official app. It’s universal and works across PC and Phone, and what’s more, even though there are a plethora of bugs and missing features, it gets the job done.
  • Cortana: I don’t actually use Cortana all that much, but I have it pinned just in case I want to mess with a setting or two with syncing notifications and whatnot. I like the news ticker that pops up on the live tile, and will sometimes open it up to check on reminders and adjust things.
  • Outlook Mail: The built-in Mail app is my choice of email client on Windows 10 Mobile. It does everything I need, from a reliable live tile all the way down to the simplicity of the app. I can add my Outlook, Google, Yahoo and other email accounts with ease, and configure notification popups from specific accounts if needed.
  • GroupMe: GroupMe is one of the best group messaging apps available on Windows 10 Mobile, and I use it frequently with some of the Windows Central team. It’s great for team collaboration, goofing around, and just sharing things for later.
  • WhatsApp Beta: Although I’m big on SMS, I do have a need for WhatsApp too. A lot of my personal friends would rather be contacted through WhatsApp, so that’s what I use when contacting them. The WhatsApp Beta app, although still a Windows Phone 8.1 app, is coming along quite nicely being updated constantly with new features and changes.
  • Slack: Slack is the main communication platform we use here at Mobile Nations. It’s how I message the team, and how the team message me. It’s still in beta, but the app is feature-filled enough to be usable as one of my “must-have” apps on my phone.
  • Groove Music: Groove is the best music streaming service available on Windows 10 Mobile. Sure, there’s Pandora and Spotify, but those apps aren’t all that great compared to Groove, which is arguable the best app available on Windows 10 right now. I’m a subscriber to Groove music, and most of the music I’d want to listen to is ready to stream from the service.

 

  • Windows Central: Of course, how could I not have this one pinned to my Start Screen? I love the Windows Central app, it’s easy to use and is always updated with the latest articles direct from our feed. The live tile is super customizable too!
  • Weather: I live in the United Kingdom, so I need to know whether the weather outside is grey and raining. It usually is, but sometimes that live tile shows a bit of sunshine, and that makes me smile.
  • Instagram: Not a huge user of Instagram, I generally only use it when procrastinating. Maybe one day I’ll be Instagram-famous.
  • Trello Central: We use Trello for article planning and scheduling here at Mobile Nations, so it makes sense for me to have an app on my phone that allows me to jump in there and check on things. It’s not super feature-filled, being a 3rd-party app, but it gets the job done.
  • Uber: As a kid, I always wanted own my own car so I could drive wherever I needed, whenever I needed to. In 2016 however, all I need is Uber. Who needs to drive these days when you can get someone else to drive for you?!

 

  • MyTube Beta: YouTube has been around for over a decade now, and considering we upload all our videos to YouTube, it makes sense for me to have an app for it. I also like watching content from Let’s Players, vloggers, news people, and more.
  • Skype Preview: I use Skype on a semi-regular basis, so the Skype Preview app is a godsend to have. Although not perfect, and still in preview, the Skype Preview app is good enough for what it offers, and is constantly improving. I really wish they’d make it look pretty though.
  • Just Eat: This one’s self-explanatory. I need to eat, and this app allows me to do just that.
  • Microsoft Authenticator: I’m constantly signing into new devices with my Microsoft Account, and having to type in a long code to authenticate myself every time was getting tiresome. The Authenticator app simplifies this whole process by simply allowing me to press a single button to authenticate any new device.

 

[Source:- windowscentral]

What’s moved money, oil and shares in 2016?

Pound sterling

Massive political events have made 2016 a standout year – what impact have these had on the pound, shares and the price of oil?

The pound

Sterling’s move this year has been dominated by the impact of the referendum.

Against the dollar it is down more than 15%.

Yes, there have been other factors at play. There always are many strands to what happens to financial market process. But the currency fell very sharply in the early hours of 24 June as it became clear which way the vote had gone.

Why a weaker currency? It’s partly about the Bank of England and its policies. The Bank’s governor Mark Carney had signalled strongly that he expected leaving the EU to lead to weaker economic growth.

The markets took that as meaning that there would be cuts in interest rates and perhaps a resumption of the Bank’s “quantitative easing” programme – buying financial assets with newly created money. The Bank duly met the market’s expectation in August.

Lower interest rates mean lower returns for investors in the currency where rates are reduced so its value tends to fall. QE has the same effect, partly because it also tends to drive down interest rates across the economy.

The decline against the dollar also reflects expectations about the US Central Bank moving in the opposite direction.

All year financial markets have been wondering when will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates again – after last year’s move, the first since 2008 at the depths of the financial crisis.

The Fed did eventually take action in December.

The EU referendum has also created uncertainty about the outlook for the British economy, though the most pessimistic expectations about the immediate aftermath of a no vote have been proved wrong. The uncertainty may also have contributed to the decline in the value of sterling.

Top 100 company shares

It has certainly helped the London stock market that the British economy has continued to grow reasonably well this year.

But the fall in sterling was also an important factor supporting shares. It does make it easier for exporters to compete internationally.

For some, the biggest companies on the market there is another advantage. Many of them – miners and oil producers for example – earn a lot of revenue in foreign currency especially dollars.

The fall in sterling means that is worth more when converted into pounds, boosting both the profits and share price of the companies concerned.

So we had a strong gain, 14%, in the FTSE 100 share index. The less international 250 index – gained a more modest 3%.

Oil

The price of crude oil is now about double the low it reached in January. The market has been driven to a large extent by the rather laborious return to the stage of OPEC, group that includes most of the leading oil exporters.

Often in the past a fall in the price of oil led to an OPEC attempt to reverse the development by agreeing to cut production – though it’s another question how effectively the member countries would implement any such deal.

The fall that began in mid-2014 met no immediate response. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest player, was thought to welcome the pressure that falling prices put on shale oil producers in the United States.

The Saudis also wanted a bigger contribution from other OPEC countries, notably Iran. Eventually though, the response came.

In September the group agreed in principle to act and then in November a new production ceiling was agreed with some non-OPEC members agreeing to take part.

The result: oil prices are still around half the June 2014 level, but a lot healthier for oil exporters than there were a few months ago.

Gold, still golden?

The precious metal is ending the year with a price rise of about 9%.

But it was a lot higher mid-year – more than a third higher than at the start of 2016.

Earlier in the year, things in the US looked rather different.

Expectations of an interest rate rise receded and some even wondered if the Fed might join the European and Japanese move towards negative rates.

The prospect that investors might have had to pay to keep money on deposit made gold look more attractive.

As the US economy gathered some strength later in the year that concern receded and the gold price turned down.

Far from going down, US rates were eventually increased.

Traditionally gold has been seen as an investment offering protection against inflation.

Since Donald Trump won the US Presidential election markets have thought there might be more inflation coming as he seeks to boost the economy with tax cuts and perhaps spending on infrastructure.

The gold price has moved up moderately in the last couple of weeks, though if it was a response to the election it was a delayed one.

In any event inflation in many developed economies is gradually picking up a little from very low levels.

So perhaps that suggests there is more room for gold to gain too if some investors think they want an anti-inflation hedge.

 

 
[Source:- BBC]

What’s on your Start Screen, Zac Bowden?

It’s been a little while since we last did a “What’s on your Start Screen?”, and that’s because so much has been changing within the world of Windows phone over the last couple of years. With the introduction of Windows 10 Mobile, the redesign of several Windows phone apps, and the slow transition from several different versions of Windows to one single Windows that works across every device, we just haven’t found the time!

A lot of Windows Phone users have since left the platform since our last Start Screen article, and that’s unfortunate. However, there’s still a few of us left using Windows phones as our daily drivers, and I thought it’d be a good idea to share some of the apps I’m using on the lead up to 2017.

I don’t have many apps pinned, and that’s simply because I don’t like scrolling on my Start Screen. I’m a huge user of live tiles, and I think live tiles should be on screen at all times so I can see what information they have to offer. Still, I try to make good use of my screen real estate.

My Apps

  • Messaging: I’m super big on SMS. I know that’s kind of odd leading into 2017, but I much prefer it over any form of instant messenger such as WhatsApp or Skype. If I can, I’ll always opt to send an SMS if trying to contact someone. Everybody has SMS.
  • Phone: The standard built-in Phone app. I don’t make calls all that often, but I feel like I need to have this app pinned on my Start Screen just in case I am in a situation in which I do need to make a call.
  • Outlook Calendar: I like being able to see the date and upcoming appointments on my Start Screen, and the Calendar app does just that. Rarely do I open the Calendar app, this is definitely one of those situations in which the live tile does everything I need it to do.
  • Microsoft Edge: Edge is the best way to browse the web on a Windows 10 Mobile device, so I’m constantly using it to view websites, read news, watch videos and more. It syncs favorites across Windows 10 devices, and is lightweight and easy to use.
  • Windows Store: The Windows Store is home to all purchasable Content in the Windows ecosystem. Whether it be apps, games, music or movies/TV, I’m always in the Store looking for something new to spend my money on. I often find a movie, or a game that catches my interest.

  • Twitter: When it comes to Twitter, I opt for the official Twitter app from Twitter themselves. Yes, I know there are far better Twitter clients out there built by third parties, but I like the simplicity of the official app. It’s universal and works across PC and Phone, and what’s more, even though there are a plethora of bugs and missing features, it gets the job done.
  • Cortana: I don’t actually use Cortana all that much, but I have it pinned just in case I want to mess with a setting or two with syncing notifications and whatnot. I like the news ticker that pops up on the live tile, and will sometimes open it up to check on reminders and adjust things.
  • Outlook Mail: The built-in Mail app is my choice of email client on Windows 10 Mobile. It does everything I need, from a reliable live tile all the way down to the simplicity of the app. I can add my Outlook, Google, Yahoo and other email accounts with ease, and configure notification popups from specific accounts if needed.
  • GroupMe: GroupMe is one of the best group messaging apps available on Windows 10 Mobile, and I use it frequently with some of the Windows Central team. It’s great for team collaboration, goofing around, and just sharing things for later.
  • WhatsApp Beta: Although I’m big on SMS, I do have a need for WhatsApp too. A lot of my personal friends would rather be contacted through WhatsApp, so that’s what I use when contacting them. The WhatsApp Beta app, although still a Windows Phone 8.1 app, is coming along quite nicely being updated constantly with new features and changes.
  • Slack: Slack is the main communication platform we use here at Mobile Nations. It’s how I message the team, and how the team message me. It’s still in beta, but the app is feature-filled enough to be usable as one of my “must-have” apps on my phone.
  • Groove Music: Groove is the best music streaming service available on Windows 10 Mobile. Sure, there’s Pandora and Spotify, but those apps aren’t all that great compared to Groove, which is arguable the best app available on Windows 10 right now. I’m a subscriber to Groove music, and most of the music I’d want to listen to is ready to stream from the service.

 

  • Windows Central: Of course, how could I not have this one pinned to my Start Screen? I love the Windows Central app, it’s easy to use and is always updated with the latest articles direct from our feed. The live tile is super customizable too!
  • Weather: I live in the United Kingdom, so I need to know whether the weather outside is grey and raining. It usually is, but sometimes that live tile shows a bit of sunshine, and that makes me smile.
  • Instagram: Not a huge user of Instagram, I generally only use it when procrastinating. Maybe one day I’ll be Instagram-famous.
  • Trello Central: We use Trello for article planning and scheduling here at Mobile Nations, so it makes sense for me to have an app on my phone that allows me to jump in there and check on things. It’s not super feature-filled, being a 3rd-party app, but it gets the job done.
  • Uber: As a kid, I always wanted own my own car so I could drive wherever I needed, whenever I needed to. In 2016 however, all I need is Uber. Who needs to drive these days when you can get someone else to drive for you?!

 

  • MyTube Beta: YouTube has been around for over a decade now, and considering we upload all our videos to YouTube, it makes sense for me to have an app for it. I also like watching content from Let’s Players, vloggers, news people, and more.
  • Skype Preview: I use Skype on a semi-regular basis, so the Skype Preview app is a godsend to have. Although not perfect, and still in preview, the Skype Preview app is good enough for what it offers, and is constantly improving. I really wish they’d make it look pretty though.
  • Just Eat: This one’s self-explanatory. I need to eat, and this app allows me to do just that.
  • Microsoft Authenticator: I’m constantly signing into new devices with my Microsoft Account, and having to type in a long code to authenticate myself every time was getting tiresome. The Authenticator app simplifies this whole process by simply allowing me to press a single button to authenticate any new device.

[Source:- windowscentral]

Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview build 14322 available for the Fast Ring and here’s what’s new

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.

sgd Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview build 14322 available for the Fast Ring and here's what's new

Customized Notifications

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.

Cortana Improvements

  • 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.

Updated emoji

  • 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.
wp_ss_20160413_0019-992x1024 Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview build 14322 available for the Fast Ring and here's what's new

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.

[Source:- Winbeta]

Windows 10 Insider preview build 14316 is out, here’s what’s new

During Build 2016, Microsoft listed a slew of new features coming to what it’s calling the Windows Anniversary Update planned for consumer release later this year. However, to get to Microsoft’s promise land of bountiful features promised Windows 10, the company is going to begin testing them with it Insider program.

Speaking of which, a new Windows 10 Redstone Insider Preview has just been made available. Build 14316 is now hitting the Fast Ring for Insiders and with it comes a bevy of new features and improvements.

Bash in Windows

  • Run native Bash on Ubuntu on Windows: In this build, you can natively run Bash in Windows as announced last week at Build 2016. To do this, you first need to turn on Developer Mode via Settings > Update & security > For developers. Then search for “Windows Features” and choose “Turn Windows features on or off” and enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta). To get Bash installed, open Command Prompt and type “bash”. For more details, see this blog post.
  • Cortana Cross-Device Features: Starting today, we will be releasing new features to Insiders on an ongoing basis that keeps you in perfect sync across all the devices where you use Cortana to stay connected and never miss a beat throughout your day. With today’s build, we are rolling out the below features. If you are an Insider who doesn’t have a Windows phone, these features will also work with Android devices too but you will need Cortana Version 1.5 or higher (Download here for U.S. and download here for China) for them to work.
  • Low Battery Notifications: Cortana will now inform you of low battery power on your mobile devices. For example, if your phone’s battery is low, a notification will pop up on your PC so you can promptly charge it before your next meeting.
  • Find my phone/Ring my phone: We all lose track of our phone from time to time and now you can ask Cortana to find your phone, regardless of device, on your PC using the new find my phone feature. The feature will allow users to locate their phone from their PC through geo-location and by having Cortana ring your phone.
  • Share map directions across devices: To date, people go through a lot of effort to manually connect the dots between devices—emailing links to open on other devices or re-doing a search on the phone to find directions to a location they were just looking at on the PC. Today, we’re breaking down one of those barriers by enabling you to access navigation details across devices through Cortana. Tell Cortana “directions to < place>” on your PC and she’ll send those same directions to your phone.
  • Making Cortana easier to setup on your device: If you are in Cortana supported markets and struggled to get Cortana enabled, this will automatically download the necessary speech language, if needed, and enable Cortana for you.
  • New and Updates Extensions for Microsoft Edge: A few weeks ago, we announced the availability of extension support for Microsoft Edge with more on the way. Today, we are excited to share with you some new extensions that you can try out – Pin It Button and OneNote Clipper. In addition, we have updated versions of Reddit Enhancement Suite, Mouse Gestures, and Microsoft Translator. To install these new extensions, just click on “More” (…) at the top right in Microsoft Edge and click “Extensions” to open the Extensions pane and click “Get extensions”.

Pin It Button and OneNote Clipper Edge Extensions

  • Please note: There is change in this build that will break existing extensions installed on your PC in Microsoft Edge if they were previously installed using an older build. You can download the new installation files and re-install the existing extensions using the new installers.
  • Try out the Skype UWP Preview app: You can try out the Skype UWP Preview app announced a couple of weeks ago on the Skype blog. The Skype UWP Preview app includes a lot of the basic Skype functionality – with more features and functionality to come in the next couple of releases. We are first releasing this for PCs only, but we will be making the Skype UWP app available on for Mobile in a future build.
  • Action Center Improvements: We have added the ability to select which app notifications are more important to you in Action Center. On your device, you can manage the notification settings for individual apps by going to Settings > System > Notifications & actions. Just click or tap on a specific app to adjust its notification settings. You can prioritize its notifications in Action Center to be one of 3 levels: Normal, High, or Priority. Additionally, 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 was a top request from Insiders.

New Microsoft Emoji

  • Our new emoji also supports skin tone modification across a wide variety of people glyphs.
  • Personalization Improvements: We’ve added the ability to universally toggle between dark and light modes via Settings > Personalization > Colors.
EMOJI-HIGHLIGHTS-v2_Page_02-2-1024x913 Windows 10 Insider preview build 14316 is out, here's what's new

New Windows 10 Emoji’s

  • Updated Emoji: We wanted to share some cool work from our design team that is showing up in this build. We are updating the entire set of font-based emoji in Windows 10 that aligns with the Microsoft Design Language with a distinct visual style as well as the Unicode standard.
  • These new emoji are designed to be detailed, expressive, and playful. Their larger size takes full advantage of every pixel and the two-pixel outline allows for emoji to appear on any color background without loss of fidelity.

New Dark Mode

  • When you switch to dark mode, apps such as Settings, Store, Alarms & Clock, Calculator and other UWP apps that listen and respond to theme changes in the OS will change into dark mode. Some UWP apps that control their own theme settings (separate from Windows) won’t change by toggling this setting.
dark-mode-1024x640 Windows 10 Insider preview build 14316 is out, here's what's new

New Dark Theme

New Personalization Settings in Windows 10

  • We’ve also added a new option under Settings > Personalization > Colors to show color only on app title bars in addition to the option to show color on Start, the taskbar, and Action Center.
  • New PC access experience: Using the new Connect app, you can bring the Continuum experience from your phone (a Continuum-enabled Windows 10 phone is required) to the PC without needing a dock or Miracast adapter. Additionally, it also allows other Miracast-enabled PCs to project to other PCs without needing a dock or Miracast adapter as well. The Connect app will mention the ability to use a USB cable to connect to your PC however this is a bug and the app only supports wireless connections on PCs. This is an early preview of this feature – we have more work coming to make the experience even better.

New Connect app for Windows 10 PCs

  • New PC access experience: Using the new Connect app, you can bring the Continuum experience from your phone (a Continuum-enabled Windows 10 phone is required) to the PC without needing a dock or Miracast adapter. Additionally, it also allows other Miracast-enabled PCs to project to other PCs without needing a dock or Miracast adapter as well. The Connect app will mention the ability to use a USB cable to connect to your PC however this is a bug and the app only supports wireless connections on PCs. This is an early preview of this feature – we have more work coming to make the experience even better.

Better virtual desktop experience

  • Virtual Desktop Improvements: You can now pin a window so it’s available on every desktop. To do this, launch Task View then right-click on the window you want to pin and choose “Show this window on all desktops”. Try pinning Skype or Groove Music so they’re always at your fingertips. And if you have a multi-mon setup, you might enjoy the ability to have your email app on the second monitor no matter which desktop you switch to.

New Upgrade Experience

  • New Update Progress Experience: When you PC installs today’s new build update – you will see a new progress experience for installing the update. This is part of an effort to align the experience of installing updates from Windows Update.

Battery Settings

  • Updated Battery Settings and Battery Saving Experience: We have renamed “Battery Saver” settings page to be “Battery” since we believe a single entry point for all battery related settings including Battery Saver simplifies the user experience.

Battery Usage Details

  • We also updated the Detailed Battery Use page so you can now manage the per-app background settings inline without going to a second page and added a new background settings option called “Managed by Windows”.
  • With this option, not only will the app stop running in the background when Battery Saver is enabled, but it will temporarily turn off apps with high battery drain that you haven’t used in a while or pinned to your Start screen till you next launch the application (shown as “Turned off by system” on the Detailed Battery Use page). We also added a prompt asking the user if they’d like to turn on Battery Saver when battery is at 20% – 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 set the time in which you are most active on your device by adjusting active hours under Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. Windows Update will avoid automatically installing updates during your active hours on your device.

Commenting in Feedback Hub

  • Commenting in the Feedback Hub: As we announced at Build last week, we have added the ability to comment on feedback inside the Feedback Hub. You have seen responses from our engineering team in the app already, in what we call “sticky comments”. Those comments are now the top items in a comments thread where you can discuss feedback with each other and us. So in addition to up-voting on feedback, you can now comment on feedback too. We hope you will use the discussion feature to share workarounds, discuss suggestions others have made, and share any new info you have about problems you’re seeing. As always, please let us know what you think by going to Apps & Games > Feedback Hub and joining the discussion!

New messaging experience upcoming

  • 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 however an update is required for the Messaging app for Mobile for this experience to work. More to come on this when the experience is live.

From the looks of it, this new build brings much of what Microsoft demoed at Build 2016 and then some. We’ll be updating our coverage accordingly in the next few days to cover, in depth, all the new features, bugs and improvements we and our commenters discover.

 

[Source:- Winbeta]

Sam Lake on Quantum Break and what’s next for Alan Wake

Quantum Break Windows 10 Scattered Bullets

I know the first thing I’d do with the power to stop time: watch a live-action minisode! Heck, I could watch all the minisodes in the world with time frozen. Hopefully my enthusiasm for the idea is rewarded by Remedy’s new sci-fi shooter,  Quantum Break, which combines time-manipulating action with TV-style episodes that fill in the story. It’s out next week, and from the looks of the reviews appearing online today, the critics don’t hate the concoction that began as a pitch for Alan Wake 2.

I’m afraid our review will have to wait, though: the Xbox One version was sent out to critics early, but we’re still waiting on a copy of the recently-announced PC version to get started. In the meantime, I recently had the opportunity to talk about Quantum Break with Remedy’s Sam Lake. We only had a brief time to chat, so we jump around quite a bit between Max Payne, Alan Wake, and Quantum Break, but I’m happy that I finally got a chance to ask Lake what’s up with all the rhyming names, as well as how he felt about Rockstar’s go at developing a Max Payne game.


PC Gamer: Max Payne is a take on noir—film and comics—and Alan Wake sort of sends up Stephen King-style horror. Do you feel Quantum Break follows in those footsteps in any way? Is it a take on a certain type of sci-fi genre fiction?

Sam Lake: Certainly it is a time travel story, and as such there’s been all kinds of time travel cultural inspirations in there, starting from things like Back to the Future and Terminator, even. More recently, one of the inspirations early on in the project was the movie Inception—things that kind of have a present day setting but then again, bring in this fictional science on top of it with a certain theme. And I kind of feel that with time we have a similar thing going on here.

But, you know, from a different perspective it is also a superhero origin story, and with that in my mind we are kind of going, as an inspiration, to classic superhero things, like Spider-Man’s origin stories. And then, from yet another perspective, TV series these days—storytelling in TV is just phenomenal. And drawing inspiration from the perspective of pacing, and how the characters are mapped out, and the story arcs. That’s been an inspiration. It’s also interesting from the perspective of using different mediums as part of the experience. I feel that games, in my mind, fit really really well, into something that you can pull from many different mediums and use them as storytelling devices inside a game. So, in Max Payne it was a graphic novel, in Alan Wake it was a novel, and now we have a live-action show—kind of a TV show—going on in there.

I wanted to ask about what was behind the decision to do a live-action show, too. Did you have filmmaking or TV aspirations before?

Yeah, I mean, I did study screenwriting for TV and movies. That is my background, from the perspective of what I studied. Obviously, back when I was studying you couldn’t really study anything related to videogames. These days you can. So I do have that kind of a background, and TV, to me, is really fascinating. There are so many really exceptional TV shows coming out all the time. It is a great source of inspiration. And in some ways, we have been taking baby steps into this direction.

In Alan Wake, we have live-action content in the in-game TVs, and we did the prequel episode series, Bright Falls, as part of Alan Wake’s marketing campaign. And in American Nightmare we actually tried out live-action even in some of the cutscenes. And it’s just like, “Well, there’s something here, we want to explore this further,” and even before the actual idea of Quantum Break came about I was thinking that whatever we would do next should have a live action component, and in a way, it was obvious that we would use TV show kind of pacing in the experience, so that it’s divided into episodes.

The exact role of it evolved on the way, but the idea of using live-action was there from the beginning.

The idea very, very early on was: in between episodes, let’s have a live action kind of mini-episode. And that was the idea we pitched to Microsoft and they got really excited, because Xbox One wasn’t even out yet, but they were thinking that, “Well, it should be an entertainment device,” and they were looking at live action. They got excited, and they actually came back to us and said, “We like this, you guys should even be more ambitious with it. Do something bigger with this.” And we were happy to hear that and run with that. So it was there from the very beginning. The exact role of it evolved on the way, but the idea of using live action was there from the beginning.

You mentioned Microsoft, and I want to talk about some of the technology there. The Universal Windows Platform has gotten some praise and quite a bit of criticism in the industry. How have you felt about working with that platform for Quantum Break, making an Xbox One and PC game?

Well, I mean, Remedy does have a strong heritage on the PC, with Max Payne, and we do have a lot of fans who are very PC focused. We were hoping we could do a PC version of Quantum Break for a long time. It was a discussion, an ongoing discussion with Microsoft. Obviously, they own Quantum Break, and as the publisher, being exclusively on their platforms—it’s ultimately their decision. But we were kind of hoping and discussing the potential PC version, and—really really happy that it happened, so that we have a PC version as well. So, from our perspective it’s been positive.

alan-wake

Having followed Remedy since Max Payne, it’s easy to see that you love to reference yourselves in your own games, and reference your other games. It can’t be a coincidence that Alan Wake rhymes with Quantum Break rhymes with Sam Lake, right? Can you talk about how that started, why you like those sort of in-jokes?

A lot of it is a joke, and I kind of feel that to me, telling stories in games and creating immersive, believable worlds, there is room for all kinds of different things in there. And that to me is the richness for telling stories with games, that there can be optional content, exploration content, and different tones as well without breaking the overall style and theme. You can still enter all kinds of things in there. And in a way, also use them as commentary and echos and twisted mirrors to the primary story.

So the humor aspect is part of it, but the other side of it is I’m a big fan of postmodern literature. And the cool thing about that is that self-referential material, and different layers in that, and kind of a ‘game’ we play on the story side as well is a big part. That excites me. That’s an interesting thing. To me it feels—obviously games are about, you know, playing games, so it somehow feels very natural and fits very well in a game. That’s kind of the starting point of it. But it’s also just having fun with it. In a way, kind of having this multiverse aspect to it. If we look at Alan Wake, very definitely we do have echoes of their version of Max Payne in there, through Alan Wake’s writing. It is self-referential, but then again it does add a dimension that you understand, and it adds to the character of Alan Wake in an understandable way. Yeah, it is something that I love, and to me it’s important that we have these aspects.

You ran into a bit of a problem with that when people interpreted your reference to Alan Wake in Quantum Break as a teaser for a sequel.

Well, yeah, but you know, [there’s] something there: I mean, no news about any sequels, but then again, we have talked about it openly from the perspective that, we are looking for ways of doing Alan Wake. When that happens and if that happens is still up in the air, but it would be great and we would love it. How I see it, it was kind of obvious that we wanted to do this fan service and have something Alan Wake related in there, once again from kind of a multiverse perspective…

It’s kind of a snapshot of our thinking regarding the theme that if we were to do an Alan Wake sequel right now.

I can openly and fairly say that the material you see in there, it’s kind of a snapshot of our thinking regarding the theme that if we were to do an Alan Wake sequel right now, then these elements would certainly have a role in that. Because it’s an evolving thing, but we were thinking of an Alan Wake sequel right after Alan Wake, which we know didn’t happen, and certain aspects looked quite different from what kind of a sequel we would do now, if we were to do a sequel now. We are exploring many different things, Alan Wake among them, all the time. It was kind of a fun thing to do, to create this small piece in Quantum Break that kind of shows you how we see Alan Wake’s continuation right at this moment.

Pictured: Sam Lake.
Pictured: Sam Lake.

What did you think of Rockstar’s version of Max Payne, with Max Payne 3? Given the opportunity would you want to do more Max Payne?

Yeah, you know, we had sold the IP to Rockstar after Max Payne 1, and part of the deal was to make Max Payne 2 for them. So, from the creative perspective, it was really, really nice to know Max Payne 2 is probably the last Max Payne we were going to make. There was plenty of time to say goodbye, in a way, which was nice.

I don’t pretend there wouldn’t ever have been moment when I would have gone, ‘Oh, that’s an idea that would work with Max Payne.’

For Max Payne 3, they actually did contact us late in the project and wanted us to come in and consult, which was really, really nice of them. We got to play the game and give feedback, which was awesome. Personally, I was happy that it felt like a Rockstar game, that they had taken it and done their own version of it. Thinking about it, and kind of being nervous about it beforehand, to me maybe it would have been more weird if they had tried to imitate what our Max Payne had been. But they brought in new elements and totally created something that to me felt very much like a Rockstar game. Yes, it did have touching points to the original Max Payne and the sequel, so I thought it was cool. And actually Dan Houser did contact me even afterwards for creating the prequel comic book, I gave him some story pointers about Max Payne’s childhood that was part of the comic, and did some writing for that as well.

But yeah, as for more Max Payne from us, you know, we are a creative bunch and all kinds of ideas flow throughout. I don’t pretend there hasn’t ever been a moment when I would have said, “Oh, that’s an idea that would work with Max Payne,” you know, if we were to do more Max Payne at some point. But nothing like this with Rockstar has ever even been discussed, so I think that it’s very unlikely that we would do more Max Payne, but never say never.

 
[Source:- PCgamer]