A new spin on Angry Birds – play from the Pigs’ perspective in Bad Piggies

The Pigs are after the Angry Birds’ eggs again—but as usual, nothing is going according to plan. In Bad Piggies, it’s up to you to help them create the ultimate machine to fly, crawl, roll, spin or crash them safely to their destination. Download the game now from the Windows Phone Store for $.99.

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With more than 200 levels to play, enjoy your fill of pig-flying, crashing, and exploding. To pass each level, you’ll have to build just the right machine and steer it successfully. It might take multiple attempts to achieve all the objectives for each level, but figuring it out is part of the fun. And once you get three stars on every level, you’ll unlock 36 more puzzles.

“Pig” time fun with Bad Piggies. Get it from the Windows Phone Store today.

Give Windows Phone 8.1 a try via Windows Phone Preview for Developers

Today, you can now install Windows Phone 8.1 on your phone through the Windows Phone Preview for Developers and try out a lot of the awesomeness we announced two weeks ago at Build. To do this, follow the instructions here on the Dev Center. I suggest reading the important notes on the instructions page before opting your phone in to receive Windows Phone 8.1. For more details, head on over and read this blog post from Cliff Simpkins.

For developers, we also announced that today the Dev Center is now open for now open for Windows Phone 8.1 and universal Windows app submissions.

Expanding Google’s security services for Android

Think about the ways your home is kept secure. You rely on structural security features—secure locks, a rock-hard foundation, strong windows and doors. You might also have an alarm or video camera to give you an extra layer of security, with a support team behind those tools making them more powerful, all but invisible until the moment you need them.

We have a similar approach to how we deliver security improvements in Android. As part of Android’s foundation, we built safeguards like application sandboxing, which confines apps, minimizing their ability to damage other parts of your phone. But just like your home, Google offers a built-in “service layer” (kind of like the phone equivalent of that alarm service for your home) to most every Android phone and tablet that’s constantly being strengthened, and it’s included for free. We’re adding to that service layer, further fortifying your Android phone or tablet.

Verify apps: now protecting you continually
Building on Verify apps, which already protects people when they’re installing apps outside of Google Play at the time of installation, we’re rolling out a new enhancement which will now continually check devices to make sure that all apps are behaving in a safe manner, even after installation. In the last year, the foundation of this service—Verify apps—has been used more than 4 billion times to check apps at the time of install. This enhancement will take that protection even further, using Android’s powerful app scanning system developed by the Android security and Safe Browsing teams.

Because potentially harmful applications are very rare, most people will never see a warning or any other indication that they have this additional layer of protection. But we do expect a small number of people to see warnings (which look similar to the existing Verify apps warnings) as a result of this new capability. The good news is that very few people have ever encountered this; in fact, we’ve found that fewer than 0.18% of installs in the last year occurred after someone received a warning that the app was potentially harmful.

Even though the risk is miniscule, we’re committed to making sure that the best available security protections are available to all Android users. This includes service-based protections such as Verify apps, as well as security features within the platform itself.

Posted by Rich Cannings, Android Security Engineer

Cortana (yes!) and Many, Many Other Great Features coming in Windows Phone 8.1

Whew, what a day! What a week! I’ve just gotten off the stage at Build in front of 5,000 of our beloved developers talking about the future of the Windows platform. And now I’m here to tell YOU about the stuff we’ve been working on to delight all our Windows Phone users and fans!

During my time on stage, I went over what’s next for Windows PCs, tablets, and phones with two major updates: Windows Phone 8.1 and the Windows 8.1 Update. Both releases bring a lot of new features for consumers and businesses alike, built from the feedback we’ve heard from customers along the way. We’ve also continued to invest in our partners, enabling lots of great new phones, tablets, laptops and PCs for you to choose from in the months ahead.

Windows 8.1 Update: Focused on Mouse/Keyboard

For PCs and tablets, we’ve made improvements in Windows 8.1 that will noticeably improve the experience when you’re using a PC without a touch-screen. We’ve made commands easier to find with mouse/keyboard, we’ve made switching between apps—especially Windows Store apps—much easier with mouse/keyboard… and we’ve made it easier to find new apps to install.

To learn more about the update to Windows 8.1 for your PC and tablets, head on over to the Windows Experience Blog and read Brandon’s post. What I really want to cover in detail here is…

Windows Phone 8.1: More Personal, Smarter, and even a “World Record Holder”!

If you’re a Windows Phone user, you already know that we set out to create an experience that puts you and the things you care about most front and center. As a result, we believe Windows Phone is the world’s most personal smartphone… and with Windows Phone 8.1, we’ve added a BUNCH of new features that make your smartphone even more a reflection of your personality and desires.

Want to experience it all in one giant demo? Then watch this marathon 15-minute video. Else… read on!

Start screen: Make the Live Tiles Yours

We want your Windows Phone Start screen to genuinely reflect your personality and the people and things you care about—so we are making it even more customizable!

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In 2013, we added a third column on devices for 5-inch screen or larger devices, like the Lumia 1520, to enable more stuff to show up on the screen. People really liked this so we are enabling this on all screen sizes in Windows Phone 8.1. Pin away! We’ve also added the ability to customize your Start background with a favorite picture or one of the options we’ve provided, which will make many of the tiles on your Start screen become clear so you can see the background you selected as you scroll up and down.

Lock screen: Lots of new “themes” to choose from!

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The Lock screen is the very first thing you – or your friends—see when you grab your phone, and in Windows Phone 8.1 we’re providing a new app that lets you set a wide range of interesting “Lock Screen Themes” which show all kinds of different visuals and animations. Make it yours…

Cortana: Your PERSONAL Digital Assistant

Of everything we’re announcing today, I’m most excited to introduce you to the world’s first truly personal digital assistant, now on Windows Phone. We were inspired by the popular character from Halo who served as a brilliant AI and a deeply personal digital assistant to Master Chief… so we called her Cortana.

Powered by Bing, Cortana is the only digital assistant that gets to know you, builds a relationship that you can trust, and gets better over time by asking questions based on your behavior and checking in with you before she assumes you’re interested in something. She detects and monitors the stuff you care about, looks out for you throughout the day, and helps filter out the noise so you can focus on what matters to you. Cortana will launch shortly here in the U.S. first as a “beta,” and then will launch in the US, the U.K. and China in the second half of 2014 with other countries to follow afterwards into 2015.

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In Windows Phone 8.1, you get to Cortana by either a Live Tile on your Start screen or by pressing the search button on your device. This will take you to Cortana Home. To interact with Cortana, you can either speak or type—if you’re in a meeting, just type and Cortana won’t talk out loud. But if you ask her a spoken question, she’ll answer verbally and even carry on a natural conversation.

When you interact with Cortana for the VERY first time, she will start learning things about you… like your name, how to pronounce it, and ask for some personal interests.

Once she’s learned a bit about you, Cortana’s home populates with information that is curated just for you. You’ll see things like flight information she’s found from your email confirmations, weather, the latest news, and even traffic information once she learns your commute routine, such as from work and home.

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To develop Cortana, we talked to a number of real personal assistants. One technique these assistants spoke about was keeping track of the interests and preferences of their bosses in a notebook. We thought… what a great idea! So all the stuff Cortana curates for you is stored in Cortana’s Notebook. This information enables Cortana to be proactive and helpful throughout the day. For example, she’ll let me know if my upcoming flight back to Seattle is on time and, if I choose, will even pop-up to recommend what time I should leave for the airport based on traffic. Cortana can also manage your phone when you don’t want to be disturbed by setting quiet hours where she will silence any notifications, in-coming calls, and texts. Cortana understands the “inner circle” of people-closest-to-you, and she can let them break through at any time during quiet hours. And Cortana is the only digital assistant that lets you setup people reminders. You can have Cortana remind you that your buddy owes you $20 the next time you talk to him. And ALL of these interests and preferences are under YOUR CONTROL via Cortana’s notebook.

What’s more, because Cortana is powered by Bing, some of the interests in Cortana’s Notebook will light up on Bing.comwhen you sign in on the web. Bing.com will give you access to the things Cortana tracks for you, like your weather, stocks, news, and flights.

We’ve also designed Cortana to be able to interact with 3rd Party Appsinstalled on your phone. You can ask Cortana to help you make a video call in Skype, watch a TV show in Hulu Plus, look up a news feed on Facebook or send a tweet using the Twitter app – all of which we demoed during this morning’s keynote.

And finally, Cortana isn’t just a dry computer returning search results. Just as she has in the game Halo, Windows Phone’s Cortana has a bit of personality. But you’ll have to talk to her yourself to see what I mean by that. Or… I bet you’ll be able to find some videos on the web pretty soon to see what I mean.

We think you’re going to really love having Cortana as your personal assistant!

A Whole Slew of New Delighters

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Action Center:Live Tiles are a great way to “glance and go,” and now we’ve added Action Center to enable you to see notifications from ANY app – pinned or not—and to give you a customizable way to quickly access the settings you care about most, like Wi-Fi, Flight Mode, Bluetooth and Rotation Lock.

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Word Flow Keyboard:The keyboard in Windows Phone is smart enough to learn your writing style and even knows the names of people in your contacts for faster typing. Best of all, our new Word Flow Keyboard lets you glide your fingers over the keys to type INCREDIBLY quickly… a kid was able to BREAK THE OFFICIAL WORLD RECORD previously held by the Swype keyboard on a Samsung Galaxy S4 using Word Flow by 8 seconds!

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Skype:The new Skype app for Windows Phone 8.1 brings the best of Skype on a smartphone. It’s integrated with the Phone dialer, so if you’re on a call you can quickly and easily “upgrade” your ordinary phone call to a Skype video call at the tap of a button! And… the new Skype app is designed to work seamlessly with Cortana so you can use Cortana to setup your calls within Skype.

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Calendar:The new Calendar has been redesigned to add a new week view which lots of people have been asking for and it has many nice touches—like panning right to get to the next day or week or month! What’s more, it looks a lot like Outlook on your Windows PC… e.g., the weather is integrated at the top – just like in Outlook.

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Music, Video, Podcasts: We’ve made a ton of improvements to these experiences, which are now split out as separate apps and all of which can be updated via the Store. In Music, you can edit your playlists and manage your cloud collection really easily and effectively. Video makes it possible to buy or rent videos from Xbox Music, and Podcasts now lets you subscribe to any RSS feed AND provides a Bing-powered podcast search for every country where Windows Phone is available. Oh… and we’ve improved the phone volume control by including separate sliders for your ringer/notifications and for your apps and media. Just the way you asked for it!

PeopleHub

People Hub, Email and Accounts: The People Hub has higher-fidelity feeds for your social network content (large photos!) and it connects directly to 3rd-party social networking apps so that you can have easy access to all the full functionality of the 3rd party apps once they are installed. Email now supports S/MIME secure email, and we’ve broadened our support for different account types, now including iCloud.

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Photos & Camera:The Photos experience now jumps directly to your most recent photos and shows as collections automatically organized, in a view grouped by date and location. Online photo albums are now supported via app-extensibility, so 3rd parties can plug in their services. In the Camera, we’ve updated the UI and added “burst mode” photography that lets you capture exactly the perfect moment—just like on Windows 8.1.

Data Sense, Wi-Fi Sense, Storage Sense, and Battery Saver:We’ve added a number of features in Windows Phone 8.1 that are designed to help you get the most out of your data allowance, battery life and storage.

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Data Senselets you track how much data usage you use in a given month and will give you a breakdown of usage by app so you can see which app is using the most of your data. As you near your data limit, Data Sense will more aggressively offload data to Wi-Fi and limit cellular usage… and in 8.1 there’s a new “high savings” mode that cranks up the compression of images as you browse the web so you can browse even farther using less data than WP8.

Wi-Fi Sensewill automatically connect you to free public hotspots it finds to help you save cellular data. And, if you’d like, you can opt-in to automatically and securely enable your friends and contacts to auto-connect to your home Wi-Fi, so they can use the internet connection at your house without hassling you for the password and typing it in manually. If you turn off Wi-Fi in Wi-Fi Sense, you can have Cortana automatically turn it back on when you reach one of your favorite places as identified in Cortana.

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We’re introducing Storage Senseto help you get the most out of the memory and storage on your phone. It will help you manage content you have on an SD memory card if your device supports those. You can also move content – like apps, music, photos – between the storage built in to your device and an SD memory card.

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And Battery Saver gives you a clear breakdown of how apps are using your battery so you can make more informed usage decisions. With “automatic mode” enabled, it can dramatically extend your battery life.

Windows and Windows Phone Together

Your Microsoft Accountallows Windows and Windows Phone to work together in amazing ways. Windows Phone 8.1 furthers the integration between phone and PC. If you change your theme color, that change will sync across all your Windows devices. If you buy an in-app purchase in some of the newer apps written for Windows Phone and Windows 8.1, the purchase works on your phone AND your PC. And other settings like your home Wi-Fi password will also sync.

Ever wanted to project your phone screen onto a PC, TV set or projector? We’ve added support for that as well—connect your Windows Phone to a compatible PC using a USB cable and you can run an application on the PC to show the phone screen. Some of the forthcoming new phones will also support wireless Miracast display to compatible TVs and other devices.

And finally with Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone, you will be able to see all the open tabs you have on all your Windows devices and all your Favorites too. Plus the new Internet Explorer gives you InPrivate browsing, password caching, and a super-handy reading mode.

Great for Business Users and IT Managers

Windows has long been the choice for the enterprise and professionals. Windows Phone fits easily and seamlessly into a corporate ecosystem making it easier to work when you are on the go. Last year, PC Magazine’s readers selected Nokia Lumia/Windows Phones as the Business Choice Award for smartphonesby scoring them the highest in end-user satisfaction.

With Windows Phone 8.1, we’re making it even easier for IT professionals to manage devices and for professionals to connect to essential business apps and services with features such as customizable MDM enrollment, support for loads more MDM policies, LOB application & certificate management, S/MIME and VPN support. Stay tuned for a detailed blog post later today on the Windows for your Business Blog that covers all the key features for businesses.

Sounds Great! When Can I Get It? And on which phones?

Windows Phone 8.1 will start rolling out to existing Windows Phone 8 users and will come pre-installed on new phones, including the Lumia 630 and 635 and Lumia 930announced by Nokia today, in the coming months. If you want to try out Windows Phone 8.1 and you are a registered developer, you can update your phone as part of the Developer Preview Program in the first part of April.

We are very proud of the progress we are making with Windows Phone. Industry analyst IDC proclaimed Windows Phone the fastest growing smartphone platform in 2013, and we think the future is even brighter. At Mobile World Congress, we announced our commitment to growing the number of device partners making Windows Phones, and were proud to welcome nine new partners to the Windows Phone ecosystem. Today we announced two more partners – Prestigio in Europe and Micromax in India – to further ensure that individuals around the world will have access to the amazing experience that only Windows Phone delivers consistently across all price points.

We know we have lots more to do – for developers, for business customers, and for consumers. Today’s announcements at Build were all about taking the next steps – making it easier than ever to build great devices and write great apps for Windows, and enabling a new generation of cool experiences for customers that show the power of designing around people, delivering truly personal computing, and helping us all to get more out of the technology in our lives.

Brace for the Future

[This post is by Dan Morrill, Open Source & Compatibility Program Manager. — Tim Bray]

Way back in November 2007 when Google announced Android, Andy Rubin said “We hope thousands of different phones will be powered by Android.” But now, Android’s growing beyond phones to new kinds of devices. (For instance, you might have read about the new 7” Galaxy Tab that our partners at Samsung just announced.) So, I wanted to point out a few interesting new gadgets that are coming soon running the latest versions of Android, 2.1 and 2.2.

For starters, the first Android-based non-phone handheld devices will be shipping over the next few months. Some people call these Mobile Internet Devices or Personal Media Players — MIDs or PMPs. Except for the phone part, PMP/MID devices look and work just like smartphones, but if your app really does require phone hardware to work correctly, you can follow some simple steps to make sure your app only appears on phones.

Next up are tablets. Besides the Samsung Galaxy Tab I mentioned, the Dell Streak is now on sale, which has a 5” screen and blurs the line between a phone and a tablet. Of course, Android has supported screens of any size since version 1.6, but these are the first large-screen devices to actually ship with Android Market. A tablet’s biggest quirk, of course, is its larger screen.

It’s pretty rare that we see problems with existing apps running on large-screen devices, but at the same time many apps would benefit from making better use of the additional screen space. For instance, an email app might be improved by changing its UI from a list-oriented layout to a two-pane view. Fortunately, Android and the SDK make it easy to support multiple screen sizes in your app, so you can read up on our documentation and make sure your app makes the best use of the extra space on large screens.

Speaking of screen quirks, we’re also seeing the first devices whose natural screen orientation is landscape. For instance, Motorola’s CHARM and FLIPOUT phones have screens which are wider than they are tall, when used in the natural orientation. The majority of apps won’t even notice the difference, but if your app uses sensors like accelerometer or compass, you might need to double-check your code.

Now, the devices I’ve mentioned so far still have the same hardware that Android phones have, like compass and accelerometer sensors, cameras, and so on. However, there are also devices coming that will omit some of this hardware. For instance, you’ve probably heard of Google TV, which will get Android Market in 2011. Since Google TV is, you know, a stationary object, it won’t have a compass and accelerometer. It also won’t have a standard camera, since we decided there wasn’t a big audience for pictures of the dust bunnies behind your TV.

Fortunately, you can use our built-in tools to handle these cases and control which devices your app appears to in Android Market. Android lets you provide versions of your UI optimized for various screen configurations, and each device will pick the one that runs best. Meanwhile, Android Market will make sure your apps only appear to devices that can run them, by matching those features you list as required (via tags) only with devices that have those features.

Android started on phones, but we’re growing to fit new kinds of devices. Now your Android app can run on almost anything, and the potential size of your audience is growing fast. But to fully unlock this additional reach, you should double-check your app and tweak it if you need to, so that it puts its best foot forward. Watch this blog over the next few weeks, as we post a series of detailed “tips and tricks” articles on how to get the most out of the new gadgets.

It’s official folks: we’re living in the future! Happy coding.

Here’s the Next Big Thing – this month’s look at the top new indie games for Windows Phone and Windows

We love seeing what our top independent developers bring to the Windows and Windows Phone Stores each month. This month is no exception, with a crop of great new titles recently added to The Next Big Thing Collection for Windows Phone – games like Zombie Tsunami, Machinarium, Skelly Rider, Unroll It and more.

Here’s a closer look at some of the new titles:

Zombie Tsunami

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Usually games have you running from zombies or battling them, but in this wildly fun adventure, you’re one of the staggering hordes. Take your place in the rampage and attack unfortunate survivors, adding them to your ranks. You’re hungry. You’re unstoppable. You’re part of the Zombie Tsunami! Download Zombie Tsunami for free from the Windows Phone Store!

Skelly Rider

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This endless-runner RPG puts a dapper skeleton – “Skelly” – on the run from a monstrous Tyrannosaurus Rex that is terrorizing the countryside. Your challenge: keep Skelly on his winged mount and help him avoid the many obstacles he’ll face as he flies near and far. Face dangers with him, collect gold along the way, even compete with players on global leaderboards. Download Skelly Rider for free from the Windows Phone Store!

Galactic Rush

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Who’s the fastest in the galaxy? In this endless-runner game, that’s the question for you to answer, proving your zip-zag-jump-run prowess to earn the title. You can represent humans or other alien races, and you can take advantage of power-ups to complete challenges and earn rewards. Put your running shoes on and lace them up – the biggest race in the galaxy is about to begin! Download Galactic Rush for free from the Windows Phone Store!

Machinarium

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This little robot has been consigned to a big scrap heap behind the city of Machinarium, but even worse, his robot girlfriend is in distress and needs his help. That’s where the adventure begins, with our little guy confronting the Black Cap Brotherhood to save her. You’ll encounter a range of evil robots in this rusty world, solving logic puzzles and brain teasers along the way. Can he rescue his girl and make her day? With your help, of course! Download Machinarium for $4.99 (U.S.) from the Windows Phone Store!

Numolition

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Add ‘em up and blow ‘em up – that’s the addictively fun goal behind this explosive game, filled with wacky characters and imaginative animation. Just flatten as many constructions as you can by setting up, adding up and blowing up the numbers 1 to 9. Sound easy? You’ll get the hang of things quickly, but mastery will take time. There are more than 50 levels and 120 bonus challenges to keep you guessing and going. Numolition is a fun time for all ages – no matter how honed your math skills may be. Download Numolition for $1.49 (U.S.) from the Windows Phone Store!

Dengen Chronicles

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Here’s your chance to be the hero of your favorite comic – all in an engaging Manga card game. With four Manga families at war (Ninja, Fantasy, Robot and School), you’ll need to pick a side, build your card deck of warriors and head into battle. Your warriors are super-customizable, with thousands of fantasy fight items – and you can challenge real opponents in turn-based matches. Play your saga and see your Manga future unfold. Download Dengen Chronicles for free from the Windows Phone Store and download it for free from the Windows Store!

Unroll It

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Keeping things simple makes this game incredibly fun. All you do is move the blocks up, down and sideways to create a continuous path for a little white ball to reach its red goal. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. Just trust that as the challenge increases, the fun does, too. Download Unroll It for free from the Windows Phone Store and download it for free from the Windows Store!

Zombie Ragdoll

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For physics fun with some wild-eyed ragdolls, start here. These ragdolls are zombies, too, so you can turn them into deadly weapons with no harm done: aim, tap, and shoot them as you work your way through each level. Live Tiles show you high scores and which lab you’ve reached, and you can purchase coins and gems in-app to help you beat levels. Try some apocalyptic ragdoll fun today! Download Zombie Ragdoll for free from the Windows Phone Store and download it for free from the Windows Store!

Start off your spring with some great new indie games. Check out these and more in The Next Big Thing Collection in the Windows Phone Store!

Microsoft Research’s Blink app gets an update for Windows Phone

Microsoft Research has announced and released an update today for their Blink app on Windows Phone. If you have the app already installed (and over 1 million of you do), you’ll get the update soon. If you don’t have it installed, you can download it here for free from the Windows Phone Store. So what is the Blink app? Blink on your Windows Phone lets you capture a burst of images before you even press the shutter and then continues to capture images after you’ve taken your shot – helping you find the best shot or action. It also creates a short animated “Blink” that can be shared to Facebook, Twitter or on Socl (pronounced “social”).

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New features: Focus lock and quick jump gallery view

Today’s update adds a few new features I think folks will enjoy:

  • Fresh new look: New branding and refreshed UI elements throughout the app.
  • New tutorial: To help people get started with Blink, the app now includes a tutorial that walks through how to use the app.
  • Dual modes: Switch easily between two modes – Blink mode to edit and share your animations, and still mode to save and share the perfect shot.
  • Focus lock: Tap on the screen to lock focus in that the region. Now no matter where you move the phone, that region will automatically be re-focused (a favorite new feature of mine!).
  • Better stabilization: The image alignment algorithm has been improved so that all your Blinks play without any camera shake or jitter.
  • Quick jump gallery view: A new gallery view has been added in the Blink roll for people to quickly jump through their captured Blinks.
  • Live Tile: If you have Blink pinned to your Start screen on your Windows Phone, the tile will now show images from some of your previously captured Blinks.

This is in addition to existing features in Blink that current users enjoy, such as:

  • GIF export: In addition to sharing Blinks on Facebook, Twitter and Socl, users can also export their Blinks in GIF format to OneDrive.
  • Always-in-focus: Blink has continuous re-focus mechanism which tracks phone motion and uses face detection to keep the scene or subject always in focus.
  • Metadata Tagging: Your photos from Blink are tagged with date, time and location information for easy sorting and organization in other applications.
  • In-app gallery: Blink always retains all your captures in app, until deletion, so you can always go back and enjoy your favorite moments in the Blink roll.

For more on Blink, click here. Leave a comment with links to some of your Blinks!

Avengers Alliance now available for Windows Phone

Stop villains like Loki or Dr. Doom as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. by recruiting Marvel superheroes like the Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk. There are more than 20 superheroes from the Marvel Universe you can recruit. You’ll battle the villains in more than 450 battles, 60+ missions, and hundreds of quests.

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Download Avengers Alliance today from the Windows Phone Store – free with in-app purchase options.

You can also download Avengers Alliance for your Windows PC or Tablet from the Windows Store.

Android Wear Developer Preview Now Available

By Austin Robison, Android Wear team

Android Wear extends the Android platform to wearables. These small, powerful devices give users useful information just when they need it. Watches powered by Android Wear respond to spoken questions and commands to provide info and get stuff done. These new devices can help users reach their fitness goals and be their key to a multiscreen world.

We designed Android Wear to bring a common user experience and a consistent developer platform to this new generation of devices. We can’t wait to see what you will build.

Getting started

Your app’s notifications will already appear on Android wearables and starting today, you can sign up for the Android Wear Developer Preview. You can use the emulator provided to preview how your notifications will appear on both square and round Android wearables. The Developer Preview also includes new Android Wear APIs which will let you customize and extend your notifications to accept voice replies, feature additional pages, and stack with similar notifications. Head on over to developer.android.com/wear to sign up and learn more.

For a brief introduction to the developer features of Android Wear, check out these DevBytes videos. They include demos and a discussion about the code snippets driving them.

What’s next?

We’re just getting started with the Android Wear Developer Preview. In the coming months we’ll be launching new APIs and features for Android Wear devices to create even more unique experiences for the wrist.

Join the Android Wear Developers community on Google+ to discuss the Preview and ask questions.

We’re excited to see what you build!

Sharing what’s up our sleeve: Android coming to wearables

Most of us are rarely without our smartphones in hand. These powerful supercomputers keep us connected to the world and the people we love. But we’re only at the beginning; we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with mobile technology. That’s why we’re so excited about wearables—they understand the context of the world around you, and you can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word.

Android Wear: Information that moves with you 
Today we’re announcing Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables. And we’re starting with the most familiar wearable—watches. Going well beyond the mere act of just telling you the time, a range of new devices along with an expansive catalogue of apps will give you:

  • Useful information when you need it most. Android Wear shows you info and suggestions you need, right when you need them. The wide variety of Android applications means you’ll receive the latest posts and updates from your favorite social apps, chats from your preferred messaging apps, notifications from shopping, news and photography apps, and more. 
  • Straight answers to spoken questions. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions, like how many calories are in an avocado, what time your flight leaves, and the score of the game. Or say “Ok Google” to get stuff done, like calling a taxi, sending a text, making a restaurant reservation or setting an alarm. 
  • The ability to better monitor your health and fitness. Hit your exercise goals with reminders and fitness summaries from Android Wear. Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk. 
  • Your key to a multiscreen world. Android Wear lets you access and control other devices from your wrist. Just say “Ok Google” to fire up a music playlist on your phone, or cast your favorite movie to your TV. There’s a lot of possibilities here so we’re eager to see what developers build. 

Developer Preview 
If you’re a developer, there’s a new section on developer.android.com/wear focused on wearables. Starting today, you can download a Developer Preview so you can tailor your existing app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear. Because Android for wearables works with Android’s rich notification system, many apps will already work well. Look out for more developer resources and APIs coming soon. We’re also already working with several consumer electronics manufacturers, including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group to bring you watches powered by Android Wear later this year.

We’re always seeking new ways for technology to help people live their lives and this is just another step in that journey. Here’s to getting the most out of the many screens you use every day—whether in your car, in your pocket or, very soon, on your wrist.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps