Anyone using the Windows Phone 8 mobile platform is likely pleased with personalization and interactivity offered by the competitor to iOS and Android. The convenience of live tiles, which are both customizable and frequently updated, has taken the starting point offered by Windows Phone 7 to the next level. The increased integration with apps has no doubt assuaged naysayers who weren’t that impressed with the prior iteration. That said, those attempting to utilize YouTube on Windows Phone 8 were no doubt disappointed to find that the app was not optimized for use with this platform, appearing as nothing more than the web version resized for mobile, with little functionality or added value to spare. Luckily, however, Windows seems to be addressing the lite fare featured in their application Marketplace – YouTube, in particular, has undergone an expansive update that completely revamps the interface and functionality for Windows Phone 8 users.
One feature that users are sure to appreciate right off the bat is the quick access search bar. As you may have guessed, this functionality allows for faster, easier video searches within the application, so if you know what you’re looking for, you can now gain access in a snap (or a tap). But it’s also a lot easier to save and share, as well, when you find YouTube videos you like. One of the major draws of this visual medium, aside from pure entertainment value, is that it allows users to spot and share video trends with their cadre of online and mobile contacts. And the newly updated application for Window mobile does not disappoint in this regard.
First, you can save your faves with a feature called pinning. It’s not the same as creating a pinboard on Pinterest, for example, but the idea is in the same vein since the functionality allows you to collect and store the videos that you love for easy reference later on. Whereas previously you might have had to seek out a particular video every time you wanted to show it to someone new, pinning lets you save playlists, searches, and specific videos. And thanks to the addition of My YouTube you can create a profile to more easily manage your personal playlist. But of course, the ability to share via text, email, and social media is the icing on the cake for this app, which would otherwise only realize half of its potential use value.
Of course, that’s not the end of the upgrades. Also sure to be popular is the Kid’s Corner feature that allows parents to censor content on their children’s phones (or their own). So if you have videos pinned to your YouTube channel, or even to live tiles, you can decide whether or not to allow access to others using your phone via this feature. The long and short of this updated app is that it provides Windows Phone 8 users with the features they might expect from a comparable program on similar devices (iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy 4, for example). It could even help you to get YouTube views for your own channel thanks to increased sharing opportunities. And all you have to do is head to the Windows Marketplace to download this awesome update.
Independent Australian developer, Christian Lee, will launch Draw Team later this month, the new social drawing party game that can be played on Apple TV. Making use of the technology of the iPad to integrate with Apple TV via AirPlay, Draw Team plays like a traditional board game minus the hassle.
“My friends and I have always been huge board game fans, and I saw the opportunity to bring real social interaction to an iOS game with the current Apple platforms,” says Christian. “I wanted to remind people of the true meaning of ‘social’, and create as much laughter as possible in the process.”
As one player draws a secretly revealed mystery word on the iPad, their drawing appears simultaneously on the television screen and other players guess the word to compete for points. Players can relive the fun by sharing amusing or remarkable drawings via email and social media platforms with friends not in the room.
The game will be free to download for a limited time and has a simple interface so is easy for children, families and groups of adults alike to pick up and play. Up to nine individuals can play at a time or for bigger parties numbers can go up to 40 in team play mode. In-app purchases of additional word packs tailored to skill level or special category such as “Difficult”, “Kids” and “Movies” enhance the experience.
Sharkfish Studios, an independent game development studio located in Finland, has announced the release of Wordmare — a word puzzle game for iOS. Wordmare offers a fresh view on word games with a focus on solving word associations. Each level starts with a visible word and with the help of hints it is up to you to solve the associated words. Solving words will reveal more associations and the aim is to locate and solve goal words or to complete 75 percent of the whole level to unlock the next one.
Tens of hours of gameplay include both smaller and larger levels with different themes. Some words have image or audio clues attached and if you get stuck you can use power-ups to reveal letters for unsolved words. Complete larger levels with no time limits or challenge yourself in shorter time attack levels.
Matti Anttonen, CEO of Sharkfish Studios, is excited about the release: “We have had such a great time designing and play testing the levels that I am sure the players will enjoy them as well. If you are looking for mind stimulating games, give Wordmare a try, I bet you’ll get hooked.”
Here’s a video showing some gameplay footage for you to get an idea of the game:
Interested? You can download Wordmare on the App Store for $0.99 by clicking here.