Thurrott Daily: July 4

Posted on July 4, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Groove Music, Hardware, Windows 10, Windows Phones, Xbox, Xbox One with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: July 4

Last night in Derry, New Hampshire

Happy 4th of July! Here are some tech tidbits from around the web.

7/4/2016 3:00:09 PM

Microsoft’s Ultimate Game Sale starts tomorrow, July 5

Xbox Wire announces Christmas in July:

Summer’s ultimate sale is back and running from July 5 through July 11. The Ultimate Game Sale will feature over 250 deals on Xbox titles and, for the first time ever, will include Windows 10 games and special pricing for Xbox One consoles.

Xbox game deals include a savings of up to 40 to 60 percent, with some at more than 60 percent off! In addition, Xbox Live Gold members save up to 10 percent more on top of the discounts. A few of these deals are fan favorites and new games such as The Division’s first DLC, ARK: Survival Evolved, DOOM, Dark Souls lll, and Quantum Break. In addition, there will be deals on several Xbox One Backward Compatibility games such as The Witcher 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Counter-Strike: GO, and South Park: The Stick of Truth, all now playable on Xbox One.

You can find the complete list of games and their special pricing at Major Nelson’s blog.

Xbox Play Anywhere launches on September 13th

And speaking of Xbox, Polygon says we have a date for the launch of Xbox Play Anywhere.

Xbox Play Anywhere, which delivers certain games to the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC with a single purchase, goes live on Sept. 13, Microsoft confirmed to Polygon this week.

The new program was during last month’s E3 Microsoft press conference. Play Anywhere saves your progress to a single file, tracks a single set of achievements and won’t cost any more than a regular game. It also means that any DLC you purchase will be playable on both systems. This includes game add-ons, season passes, consumables and in-game unlocks.

The service requires that you have the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition update on your PC, which hits on Aug. 2, and the the summer update on your Xbox One console. It only supports the download version of the game, not the disc version.

Your Groove gets a little bit groovier in Groove app on Windows 10

A recent update to the Groove app for Windows 10 with the Anniversary update introduces just a spec of color to the new Your Groove view, shown here.

groove-hero

Nothing major, of course, but a nice addition nonetheless. Plus there are a few more changes, Microsoft says:

Unplayable tracks won’t be added to Now Playing to give you a better playback experience.

The app retries loading streaming songs a few times when it used to try only once.

23 UX tweaks including messaging improvements, updates for Narrator, and updates to the accuracy of playlists lengths.

Fixes for crashes when using scroll wheel while viewing an artist detail page and when clicking on “more” in artist details.

Thanks to Neowin for the tip!

NuAns NEO running Windows 10 Mobile heads to Kickstarter

The Windows 10 Mobile-based NuAns NEO smart phone features a neat design, with two shell pieces that can be swapped out and replaced with different designs. This enables nice customization functionality, including designs with different top and bottom pieces—truly a unique look—or a flip case with a built-in stand.

nuans

We sought out to design a device that blends into our hands and lifestyles by using natural materials which bring immediate comfort. In this new era, we have brought nuance to digital devices with new answers for our lifestyles.

I like the idea. And I think personalization is going to play a bigger role in smart phone designs going forward. That said, the NuAns NEO is of course a non-starter for most. Windows 10 Mobile is mostly terrible and has a lackluster app collection. The phone itself features mid-range, not high-end, specs (Snapdragon 617, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, 720p display), and while it is capable of handling Continuum, I’d prefer for at least the option to upgrade the processor. And of course it’s a Kickstarter that looks like it’s not going to get anywhere close to the $725,000 goal.

That said, if you do want to take a chance, the Early Bird Pricing is decent, with the current going rate at $270. (The final price will be $400 for future customers.)

Possible specs for next Nexus handsets leak

Speaking of smart phones, it looks like the 2016 generation Google Nexus smart phones, both of which will curiously be built by HTC, have leaked. (Thanks to Android Police in both cases.)

As with last year’s Nexus 5X and 6P, the coming Nexus devices include both phone and phablet form factors.

The phone-sized device, codenamed Sailfish, will allegedly pack a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display, a quad-core 2 GHz 64-bit processor, 4 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage, a 12 MP rear camera, and a 2770mAh battery.

The phablet-class device, codenamed Marlin, features a 5.5-inch QHD (2560×1440) AMOLED display, a quad-core Qualcomm processoruad-core Qualcomm processor, 4 GB of RAM, 32 GB/128 GB of internal storage, a 12 MP rear camera, and a 3450mAh battery

So it looks like the same basic differentiation as last year’s devices.

 

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