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Month: May 2016

Cast – A windows Podcast app done right

While searching for a good universal podcast app we came across the simply titled app Cast. We put the app through it’s paces and here are our impressions. Cast may not be the best looking app out there but it’s still easy to figure everything it has to offer.

Adding a new podcast

Search and adding a podcast is one of the most important functions of any podcast app and it’s done easily here by searching by keyword or pasting the direct url of the podcast. This is great if you know what your looking for. What it lacks is a a way to explore and discover new podcasts without searching for them. Search is fast and the search results are quickly populated as you type

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Your Collection

Once your done adding a new podcast they show up under your library categorised by the keywords you chose when adding them

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Playlists

You can easily queue up individual episodes for play and download them with on tap if needed. Playback options include the ability to play episodes at up to 3 times normal speed.

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Cloud and Cross Platform Functionality

One of the most important things we look forward to in a universal app is it’s cross platform functionality. In this regard Cast performs very well. It can sync your library across desktop, tablet and mobile.

Overall

Cast is a great podcast solution for Windows users that works equally well across the desktop and mobile. We miss a discovery feature for podcasts and is probably the only reason we might suggest an alternative solution. Other than it it’s a nice a regularly updated app. It’s also completely free to use with the option to send a tip to the developer.

Get the app for free from here

 

Whatsapp introduces a Windows desktop app

After some recent rumors that have now turned out to be true Whatsapp has introduced a desktop version of their app. While this is great news for heavy users in it’s current state the desktop version simply seems to be a web wrapper for the current web version of Whatsapp. So you will still need Whatsapp on your phone and scan a QR code to get the whole thing working. The desktop version simply mirrors whats on your phone’s client and vice versa. One of the benefits of the new app is that notifications are now integrated natively into Windows.

While a UWP version with features like actionable notifications would have been nice this desktop version is still a nice addition and works reliably.

Download the new Whatsapp Desktop app from here

Windows 10 gets some new features for UWP games

While the future of games on the Universal Windows Platform is still in a state of flux. Microsoft does seem to be listening to users feedback on it. To this end they have announced the release of new updates that make Windows 10 gaming a better for both gamers and developers

  • Support for AMD’s FreesyncTM and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC™ in Universal Windows Platform games and apps
  • Unlocked frame rate for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) games and apps

The update will be rolled out automatically to Windows user or can also be downloaded directly via this link

You can get more information about this as well what the future holds for both Windows 10 and UWP here

 

Overwatch Beta Impressions

While the full launch of Overwatch is only a few days away Blizzard chose to give us a beta weekend to play around with it. As betas go it’s pretty stable and functional and gives a fair idea of how the game is going to play out.

The first thing to get out of the way is that it is heavily inspired by Team Fortress. From there on it does begin to go down it’s own path. The art style is similar to Team Fortress and runs pretty well on even a modest configuration. Matches were quick to find and get started. We played about 10 matches to and we came came across most of the maps and game modes. Those familiar with TF will be able to get into the game pretty quickly.

The first of the  main modes taks you to attack and capture or defend a control point against the opposing team. The other is the payload mode where you try and push a vehicle from point to point by remaining close to it. Overwatch is a very polished game production quality wise. There is a vast selection of 21 heroes to choose from across 4 different classes offense, defense, tank and support. So much so that it can all get a bit overwhelming.

While all this variety might seem good on paper it’s when you actually start playing that things can get a bit well chaotic. With so much going on around you all the time it can get very easy to simply lose your bearings. The other issue I felt was that no matter which hero I played I didn’t feel the satisfaction of actually hitting anyone. This could be a result of either too much happening around you or the basic hit feedback wasn’t very good in the first place. Rest assured it will probably take a long time to understand the nuances of each of it’s heroes.

Get more information about the beta here