Microsoft has released Windows 8.1, which adds more Start screen personalisation, multitasking and search options. For desktop users, the Start button has returned along with boot-to-desktop and other options.
Users of Windows 8 can upgrade to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store here and keep their data and programs. Users of Windows 8.1 Preview will need to reinstall their programs after upgrading.
Users of Windows 7 and earlier will need to upgrade to Windows 8 and then to Windows 8.1 to avoid losing their programs. Microsoft has also updated all of the core apps, so they need to be updated through the Store app after upgrading to Windows 8.1.
Google has released Chrome 31 beta for Android. It has a new “Add to homescreen” option that can be used to pin websites to the homescreen. Certain websites will open in a full-screen experience and appear as a separate app in the app switcher.
Some beta users will also see variations of the New Tab page including one with a search bar. Learn more on the Google Chrome blog here and download the beta from Google Play here.
Google has also added the Chrome OS UI to the development channel of Chrome for Windows. When a user installs Chrome in Windows 8 and sets it as the default browser, a tile will be added to the Start screen that can be used to launch the Modern version of Chrome.
Clicking the tile will open the Chrome OS UI with apps displayed along the bottom. Separate Chrome windows can be opened and snapped side-by-side. Learn more on The Verge here and download the dev channel version of Chrome for Windows here.
Microsoft has added free ad-supported streaming to its Xbox Music web player for the next six months when viewed on a desktop browser in Windows 8 and later. There are also Xbox Music apps available for iOS and Android that provide ad-free streaming, but they require an Xbox Music Pass.
Learn more on the Xbox Wire blog here. Download the iOS app on the iTunes app store here and the Android app on Google Play here.
Foursquare has released an app for Windows 8 and RT. After logging in, the app displays the user’s last check-in and nearby places of interest. Swiping to the left displays an interactive map and swiping to the right displays which places are trending and best-rated places.
Swiping up from the bottom displays the app bar with quick access to lists, friends or check in to a place. The Search charm can be used to search for a place to check in. Learn more on the Windows Experience Blog here and download the app from the Windows Store here.
Microsoft has announced it has made a deal with Gameloft and Amiga to develop games for Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8. Gameloft will bring 15 new game titles including Asphalt 8: Airborne, Dungeon Hunter 4, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, Six Guns, Total Conquest and UNO & Friends.
Learn more about the deal with Gameloft here and with Amiga here.
Twitter has updated its app for Windows RT and 8. With this update, users can sign in with multiple Twitter accounts, view their lists and those of other users, pin lists and user profiles to the Start screen.
The update also improves stability and fixes many bugs. Learn more on the Windows blog here and download the app from the Windows Store here.
Twitter has also updated the search bar on its website to display recent and saved searches. People and photos are also now included in search results. Learn more in the Twitter post here.
Microsoft has updated its OneNote app for Windows 8. It is now possible to sign in using an Office 365 account to make it easy to open work notes. The update also makes it easier to dismiss the onscreen keyboard by tapping a blank space on the notebook. Learn more about these changes on the OneNote blog here.
Using a Windows 8 or Windows RT device? Download the update from the Windows Store here.
Evernote has updated its Evernote Touch app for Windows 8/RT. The update adds a new hub page with options to create a new text, photo or file note, shortcuts to popular notes, and recent updates to shared and Business notes.
There is also a list of notes sorted by last update and a list of notebooks. The update also adds Evernote Business support with Business notebooks displayed in blue, two-step verification and significant reliability improvements.
Learn more on the Evernote blog here. Using a Windows 8 or Windows RT device? Download the update from the Windows Store here.
Unity has announced it will collaborate with Microsoft to bring its game development platform to Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox One. They will create an app that will be distributed in the Windows Store and Unity Pro 4 licensed developers will receive a free license to use the new app.
For the Xbox One, the developer tools will support many of the next-generation features including Kinect gestures and recognition, multiplayer matchmaking, SmartGlass and the unlimited power of the cloud. Developers who build games published by Microsoft Studios will have access to Unity tools for Xbox 360 and Xbox One free of charge.
Interested in learning more? See the press release here.
Microsoft has released SkyDrive Pro apps for Windows 8 and iOS. These apps allow Office 365 subscribers to upload, organise and share documents and files. Files are automatically synchronised between devices.
Using Windows 8 or RT? Download the app from Windows Store here. Using an iOS device? Download the app from the iTunes app store here.