Starting tomorrow, Eric Larsen and his 3-person team of adventurers will start off on an epic journey to traverse the Arctic Ocean from Northern Ellesmere Island to the geographic North Pole. The goal: break the current expedition speed record that was set in 2006 by a Norwegian team to cover the nearly 500-mile distance to the North Pole in less than 49 days.
To break the record, the expedition will travel across dangerous terrain that will be an increasingly unstable ice pack and shifting sea ice in temperatures hovering near 50 below zero. They will be using skis and snowshoes and have sleds made out of lightweight Kevlar that will be able to also serve as make-shift rafts as needed for large open-water crossings. The expedition will be unsupported, meaning the team will not receive any outside assistance or supplies during the journey. They will have to take all the necessary supplies for the entire journey with them when they set off – nearly 350 pounds of food and gear.
Microsoft is supporting Eric’s journey by providing him with Nokia Lumia 1020 and Nokia Lumia 1520 Windows Phones that he will take with him on the expedition. Using these Lumias, he’ll be able to take amazing photography documenting and sharing his journey with the world. As someone who also uses a Lumia 1020, I am super excited to see the photos Eric will be taking on his trip. Eric has also been using the Nokia Lumia 2520 and Panasonic ToughPad G1 tablets to track and train for the expedition.
I love show Top Gear. So when I saw that BBC had released the game Race The Stig today, I quickly downloaded it from the Windows Phone Store. It was the reason why I was late coming into work this morning (woops!). The game is super fun. You essentially go head-to-head with Top Gear’s very own tame racing driver – The Stig!
As you play, you speed through iconic Top Gear locations driving the series’ most recognizable cars like Richard Hammond’s beloved Oliver, Jeremy Clarkson’s Italian police car (complete with Ben Hur wheels), James May’s Amphibious Triumph Herald, and yes – even Geoff.
The goal is to collect as many Golden Nuts as possible while dodging obstacles and other vehicles and being chased by The Stig. You can customize yourself before picking your car with a wide selection of helmets and soar over traffic in the Rocket Robin or become invincible with the Indestructible Pickup. Then you choose to accept challenges from the white coated Top Gear producers. Oh and show off your high scores too via Facebook and Twitter. Download Race The Stig today for free from the Windows Phone Store.
For more on Race The Stig, read this post from TopGear.com!
BBC also has two other Top Gear apps for both Windows and Windows Phone including one that lets you build your own “Cool Wall” – see my post here from last month.
Last night, an article written by Cal Borchers at BetaBoston was sent to me that was too awesome to pass up doing a short blog post about and linking to. Cal recently stopped by Microsoft in Cambridge and met one of Boston’s newest developers: 8 year old Mohamed Tariq Jaffar Ali (he goes by Tariq). You can read Tariq’s story here but he essentially followed his father to a Nokia DVLUP Day back in November and joined a class they had on Windows Phone App Studio (currently in beta). His app called Kids Zone aggregates online videos from popular cartoons and puts them in to channels for kids to watch. If you have kids, you should definitely check out his app – you can download it for free from the Windows Phone Store here. It’s an app for kids built by a kid!
If you’re not familiar with App Studio, you should check it out. App Studio is a super easy tool that lets anyone jump in and bring an app for Windows Phone to life without advanced programming experience. In App Studio, you build your app right in your browser and then when done, immediately publish it to the Windows Phone Store. I am hoping to create my own app using App Studio soon.
Last week at Mobile World Congress, it was announced that Facebook Messenger was coming to Windows Phone. And today it’s here! You can now download Facebook Messenger from the Windows Phone Store.
With Facebook Messenger, you will be able to see who’s online for a private or group chat, send a private message, and bring messages to life with pictures and stickers. You can also share your location so people can know if you are nearby. All your Facebook friends are automatically adder to the People Tab for you to get started sending messages but you can also import new contacts too. Download Facebook Messenger today!
One of the most authentic football games is now available for download in the Windows Phone Store: FIFA 14. FIFA 14 brings real players, real teams, and real leagues right to your Windows Phone where you can use touch controls to pass, shoot, and tackle right on the field in stadiums from around the world.
Featuring 33 leagues, more than 600 licensed teams and more than 16,000 players, from the English Premier League and La Liga to the German Bundesliga and more – it’s the ultimate football companion. You can even listen to commentary in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Gametime begins now – download FIFA 14 from EA for free from the Windows Phone Store.
We’re always watching to see what independent developers are going to come up with for Windows Phone. And every month, we add our favorites to The Next Big Thing Collection. Here are a few new games we’ve added for this month we think you should check out:
A little girl’s teddy bear was stolen as she slept, and now you’re following her into a dark cupboard to find the monster who took it. It’s a mysterious, magical world of pixilated fun, with monsters, oddities and riddles that distract her from her quest…and might also make it difficult for you both to find your way out. Download Finding Teddy today from the Windows Phone Store for $2.49 (U.S.).
Exploding tomatoes! Flying cherries! Fleet-footed lemons! You’re now in a world where crazy mad fruit are on the attack, determined to destroy your blender. What can you do? Circle them with your finger to form a protective bubble, then thrown the bubble right into the whirring blades. Prepare to defend your juicer from Angry Fruit Pirates, a Fruit Army and hordes of Fruit Zombies. It’s a produce section straight from a hilarious nightmare! Download Blender Defender: Fruit Slicer for free from the Windows Phone Store.
Prepare to be amazed in the world of Paperland, where a charming being made from paper, cardboard and a few cotton balls zips and jumps his way up and across platforms to protect his territory from Lord Papyrus and his minions. The graphics are stunningly fresh and the music is bubbly and fun (wear your headphones!), so get ready for 28 levels and 6 unique worlds of charming, platforming adventures. Download Paper Monsters for $.99 (U.S.) from the Windows Phone Store.
Cunning and bravery count for a lot in this medieval adventure of battlefields and pillaged towns. You start as a young regent of single city, but if you plan right and move fearlessly, you can go on to build an unconquerable kingdom. Take on enemies, capture kingdoms, and form a mighty alliance in competition with thousands of other players. Who will be the King of Kings? Only the player whose desire to build is unquenchable. Download Throne Wars for free from the Windows Phone Store.
A jolly little jelly fish needs to make his way through a series of underwater passageways, floating up and down at your touch so he’s positioned just right to keep moving ahead. It’s isn’t difficult, but it definitely isn’t as easy as you might think. Sit back with Jolly Fish for a few minutes – or a few days – of mesmerizing fun. Download Jolly Fish for free from the Windows Phone Store.
You can check out this month’s The Next Big Thing Collection by clicking here that includes the above games and more. We’re huge fans of seeing our community of independent developers build new and different games. These games are further proof of just how much they enjoy entertaining you and me!
You can also check out a few of my favorite Windows and Windows Phone apps here in this blog post I published earlier today.