Apps

Windows Central App Roundup: Top Rated Windows Phone camera apps

This week's Windows Central roundup is going to take on a slightly different twist. We want to know what your favorite Windows Phone camera alternative is. The native Windows Phone camera app is a capable camera app but we also have several equally capable alternatives in the Windows Phone Store. We will highlight some of the more popular choices and at the end of the roundup, we have a reader's poll to see what you guys and gals think.

These are Windows Phone photography apps that are camera apps first and editors second. We aren't including apps that are focused on photo-editing (even though you can launch a camera app from within) such as Photoshop Express, Fhotoroom, Fantasia Painter, Black and others. All are fine titles in the Windows Phone Store but we are looking at apps that can replace the native Windows Phone camera app.

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Smart thermostats and appliances are the new rage in 2014 and now tado° (tado.com) is on board with Windows Phone.

For those who do not know tado° heat was a Kickstarter project from a few years back. The device connects to your wall mounted heater and makes it 'smart' by detecting your phone's presence and adjusting the temperature accordingly.

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Photosynth is one of the more innovative imaging apps to hail out of Microsoft in the last few years. However, the Photosynth app for Windows Phone has not seen too much in the way of updates or new features. In fact, the last update was back in January.

So it is a surprise to see version 1.8 not only go live in the Store, but come with some new, post-worthy features!

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The Track Runner app for Windows Phone is incredibly popular and highly-rated (4.8 out of 5 with over 600 reviews), but making so awesome of an app free of charge and free of ads means making money can be tricky. So developer The App Cauldron is offering users the option to donate to support the app, and development of version 5.0 of Track Runner.

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Besides new apps for Windows, we love apps that are also on Windows Phone, utilizing Microsoft's new 8.1 developer tools. Early this morning, Credit Karma became yet another app to add to your dual collection.

Credit Karma (CreditKarma.com) has been available as Windows 8.1 app since mid-September, but now the Windows Phone version of the free credit-checking app is available, sharing the same features.

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Popular list-making app Wunderlist is now available for your desktop. Wunderlist officially released updated apps for Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 this past September. Now your cloud-synced lists will be available on your desktop, especially useful for any machines you have still running Windows 7. To top it off, the team at Wunderlist has updated their Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 apps!

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Getting crusts-on with the Domino's app for Xbox One

This week Domino's Pizza jumped into the world of Xbox One applications. Or in the UK and Republic of Ireland it did, at least. It's not the first time a pizza delivery app has been available on a games console, but Domino's latest joins its apps for Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android.

So, while we're waiting on it getting out into a few more countries we've fired up a British console and gone for a test order. All in the name of, er, science. Or something.

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In case you missed it, the WolframAlpha app has just been released for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1. The app has been available on other platforms like iOS, Android, Kindle, Nook, and of course, your web browser. After spending a few minutes with it, one thought comes to mind. This could have been really useful when I was a student! What is WolframAlpha? We'll show you in our hands-on video.

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Microsoft has just released an update for Xbox Video that will help the app launch faster on Windows Phone 8.1 and fixes some crashing issues. The update is fairly minor overall, but contains important bug fixes. If you haven't already grabbed the update, it is available in the Windows Phone Store right now.

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Canadian theater chain Cineplex Cinemas has introduced an interactive gaming app called TimePlay where users will be rewarded with prizes and loyalty apps.

TimePlay allows users to challenge their friends or a theater full of strangers with interactive gameplay. The app, previously available or Android, BlackBerry, and iOS users has now reached Windows Phone allowing multi-player game play on a secondary screen. The mini games within the app will be continually updated and users can take advantage of special offers when they play.

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There are plenty of Windows Phone apps available to create custom wallpapers for your Start Screen or Lockscreen. Start Design is a relatively new offering in this genre of apps and hopes to catch everyone's creative eye.

Start Design not only allows you to create colorful background wallpapers but also has tools to create multi-column background images, blur photos for use and the ability to create advanced wallpapers to match custom backgrounds to specific transparent tiles. As our tipster notes, this app opens up a lot of possibilities for your Windows Phone wallpapers.

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Duolingo is a popular way to learn a language online and is created by crowdsourcing pioneer Luis von Ahn. Duolingo has already garnered over 50 million users across the world via popular Android and iOS apps.

Selected by Apple as iPhone App of the Year 2013 and by Google as Best of the Best for Android 2013, the free, science-based language education platform began as a research project in von Ahn's lab at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science, and is now established as a top educational startup. After getting teased earlier this month, the official Duolingo app for Windows Phone has arrived.

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Join the Windows Phone beta for comic reader Cover

Comics are wonderful things and, to this day, a guilty pleasure of mine. There's a beta starting up soon for a comic reader app on Windows Phone that you might want to join if you too like to read comics.

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MeeDJ is a DJ mixing console for Windows Phone that was created for those who enjoy mixing tracks. It places you in control of your Windows Phone music library with the ability to mix songs by jogging, pitching and applying an assortment of audio effects.

MeeDJ is normally a freemium app but through the myAppFree Deal, you can unlock the $5.99 GoPro Bundle to remove the ads and recording limitations for free.

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One of the bigger changes in Windows Phone 8.1 was replacing certain core functions of the OS with an alternative app-model. The reasoning behind the move, which includes Music, Video, Podcasts and more, was to enable a more dynamic updating system without needing a full OS update.

Today, Microsoft has updated the native Podcasts app for Windows Phone 8.1. Unfortunately, a changelog was not included.

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7 steps to make amazing videos with Movie Creator Beta

I've been playing with the newly released Movie Creator Beta and I'm surprised at how good it is for quick and easy editing. You can add videos, photos or Cinemagraph content files together with no length limitations. I shot some videos from Color Me Rad (colormerad.com) a few months ago, but they've just been sitting idle inside my Lumia Icon. With Movie Creator, I was able to create a movie from those clips in just few minutes.

Here are some of my tips to make an incredible video with Movie Creator.

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