Apps

Creating ringtones on Windows Phone isn't technically a difficult task, but it's not incredibly straight forward either. Nokia has taken steps to address this for its Lumia Windows Phone owners with a new app that's available in the Nokia Collection. Ringtone Maker is a simple app that does exactly what it says on the tin - it enables users to take tracks saved locally on the device and turn them into ringtones.

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We have received a note from the developer of Phonos that the recently updated Sonos controller app, Phonos is now on a half price sale in the Windows Phone Store.

If you are a Windows Phone user then you’ll likely already know that Sonos have abstained from making a controller app to work with their multi-room entertainment system for the platform. Phonos has been around for a while and we have reviewed it previously, it is now on a promotion offer until the end of the year.

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The other day the Chase Mobile app vanished from the Windows Phone Store. While we haven't received official word from Chase as to the why, we do know there was a problem with the QuickDeposit feature.

QuickDeposit allows you to deposit checks into your account by snapping a photo of the check and sending it to Chase. For whatever reason the photos were going to your Windows Phone Pictures Hub instead of to your bank account.

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Holiday Inn launches Windows 8 RT app

Hotel giant Holiday Inn, owned by UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), has released a travel app for Windows 8. The app is incredibly simple, but effective. It lets you book rooms and check on reservations anywhere in the world with a straight-forward interface and controls. It also lets users sign in to their Priority Club Rewards account, or sign up if they do not have one.

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Rumor: Facebook looking to buy WhatsApp

Rumors are circulating that Facebook is looking to purchase instant messaging mavens WhatsApp. No pricing of the acquisition or even confirmation of talks have been revealed, but TechCrunch seems convinced that something is brewing between the two companies.

Facebook famously bought Instagram for $1B not too long ago, although that number is mostly reflected in now devalued stock options. It’s not clear why Facebook would buy WhatsApp but there are a few possibilities, including augmenting or even gutting the unreliable Facebook Chat and there is of course the legion of WhatsApps users (who never fail to tell us there is an update for the app on Windows Phone, more on the below).

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Windows Phone developers Liquid Daffodil are back at making Windows Phone fans excited with their legion of apps including Cowlick! glƏƏk!, Cumulotweetus and Outsider. The latest one is called Locksider and we think Windows Phone 8 users are going to be excited.

Locksider is an app many people have been looking for: an automatic Lock screen wallpaper changer, offering high quality images updated on a regular basis. The app features numerous categories that you can choose from to suit your taste and the user has control on how often it should update your lock screen from once an hour to once a day. Don’t want it to update at all but instead do it manually? You can do that as well by browsing through categories and force updating the lock screen image of your choosing.

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One nice feature on our Windows Phones is the ability to download and use custom ringtones. Windows 8 Ringtones is available over at the Windows Phone Store and is a collection of all the Windows 8 advertisement background tunes.

The Windows 8 Ringtone collection includes the tunes you hear in the background of the ad campaigns for not only Windows 8 but also the Surface Tablets.

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One of our favorite and must-have apps around here is TVShow by Rudy Huyn—developer of such great apps as Wikipedia, Fuse and 9Gag.

TVShow is meant for those who want to keep abreast of all the latest episodes of their favorite programs. You enter in your shows and then TV schedules, info, photos and more are pulled down for the 'nets. You can then have reminders set, pin Tiles to your Start screen, share your thoughts via social networks and it’s all wrapped up in what is one of the prettiest apps we’ve come across.

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Bring back native Maps on Nokia Windows Phones

Recently on the Windows Phone Central Podcast we were lamenting how Nokia Maps leaves a lot to be desired on Windows Phone 8. The app is a bit slow, the UI is not as intuitive and some of the information (like traffic) is hit or miss. Most people would suggest using Bing Maps (aka the native Maps application) instead but unfortunately, Nokia has removed the hard link for that app leaving users no choice on Windows Phone 8 Lumias.

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deviantART: Windows Phone App Review

deviantART is a popular photography/art website and the deviantART app brings it all to your Windows Phone. It not only pulls in the 240 million plus photos and pieces of art from deviantART but also allow you manage your deviantART inbox, favorites, gallery and other deviantART account features from your Windows Phone.

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Every once in awhile we come across a really innovative app that isn’t just gimmicky but extremely useful. Today, that app is ReadyClick!

Built for Windows Phone 8, it allows you take a photo just by using your voice—perfect for getting those group shots and not having to worry about a timer. The app is both a Tile and Lens for the camera, making it quickly available for regular usage. Once launched you have a few options including snapping a photo instantly, using a standard (but configurable) timer or the voice activation.

It’s of course the latter function that really makes this app.

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Beem gets updated to 1.4, adds Skydrive support

Beem is a Windows Phone music app that allows users to tap into the Digitally Imported music site and stream various EDM radio stations to your Windows Phone. The popular DI.FM client has been recently updated to version 1.4 and has added Skydrive support to allow you to upload recorded MP3 streams to the cloud.  Recording streamed music has been a Beem feature for sometime and with Skydrive support you can now use Skydrive to back up your recordings.

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Nokia has released an interesting tool that enables the sharing of photos on a Lumia Windows Phone with a PC or other web-enabled device. Through the use of QR Codes, those with a Lumia smartphone can send a photo on the device over Internet tubes to a larger screen or to a friend's smartphone. All that's required is the Windows Phone app and a second screen, both with Internet access.

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If you’re a particularly keen user you may have spotted that the v3.2 update for our official app has just hit the marketplace. This is another incremental update clearing up some of the loose ends since the v3 release and various updates to our website.

You can pick up the update on the Windows Phone marketplace here, but if you want to know what’s coming first you can find the change list below.

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Nokia Maps has been bumped to version 3.0.125.8, which introduces improvements to stability and performance. When firing up the app on a Lumia Windows Phone it no longer takes noticeably longer than Bing Maps--in fact we're only seeing about a one-second speed advantage now with Bing Maps for load time.

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Are you an Amazon Prime member? If so and you’re like us, the UPS delivery person was invited to your Thanksgiving dinner because you see him so much. That also means you want to track your shipments in real-time as much as possible (especially with those high-value items).

Package Tracker (formerly known as Parcel Tracker) was recently pulled from the Windows Phone Store due to “not enough interest” from consumers. But after much haranguing from loyal customers, they returned and even released a Windows 8 app that promised future syncing capability—well that day has arrived.

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Nokia updates Smart Shoot Lens app and refines its UI

For those with Windows Phone 8 Lumias, you may be familiar with Nokia’s Smart Shoot app/Lens for improving your photo skills.

The app works by rapidly shooting a few photos and then letting you select which one looks best. In addition, you can “erase” unwanted objects or moving people in the background and even choose the best face for your subject...

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Official PayPal app gets updated for Windows Phone 8

In a small update for Windows Phone, the official PayPal app has been updated to version 2.2 and making it Windows Phone 8 compatible.

All that really means is it has been run through the new SDK with the code tweaked up a bit. In this case, we’ve noticed two new changes including the addition of a doublewide Tile for your frequent PayPal’ers and fast-resume, allowing you to tap that Tile without having to re-launch the app...

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Windows Phone 8 Bing Translator App now available

There are some apps that really stand out for being genuinely useful and Bing Translator is one of them. The app was released some time back on Windows Phone 7 and has rightly proved to be incredibly popular due to its slick operation and advanced features.

The app has been updated to support Windows Phone 8 and you can now initiate the augmented translation mode by using the new lenses feature.

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Within the next week or so users of the popular Reddit client Baconit should be getting an update that will bring some added functionality for Windows Phone 8 users.

We’ve been using Baconit version 2.5 or the last few days and really enjoy the performance (we were sold on the design with version 1.0) and the new features. Baconit (and its PC browser client BaconSync) is probably your best choice if you’re a casual or hardcore Reddit user who also uses Windows Phone.

Head past the break for the complete change log or just watch our video to get the highlights of those new features in action!

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Good news for those of you who live near a Macy's US store as they have released a shiny new app for the holidays just for Windows Phone (it says for it’s for Windows Phone 8 but will install on 7.x too).

The app has some nice features, which make it more than just window dressing for the store or company. Launching the app will treat you to holiday gift guides that remind us of eBay’s method by drilling down by gender and category for gift recommendations—not a bad idea for those who have no inkling of what presents to buy this year...

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