Apps

Today sees an update go out for the Windows Phone 8 version of Facebook. The social networking app had been significantly updated for the latest version of the OS and now we reach version 4.1.0.0.

The battle to tame Facebook and shape it into a well-performing mobile app has been a long and difficult road. Windows Phone has always done a pretty good job of it but performance has always been a sticking point. That’s not to say Facebook have been very successful mobilizing their website themselves, other platforms have seen some dreadful implementations. Can the latest version for Windows Phone 8 be “the one”? Let’s find out.

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WhatsApp for Windows Phone 8 now available

Microsoft engineered Windows Phone to be social and communicative from the get go, with Windows Phone 8 they have pushed that concept even further. Aside from Rooms, Emails, Text Messages and Social networks there are other ways to chat with your friends. One of those ways it to use the free IM app called WhatsApp, a messaging platform that has gained fairly widespread adoption.

We reported a few days ago on an imminent update and good news is that they have just pushed out version 2.8.10 onto the Windows Phone Store. This will update existing Windows Phone 7.x devices whilst also bringing Windows Phone 8 compatibility to the table.

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WeatherLive was recently updated to version 5.0 to add Windows Phone 8 support with includes wide live tiles with radar imagery. The good news is that with the update WeatherLive is now a free, ad-supported app. The bad news is if you want all the features of WeatherLive, you'll have to upgrade within the app.  While the new live tile feature is nice, you may want to hold off on updating though.

The layout on WeatherLive remains basically the same (except for the banner ad) with pages detailing a ten day forecast, charting daily weather trends, viewing historical graphs, viewing an hourly forecast, viewing a charted temperature trend, animated radar, local webcams, and a moon phase page.

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CamWow shutters on over to Windows Phone 8

CamWow is a simple Windows Phone 8 photography app that allows you to apply unique filters to your photographs. CamWow won't let you apply the creative effects to existing images but if you're looking to put a twist on new images, it might be worth a try.

CamWow's user interface is about as simple as it gets. You have preview windows for each filter and three control buttons at the bottom of the screen. Just swipe left or right to choose your effect, tap on the preview window to pull up that effect, line up your shot and tap the screen to capture the image.

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Use your Windows Phone to get more miles per gallon


Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Gas Mileage Apps

With the Holiday Season in full swing, many find themselves traveling more. Last week our Windows Phone App Roundup dealt with Windows Phone apps for the air traveler. This week we focus on Windows Phone apps designed for those who stick to the road for their travel needs. In particular, gas mileage apps.

These apps can help you find the nearest gas station, track your car's performance, track the cost of fuel, and some will even help you keep track of routine service on your car. We picked a handful of apps out from the Windows Phone Store that jumped off the page at us for this weeks roundup.

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Windows Phone Lockscreen apps seem to be appearing out of nowhere these days.  You have Befriend, Paper Shuffle, Lock Themes and now you can add Flickr to the growing number of wallpaper sources. Flickr Live Wallpaper is a lockscreen wallpaper app that pulls images from the popular online photography source.

The nice thing about Flickr Live Wallpaper is that you can name your photo source, use multiple sources and if need be, crop the photos so they fit a little better on the screen.

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Nokia has just begun rolling out an update for their Creative Studio app for editing your photos. The other day we gave you a tutorial on how to make the best of the app, as it’s quite handy for quickly touching up your images (and not downscaling their size).

Version 4.1.2.4 is now trickling out, updated from 4.0.16.13, though it may take awhile to hit the servers (only a few of our staff were able to see the update, so this is very fresh). 

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Just a few weeks ago Nokia released PhotoBeamer for Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices such as the Lumia 820 and 920. Today, the photo sharing app has been released for Lumia Windows Phones running Windows Phone 7.5 such as the Lumia 900 and 610.

Photobeamer allows you to display your pictures on PC's or other web-enabled devices. Just run the app, head over to Photobeamer.com, scan the QR code that appears on the screen with your Lumia Windows Phone and your photos will appear on that web-enabled device.  It can be a computer, tablet, or a friends phone.  You just need a 3G/4G network or WiFi to send the pictures. 

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The updates for Microsoft’s latest mobile OS keep on coming and this one is very welcome indeed. Lazyworm have just released an update to their very popular Metrotube app for watching YouTube videos, joining the other new or updated Windows Phone 8 Apps. The update brings the release to version 4.0.

A long-time favourite on Windows Phone, the app makes great use of the Metro UI, taking full advantage of the new large tiles and introduces the ability to preload videos for later viewing. Read on past the break to find out more.

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We contacted Nokia a short while ago to check in on their navigation apps and we were told to expect some updates soon. Today one of the first of the updates has arrived to bring the Nokia Drive+ Beta to version 2.1.

So what’s new? As well as the usual bug fixes they have introduced a better way to manage power consumption. Read on past the break for more details.

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We reported exclusively on Tuesday on the upcoming update to Pictureslab to bring it to version 5.0, at the time it was still in beta. Good news today is that the Windows Phone Store has caught up and the latest version is available to all.

The good news doesn’t stop there as the app is of course available for existing users to update to for free but new users can now grab it for the special offer price of only US $0.99. Read on past the break to find out more.

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Updated Podcatcher: Grab those podcasts

This is something that we have been keeping a close eye on for a while. The app, as the name of it suggests is for subscribing and downloading your favourite podcasts. Things have been moving fairly swiftly from this developer and we’re today seeing some important updates to bring it up to version 1.3.

The app itself has a simple but effective UI and allows the ability to search, subscribe and update automatically. The full list of updates and details follow.

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The number of Twitter applications taking advantage of new features in Windows Phone 8 goes up almost every day it seems like. Today, Rowi gets an update that brings it to a level playing field with other apps like glƏƏk!, MeTweets and upcoming Twabbit. Observing the Windows Phone community the past few weeks you might notice a trend of each client having a loyal fan base.

So what can Rowi users look forward to in this new update? Read on, crouton.

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Nearly three weeks ago we gave you a sneak peek at the upcoming version 3.0 update for MetroTalk--the dedicated Google Voice app. That update is now live and joins all the other new Windows Phone 8 optimized apps to hit the Store.

The new version has brought with it numerous fixes and various new features, many of which are optimized for Windows Phone 8 users. Over the last few weeks, we’ve had no issues with the app and it’s been running like a champ on our Lumia 920. In short, if you use Google Voice and you're on Windows Phone, you need this.

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I Learn to Tie Shoes is a Windows Phone app designed to help parents tackle one of their most challenging tasks - teaching their kids to tie shoes. I Learn to Tie Shoes is a simple, no nonsense app that gives you an animated, overhead view for tying shoes.

The main menu has two lesson plans, one for little kids and one for big kids. The app also has a collection of shoe tying rhymes to give the lesson a little spice.

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Nokia is still tinkering with their system apps on their Windows Phone 8 Lumias. The app Extras + Info, which is a meta-app for Accessory agent, Feedback to Nokia, Nokia First Use Experience and Warranty registration, controls a lot of behind the scene features for the Lumia and as such, are considered to be relatively important.

Like all previous system updates from Nokia, we’re unsure of what the changes are with this rollout. For all we know, they gave language support in Samoa. Or they fixed a major bug.

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NAVIGON USA, Europe updated with text-to-speech

NAVIGON has updated its Windows Phone apps for both Europe and the US to version 4.6. This latest release takes advantage of text to speech for the app to read out street names to the user. As well as both apps sporting new functionality, the development team has also fixed a number of bugs that were present and has improved stability and performance. 

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Metro newspaper app for Windows Phone fixed

It was barely over 24 hours ago that we reported issues with the Metro newspaper app and its inability to pull content down from their servers. At that time we reached out to the developers and received word that an update was coming to fix it. Well, here we are and a fix has already been pushed out to the Marketplace and is ready for you.

If you’re from the UK you’re probably fairly familiar with Metro, but for those of us on the other side of the pond it’s your typical news outlet – with the latest headlines in news, sports, culture and more. It's a nice Windows Phone app for all our friends in the UK.

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USA Today app gets Windows Phone 8 treatment as well

In case you’re a news junkie, you’ll want to take a look at version 1.9 of the official USA Today app for Windows Phone. The app just landed on the Store and it too is ready for Windows Phone 8. The bad news is Windows Phone 7 users are now left without an app.

USA Today have always had a pretty great Windows Phone experience and version 1.9 for Windows Phone 8 is no different. The app has seemingly been re-written and boy, is it fast as lightning.

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Oh we’re in it now. Some of our long time favorite apps are now getting bumped for Windows Phone 8 and we’re really excited about it. Weather Flow, made by Gergely Orosz (who’s also behind such the amazing Cocktail Flow and AppFlow) just hit the version 1.3 marker and it’s primed for the new OS.

The new update, weighing in at a sprightly 9MB, has newly updated graphics, fixed Live Tiles, lockscreen wallpaper and a few other goodies on board. Check our video hands on and see what we think.

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We’ve been getting a lot of Windows Phone 8 live lockscreen apps lately and we couldn’t be happier. With these new tools for developers we’re going to start to see some real creativity in the coming weeks and we just found our new favorite: HelloFriends.

The app is so ingenious, we’re kind of shocked Microsoft didn’t build this in to the OS—after all, the concept is their very own. HelloFriends simply generates gorgeous lock screen wallpaper based off of your contact photos. It creates three types—all mini tiles, one with varying sizes and one with some huge tiles mixed in and then updates every 30 minutes with a new pattern.

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