Apps

eBay

For those of you who use the excellent eBay app for Windows Phone, you'll want to get the latest update found now in the Marketplace. The past versions did an excellent job of allowing you to browse for new items to bid on, search for gifts, pin found items to your Start screen as a tile and even push notifications. But it lacked one big feature: the ability to create new auction listings right from your phone.

=Listings

Now with version 1.17, you can start a new listing, take a photo with your phone for submission, edit the description, choose payment method, pick shipping options and more. This ability has been found on eBay's apps for iOS and Android for sometime now, so it's excellent to see it finally come to Windows Phone. We're sure many of you will be using this tool on a regular basis (especially if you have a Titan II, ahem).

Pick up the official eBay app here in the Marketplace for free. Thanks, Tal F., for the heads up!

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WP Central

Netflix, the popular movie streaming service, has updated their Windows Phone app to version 2.0. Using the app subscribers will be able to stream movies and TV programmes to the big screen and now their Windows Phone while on the go.

In this update UK and Ireland, as well as 47 countries in Latin America, are now supported, which is a huge plus for those who patiently awaited access on their handsets. Quick run through of what's new:

  • Support for additional international locations – UK & IRE, 47 countries in Latin America
  • New localised UI for all international locations
  • Support for subtitles, closed caption and alternate audio
  • Performance improvements and optimisations for a better browsing and viewing experience

You can download Netflix from the Marketplace for free (requires a subscription to use the service).

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this.

QR: Netflix

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BBC Podcast Lounge now available on the Marketplace

WP Central

BBC Podcast Lounge has been released on the Windows Phone Marketplace. Developed by Igneous Software, who are responsible for the BBC Radio apps, the app enables users to browse and listen to an array of podcast programmes available from the BBC. From arts and drama to comedy and quizzes, the catalogue has enough content for everyone's taste.

WP Central

Some of the highlighted features:

  • Background audio playback
  • Familiar interface with panorama
  • Search by programme title
  • List by category or station
  • Ability to select favourites
  • Ability to pin programme to start
  • Full integration with music + video hub
  • Playback continues under lock screen

We mentioned in our quick look at BBC Podcast Lounge that there was no functionality present to pin programmes to the home screen for more convenient access, this has been added for the v1.0 release. Check out our quick run through of the app in the below video.

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24

WhatsApp for Windows Phone updated to version 1.9

WP Central

It has been little over a month since WhatsApp for Windows Phone received an update with 1.8 rolling out, but the popular IM app has been bumped to 1.9 as of today. As well as sporting video recording and sharing, WhatsApp now allows users to share contacts and browse downloaded media in a conversation.

As well as bug fixes and performance improvements, German and Russion localisations are included with improved support for Emoji. A quick run through of what's new in this update:

  • Improved support for Emoji
  • Group mute features
  • Share contacts
  • Browse downloaded media in a conversation
  • German and Russian localizations
  • The usual bug fixes and performance improvements 

It's great to see continued development from the team for the platform, which puts it up there with iOS, Android and Blackberry. You can download WhatsApp from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks everyone who tipped us on this!

WP Central

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Pocket Meme

Pocket Meme, developed by our own RogueCode (the brains behind the Ffffound app), is now available on the Marketplace. Pocket Meme enables users to enjoy their daily dose of meme action (from QuickMeme.com) with most popular images being displayed upon launch. An entire list of memes is present with a filter for more convenient access.

Once selecting a single meme, the user is greeted by popular and upcoming images for that meme only. Selecting an image reveals the title and three tiles. The first is for a full size view, the second for saving the image to the Windows Phone, and third for sharing via SMS, email and integrated social networks. 

WP Central

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Torchbear

Torchbear, the app that combines social networking and gaming, keeps growing and growing. The latest update greatly improves sharing features (important for such a social app), adds a new Live tile, and even performance enhancements.

Torchbear version 1.5 release notes:

  • MANGO Support including LIVE Tile Support & System Tray Progress control!
  • System Tray is now transparent which gives us more screen space!
  • You can now Luv, Lulz, Like or Dislike any torch update
  • You can now comment on any torch update on a torch you have previously held
  • Twitter Support - can now share any torch update with 1 click twitter sharing
  • Sharing - can now share any torch update on Linked-In, Twitter, Facebook, Windows Live, and Windows Hotmail
  • Improved Notifications (now supports live tile, also the in-app notification screen has improved)
  • Improved News, Local News, and My News pages
  • Speed Improvements
  • Uses less bandwidth
  • Bug Fixes

How do you guys like Torchbear these days? The 1.4 and 1.5 updates have really improved the interface and given the app an impressive level of visual polish. The nearest torch to me is 39 miles away, but users who live in big cities and areas in which Windows Phone thrives will likely have a great time with the app.

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FatFingers.com

Yet another major app has landed for the Windows Phone Marketplace today. FatFingers.com is a well known website and service that specializes in finding misspelled items on eBay, which is a great way to bid on auctions that most people will miss when searching.

For instance, if a seller writes "Nokai" for "Nokia" this service will find just those items. In turn, you'll have a better chance of picking up that device or accessory at a lower cost, since others won't ever see it.

So if you're an eBay fiend, you'll want to go and grab the official FatFingers.com app for Windows Phone. The app has a free trial with some limited features while the full version, which fetches for $1.29 "for a limited time", has all sorts of goodies including:

  • List of recent searches (2 for trial, unlimited for full)
  • Save searches (2 for trial, unlimited for full)
  • Group search results by category (Full version only)
  • Pin search terms to Start menu (Full version only)
  • Add item to your eBay Watch List (Full version only)

We just gave the app a spin and find it to be quite solid. There are a couple of UI issue we'd like to see e.g. add a search button (in addition to hitting enter) and maybe a pull more for item lists. But those are nits. The core of the app works very well and is a great tool for help finding deals on eBay.

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Nokia Music updated to 2.1 with minor changes

WP Central

Nokia has released an updated for their Nokia Music Windows Phone app, which is available to Lumia handset owners. The music streaming app was recently bumped to version 2.0 and introduced a few UI and audio improvements. Fast forward to 2.1 and we've got a published change log detailing the following:

  • Overall performance and responsiveness
  • Nokia Music Unlimited – only available in selected countries and on certain devices
  • Controls for shuffle and repeat in the music player

Controls for shuffling and repeating tracks from your music library have been added in the top-right corner. Further improvements to the UI and layout of the app are also noticeable. Do note that some features are only available in some countries, and supported markets may not be able to download the app itself.

You can download Nokia Music from the Nokia collection of OEM apps on the Marketplace (Lumia handsets only).

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LaunchPad

We always like clever things around these parts at WPCentral. We also like free. So we gave "LaunchPad" a go and happen to think it's worthy enough of your attention.

LaunchPad is a web-app which basically means it is designed for use on Windows Phone's Internet Explore web browser. It's a search tool offering a quick and simple way to find basically whatever you want using specific search engines including:

  • Google
  • Wolfram Alpha
  • YouTube
  • Wikipedia

What's more, you can even pin it to your Start screen as a tile for quick, simple 1-touch access. Sure, it's not revolutionary and there are plenty of apps for searching on the internet, but we like the fluidity and layout of LaunchPad, so we're passing it on.

Simply navigate to http://portal.macpoint.be/wp/ on your phone's browser. Hit the pin in the top right to save it to your Start screen. Thanks, Shad.

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At Bat 12 for Windows Phone

MLB at Bat 2012 has finally reached the Windows Phone Marketplace to bring all the stats, scores, and action of the 2012 Major League Baseball season to your Windows Phone. Officially titled "At Bat 12" in the Marketplace the MLB app picks up where MLB at Bat 11 left off.  You can tag up to three MLB teams as favorites so you can easily follow all the action from starting pitch to the final out.  At Bat 12 lays everything out really nicely.

At Bat 12

The overall appearance has also received a face lift with a lighter appearance to the app which makes it look better.  Key features include:

  • Add a favorite team panorama
  • Pin your favorite team to the Homescreen
  • Home and away live radio broadcasts
  • Gameday pitch-by-pitch tracker
  • In-progress video highlights
  • Condensed Games and video highlight library
  • Breaking news, schedules, standings, rosters and player statistics

At Bat 12 is running $14.99 and many will cry foul that there isn't a trial version available.  However, At Bat 12 delivers a ton of information to your Windows Phone and is well worth the fifteen buck price tag. 

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Must-have apps for your Nokia Lumia 900

WPCentral's list of the best apps for the Lumia 900

we got apps

Although veterans of this site will know what are some of the best, must-have-apps are for Windows Phone, new users coming to the platform with the Lumia 900 (review) will not. So for our new friends, we'll get you started on some of the most popular, useful and impressive apps for Windows Phone.

Sure, we "only" have around 70,000 apps but that's still a heck of a lot to sift through.  And since we've personally installed over 1,200 apps and games on our Windows Phone, we think we can lend a hand.

So without further ado, here's our list...

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Rowi for Windows Phone

Rowi, the popular Twitter app for your Windows Phone, was recently updated and now it's on sale. Just to recap, here are some of the highlights of what version 2.0 brings to the table.

  • Instant resume
  • Fast app switching
  • Pin tweets and messages to the Start Screen
  • Retweets are now included in the list timelines
  • Photo previews for tweets in timelines
  • Conversation views on tweet details page
  • Tweet details now show who retweeted it
  • Now Playing added to the tweet screen to let you tweet about what you're listening to
  • Image upload services through Lockerz, yfrog, Twitter and Twitpic
  • Toast notifications now display inside of Rowi and take you to the new tweets when tapped
  • New remaining character counter for new tweets or messages

The ad free version normally runs $2.99 but is on sale through April 15, 2012 for just $.99. Should you really like ads, there is a free, ad supported version available (Rowi Lite).  However, the free version does not have notifications or live tile support.  

You can find Rowi here at the Windows Phone Marketplace and Rowi Lite here.

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Windows Phone Pandora app MetroRadio goes 'Pro'

MetroRadio Pro

If you like using MetroRadio, the first unofficial Pandora app for Windows Phone, you'll be pleased to know you have a new option: an ad-free version.

The free, ad-supported MetroRadio will of course still be available but if you don't like garish ads in your music streaming, you can now plop down $1.29 for a cleaned up, full screen Pandora-ness. The Pro version also has some of the latest, greatest stuff on board including:

  • Zune-esque screensaver
  • International streaming option (beta)
  • Explicit content filter

We've loaded up the Pro version and really like the look and feel of it. The screensaver, which is coming to the free version soon, is a nice touch and the international streaming option should be useful for those not in the US. Pick up MetroRadio Pro here in the Marketplace.

QR: MetroRadio Pro

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Windows Phone App Review: Clearer

Clearer for Windows Phone

The other day we took a look at the Windows Phone app Zero, a gesture based To-do list manager. We then received several tips suggesting another gesture based To-do list manager for your Windows Phone, Clearer.

In many ways Clearer is just like Zero but with a bit more features. Which is better? Both Windows Phone apps do what they do really well.  I'll try to break the differences down in a bit but for now, if you like gesture based apps Clearer is well worth a try.

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Nokia TV confirmed to launch in Finland in coming weeks

WP Central

Nokia TV, a television programme streaming app for Lumia Windows Phones, has been confirmed to be launching in Finland in the coming weeks, according to an announcement article over at Nokia conversations. We previously looked at Nokia's latest Windows Phone OEM app courtesy of WP7Forum.ru.

A quick reminder of notable features:

  • View TV shows provided by local networks.
  • Videos can be downloaded to the device (presumably for offline usage).
  • Does not use technology for mobile TV (DVB-H).
  • Search for content / programmes within the application.

Nokia TV is set to be released in the next few weeks, and will then allow Finnish Lumia owners to enjoy programme streaming while on the go with offline functionality (similar to Nokia Music) hopefully implemented. Will the app be released beyond the borders? We're not entirely sure, but we'd certainly be excited at the prospect of Nokia TV expanding to other countries.

Requiring no registration or account creation, the app will provide users the means to browse / search available catch-up TV catalogues from major broadcasters. Mika Suomela, head of TV and video at Nokia, explains the idea behind the service:

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WP Central

Nokia has announced the release dates for the Lumia 710 and 800 in Vietnam. Both handsets will go on sale and will be available on April 9th, for 6,299,000 VND and 10,599,000 VND respectively. Nokia Vietnam has listed 21 retailers to stock and ship the two Windows Phones, and all stores will be decorated in Lumia promotion material.

Unfortunately, the Vietnamese keyboard and language aren't supported by the platform, but are on the horizon (as well as Local Scout, Maps, etc.). Nokia has attempted to soften this blow by releasing Viet Keyboard, an app which provides a convenient text input solution for the Vietnamese language. 

WP Central

Users are able to type as they would normally in the app and then copy the text to the clipboard, which can then be subsequently pasted elsewhere on the smartphone. Viet Keyboard will be especially useful for common tasks such as SMS, email social network posting, and web browsing.

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WP Central

Developed Down Under is an upcoming app, developed by Mobile Wares, that will be of use for Windows Phone owners and developers who reside in Australia. The free app will allow developers to showcase their apps and games to a local audience. The targeted reach should provide developers with more downloads, ratings and usage compared to relying on the global Marketplace itself (depending on app functionality).

Some highlights of Developed Down Under:

  • Random suggested Apps upon each application launch
  • Additional search capabilities (includes ability to browse by publisher, latest apps, etc.)
  • Australian Windows Phone news related feeds
  • Relevant tweets displayed (#wp7au Twitter search feed, etc.)

For more control on what content is displayed, developers will have to opt-in (for free) to have their apps featured in Developed Down Under. News and tweets will be pulled down and loaded in the app from numerous sources and search / browse capabilities are present to create an efficient user experience for consumers.

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SkyScanner

SkyScanner, the popular (and highly rated) travel companion app, has recently been updated to version 1.4 with more functionality being pumped into the experience. The app integrates with the service on the SkyScanner website, and the iOS and Android apps have both proven to be very popular. SkyScanner for Windows Phone is developed by Distinction - the folk behind AppFlow and Cocktail Flow.

The free app boasts the following features:

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29

Rowi gets a major overhaul with latest update

Rowi for Windows Phone

The popular Windows Phone Twitter app Rowi has undergone a major update. Version 2.0 brings a decent amount of enhancements, improvements and tweaks to Rowi as well as Mangofying the app.

Here are the highlights of the version 2.0 update:

  • Instant resume
  • Fast app switching
  • Pin tweets and messages to the Start Screen
  • Retweets are now included in the list timelines
  • Photo previews for tweets in timelines
  • Conversation views on tweet details page
  • Tweet details now show who retweeted it
  • Now Playing added to the tweet screen to let you tweet about what you're listening to
  • Image upload services through Lockerz, yfrog, Twitter and Twitpic
  • Toast notifications now display inside of Rowi and take you to the new tweets when tapped
  • New remaining character counter for new tweets or messages

And that just scratches the surface. You also have settings changes to make things a little simpler to tweak, layout changes to make things easier to navigate and read, as well as the customary refinements and bug fixes.  You can find the full list of changes, improvements, and additions over at Rowi's website.

The update makes a good Twitter client for your Windows Phone better. Rowi is a nice looking, well laid out app and if you're looking for a Twitter client, Rowi deserves a try.

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DecisionMaster decides to update to version 2.0

DecisionMaster for Windows Phone

DecisionMaster is a problem solving app for your Windows Phone (here's our review from way back when) where you input multiple options and criteria, compare these options, and find out which is the best option to pursue. In many ways, DecisionMaster weighs the pros and cons of a decision to help you choose the best course of action.

DecisionMaster was recently updated to version 2.0 which most notably adds the ability to send decisions via email and adds a trial version to let Windows Phone users try before they buy. The user interface received a slight face lift and there were a few customary performance tweaks with the update.

DecisionMaster

The premise of DecisionMaster is the same. You enter your choices/options, then your evaluation criteria, and then compare or rank each option based on the criteria. DecisionMaster then spits out how the options rank amongst one another. Once the numbers are crunched you have the options to save the decision or email your results.

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Plex

We broke the news just the other day that Plex (see site), a popular application for Home Theater PC users, was about to release their official app for Windows Phone which would enable users to stream movies, music and photos to their devices on the go.

That app is now live in the Marketplace and user reviews so far have been quite high for the app although some users are reporting a few errors. Still, due the popularity of Plex and the responsiveness of their developers, any issues present in a 1.0 release will surely be worked on soon enough. From the app description:

"The Plex application allows you to use your Windows Phone to browse and play your media (video, photos and music) using the Plex Media Server installed on your PC, Mac or Linux system. You can also view online media from a variety of sources.

YOU MUST HAVE THE PLEX MEDIA SERVER (version v0.9.6 beta or higher) INSTALLED AND RUNNING TO STREAM LOCAL MEDIA: http://www.plexapp.com/getplex"

The app fetches for $4.99 although there is a free, fully-functional trial that is limited to 30-second playback of media. You can pick it up here in the Marketplace.

Read more on Plex media and their desktop server apps at their site: http://www.plexapp.com/ Thanks, Bearach, for the tip

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Bazaar for unlocked Windows Phone

Bazaar is a Windows Phone alternative marketplace designed to provide both users and developers a means to share and install homebrew apps easily to your unlocked Windows Phone. Bazaar hosts and shares only free homebrew apps and is similar to the Deepshining Marketplace we mentioned some time ago.

While Bazaar has been available from the PC, it's now available through the Bazaar Windows Phone app. It functions just like your Windows Phone Marketplace app but delivers homebrew apps to your phone instead.

Bazaar supports a wide range of unlocked Windows Phones. Developer unlocked devices can browse apps from the Bazaar app but must install them via the Bazaar for PC application. Fully unlocked devices can browse, share, manage, and install apps directly from the Bazaar app.

If you're into homebrewing on your Windows Phone and are looking for an alternative marketplace, Bazaar might be worth looking into. You can find all the details and download both the Bazaar app and Bazaar PC application here at Bazaar's website.

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Plex

For those of you with Home Theater PC setups that use Plex Media Center for software, you'll be excited to know that the company is about to release their Mobile app for Windows Phone.

Plex (see site) is a very popular software package that includes a server and PC software for viewing your movies, music and photos wherever, whenever. It's also available on iOS, Mac, the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, making it a fairly robust option for those with families and gigs of hardware space for storing their media. On top of that, the volunteer developer community around the project ensures that services like Hulu, Netflix  and other sites get supported via plugins.

Evidently, the company has been working on a client for Windows Phone for sometime as it has already been submitted to the Marketplace and is waiting for approval. In a newly created sub-forum on their site for Windows Phone, both a Plex developer and Plex blogger Elan both chimed in on the matter:

"You should take a forum being created for it as a good sign"

"The app has been approved by Microsoft, and we're in the process of making it live in the store! "

So now all there is left to do is wait until the app shows up in the Marketplace, which could take a few days. The app should have the same functionality as the iOS and Android variants, giving users the ability to stream all their media on the go with a slick interface. We'll keep you posted.

Take a peek after the break to see the iPhone version in action. Needless to say, it's a nice app...

Source: Plex Forums; Thanks, Sean M., for the heads up!

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