Apps

When the World Cup ended, I became highly interested in watching more football (soccer) games. Friends who follow football more than me said I have to check out the English Premier League (premierleague.com). I'm in luck because NBC here in the United States has acquired rights to broadcast all the games. Their app, NBC Sports Live Extra, is also available on Windows Phone so you can stream the games live or watch replays and highlights.

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The built-in email client on Windows Phone gets the job for casual users, but for those looking for a brighter, more powerful experience, there have been few options. Maestro is a new email app for Windows Phone 8.1 and Hidden Pineapple makes it, the developers behind the favorite Rowi Twitter client years ago.

Today, after some delay, it is finally entering into a public preview. Users can now download and use the client, which supports Outlook and Gmail out the gate, including multiple accounts.

Dubbed as "A better mail experience for Windows Phone 8.1", Maestro looks to deliver aesthetically pleasing emails, but also more advanced inbox controls for the email addicts out there. Today's release is a 'preview' meaning the app itself is still far from complete, but the core of it is working enough to warrant letting you folks jump in an take it for a ride.

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Earlier this year we took a look at UbiShow, a feature rich slideshow video creator for Windows Phone. The app offered an easy to use method of converting your still images into video slideshows from vacation, special events or any other situation where you need to share a collection of photos in video format.

The developer has been busy fine-tuning the app and has recently released an updated version that not only changes the app's name to Video Memories but also adds a host of new features to the mix. UbiShow was an appealing slideshow creator and the new features brought about with the updated version only adds to the app's appeal.

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Windows Phone 8.1 has been released, at least in its Developer Preview form, for several months now, but we are still learning about what Microsoft has put into the OS. Late on Friday, the company offered some information on the HTML5 video and audio changes and improvements it has made for the version of Internet Explorer 11 that was made for Windows Phone 8.1.

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File this headline under late-breaking, but Citi Cards (online.citibank.com) has finally released their popular app for Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 users. According to our forums, Citi started exploring building an app for Microsoft's platform 11 months ago, and today, it is live and ready for download.

Citibank is currently one of the top credit card and financial institutions around, and Windows Phone tends to have a gap when it comes to official banking apps, especially in Western markets. Bringing 128-bit encryption the Citi Cards app lets users log in and fully manage their accounts without using the web browser.

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Appy Weather is a Windows Phone weather app that has a bit of a personal touch about it. The weather app has a minimalistic appearance and delivers a decent amount of forecast information to your Windows Phone.

Along with a simple interface and weather alerts, Appy Weather delivers the forecast information in a traditional sense but also in a practical sense. For example the app will often compare the forecast temperature with the prior day's weather. The app was recently updated to version 1.1 that includes a host of changes to the Live Tile settings and a few layout tweaks.

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Update: So that Flipboard app in the Windows Phone Store? Apparently it's not the official release and instead was an early, incomplete build. That's what the Flipboard team is saying on Twitter. So hold off any final judgments until Flipboard officially releases for Windows Phone. Just keep in mind, it was announced 441 days ago... [Source: @FlipboardCM]

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Nokia's HERE Maps division won't be spending as much development time on the Windows Phone platform as it has in the past. In a new interview with The Next Web, Sean Fernback, the Senior Vice President, Everyday Mobility, at the company's HERE division, is quoted as saying, "As a result of the transaction, we're having to wind down our Windows Phone app development and shift it over towards Android and iOS."

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Back in Berlin a few weeks ago, Microsoft made clear their current suite of Bing apps, including Weather, News, Finance, Travel and Health + Fitness, would be adopting MSN as the brand. Microsoft has already phased out Bing from the apps in previous updates back in April. The change is seen to separate Bing search from Microsoft's news and information offerings, which evidently fit better under a retooled MSN homepage.

This morning, we are getting reports from users that the Finance app is displaying an in-app message revealing that the name Bing Finance will be no more in the "coming days". (We have been able to reproduce the message ourselves and you can see the screenshot in the lead photo) Instead, the app will be titled MSN Money, although, like the current Bing apps, the app name itself is only going to be 'Money' on the phone (Paul Thurrott reported as much a few weeks ago on WinSupersite).

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Gratitude Journal is a Windows Phone app that is designed to make it easy to record daily journal entries and in the traditional sense of the title, remind ourselves what we are grateful for. However, there is no rule you can use it as journal for just about anything.

Gratitude Journal takes advantage of gesture based controls and voice dictations to help you document your entries. Add OneDrive support along with location based weather information that is automatically added to your entries and I can see Gratitude Journal appealing to many Windows Phone users.

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UC Browser picked up a significant update today which sees the introduction of a new user interface along with a host of new features. Designed for Windows Phone 8.1 devices, the browser has a nifty gesture based tab management feature that allows you to switch between tabs with ease. And it renders the web beautifully on a 1080p display.

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