Apps

Want a premier Gmail experience on Windows Phone? Don’t use the native email client. Instead, look to the Windows Phone Store for an app called MetroMail. It’s beautiful, native app for Gmail users on Windows Phone. Forget for a moment that this is a Google product. There are still a ton of users on Windows Phone who rely on or might need to access Gmail. For them, there’s MetroMail. The app is about to update to go to version 1.2, so let’s check out what’s new in it.

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Microsoft is running a 12 Days of Deals for the Microsoft Stores and to match that, they’ve quadrupled their Red Stripe Deal from three apps to twelve. Starting today, users can head to the Windows Phone Store to grab these twelve popular apps, heavily discounted for next few weeks.

Which twelve get the discount? Head past the break to find out!

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GroupMe, a popular group-messaging app from Microsoft, has just received an update for Windows Phone. In addition to bug fixes and improvements, version 4.7 brings a new group design. It’s now easier to explore the photos and videos shared in your groups in the gallery. The group avatars have also been made larger. Read on for the full change log.

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Did you miss this morning’s deal on the Fitbit Flex? That’s a shame as Fitbit sets the standard for pedometer devices, but there’s a great alternative now on the Windows Phone Store: Nokia Motion Monitor (beta).

Teased at Abu Dhabi, Nokia Motion Monitor is exactly what it sounds like. Similar to the recent Samsung Galaxy phones, this app uses the internal sensors to detect your walking patterns. It then tallies up your steps in the app, optionally on your lockscreen (seen above) and it then adds some visually appealing graphs to show the amount. There are also ‘events’ that signify the commencing of intense activity, all logged for you. You can also go back to other days to see your steps taken.

The app is super simple to use with no setup required. There is a brief tutorial to explain how it all works and what the information means, but for the most part it’s a set-it-and-forget-it app.

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Verisure is the consumer branch of Securitas Direct, a company in Europe that specializes in safety and security solutions for homes and businesses. Home owners can install a Verisure system to help protect their assets. There’s also now an official Verisure app for Windows Phone so you can control and monitor your home when you’re on the go. Details below.

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Streaming your live video game session is all the rage right now. Twitch is by far the most popular destination on the web for gamers to stream their games to followers. The Xbox One has a Twitch app that allows you to view streams and a later update to the Xbox One will allow you to stream directly from your console. On Windows Phone we don’t have an official Twitch app for viewing streams yet, but we’ve got some solid third-party offerings.

LiveGaming is another unofficial app for Twitch on Windows Phone. It’s also really good, so let’s check it out.

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There are a handful of exchanges out there if you’re looking to trade your local currency with an electronic currency like Bitcoin. Coinbase and MtGox are two of the most popular Bitcoin exchanges, but there are a quite a few others if you want choice. Kraken (www.kraken.com) is one of those exchanges and there’s a new app by the same name in the Windows Phone Store to keep you posted to current rates for various cryptocurrencies.

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The team behind the NFC Ring, a piece of wearable technology with support for NFC, have released the official Windows Phone app. If you're not familiar with the product, think of it as a ring, but with NFC capabilities. Starting as a Kickstarter project, we became rather excited about the possibilities this technology could unlock with Windows Phone.

Should you be looking to pick up a NFC Ring for yourself or friends, you'll definitely want to check out the official app. Head on past the break for all the details.

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Alcometer is a Windows Phone app that will provide you with a rough estimate of your Blood Alcohol Content.  The results are not guaranteed and should not be used to determine your ability to drive.

Alcometer is a Windows Phone app that will help you monitor your adult beverage intake and give you a general idea on how it is affecting your body.  The app will provide an estimated blood alcohol content based on your alcoholic intake and physical characteristics, along with an approximation for how long it could take you to sober up after indulging in the adult beverages.

The app shouldn't be used to justify sobriety (or roadworthiness as the disclaimer notes) but is an interesting way to keep tabs on your adult beverage intake and the effects it could bring. 

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If you’re a professional or semiprofessional…something, then you may be a user of LinkedIn and its companion app for Windows Phone. The popular social-networking site for your work history and resume is an important tool for many looking to network with others in their field. It’s like Facebook but without all the annoying baby photos.

Windows Phone users have had a decent LinkedIn app experience for a while now, but the last update was for version 1.5 back in April. Today, version 1.6 is on the Store  and with comes a few new changes to help mirror what you get on the web for features.

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Hands-on with Phototastic's free mode for Windows Phone

We reported an update on Phototastic for Windows Phone the other day, but there’s one new feature worth another look. The free mode option is really cool and we think collage makers are going to love it. Instead of the usual grid-based collages, free mode gives you freedom to resize, rotate, and reframe each photo however you want.

Head past the break to watch our hands-on video and walkthrough.

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As November and American Thanksgiving drew to a close, Windows Phone classic gaming fans experienced a bit of a shock. Indie developer M.k’s three Nintendo console emulators SNES8x, VBA8, and VGBC8 all disappeared from the Store. Naturally Windows Phone Central stepped in to reveal why the emulators had been delisted. It turns out that M.k had passed development duties on to a new programmer, who would soon be relisting the emulators.

Less than two weeks later, all three emulators are now back on the Store (yes, we’re a tad late on this). The new developer has big plans for these Nintendo emulators. Learn about them (and a competing GameBoy Advance emulator called GBA8) after the break!

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There's a good collection of content available for kids on the Windows and Windows Phone stores, but now you can add Start School from Penguin Books to that list. The app enables kids to learn and play with twins Topsy and Tim, the playful duo who have been around for more than 50 years. Should your child be starting school, this is a superb companion app for them to enjoy. 

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Odds are you’re rocking Windows 8 if you own a Windows Phone device. If that’s you, you’ll want to check out this Store Companion app on Windows Phone. This app gives you access to the Windows Store while you’re on Windows Phone. It’s a neat way to browse the Windows Store without busting out your tablet, laptop, or desktop. Let’s check it out.

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Developed by Microsoft Research FUSE Labs, Socl — pronounced social — lets you create, collect, and share stuff you love. From rich visual collages to short animated media and memes, Socl gives you a creative outlet through posts that take seconds to create, collect, and share on Socl, as well as other social networks.

Microsoft Research has just released the companion app for Socl for Windows Phone. Prior to this release, the Socl website was the only way to post or share content from your mobile device.

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8-Rotate is a handy Windows Phone 8 app that will help straighten out slanted photos.  We all take crooked photos from time to time and 8-Rotate will not only help you straighten things out but also will let you crop the corrected images.

There isn’t much to 8 Rotate and while the app can come in handy to adjust those tilted photos, the photography app could use a little fine-tuning.

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