Articles

The original Facebook app on Windows Phone back in the day was pretty bad. Thankfully the forces who can make a difference have over the past few months with the Facebook Beta app. That original beta has since become the official app for Facebook users, but the beta is still going strong. That very beta just received an update to version 5.1.0.1 that brings a slew of new features. Let’s check it out.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of CrossFit. The strength and condition programming, along with affiliated gyms, have exploded in popularity over the past decade.

The central pillar of CrossFit is the WOD or Workout of the Day.

WODs are high-intensity combinations of various exercises and movements that require all-out physical exertion. WOD Warrior for Windows Phone is an app for anyone in the CrossFit community.

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GDR2 is slowly rolling out to Windows Phone 8 handsets around the globe. Some devices, like the Lumia 925 and 1020, already come with GDR2 preinstalled. For everyone else, the updates are slowly coming.

We’ve always had a pretty good idea of what’s new in GDR2, but some items were slightly vague. For example we knew Microsoft made "improvements to Xbox Music", but didn’t know exactly what that meant. Thanks to a blog posting by the Windows Phone team, we now know what's changed.

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Nokia teases Tetris Blitz for Windows Phone

The original Tetris for Windows Phone is a fair port of the classic puzzle game, albeit overpriced at $4.99. But the world has moved on, and vanilla Tetris doesn’t excite gamers any more. That’s why Electronic Arts jazzed the old game up with the Bejeweled Blitz treatment and turned it into Tetris Blitz earlier this year. A faster paced Tetris designed for mobile play – what’s not to love?

Windows Phone gamers certainly didn’t love the lack of Tetris Blitz on their platform of choice; that’s for sure. But Nokia has just announced that Tetris Blitz will finally be coming to Windows Phone next week. So soon!

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As mobile Xbox gamers probably know, Halfbrick recently released a new version of Fruit Ninja and Square Enix’s Chaos Rings became available to all Windows Phone 8 users last week. Beyond that however, we aren’t aware of too many game developers with plans to support Xbox Windows Phone in the future. Microsoft has been dark on the subject all year, and nobody else is really talking…

Nobody except Gameloft, that is. Last year, the publisher announced 12 Xbox Windows Phone 8 games – 10 of which have launched so far. Today Gameloft has reaffirmed its commitment to mobile Windows platforms by promising 15 more games for Windows Phone and Windows 8! Only four new Windows Phone games have actually been revealed, but it’s exciting news regardless… especially for Windows 8, which will be seeing much more support from Gameloft in the near future.

Head past the break for exclusive details on today’s announcement!

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Pepper is a familiar name within the Windows Phone community. The service originally launched on the platform early last year and has since branched out to iOS, but location support is still restricted to the UK. Why is this the case? The live music discovery and social service is incredibly accurate when it comes to local events and performances. This requires data that's frankly hard to come by, even today.

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Confession: we’re not huge users of the Windows Phone FM Radio, a feature that was omitted when Windows Phone 8 launched last year due to the drivers needing to be re-written. Because of that, we didn’t miss it much, though like you, we always appreciate having things on our phones, even if we don’t use them.

But some of you 'FM radio fans' are certainly quite die hard about it and so when the Verizon Nokia Lumia 928 received the Amber + GDR2 update last week, the missing radio feature (which the update was supposed to bring), raised some eyebrows (and ire).

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Hipstamatic’s Oggl app for Windows Phone 8 has had somewhat of a rough start since its launch. The app is slow and let’s admit it, a bit clunky to use. But here’s the thing: Oggl’s filters and lenses are hands down some of the nicest we’ve come across on the platform. There’s just something about their tones that they use that make images really stand out.

Version 1.0.05 for the non-Pro version is now available on the store and it has a very detailed and hearty changelog to go with it.

But here’s all you really need to know: the app is significantly much faster to launch and use now. It now opens in about 4 seconds and with the rapid resume feature, Oggl now comes back from background lickity split. The same goes for the rest of the app, including manually switching the lens + filter combo, which is quite nice to use now.

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In case you needed another battery app for your Windows Phone 8 device, Battery Pro+, a new and free app will get the job done. What’s real interesting about this sharply designed utility is that it is evidently sponsored by Nokia (though not exclusive to their Lumias).

Battery Pro+ is actually listed under Wunderman Polska, a third party developer agency that evidently Nokia Poland has hired to make this app and a few other utilities, including a leveler, flashlight and stopwatch. The main screen though proudly boasts “Powered by Nokia” and under the About screen, you can find an email with an @nokia-services.pl address and a “prepared by Nokia” entry.

So how is Battery Pro+? For free, it’s not too bad. It boasts the deep blue color associated with Nokia and their traditional design for utility apps. While it doesn’t vaunt a ton of features, it does the basics right.

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The official Qantas app has been bumped to version 1.2, fixing some bugs and adding improvements for customers of the Australian airline to take full advantage of. There's nothing worse than experiencing issues when attempting to use an app. Best of all, we previously looked at how gorgeous this official offering is. We've also been informed that lock screen support is now featured, showing the boarding pass.

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Update 1PM ET: Seems like Nokia is on the ball as Verizon has thrown the switch for the Lumia 822. Go check for your update now: Settings > Phone Update > Check for update. We can also confirm FM Radio and Group text is included.

If you’re on Verizon and waiting for the Amber firmware and GDR2 OS updates for your Nokia Lumia 822, fear not as it should be headed to your device real soon.

Yesterday, Nokia updated their site from "waiting for approval" to "coming soon" and a tipster named WP8addict in our forums noted that indeed, it has been cleared by Verizon yesterday.

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It hasn't been long since the ESPN Fantasy Football app lost it's Nokia exclusivity and became available for all Windows Phones and now we are already seeing an update push out for the fantasy football app.

The version 1.2.0.1 update adds the feature to allow ESPN Insiders to manage push notifications. While the change log is brief, very brief, we are also hearing that more team controls may have been added (don't hold us to that).

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It looks like Rovio is getting on the ball with delivering Angry Birds updates as the original version for Windows Phone 8 got bumped to version 3.2 today and this isn’t just bug fixes, folks, it’s new stuff.

The fresh update adds the Red’s Mighty Feathers episode, which ought to bring 15 new levels to Windows Phone 8 (assuming it’s getting feature parity with other platforms).

So what is Red’s Mighty Feathers episode? Glad you asked.

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We're in the process of cooking up another sweet Talk Mobile infographic (this one based on our social and communications week) and in doing so we need to reach out to the community with one more big question.

Specifically, we're looking at how many times per day you use your phone to do the basics... send a message or email, check what time it is, add an appointment to your calendar, etc. Easy stuff.

The survey will take you only a minute, so hit the link below and getter done and we'll love you long time.

Take the Survey!

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Although we’ve covered a few cases and shells for the Nokia Lumia 1020, some of you high rollers are holding out for something a bit more premium.  In that case, the Noreve leather case is probably up your alley as it runs for $66 (49.99€).

The “hand crafted” leather cases certainly look high quality enough and feature a flip cover to protect the 1020’s display while also giving the case a hint of elegance. You can order the case “naked” or with belt clip fasteners to keep the 1020 by your side at all times.

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Microsoft has unveiled its digital self-publishing indie developer program for the Xbox One, essentially enabling developers to self-publish their work for consumers to enjoy on their consoles. The program is titled Independent Developers @ Xbox (ID@Xbox - www.xbox.com/id) and the company promises a smooth experience regarding actual development, distribution and discovery of titles on the Xbox One digital store. Registration has opened today.

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Nokia has published the above advertisement to attract those party animals who simply cannot remember the night before and require photos to trace back steps to figure out exactly what occurred. Unfortunately, if your smartphone camera isn't great with night shots you're going to be literally left in the dark when trying to see view the device captured.

This isn't the case with OIS (optical image stabilisation) in high-end Lumia Windows Phones like the Lumia 925. Just like we saw with the previous advertisement, Nokia is going aggressive against competitor products after the sun sets.

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The Nokia Lumia 925 has been featured in the latest music video from Enrique Iglesias, "Turn The Night Up." The Windows Phone first appears at the 00:18 marker and can be spotted throughout the rather interesting video, including use of the default camera app.

Nokia has been aggressive when it comes to product placement and Lumia marketing in the media. The Man of Steel movie is a perfect example of this. It's positive to see the manufacturer getting its latest flagships included.

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The public relations strategy (or lack thereof) that Microsoft has been using since announcing the Xbox One has been questionable at best. The Xbox team has taken a staggered, slow rollout of news surrounding the Xbox One with details coming out slowly piece-by-piece at different events. They’ve back pedaled on a few issues and just can’t seem to catch a break. But they’ve slowly been turning around their slow start with the Xbox One. Their latest push is putting the emphasis back on games.

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Although Rudy Huyn’s upcoming Instagram app 6tagram will most likely make it to the Windows Phone Store intact, it won’t with that name. As we covered earlier, Instagram asked for final approval of the app to make sure it wasn’t violating their trademark (though they are evidently looking the other way on the API issue) and tonight they have exercised that privilege.

As a result, 6tagram will be renamed to 6tag for final release and it has been submitted under that new moniker.

The news comes from Huyn, who noted that Instagram requested the change before final submission to the Store. As a result, Huyn came up with six potential name replacements including 6pix, 6pics, 6frames, 6degrees, 6shot, 6social but later reduced the choice to 6tag and 6tamatic. The options were put to a poll and while 6tamatic clearly won (66% versus 33%), it looks like 6tag was the preferred choice by the developer.

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While Microsoft and Google fight it out over an official YouTube app on Windows Phone we’ll keep enjoying myTube and Metrotube. When you ask someone in the community which YouTube app they like the best you’ll constantly see Metrotube and myTube vying for the top spot.

Which is the best? That’s hard to say since they both set the bar and it ultimately comes down to your own personal preferences. However, the latest update for myTube continues to tip the scale in its favor. Let’s check it out.

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Nearly two weeks ago Microsoft released App Studio for Windows Phone enthusiasts and potential developers. The web tool allows users to create fairly basic apps for Windows Phone without much prior development knowledge. Today the team announced that App Studio has over 50,000 active projects alongside new features. Let’s check them out.

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