Articles

If there’s one app left standing for Windows Phone users, it would be Snapchat. The popular photo messaging app that allows your pics to ‘expire’ after a pre-determined viewing time does not have an official client for Windows Phone, but today we have the next best thing.

Developed by Rudy Huyn, the mind behind 6tag and 6sec, also very popular unofficial apps for Instagram and Vine, 6snap has been in the works for the last few weeks. Today, the app is available to all with Windows Phone 8 devices and it does not disappoint.

Head past the break for our video first-look and more information on where to get it.

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It will not be long until the Xbox One consoles will find their way to entertainment centers and we are pleased to share that a dedicated YouTube app will be available from day one.

Microsoft Xbox team member Larry Hryb (aka @majornelson) shared the good news over on Twitter about an hour ago.  We do not know whether or not if the app will be a “view only” type app or if it will have Kinect integration for recording and uploading videos.

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Has Windows Phone finally come of age? Microsoft emphatically says 'yes'

With today’s announcement that Instagram has arrived for Windows Phone along with Waze (Mint and Xbox Video are still “coming soon”), Windows Phone as an operating system has finally reached a significant turning point. At least according to Microsoft.

We recently sat down with Todd Brix, General Manager, Windows Apps and Store at Microsoft, who walked us through some of the recent accomplishments. Brix and Microsoft are claiming that with the recent spate of app releases, a “critical mass” has finally pushed Windows Phone into the big leagues. Windows Phone now has parity on most of the top download apps found on iOS and Android with an “85% overlap” in top-25 titles, according to the company.

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Instagram has officially launched on Windows Phone, as a beta at least. That said, many of you are already downloading the app and publishing content on the social network. While there are third-party apps already available on the store, the official app is finally here and we'd like to see what you've all been able to produce on the Windows Phone Central forum.

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Today, Windows Phone users are finally treated to a new app and service that has been long in the making: Waze. First announced back in June, Waze has been undergoing a private (but detailed) beta testing period to ensure the highest quality. Although it was reported as having no ETA back in October, the app is finally ready for public release. That despite unfounded concerns that its new owners, Google, would cancel the project. But today, Microsoft and Waze are announcing its general availability.

Waze is an extremely popular navigation and traffic app that relies on social interaction for real-time updates. Considered to be a community-driven application, Waze differs from regular GPS navigation apps by relying on user feedback for traffic, travel times, accidents, police traps, and more with user ability to modify maps and roads. It’s a fascinating service with around 50 million users worldwide, mostly found on Android and iOS. 

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Instagram (beta) for Windows Phone is now here

Today, Microsoft and Facebook (Burbn) have announced the arrival of the official Instagram app for Windows Phone. It’s been a long time in the making but this is the moment you have all been waiting for.

Announced a few weeks ago in Abu Dhabi during Nokia World, Instagram for Windows Phone has been one of the most coveted and sought after applications for the rapidly growing platform. Constantly cited as the one big “missing apps” for consumers (and being one of the searched for in the Store), Instagram’s arrival has come at an opportune time, seeing as Windows Phone is gaining market share fervently these days.

The service is simple in concept and execution, but it was the right app at the right time. Users simply take photos from their smartphone (or taken live within the app) and can optionally apply a set of retro-filters, giving it a Polaroid-like effect. Users can then post the photo on their timeline within the app (also visible on the web) along with hashtags. By following and being followed, users can build up an audience around those who want a visual experience. Text is minimal as the focus is to let the image tell the story. Images can be cross-posted to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and more.

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Qualcomm just announced their new high-end processor, the Snapdragon 805. It’s the successor to the Snapdragon 800 found on several high-end devices including the Nokia Lumia 1520 we recently reviewed. Qualcomm claims the 805 is their highest performance processor designed to deliver the highest quality mobile video, camera and graphics.

The new Snapdragon 805 features the new Adreno 420 GPU, which offers up to 40 percent more graphics processing power than its predecessor. It is the first mobile processor to offer system-level Ultra HD support, 4K video capture and playback and enhanced dual camera Image Signal Processors (ISPs), for superior performance, multitasking, power efficiency and mobile user experiences.

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Nokia has today released a substantial update to its Nokia Music app available on all Lumia Windows Phones. Not only that, but the company has completely rebranded the service. Say hello to Nokia MixRadio. To celebrate the launch of the software upgrade for its app on Windows Phone, Nokia is also looking to hold an event in New York on November 21st, but you can download the update today.

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Wapple (www.wapple.net) is a mobile and cross-screen marketing company providing design, device delivery technology and consultation to worldwide clients. The company is looking to address the "rapidly expanding Windows Phone and tablet consumer base" by ramping up resources to increase support for businesses, delivering apps to both Windows Phones and tablets.

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Car Starter is a dashboard companion app for your Windows Phone 8 device that can come in handy while driving.  Car Starter’s layout places access to your music, contacts, app shortcuts, maps and more at your fingertips.

Car Starter was recently updated to version 1.5, which adds a few more app and settings shortcut options to the app, the ability to set more than two destinations, and a search assistant in setting destinations.

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Imagine you’re packing for a trip to Paris, France and plan to visit The Louvre (www.louvre.fr) while you’re in the city. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could get more out of the experience with your Windows Phone? That’s exactly what ArtGuru – Louvre does. It’s a companion app, which serves as a guide of sorts for the museum. Tour on pass the break to see what it's all about.

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Here in the United States, Square is a very popular solution for business owners wanting to accept credit and debit cards using their smartphones. They’ve got an app on both Android and iOS, but no love for Windows Phone. Our friends in Russia though just got a very similar app for the platform called LifePay. Let’s check it out.

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Black Friday is soon approaching (November 29th for those who aren't familiar with the frantic shopping period in the US) and Microsoft is looking to take full advantage of consumers who will be on the hunt for some deals. The company has unveiled numerous products on its online store, perfect if you'd like to bag some bargains without risking personal safety.

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Microsoft’s Bing is so much more than a web search engine. Earlier this summer at Build 2013, we learned how Bing was evolving into a platform of its own. Bing is also becoming a technology that’s going to help power some cool technology that will integrate across all your devices. When you open your Xbox One this Friday you’ll also see Bing doing some impressive features with your voice. Watch the video below with Xbox Live’s Major Nelson to see it in action.

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It’s a large bouquet of gadgets this season from Microsoft. We have the likes of new Nokia Lumia devices, the second generation Surface, and the Xbox One. Just in time for your holiday shopping, Microsoft has opened their official Microsoft Store on eBay in the US.

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Did you know the #1 downloaded app on Windows Phone is Facebook? It is and that’s why all of you clamor for updates to the popular social network, especially the beta version, which sometimes gets features early.

Today, version 5.2.0.2 has gone live in the Store. Unfortunately, there’s nothing too exciting to report in terms of new features that we can discern, but if the (old) changelog still holds, then this is the standard “bug fixes and supports new languages.”

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With only a few days left until the hotly anticipated Xbox One arrives in stores, Microsoft has already unleashed their SmartGlass app for the news system.

SmartGlass, introduced at E3 in 2012, has slowly ramped up as a ‘second-screen’ service, allowing those with smartphones and tablets to augment what is seen on screen. The SmartGlass service is expected to get more robust with the power of Xbox One, and with this app available today, we should be ready for this Friday.

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ZTE plans to make Windows Phone devices again in 2014

We can expect ZTE to continue making Windows Phone devices again in 2014. He Shiyou, executive vice-president and head of the handset business of Shenzhen-based ZTE, tells the Financial Times the company would again begin producing phones using Microsoft’s Windows platform after the acquisition of Nokia is completed.

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