Articles

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Trapster updated to version 1.2, goes International

Trapster is a Windows Phone app designed to help you avoid speed traps, avoid traffic jams, and generally have a safer time on the road. The app was recently updated to version 1.2 to bring a handful of performance improvements as well as a new map and more language support.

For those not familiar Trapster is a social network app where users post alerts to speed traps, red light and speed cameras as well as accidents and other roadway hazards. These dangers are mapped out to allow you to worry less about getting a ticket and better concentrate on driving.

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Confession: I personally started “February Fitness Month” back in mid-January and have been regularly exercising for the last few years, including a more aggressive cardio routine starting last summer. Because of this, I’ve been using the Nike FuelBand ($150) and Fitbit One ($99) for quite some time and I can definitely tell you which one I think is the best.

While I won’t do a complete teardown I will give you the pros and cons of each and as you will see, the decision between the two is very easy.

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So you're thinking about developing an app for Windows Phone, but how does one create an awesome app for consumers to download and enjoy? Much like our own Windows Phone app - which is highly rated by our readers - there are a number of apps available on the store that are effectively designed for the platform. Microsoft has detailed some pointers on how to make a quality app.

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It was less than 24 hours ago we clued you guys in about an app called Molome potentially coming to Windows Phone. Molome is basically like Instagram, but some could argue a bit better because of the gamification for collecting badges for certain tasks. Anyways, we spoke with the founder of Molome and are pleased to let you guys know the app is indeed coming to Windows Phone.

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Nokia loves to run promotions that highlight features on their phones vs. other OEMs. Right now they’re running a contest called Nokia Lumia Challenge that highlights photography features on their Windows Phones. The first part of the contest back in mid-January was to photograph color match your Lumia to its surroundings and photograph it. The second part starts today and is all about making creative cinemegraphs.

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We've previously looked at a Live Tile issue on Windows Phone 7.8, but it seems as though the issue with the feature could be worse than we originally thought. Owners have complained that tiles are not updating correctly or are "bugging out" with massive amounts of data being utilised with consequences on the battery charge. This isn't good, especially when the Live Tiles are a major selling point of the OS.

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Two updates from Nokia hit the Windows Phone Store recently. One adds Live Tile support and the other drops the price.

Nokia Counters is a popular Windows Phone 7.x app that helps you keep track of your calls, data usage and messaging. The version 1.5.0.48 update adds Live Tile support. The Live Tile will display a graph on your Counters you have set limits on.

The 100th Day of School is an interactive educational app featuring the Sesame Street character Elmo. While the app itself hasn't been updated, the price has. The 100th Day of School is now free and if you're looking for a great educational app that will keep your youngsters entertained, it's a steal of a deal.

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10 great fitness accessories in 2 minutes

February is Fitness Month here at Mobile Nations, and thanks to our Android, BlackBerry, iOS, webOS, and Windows Phones and tablets, we have a host of new options for getting in shape and staying healthy.

Regardless of your platform of choice, or whether you stick to one type of device or many, there are a ton of great options to choose from now. Georgia is spearheading Fitness Month for us this year, and she's going to show you just 10 of her favorites, and she's going to do it in just 2 minutes.

Most of these will work for a variety of different phone and tablet sizes, running a variety of different operating systems and versions. I couldn't find alternatives for all of them, however, so if you know of some, tell us about them!

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Gartner has released their data for smartphone sales and market share for the fourth quarter in 2012 and while the data is not conclusive by itself, it does show general trends in where the market is heading.

For Microsoft and partners the picture is most certainly better than it was one year ago, which is the good news. The bad news is the hill to climb to global relevancy is still as massive as ever, mostly due to the continued growth of Android (specifically Samsung) and iOS. Meanwhile BlackBerry (formerly RIM), is still bleeding heavily prior to its transition to BB10, showing a massive decline in sales.

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Remember that huge five week long game drought we just went through? We didn’t get official word from Microsoft until the fourth straight week without a release, after the drought had almost passed (and not for lack of trying on our part). As every week went by, your humble author and most avid Windows Phone gamers became increasingly distressed. The whole situation brought to light the ever-worsening handling of Xbox games for Windows Phone by the platform holder.

It also led to the creation of this very series of editorials about how Xbox games for Windows Phone can be turned around. Microsoft has a wonderful gaming synergy on its hands with Xbox Live and Windows Phone, if only they will make proper use of it. We’ve already explored several ways to do so: overhaul the certification system that’s completely inappropriate for mobile games, get internal forces within Microsoft on the same page about the value of Xbox Live, and then promote Windows Phone directly alongside Xbox consoles.

Today we follow up on that last point by looking at the lack of public relations management that affects mobile Xbox games and makes it difficult for both Windows Phone and Windows 8 developers and publishers to promote their own games.

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There is an alternate universe out there where you’ve just uploaded a photo to Instagram from your Lumia 920 or HTC 8X – it was probably a picture of your brunch with a grungy filter, but that isn’t the case is it? Someday Instagram will come, but we might not really care if Molome beats them to the punch.

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Update: Sorry guys, you snooze you lose. Looks like this might have been a limited time thing since a lot of users are reporting they're no longer free. We tested it out and sure enough, they cost money again. 

What’s better than an Xbox Live game on your Windows Phone? A free Xbox Live game for your Windows Phone.  And today we’ve got two games from Gameloft for both Windows Phone 7.x and 8 users – Earthworm Jim HD and Assassin’s Creed. Grab them after the break.

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It seems there isn’t a day or two that goes by without a popular app being announced or available for Windows Phone. Popular being a bit subjective in this case, but we still welcome apps that have high approval ratings for their iOS and Android counterparts to the Windows Phone Store. Scruff is currently looking for beta testers for their upcoming Windows Phone 8 application. Don’t worry, I just found out what Scruff is too - it's a popular social network in the gay community.

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As we’re the largest Windows Phone site around, you could imagine we get asked a lot of questions. Some are bizarre, some are just rants asking us to fix the OS (we wish we could!) and some seem silly at first but do make you go “hmmm...”

Such is the case with this scenario: You toss your beautiful Nokia Lumia 920 onto the Fatboy wireless charger to get some juice. But you also have a USB AC adapter standing by...what happens if you plug that in? Will it charge off of both, making it “go faster”? Or does one take priority over the other—and if so, which way?

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There's some more news on great deals available today. Mehdoh is now listed as free on the Windows Phone Store, and NAVIGON (both US and European versions) is also currently on sale. It's good to see more deals being featured on the store to help push out the content that consumers wish to take full advantage of on new hardware.

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Back a few weeks ago we came across a post detailing how using Rain X, the popular anti-rain liquid for car windshields, can help reduce finger print smudges on your phone.

Having applied the solution to our devices, we used them over the last two weeks and we figured we’d share our results.

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Nokia released a statement today saying that it had sent a "letter of objection" to the Indian government following a January raid on its facility in Chennai over alleged back taxes totaling $545 million. The Finnish tech superpower firmly denied the allegations and said:

"The actions of the income tax authorities in Chennai are excessive, unacceptable and inconsistent with Indian standards of fair play and governance. We do not see any merit in any of the claims, and are ready to defend ourselves vigorously."

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You can do a lot with your Windows Phone. From making a phone call to checking your email to watching videos or playing games, our Windows Phones have a ton of potential. February is fitness month here at Mobile Nations and we focus on the health and fitness capabilities of our smartphones.

The strength of our Windows Phone with regards to fitness rest with apps. Our weakness likely lies with the lack of direct compatibility with fitness accessories.

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