Windows Phone Apps

We are continuing on with our 12 Days of Hidden Gems series this week, focusing on the emerging world of IoT (the Internet of Things). We spent the first few days looking at fitness accessories that work well with Windows Phone and Windows 8.1, but today we're shifting gears and delving into the connected home. You can catch up on the articles to date on our Hidden Gems page.

Today is day 4, and we are featuring the SmartThings home automation system — it works with a central app, an array of wireless sensors, and your smartphone to make your home connected, safer, and smarter.

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In a surprise announcement, LINE messenger has picked up MixRadio from Microsoft. LINE is one of the biggest messaging services around, although it is mostly prevalent in non-Western countries at the moment.

Microsoft announced the news on the Lumia Conversations blog. The deal is expected to be completed by "early 2015" with the MixRadio team staying in Bristol, UK.

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Microsoft has released an update to its Extras + Info app for Lumia Windows Phone devices, and while the change notes claim there are just "general fixes and improvements", it appears that this update adds one interesting feature. It now allows Lumia Windows Phone owners to see how much RAM they have on their device for the first time.

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Update: The HERE team has posted an official update on this stating: "we have noticed some discussions in the blogosphere about HERE on Windows Phone. We want to clarify that we are committed to providing great products and consumer experiences for Windows based phones. We will continue to support our HERE apps to ensure that they will be compatible with future versions of Windows."

Original story: It looks like Microsoft is taking over development of HERE Maps for Windows Phone from Nokia. The change comes after it was revealed that Nokia was looking to develop the client from the ground up for Android and iOS platforms.

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UC Browser has received an update that sees a host of new features added to one of the best browsers available on the platform. Cortana integration allows you to control the browser through voice commands. And then there's the ability to create a picture password, which you can set up by swiping down from the speed dial menu. A background download feature has also been added, which ensures that your downloads aren't interrupted even after locking your screen.

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We are continuing on with our 12 Days of Hidden Gems series this week, focusing on the emerging world of IoT (the Internet of Things). We have spent the first few days looking at fitness accessories that work well with Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone with day one looking at the Misfit Shine fitness tracker and day two covering the Wellograph fitness watch.

Today is day 3, and we are featuring the Fitbit Charge.

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5 Minute Home Workout is a super-popular fitness app on competing platforms, and the developer has now released the app on the Windows Phone Store. The New Year is on the horizon, as is countless resolutions on losing weight and getting into shape. The festive food doesn't help matters, but this is where 5 Minute Home Workout comes into play.

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AppTripper Travel Guide is a rather unique travel guide for our Windows Phones that covers a small collection of European cities. What makes the app unique is that it recommends travel sites based on your mood.

If you happen to wake up in Napoli a little melancholy, AppTripper will suggest places to visit that will match how you feel. As your day progresses and your mood changes, you can always adjust your destinations accordingly.

AppTripper Travel Guide is normally $2.99 in the Windows Phone Store but through the myAppFree campaign, you can pick the app up for free.

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Wellograph, the second of 12 Days of Hidden Gems

As we continue with our 12 Days of Hidden Gems, IoT and connected devices are our first items we are looking at, with Wellograph Wellness Watch (wellograph.com) being today's feature.

When it comes to activity and fitness trackers, there is increasingly a wide range of devices available to consumers these days. Whether it is a simple step counter or more advanced devices with heart rate monitors, the range of complexity and design is significant.

Wellograph Wellness Watch falls into the high-fashion but also functional category, as it features continuous heart rate tracking. Additionally, it has a Windows Phone app that favors comparably with iOS and Android, even including a few bonus features like a Live Tile.

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Our 12 Days of Hidden Gems is underway. We've started the series off in the emerging world of IoT (the Internet of Things) and will be spending the first few days looking at fitness accessories that work well with Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone.

Day one of the series uncovered the Misfit Shine fitness tracker. Today we are taking a look at the Wellograph, a new premium fitness watch that features a heart rate monitor, activity tracker, pedometer, and more.

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