Windows Phone Apps

The 12 Days of Hidden Gems has officially begun, and we're starting things off in the emerging world of IoT (the Internet of Things), spending the first few days looking at fitness accessories that work great with Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone.

The first Hidden Gem to be discovered is the Misfit Shine fitness tracker and in Hidden Gems fashion, we're giving all of you the chance to win a FREE Misfit Shine in our 12 Days of Hidden Gems Sweepstakes!!

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If you are looking for a feature rich navigation app for your Windows Phone and want to save a little cash along the way, myAppFree may have just what you are looking for.

For the next few days the popular Windows Phone navigation app GPS Voice Navigation is being discounted 60% through the myAppFree campaign. This knocks the price down from $6.99 to $2.99.

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Like other Microsoft Mobile apps, Cinemagraph comes in two flavors, including regular and beta. A beta version is the more independent of the two, offering standalone functionality to make it more useful for social sharing.

Today, version 4.6.0.11 is available at the Store and with comes a detailed changelog, including some core changes in sharing.

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Sure, you can use Glance to view incoming notifications without unlocking your phone, but what about using your device without actually interacting with the touchscreen? That's where Gestures Beta comes in. With the latest utility from Microsoft, you can automatically answer a call by picking up your phone and putting it to you ear, and much more.

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Glance Screen just received an update that allows you to set your lockscreen photo as the background. The Lumia-exclusive feature displays time, missed calls, texts and emails, Facebook and Twitter notifications among others when the screen is off, negating the need for you to unlock the device to quickly check an incoming notification.

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We've noticed plenty of readers did not like the new update for Facebook Beta, which features a "Top Stories" newsfeed by default. We've heard your complaints, and it seems many of you like a more traditional "Most Recent" newsfeed. As Daniel explained, the change to "Top Stories" is a Facebook thing, not Microsoft's. If you don't like what's happening, you can try third party Facebook apps. A good example is JDB for Facebook, which has a default "Most Recent" view.

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Late last night, the Facebook Beta app for Windows Phone received a significant update. One of the biggest changes is in regards to your default news feed, which now shows 'Top Stories' instead of 'Most Recent'. To be sure, Most Recent is still there, you just need to go to the hamburger button (upper right) and select it. However, this change will not remain when you restart the app, so you have to do it each time.

Undeniably, many of you are not happy with this change, because you would rather not even see Top Stories. So why did Microsoft change the app?

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It may be a late Friday, but as Microsoft Joe Belfiore just noted, they are "squeaking one more in this week". That update would be for Facebook Beta, and this is more than just performance improvements (although those are there too). Much like the earlier OneDrive app update, this one brings some significant changes to the layout.

Tonight, version 8.3.4.1 is in the Store and with it comes a beefy changelog, including improvements to 'Top Stories' and 'Most Recent' newsfeeds, which are some of the bigger changes. Let's see what else is new.

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Appy Weather is a unique Windows Phone weather app in that it presents the weather in a more personal manner. The app takes on the weather forecast with a minimal approach, delivers a healthy amount of information and presents the information not only in a "nuts and bolts" manner but also suggest what the temperature will feel like or how the forecasted conditions will compare to your current conditions.

The Windows Phone weather app was updated today to version 1.2, which adds lockscreen support with the ability to use Bing images or custom photos from your Pictures Hub. App Weather is a well-received weather app in the Windows Phone Store and on first impression, the updates only adds to the appeal of this weather app.

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The Holiday season is upon us and at Windows Central we're celebrating with a fresh season of "Hidden Gems", highlighting new and cool apps on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone.

12 Days of Hidden Gems, presented by Microsoft, will showcase some amazing apps in the scenarios that matter most to you, such as Health and Fitness, Smart Living, Travel and Entertainment, while giving the community a chance to win some awesome prizes!! We'll also be exploring the Internet of Things in depth, bringing attention to connected devices and wearables that deliver an exceptional experience with Windows devices.

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