Apps

Record rainfall has resulted in tragic floods in Southeastern and Central Europe. Areas affected include Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic and Poland. Though the worst of the flooding has been centered on Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced out of their homes. A new app in the Windows Phone Store, called SerbiaFloods, is available to help take donations and support those in Serbia.

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MyFitnessPal (www.myfitnesspal.com) as a service is top notch.  If you’re into keeping track of what you eat and the calories you consume, then it’s indispensable, especially since it combines so nicely with our favorite activity tracker Fitbit. But as a Windows Phone app, it leaves a lot to be desired, as can be seen by the pitiful user ratings in the Store. Sure, it looks great, but problems with stability and the scanner keep it from being truly useful.

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One of the largest online shopping site in India, Snapdeal (snapdeal.com) features a wide assortment of products from Indian and international brands in multiple categories.

While Snapdeal had an official Windows Phone app since two years, the half-baked effort got a nice refresh a couple of weeks ago. The app got another update yesterday adding new features and improvements.

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It may be a holiday here in the US, but that doesn’t mean the official Facebook app for Windows Phone can’t get an update. Facebook is a long time works project, evidently, meaning it needs lots and lots of love from Microsoft. This morning, we being bumped to version 8.1.6.0, up from 8.1.5.9 just three days ago.

Like most of these Facebook app updates, this is a small version change as you can tell from the numbering. That means we’re expecting some teeny tiny fixes for something you may not noticed (and ‘seems faster’ is probably not the right answers).

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WhatsApp servers are down — it's not just you!

WhatsApp, the incredibly popular instant messaging service recently purchased by Facebook for almost $20 bilion, is offline at the moment. So, yeah, it's not just you. It's the WhatsApp servers. There's no word yet on how long the outage will last, so let us know in the comments whether it's working for you yet, and if not, when it starts working again!

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We haven’t covered a decent Lockscreen app for Windows Phone in a few weeks, so today seems like a good day to do so. Considering the Lockscreen is the first thing you see when turning on your device, what you put there can be pretty important. Luckily today we have another app to add to the bunch, and it’s aptly called ‘Lock pic’.

Lock pic is made by developer Matt ‘RogueCode’ Cavanagh who is a familiar name for many Windows Phone users. He’s the guy behind the hit game VALA: Alpha, MyEdit, our favorite Ffffound app and numerous other hacks including this cool Cortana one using lights. Now he’s added Lock pic to his collection and it’s a solid looking app.

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The best thing about being a developer in the Microsoft technology ecosystem is the terrific support that the company offers to the developers. From dedicated forums and learning resources to public events, the community feeds off this support and grows further.

Microsoft has just launched an Windows Phone app for developers that aggregates official Microsoft resources related to building apps for the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store. The app is titled ‘#wpdev’, picking up from the popular Twitter hashtag that Microsoft and the developer community use on Twitter for sharing development resources and insights.

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TV Blaze is one of the more recent television show tracking apps to become available for Windows Phone 8. The app helps you track your favorite television shows from what you have already watched to the new episodes that are waiting to be watched.

TV Blaze also has Trakt.tv integration, OneDrive support and tons of information on your favorite shows. Navigation isn’t as straight forward as we would have liked but overall, TV Blaze is a nice option to consider that will help you track your TV viewing habits.

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We’ve heard a lot of complaints from the community about the Xbox Music app since its release. And the lot of you have become even more vocal since upgrading to Windows Phone 8.1. In Windows Phone 8.1, the Music hub we’ve had since Windows Phone 7 has been dropped. You can still get it with a few tricks, but it’s really dead for all intents and purposes. Microsoft is pinning the future of audio entertainment with the Xbox Music app – now just called Music in the Windows Phone Store.

Today we’re getting our third update to Xbox Music for Windows Phone since the release of Windows Phone 8.1. Let’s jump in and find out what Microsoft fixed and added with this update.

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VK, originally VKontakte, is a very large social networking site that’s popular in Russian-speaking countries. Russia is of course where it’s super popular, but it enjoys a healthy following in Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova Belarus and Israel. Today the official Windows Phone app has been updated to take advantage of a great new feature found in Windows Phone 8.1 – People hub integration.

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For those needing a little help navigating around Windows Phone 8.1, you now have at least two options. First, you can head over to the WPCentral Windows Phone 8.1 topic page and read up on tips, tricks and news items about Windows Phone 8.1 or you can install the new Microsoft app, Help And Tips.

The app covers tips from how to make a phone call to dealing with Cortana. The app can come in handy for those just starting learn about the updated platform or for those who are already old pros with Windows Phone 8.1.

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Moviegoers rejoice, Cinemark comes to Windows Phone

Feel like seeing the new X-Men movie this weekend? Then you’re in luck if you’re a Windows Phone fan near a Cinemark movie theatre. An official Cinemark Theatres app has just hit Windows Phone! Cinemark is the third largest cinema brand (Cinemark, Century Theatres, Tinseltown USA, CineArts and Rave Cinemas) in the United States and has over 334 theatres in 40 states. Let’s check out Cinemark for Windows Phone.

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Nokia MixRadio has high praises from a lot of users on Windows Phone. Not only is it a decent music store, its namesake of mixed music through playlists keeps things fresh and helps you discover new artists.

The MixRadio team, lead by the well-coiffed Dean (@deano_42), has put out a video demonstrating some of the voice options with MixRadio for those on Windows Phone 8.1. Although Cortana can do some things, a new third-party app called SpeakAndMix from developer Steve Robbins takes things even further.

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Digital life sure is hectic in 2014. It’s harder and harder these days to just keep up with what’s going on in the world, never mind tracking the latest album releases from your favorite bands. I can’t count the number of times I find out that one of my beloved artists has a new album out…3 months after the matter. Fact is if you listen to 20 or so different bands, keeping track of their latest releases can be time consuming, assuming you even remember to check.

The app ‘Album Releases’ helps solve this problem by scanning your music library and then fetching the latest content off of Xbox Music tell you what's new. You can then filter by type or release date. What’s more, you can pin the latest releases of just your library to your Start screen where you’ll get a Live Tile with a counter bringing that information right to your eyes along with banner notifications. You can even have it show up on the Lock screen via the notification icon or the detailed notification area.

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Nokia has released another update for its Glam Me app on Lumia Windows Phones. If you're not familiar with the name, it's essentially a solution for those who enjoy taking selfie shots of themselves and sharing said results with the world. We previously saw the app receive 1080p treatment in the wake of Windows Phone 8.1, and today Nokia has added a few new additions.

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Remember earlier this year when Facebook bought WhatsApp? The news was met with a heavy amount of criticism from users not wanting a company like Facebook controlling their primary means of communication. The backlash led to an exodus as users left WhatsApp to try alternative messaging platforms. Telegram was one of the few messaging services who greatly benefited from the fallout. We looked at some of the best Telegram apps on Windows Phone. Migram and Ngram were our two favorites. One of them is now look to be the official Telegram app for Windows Phone.

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