Windows Phone Apps

Westpac has released an official mobile banking app for Windows Phone. The Australia-based bank offers a variety of features in the official solution and is a must-have for account holders.

The app not only supports the ability to check account balances, as well as previous transactions, but it also allows for hot-swapping between personal and business accounts.

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Snapchat has been on a tear lately against Windows Phone. Besides deciding against making an official app for their messaging service, the company has been very active in getting third party apps removed.

In fairness, Snapchat has two reasons for the removal of third party apps: copyright violations and security concerns. However, the latest app from Rudy Huyn, called 6discover, bypasses the first complaint as it does not use login information, but it still steps on the toes of Snapchat's legal department.

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Back in November, Microsoft Mobile released Movie Creator exclusively for Lumia Windows Phones and the Surface. Since that time, we have not seen too much in the way of updates or new features, but that changes today.

The latest version is now live in the Store for Lumia Windows Phones (sorry, HTC One owners) and those with a Surface Pro device (but not a Surface 3, ironically). Here is what is new.

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The Microsoft Band has a lot of potential and you can see that from the apps that third-party developers have come up with. Band Translate is a great example. It lets you ask for translations directly from the Microsoft Band. After installing the app, you can press and hold the action button on the Band and then say, "Translate [What you want to translate] to [In what language you want to be translated]." The translation then shows up on your Microsoft Band. Is that something you'd like to do? Check out our hands-on video to see Band Translate in action.

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Last week, Venetasoft released a new app descriptively called Video Upload to Instagram. The app is the first standalone tool to let users grab videos from their library, crop, and upload to Instagram (the official app does not allow this, nor does 6tag).

Today, version 1.0.0.6 is out and with comes a big fix for the using a Lumia 830. Additionally, there are a few new features for editing. Let's take a look.

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Good news if you're a fan of VLC media player, as the app has picked up another update today that includes a slew of bug fixes. In terms of functionality, the app has a back button added for the search pages, along with UI fixes for the new responsive design introduced last week. Also, the app now communicates better with Windows Phone's background audio task, bringing down CPU usage dramatically.

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If you are running Windows Phone 8.1 on a device with expandable storage via an SD card, you may want to grab this new system app from Microsoft.

The release is titled 'contacts+message backup' and the tiny app only installs to the Settings on your Windows Phone (it will not be listed in your apps). Contacts+message will "backup of all your contacts (in VCF format) and messages (SMS & MMS including attachments) to SD card (in XML format) for later restore to same or another Windows Phone."

The information is saved to in a 'backup+restore' folder on the SD card.

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Next week, Microsoft is unveiling their annual developer event in San Francisco. Build 2015 looks to be a massive year as all eyes are on Windows 10 development, HoloLens, Xbox One, IoT, and more.

For those who are attending, there is now the official Build 2015 app. Listing all the sessions, maps, showcases, and ability to favorite talks to create your own schedule, the Build app is essential for attendees.

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Free code for the first 200 posted below!

Although 6tag is the de facto Instagram app for those using Windows Phone due to its advanced and unique features, one thing it cannot do is upload pre-recorded video. Instead, users need to open the app and record directly. This limitation is problematic if you recorded a video earlier and wanted to add it to Instagram at a later date, or perhaps did not have free internet connectivity for the upload.

Today, we are excited to announce a new third-party app dedicated to this single task. It is appropriately called 'Video Upload to Instagram' and Venetasoft makes it. If that name sounds familiar, it is because they also publish the excellent Band Sensor Monitor, Find My Band, and the excellent Movie Maker 8.1.

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123 Kids Fun Music is a Windows Phone learning app that is designed to tap into your child's creativity and let them explore the world of musical instruments.

The Windows Phone app is part of a series of educational apps from RosMedia that focus on childhood development through puzzles and music. 123 Kids Fun Music offers an easy way for your child to interact with a host of musical instruments such as the Xylophone, Drums, Guitars and more.

Available for low-memory Windows Phones, the app may not be everyone's cup of tea but I can see it being a fun way for a young child to pass the time with.

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The United States' National Railroad Passenger Corporation, also known as Amtrak, has rolled out an update to its Windows Phone app to allow customers the ability to view eTickets for monthly reservations and multi-ride journeys. The app allows you to book tickets, view your train status, find more information about a particular station and set stations or routes as favorites.

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There are several podcast apps — both third-party and official — available on Windows Phone, but the lack of a solution as robust and feature-filled as Pocket Casts has left a void in this segment. That's all set to change soon, as the developer behind the app — Shifty Jelly — stated that work is underway in bringing Pocket Casts to Windows Phone.

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