It's time for another From the Forums where e bring you the latest discussions currently taking place over on our community forum. It's been a busy handful of days, so what have you potentially missed?
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.
By Sam Sabri, Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 5:14 pm EST
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.
_30_Days_of_Juicing is a Windows Phone fitness app that guides you through a thirty day program that gradually incorporates high-nutrient ingredients into your diet into juice drinks. The idea being that if you slowly start adding vegetables in with fruits, you will develop an appetite for vegetables.
Even if you don't begin craving vegetables, _30_Days_of_Juicing (yes, the dashes are in the title) offers a wide range of nutritious juice drinks. It falls a little short on tracking the 30 day program but it's a nice reference app to help establish good nutrition during fitness month and beyond.
By Sam Sabri, Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm EST
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.
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.
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 220.127.116.11 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.
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!
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.
Microsoft has never released a portable console like the Playstation Vita or 3DS, instead opting to publish Xbox-branded games for Windows Phone and Windows 8… A wise choice given the modern trend towards smartphone and tablet gaming over handheld game systems. With the Xbox 360’s excellent lineup of downloadable games, Windows Phone users rightfully expected the chance to play many of their XBLA favorites on their mobile phones.
Unfortunately, the number of robust, XBLA-quality titles released for Xbox Windows Phone to date is incredibly small. I count only Final Fantasy, Puzzle Quest 2, Castlevania Puzzle, ilomilo, Plants vs. Zombies, Sonic 4: Episode I, and Sonic CD as games with full console-level production values and quantity of content. Crimson Dragon Side Story, Hydro Thunder GO, and Civilization Revolution would be on there too if not for their Playstation One-era graphics. Maybe 11 games out of Xbox Windows Phone’s over 150 titles feel like full XBLA games and not just smartphone/casual titles.
Well, add another game to the top-tier pile because Skulls of the Shogun from 17-BIT and Microsoft Studios fits right alongside the XBLA and Windows 8 versions that released alongside it.
Amazing Weather HD is one of the top weather apps available for Windows Phone hardware. The Windows Phone 8 version of the app has been bumped to 4.1 and adds two new features. While the app is a slightly heavy download (86MB), it has continuously been recommended by ourselves as one of the best weather solutions for Windows Phone.
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.
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.
By Sam Sabri, Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm EST
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.
GroupMe is a popular service from Microsoft, enabling consumers to connect with others using groups (hence the name). It's an app that allows the transfer of photos, while making use of both push and SMS for messages. GroupMe was previously bumped to version 4.2, which is now being replaced by 4.3. The latest release has been submitted for publication.