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3 years ago

Keeping track of your travels around the U.S.

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Fifty States and National Park Checklist, both developed by Tom Alphin, are two travel apps for your Windows Phone designed to keep track of the places you've been and document what you've seen.

Fifty States: This is a simple app that lists all fifty States. As you visit each State, you simply add a dated note summarizing your travels. For example, for Kentucky you may note that you visiting Mammoth Cave. Once visited, a flag will appear besides the State name and the number of visits listed beneath.

There is a free trial version available for Fifty States with the full version running $.99. You can download it here at the Marketplace.

National Park Checklist: National Park Checklist goes a little further than Fifty States in that it not only lists all 58 National Parks but it also provides basic information on each Park. As you visit each Park, as with Fifty States, you can document your experiences. The app also has general information about visiting the National Parks such as general admission and lodging details.

There is a free trial version available for National Park Checklist with the full version running $1.99. You can download it here at the Marketplace.

Both apps are an easy way to record and track your visits abroad. It would have been nice to have seen a photo gallery page with these apps but if you're looking for a simple travel documentation app, they might be worth a try.

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3 years ago

'4th & Mayor' gets bumped to v2.0, new features

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For your Foursquare fiends out there, you'll be pleased to know that 4th & Mayor, pretty much the Foursquare app for Windows Phone, has been given a nice overhaul to v2.0. And lets just say there are some major changes and improvements to the app:

  • The ‘places’ are gone from the main page – there’s a new check-in experience now, just touch the “check-in” button at the bottom of the main page to open up the list of nearby places (it’s fast!)
  • This retires the dedicated ‘Shout’ button – Foursquare’s decided that going forward it makes more sense to only attach shouts to check-ins, so that’s where it is
  • Trending places near you have moved away from the check-in experience and into the ‘explore’ feature
  • Explore adds the new Outdoors category
  • Explore now holds both nearby specials as well as the trending places nearby, instead of those polluting the nearby places list
  • Faster, more responsive
  • Quicker checkins
  • Add photos to your checkins
  • More social/friend features
  • Add Venues and enjoy venueless check-ins
  • Even more...

That's a whole lot of stuff and there's more on Jeff's blog, which we strongly encourage you to read for all the details. The update just went live about 40 minutes ago, so you should be able to get the latest 2.0 version right now. We've been using it since yesterday (Jeff posted the XAP for sideloading) and have been really enjoying the experience and improvements. Grab it here in the Marketplace.

Source: Jeff Wilcox (Blog); via Twitter

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3 years ago

Microsoft details custom ringers in WP7 Mango

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The big question on everyone's lips is "What about custom ringtones in Mango?" It was teased at MIX11 but even with out preview release, not much info was available on the process or what the limits would be.

Now Microsoft, via their Windows Phone Blog, have come forth with an outline of how custom ringtones will work in our updated OS. We'll summarize:

  1. Third party devs have access for creating ringers: basically, any sound app that plays or records can have an option to "Save as Ringtone", allowing you to directly and dynamically create a ringer
  2. Create your own ringtones via the Zune software: Yup, you'll be able to sample any of your non-DRM music (i.e. you own it). There are some caveats that have to do with size and limits: "It must 39 seconds or shorter, smaller than 1 megabyte (MB) and saved in MP3 or WMA format."

From what it looks like, the Zune software will do all the heavy lifting for you. You'll just point it at the song you want and you can sample it for the ringer, so long as it doesn't go over those above limits (which seem fair enough).

Finally, Microsoft mentions that they've added nine new ringtones to "Mango", so you'll have even more built in.  We're assuming that these custom ringtones will show up with the native ones (see above pic), allowing you to assign them seamlessly to individual contacts. Overall, we're happy with the strategy and like Microsoft, we envision many 3rd party apps showing up this fall that will take advantage of these new tools allowing customers to really create some new and unique sounds for their phones.

There, everyone happy now? If not, sound off in comments.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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3 years ago

Best Buy app joins the crowd

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Best Buy app joins the crowd

The one thing I like about shopping at Best Buy is the ability to check in-store availability. The Windows Phone Best Buy app was released today that will let you check Best Buy's product line-up and check in-store availability while on the go.

The Best Buy app, developed by Chaotic Moon Studios, gives you access to the Best Buy inventory, weekly sales ads, and in-store specials. You can pull up product listings, check out user reviews, and check in-store availability to save running all over the place trying to find what your looking for. The app also makes use of your Windows Phone's location services to make searching for stores easier.

In just tinkering with the Best Buy app for a short time, I can see it coming in handy. But it would have been nice to see Reward Zone integration or the ability to purchase items from the app. Maybe, just maybe, these are features in the works for the first update.

The Best Buy app is a free application and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to sasa for the tip!

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3 years ago

AmazonFresh hits the Marketplace

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AmazonFresh hits the Marketplace

Windows Phone users have already seen the Amazon.com app and now we see the AmazonFresh app hitting the Marketplace.

AmazonFresh is a grocery service from Amazon.com for select markets to let you avoid the check out lines of the grocery store by shopping online. The AmazonFresh Windows Phone app takes grocery shopping to a new level of convenience.

From the AmazonFresh App you can shop our complete grocery and selected Amazon.com aisles, choose home delivery times, access your account, view past purchases, and place your order quickly and easily from your Windows Phone.

The only downside to the app is that it appears, for now, that the AmazonFresh service is limited to the Seattle, Washington area. There's no telling if or when AmazonFresh will expand but if you're in the Seattle area, the AmazonFresh Windows Phone app should come in handy.

You can download the free, AmazonFresh app here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks Jeremy for the tip!

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3 years ago

After Mango and before Apollo will we get Tangoed?

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Ah, our dear ol' Louis Walsh there getting tangoed rather nicely indeed. So, word has it that after Mango is here this fall, we will be looking at Tango next and then Apollo (see here and here for more juicy Apollo detail). First thing that comes to any Brit's mind is of course the drink Tango, which featured the craziest of adverts.

This information detailing the next codenamed update after Mango comes from Compal, the communications ODM now signed to Microsoft to manufacture Windows Phone devices under other brands including Nokia and Acer. Why do they all end in the letter o? Because Mr Belfiore says so. Keep your ears directed at any information regarding 'Tango' in the not-so-distant future. We of course will relay anything we locate.

Source: DigiTimes via: PocketNow

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3 years ago

Chicks 'n Vixens: No Donuts in the works

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Chicks 'n Vixens is one of the more popular "angry birds like" games over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. We've watched the game grow from a beta to a decent arcade game for your Windows Phone. According to the developer a free, ad-supported version of the game, "Chicks 'n Vixens: No Donuts", has been submitted to the Marketplace for certification.

The game is to follow the same story line as the original. Your mission is to hurl chickens at foxes that are hiding behind various fortifications. The game will continue to be a multi-level game with assorted chicken styles to shoot from the canon.  There is one modification to the chickens though.  The red chicken (tap the screen and it will accelerate in flight) will now speed up in the direction of your tap.

For those who don't care for banner ads, there is plans to have a paid version minus the ads. The developer is unsure as to how this new version will effect the existing version of Chicks 'n Vixens but it sounds similar to the various chapters of Angry Birds that are available on other platforms.

If you're not familiar with the Chicks 'n Vixens saga, you can download the original here(opens Zune) at the Marketplace.  We've got another preview video of Chicks 'n Vixen: No Donut after the break.

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3 years ago

Front facing cameras still a possibility with Mango [Updated]

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Although gyroscopes are expected to the big hardware change in "Mango" (along with some new CPUs), front facing cameras are sort of up in the air--nothing official from Microsoft on it, yet it doesn't seem forbidden either. Going further, now that Microsoft owns Skype, video calling all but seems a certainty at some point in the OSs continued development. (There were also some rumors awhile back that front-facing cameras were coming from @MS_Nerd)

Looking at the Windows Phone 7.1 SDK, we can still see the SelfPortraitCamera enumeration value listed. We say "still listed" because it is technically not new--it's been there since the 7.0 SDK but obviously was not put to use. Seeing though that MS has yet to remove it, there's a good chance that (a) WP7 has always been meant to have a front-facing camera and (b) it's still on the table.

Whether or not the APIs go deeper than that and the software can fully support it is another matter. The early Samsung Taylor developer devices did have a front facing camera, but ultimately the hardware was either not active or the APIs were yet to be written (or both). However, those 1st generation phones also lacked 4G--something that is added in "Mango" and usually desired in the U.S. for phones with front-facing cameras. Having said all that, we're betting on later "Mango" devices to have ff-cameras, just because we dont' want to get our hopes up.

Update: We've received confirmation from a trusted source (i.e. you've heard of him) that the new Mango hardware specs do list front-facing cameras, meaning we can expect some video goodness from some OEMs in the fall. This is looking to be confirmed, at least from our standpoint.

via: Leon Zandman (Twitter)

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3 years ago

Import contacts from Outlook to WP7 [How To]

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Import contacts from Outlook to WP7 [How To]

 

Should you be looking to purchase a Windows Phone 7 handset, or have just recently made the switch, you may be wandering if you can import your contacts from Outlook if you don't have an Exchange email account or have your contacts stored remotely elsewhere. Well, you can and it's fairly straight forward too.

Before we begin, you'll need the Microsoft Office Outlook Hotmail Connector, a nifty little program which enables synchronisation and connectivity between the two services. Now, make a brew, get comfortable and let's begin.

For Outlook 2007:

  1. Open Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
  2. Click Outlook Connector, then click “Add a New Account” and enter the information for your Windows Live account.
  3. Restart Outlook (close and open).
  4. Click Contacts and now you’ll be able to move people from your main Contacts folder to the new Windows Live account folder.

For Outlook 2010:

  1. Open Microsoft Office Outlook 2010
  2. Click File, then “Add Account,” make sure that “E-mail Account” is selected, and then enter the information for your Windows Live account.
  3. Click Contacts and now you’ll be able to move people from your main Contacts folder to the new Windows Live account folder.

Once the above steps have been carried out, you should be able to see your contacts on your Live account. Make sure you use a Live ID that you either already use or will use on your WP7 and after synchronising the account on your phone to import your contacts your People hub should reflect the newly added associates.

Source: IntoMobile

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3 years ago

Mobile Apps vs. Internet - Where do you spend your time?

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If someone said that the average Windows Phone user spent more time a day with mobile apps than on the Internet, would you believe them? 

The analytic company Flurry has concluded a consumption survey and has found that on average, consumers spend 81 minutes a day on mobile apps versus 74 minutes with web consumption. Same time last year, web consumption outpaced mobile by 21 minutes.

The usage chart compares the average number of minutes consumers spend per day in mobile native apps vs. the web. For mobile apps, Flurry tracks iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and J2ME. And for the web, their figures include the open web, Facebook and the mobile web. It all shakes out to mean that the average user spends 9% more time using mobile apps than the Internet.

Flurry goes a little further and breaks down how we are using mobile apps. Games led the usage with 47% with social networking coming in second with 32%. These two categories dominated usage with a meager representation with news and entertainment.

Earlier we reported that data consumption had increased with smartphones so it shouldn't be too strange to see the time spent on smartphones has increased as well.  As mobile as we've become and as our Windows Phones more effective/efficient, I can see apps getting more and more of our time.  But more than the Internet?

So what's your daily consumption?  Do you spend more time with apps than on the Internet?

source: Flurry via: BoyGeniusReport

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3 years ago

WPCentral Podcast Episode 115

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WPCentral Podcast Episode 115


Did you just do a double take? Yes, we're back with a British invasion no less.

Daniel Rubino is joined by Jay Bennett and Richard Edmonds for an all new WPCentral Pocast, signaling what we hope is the return to our weekly discussion of all things Windows Phone and Microsoft.

This week we only have two topics: "Mango" and "Sea Ray" since they dominated so much of the news last week. Next week, we'll return with our normal format from our previous 'casts (fingers crossed).

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3 years ago

Dinner Spinner from Allrecipes.com

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The official Marketplace title is Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner and this Windows Phone app will not only help you decide what to cook, it will also make you hungry.

Dinner Spinner accesses over 40,000 user submitted recipes from Allrecipes.com. The app highlights a daily recipe, has a favorite recipe page for dishes you just can't get enough of and a spinning wheel of sorts to help you decide what's for dinner.

The Dinner Spinner has three categories, dish type, ingredients (key), and time (how long to cook). At first launch, the items in each category spin like a slot machine. If you like the results, hit the check mark to pull up the recommended recipes. If you don't like what you see, shake your Windows Phone for another spin. Or you can reduce the randomness by only spinning (by finger swipe) the category of your choosing.

Recipes can also be searched by keyword and filtered by categories (vegetarian, high fiber, no dairy, etc.). If you like to cook and are looking for a healthy collection of recipes, Dinner Spinner is worth a try.

Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner is a free app and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Catch Phrase Party - App Spotlight

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Kinsoft has a rather simple gaming app over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Catch Phrase Party is a party game app that is a guessing game with a hint of the game "hot potato" mixed in.

You compete with two teams with a team member describing to fellow team mates the phrase or word that appears on the Windows Phone. Once the phrase or word is guessed, the phone is passed to the other team, a new phrase is generated, and the guessing begins again. All the while, a timer is running behind the scenes and the team not holding the Windows Phone when the buzzer sounds, gets a point. First team to reach seven points wins.

It's a simple gaming app for your Windows Phone and might break the ice at your next house party. The only downside to Catch Phrase Party is that it does not have a free trial version. The full version runs $2.99. It get's good reviews at the Marketplace but a trial version might help win some over.

You can find Catch Phrase Party here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Livescape - App Spotlight

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Livescape - App Spotlight

Looking for a Windows Phone app that will help you track the calories you burn during a workout as well as the calories sitting on your dinner plate? If so, Livescape might be worth a try.

Livescape is a journal of sorts that helps you keep track of activities and diet that effects your life. You can use your Windows Phone location services to track outdoor activities such as jogging, hiking or bicycling. Use your Windows Phone camera to help track nutritional facts about the foods you eat.

Other features of Livescape include:

  • Support for the Metric System, as well as, English Units
  • Step counting (Pedometer) with estimated distance traveled and calories burned
  • Ability to look up Nutrition Facts on the Internet* Consumption Tracking (Food and Drinks)
  • Calculate Body Fat, Lean Mass, and Fat Mass based on Waist, Hip, and Neck measurements
  • Weight, Blood Pressure, Mood, Stress, and Measurement Tracking
  • Ability to track ailments such as allergies, headaches, fevers, flus, and cramps
  • Create multiple profiles for family and friends

You also have the ability to backup and restore your data and post your accomplishments to Facebook. The is a free trial version available for Livescape to let you try before you buy. The full version runs $4.99 and you can download both here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

MS healthcare app contest winners announced

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Back in February, Microsoft held a contest to name the top healthcare and medical apps available for WP7.  The results were announced earlier this month and are as follows:

What is interesting to note here, is that the winners listed above fit more into the Health and Fitness category, rather than Medical.  Dan Buckland from MedGadget is quick to point out that WP7 is somewhat lacking when it comes to straight-up medical apps, especially some of the big names that medical professionals often use.  While users can find a couple of well-known names, like Unbound Medicine and Microsoft HealthVault (of course!), others like Skyscape, Medscape and Epocrates remain absent.  When MedGadget put the question to an Epocrates representative of whther or not a WP7 version was in the works, they vaguely replied that they are “currently investigating the Windows 7 platform and will update website with more details as they become available.”

Microsoft has been touting the wide-range capabilities of Windows Phone for business use, but it seems that they would be well-served to make that include specialized fields, such as medicine.  It is certainly a large enough market to help the platform gain ground on its competitors.

What do our medically-inclined readers think?  Is WP7 falling behind early?

Source: Microsoft; Via: MedGadget

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