Flashlight

Unibeam is a simple flashlight app for Windows Phone 8 that has an eye-appealing interface.  Unibeam was recently updated to version 1.3, which adds a few new features, gives the app a slight makeover and fixes a few bugs.

The new features include a SOS mode that utilizes the Morse code format in time of emergency and a battery status on the Live Tile.  The makeover removes the Joker theme, revamps the Ironman theme and improves voice command support and performance.

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If you are in the market for a flashlight app, you have plenty of choices in the Windows Phone Store.  Unibeam is one option to consider.

While it can be a challenge to make flashlight apps stand out, Unibeam does so graphically.  The app has a decent feature set but really makes its mark with the graphics and animations that kick in as you activate the light.  It is a very nice looking, eye-catching flashlight app.

Unibeam may just be another Windows Phone 8 flashlight app for some but it takes on the task of shedding a little light on the subject with style.

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ProFlashlight is a feature filled flashlight app for your Windows Phone 8 device. It not only lets you turn on your camera light to act as a flashlight but it also has a battery level, compass direction display and a Morse code feature.

ProFlashlight also has a handful of themes to choose from that range from a keychain light to a multi-cell aluminum flashlight.  Many of the flashlight apps in the Windows Phone Store seem to be cut from the same cloth but the developers of ProFlashlight did a good job of making their app stand out from the pack.

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13

Jack of Tools Pro, a handy Windows Phone 8 toolbox

Jack of Tools Pro is to your Windows Phone 8 device much like a Swiss Army Knife is to pocket knifes... a lot of tools rolled into one package.

Jack of Tools Pro is a collection of ten tools for your Windows Phone that range from a flashlight app to a decibel meter. The app is simply laid out with a series of tiles that launch each tool and that can be pinned to your Start Screen for easy access.

If you're looking for a nice collection of utility oriented apps for your Windows Phone 8 device wrapped up in one package, Jack of Tools Pro is worth a look.

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Flashlight 7 is a handy Windows Phone app that has been recently updated to Windows Phone 8. Flashlight 7 not only turns your Windows Phone screen into a flashlight but also utilizes the camera LED light to chase away the shadows.

The update, version 4.9, adds SOS LED support to the mix along with your standard flashlight feature using the LED or screen, a siren mode, a few color lights, the strobe light, a few mood lights, a kaleidoscope and a hypnosis screen. Some of the different light styles have directional arrows that pull up variations of the effects.

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HTC Mazaa doesn't like HTC apps

Here's a funny little anecdote that will affect about 0.2% of you: the HTC Mazaa, basically a limited edition developer device, doesn't seem to recognize that it's an HTC phone. Poor thing.

Reader of the site Achia S. won an HTC Mazaa from Microsoft's WPAppItUp contest. Wanting to install the HTC Flashlight app, they get a notice stating that this app only runs on HTC phones and therefore, you can't have it. Obviously the problem here is that HTC along with this build of the OS aren't recognized by HTC's validating process--something they could probably fix, but are in no rush to address. In fairness, HTC was kind enough to respond to Achia's inquiry on the matter:

"I understand the importance of having an HTC 7 Trophy that functions as it was intended. Unfortunately, with developer devices, we cannot ensure that the ROM on it will function as the released model. I recommend contacting Microsoft to see if they can push the Release build to your device and have it running the appropriate software. I do apologize for any inconvenience."

It's interesting that HTC tech support conflates the 7 Trophy with the Mazaa--they are similar devices but different internals and it's not clear that a finalized ROM will fix the matter either. It sounds more or less like HTC needs to add the Mazaa to their recognized database, but whaddya we know? Thanks, Achia S., for the heads up!

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All in 1 Toolbox - App Spotlight

Looking for a swiss army styled app for your Windows Phone? No, not one that comes with tweezers and a nail file but one that has a healthy collection of tools? If so, you need to check out All in 1 Toolbox.

All in 1 has nine tools in the box that include:

  • Flashlight: 4 different themes
  • Unit Converter: length, area, volume, weight, temperature, angle and time
  • Secure Notes: protects your notes with a password and encryption. Organizes your notes to categories.
  • Date Calculator: adds days, time and subtracts dates
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator: calculates BMI and shows BMI category
  • Tip Calculator: calculates the tip and splits the check
  • Counter: +/- buttons for counting, with save and load
  • Password Generator: generates a customizable password and saves it to the secure notes
  • Product Comparison: compares 2 products with price, quantity and discount.

The tools are launched from a "lazy susan" styled menu and are an interesting assortment of applications. I can see some coming in handy on a daily basis, while others may only be used once in a while.

The All in 1 Toolbox is running $1.99 and there is a free trial version available to let you give a whirl before buying. You can find All in 1 Toolbox here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. 

Oh... there is a free, ad-supported version of All in 1 Toolbox.  Toolbox Free has the same nine tools and simply adds an ad banner into the mix.  You can find Toolbox Free here at the Marketplace.

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Looks like a lot is happening with the homebrew community these days, so here is a brief update to keep you in the loop:

XDA member sensboston has coded up an LED flashlight app that works on the Samsung Focus. Up till this point, we've had to use the "white screen" method to illuminate a dark room (see overview here), which although works is not as preferable as the LED. You do need to have your device unlocked to use this, so be warned. We imagine someone could code one up for the Marketplace, if MS were to allow apps that accessed this feature to pass certification--we're not holding our breath though, not till 2011 when they revise their requirements. [Note: this may work on other device like LG too, we have not tested to verify. Also, this works by accessing the video feature, hence the sound. We have not noticed any side effects of this, but there could be some.]

The second update is of less interest for now but still important. ChevronWP7 has an app limit--actually developers have an app limit of 10 programs per device.  This means that unlocked phones (both jailbroken and legit) can only install 10 sideloaded apps at a time. This "feature" was to prevent developers from flooding the market with cheap apps but it also puts a kink in the homebrew community. Now developer Thomas Hounsell has modified ChevronWP7 to lift that very limit, which will be important in the future as the community grows.

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Now that I’ve got my AT&T Fuze, I’ve been searching the web for various tweaks, tools, and toys that will add a little zip to the Fuze. I ran across hTorch over at WMPoweruser.com and Fuze Mobility, which sparked my interest.

You can find the application over at XDA Developers which essentially turns the light on your Fuze’s (HTC Touch Pro as well) camera into flashlight. The application allows you to set the intensity of the light as well as turning off the display to avoid backlighting. It’s an interesting application that gives you a convenient light source when all you have is your Fuze. The one caution in using hTorch is that when you turn the flashlight on, it stays on until you turn it off. There is no timeout feature.

If you can't find the application once you install it, look in the "Accessories" folder in the "Programs" menu. The convenient way to use the application is to add it to the Programs Tab in TouchFlo. hTorch definitely puts the Fuze and Touch Pro in a different light (get it?).

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