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Microsoft has been trying to get more developers to release their apps for the Windows Phone platform, but there's also a problem with major app creators and publishers that don't bother to update them with new features or improvements for months. In a couple of cases, the apps haven't been updated for nearly a year.

Microsoft recently revealed a new Developer's Code of Conduct for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone apps that stated, among other things, that developers must stay active in the store. That's certainly not the case for these five popular free apps, which have seen numerous feature and bug fix updates for their iOS and Android counterparts over the past year. In fact, most of these apps have seen some update in the past month for those two platforms, and none have been updated later than early September. That is certainly not the case for their Windows Phone versions.

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Besides the Instagram Beta update we reported on, it’s turning out to be a busy Tuesday morning as a whole horde of big name apps are getting updates on this day. Some fall under the rubric of the boring “general improvements and bug fixes” while others have a few more details. Regardless, as least you’ll know that some of your main apps are getting the treatment they deserve.

Let’s see who gets what in today’s Windows Phone app roundup.

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If you’re a professional or semiprofessional…something, then you may be a user of LinkedIn and its companion app for Windows Phone. The popular social-networking site for your work history and resume is an important tool for many looking to network with others in their field. It’s like Facebook but without all the annoying baby photos.

Windows Phone users have had a decent LinkedIn app experience for a while now, but the last update was for version 1.5 back in April. Today, version 1.6 is on the Store  and with comes a few new changes to help mirror what you get on the web for features.

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The official LinkedIn app for Windows Phone has been bumped to version 1.5 and introduces a number of new features. The social network is geared towards business and is a place for co-workers to gather and networks to prosper. If you're looking for a solution to keep in touch with the professional side of your life, LinkedIn is a solid option. So what's new in the latest release?

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LinkedIn is admittedly one of the nicest looking apps on Windows Phone. It’s also an invaluable tool for professionals, where it acts like a more sophisticated Facebook but for job history (and less photos of silly babies).

The app though hasn’t had an update since its initial release, way back in May 2012. So here we are on the cusp of its anniversary and we’ve been blessed with version 1.1, which is now live in the Store. The fact that it now works well with no connection issues is the good news. The bad news is there’s nothing else for us to say about the app as no new features have been added, as far as we can tell.

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LinkedIn, the service, is a professional social network that boasts a membership of over 160,000,000 that spans over 200 countries and territories.  The LinkedIn app for Windows Phone ties it all together and delivers the network rather nicely to your Windows Phone.

LinkedIn is apparently marketing the LinkedIn app through bulk emails but there's one slight problem. The graphic shows the app running on a Nokia Lumia 800 but references "LinkedIn for Windows Mobile". Not only once but twice.

Now we can understand that typos occur so we can cut the ad agency a little slack. But come on... it's been almost two years now since Windows Phone 7 took over as the Windows mobile platform.

The good news is the LinkedIn Marketplace description references Windows Phone. If you're a LinkedIn member or look to join the network and want a mobile solution, check out the free LinkedIn app here at the Windows Mobile...err.. the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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With the arrival of LinkedIn's official app in the Marketplace, users of the unofficial substitute, IN+ Networking, developed by Skilloo, are beginning to receive notice of IN+'s imminent demise. As of May 31, IN+ Networking will no longer be available for download and will cease to function.

Skilloo founder, and now member of LinkedIn's Mobile Team, Christian Haas, sent out an email to users to let them know that IN+ Networking will be replaced by the official app:

Hi IN+ users,

We're excited to announce the launch of the official LinkedIn app for Windows Phone. Developed in collaboration with Skilloo, LinkedIn, and Microsoft, the  
LinkedIn app for Windows Phone delivers on-the-go access to 160M+ professionals around the world.

IN+ will no longer be available for download or use after May 31, 2012. Please click on the button below to install the new LinkedIn app for Windows Phone.

Thanks again for being such a valued member.

-Christian Haas, Skilloo Founder and the LinkedIn Mobile Team

LinkedIn for Windows Phone was partially developed by Skilloo, in collaboration with LinkedIn and Microsoft. It has a beautiful interface and functionality galore. You can get it here.

Thanks, for the tip, Phrotzy!

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Here's a weird little story but we're worried it may get legs so we want to nip in the rear before it spreads.

Some are peeking at those official LinkedIn app screenshots and noticing a lot of oddities. Indeed, on the Start Screen the icons near the top for the time, WiFi and cell signal look tiny, the fonts are a bit smaller over all and the IE logo looks different too. You can see it above compared to our phone.

So what does this mean? Some are wondering if these might be accidental Windows Phone 8 captures instead of normal screenshots from a Windows Phone 7 device--you know, higher resolution and stuff. If anyone were to have access to Windows Phone 8 dev tools, a major Microsoft partner like LinkedIn would be up there so in that sense, it's interesting to entertain the idea.

But to be honest with that missing direction arrow near the top, the oddly sized telephony icons and the now-centered Tiles, we're more likely to believe this is just a bad composition made in Photoshop. More than likely these were mockups used for internal presentations and demonstrations rather than a Windows Phone 8 conspiracy or accident.

In other words, nothing to see here folks. But keep those eagle-eyes out as you may never know.

Thanks, ClubDirtHill and Jose P., for the tip

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We're seeing a large upsurge recently with more official apps appearing in the Windows Phone Marketplace. This is starting to mirror last June when Microsoft unleashed a torrent of official apps for the fledgling mobile OS and it looks like a similar pattern is starting to build.

Now LinkedIn and Time Magazine each have official apps to their name and we decided to take both for a tour on our trusty Titan II.

LinkedIn, like Facebook, is native to the Windows Phone OS allowing you to post updates and track updates from your colleagues via the People Hub. The official app augments that with a gorgeous Metro inspired design and allows more in depth functionality, including management of messages, search for new potential contacts, sending out invites, managing groups. What's more it also has a moderately configurable Live Tile and push notifications. Overall, a solid offering.

Likewise, Time Magazine has an official app to its name as well. The app is also top quality with fast loading, nicely laid out text, smooth transitions, social sharing, video streaming of stories and photo galleries. That app has a Live Tile (latest image) and push notifications presumably for "breaking" stories.

You can pick up the LinkedIn app here in the Marketplace and the Time Mobile app here for free. See also this week's The Daily Beast official app.

Oh and we've heard a certain Wall Street Journal official app is right around the corner. You heard it here first.


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Here's an interesting new video from Microsoft detailing the changes in Mango, specifically related to Twitter integration (as well as Facebook and LinkedIn). We know that there is a final or near final build of the Mango OS going around, namely 7710, which is probably the same version we reported on last week in regards to Twitter usage.

In the video, Stuart Bottom, Program Manager at the Communications Group on Windows Phone, goes over how Twitter will work, notifications, the "Me Tile" and more will all come together in the update. Finally we get to see how Twitter will look (very similar to the Facebook feed) as well as those ever important notifications.

What's really convenient is being able to see when someone has replied to a Tweet or posted on your Facebook wall, right on your Me tile, which should result in more efficient use of your time. In addition, filtering of those feeds to quickly find and see what you want is also a pretty brilliant idea.

By the looks of things lately, only a few more weeks till Mango starts rolling out. We couldn't be more excited. Check out the rest of Microsoft's tour videos of other features on their YouTube channel.

Source: YouTube (WindowsPhone); via LiveSide

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