Mango apps

As many of you may have noticed, two somewhat major apps for Windows Phone received updates in the last 24 hours, so we’ll pass on the news in case you missed it.

First up is Facebook, which has been receiving quite a few updates lately, generally a good sign…unless you consider everything so broke that it needs even more fixing. The last update was just a week ago for version 2.6 and now version 2.7  has landed in the Marketplace bringing with it some new fixes though no new features:

  • Notifications now show updated time instead of created time
  • Corrected thumbnail display on likes
  • Now respecting except clause on posts with custom privacy settings

That’s nothing terribly exciting though if you were experiencing any of those issues, hopefully you’ll be a bit pleased with the update.

Next up is Amazon’s Kindle ebook app. That app is now on version 1.2 which shows you how often that one gets updated (seriously, it has had one update in the last year). The good news here is this update is more significant:

  • Mango compliant including fast app switching, multi-tasking
  • Available in more regions, including Japan, Portugal, Brazil, Poland, Sweden and presumably other areas too [Forum]
  • Books are pinnable to start screen with 2 sided Live Tile

That’s some pretty cool stuff by Amazon and we’re hear they’re being quite proactive with customer support, see this post about a personal phone call from the company.

Should you wish to grab either app, you can pick up the official Facebook app here and the Amazon Kindle app here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Thanks, everyone, for the tips and sab742 for the images

      

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The guys (and gals) over at XDA regularly provide the Windows Phone community with homebrew apps that fill some gap that non-native apps cannot.

One of these gaps is screenshots. The Windows Phone Operating System provides no support for taking screenshots, which can cause reviewers like ourselves some hassles. So we previously covered an app called Screen Capturer which took screenshots and saved them to your pictures hub, and now 'N37-L0RD' over at XDA has developed a similar app called WP Screenshot.

It's pretty close to Screen Capturer, except for the main feature: pictures you take are instantly transferred right onto your PC, eliminating the extra step of syncing with Zune. It is also really basic to use and setup, which you can see below:

1) Download the two files attached to this post.

 

2) Deploy the .XAP to your device and open it up. Also open up the desktop app.

3) Open up command and find out your IP Address, and input that into the WP Screenshot app on your phone.

4) Once it's connected, half-press (as if to focus) the camera button any time on your phone and the picture should automatically pop-up on your PC. Press Ctrl+S to save the current screenshot. And press Ctrl+H to view the other commands.

There you have it, a super simple way to get screenshots from your device. This does require your device to be dev-unlocked, but does not require Interop-unlock.

Source: XDA

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It's been awhile since we've seen WeatherBug get an update, let alone a significant one. So it's nice to see version 2.0 finally (finally!) land in the Marketplace with some advanced Live Tile and Mango support. The full change log is as follows:

  • Live Tiles - New standard live tile and Live Cam views.  We've also added detailed one-day forecast and two-day summary forecast secondary tile options.
  • Visual Forecasts - Easy-to-read, at-a-glance displays of essential weather information you need quickly and easily.
  • Bad Weather Warnings & Alerts - Receive dangerous weather alerts faster from both the National Weather Service and our exclusive WeatherBug Network
  • Live Cams - Scroll through and view live shots from HD cameras in the WeatherBug Network

Of course the new stability (and hopefully reliable background updates) should be the real story here, but those new Live Tile options are quite nice as well. This app falls nicely after the Microsoft Weather app in that it offers many more functions but has ads for support. The app seems zippy enough and we really like the layout (though we'd gladly pay $0.99 to remove those garish ads).

Overall, a nice update. Note: WeatherBug is now re-listed under a second entry in the Marketplace, so a standard update won't work here. You must fresh install the new version, which can be found here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Jaison S., for the heads up

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Microsoft has updated their free Weather app for Windows Phone, finally bringing Mango support in version 2.0. We first reported on this looming refresh a few weeks ago and now the app upgrade is available in the Marketplace.

New in version 2.0 is the ability for fast app switching, multiple city support and the ability to pin each city to your Start screen with (get this) Live Tiles. Yes, now each city will display the current temperature and icon for current weather conditions right on your Start screen. While it lacks anything more advanced e.g. written forecast, radar maps, cams, etc. for many such a simple, minimalist weather program is all they want and need. In that regard, this app is pretty great for its "too the point" brevity.

So if you want simple, free and no ads, this is your app. Pick up Microsoft's Weather right here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Joseph K., for the tip!

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Wooter app finally gets Mango update and fixes

If you're a big fan of Woot.com, the daily deal site with hilarious product descriptions, then you'll want to try out Wooter for Windows Phone. Wooter is one of the oldest apps on the Marketplace with version 1.0 landing in October 2010. That was the first and only update.

Now, version 1.2 has appeared (guess we're skipping v1.1) and thankfully the app is now "Mango" ready with fast app switching, performance enhancements, Home Woot and some general bug fixes. We still would have liked to see a nice Live Tile thrown in but we'll take what we can get with this rare update.

The app is free, ad free and well designed from a Metro perspective. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

Have a better Woot.com app that you prefer? Sound off in comments and tell us why.

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MSN Weather, like all of those MSN app, are actually pretty cool little offerings--they're Metro, minimalist and do what they're suppose to do. In 2010, MSN Weather was for many their first weather app. Not much has happened though in terms of updates, which is a shame since Mango offers a lot e.g. Live Tiles.

That's why we became a little excited to see an image of an updated version that is coming down the road. In the above screenshot from Microsoft's Jeff Wilcox (of 4th & Mayor fame), we see that it finally now has that Live Tile with the current temperature, making this app very useful for many and a good free alternative. No other details are known currently but the app is being beta tested meaning release in probably only a few weeks away.

It's great to see Microsoft finally updating some of these apps though we think it would have looked better 4 months ago.

Update: Regarding Jeff's grey theme, there's no shenanigans there. That is simply one of the theme's on his unlocked Lumia 800 purchased through Expansys. While that's a great theme, he did lose out by not having the "Nokia Blue" accent color.

Source: Image, Twitter; Thanks, Jan T., for the tip!

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Reddit app Baconit now available internationally

The other week we mentioned the new app Baconit from Quinn Damerell as being one of the first Mango-enabled Reddit.com apps for Windows Phone. Not only that, it's quite slick with a Metro UI and a ton of options for an initial-release.

One snafu at the time though was the app was only available in the US. This however wasn't intentional on the dev's part but was instead a hiccup in the Marketplace which has now been rectified. So if you were looking to try it out, you'll want to head back to the Marketplace to give it another go. Did we mention the app was completely free with no-ads and a Live Tile? Pretty great stuff if you're a Redditor like ourselves.

Version 1.4 should be entering beta real soon as well. That version will fix a couple of issues in v1.3 as well as bring new features. Grab the current release here in the Marketplace or click-n-zoom the QR code below to get your Reddit-on.

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For those of you who are social-media junkies, you'll no doubt have heard of Klout (see site). It's a social-networking ranking system that basically tells you how influential you are based on amount of Tweets, reTweets, Facebook likes, who follows you, how many follow you and who you interact with. It's a weird thing and one more metric to worry yourself over ("OMG, I dropped a point! Why don't they like me!").

Still, it's important for some and Klout offers "perks" aka free offers to those who are socially powerful e.g. a free Windows Phone on top of being a free service that actually has a nice design. In that regard, it's great that Julien Dollon has whipped up an exquisite little app for the service that allows you to check all of your stats dynamically and even keep track of your Klout score via the Live Tile. It's free and amazingly was put together in just six-hours by Julien and his wife, so kudos to them for their talent. Other features include:

  • See and Share your klout score with 2 theme (black/light)
  • Auto update your klout score in the tile each day
  • See your favorite topics and ask for +K
  • See influencers and influencees

We're very impressed with the app--it's smooth, fast, minimalist and just gorgeous to look at. The app will be free and should be available either this week or next as soon as it clears Microsoft's certification. We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, check out Julien's site here.

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Windows Phone Game Review: Running Dude

Here's a challenging run, jump and shoot type game that will keep you on your toes. Running Dude is a retro styled game that has you running across a series of platforms to see how far you can make it before falling to your fate.

Running Dude is controlled by two buttons at the bottom sides of the screen. The right button controls your jump, the left controls your weapon. No need to worry about your running speed. It's automatic and set to fast.

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Reddit users, your Baconit is here

We've mentioned in the past that Reddit (site link) is our favorite learning tool time waster and we've always enjoyed having a mobile-Reddit option. The web site is a massive collection of user-submitted stories, pictures and news where "Redditors" can up-vote or down-vote what they like. Going deeper, there are s sub-reddits for specific topics. It's a hilarious, often witty community where we often do learn a few things (as well as being entertained--hello F7U12)

Unfortunately, some of the past apps have not gone "Mango", which is a shame as fast-app switching, Live Tiles, notifications, etc. all seem very useful things for such a website. Now Quinn Damerell has made a dedicated, Mango app called 'Baconit' (the title itself is a bit of an inside joke). In development for sometime, Damerell has made quite the killer Reddit app in our opinion. No doubt he learned a thing or two interning at Microsoft last year (we hear he's also returning to join the Windows Phone team--big congrats!).

We've been running the beta for awhile now and the full version just went live in the Marketplace. The app is free, which is amazing for such quality and features everything you would want in a mobile Reddit app:

  • Full Mango Support   
  • Message Inbox with background updates
  • Unread Message / Karma Live Tile
  • Pinning of SubReddits and stories [Bug: fix coming in v1.4]
  • Endlesss SubReddit browsing
  • Fast App Switching / Multitasking
  • Local caching of all data
  • Easy voting for stories and comments
  • Logical browsing and reading of comments
  • Commenting support for stories and other comments
  • Account control and details

Like we said, it's free so if you're a Reddit user there's not reason not to use it--it's simply gorgeous and fluid, the way app should be. Pick it up here in the Marketplace and enjoy. [Edit: App appears to be US-only at this point. We've contaced the developer to inquire about future Marketplace expansion]

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Hyper Defence XT Christmas Edition

We've seen Bubble Birds get into the Holiday spirit and now the popular tower defense game Hyper Defence XT is getting into the spirit as well. The Windows Phone game was updated to version 2.0 and brings a new Christmas Bonus level to the full version.

Hyper Defence XT's update also adds:

  • New difficulty settings (easy, medium and classic)
  • Level awards to win depending on the difficulty
  • Six new enemies to deal with.

Hyper Defence XT has 16 levels of play (17 with the Christmas Bonus), 8 upgradeable defense turrets, and a Survival Mode where everything but the kitchen sink is thrown at you. We found Hyper Defence XT (here's our review) to be a very good tower defense game for your Windows Phone.

There is a free trial version available for Hyper Defence XT and the full version is running $1.29. You can find Hyper Defence XT here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Perfect Scan updated, adds SkyDrive support

Katana Labs has recently updated their popular Windows Phone document scanner, Perfect Scan to version 1.6. The update brings fixes for Dropbox integration, document auto naming and SkyDrive support to the Windows Phone app.

Some of the key features of Perfect Scan include:

  • Scans multi page documents, Makes industry standard PDF files
  • Upload scans to email, Skydrive, Dropbox and Google Documents
  • Automatic page detection & perspective correction: straightens your page to perfect rectangle
  • Image enhancement: crop, rotation, auto contract, grayscale, black & white
  • Adds text to document: fill out forms on your phone
  • Signs documents with your scanned signatures

We reviewed Perfect Scan some time ago and found it to be a very good document scanner for your Windows Phone. Adding SkyDrive support will only make app more versatile.

There is a trial version available for Perfect Scan with the full version running $2.99. You can find Perfect Scan here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Newegg.com--it's a geek's dream. It's also where we all go to build our own PC. Between their fast shipping, low prices, individual parts and even being tax-free here in New York (they're in Jersey, ahem), what's not to love about this place? Well, up until this morning you could have said they don't have a Windows Phone app. But now, my nerd friends, they do and it's great--smooth, slick and smartly laid out.

The app is Mango-ready out the gate, allows you to access your account and all your shopping right from your phone. But really, you want it for the ease of browsing their daily deals, right? Other notable features:

  • Comprehensive product specifications.
  • 1.7+ millions customer reviews.
  • Detailed item image gallery
  • Quick and simple shopping flow.
  • Simple and quick search function.
  • Search by category
  • Guided search
  • Advanced search
  • Sorting
  • Good for deal hunting: Shell Shockers, Daily Deals and Free Shipping.
  • All purchases made on Newegg Mobile are routed through Newegg's secure servers.

Sure, it has no Live Tile or pinnable subsections, so there's room for improvement. But as for the basics, we're giving it a thumbs up. Pick it up here for free in the Marketplace. Thanks, Ryan S., for the tip!

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For all of those business folks out there waiting on the Lync Mobile client, your time is here. You can now download the app for the popular communications platform just in time for Monday morning. From the app description:

Lync 2010 for Windows Phone extends the power of Lync to your mobile device – including rich presence, instant messaging, audio conferencing, and calling features from a single, easy-to-use interface.

Key Features:

  • View colleagues’ availability in real time and select the best way to communicate – initiating an instant message (IM), email, or a phone call.
  • Connect to Lync conference calls with a single touch, without requiring long numeric passcodes or conference numbers.
  • Make and receive calls using your Enterprise Voice (Lync ID) number only, so you can connect with others using a single, consistent identity.
  • Lync 2010 for Windows Phone provides transport layer security (TLS) and perimeter/internal network protection without requiring a VPN, so your communications experience is safer no matter where you are or what network you use.

Update: Reader palaudawg let us know that resetting his MS Outlook Office 365 account on his phone resulted in a prompt to download the app--very cool. Head here to the Marketplace now to get it for your phone. Thanks, Alex B., for the tip!

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Urban Dictionary 7 & ArkWords get Mango updates

Afflicted with glossophilia? Fear not word mavens, we have two apps for you that we highly recommend, both of which are now Mango-ready and rich with features. Bonus? Both are free.

ArkWords (see earlier coverage) is a free dictionary app that allows you to look up words, use a thesaurus and translate words/phrases uing Bing. Our favorite feature though is the 'Word of the Day' which allows you see multiple definitions, hear how it sounds, look it up in a thesaurus and share using WP7's social network integration. On top of that, it has a Live Tile that displays the word of the day and the app itself has two color schemes, including all-black for AMOLED devices. The app is not only free but ad-free as well, making it a rare bird. There's nothing to not like here, folks.

Urban Dictionary 7 has been around for awhile and just hit version 2.0. Think of it as a dictionary app but for hot buzz words on the internet--we're talking the cutting edge of slang and colloquialisms, often boarding on the NSFW side. They're also hilarious. While the app is not "official" it might as well be as the developer, Social Ebola, has been churning out regular updates for this app for a long time time.  The Mango version adds some slick animation, fast-app switching, various new options, fixes and a new feature called Urban Zen. Urban Zen pairs terms from Urban Dictionary with related Bing images in an elegant slide-show format--indeed it is very relaxing with the transitions, but you'll be chuckling at the definitions and photos. So stay hip and cool with this little guy.

ArkWords can be found for free in the Marketplace here and Urban Dictionary 7 comes in a free, ad-supported version here or an ad-free edition for $1.99 here. We don't care for ads on our top apps and use this everyday, so we've opted for the $1.99 version, but the choice is yours.

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MyCraigsAds updated to v2.5 with Mango support

MyCraigsAds has been updated to version 2.5, which brings with it support for Mango.  The new version also brings along a couple new features, toast alerts and the ability to add live tiles.  We gave the previous version a solid 7.0 rating back in November, and the new features only adds to it.  If you are looking for a Craigs List app, check it out.

You can pick it up in the Marketplace for a reasonable $1.99 by clicking here with a free trial. There's also a free, lite version here.

via WPCentral Forums

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Shazam Mango updated to version 2.2

Shazam Encore, which has been updated as a game in the past, has finally received Mango treatment and has brought along some goodies. As well as fast-app switching, you're now able to pin the tagging functionality to the home screen to allow quick access. While Shazam is useful, Bing also offers music identification from a recording snippet too (for free).

You can pick up Shazam Encore for $5.99 from the Marketplace. What do you use? Bing or Shazam?

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BoxFiles for Dropbox gets pinnable folders

Couple things about Dropbox: many of you prefer SkyDrive--fair enough. Their mobile website is actually really nice. And there is no "official" app from them for Windows Phone.

So for those of us who do use Dropbox and regularly, there is really only one app out there that has constantly shown itself worthy, in our opinion: BoxFiles for Dropbox. The app recently received a hefty Mango update, which like all Mango apps, resulted in a much faster, smoother experience. In addition it had some graphics re-worked, new options and even a Live Tile which shows your used and remaining space left on your account. Slick.

Now in v2.5, the options continue with the addition of pinnable folders to your Start screen, for quick, easy 1-click access to all of your stuff. From there you can copy, delete, move, email, download, share, rename, etc. any of your files, making this feel quite robust. Finally, it's fairly Metro in design with minimalist graphics and text-focused, giving the app a more native feel.  Oh and did we mention this has SkyDrive built into it? So for all of those who need a more feature-rich SkyDrive app, you may want to take this for a spin too.

The app goes for $1.29 with a free trial, which can be found here and gets our highest recommendation. There's also a free, ad-supported version with no SkyDrive support--that one can be found here.

Update: And we've just been just informed by the developer that v2.5 has a bug for new users looking to login/authenticate--basically you can't do it. If you're upgrading, like us, you're good to go and won't notice anything. The devs let us know that v2.6 will fix this and should be out in the next few days--so stand by for that one!

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Windows Phone App Review: Better Movie Manager

Looking for an easy way to manage your movie collection? Want to manage your collection from your Windows Phone? Take a look at the Windows Phone app Better Movie Manager.

Better Movie Manager taps into TMDb movie database (not endorsed by TMDb) to pull movie details and cast/crew information on movies in your existing collection or movies you hope to buy or see in the future. Better Movie Manager is a nicely laid out application to manage your DVD or Blue Ray titles.

Read more after the break.

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Metrowe - keeping track of moochers

We like ingenious apps around here and Metrowe fits the bill nicely. It's an app to keep track of how much money you owe or are owed. But it's not a bill manager for credit cards or businesses, but rather a tool for keeping track of personal expenses with friends and colleagues. For instance, say you lend someone $20 or pick up dinner one night, you can enter that info in Metrowe for easy record keeping. Vice versa, you can add in money you owe others, including noting what it was for.

The app has contact-integration, meaning you can really personalize entries with no effort. It also has a Live Tile that keeps track of your net value (owed vs owes) and flips over to show you your latest entries. On top of each entry, it records a history of transactions for individuals and allows you to 1-touch email them as a reminder--once again, very slick.

The app is very well designed (lots of Metro), slick and pretty darn useful. We love the Live Tile and contact-integration as it really makes it feel native. But if we're going this far, perhaps the dev can add camera integration too--so you can photograph that dinner or drinks that you bought everyone, why not? Shoot, even location info would be a good addition too. Regardless, as is the app is quite good and we highly recommend.

It fetches for $1.29 in the Marketplace and has a free trial.

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