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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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Combine animated GIFs with text messaging in GIF Chat. The app is from Pinger, the creators of the popular free texting and calling app, Textfree. Quickly record videos, add captions and swap them privately with your friends. It’s like putting Snapchat and Vine together in one app. The app has been available on Android and iOS, but has just been released for Windows Phone 8.

Head past the break to watch our hands on video and walkthrough.

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Although Facebook Beta received yet-another-update this morning, here are a few others that have just come in as well. These are some of the bigger titles that many of you are using, so they should pique some interest.

So far at 11 AM ET, we have new updates for the official Vine app, Angry Birds Go! and the popular photography app Pro Shot. Read on to see what’s new!

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Has Windows Phone finally come of age? Microsoft emphatically says 'yes'

With today’s announcement that Instagram has arrived for Windows Phone along with Waze (Mint and Xbox Video are still “coming soon”), Windows Phone as an operating system has finally reached a significant turning point. At least according to Microsoft.

We recently sat down with Todd Brix, General Manager, Windows Apps and Store at Microsoft, who walked us through some of the recent accomplishments. Brix and Microsoft are claiming that with the recent spate of app releases, a “critical mass” has finally pushed Windows Phone into the big leagues. Windows Phone now has parity on most of the top download apps found on iOS and Android with an “85% overlap” in top-25 titles, according to the company.

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We have 6 reasons why third-party application, 6sec, is better than the official Vine app for Windows Phone. 6sec has been around since July while the official app just came out on Tuesday. Both have the essential features of viewing and uploading Vine videos, but 6sec comes out on top right now.

We have a video comparing these two apps, so go watch it after the break.

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Hands on with the official Vine app for Windows Phone

It’s finally here. Silently announced back in July and mentioned again at Nokia World, the official Vine app is now available at the Windows Phone store. We’ve been using third-party apps like 6sec and Viner for a while now, but it feels great to finally have the official app at the store.  We go hands-on with the new app to show you how it looks on Windows Phone.

Head past the break to watch our walkthrough video.

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