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.
HERE Drive and HERE Drive+ 4.0.5410
Nokia keeps pushing their HERE Drive apps further and further, as today’s update keeps the app humming along nicely for the holidays. This morning Drive and Drive+ both jump up to version 4.0.5410. What’s new? Just “bug fixes and stability improvements” according to the changelog. So don’t look for any new features.
Nokia MixRadio 18.104.22.168
It was only a few weeks ago that Nokia rebranded their Nokia Music to Nokia MixRadio. Last Friday, we told you about the User Voice board dedicated to giving the developers feedback on the popular app and service, and today’s first update to that app is revealing some of those changes.
Version 22.214.171.124 is now live in the Store and it has a nice changelog to go with it:
- Improved navigation of mixes, my music and favourites.
- Enhanced downloading of offline mixes.
- Simplified search behaviour for countries with no gigs information.
- Bug fixes.
Indeed, we’ve heard from reader of the site ‘halcyonboy’ that the app now “…remembers where you were when you browse in and out of albums and artists” and he seems quite thrilled with the changes. How about you? Pick up Nokia MixRadio here in the Store.
Microsoft BLINK 2.2
We haven’t seen an update to Microsoft’s BLINK photography app in quite a few months, but that’s about to change. Version 2.2 came out late last night and with numerous new improvements. For those who don’t know, BLINK is a rapid-shot photo app that takes lower-resolution photos but at a high clip rate. It then allows you to pick the right photo and it’s perfect for action-shots.
Although the app has sort of been replaced by Nokia’s own Smart camera, the app is still popular for those on non-Lumia devices. So what’s new in 2.2?
- Stay focused all the time - the app automatically triggers the focus based on face detection and phone motion.
- Better stabilization - improved image alignment keeps your BLINK sequences free from jitter and shake.
- Export GIFs to share via Skydrive - export your favorite BLINKs as animated GIFs to Skydrive. Look for the option in the share menu.
- Metadata - now your pictures saved to camera roll will have the timestamp and location information in the image EXIF properties.
Sounds good to us although at least on our Lumia 1520, the app crashes right after taking some photos, so we’re not sure if we’ll be using it much. Still, perhaps you’ll have better luck. Pick up BLINK version 2.2 here in the Store.
SongArc is the super awesome music game exclusive to Windows Phone. It’s one of our top time-wasters and is a real blast to use. By using music in your library, you can play along to the Guitar Hero-like game, with specially designed ‘sheets’. Version 2.0 came out about two weeks ago, but there were a few hiccups with Windows Phone 7.x devices. Luckily, this small update fixes that:
- Windows Phone 7 is back
- Bug fixes and performance improvements
We’ve always endorsed this game and we still do. It’s highly rated and super popular, so don’t be left out of the big rage right now on Windows Phone. Pick up SongArc here in the Store for all Windows Phones.
The popular professional social-network LinkedIn shouldn’t really need an introduction. It’s the go-to place for sharing your CV/resume and linking up with fellow colleagues.
It was only a few days ago that we saw an elusive update for the official LinkedIn app on Windows Phone and while Windows Phone 8 users had no issues, those on 7.x evidently did. Reports starting flooding in that the app would close out and basically crash on those devices. Ouch. Not the kind of result we want to see from this first-party app.
Although the version is listed at 1.6 still in the Store, it appears that the company re-submitted the app with a hot-fix for 7.x users. We haven’t tried it ourselves on that OS platform, but we’re guessing that’s all that is new. If so, let us know in comments if it’s working out for you.
Pick up LinkedIn v1.6 (redux) here in the Store. All Windows Phones.
We’re sure there will be even more updates coming throughout the day, but for now that should get you all started. Thanks, everyone, for the tips!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.