Official Windows Phone Central app hits version 4.4

It's been fairly quiet in terms of updates to our own official app for Windows Phone in the last couple of months, other things tend to get in the way especially when the big focus is something for bigger screens. That said we have some good news today in that version 4.4 of our app has just gone live and is available for you to download to your Windows Phone 7 or 8 device right now from the marketplace.

You'll likely only notice a few of the changes straight away so as usual you can read all about them after the break, as well as an important announcement about our Windows Phone 7 support from here on in.

Change list

• UI changes following Microsoft design review

• New Settings screen

• Added notifications silent mode

• Added ability to tap the app header after launching from a notification to go back to the news

• Removed Unification support

• Fixed several bugs

This update is relatively small but the product of a couple of frequent user feedback items and a design review with Nokia and Microsoft. The two highest priority items they suggested we address were the floating buttons and our settings screen.

Floating buttons used to be fairly commonplace in Windows Phone 7 days (see the old people hub) but they have been discouraged since the days of the Mango update, or 7.5. We've been reluctant to remove them as we don't like upsetting people with change but the time has come and we have to admit the app does look much cleaner with the buttons down in the app bar, plus they didn't scale too well on the new 1080p devices!

Our settings screen was an absolute mess full of gesture competition and too many pivots so we've introduced a styling much more in tune with the settings you'd find on your device, which in turn surfaces a few of the options you've chosen, hopefully you agree it's a much needed improvement.

Lastly, two feedback items we received often included the wish to be able to tap the app's header after loading from a toast notification to return to news, which is now possible (but note this will only work if you launched the app from a notification). We are also now offering a silent mode which will disable toast notifications between 10pm and 7am, although the tile will continue to update.

Oh and of course we continue to address a few bugs that have popped up over time, we now get a very low number of daily crash reports unless something crazy happens (like the AT&T routing issue from last month).

Windows Phone 7 Support

It is with this release that we must announce we will be discontinuing feature updates for our Windows Phone 7 version. That does not mean we will stop supporting it and indeed we still intend to fix bugs as they pop up and will ensure that the app continues to operate as well as it did the day you downloaded it. However, now that Microsoft is slowly migrating away from Windows Phone 7 it is becoming increasingly harder to maintain both versions of the source code, particularly now that Visual Studio 2013 will cease to support Windows Phone 7 projects.

So whilst you can expect to see revisions to v4.4, we do not expect to add any new features or design updates to the app, instead we will begin to focus on refreshing the Windows Phone 8 design once we have released our Windows 8 app.

As always we welcome your feedback and suggestions through comments here or through our dedicated forum, thank you all for your continued support!

  • Awesome :D
  • Impossible to use the free version in landscape mode. The adds take such a huge chunk. And if you want to reply or comment, I practically dont see anything but keyboard and advertisements. Im done with it WP Central, im buying your app :)
  • About damn time!
  • Haha thank you Andre, I hope you feel it's good value for money and I'll be sure to make good use of the 45p I get from that purchase :)
  • Dont spend it all at once
  • I think u can buy an Ferrari with that..make it two coz am gonna buy urs too
  • Happy Birthday Jay! Thanks for your work with the app and on WPC!
  • 1 BUCK
  • So glad those horrid search and refresh button were moved to an app bar. Love the app, but seeing that every time made me cringe!
  • Great work Jay. My most used app and also my most recommended to new WP users :)
  • Why are you guys updating apps this late at night! Go to sleep!
  • Late at night❔
    Here it is 09.00 ;)©™
  • Story was posted at 4pm for me :P
  • Jay is from UK. It's not early there.
  • Isn't it? This story came out at 7.54 am in the uk - that's before your standard working day
  • I did post it as soon as I woke up and saw the email notifying me MS had published :)
  • There are many people access WPCentral from outside America :) And Jay Bennet (Dev) is from UK.
  • What are you saying? the internet is linked outside of America? Didnt even know they had energy there
  • ...if it wasn't for Nikola Tesla who is from Croatia you wil steel runing on DC curent.......
  • ....but then AC power took the Pb. (lead)
  • Lmao
  • good sarcastic point for those who thinks USA is the center of the world!
  • Downloaded.
    Commenting works, and a tad faster...
  • Reason for removing unification support & how will it affect us or was that for back end purpose only? :) When can we have the ability to add colour emoticons ? Any update on the Windows 8,1 app?
  • Unification is going end of life and asked all developers to remove support, we're just complying unfortunately
  • Cant believe none of the LD projects take off like things do for Rudy. Rudy fills gap by making apps, nothing original but LD has made so many cool and original apps, still away from fame. Feel real sad to see unification die.
  • I dunno... A lot of his apps are interesting but largely useless. I've downloaded most of them (usually when free), but don't use any of them anymore. He has like 3 twitter apps - I use them for an hour, uninstall & then go back to the built-in twitter feed (people hub) or the standard Twitter app. I don't find Twitter particularly interesting or useful though, so all the extra functionality is lost on me. I really don't "get" the Nate & Frenchy apps at all. Actually I still have the Outsider app... I might use it 3-4 times a year :P I thought Unification had promise, but hardly any apps used it and it seems that only a vocal minority really care about a notification centre.
  • Yeah but ideas of that app where you write something and let it out in space and someone randomly replies was so cool. Cant think of that app now ugh! He does come up with good ideas whereas Rudy doesn't have much originality other than really brilliant design and execution. Don't get how popularity works in this form of art really. Both are brilliant devs but LD was famous during WP7. WP8 came along and Rudy is popular out of nowhere.
  • That's because LD has always come out with apps that have great functionality and design, but no use whatsoever. Apps that offer a solution looking for a problem. No doubt creative developers but it's like they're sitting in a think tank - "what can we come up with today". I'd prefer if they put their talents to things people needed such as vine/insta/path rather than things they thought people needed. They're almost like that loving father who year after year tries to come up with some new invention but fails. Gotta admire his persistence but it's prob better for his family if he just went and became a salesman
  • Rudy got popular on WP7 with 9gag, TVShow, and Wikipedia, but rose to his current fame obviously with 6sec and 6tag.  He's been one of my favs since the beginning.
  • I wanted to like Outsider, because it is great, but it seemed old and in need of an update for scaling and optimizing, I.e. The news page was framed, making it hard to read full articles on my 4.5 in screen. And its meant for wp7 it seems, with tips for WP7.
  • Fair play lads !!!
  • Being able to go into the app after following a notification is awesome. Good work.
  • All the hype for Unification seemed to die so quickly and I never saw any updates or extra apps added to it. Was support for it removed because of an impending notification center in 8.1?
  • Lack of third party interest and because of 8.1
  • Thanks Jay! Now when are we getting that Windows 8 app? :D
  • +620 release it quickly please
  • You guys should look at the picture for this article and follow the vine link I put in there ;)
  • Follow the wine ❓
    Ok, will do :)
  • Such a tease. Lol.
  • Sneaky sneaky
  • The ability to click on the header is huge to me :). How about the ability to add smileys included in the WP keyboard? :-P
  • Maybe the next update could have more transitions? The new settings layout is nice but laggy to load because there are no transitions to cover the load time. Also the Phone Toolkit has had the Feather transition for a while now which would look great here and in the main articles list.
  • I'm really glad to see a silent mode being introduced! Though could you please allow us to set our own times? Between 10 & 7 isn't ideal for all of us.
  • Why is there a delay after tapping an option in settings?
  • I'll look to improve that, there's a lot of stuff happening under the hood that I need to make faster :)
  • Floating buttons are the refresh & settings ones? I don't remember seeing them in the People hub on WP7. Maybe I'd only spent a week or two with WP7 before upgrading to Mango!
    PS: Haptic feedback still not working on Lumia 520.
  • It had search and add contact in the original version, they went when Mango arrived
  • looks great
  • Windows 8.1 app would be great!
  • yeah, waiting for a long time for this !!
  • swiping side to side is much snappier. good update!
  • Much better having the floating buttons now in the "..." Settings bar. The app feels faster as well, good work
  • My dally using app.. And an must have app for all wp users. Keep going wpcentral team u guys are amazing's ........ :)
  • Woo!! \m/
  • Gutted less and less coming for my Windows 7 phone. Not had it that long.
  • You didn't have it that long but its been out since really long. WP8 has been out for over a year now!
  • Please increase the font size in the next update
  • You can just pinch on the text in an article to enlarge it or make it smaller
  • I believe you can increase font size in the settings of the app...
  • Yep you can chose to default to large font in the settings and you can pinch to zoom font on the articles :)
  • Thought so :)
  • You can't slide up in app appearance when in portrait mode you guys do need sleep lol can you guys like add more customization so we can make it look less minimalistic like can we change the black background please! And maybe more idk or add your own theme!
  • Good spot on the appearance page thank you!
  • Also lock portrait view doesn't work in settings menu....what else do I need to find not work in random places guys good work but come on...could of added more working on it more like themes...
  • Really?
  • Works for me
  • He's right I missed the lock in the new settings page and I'll patch that up shortly
  • I'm confused... is the WP8 version different? I'm looking at the WP7 version and can see "Lock Portrait View" under Settings - Preferences. I've tested that it locks and unlocks portrait mode correctly...
  • What is that Green colored phone in the left of the picture?
  • It's the Lumia 800, did it come in green? it looks to be an ifixit job:)
  • It's cyan, just the colour tone of the shot was very warm :)
  • ThaNX!
  • I really want to buy the app to support development but I keep having issues with being able to view images in the forum. Until this is fixed I'm sorry but I cannot purchase an app that has this constant problem. Unless of course I need to purchase the app to view images (a bit lame I'd say). Can someone clarify this issue for me?
  • It's a problem with retrieving images from our forums as they're behind a log in. For some reason my way of doing this stopped working and I didn't have time to fix it this time around. But if it does fail you can tap on the red error to see the image in internet explorer. Sorry that the issue persists though! :(
  • Ah, didn't know about tapping the red error message. Hopefully this can be fixed in the future. Would be nice if the images could render in the thread if you wanted them to, like in Facebook. I know that's probably difficult to do but would be nice.
  • 1 BUCK
  • No but seriously great job I just want a white background font coloring being optional and themes for this app uploaded by wpc whenever you add a new theme cause this is the only app I wish wasn't so minimalistic!
  • "you can't always get what you wa-ant..."
  • Settings are neatly organised,
    It would be nice if we get option to choose theme between light and dark within app.
  • Thank you windows phone central. Out of all the windows phone apps I have on my device, by far this is the best designed and user friendly with plenty of setting features. Every app should follow your template as a reference.
  • 1080p support?
  • Why not use the popular "pull to refresh" instead?
  • Everything awesome but don't like what's happened to settings. Feels totally less fun to use. Swiping in pivots felt so natural. Now have to hit back button numerous times to changed various settings. Same as what is going on with Baconit settings. Too much back button raping.
  • With the swiping we get an interesting problem called gesture competition (you'll hear about that from Microsoft's design experts) and realistically we had too many pivots and too much swiping. But I will of course see if we can make the settings screen more fun in the future
  • Could you explain a little what swiping competition is?
  • Guess I'll have to upgrade to WP8 sooner than I thought. And I guess WPCentral app is now KitKat (4.4)
  • Darn it. I liked the floating buttons.
  • I know what you mean, I miss them a bit too!
  • Make it free
  • Everyone needs to make money somehow...should all helpful and useful apps be free?
  • Should, but not like that. Facebook is free, instagram is free, youtube is free, news apps are free. They make money with advertising on the web-site or app. Anyway, i think apps like WP Central should be free. 
  • So the trial version is the free one with ads, that's exactly why its there ;)
  • You should work for free too
  • GOD, people on here are CHEAP!!!  Probably spend more money on coffee and cigarettes in a day and complain about an app that cost a buck.  You guys clamor out to get the latest phones and pay a monthly bill but can't spare a buck for a highly polished app???? Really, GTFO!!!
  • And you only have to pay for it once......ONCE
  • +2520 It bothers me a lot also when people complain about an app that's 0.99, as in, seriously??? Come on guys it takes a whole lot of effort to develop apps, and the fact is you are actually getting infinitely more value than 0.99. This is a no-brainer, not even worth contemplating, just pay for the app!
  • Still can't get over the fact that you're trying to sell the live tile count feature to us, which is pretty basic and free in every other app. It's not about the money but you're not some kind of indie developer that needs support. Mobile Nations is pretty big.
  • Really?
  • I am an indie developer :)
  • 1 BUCK
  • Thanks for reminding me. I know that, it's not about 1 buck or 2. Look at Engadget's app, they don't make you pay for their app and it's not like their app is really bad. What's the difference?
  • As far as I know, Jay isn't necessarily paid by Mobile Nations to develop this app.(he should be IMO), so he is in fact technically an indie developer.
  • Jay made the app not mobile nations. Jay works with WPC not for them. Android central and imore are free because MN made the app.
  • Well that's even worse then. That means Mobile Nations doesn't want to develop an app for WP if that's the case.
  • The difference is that Jay is an independent developer. He only gets paid by the people who buy the app. The Engadget app is paid for by Engadget. 
  • This is not Engadget, this is WPCentral. Why make comparisons??? And if it's not about the 1 buck then just get the app and get it over with, sheesh!
  • I will, but that doesn't mean that I can't question the reasoning. If you don't like it, don't read it. I'm not really forcing you to reply.
  • Thank you for the update as usual Bennett. I hope the live tile will get black a lot less now. I am still loving all developers for functions across there apps. Cross platform?
    • WPC app opens MyTube
    • WpTorrent opens e-readers, Xbox music, comic readers. Really great user experience.
    THIS is according to me the new and important next step for WP.
    How nice wouldn't it have been to press a link to a YouTube clip, or facebook post in WP native environment, and stay in "metro.
    WPCentral, wpTorrent is the 2 most innovative apps out there I found. Any more cleaver apps out there that works like this? With app to app support and SkyDrive. Great job devs, now speed up your support MSFT.
  • I dont understand what everyone means by floating buttons :S
  • I actually don't see anything new in the app? Maybe it didn't update for me?