app update

Joe Belfiore announces new updates, sheds some details on lock screen app

In a series of tweets published this morning, corporate vice president and manager for Windows Phone Joe Belfiore has outlined a series of updates that will be going live on the Windows Phone platform.

Socl for Windows Phone adds support for low memory devices in latest update

Microsoft’s Socl app has just been updated on Windows Phone. Version fixes bugs and adds support for low memory devices. This means Windows Phone 8 devices with 512MB RAM such as the Nokia Lumia 520 and the HTC 8S can now also check out Microsoft’s growing social network.

CamScanner for Windows Phone 8 adds Japanese and Korean support in latest update

CamScanner, an app that turns your Windows Phone 8 device into a scanner, has just added Japanese and Korean support in its latest update. Version also includes bug fixes and stability improvements. CamScanner arrived to the Windows Phone platform last month, but their app has already been available on Android and iOS. According to the store listing, they have 60 million people using their service for document scanning worldwide.

Windows Phone 8 devices get offline maps update and Nokia explains why

We last touched on a map refresh in late December when users were able to download OTA updates to their offline locations.

Today, Nokia Maps have received yet another update and once again, this applies to all Windows Phone 8 devices, not just Nokia. If you have downloaded maps on your phone, you should have already been prompted to update them for the latest batch of improvements. If you haven’t already, go to settings > applications > maps > check for updates.

The question you may be wondering is, what changed? We have the details.

Facebook for Windows Phone bumped to version 2.5

Microsoft has released version 2.5 of the official Facebook app for Windows Phone. The update brings many features requested by the community, including threaded messaging (much like messaging on Windows Phone), group messaging and the ability to tag friends in status updates / posts ('with' and 'at' formats supported).

As well as tagging friends, users can now delete posts and comments by tap-and-holding to bring up the context menu for more functionality. Links within published posts can be selected, which will open up the linked content, and the photo comments and likes views have been updated, that now both match the respective post views. When viewing likes and comments on photos, the photo itself is displayed above the lists, which can be pulled down to view.

And if all that wasn't enough, you can now 'like' comments! You can download the Facebook app for free from the Marketplace. 

Source: Facebook; thanks to all who tipped us!

Nokia Music updated to version 2.0

While Nokia appears to be on an OEM app updating spree, the Finnish manufacturer has also included their Nokia Music app for Windows Phone, which has now been bumped to version 2.0. This follows both Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive that were both recently updated.

Nokia Music enables Lumia Windows Phone owners to listen to genre mixes, and is the manufacturer's attempt to provide consumers with a solution should Zune not be readily available. The said mixes are available to play offline and can be pinned to the home screen for convenient access. Background playback is supported, but there are some limitations such as the inability to rewind the mix, it's best to think of this app as a personal radio.

The mixes are updated every so often with new tracks included and the best part of the service is it's completely free. "Progressive downloading" is taken to the next level with the included functionality for "Music DNA" to scan your PC library and tailor the mixes to your personal taste. If you'd like to have even more control over what content is available to you, you can even select individual artists for the app to take into account.

As well as streaming and personalisation options, we have a gig finder, which will search for local gigs near to your location, and access to the Nokia Music Store where the latest hits are on sale. Although it's well suited for emerging markets, Nokia Music is a superb music streaming app that would fulfill the needs of a daily commuter, or someone who enjoys music but doesn't wish to pay for a Zune Pass.

As for version 2.0 - we've reached out to Nokia for the update change log, but unfortunately it appears as though only UI and audio improvements are included. Be sure to let us know in the comments should you find anything. You can download Nokia Music from the Marketplace on your Lumia Windows Phone (not available in the U.S.).

Site Announcement: WPCentral app v2.1 now available

It's been just over a week since we released WPCentral v2.0 into the world, pushing up the total number of app downloads to over 30,000. Honestly myself and everyone involved have been absolutely blown away by the incredible feedback we've received on the site, via e-mail and of course in marketplace reviews. We couldn't be more thrilled that you guys are enjoying the new app and I wanted to say thank you one more time for the continued investment our community shows.

With that said, v2.0 is already being replaced, proving that if you want to find any mistakes in your code, just release it to the public to test in their masses!

You'll be able to download it from the marketplace right now here, but I know you're keen to know what's changed so here we go:

  • New: Added a refresh button to the comments pivot app bar
  • Several optimisations to the comments section to fix lagging performance with 100+ comments
  • Changed behaviour of the 'add comment' bubble to always be shown
  • Fixed a bug where duplicate comments could be posted
  • Fixed the offline section's pin button
  • Fixed the e-mail sharing functionality
  • When tapping the comments bubble you will now always see what you are typing
  • Fixed a bug in comments sign in where strong characters in passwords would fail
  • Changed the app bar to minimize when not needed but be visible for the comments refresh button
  • When enabled, the system tray is now transparent so as not to take up screen real estate
  • Fixed an issue where users could attempt to comment despite not being logged in
  • Fixed a bug where some users could not delete their comments

So I've been busy! As we've said before, v2.1 is here to tighten up the v2.0 release, with the exception of the comments refresh button it's all about tweaks and bug fixes.

However, coming in v2.2 should be the full wallpapers functionality as well as a couple of other small improvements that we're mulling over.

As always we hope you enjoy the app, and welcome your feedback in any form, whether direct to us through e-mail, site comments, or as a review on the Windows Phone marketplace.

Site Announcement: Official WPCentral App hits version 2.0

If you're like us, you woke up this morning to an update for Version 2.0 our official WPCentral App. Developer (and podcast co-host) Jay Bennett has been hard at work these last few months incorporating all those changes and features that you've requested. In addition, new optimizations and layout changes have made the experience even better. So what's new? Let's cut to the chase...

  • Redesign of the app interface
  • Comments system with add, reply-to and delete (tap and hold to see more options)
  • Offline article reader
  • Brand new wallpapers section - more to come in v2.2
  • Customisable live tile
  • Articles with multiple Apps to download now provide a list for you to choose from
  • Added developers section
  • Multiple optimisations & speed improvements

As you can see, the BIG addition is the ability to finally comment on posts from within the app. Heck, you can reply to specific people and even delete your comment...hoorah! Plus with our new Live Tile system, the app will look even more pretty on your fancy Start screen. Not to be outdone though, Jay is already hard at work on v2.1 which will be some minor bug fixes, so expect that soon too. Then comes version 2.2 with our Wallpaper feed (previewed in the app now).

A big and personal thanks to Jay for all his hard work as well as staff writer Rich Edmonds for graphic design and Tom Kaminiski for handling the back-end details. The app is free/ad-supported/feature limited or it can be "unlocked" for $0.99 for the ad-free, full-featured version. Pick it up here in the Marketplace or scan below.

Ask Ziggy update now live on the Marketplace

We recently covered a neat little Windows Phone app that rivals Apple's Siri. Ask Ziggy is a completely free (ad-free too) speech recognition app, which goes one step further than Windows Phone itself. Mathematical questions, commands (posting to Twitter, Facebook, calling a contact, etc.), general questions are just a few tasks that can be completed. While the app was already available (and has been since mid-December) a recent update has been pushed through that brings a few fixes an a UI refresh.

There are a number of features that the developer has planned for the future, including expanded speech grammar, multi-language support and language translations. Should you be continuously finding yourself having to watch a Siri demonstration, now you can fight back with this little beauty. You can download Ask Ziggy from the Marketplace for free. Be sure to keep an eye on the official website for more information.

'NoDo' fixes Marketplace update bug too

Since the HTC Arrive on Sprint comes with 'NoDo' built in, we've been obviously testing what has/has not changed. And although we know it has copy/paste, refined Marketplace search and performance enhancements, one other little thing we noticed is fixed: the Marketplace app update bug.

If you recall, we did a video ("Tip: Force an app update in the Windows Phone Marketplace") showing how when a new update is available for an app you have installed, sometimes there's a delay with the Marketplace reflecting that. So you would navigate over to see the new version listed but no way to update it manually. The trick was to hit the back button, then go back to the app description and then you would see the "update" option (just watch the video).

Long story short, 'NoDo' fixes that so the first time you go to the updated application in the Marketplace, it shows "Update", making one less step in the process. Revolutionary? Game shifting? Hardly. But it's attention to the details that matters in making a good OS, so we're glad to see it.

Tip: Force an app update in the Windows Phone Marketplace [Video]

Every time we post about a new app update, a lot of users chime in saying they can't see the update yet, meaning the Marketplace on their device is not showing any "updates" on the Tile.

Of course the update is there and in fact if you scroll down you can usually see the new version number listed, but there's no update button. Frustrating! Luckily, there's a little trick: just go in the Marketplace, search for the app, open the description, then back out...wait a second and go back in. This forces a software version-check on the device and now you should be able to update the app.

We're sure lots of you already know this, but hey, we know there's probably even more who don't.