Nokia updates numerous system apps for Windows Phone 8

Nokia has been pushing out a few backend updates for their Windows Phone 8 Lumias. The latest two come today with another one happening earlier in the week.

Unfortunately, we cannot tell you what has changed, as the updates have no change log. Neither can we share with you the direct store links, since these are system apps. But here are the new version numbers...

Xbox Extras bumped to version 2.0 fixes sign in issues

Microsoft recently updated Xbox Extras but unfortunately it created a severe issue where the user was unable to log into Xbox live.

Good news is here for those that like to play with their mini-me while on the move, the app has now been bumped to version 1.5 and we’re back on track.

"Extras!" companion app for "I'm a WP7!" goes the extra mile

We know a lot of you folks enjoy your "I'm a WP7!". The free Windows Phone enthusiast app has had constant updates not for bug fixes but for new features nearly every few weeks. The developer, Liquid Daffodil has done a knock out job with the program by developing one of the most unique and dedicated communities around (well, except for our forums, ahem!). He's done all of this, remarkably, for free as that app doesn't even have ads in it--just straight gorgeous content.

Now, he's released a companion app called appropriately "I'm a WP7 Extras!" which brings a lot of advanced features that many users have been demanding. Of course, there is a price for those "premium" items which is $2.99. While some may balk at such a price, many users are more than pleased as the app sits with 5 out of 5 stars in the Marketplace right now. So, what do you get for the cost of a cup of coffee?

  • Change your Hive! (Actually “Swap” Hives with another user!
  • Use an image or photo as your Profile Pic!
  • Get access to ALL the Today’s Picks and Category Wallpapers for your own use!
  • Unlock the full Forums, GamerHub™, and all the Extras and other cool features of ...i’m a WP7!

In other words, some pretty cool features that make the main app and experience much better. Sure, not everyone needs all of those additional items and luckily for us the main app "I'm a WP7!" is still free and was just recently updated to version 3.9. But for those who want those bonus items, well, we have to give a thumbs up to "Extras!". Plus, if you use the main app, this is a great way to show the dev some appreciation for him keeping it free and ad-free.

Pick up "Extras!" here in the Marketplace for $2.99 and give the main app, "I'm a WP7!" a spin for free right here. We'll also see about doing a new review for the both of them later this week.

Rainbow Rapture receives massive Mango update, ringtones and wallpaper

Rainbow Rapture (free and paid) just received a huge Mango update today and boy is it impressive. Sure, we love the game as much as the thousands of others (4.5 stars out of 926 reviews) but guess what? The developer evidently loves us by giving us some awesome new features in both versions:

  • Fast app switching
  • Improved frame-rate (60FPS)
  • Live Tile
  • Added level 12 & 13
  • Fixed leaderboard crash bug

And the paid version gets even more with three ringtones (music from the game) and two custom wallpapers. Do you know how cool it is to have that theme song as your ringtone? We're totally thrilled with this update and at 60FPS, this game looks spetacular and plays even more smoothly.

Bravo to Kindling for putting out such a rewarding update. Pick up the paid version ($1.49) here in the Marketplace or the free, ad-supported version here.

Xbox Live Extras hits v1.6--Avatar Marketplace now Live!

So the big E3 gaming convention is going on today, with Microsoft set to reveal tons of Xbox goodness. It may not be a coincidence then to see Xbox Live Extras get updated today to v1.6 with a significant addition, namely the ability to buy and change your avatar's appearance within the app itself.

As you can see from the image above, you can now change your avatar and purchase new items from the Marketplace (using MS Points)--this is quite the update and nearly completes the Xbox LIVE experience on the phone. The ability to use MS Points is interesting only because we're expecting the usage of actual money and MS Points to overlap, eventually, in the Marketplace as an option for purchases--perhaps this is the first sign?

Finally, we can't help but notice the usual speed-tweaks, making the app a bit zippier than before (though perhaps that's placebo). We've reached out to Microsoft for an exact change-log, so expect an update to the post later on.

You can grab Xbox LIVE Extras for free in the Marketplace here.

Xbox LIVE Extras gets an update to add features, support more countries

If you use Xbox LIVE Extras on Windows Phone 7, you may have noticed an update pushed to you today, specifically v1.50012.0 (up from v1.3). And if you're like us, you're wondering what changed? Don't worry, we got you covered:

New countries, new languages! We’re making Xbox LIVE Extras available in new languages including French, Italian, German, and Spanish. This also means that Xbox LIVE Extras will now be available in all the official countries where Windows Phone and Xbox LIVE are available!

Manage friend requests inside Xbox LIVE Extras! You’ll now be able to accept, or reject friend requests inside of Xbox LIVE Extras. Additionally you’ll be able to manage your friends’ lists as well as requests to others.

Even more additional features! We’ve also added a bunch of additional features such as new Avatar animations and configuration options, and displaying your motto on your profile. We’ve also worked to improve overall stability of the application!

We also can't help but notice it's finally faster to load, which is a welcomed change as well. We're going to bet that some of our Euro friends will be happy with the additional language support, allowing them to join in the party.

Go here on your phone or desktop to grab the app.

Source: Michael Klucher's Blog