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line

In a surprise announcement, LINE messenger has picked up MixRadio from Microsoft. LINE is one of the biggest messaging services around, although it is mostly prevalent in non-Western countries at the moment.

Microsoft announced the news on the Lumia Conversations blog. The deal is expected to be completed by "early 2015" with the MixRadio team staying in Bristol, UK.

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The best messaging apps on Windows Phone

When Windows Phone first launched back in 2010 there weren’t too many messaging apps available. Over the years we’ve seen most major messaging platforms join the ecosystem. Today we have great services like WhatsApp, Skype, Kik, Facebook Messenger, Line, GroupMe and Telegram. Others, like BBM, are on the horizon and will join Windows Phone sooner than later.

We’re curious though as to which messaging platform you use the most. We also want to know which messaging platform you prefer. It’s completely possible to have a different app that you prefer over one that you use the most. The majority of your friends might be communicating through FB Messenger, but you’d prefer if they were on something else like WhatsApp or Telegram.

We’re going to look at seven major messaging platforms today. Skype, Telegram, GroupMe, WhatsApp, Kik, Facebook Messenger and Line are being given our full attention. They’re the apps we see the Windows Phone community coalescing around the most.

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We’ve got nearly every major messaging platform on Windows Phone. Outside of iMessage, BBM, and whatever chat app Google is pushing we’ve got them all. WhatsApp and Skype are arguably the most popular, based on anecdotal evidence from you all in comments. But LINE Messenger is pretty popular too. In fact, the service boasts some 280 million users in over 231 countries. It’s also just been updated on Windows Phone. Let’s check out what’s new.

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Line is a popular messenger app for our Windows Phone that touts over 260 million global users that span over 231 countries. Line was updated today, bumping it to version 3.0 and adds voice call support, a few new stickers and the customary bug fixes/performance enhancements.

Call support provides free voice calls for Windows Phone 8 devices only.

Along with the free voice calls, the update delivers four types of free special stickers to add a little spice to your messages. The four freebies are Moon, Brown, Cony and James.

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We'll be honest here, LINE messenger by a company called Naver is not something we're familiar with but our audience certainly is. Boasting about being in 230 countries, LINE is a VOIP/chat service that is evidently popular in a lot of Asian markets so it's great to see it come to Windows Phone.

Available already on iOS, Android, PC and Mac, LINE is actually a well done app with a snazzy Metro UI and decent enough features to make us take a look at it. Of course none of our friends use it so it's hard for us to take it for a spin on such short notice, but loading up the app was a refreshing change from some other chat programs out there.

The app doesn't have a killer feature per se but it does contain the usual fare: send messages, photos, videos, voice messages, as well as location info. It also has a thing called "stickers" for conveying emotion which we suppose is a bit quaint. Note at least with this release there is no VOIP just chat.

Like all messaging apps, your usage is completely dependent upon your social circle and if they use it. Having said that, LINE is actually quite nice and we're a bit jealous that we don't have an immediate need for it---with Kik, WhatsApp, TalkBox, OctroTalk, GroupMe and IM+ already available, it's tough to find a spot for LINE. But for those that need or use said service, it looks like there's a winner here for you.

Pick up LINE by Naver for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, PsycheBlue, for the tip

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I have written before (and will surely write again) about how I'd like something like Quicksilver for Windows Mobile: A simple text entry field that I could enter short, simple text commands into do Get Things Done.

I'm imagining a text field on my today screen, or barring that a little app that indexed contacts, favorites, applications, and settings via Windows Mobile 6's Smart Search (which also works on email, hint hint). Being able to put a "s" in front of a search would make it go search the web for your terms. Or "t joe I'm on my way" would send Joe a text message that I'm on my way. You get the idea. You can see I want this. I'm not the only one.

Enough background. I came across this sweet, hardcore (in a good way) Windows Mobile development blog and was largely mystified. Until I saw that you could do this: "tap and hold down the ‘Action’ key while tapping and holding the stylus on the clock shown on the nav bar." "Action key" is your center button. This'll work on a Pocket PC / Pro edition phone (but not, strangely, a Treo 750). What pops up is essentially the same as Desktop Windows' 'Run' dialog.

Within this dialog you can enter the path to any executable, as well as any required command line parameters.

Examples you may like to try out are as follows:

calc.exe
iexplore.exe
ctlpnl.exe cplmain.cpl,4,0

Read: Windows Mobile Development » Blog Archive » Windows Mobile Tip: Accessing the Run dialog

Yeah, it's not what I dream of. It's not even all that useful given that it's tough to get to and it doesn't auto-complete or search all the places I'd like it to. But there you go, Windows Mobile has a flavor Run dialog. nom nom nom.

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