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system apps

A fresh batch of minor updates for Lumia phones has landed this morning. These updates apply to two system apps – Network+ and Rate Us – in addition to the optional vehicle assistant Lumia Car App.

First up is Lumia Car App, which is going by a new name with Lumia out in front instead of the previous Nokia moniker. As far as we know, this is the only change in this app and is a continuation of the de-Nokiafication of Lumia-specific apps in the Store.

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Reports have flooded in from readers detailing a minor update Nokia (now Microsoft Mobile, according to the store) has today rolled out for its Display system app. The update itself is small with the store listing only 'minor usability improvements', but we can see the teams further prepping everything before the Lumia Cyan firmware update goes live.

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As the Windows Phone ecosystem continues to grow, more frequent updates are becoming more and more common. Today, we have two that are small but noteworthy.

SysApp Pusher is a free app that checks all the custom OEM stores for new updates, including Samsung, HTC and Nokia. While there are quite a few of these “system app checkers” now available, SysApp Pusher is our choice simply because it gets updated once, sometimes twice a week with new features. The developer clearly has a vision for this app and version 2.0 is well worth taking for a spin.

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As the Windows Phone ecosystem grows, manufacturers will continually look for ways to expand and differentiate amongst themselves. One easy way for them to do so is with custom OEM Stores like the Nokia Collection or Samsung Zone.

The problem is with Windows Phone, you can’t force check for app updates, even for “system apps” like Samsung’s call blocker or Nokia’s Display + Touch. Sure you can wait the 24 hours for the Store tile to display an update, and that’s fine for most users, but let’s face it: if you’re reading this site, you want the latest and greatest now. This is especially true for Lumia owners since Nokia’s updates are known for enabling new, unannounced features making their occasional updates more like little birthday presents.

That's why SysApp Pusher is our must-have app this week.

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Yesterday we saw two app updates from Nokia including HERE Drive+ and HERE Maps. Today they’re bumping some system apps. But no need to rush as these are for the more benign Feedback to Nokia and Extras + Info sections, not bringing anything too new or exciting to the table as far as we can tell.

First up is Feedback to Nokia. This little guy allows you to rate your phone and send your thoughts about your Lumia right to Nokia for their consideration. With version 2.5.0.2 of the app, we noticed that when compared to our older iteration it now has a pivot for the Nokia Improvement Program and the option to opt in or out along with an explanation of what it is (you can find more info on their website).

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Nokia updates two system apps for Lumia line

Nothing too huge to report here but since we have a lot of Lumia readers, we figured we’d mention it. Nokia updated two of their systems apps today for Windows Phone 8, including Access Point (for setting your SIM card and carrier settings) and Nokia Feedback (which allows you to answer occasional poll questions directly to Nokia about your phone).

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The boys and girls from Finland are once again actively tweaking their system apps for their Windows Phone 8 Lumias. We’ve received a few tips this morning that their Network+ app has been updated and indeed, we can confirm.

The app is now being bumped to version 1.2.4.18. What’s changed? Heck if we know though we can tell you that the app, formely called Calls + SMS, deals with some cell network settings and is considered pretty important, especially if you’re experiencing any oddities in cell behavior.

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