Windows Phone Weekly Digest: August 23, 2015

There's a lot going on in the world of Windows Phone. So much, in fact, that it is sometimes tough to catch every important story.

Device rumors come and go. New apps join the Windows Phone Store, and your favorite app can get a big update with a new look or new features.

Therefore, every week we will compile a list of the Windows Phone news that you just shouldn't miss. Welcome to the "Windows Phone Weekly Digest."

Windows Phone

Windows Phone

Windows Phone seemed to take the week off from popping up in the news.

Xamarin is offering their cross-platform tools to Windows Phone developers free of charge for a limited time. Windows Phone devs looking to bring their apps to other mobile platforms can get free access to Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android community-supported subscription tools until August 31.

The offer, which includes Xamarin's Visual Studio extensions, is an attempt to help small-time programmers broaden their horizons.

"If you're a published independent Windows Phone developer and haven't taken the plunge into native, cross-platform mobile development with C#, there has never been a better time than now to get started."

The rumor mill has churned out rumblings of a big Microsoft launch event that may be taking place in NYC for October.

Though unsubstantiated, the rumors say that this will be when Microsoft unveils their new flagship smartphones, the "Cityman" and "Talkman," both powered by Windows 10 Mobile.

Earlier reports said that the phones would be announced in September, with an October event to be held for the Surface Pro 4 and the Microsoft Band 2. However, it now appears that the two events could have been combined into one big bash.

Other notable items:




Nest owners rejoice! Cozy, the third-party client for the Nest thermostat, has been revamped as a universal app and is now available on Windows 10.

USA Today also updated their universal app. A few days ago, it made the jump over to Windows 10 Mobile.

The Slack app for Windows Phone may still be in beta, but this week, that beta went public. Not only that, but it also picked up an update to fix some bugs.

VLC for Windows Phone was updated as a public beta, too. The new version should work with Windows 10 Mobile as well.

WhatsApp, the app everyone loves to talk about, got a significant update. The upgrade brings with it many new additions, including new emojis, customizations, and features.

Last, but certainly not least, a big congratulations to out to the makers of Tubecast for hitting the 1 million download milestone for Windows platforms. Tubecast is a fantastic app and deserves the recognition.

Other notable items:



In gaming, we took a look at Dark Lands Smasher, a somewhat sequel to the hit game Dark Lands. The timing-based scroller does justice to its predecessor.

We also reviewed Flick Shoot2. This fun soccer game cuts right to the chase and has you taking shots at the goal in a series of different challenges.

Square Enix announced that its next Tomb Raider game, Lara Croft GO will be released on Windows Phone on August 27. The adventure-themed puzzle game will be released for iOS and Android the same day and will run you $4.99.

And Gameloft put out a substantial update for Siegefall. This new add-on offers up a new Dragon Hunter hero, a new Tower, more items, additional levels, and more.

Other notable items:

Be sure to weigh in on this week's news in the comments section. See you next week!