Apps

It's time to grow up and start cooking like an adult. No more microwavable meals. No more take-out from that Chinese place down the road. And please stop ordering Domino's twice a week. You don't need to become Thomas Keller or Gordon Ramsay, but you need to at least be able to make a week's worth of meals without breaking down.

Thankfully for you, there's an app in the Windows Phone Store that's going to help you discover the rewards of simple cooking. How to Cook Everything is a bestselling cookbook from New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. The cookbook features more than 2,000 simple recipes and has been helping folks learn how to cook for over a decade. That book is now an app for Windows Phone.

Let's take a look. And remember, if you leave a comment, you enter into our daily Hidden Gems contest to win a new tablet or phone!

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Lomogram is a popular Windows Phone photography app that featured over forty creative filters and other editing effects to give your Windows Phone photos a little zip. The app was recently updated with a few design changes that included a name change to Metamorphosa. Changes that weren't exactly well received.

While we aren't certain as to the particulars, there seems to have been a parting of the ways between the developers and publisher of Lomogram with some suggestion that the original app was stolen. The end result of all this controversy is the re-release of Lomogram, as Lomogram+, in its pre-Metamorphosa form.

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Bidorbuy is the marketplace in Africa to go to if you wish to either buy or sell items and an official app has just been launched on Windows Phone. It's possible to browse, search, bid, buy and manage Bidorbuy activity through the Windows Phone app, making the experience seamless and convenient when on the move. The app supports South African and Kenyan marketplaces.

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Latest Subway Surfers update takes players to Brazil

Subway Surfers has enjoyed a steady stream of updates with new content patches and today we're looking at the addition of São Paulo, Brazil to celebrate the this year's World Cup. In the latest version of Subway Surfers, developer Kiloo has made it possible for players to traverse through São Paulo as Edison, the Brazilian soccer kid and latest member of the Subway Surfers crew.

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Munchem is an interesting Windows Phone app that lets you search for nearby restaurants, check out their menus and order food for pick-up or delivery (if available).

The Windows Phone app comes across as a convenient way to order food on the go. I can see it coming in handy on those nights you don't feel like cooking and want to grab some grub on the way home from work.

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At the beginning of June, the popular iOS and Android app Hotel Tonight (www.hoteltonight.com) arrived for Windows Phone 8, allowing those on their mobile to book last minute rooms at a bargain price.

Now, the Windows 8.1 version has also been released, making this another universal app for Windows users in 2014. Let's take a look. And remember, if you leave a comment, you enter into our daily Hidden Gems contest to win a new tablet or phone!

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If you are struggling to get things rolling during Mobile Nations Fitness Month (or any other time of the year) and need a push in the right exercise routine direction, check out the Windows Phone app Gym Master.

Gym Master is a collection of gym exercises that are designed to help you lose weight, increase metabolism and strengthen your body. The app includes step-by-step directions, do's and don'ts and a little background information on the exercise's history.

While it lacks video demos on the exercise, it makes up for things by providing a ton of information on the exercise. Gym Master has an exercise database well suited for all levels of fitness buffs and is an appealing addition to the Windows Phone fitness library.

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We've all been there when we simply can't be bothered to cook a meal in the evening after a hard day's work, but luckily there are an array of options available for takeaways. To save time checking through numerous restaurants, Just Eat bundles all these options together in a sweet experience. The takeaway service has just launched an official app for Windows Phone, providing access to over 20,000 restaurants across the UK.

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4castr updated with new radar source and more

One of our favorite weather apps, 4castr, has just picked up a massive update. You'll find version 1.7 of the app sitting in the Windows Phone Store right now. A new radar source has been added and plenty of bug fixes. Full changelog after the break.

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If you are struggling with a good weight loss diet there's a Windows Phone app out there that could be of help. Fat to Fit Diet Plan Pro is a twelve week diet plan designed to help you lose weight. Coupled with an exercise routine, the app claims to be able to shed up to sixty pounds.

Fat to Fit Diet Plan Pro has a simple interface, weight tracking, a BMI calculator and a wide range of recipes to get you through twelve weeks of dieting. You can even create a shopping list to stock your kitchen pantry will everything you need for the week.

The app comes across as a well rounded Windows Phone fitness app that could help you reach your Fitness Month goals.

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Expedia.com is one of the most popular sites for planning vacations and trips. The site offers deals on hotels and flights for cheap, and it's one of those big, name brand services that many people know about.

The good news is that Windows Phone 8 users now have an official Expedia.com app. The bad news is it's just a mobile web wrapper, meaning this app simply pulls down the mobile web version of Expedia.com. Except you get more on the website, including cars and packages, which the web app obfuscates.

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When it comes to the world of fitness and technology things are just getting started. This year at CES and Mobile World Congress, wearables and tools used to measure your fitness routines have become one of the biggest growth fields. And why not? With all the advancements, it's about time we started to use technology for healthy reasons.

TRAINR (getrainr.io) is one of those new companies that is looking to shake things up. They're not another me-too organization in creating their own smartwatch or smart device; instead they want to come up with software tools for those pieces of technology, including smartphones.

Two days ago, the TRAINR app for Windows Phone was released to the Store, beating out iOS and Android. TRAINR does have apps for the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and Gear Neo, though their Windows Phone app is their first foray into a general exercise app for beginners on up through regular gym rats.

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Sicher, a new "super-safe" messenger has arrived today on Windows Phone, iPhone and Android devices. Sicher (pronounced "Zee-her") comes from the team behind IM+ and brings free, encrypted chats and file transfers to users. Using the app, you'll be able to chat, send files, photos and voice messages to other users. Sicher goes so far as to not show incoming messages on your lock screen (only an alert) so you have to open the app to get the full message. Sicher features secure end-to-end encryption of messages, files and group chats, anonymous push notifications and self-destruction message settings.

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Easydom is a Microsoft partner and the company has an app available for Windows Phone, enabling consumers to manage an Easydom system and take full advantage of home automation. It's possible to control lighting, alarms, temperature, as well as creating customized scenarios for different setups.

If you've been looking into automating some household systems, solutions like Easydom is the way forward. Their Windows Phone app also supports Cortana, which is a big deal with Windows Phone 8.1 and it looks awesome, thanks to a video released by the company on YouTube.

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Fitness Log, a simple gym log for your Windows Phone

One of the many tools to staying fit is keeping track of your exercise sessions and there are plenty of Windows Phone apps available to help you log all your trips to the gym, running track or other workout venues. Whether you are taking advantage of the Mobile Nations Fitness Month as motivation to get you up off the couch or just looking for a way to log your workouts, Fitness Log may be one of the simpler options to consider.

The app offers a calendar and analysis page to get a better overview of your workout history, categorizes your workouts by muscle group and offers OneDrive backup support. What Fitness Log will not do is provide the exercises you will be tackling. You'll need to enter the exercise manually which may not be too appealing to someone just starting out but does help the app fit your individual needs a little better.

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BlueFly is an online fashion retailer based in the heart of the fashion district in New York City. The retailer released its official Windows Phone app earlier this month allowing you to browse all the designer fashions and buy on the go. A boutique of sorts accessible from your Windows Phone.

The Windows Phone 8 app has a clean appearance and straightforward navigation. It comes across with a slight high-end feel to match the high-end clothing offered by the retailer.

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Glympse (www.glympse.com) is probably one of the most useful services when making a car trip. The free service allows you to share your journey with friends or family so that they can track you in real time. For instance, imagine you're meeting up with a friend in the city. You can give them a Glympse along with your ETA, allowing your compadre to see where you are (and perhaps preventing an unnecessary call when you're running late).

Gympse originally arrived on Windows Phone back in 2011 and before that it was even on Windows Mobile 6. The app had a handful of updates jumping from 1.0 to 2.0 in five months, but after November 2011, the well went dry. The deserting was particularly painful because it wasn't until Windows Phone 8 and the background GPS tasks that Glympse had the potential to be fully unleashed. On Windows Phone 7, the Glympse app had to stay in the forefront, losing the signal if tombstoned.

However, June 17, 2014 is the day Glympse finally returned to Windows Phone.

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Facebook Beta has finally received the highly anticipated refresh that Microsoft's Joe Belfiore mentioned during his recent Reddit AMA. The update brings the popular app up to version 5.3.0.1 (8.3.0.1) for those on Windows Phone 8 and 8.1, respectively. In addition, a detailed changelog has been added, noting a range of improvements including a new, more Modern layout.

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8.1 HD Tiles is a Windows Phone 8.1 app that will let you add transparent Live Tiles to your Start Screen. The app not only offers transparent tiles for two hundred apps but 8.1 HD Tiles also offers tile options for settings, websites and blank tiles that can be used as spacers or to categorize groups of Windows Phone Live Tiles.

The app is compatible with Windows Phone 8 devices but some of the system settings will not be available and the tiles are not transparent. 8.1 HD Tiles is an easy way to add transparent Live Tiles and a nice addition to the Windows Phone 8.1 app library.

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MobileFit Roundup: Top Rated Windows Phone Diet Apps

As Fitness Month continues here at Windows Phone Central and all of the Mobile Nations sites, we turn our sites on apps to help with our diet. While exercise is a key element of staying fit, so is what we consume during the day. You defeat the purpose of exercise with poor eating habits.

This week's Fitness App Roundup will concentrate on a collection of top rated Windows Phone apps designed to help you count your calories and monitor what foods you take in during the week. There's also an app that will find you recipes based on the ingredients you prefer while avoiding those you are allergic to.

We'll close things out with a Reader's Poll to let you decide which of these diet apps are tops. If we've missed your favorite app, feel free to sound off below in the comments.

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