Apps

Here's a useful utility for those of you who have a phone that is (a) developer unlocked and (b) interop-unlocked. There's a new little toy out there that willl allow you to take screen caps right on your device without being tethered to the desktop.

The app comes out of the WPXAP forums and is just called 'Screen Capturer' version 2 as it now works on Mango devices. To get it to work you:

  1. Launch app
  2. Set a time via the slider at top (1-60s)
  3. Click ”开始截屏“
  4. Begin screen capture/Hit the Windows Key
  5. Wait for time (set a time(1-60s)) to verify capture
  6. Open Picture --> Albums --> Saved picture

We've been using for a bunch of apps without a hitch. Doesn't seem to work with Xbox games though. Other than that, this is a super useful app for many. And since we're swell folks, we're hosting the file for a quick easy download. Just get the XAP here.

Update: Scratch the inter-op requirment, now just regular developer unlocked devices can use it too. Thanks to Windows Phone Hacker for the update XAP which can be found here.

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London Travel updated to version 3

London Travel, arguably the best travel app available for Windows Phone, has been updated to version 3. This update brings more tile goodness, which was requested by users. The best part? A live tile for your Oyster balance, now that is just awesome. Main highlights include:

  • All tiles in the app can now be pinned to the start screen
  • Oyster live tile that displays your Oyster balance
  • Application tile doubles as a status tile telling you if there are any disruptions
  • Network lines' status can be pinned to the start screen
  • Overall performance improvements
  • Some artwork has been updated
  • Drop shadow removed from application tile
You can download London Travel from the Marketplace. Be sure to check out our review.

 

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WhatsApp hits v1.3.2 gets a new feature

Yeah, everyone's favorite chat app, WhatsApp, just hit v1.3.2. As you can probably guess, that's hardly a big version change meaning there's not too much in the way of new stuff. What we noticed:

  • Settings --> Auto-save incoming pictures (new)
  • Version number is now correct (woo!)
  • Performance feels faster (unverified)

Other than that, nothing else. So looks like it's baby steps for WhatsApp, but hey, we'll take what we can get, right? Pick up WhatsApp here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Mosammey, for the heads up

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GoodMovie - Mango App Spotlight

Trying to find a good movie? Look no further. The Windows Phone app GoodMovie is the app you want for such occasions. GoodMovie could easily be a must have app for your Windows Phone. If you're a movie buff, it's definitely a must have app.

GoodMovie taps into the Rotten Tomatoes film website and brings all the movie data to your Windows Phone. You can search movies by keyword or by a wide range of categories that include theatrical releases, movies just opening, upcoming titles, movies out on DVD, top rentals, and your recently reviewed titles.

When you pull up individual movie titles you will get pages that cover reviews, information about the movie (actors, synopsis, rating, etc.), images from the movie, news items, and YouTube videos (typically the movie trailers).

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Free Ringtones - Mango App Spotlight

Okay. We've covered a lot of ground lately with ringtone apps for your Windows Phone. We've got one more ringtone app to spotlight for you. Free Ringtones is a free ringtone downloader for your Windows Phone that gives you access to thousands of tunes and sounds.

Free Ringtones is laid out in simple fashion with a main page highlighting Hot Ringtones, a keyword search page, a page listing all the tones you've downloaded and another page to show the download progress of your new tones. From the Hot Ringtones page you can access a dozen or so categories of ringtones that range from Blues to Holiday tunes to Sayings.

To preview a tone, just tap the headphone icon and a preview of the tone is streamed to your phone. You'll also find a Play and Pause button at the bottom of the screen to manage your preview. 

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It wasn't long ago that ...I'm a WP7! was updated to version 3.2 that brought gamer meetups, wallpapers and ring tones, and much more. Now we have version 3.3 available for download. Highlighted features in this update:

  • Gamer Achievements and profile fixes
  • New easter eggs
  • Mini game "Match-Atar"
  • More "pinnable" live tiles
  • Numerous updates and fixes to all areas

Version 3.3 is a fix-focused update with the mini-game being the main feature added.  It's a free app and you can download ...I'm a WP7! from the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Don't want to wait for Skype to come to Windows Phone? Have a developer unlocked device? Then you can head over to XDA to grab the XAP file for Tango, the video calling and VOIP solution that costs nothing to use. Originally offered on the HTC Titan and Radar, it has been ported to older Windows Phones for some fun.

We loaded it up on our HTC Arrives and sure enough, it works. Sure, video calling is a bit choppy, even over WiFi and the audio is only routed through the rear speaker, but the novelty of it is certainly exciting.

The app seems to work on all HTC generation phones and LG phones, but only audio for Samsung devices (Focus, Omnia 7) and of course there's no love for Dell.

Head here to XDA for the relevant thread. Thanks, David, for the link!

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Can't think of that word and have no Internet connection at present to use the Dictionary.com app? Annoying, right? Well not any more with the app being updated to take advantage of Mango goodness with the addition of offline usage. Over two million words are available from Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com, putting the power of language and constructive writing in your hands.

Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

Via: @techjunky79

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Samsung AllShare DLNA workaround patched

It's confirmed this time around. Samsung has finally patched the AllShare app to fix the glitch that enabled Focus and Omnia 7 owners to use DLNA and stream content to and from supported devices. Unfortunately Samsung seems to be dedicated to leaving us 1st-gen handset owners in the dark with the latest features.

While we previously brought some good news to the table when reports came in that the manufacturer patched the app and the glitch remained operational, it's game over now folks.

Thanks NaterBater for the heads up!

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Microsoft Gulf, a division of the company that is based in the Middle East, is increasing its efforts to make WP7 more accessible and usable to their customers who live in the region. By partnering with digital marketing firm Prototype, Microsoft plans to bring a number of new applications to the Windows Phone Marketplace, all of which are built for purposes and businesses that are unique to the UAE (United Arab Emirates).

The list of new apps includes titles like Time Out Dubai, to give users access to restaurant reviews and locations; Aramex, for tracking courier shipments; and mParc, an exclusive Windows Phone Mango app that will give users instant access to Dubai's paid parking lots.

As more of these localized apps are built, Microsoft is making it clear that they intend to spend their massive marketing budget wisely to increase their WP7 user-base. Expect to see more such programs launched worldwide as not only Microsoft, but soon Nokia, continue to integrate WP7 into the world of smartphone users.

Source: IT Pro Portal

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Radar - Mango App Spotlight

Ever forget where you parked your car? How about where your hotel is? Radar is a Windows Phone app that is designed to help you find your way back to locations such as where you parked your car. The app taps into your Windows Phone compass and GPS to tag these locations and track you back to them. No data connection is required.

Radar's layout is simple with a page for the radar display and a page to tag your return locations or targets. The Radar Page is basically a compass that will display the return direction to get back to your location.  There are three preset tags available on the Targets Page and all three can be in use at the same time. You have tags for your car, hotel and custom location (can be anything) that will place a corresponding icon on the radar screen.

To set a location, simply tap on the location title on the Target Page. To cancel or reset the location, tap again to stop the tracking service.  As you move away from the tagged location, the distance from that point is displayed on the Radar and Target pages.

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We do love ourselves some AR (augmented reality) apps around here, so devs, just add AR to your app to get featured here. Just kidding, but it doesn't hurt.

Case in point is this nifty little app called Heads Up Compass. It uses the camera's live feed and overlays the compass headings in cardinal points and direction on top, allowing you to scan the horizon for Tusken Raiders. Or maybe Bear Grylis.

We actually have no practical use of this outside of looking bad ass in New York City when we get out of the subway. That didn't stop us from buying it for $0.99 though. Of course you could use it for free (with ads) if you don't want to spend the buck.

Grab Heads Up Compass here in the Marketplace. And good luck finding R2.

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Photobucket Mango updated to 2.0

We've got word that Photobucket has been updated to Windows Phone 7.5 (or Mango as we've all come to be accustomed to), which brings some requested features as well as advertisements. For a quick run through of what we know so far:

  • Changed start-up interface with more browsing capabilities from photobucket.com
  • Added ability to add live tiles of various albums rotating pictures
  • Launch camera app within Photobucket and snap and upload on the fly
  • Have multiple uploads at once simultaneously
  • Added advertisements

You can download Photobucket from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks Eric for the tip and info!

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Grantophone - Mango App Spotlight

Looking for a neat musical instrument for your Windows Phone? Take a gander at Grantophone.

It's an expressive musical instrument that incorporates your Windows Phone accelerometer to control the vibrato and to measure strike velocity for articulation. There are thirteen tones to choose from on Grantophone ranging from Laser to Flanger to Resonant. The keyboard is a 4x13 grid with associated notes displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Now I have about enough musical talent and know how to fill a thimble so I won't begin to get into the instrumental capabilities of this app. I will gladly defer to the developer in the above video to describe the finer points of this neat little app.

The sound is a little bit techno and at times reminded me of a light saber duel. The only nit I can see with Grantophone is that the control to switch from tone to tone is a little cumbersome to manipulate making it a challenge to switch tones on the fly.

Grantophone is a free app and if you want a cool, unique way to play music from your Windows Phone it's worth checking out. You can find Grantophone here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Grantophone is a Mango app so you'll need to have updated your Windows Phone to 7.5 before you'll be able to rock the house.

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Phonealytics updated for Mango with flipping tiles

Phonealytics has been updated for Mango goodness and is every bit more awesome than the NoDo version. What's new? Fast-app switching and flipping live tiles, which solves the issue in having data (visits, bounce rate, etc.) cramped into a small space. Other than that, we have some performance improvements to make the app more stable.

V1.7 change log:

  • Pin live tiles for multiple sites. The tiles updated with a background task every half hour and should be much more reliable than the previous system.
  • Quickly jump between accounts on the "all sites" list by tapping the account name.
  • Improved animation, performance and reliability.

You can download Phonealytics from the Marketplace for $1.99, be sure to check out our review. An ad-supported free version is available too.

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We've been following the development of BBC News Mobile for months now as it was in beta since July. Now, you can finally get your hands on this top-notch free news app.

We're not going to mince words, as far as news apps go, this one is the creme of the crop. You get an excellent news source, a slick looking app and now with Mango, you get some awesome features on board. Some of those features in version 2.6 are:

  • Double Sided Live Tiles
  • Pin individual feeds to home screen
  • Background service meaning improved live tile and breaking news notifications
  • Background caching if WiFi is available to speed up the app

Pick it up here in the Marketplace, nao. Hey and combine it with the BBC Radio Player for Mango and get the whole BBC experience. And check out our early hands on video after the break to see it in action. Thanks, Christopher L., for the heads up!

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Cool Tools - Mango App Spotlight

Cool Tools is a toolbox of tool or utility type apps for your Windows Phone.  Need a stopwatch?  There's a tool for that.  How about a need to covert inches to millimeters?  Need a countdown timer for the kitchen?  Cool Tools is a rather simple app that delivers seven useful tools that most will find a use for.

The tools include:

  • Stopwatch with lap time
  • Countdown timer
  • Flashlight with Emergency Strobe setting
  • Ruler
  • Accelerometer with x, y, and z axis
  • Soundcheck with THX clips (moo cows!)
  • Converter

The converter will convert length, liquids, weight, speed, temperature measurements from metric to english (and back/forth). It will also convert calendar dates to age.

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LazyTube 3.0 in the works

LazyWormApps is gearing up to release version 3.0 of their popular YouTube client LazyTube. Version 3 gets a major overhaul to improve performance and the overall user experience.

LazyWormApps will be offering a series of "What's new" videos over at their YouTube Channel that will highlight all the changes in store for LazyTube.  Expect the updated version of LazyTube to hit the Windows Phone Marketplace sometime in mid-November.

LazyTube is a very nice YouTube client app for your Windows Phone and the updated version looks to carry on that level of quality.

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ShopSavvy was one of the first bar-code scanners to hit the Marketplace and it has quite the following, mostly because of its super "deal finder" capabilities. Sure, in Windows Phone Mango we actually have this feature built into Bing Vision, but ShopSavvy ain't half bad either.

Now with version 1.8, ShopSavvy finally goes to Mango, making it reach its full potential by giving it live-scanning ability. In addition, you can now pin new scans directly to your Start screen, which is a great way to (a) remember you wanted that item or (b) quickly check on internet and local prices to see if there are any changes.

The app's scanner is quite nice, using the flash when necessary and performing as good if not better than Bing Vision. We easily found the lowest prices for our items with little effort, although the local-mapping feature leaves a lot to be desired (despite being a good idea). Actually, one of the most useful features is the "Deals" area which highlights specials going for major chains like Target, Macy's, Best Buy and more.

Of course it's a free app and we're not too sure how it performs in other countries, but with the Mango update, it's well worth a spin. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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easyRing - App Spotlight (Updated)

We received several tips to take a look at the Windows Phone app easyRing. So we did.

easyRing is a ringtone app for Windows Phones running Mango (Windows Phone 7.5) that taps into millions of free and legally obtained mp3 tones that are on Amazon.com and Mobiles24.com.

easyRing lays everything out nicely with a page to search ringtones by keyword or browse by about a dozen categories. Once you find a ringtone you are interested in, there are two button controls at the bottom of the page. One to preview the tone and one to download it to your phone.

Once you've downloaded a few tones, you can review what you've collected through easyRing from the Downloaded page and save them to your phone or delete them from your collection.  Once saved to the phone you can find them under settings>ringtones+sounds as a custom ringtone.

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Note this as a strange, but useful app. See Through Messaging for Windows Phone allows the user to create SMS messages and emails on an overlay on top of a real time view of what's behind your handset via the camera. Basically, you can type while looking through your phone.

We've seen this before with TransparentTXT, which runs for $2.49, but See Through Messaging goes for the low, low price of free. (And of course LG users have had 'Look N Type' for free for ages through their app store).

Should you find yourself on the move while contacting other people, See Through Message could save you some embarrassment when not paying attention to what's in front of you. Only downside we noticed was there's not auto-correct nor word suggestions, which means your texting perambulations will be filled with errors, unless you're careful.

Download See Through Messaging from the Marketplace for nothing at all.

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Love it or hate (we're the latter, but whatever), Groupon is big and their official app just got the Mango treatment is rightly deserves. So for those of you who have it or for those who didn't know about it, you'll want to go and get this admittedly nice looking app a spin.

Hitting version 2.0, the developers went beyond the usual fast-app switching which is automatic for a Mango app. Instead, they've embraced a bunch of Mango features, making this quite a worthy update:

"You can now browse, purchase, and redeem Groupon Now! deals, as well as pin any division or Groupon Now! to the home screen as two-sided live tiles. We've also updated our push notification service so that you get notified when deals are available for you!"

What's to not like about all of that? Not much, so head here to the Marketplace and get it now. Thanks, Matthew S., for the tip using our app!

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It's been a busy week for Windows Phone navigation apps. First we see NAVIGON released that brings on-board maps to your Windows Phone to eliminate the need for a data connection for route calculations and maps. Now we see GPSTuner, developer of Outdoor Navigator and Turn by Turn Navigation, release a new version of Turn by Turn that also includes offline maps.

But wait, the original version of Turn by Turn had downloadable maps. True, but the process was a little cumbersome and the original version still required a data connection for routing and for the times you strayed from the map shot you downloaded.

The new version of Turn by Turn Navigation allows you to choose regional maps to eliminate the need for a data connection. This also allows you to minimize storage requirements by allowing you to choose what maps are downloaded. If you never stray from the Western US, why should you tie up storage with East Coast maps?

The app itself has changed very little (you do have a new search function) but the performance is noticeably improved with the addition of on-board, offline maps. To see how Turn by Turn Navigation US + Canada managed the open road, move on past the break.

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Funny Faces augmented reality app for Mango

Schulte Software Development has released Funny Faces, one of the first Mango apps to use augmented reality.  Using your phone's camera, Funny Faces will detect people's faces and overlay your choice of ridiculous head wear.  Choose from Afros, mustaches, different hats, or the famed internet hero himself, Chuck Norris. 

Once you have sufficiently sillied-up your target, Funny Faces allows you take a picture with the camera and save it to your photo album.  Better yet, you can share your snapshot with friends  directly via email, Twitter and FaceBook.  There are already quite a bit of overlay options, with more on the way. The devs are also asking for suggestions, so if you have any ideas, feel free to share them right through the app itself.

You can get Funny Faces from the Marketplace for $.99, or try it free first.  The trial version has a few overlays to try and a one-time ability to save/share your creation.

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About two weeks ago, on "Mango day", Microsoft quietly sneaked out a neat little app that's especially useful for those on limited 3G data plans. The app is simply called Cellular Data and all it does is create a Live Tile that directly links to your Data Settings page. This gives you a quick and easy shortcut for toggling your data on and off, instead of drilling down the Settings menu.

What makes it a Live Tile though is that it updates every 30 minutes with an on/off notification in the corner, letting you "glance and go" to see if your data is on or not, possibly racking up costly roaming data.

The app is free and certainly worth the install. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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