As many of you may have noticed, two somewhat major apps for Windows Phone received updates in the last 24 hours, so we’ll pass on the news in case you missed it.
First up is Facebook, which has been receiving quite a few updates lately, generally a good sign…unless you consider everything so broke that it needs even more fixing. The last update was just a week ago for version 2.6 and now version 2.7 has landed in the Marketplace bringing with it some new fixes though no new features:
- Notifications now show updated time instead of created time
- Corrected thumbnail display on likes
- Now respecting except clause on posts with custom privacy settings
That’s nothing terribly exciting though if you were experiencing any of those issues, hopefully you’ll be a bit pleased with the update.
Next up is Amazon’s Kindle ebook app. That app is now on version 1.2 which shows you how often that one gets updated (seriously, it has had one update in the last year). The good news here is this update is more significant:
Should you be an avid Sainsbury's supermarket shopper and love earning the ol' Nectar points, you'll want to check out the Sainsbury's app for Windows Phone. The app, which is available for free, is a portal of information accompanied by quick access to the mobile version of the online store.
Unfortunately you'll not be able to do the weekly shop through the app, but Nectar details, special (and some exclusive) offers and a store locator is included. While more functionality would complete the experience, it's good to have such an app available on the platform.
Should you wish to order groceries online, you'll be taken to the mobile version of the supermarket's website in Internet Explorer, which will require a separate store login.
You can download the Sainsbury's app from the Marketplace for free. Thanks, Dan J., for the tip!
Today, Nokia has released their official Six Flags app exclusively for Lumia Windows Phones. The app was announced back at the beginning of May and it is now available. Six Flags is one of the largest US operators of amusement parks and is the go-to place for riding roller coasters, rides and general entertainment. The timing is perfect too as the July 4th week/weekend is the busiest time for such parks and Nokia has nailed it with this app.
The app features an interactive map of your local Six Flags, where you can tap on an icon to grab more info. What’s more, you can use the augmented-reality feature to find specific rides, bathrooms, restaurants, events or just shopping. The map has layers where you can filter specific rides (mild, moderate or maximum) etc. so you only see what you want. In addition, you have a satellite view and a general augmented-reality view to as well,
Park shows and their schedules are also listed including a calendar of events, which makes planning a snap and videos of various rides gives you a sneak peek of what to expect. Finally, you have Foursquare and Twitter feeds built in so you can checkin and or follow any local trends going on with the Six Flags hash-tag.
The app is fast, fluid and very well designed. We don’t go to Six Flags very often but if we had a season pass or we were heading to one, grabbing our Lumia Windows Phone would be a must.
JDB Pocketware has a nice selection of Windows Phone apps over at the Marketplace including Handyscan, SkyManager and 7Dialer. To celebrate reaching 1,000 likes over on Facebook, the Windows Phone developer has decided to share the joy by offering all their titles for just $.99 this weekend.
Just head on over to JDB Pocketware's Facebook page and "like" them. You'll then be sent to a page that has the link to JDB Pocketware's software sales page where you can send the app links to your Windows Phone. The sale covers JDB Pocketware's entire app catalog including the latest title Fat You (a photo morphing app) and their financial app, MoBudget.
For many of the Windows Phone apps, this is a $2.00 savings. So if you were thinking about moving from Handyscan Free to the paid version, now's your chance to save a few bucks.
The offiical Twitter app's new Toast push-notification in action
If there was one nagging issue with the official Twitter app for Windows Phone, it was the inability to get Toast notifications for new mentions or re-Tweets. Even after receiving a new update just 3 weeks ago, there was still no sign of any of these advanced features.
So we were a tiny bit flabbergasted to actually see a new notification section in the latest update, version 1.2.4555.39631 (or just v1.5 in the Marketplace) which just went live tonight. The updated Notification area has the following options
- Mentions - Off, From people you follow, From anyone
- Favorited - Off, From people you follow, From anyone
- retweets - Off, From people you follow, From anyone
- Direct messages
- New followers
That's actually a fairly robust selection of possible notifications for Twitter these days and yes, they are the Push type i.e. nearly instant. What's more, while there is seemingly no Live Tile counter, the Tiles does flip to show you new mentions or notifications in addition to the Toast alerts (which work quite fast from our experience).
BaconSync is a really neat feature coming to the Windows Phone app Baconit . The feature is still in beta form and should be released to the masses shortly. For those not familiar with Baconit, it is a Reddit.com app for your phone which we have been impressed with and BaconSync looks to make it even more impressive.
BaconSync is a in-browser extension for Baconit that synchronizes read links across multiple phones and browser. It is currently only compatible with Chrome browsers. The extension not only lets you review what you've read from your Windows Phone on your PC but you can send web pages from your PC to your Windows Phone. In these situations you'll receive a toast notification on your Windows Phone that will send you straight to the web page.
BaconSync is an handy extension that will extend the capabilities of Baconit rather nicely. The BaconSync extension should be ready shortly and in the meantime, if you haven't tried Baconit, you can find the free version here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. There is also a donation version that you can find here for $1.99 to help support the developers efforts.
An update is heading our way for the Sweet Sync for SugarSync app. Sugar Sync is a cloud storage option, similar to Dropbox or Skydrive, and Sweet Sync is your unofficial Windows Phone connection to the cloud service.
The update takes Sweet Sync to version 1.4 and brings background photo synchronization into the mix. When enabled the app will detect new photos on your Windows Phone and sync them upon startup.
The version 1.4 update also adds the option to sync only when your on wifi and select any sync folder in your account to sync to (or not to sync to). This is a nice data saving feature.
Moquu is a cool photography app for your Windows Phone. Moquu allows you to capture a series of photographs and create an animated gif file from them. Animated gifs can be shared through Facebook, Twitter, and email. Images captured to build the gif can be taken manually, in bursts or in timelapse mode.
It takes a little time to get used to Moquu's layout and you can't store the finished product on your Windows Phone (stored on Moquu's server). While it has room for improvement, Moquu gives your Windows Phone camera a rather nice creative tool.
NFL Live is now available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It may not be endorsed or affiliated by the NFL but it does bring a hefty amount of NFL stats, news, and scores to your Windows Phone.
The main pages for NFL Live cover news items, scores, team standings, and a More Page that has links to ESPN videos, ESPN NFL Tweets, FOX NFL Tweets, and...well...more.
Key features of NFL Live include:
- Live scoreboard of current games
- Live game details including stats and play information
- Shake to refresh feature
- Live tile support for your favorite team
- Team information
- League leader stats
- Ability to create a unique landing page for your favorite team.
The landing page for your favorite team creates an additional page for that team. The team page will display scores, news, and schedule information for that team.
NFL Live is a well laid out, information packed app for your Windows Phone. NFL Live is a free app and you can catch it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Thanks, Brock D., for the tip!
We received a few reports from users that the excellent reminder + scheduling apps TVShow and PrimeTV are both "broken" right now. Specifically, when users try to update the app to pull down their customized TV schedules, they are met with an error message that they cannot connect to the servers.
We reached to TVShow's developer Rudy Huyn about the matter and we were given a simple explanation. In short, both apps use the site TVRage for their information and that API is currently undergoing maintenance.
There's no word on when it will be back but rest assured it should return. Until then, there's not much it seems either developer can do until TVRage flips the switch again.
Twabbit for Windows Phone is a Twitter client that is nicely laid out, has plenty of features and overall is a really nice Windows Phone app.
Twabbit's main pages cover your Twitter home page with all your tweets, interactions with other tweets and your direct message inbox. Other key features include:
- Persistently present tweet button that enables you to compose tweets from anywhere in the app
- Quick reply bar, Support for multiple Twitter accounts
- Ability to mute users, hastags and apps
- Support for Twitter, TwitPic and yFrog photo upload services
- Live Tile Support
Tweets load fast and there are a ton of settings to let you customize Twabbit to suit your needs and tastes. There's even gesture settings for customizable single and multi-touches.
There is a free trail available for Twabbit and the full version is currently running $.99. Today's the last day to pick Twabbit up for $.99 and then the price jumps to $1.49. If you're looking for a nice Twitter client for your Windows Phone, Twabbit is worth checking out.
You can find Twabbit here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
If you're on Vodafone Australia, you'll want to head to the Marketplace to pick up the the carrier's latest app which is geared towards managing your account.
The app, titled with the obvious "My Vodafone" is chock full of features including:
- Account Usage checker.
- View Bills and Payments (limited access to history)
- Store Locator
- View Network updates near you.
- Contact Support and access the Vodafone Blog.
As WPDownUnder points out, Windows Phone has been on the carrier since 2010 so better late than never. Maybe perhaps they're seeing greater uptick in Windows Phone or see great things for Windows Phone 8. Either way, it's good for consumers.
Say what you will about the official Facebook app for Windows Phone but they are trying hard to fix things and improve it. Rapidly too.
Version 2.6 just landed in the Marketplace and you can go get it now. Don't expect a slathering of new features like the last few updates but instead it addresses a couple of bug fixes that many of you have been sending into them. These include:
- An image posted to a group was appearing on your own wall rather than the group
- Users with custom privacy settings set as their default were having their updates created with "Only Me" permissions
Nothing thrilling but hey, at least they're listening and tweaking things with rather a quick turn around. You can grab the latest version of Facebook here in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Source: Facebook; Thanks, jbarinas & Todd, for the tips
Nokia Maps for your Lumia Windows Phone was updated to version 2.1 this afternoon to fix a few problems associated with Nokia Maps places and your favorites.
Version 2.0 brought a handful of features to Nokia Maps that included:
- Sharing reviews on Nokia Maps Places from your Lumia Windows Phone
- Add your photos to Nokia Maps Places
- Sync your saved favorites from maps.nokia.com to your Windows Phone
These features give Nokia Maps more social integration and, while minor in nature, the update should resolve issues users were experiencing in uploading photos of Places and accessing their favorites.
Thanks, Jamil, for the tip!
Looks like Nokia was sitting on the release of Camera Extras & Play Now for its Lumia phones as you can now go ahead and download both apps from the Nokia Collection.
Camera Extras is what it sounds like, yet another camera app from the Finnish company that adds a lot of unique features to hopefully improve some of those pics. Features include:
- Smart Group Shot - automatically selects faces, lets you create the perfect picture
- Panorama - takes numerous photos and stitches them together
- Action Shot - rapidly takes photos
- Self timer - 10 second countdown
The app downloads as a separate program but it does integrate into the camera module meaning you can just quickly load the whole thing by hitting your dedicated camera button. Overall, the features are pretty good and we think many of you will enjoy the new additions. Nokia may be late to the game but they often get it right in the end.
Windows Phone Central's Roundup of Sports Apps for your Windows Phone
In this week's Windows Phone App Roundup, we're focusing in on sports apps. Apps (not games) that will keep you up to date on all the scores and news from the sports world. We have a few all encompassing apps and then a few that are sports specific.
And now for the customary disclaimer. If an app doesn't make the roundup it should not reflect poorly on things. These are just a collection of apps or games that have stood out to us. If we've missed an app that you think should have been included, sound off in the comments.
We heard mention of the Audible.com Windows Phone app yesterday at the Windows Phone Summit and today, the Audible.com app launched. The free app taps into Audible's audiobook library of more than 100,000 titles and delivers them to your Windows Phone.
If you haven't signed up for an Audible.com account, the Windows Phone app includes eight excerpts from various authors to let you try things out. There are listening achievements, Facebook and Twitter integration to let you share with friends what you are reading...err..listening to, and the app supports Audible.com, Audible.uk and Audible.de.
Audible for Windows Phone is a free app and you can grab it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. We'll take Audible out for a test drive over the next day or two and get a review on the site shortly.
Thanks, everyone, for the tip!
The version 1.2 update for Skype has been released from certification and is now available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Just to recap, the update fixes a handful of issues with the previous version and adds the following improvements.
- All phonebook contacts with at least one number are shown in Skype contact list.
- Ability to edit phone number in dial-pad before calling.
Fixes contained in the update cover issues involving calendar notifications ending Skype calls and instant messaging crashing the app. There still remains issues such as the app requiring a minimum of 512mb of memory on your Windows Phone, no Bluetooth support for audio or video calls, and answering an incoming call will end your Skype call.
If haven't seen the update pushed out to your Windows Phone, you should see the notification out shortly. If you haven't tried Skype for Windows Phone, you can find the free app here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Thanks, jon b and dario, for the tip!
Thumbz is a photo sharing app for your Windows Phone that allows you to... well... share and get feedback on your photos. Once uploaded to the network, other members can vote up, down on your photo as well as leave a comment. You in turn can rate and comment on others photos as well. You can also use Thumbz as a informal public opinion poll if you include a question in the image description.
Thumbz does have a novelty feel to it but it also has the potential to be a decent photo sharing network. It just needs time and to see it's membership continue to grow.
Nokia joined Microsoft today at the Windows Phone 8 Summit to announce a handful of new apps and a few updates to existing apps. The new apps and updates are scheduled to hit the Lumia line of Windows Phones next week.
- PlayTo is a DLNA app that will let you share music, videos, and photos wirelessly with other DLNA compatible devices.
- Nokia Counter is an app that will let you monitor data and voice usage.
Updates will also be pushed through to Nokia Maps, Drive, Transport and the camera app. Here's what we know about the updates.
Gaming news coming out of the Windows Phone Summit is that Zynga's long-anticipated Words With Friends and DrawSomething, by newly-acquired OMGPOP, are finally coming to Windows Phone. The two social games have been loved on iPhone and Android for some time and will make their way to Windows Phone sometime this fall.
There's no exact release date for either, but we're already wasting time at work thinking about it.
Update: See the full Nokia press release after the break
An update for the Skype has been released taking the Windows Phone app to version 1.2. The update fixes a handful of issues with the previous version and adds the following improvements.
- All phonebook contacts with at least one number are shown in Skype contact list.
- Ability to edit phone number in dial-pad before calling.
The update fixes cover issues involving calendar notifications ending Skype calls and instant messaging crashing the app. There still remains issues such as the app requiring a minimum of 512mb of memory on your Windows Phone, no Bluetooth support for audio or video calls, and answering an incoming call will end your Skype call.
The updated version hasn't appeared on the Marketplace just yet and we don't know if the Skype app was released for Marketplace certification or released from Marketplace certification. If the app has cleared certification, look for the update to be pushed out shortly. Otherwise, we're still looking at a few days, barring any issues with the certification process, until we see the v1.2 update.
In the meantime, you can find Skype for Windows Phone here at the Marketplace. It is a free app for your Windows Phone.
Source: Skype Blog; Thanks, Jay, for the tip!