Apps

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Windows Phone App Review: NCIS Pocket Guide

NCIS Pocket Guide

The Windows Phone app NCIS Pocket Guide is a quick reference guide for the NCIS television series. The Pocket Guide covers character and episode details for both NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles.

The NCIS Pocket Guide has character bios, episode guides, a listing of Gibb's Rules (way of life rules created by the main character) and a listing of any re-occurring characters that appear on the series. Simply laid out, NCIS Pocket Guide is a decent app for your Windows Phone with a bit of room for improvement. It's not going to appeal to everyone but if you're a fan of the NCIS television shows, it's worth checking out.

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MetroSpec

MetroSpec, a ZX Spectrum emulator for Windows Phone, has been updated to version 1.4 (since we last looked at the app). We last covered MetroSpec when it was released to the Windows Phone Store, but soon encountered some issues with the submission process. The paid version was published, while the free, ad-supported version was left behind in the depths of app doom. 

The problem appeared to be on Microsoft's end, and while a solution or fix was worked on, MetroSpec lost potential users due to the lack of trial or free version available (we know how badly Windows Phone consumers love their app trials). Luckily things have been resolved finally and we're good to go with announcing both apps together.

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Windows Phone App Short Take: TimerTools

Timer Tools for Windows Phone

TimerTools is a Windows Phone app that should take care of all your timer needs. The app includes three core timer tools; stopwatch, countdown timer and an interval timer. Everything is laid out nicely with TimerTools, taking advantage of the Modern UI of Windows Phone.

The stopwatch has a lap timer that will display the laps beneath the main time. The best and worst lap times will be displayed at the bottom of the screen.

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Smartboard Calculator

Smartboard Calculator isn't your run of the mill Windows Phone calculator app. Inspired by the old school blackboard where you calculator acts like a blackboard where you can scroll around by touch to review all your calculations.

Smartboard Calculator was recently updated to address a few usability and performance issues and tweak the free version. The free version is now a fully-functional, ad-supported version.

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Foursquare

Nokia has one again picked up an app from the Windows Phone Store and put a copy in their Collection. Such is the case with Foursquare, which is now listed as version 2.1.

While it would have been nice to see something expanded upon by the Finns alas this version is a hair older than the official 2.11 version on the Store for all Windows Phone users. So there is no augmented-reality or any performance improvements to be found, as far as we can tell.

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Hotel Finder updated, search function fixed

Hotel Finder for Windows Phone

Hotel Finder is a simple Windows Phone app that helps you find hotels based on your Windows Phone location services. The app taps into a database of over 230,000 hotels worldwide and maps them out with filters for price and hotel class. The database for Hotel Finder is provided through Booking.com.

The most recent update corrects issues related to database searches and a few other performance tweaks. The developer is also looking to expand the hotel database to add other service providers.

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Official uTorrent Remote app lands for Windows Phone

uTorrent

The official uTorrent Remote app now available for Windows Phone

uTorrent (www.utorrent.com), now owned by BitTorrent proper is a free and now ad-supported torrent client that is used by many people out there today. And although there are plenty of third-party apps for the service out on Windows Phone, it’s still nice to see the platform getting officially recognized through a dedicated client.

The uTorrent Remote app allows you to connect to your PC or Mac remotely to manage your bit torrents from afar. No, it’s not a full torrent client to run on your phone—something for which we don’t see too much practicality for—but it is a powerful tool for those of you who rely on uTorrent’s automatic RSS import feature and more powerful options.

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Windows Phone App Review: Tola

Tola for Windows Phone

deviantART is a website dedicated to entertain, inspire, and empower the artist in all of us. Tola is a Windows Phone app that taps into all that artistic greatness and delivers it to your Windows Phone.

While not an "official" deviantART app, Tola is a nice app to surf around the photography and paintings that deviantART has to offer. You can browse through the various categories of art or take a gander at the daily Deviations which is a random collection of pieces from deviantART.

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NewsSpot Version 2.7 released to marketplace

WP Central NewsSpot Version 2.7 released to marketplace

We looked at NewsSpot back in September and have since been contacted by the developer to advise that version 2.7 is now available.

The Google Reader client was well received by us and we were looking forward to seeing the updates trickle through so we’re glad things are now on track. To get the update you will need to hit a new link in the marketplace which you can find below.

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NAVIGON gets updated, celebrates by going on sale

NAVIGON USA for Windows Phone

The NAVIGON series of navigation apps for your Windows Phone was recently updated and to celebrate things, they are also on sale through October 31, 2012.

Along with the customary performance tweaks, the version 4.3 update brings route planning to both NAVIGON USA and NAVIGON Europe. It's a nice feature to allow you to plan a multi-stop trip ahead of time and avoid having to re-enter your destination after every stop.

Both versions of NAVIGON makes use of downloadable, offline maps to reduce the dependency on data while traveling. If you wander off into an area with poor reception, you won't have to worry about maps or routes being lost.  Adding route planning only enhances the navigation app's capabilities.

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Vogue

Strike a pose

Although the last time we read Vogue was when we were waiting in the doctor’s office, we hear that many people rather enjoy the high-end fashion rag. If that’s the case, then you’ll be excited to learn that the official app of the magazine is now available for Windows Phone.

And as a bonus, Benetton is also gracing their presence on the Windows Phone platform with their official United Colors of Benetton app.

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Basketball Live bounces into the Windows Phone Store

Basketball Live for Windows Phone

Just in time for the upcoming NBA Season, Basketball Live has landed in the Windows Phone Store. The regular season for the National Basketball Association begins on October 30, 2012 and Basketball Live will help bring all the news, scores, and highlights of the season to your Windows Phone.

Basketball Live is from the same group, Denham Software Solutions, that developed NFL Live and Baseball Live. Basketball Live shares many of the same features as the football and baseball versions.

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Instagram

It's your destiny

If there is one nagging issues that Windows Phone can’t get away from it’s the so-called "app gap". Specifically that some major apps or services are still missing from the platform and will prevent potential customers from switching smartphones. The problem lessens every day when a new big name title launches on Windows Phone, but if there was one that people really want, it’s Instagram.

We’ll leave our personal opinion about the hipster photo service to the side because in the end, it doesn’t matter if we like it or would rather stick a fork in our eye than use it. The masses have spoken and Instagram is a “must have” just like diabetes for Americans.

Our friend and colleague Kevin Michaluk from CrackBerry has gone on record recently, vehemently we might add, stating that Instagram is absolutely coming to BlackBerry 10.

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Amazing

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Good news for those of you who use the official Chase Banking app or AmazingWeather (paid or lite), as both apps received updates today to make ‘em faster.

AmazingWeather gets bumped to version 3.6 and touts that it loads “in less than 1.5 seconds” and is now 3x faster than the previous version. That’s welcomed news as AmazingWeather is a sharp looking app but it was always a bit slow to use when compared to its competition.

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City Lens

Nokia has pushed an update to its City Lens augmented reality app, which is available from its collection in the Windows Phone Store. As is generally the case with Nokia app updates, no changelog is presently available. We can only imagine that minor improvements are included as no big features have been highlighted.

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Facebook

Missing or just hiding?

We’ve continued to document the small issues plaguing the Windows Phone Store as of late and we want to clear up one that we’re getting a lot of tips on: missing apps.

The issue comes up when you try to search for certain apps, namely Facebook, Groupon and WhatsApp for some of you. In short, they’re missing from search results and therefore you can’t download them.

But we should point out that all of the direct-links to those apps still work and will allow you to download the program. In fact, we’ll list the direct links for you down below.

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WP Central Windows Phone 8 brings new hardware and OS features but what about th

The next version of Windows Phone is just around the corner, with it comes some fantastic hardware and the promise of new features. But what about the next gen apps?

While we have spent a great deal of time looking at the coming phones and peeking at the new underlying operating system did we forget that it’s the apps that matter? While we know that existing apps will work fine on the new OS, what lays in store for those dedicated Windows Phone 8 apps?

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Lync 2010 for Windows Phone updated to version 4.3

Lync

Although the Lync 2010 app was MIA yesterday in the Store it evidently was due to the fact that it was getting an update.

Indeed heading to the Store you can now find version 4.3 ready for download. Unfortunately, there is no change log to go with it and since we don’t use Lync ourselves, we can’t do our normal compare and contrast. The app was last updated in March with version 4.1.

But if you’re a Lync fan, you’ll want to go ahead and grab the update here. Notice some changes? Let us know in comments.

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Volt Link brings a little OnStar to your Windows Phone

Volt Link for Windows Phone

Volt Link is a Windows Phone app that might appeal to the OnStar subscribers in the audience. While not officially affiliated with OnStar, Volt Link supports reporting of vehicle status, remote vehicle starting, and unlocking doors.

Volt Link also enables Bing search results to be sent directly to your car. For those driving Chevy Volts, Volt Link has the ability to find EV charging stations and sending their addresses to supported vehicles.

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Adobe Reader 10.1 finally comes back to those in the US

Adobe

Good news for all of you heroes out there who have endured the “1” staring at you from your Marketplace Tile: you can now finally hit that update button for Adobe Reader.

In the ongoing Windows Phone Store oddities of late, Adobe Reader came under scrutiny as many users were upgraded to version 10.1, followed by a second update that seemed to be a bug fix and then a third update.

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Account Tracker lands in the Windows Phone Store

Account Tracker for Windows Phone

Account Tracker from Graham Haley and Response Ltd. is now live in the Windows Phone Store.  Account Tracker is a personal finance app that has had a bit of success over on the iPhone and based on our first impressions it should do well on the Windows Phone platform.

Account Tracker is laid out nicely taking advantage of the panorama and tile design of the Windows Phone's Modern UI. The main pages of Account Tracker will display an account summary of all your financial accounts, a transaction entry screen with tiles to add spending, income, refund and transfer activities, a budgets page and pages that will chart cash flow and spending.

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Note+ updated to v2, multiple notes added

Note+ for Windows Phone

If you recall, Note+ is a simple, yet effective, note taking app for your Windows Phone. The developer, Aälejandro Díazs, is based in the Dominican Republic where the Windows Phone Store isn't supported. But with the help of Nokia Developer Ambassador Rich Dunbar, Díazs was able to get the app published.

Well...Díazs took in all the feedback from Note+ users and basically re-wrote the app. The premise of the app is the same in that Note+ allows you jot down quick notes while on the go but it now supports multiple notes and Live Tile support for each note you generate.

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MS Store App

We’ve been talking a lot about Microsoft’s Retail Store efforts lately and with the shopping season kicking off soon, those temporary “Holiday stores” are gearing up to open too. But what if you don't know where those are yet?

The official Microsoft Store App for Windows Phone received a nice update over the weekend whereby it now lists those holiday stores. By simply swiping under Store Locations and Coming Soon you can see all the stores across the US that are opening on the 26th just in time for Windows 8 (and Windows Phone 8).

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