Apps

We previously covered a NES emulator, which was an abandoned project on the XDA Developers forum, being ripped and sold on the Marketplace but not as a standalone emulator. Not only was the submitter making money from illegal means and someone else's hard work, but individual ROMs were being submitted and approved, which were then being sold to consumers.

Microsoft later removed the said ROMs from the Marketplace, but it would still be relatively amusing to play some "oldies" while on the go, right? Developer Nudua let us know that at least according to AppHub, emulators are now a "go" on the Marketplace. As proof he tried submitting his emulator and it was accepted.

vNESLight is a free emulator that will run NES ROMs. The version on the Marketplace does not include ROMs other than two freeware demos, but the user can easily add titles they wish to play.

Some highlighted features:

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Samsung releases modified version of Tango video app

It was well-received when the video chat application Tango was released for WP7 a couple of days ago.  However, the news was not great for owners of the Samsung Omnia 7 who experienced several issues with it.  If you are such a person, fret no more.  Word from the developers was an update will be forthcoming to address the issues on this device and the Focus (which some have reported a few issues with as well).

Fast forward to today though and we just found a Samsung-branded version of the Tango chat app. Billed as version 1.1 we're not exactly sure what's different but it is safe to assume that this has custom Sammy APIs and drivers, making the experience more reliable and bug free than the unbranded option.

Pick up the Samsung version here in the Marketplace.

Thanks, TahitiBob for the tip; Omnia 7 info via Plaffo

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The popular Windows Phone social app "...I'm a WP7!" has been updated to version 3.5, which brings with it the functionality to "check in" on multiple social networks at once, including Foursquare. It has only been just over a week since 3.4 came out, the speed of development and implementation of improvements is impressive. 

What's new in this latest version?

  • "Über Check in" - check into all your social networks, including Foursquare and "...I’m a WP7!", at the same time
  • Threaded Messaging, use it as a true SMS alternative
  • A new mini-game "Yarbles"
  • In-app How To/Tips & Tricks Videos
  • The fix for the "French Saving" bug that was a major issue with some regions

You can download "...I'm a WP7!" from the Marketplace.

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We've seen some homebrew solutions for adding a battery meter on the today screen before, but now with Mango, devs have a lot more options to choose from, including local updates.

Over at XDA, member singularity0821 has come up with a new battery meter called Mango Battery Status and it just hit version 3.3. What makes this app much nicer than the previous noble attempt is it has a double-sided Live Tile, showing that battery percentage remaining on one side and the status (charging, discharging) on the other. Tapping it of course launches the mini-app showing your current battery level, acting as a tile refresh.

You can also record your battery history over time to see how well the battery holds up--great for doing some testing of hardware. The app only requires your device be unlocked and not interop-unlocked, meaning just about everyone can do this now with the ChevronWP7 Labs available. We approve!

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Poynt growth moves past 11 million users

Poynt is a popular search engine for your Windows Phone and the company announced today that the application has surpassed 11 million users and over 2.1 billion interactions globally. The stats represent a collective between the companies Windows Phone, Android, Nokia, Blackberry and iPhone apps. The growth also represents a 158% boost in overall growth in it's user base since March of 2011.

For those not familiar with Poynt, it's a localized search application that points you in the right direction for what your searching for. Search features include quick search tiles for restaurants and businesses, weather information, turn by turn mapping, and live tile support.

Poynt is a free, Mango app and is available in India, Canada, the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and the United Kingdom. You can find Poynt here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Source: Poynt

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Next Bus UK - App Spotlight

We've already got a handful of travel aid apps for the UK, including London transport, car parking and National Rail. Allow me to introduce Next Bus UK, a helpful app that pulls realtime and scheduled timetables for bus networks across England, Wales, and Scotland. Data is provided by Traveline and will come in handy for any frequent traveller.

Some of the app features:

  • Find the next buses due at over 370,000 stops
  • Find the nearest stops around your location
  • Search for stops using place names, postcodes and street names
  • Save your favourite stops for quick access
  • Shows you the distance to your nearest stops in a list form
  • Choose between using Bing or Google maps
  • Designed for minimum battery usage: only searches your location when requested
  • Built in User guide
  • Easy and quick to use
  • London bus times (not realtime, yet)

A Mango update is on the way that will bring live tile support and more.

You can download Next Bus UK from the Marketplace for £1.49 ($1.99).  Check out the demo video after the break...

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Supertube, the mega YouTube app for Windows Phone, finally got its Mango wings today with version 2.0. This version brings more than just fast-spp switching though as there are a ton of new features on board:

  • Record videos and upload it to YouTube (Resume broken uploads support)
  • Choose and order the sections in the main page
  • Select channel to push notification
  • Add playlist, inbox, my video
  • Background uploads and downloads
  • Loading list more quickly
  • Inbox push notification
  • Fast App Switching (FAS)

To say this is a comprehensive YouTube app is a bit of an understatement. It does waaay more than what we need iit to, but we know there are some of you out there who need these features--so here you go. We did have a little trouble getting the video-upload feature to work, but perhaps it's just our Radar 4G. Either way, it's a powerful app. It is recommended to uninstall and reinstall the app, since there are so many changes on board.

Update: The developed acknowledged a bug in the final release and noted that an update has already been submitted to the Marketplace, which should fix it. Look for it in the next 2-3 days.

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If you're one of the lucky ones to be getting a Nokia Lumia 800 or 710, you'll also be one of the first to get the new Nokia Maps application, as well as Nokia Drive, for Windows Phone 7.5. The new Nokia Maps app, which you can get from the Lumia Marketplace now (and all of Mango devices in the future), brings features to your phone that will make you "feel like a local everywhere." 

By combining offline maps, turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation, sharing your locations via the web, and a unique way to highlight local points of interest; Nokia Maps Beta and Nokia Drive look to become a great alternative to the stock Bing Maps app. Now if only they would make it available to the rest of us Mango device owners... sadly, that won't be happening for a little while. 

"Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps give you comprehensive mobile navigation and the insider knowledge to make it happen. With support across 95 countries, you'll get accurate turn-by-turn directions to the destination of your choice, as well as information on all the cool places to visit when you get there."

If you haven't already gotten the update to install over the Nokia Maps placeholder on your Lumia, head to the marketplace to get it for free, or just watch the video above to see what will hopefully be arriving soon for everyone else.

Via: The Verge

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WRC Live now available for Nokia Windows Phones

Nokia has already showed off their exclusive ESPN sports hub at Nokia World, and now they're set to offer World Rally Championship fans an app too. This free app will enable Nokia users to keep track of the latest happenings of the event, calendar, maps and videos. This should not come as a surprise since Nokia announced a partnership with the FIA WRC, and is also a listed sponsor.

Nokia owners can download the WRC Live app from the Marketplace for free.

Source: 1800PocketPC

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Official Soundhound musid ID app now available

While Windows Phone 7.5 has Bing Music on board for ID'ing songs, it's not available everywhere nor does it have many bells and whistles. Enter Soundhound, a popular music ID service similar to Shazam but in many ways, better. The service is extremely popular on iOS and Android so it's nice to see it finally arrive on Windows Phone--better late than never, right?

The app is free, Mango ready and pretty well thought out. You simply tap the big button, let it sample the music and it'll ID it for you. From there, you can "buy" the song by jumping to the Zune Marketplace directly (nice), share the find on Twitter and/or Facebook or take a gander at the lyrics.

Searches are saved for you in the "my stuff" section and you can set it auto-share your search results to Facebook or Twitter, if you so desire. There are nicely added context menus to your "my stuff" section if you want to delete previous finds and the ads (yes, there are a few here and there) are unobtrusive.

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Prime TV finally gets a Mango refresh with v2.0

Fans of Prime TV, the app that lets you track your favorite programs as well as viewing show info, will be pleased with version 2.0 which just hit the Marketplace. First up is the fact that it is now Mango-compatible, bringing many new features. On top of that, certain aspects of it have been redesigned for a more streamlined experience:

  • Live Tile with back flip and background update
  • Option to pin your favorite show as tile
  • Show reminder system with selectable time
  • Option to browse all shows airing that day
  • New calendar view
  • More customizations (group, sort and filter)
  • More shortcuts to mark episodes, sync and delete shows
  • New navigation system for browser through episodes
  • New upgrade system to upgrade from previous version
  • New streamlined organizer to manage your episodes and shows
  • Other Mango goodies such as fast app switching, background update and so much more

The app fetches for a fair $0.99 with a free trial. The new Live Tiles and fast app switching are certainly welcomed and the app is a nice addition if you need show reminders, or just want to see what this week's episode is about. See our full review of Prime TV here as well as a "showdown" with the just-as-excellent TV Show

Pick up Prime TV v2.0 here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Morten and Argenys, for the tips!

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World Weather - Review

We touched briefly touched on the Windows Phone weather app, World Weather, earlier this year. It's a handy, basic weather app that covers locations world wide. World Weather was recently updated to version 2.5 adding mango features such as fast resume and multiple live tile support. The app also received a major facelift in design and added new features beyond what Mango has brought to the table.

To see if the changes to World Weather helped or hurt, slide on past the break.

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Bing Mobile shows what Hybrids are really capable of

Hang on to your pants WP fans, because an HTML 5 version of Bing Mobile is right around the corner, and it's bringing some neat new functionality along with it. While the Bing team is currently only making the update available to iOS and Android devices (WP7 is, strangely, waiting for a future update), the latest news coming from the Bing blog does show one more thing that we can look forward to in the future for Windows phones.

HTML 5 is not just a new bit of code to provide the same search engine to mobile devices. By going with the latest standards in mobile development, the Bing design team is working to create one universal Bing experience across all devices. This new version will allow Microsoft to make future updates automatically without asking the user to download new versions of the app, and will significantly enhance their experience as well. Rather than downloading separate Bing-powered applications developed with proprietary code for individual platforms, each device will provide users with a Bing that can hook into functions and features on the device just like a native application would (such as voice input or camera support).

Yes, it is true that the new app will only be released on Android and iOS devices first and not WP7 devices until later (doesn't make too much sense to us either), but it's good to see Microsoft deliver a unified experience for their products to all applicable devices, and not just their own. What's more is that this new app, coupled with HTML 5, won't be like a native application or a mobile website - it will be a hybrid of the two. And we all know that hybrids are better at everything.

Hit the break to watch a video explanation on what the Bing design team plans to do with their mobile service in the future.

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Weave (see review) is a superb looking news reader app for Windows Phone. The built-in categories contain top sites and resources, with users being able to add more to any category. Articles can be shared with friends via social networking and email. Weave has recently been updated to 3.5, which brings YouTube, mp4, and podcast support.

If you're not aware of Weave, some app highlights:

  • 33 pre-loaded categories including world, financial, deals, fashion, video games, technology, and sports news just to name a few!
  • Add new categories at any time 
  • Over 180 pre-loaded, high-quality news sources including CNN, Wall Street Journal, ESPN, Engadget, USA Today, NY Times, IGN, Entertainment Weekly, and many more!
  • Feed search – you can search for new feeds by topic or website name
  • Easily manage your feeds and categories via the settings screen
  • Preview articles with a touch of a finger
  • View full articles at your leisure
  • Share articles with your friends, via email
  • Post an article to your Facebook wall
  • Tweet an article to your Twitter followers
  • Send an article to Instapaper

You can download Weave from the Marketplace for free (ad supported) with a paid version available.

Via: @SelesGames

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We've covered Turn-By-Turn before and recently reviewed their off-line mapping solution for the United States. The (relatively) more affordable navigation app was the first to offer regional and local downloading of offline data, which makes the app a bit faster, saves on precious battery life and uses no-data saving some money.

The catalog of offerings has expand greatly to many other countries and regions, as can be seen below. And now one of the more difficult areas has finally received its own custom maps: Australia. We've heard about folks in this region having a difficult time finding a GPS navigation app for Windows Phone, so they should be pretty excited. However, it comes at a cost: $40.99 for the app and maps.

That's certainly on the high end, though we imagine the cost is largely dictated the licensing fees that developer GPS Tuner needs to pay NAVTEQ to have access. But hey, at least you have an option now.

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Redminder - Mango App Spotlight

Redminder is a simply and free app for your Windows Phone to help remind you when your Redbox or Blockbuster rental is due. Interface is simple. The main page lists all your reminders and to set a reminder, just tap the "Add Alarm" switch.

The due date is set automatically for 24 hours (can be modified) and the name of the rental can be customized. Once you save the reminder, a Live Tile is created for your start screen that will display the title of the rental and expand to show your return date/time.

You can turn this feature off in the settings if you don't need the Live Tile. Redminder is a Mango App and supports fast resume and multiple live tile support. So, if you have five rentals you can have five Live Tile reminders.

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eHow hits the Marketplace

eHow is a popular do-it-yourself website and you can now pull all the DIY knowledge to your Windows Phone with the eHow app. The eHow topics include home repair, food, finances, health, style and much more.

Key features for eHow include:

  • Keyword search of eHow's entire library of articles
  • Save your favorite eHow articles to your Favorites Page
  • Share articles through Facebook and Twitter
  • Browse featured articles for six popular categories; Home, Money, Family, Food, Health and Style

The eHow Hub lays everything out nicely with pages for featured articles, the category browser, and your favorites page. Keyword search is accessible throughout the app through the eyeglass button at the bottom of the page.

If you need a handy "how-to" reference application for your Windows Phone, eHow is worth checking out. eHow is a free Windows Phone app and you can download it here at the Marketplace.  eHow is a Mango app so you'll need to update to Windows Phone 7.5.

Thanks goes out to SEKKDS for the tip!

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Chaotic Moon demos the Pizza Hut App

As we reported earlier, the official Pizza Hut app launched today. It’s got all the features you could want from such an app like finding local stores, viewing their full menus, and checking out with or without an account.

A short while ago, WPCentral sat down with Matthew McCabe, Senior Project Manager at Chaotic Moon Studios, to preview the Pizza Hut app. Chaotic Moon is responsible for a wide variety of official apps on Windows Phone, including the Best Buy, Groupon, and Betty Crocker apps. We wanted to show you the video a little sooner, but permission came later than anicipated. Better late than never!

The Pizza Hut app is free and you can download it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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There's a Pizza Hut App on the loose

Ordering pizza online has been around for a while but now you can order your favorite Pizza Hut pizza from your Windows Phone. The official (not sure if there was an unofficial) Pizza Hut app has been unleashed on to the Windows Phone Marketplace.

The Pizza Hut app features includes:

  • Access to Pizza Hut's full menu including specialty pizzas, Tuscani pasta, and WingStreet Wings (hungry now?)
  • Guest Checkout to allow you to order without creating an account
  • Credit Card options for check out

The app is laid out really nice. The Main Pages includes your menu options (signing in, starting an order, create account, etc.), a map page showing the Pizza Hut locations close to your current location, and Pizza Hut tweets. Ordering is simple as well. Find your location and you'll be sent to a Menu Hub that covers regular items as well as specials. From there, you build your order, pay and either wait for the delivery dude or go pick up your order.

Orders can only be placed during the operating hours of your local store and unfortunately, the ordering function is U.S. only (don't blame the messenger). Hopefully it will expand because this looks like a great, convenient way to order on the go.

The Pizza Hut app is free and you can download it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Thanks goes out to 5tephen for the tip!

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Torchbear is a social networking styled game for your Windows Phone where you see how far you can pass a torch between other Torchbear members. A torch can be a thought, idea or image and collectively, Torchbear torches have traveled approximately 86,750 miles. Working off the success of the application and feedback from users, Torchbear has been updated to version 1.2.

New features include:

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Fuse news reader finally goes Mango with v1.3

For those of you using Fuse, the great looking news reader from Rudy Huyn, you'll want to check our v1.3 as it just went live in the Marketplace. The new update finally brings those much needed Mango features, joining our growing list. New additions include:

  • Fast app resume
  • Multiple live tiles (you can pin feeds or groups)
  • Background agent to update live tiles
  • A choice between 5 types of live tiles (seen below)

All in all it's performing great for us and looks to be a solid update to an already fantastic app. Pick it up here in the Marketplace for $1.29 with a free trial. And check our our early sneak peek video of Fuse in action.

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View the status of car parks with Parking Pal UK

Introducing Parking Pal UK, a unique Windows Phone app, which enables users to search through 14,000 car parks in the UK for spaces, pricing and other features. The app is constantly updated with more car parks being added and existing entires being updated annually. It's guaranteed to improve the life of any driver who frequently parks up.  

Unfortunately, the app does not support on-street parking. Some features include:

  • Car parking information is obtained from the most comprehensive database of car parks in the UK, with over 90 % of car park information updated annually (no on-street parking)
  • Rapid car park location and price information.
  • Choice of using Bing or Google maps.
  • Searches can be filtered to narrow down leads. For example, by toilet availability or locations holding safer parking awards.
  • In-built 'reminder' function- to record where you are parked and note parking ticket expiry time.
  • Live tile with currently parked space information, and ticket expiry time.
  • Ticket expiry reminder alarm.

It's a neat little app with an intuitive user interface and integrated map. Future versions will introduce real-time space information. You can download Parking Pal UK from the Marketplace for £2.29 (trial provides 4 free app uses) and a demo after the break. 

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TweeterLight another solid Mango Twitter app [Video]

We sure do love Twitter apps and even though Mango goes a long way for most people, there are those who still want a dedicated client with more features on board.

TweeterLight isn't exactly new, heck it just hit v1.4, but it's one we missed when it came out. Turns out it's a pretty solid client. As you can tell by its name, it is meant to be light and fast, so if you're looking for a Swiss Army knife of functions, this isn't for you. Then again, it does have a nice feature set and the speed make up for it for many of us.

It does support Read It Later, uploading of pics, geolocaton, contact look up (using a list picker) and trends. Plus with v1.4, it is now Mango ready. It also highlights new, unread Tweets, making management a bit easier.

Overall we dig TweeterLight a lot--it's fast, supports full landscape mode and has a nice UI. Sure a Live Tile wouldn't hurt but for $0.99 with a free trial, it is certainly worthy of consideration if speed is your concern.

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According to ZDNet's Matthew Miller, who we had the pleasure of paling around with last week, Nokia is planning on releasing Nokia Maps for free to all Windows Phone devices "in the next couple of weeks". That's some pretty exciting news and answers the question about what it means for Nokia and Microsoft to exchange services and how it affects us, the consumer.

Now, before you get too excited, we need to clarify that this is not Nokia Drive. Drive is their full-GPS turn-by-turn navigation app that includes voice-guidance and offline maps (see above pic). That bad boy is only reserved for Nokia Windows Phones and and is a completely free service. Nokia Maps, on the other hands, is more like Bing. That's not to say it's useless as our friends in Europe and non-Bing friendly regions will be able to attest. This app should go a long way in making looking for points of interest and local directions a lot easier. Other features in Nokia Maps that we can expect:

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WP Central

Those who love using the USA Today app will be pleased to see the new update. In version 1.5 we got the Mango update with a double-sided Live Tile for weather. While super cool, it was a bit redundant for those of us with a dedicated weather app. So now in v1.6, you can disable that feature. It's almost like the devs actually use their app on a daily base, tailoring it to our needs--something we rarely find with the "big" publishers.

Other notable new additions include:

  • Ability to pin all galleries as secondary live tiles.
  • Landscape view support for articles.
  • Fixed a couple crashes.
  • Ability to re-enable background task if manually disabled.
  • Visual feedback added to Video tiles.

You can pick up USA Today here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Shipwreck, for the heads up

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