Apps

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Livescape - Mango App Spotlight

Livescape Screen Shots

With New Year's fast approaching we're sure there will be plenty of resolutions on weight loss and living healthier. New Year's resolution or not, there's a feature rich app over at the Windows Phone Marketplace designed to help track your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. Livescape, previously known as Life Tracker, is an activity and nutrition journal for your Windows Phone.

Livescape features GPS tracking that will help track and log activities such as walking or hiking. Additional features of Livescape include:

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Video Diary - App Preview

Video Diary is a video diary app that's heading to the Windows Phone Marketplace that we've been able to get a sneak peak of. The application is well laid out and segregates your video diary recordings from your People Hub (for privacy).

The main page of Video Diary has tile buttons to create a new video entry, access the app's help section, upload videos to your Dropbox account, access the settings, rate the app and view contact information for the developer.  The second page of the app is your diary entry list. After you record a video, it is dated, time stamped and added to the list. To view a entry, just tap on it.

The settings are singular in that you have the ability to turn on/off a reminder feature to help you remember when to record your thoughts.  Video Diary does have Live Tile support to remind you the reminder is set.  Beyond that, Video Diary's interface is simple and straight forward.

Video Diary

To record an entry, just tap on the New Tile and your Windows Phone camera is launched. You have button controls to start/stop the recording. After you record a video, it is dated, time stamped and added to the list. To view a entry, just tap on it.  Dropbox integration is just as simple. Tap on the Dropbox Tile and then tap on the listed video to upload.

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MetroTube

MetroTube, the rebranded, updated version of LazyTube, has finally launched in the Marketplace. Yes folks, the much anticipated YouTube client for Windows Phone that includes many new features, Live Tiles and a smooth, elegant interface that embraces the Metro UI is finally here for you to download and use daily. What's more, we're told it's launching with a special offer: an unrestricted, unlimited, ad-free trial in which you only pay the $0.99 if you feel the app is worth it.

That's some confidence right there.

A free, ad-supported version is in the final process of being approved for the Marketplace and in addition, we're told video-uploading will be featured in the next major update. So sit tight for that one. For those who opt for this $0.99 edition, you get

  • HD video streaming
  • Early access to new features
  • Chameleon tiles adapt to phone theme
  • Warm fuzzy feeling for supporting developers!

We took the app for a spin last week and walked away very impressed with the redesign and new features, so we have to give the thumbs up to this app for you YouTube fans. Certainly we expect this app to climb to the top of the most-downloaded on Windows Phone as it deserves a lot of the praise it is getting. So without further ado, here's the download link to the Marketplace.

Sound off in comments on your thoughts!

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If you've followed webOS at all, you'll know of a very popular Twitter client on that platform called Carbon. The developers of that spectacular app have ported it over to Windows Phone, now called CarbonWP, and it's nearly ready for release to the Marketplace. Actually, to say this is a port is not correct as the devs have taken months to work on taking advantage of all of Mango's abilities and really make this a Metro-Twitter app. We've seen it grow from early alpha-release to today and it's been a fun ride.

CarbonWP

We've got our hands on the release candidate (RC1) and take it for a spin. Our thoughts? It's good, damn good. These guys are coming out swinging on v1.0 with a full-featured client that is exceptionally smooth and offers a lot of desired functionality, especially if you have multiple accounts. It's fast, fluid and smart. Will it be for everyone? Nope. Twitter clients are very personal choices, but we like what we see from these guys.

CarbonWP

Peep after the break for the full list of features, watch the video to see it in action and gander at the pics to get an idea if this is something you'll want when released. We think it'll be a hit in the Marketplace. You?

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Yesterday we broke the news of the first Pandora app for Windows Phone called MetroRadio. Built off of the public SDK for Pandora by Justin Angel, developer Mustafa Taleb (see his other apps) has been quickly working to get to this app to the Marketplace. We now have our hands on the XAP file for this sneak peek.

Keep in mind, the app is still in development so this isn't the final version. Overall though, it works as advertised bringing down your radio stations, allowing you to add and rename stations, like/dislike and skip-track. It's a bit vanilla in design, but clearly these are things that can be addressed in later versions. Being a full Mango app, it of course uses the Zune controls and plays in the background.

MetroRadio

Not bad at all for an early attempt and assuming it gets past the Marketplace, it should fill the void many are feeling with no official Pandora application.

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Change your Oil - Mango App Spotlight

Change Your Oil

Change Your Oil is a Windows Phone apps (mango) from the indie developer webdad2 technologies that is a car maintenance reminder/tracker app. It is designed to replace that plastic reminder windshield sticker that is often ignored.

The layout is simple with the main page being your Garage that lists all your vehicles. With each vehicle you can add information such as mileage, tag number, oil and air filter information, oil weight, brand of oil, tire pressure information, and view your maintenance history for that vehicle.

You can edit the settings assigned to your vehicles that will enable toast notifications and your Live Tile to remind you when your next oil change is due. All in all, Change Your Oil is a simple way of keeping track of your routine car maintenance. It ran smoothly and was easy to navigate around.

There is a free trial version available for Change Your Oil that is limited to tracking one vehicle. The full version, that lets you track multiple vehicles, will run you $.99. You can find Change Your Oil here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Ocado releases Windows Phone app

Ocado App

We're slightly late to the party, but Ocado (an online UK supermarket) has indeed released an app for Windows Phone. The advert found below, containing some humorous elements, walks you through not only a lamppost but the app itself. It looks awesome. Blowing the iOS, Blackberry, and Android counterparts out the water in terms of uniqueness and of course Metro UI.

As well as the functionality to shop, add items to your basket and arrange a delivery through checking out, the Ocado On The Go app features the following:

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Should you be a Pandora user, this will be of great interest to you. We're already aware of the team getting cold feet last year when requests were in for a Windows Phone client, possibly due to no background audio. Now that Mango is here, some were hoping for any sign of progress with an app. To lighten things up slightly, we have an unofficial solution surfacing, which is being developed by Janabi Mustafa (see above demo).

Metro Radio will allow users to login with Pandora account credentials and display radio stations on the account with background streaming, album art, and liking options available. The app is set to be released next week, which will provide Windows Phone users with Pandora access.

Thanks Mustafa for the tip!

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Navigon on sale in the Marketplace [Updated]

Navigon US Maps

Navigon is on sale in the Windows Phone Marketplace. For how long we're not sure but the U.S. maps version has dropped from $49.99 to $24.99 and the European version has dropped from $84.00 Euros to $72.99 Euros.

Navigon, a Garmin Company, is a navigation app for your Windows Phone that stores all your maps on your Windows Phone to avoid the need for data. The downside to all this is that the U.S. version requires 1.6GB of storage and the European version takes up 2.3GB of storage.

Navigon on Sale

Navigon is a feature rich navigation app for your Windows Phone (here's our review). If you've been on the fence because of the price, now's your chance to take advantage of an unexpectant Holiday sale. Navigon is a mango app so you'll need to be running Windows Phone 7.5.

You can find Navigon U.S. here and Navigon Europe here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Again, while we're glad to see the drop in price we have no clue as to how long the savings will last.

Thanks goes out to Naruto Fan for the tip!

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Glimpse Screenshots

If you're traveling his Holiday Season (or any other time) and need to share your location with friends and family, give Glympse a try. Glympse is a free app for your Windows Phone that sends a link with your ongoing location to anyone via email or text message.

The link will show your real-time position, your speed (optional so you won't get in trouble with the parents), a brief message, your destination and time of arrival. Glympse will only share your location for a time period that you establish.

Glympse is a mango app that has fast app switching and Live Tile support. The application has pages for your Glympse History and Favorite destinations. We think Glympse will be an easy way to let your family know how far away you are from Grandma's House or help guide out of town friends to your location.

Glympse is a free mango app that you can find here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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IM+ Pro and Surfcube 3D get Black Friday sale prices

Surfcube + IM+ Pro

In case you needed some apps today, especially ones that are on sale, we have two to mention for you.

IM+ Pro, the all inclusive instant messaging app with push notifications and Mango-optimizations, is 50% off from its usual $4.99 to a more reasonable $2.49. The app just hit v1.9 recently, adding more improvements. There is of course a free version of the app with ads, but with the Pro you get a less cluttered, more streamlined look--which is what we personally opt for. Seems like a good deal though, so grab it here in the Marketplace if interested.

Likewise, Surfcube 3D browser, which sets the standard for a great UI while browsing, is also on sale for $0.99. Surfcube 3D is a great tabbed browsing experience that allows you use gestures to "rotate" the screen around for quick access to the address bar, tabs and options. You also get full-screen browsing and some great share features as well. The app recently under went some Mango-upgrades itself and if you surf a lot, you'll want to give this great app a trial run too. Pick that up here in the Marketplace.

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Nokia Lumia 800 diagnostic tools get detailed

Lumia 800 Diagnostic Tools

Now this is pretty exciting (unless you couldn't give two hoots about diagnostic reporting). Nanapho.jp has come across the Nokia Lumia 800 On-Device Diagnostic Tool, which will enable the user to perform tests and receive readouts for the accelerometer, battery, gyroscope (if supported), and more.

What's semi-interesting is the Gyroscope test reports that the Lumia 800 doesn't have support, which we're already aware of, but the tools are still an insight should you be into this kind of access. To access the tools, simply enter "##634#" on the call screen and it'll load up. 

Diagnostic Tool Menu

Source: nanpho.jp (translate)

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The Onion 7 Mango updated

The Onion 7 App

The Onion 7 (see our review) is an unofficial client for the news website that covers news, sports, politics, and more with a humorous twist. The stories, including Russian hackers targeting a water pump in Illinois, are guaranteed to lighten up your mood, or simply make you giggle on the train to yourself. The app has recently been Mango updated (version 2.0) and brings the following to the table:

  • Updated for Mango (fast-app switching, etc.)
  • Correctly shows apostrophe's that used to look garbled
  • Article images post correctly on Facebook in more cases now

It's well worth the download and is an interesting take on news reporting. Should the water pump story not catch you, how about a robot warning you when someone's about to walk in on you pulling Peter?

You can download The Onion 7 from the Marketplace for free (or £1.49 for ad-free version).

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12

Parcel Tracker goes Mango with pinnable tracking

Parcel Tracker v4

Ti's the season to be shopping and for a lot of us, shopping online is the preferred method for our consumer indulgence. That involves shipping and package tracking and what better way to keep abreast of all of that than your phone? Parcel Tracker (see review) has been around for quite some time and is considered to be the best package tracker out there. Now with version 4.0, the app has gone Mango and boy is kewl.

Besides the fact that it loads and scrolls more quickly now and you get fast-app switching, you can now also pin your individual packages right to your Start screen for 1-click access to that package's whereabouts. And it's sharp looking too with the shipper's corporate icon on one side, the package details on the other. We like. A lot.

That's on top of the existing live tile, which shows number of update notifications and push-toast notifications when the package details have been updated. Throw in a barcode scanner and what's not to love about this app?

Parcel Tracker goes for $1.49 in the Marketplace with a free trial and gets our seal of approval.

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GoVoice

It was just over a week ago when we broke the news of GoVoice's impending Mango update. The popular and free Google Voice client is one of the better options out there for those who rely on Google's single phone number convenience as well as free text-messaging ability (it uses data).

GoVoice hadn't been updated in awhile and users feared the project had been abandoned. But with version 3.2 now out, those concerns can be put to rest. We gave an early thumbs up to the changelog in the new version and for the most part, it seems to be working out well. Perfect? Nope, but it gets the job done. Here are the changes:

  • Supports Mango with fast resume and background tile update
  • Smart dial
  • Simplified notification setup with just one click
  • Clickable email, URL, and phone numbers within conversations
  • Direct call using GSM instead of through Google Voice
  • Bug fixes to improve reliability

Let us know in comments how it's working out for you. You can pick up GoVoice v3.2 here in the Marketplace for free. Thanks for the heads up, Amir!

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SuperTube v2.2 fixes recording bug

SuperTube

SuperTube, the powerhouse YouTube application, was updated to support Mango earlier in November, adding a plethora of cool features.  However, even at the time of release, the developers acknowledged that there was a bug related to the recording and uploading feature.  Now, SuperTube has been updated to version 2.2, which fixes said bug. 

In case you missed the news the first time, SuperTube for WP7.5 adds the following features:

  • 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)

The full version of SuperTube will run you a cool $1.29 in the Marketplace, or you can get the free ad-supported version here

Thanks to Fast Code for the heads up!

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Metro Browser

It's been awhile since we've seen a contender for a browser-wrapper on Windows Phone. Here we mean an app that uses Internet Explorer 9 as the base but augments its functions. Metro Browser (no ties to the earlier Metro Browser) is a true full screen web browser with advanced video playback capabilities.:

"Metro Browser has custom made video decoders specifically build for Windows Phone with optimal performance for real-time streaming flash video. Due to the efficient design it is possible to even stream on 3G.

Metro Browser is optimized to handle large video files without the need for any free storage on the device, all streaming happens directly from the memory."

Indeed, as the photo above demonstrates, it is full screen and looks amazing on an HTC Titan. Video sites supported include MegaVideo, VideoZer, VideoBB and of course YouTube. Playback isn't perfect and the browser is a bit limited on version 1.0 but overall, it's a solid entry that we welcome with open arms.

The app fetches for $1.99 with a free trial, which translates into an ad-supported version here in the Marketplace. We think it's pretty cool, but it's crazy late here so we'll save the hands on for the morning Meanwhile, you give us your feedback in comments. Thanks, Binaer Jongleur, for the tip!

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BlackFriday - Mango App Spotlight

Planning on hitting the shopping mall on Black Friday? Need an easy way to track the bargains from your Windows Phone? If so, check out the Windows Phone app BlackFriday.

BlackFriday

BlackFriday is powered by the website BlackFriday.info that pulls all the deals they can find under one roof and sends them to your Windows Phone. The main pages of the app list news items, store listings, categories of shopping and a keyword search page. Once you've found a store or category you are interested in, the app will pull all the sales listings.

Tap on an individual listing and you'll pull up any web listing for that sale item. You also have the ability to map local retailers from BlackFriday and share deals with friends. The app will use your Windows Phone's location services to pull in deals within your area.

In just tinkering with BlackFriday it comes across as a useful app for the shopaholic and a nice utility to find your way to the bargains. There is a free trial version available that will give you a feel for the app but is restricted on how many bargains it will list. The full version will run you $1.99 and you can download it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Facebook app experiencing some errors

Facebook WP App

There appears to be an issue with the Facebook app for Windows Phone, with a number of readers reporting the same problem over on our forums. Should you install the Facebook app from the Marketplace and attempt to login you will be greeted by; "Sorry, there was an error." The app generally experiences problems when alterations are made on Facebook's end. A community moderator at Microsoft Answers has been made aware of the issue, but let's hope the team addresses this soon. In the mean time, the Facebook integration still works flawlessly.

Are you having these issues? Head on over to our forum to join the discussion.

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Official Cracked app is out

The Cracked App

In the wake of the Cracked Reader being pulled from the Marketplace by Cracked.com, readers of Cracked.com should fear not.  An official Cracked app has been released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace to fill the void.

The app layout of Cracked is very similar to the Cracked Reader that was pulled for "infringing on Demand Media's trademark and unlawfully republishing content".  The Cracked app's main pages cover Featured articles, Recent articles, Craptions, Videos, and a page where your favorite Cracked.com articles can be listed. You do have the ability to share articles via Windows Live, Facebook, and Twitter (no email sharing).

All in all the Cracked app does a decent job of pulling all the Cracked.com material to your Windows Phone.  Maybe as well as the previous "unofficial" version did.  The Cracked app is a free application for your Windows Phone and can be downloaded here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It is a mango app so you'll need to be running Windows Phone 7.5 on your Windows Phone.

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Nokia Drive

There is semi-official confirmation from Nokia India on Twitter that least that the Nokia Drive app (that's the full voice navigation program) will be made available for non-Nokia phones--but for an undisclosed price.  Nokia Drive, up till this point, was thought to be an exclusive app for Nokia Windows Phones. But perhaps Nokia is either reconsidering this approach or this was always the plan and we're just hearing of it now.

The info comes by way of a Tweet stating that Drive would be free for Nokia users and paid for non-Lumia phones. This tweet was then reTweeted by Nokia India, which is the usual way of showing agreement on the Twitter.  About an hour later, Nokia India again re-Tweeted a similar message but this time about Nokia Maps--the Bing alternative app used for finding places near your location and some basic directions.

For Drive, we think this makes 100% sense for Nokia. After all, their app was just pirated a few days ago, so what better way to stem piracy than to offer it for a modest price to everyone? Nokia Maps, on the other hand, seems a bit odd to charge for as it seems like something they should give away. However, we have no idea on prices for either, so perhaps they're looking to keep it on the low-end of the pricing scale? Either way, while all of this seems legit, we'd still like to see a little more confirmation that this is indeed the plan for Nokia.

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SlingPlayer Mobile finally goes Mango on Windows Phone

Slingplayer Mobile

It has been a long time since we talked about SlingPlayer (see our review)--mostly because we stopped using our Slingbox years ago and need to get a SOLO or PRO-HD model. But that hasn't stopped the Sling crew from doing updates for the mobile TV player. For those who are unfamiliar, Slingbox is a device that allows you to stream your TV/Cable, DVD or whatever video source to the internets, allowing you watch TV remotely at work, the hospital or wherever you can find a PC. You can also do it from your phone via the SlingPlayer software.

Version 1.7 finally adds Mango support (fast-app switching, a must for media) plus bug fixes (Grey screen issue and Remote latency). Since we don't use this fine piece of software, we can't give our thoughts on it, but we'll look in to fixing that (Translation: we're going to go by a new Slingbox). Pick up Slingplayer for the not-so-cheap price of $29.99 here in the Marketplace.

Thanks, Peter M., for the tip!

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WPCentral app hits v1.7 - hot fix edition!

WP Central

By now you may have received the update notification for the WPCentral app. It has been bumped to v1.7 and you're probably wondering what's new? Unfortunately, no new features as this was a "hot fix" for the recent site changes here.

If you recall, a few days ago we overhauled our content-management system (CMS) which broke a few things in the app. So if you're experienced some app crashes or images not showing, they should now work well in v1.7. The good news is the CMS change has given our trusty developer Jay a greenlight for adding commenting to the app. Yes, we know you want that feature and we don't blame you, but we had to do the boring backend stuff first. Going forward, not only will we avoid those 502 site-errors we had but we can expand and add new functions. Case in point, hover your mouse over the Mobile Nations Super Bar near the top of your browser, then scroll over each OS. Cool, eh

Haven't tried our official app yet? For shame! Grab the trial/free version here in the Marketplace. If you buy it for $0.99, you get no ads and Live Tile support. With nearly 25,000 downloads and consistently one of the top news app in the Marketplace, you can't go wrong.

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Lync Mobile

Lync, the office communication tool from Microsoft, has been a long time in the making in coming to Windows Phone. We did see it recently at Nokia World, meaning its release was close, but now we have some more info. Evidently, Lync Mobile will be coming in the next 4 weeks, which should also be the time for Skype on Windows Phone. What's more, it also looks to be coming for Android, iOS and even BlackBerry.

MS Australia Tweet

The info comes form Gary Holden, a tech enthusiast out of Australia. While that in of itself doesn't qualify for rumor validation, Microsoft Australia re-Tweeted his info, placing a "Confirmed" in front of it, seemingly giving solid credence to the time-frame and multiple platforms. If true, and we believe it is, this is a huge win for Microsoft as Lync can rapidly expand to become the go-to app for inter-office communication.

Thanks, Amir, for the heads up!

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BBC Radio apps receive update

BBC Radio Nov Update

The BBC Radio apps for Windows Phone, by Igneous Software, have received an update that brings more functionality to the table. The apps themselves were recently updated to Mango two months ago so this is a welcomed refresh with taking advantage of more Mango-only features. Some of the included features are as follows:

  • Reminder function for programmes later in the schedule
  • Direct links to the selected BBC programme’s website
  • Better checks for playback over GSM if the option to block is set
  • Ability to pin the current station to the Start screen (BBC Radio Player only)
  • Addition of 16 new World Service channels including Arabic, Russian and French (BBC Radio Player only)

You can download BBC Radio from the Marketplace for £0.99 ($1.29). Remember that there are four individual apps for each radio station, these are all included in the main app should you wish to listen to more than one station.

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