Apps

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Zendesk help desk software launches WP7 app

Zendesk for WP7 now available

Cloud-based help desk provider Zendesk has released a version of their mobile app for WP7, complete with live tiles and Mango support.  Zendesk is a service that allows companies to host, log and track support tickets, be it for IT, customer service, or internal business.  With the mobile app, support representatives easily view and modify their tickets, as well as respond to them.  Simply download the app and log in to your account.  The full feature list is as follows:

  • Access all your support ticket views
  • View and update comments, CCs, tags, and ticket fields
  • Apply predefined responses, or macros, to tickets with frequently asked questions
  • View all support ticket events and notifications
  • Pin ticket views and specific tickets to the start screen as Live Tiles for easy access
  • Easily bookmark a ticket for future reference
  • Search support tickets
  • Upload and view attachments on tickets
  • Take a photo and attach it to a ticket

If you use Zendesk already you can get the mobile app for free here.  Not a user yet?  Sign up for a 30-day trial.

QR: Zendesk

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pandora

Do you use MetroRadio and/or RadioControlled for your Pandora interaction on Windows Phone? Then you may (or may not) have noticed that those apps have stopped working...again.

Reason? Simple, really. These apps use undocumented APIs to access the Pandora service. Pandora, for whatever reason, changes them on occasion breaking app functionality. Are they doing it on purpose to disrupt these apps? Who knows, maybe or maybe not. What we do know is that it means you'll have to wait till both developers update their apps to fix it and from what we've heard, both devs are hard at work on fixing it.

Until then, MetroRadio is "hidden" from the Marketplace and RadioControlled has submitted their fix (and "future proofed" it against this type of situation occurs again).  Stay tuned though, we'll give you a tour of the new working Radio Controlled soon enough.

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First look: ESPN and CNN apps on the Lumia 900

Today, Nokia announced not only the Lumia 900 but also some exclusive apps. While Nokia Drive is well known, the ESPN and CNN apps are much more new and less detailed in media coverage.

ESPN app

Perhaps not surprisingly, both apps are quite nice. Well designed, Metro-influenced and delivering what looks to be considerable content, the apps look to increase the value of the phone. And while we don't think an "exclusive" ESPN and CNN app suite will convert many folks, as news junkies ourselves, we're more than happy to have it on board. Furthermore, the CNN iReport feature (being able to natively use the phone to submit reports) is certainly a novel idea.

Anyways, enjoy this quick look at these two new apps.

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Windows Phone App Review: Pano

Pano for Windows Phone

Second generation HTC Windows Phone (Titan and Radar) owners have a panoramic setting in their camera app to let them stitch together three images to create a wide, panoramic image. But what about other Window Phone models? Enter the Windows Phone app Pano.

Pano was recently released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that will allow you to stitch together up to sixteen images to create a massively huge panorama.  Pano has had a decent amount of success over on the iPhone and based on what we've seen, should be just as successful with Windows Phone users as well.

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BBC News Mobile v2.9

Nothing like a few solid updates for some of our favorite apps on Windows Phone. First up is BBC News Mobile. We mentioned a few weeks ago they had a new beta version in the works and now that update has gone live. Changes include mostly how the app looks and speed:

  • Background Cache Service
  • Better Live Tiles
  • Faster Loading
  • Reworked GUI
  • Picture quality improvement

Definitely some nice improvements though some bugs did get into v2.9 so expect a fix-update soon to address those. You can read about those issues here. Pick up BBC News Mobile v2.9 here in the Marketplace for free.

WeatherLive

WeatherLive has also been bumped to 3.5 with a big change to UI and information layout. It still has all the same information, including hourly, trends, moon phases, radar, maps and web cams, but you may have missed them in earlier versions due to being buried within the menu system.

Now, you can just swipe left-right and go to each section individually, resulting in a much more fluid interface. It is certainly more Metro with this panoramic view though it does veer a little from some Metro standards (font size). Still, we like the change. Grab WeatherLive here for $1.49 or free trial.

QR codes for both after the jump...

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Ask Ziggy update now live on the Marketplace

Ask Ziggy

We recently covered a neat little Windows Phone app that rivals Apple's Siri. Ask Ziggy is a completely free (ad-free too) speech recognition app, which goes one step further than Windows Phone itself. Mathematical questions, commands (posting to Twitter, Facebook, calling a contact, etc.), general questions are just a few tasks that can be completed. While the app was already available (and has been since mid-December) a recent update has been pushed through that brings a few fixes an a UI refresh.

There are a number of features that the developer has planned for the future, including expanded speech grammar, multi-language support and language translations. Should you be continuously finding yourself having to watch a Siri demonstration, now you can fight back with this little beauty. You can download Ask Ziggy from the Marketplace for free. Be sure to keep an eye on the official website for more information.

QR: Ask Ziggy

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With the rise and fast fall of MetroTube in the Marketplace, SuperTube for many was and still is the best alternative. For those of you set on MetroTube though, you'll want to take a gander at the new overhauled SuperTube app called YouTube Pro, which is currently in beta. We'll be curious if that app name sticks but regardless, we're more interested in the way it looks and performs.

YouTube Pro

We've been using Beta 2 for a few days now and are quite pleased. Live Tiles for your subscriptions, push notifications, background downloading, video uploading, low quality (LQ)/high quality (HQ) and high definition (HD) playback--this app has it all.

No word on release or pricing but we don't think it'll be too much longer. So fret not, YouTube lovers, you have another alternative.

For now, you can try the current version of SuperTube which will run you a cool $1.29 in the Marketplace, or you can get the free ad-supported version here

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MetroRadio

We're not here to choose which is the best 3rd party Pandora app, we're just here to tell what's new and what's coming.

MetroRadio v3.2 - MetroRadio has been pushing out many updates lately and 3.2 brings some nice changes. First off is the new feature called MetroMP3, a built in search engine that allows you to look for individual songs and stream 'em. It basically augments the Pandora funciton and is useful if you want to listen to a specific tune at the moment.

The Live Tiles also now update with each song and you can pin "Now Playing" to your start screen for quick and easy access, that's in addition to fixes for all known bugs. You can grab v3.2 now in the Marketplace for free here.

Radio Controlled

Radio Controlled v1.1 - The second Pandora app in the Marketplace, Radio Controlled continues to be refined and v1.1 goes a long way to making this app even better. We detailed this version a few days ago and it's not live. It includes new features including enable/disable auto play, artist song info in volume controls, Music Hub integration, History (view, rate, buy song), Stop command and bug and playback stability fixes. In other words, a pretty huge update.

What's more, we're playing with v1.2 right now and it has one massive new feature besides some UI changes: Last.FM support. Yup, with the next update you'll be able to login to your Last.FM account and do some 'scrobbling' on the go all within this app. Look for that in the coming weeks. You can pick up Radio Controlled v1.1 here in the Marketplace for free.

QR codes after the break...

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GasUp

Though there is an official GasBuddy app in the Marketplace it lacks quite a lot of features. In that sense, we're always glad to see 3rd parties step up and fill the void.

Gas Up Free is now available for you to get started on finding the lowest gas prices around you. The app is laid out quiet nicely and features individual gas stations that are pinnable to your Start screen. That's pretty cool if you have a favorite station and want to keep tabs on the price. The app will update once a day and you have as many tiles as you want (one for home, one for work, one for near the mistress). Other features include:

  • search with current location
  • create your own searches
  • create favorites
  • sorting option
  • show route
  • report prices
  • visual decision support

Not bad. Our only complaints are you cannot switch between km and miles and the search radius is not selecting, meaning you're stuck with the default. Other than those minor things though, it's a pretty solid app and the Live Tiles make it an easy sell. You can of course login to your GasBuddy account through this too, making the official app less than necessary.

You can pick up Gas Up Free here in the Marketplace (ad supported) or opt for the ad-free experience, which will set you back $1.99 .

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Video Diary hits v2.0 and gets Skydrive support

Video Diary 2

We showed you Video Diary by Lance McCarthy sometime ago. The app acts as a way to record regular video diaries, keeping them separated from the camera's video roll  and also has reminders to keep you on schedule. The app hit the Marketplace a few days ago but had an error in it resulting from the Marketplace submission. It also lacked Skydrive support, something the developer said he was actively working on .

Now version 2.0 is here with that Skydrive support and works just great. You log in, it creates a Video Diary folder and away you go. Other fixes to v2.0 include:

  • Numerous tweaks and polishing to the UI
  • Data connection testing enhanced
  • Certification capability issue solved

Overall a nice update and a great feature set for a free app. The Skydrive support should also make a lot of you happy, seeing as we get so much free storage there. Pick up Video Diary here in the Marketplace.

QR: Video Diary 2

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Fake Spotify app removed from Marketplace

Fake?

Although on occasion certain apps may get by on the Marketplace, it seems once we get wind of it Microsoft acts swiftly. Such is the case with "spotify" a $0.99 app that reportedly looked like the official Spotify app.

It was unclear at the time of what the developer's motivation was here though it certainly looked suspicious. Now, Microsoft has reacted by removing the trademark-infringing app from the Marketplace. It does not appear that any action has been taken against the developer as his other apps, Stock Today and AllSportz which are legitimate and free are still available.

At least new customers won't be caught off guard by the Doppelganger anymore and hopefully this will a rare happening in our Marketplace.

Thanks, Den, for the heads up!

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Ffffound update lands in the Marketplace

Ffffound updated

Ffffound was our first WPCentral App request, where we saw a need for an app and reached out to developers to make one. Ffffound is a client app for the website of the same name that is essentially a photo sharing site. Ffffound, the website, allows users to post and share their favorite images found on the web and also dynamically recommends inspirational images based on users tastes and interests.

Ffffound

Ffffound, the Windows Phone application, pulls all the image joy from Ffffound (the website) to your Windows Phone. Key features include:

  • Images can be save to your phone for wallpaper use
  • Share images via SMS, email, Twitter and Facebook
  • Images can be tagged as favorite for easy access
  • Live Tile support is present to view random images on your Start Screen.

Ffffound's (the app) update takes the app to version 1.2 and includes several fixes to saving images and Live Tile performance. The update also addresses speed issues and adds the option to load images sequentially.

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Office File Uploader

XDA forum member Thunder_ has created an app called Office File Uploader that allows you to move MS Office files directly from your PC to your phone's Office Hub.  Using it is easy. Simply extract the ZIP file from the source link below, connect your phone to your PC and double-click the bookloader.exe file.  Once connected, go to the Office tab and choose what file you want to add to your device by clicking on the upload arrow icon at the bottom.  Make sure your phone is not screen-locked.

Thunder_ discovered that Office File Uploader will also port PDFs over to the Office Hub, which displays them with the red PDF icon that launches Adobe Reader.  However, because the Adobe Reader app does not have access to the My Documents folder on the phone it fails to open them.

Source: XDA; Via: Plaffo

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Though we love our Windows Phone, there are certain areas that need work. Certain areas that we know Microsoft will fix, given enough time and feedback, of course.  Such is this scenario: You do a Bing search for a local business, restaurant, etc. Upon glancing over the results, you decide you would like to save this company's information to your People Hub which is when you realize you can't do it.

As it turns out, if you want to save a Bing search result to your People Hub, you'll have to do it the old fashion way: by hand. Very frustrating, to say the least.

BizSaver will save the day!

Now, a new app landing next week in the Marketplace promises to fix that problem. The app is called BizSaver and is made by BC3 Technologies and we got an early look at the app which you can see in the above video. In short, once you install this app you really don't run it anymore. It simply adds itself to the related-apps under your search results, allowing you to directly save the contact's information to your People Hub with a couple of taps.

It's easy, elegant and just works. The best part? As usual it will be completely free with one-nary ad. Look for the app next week in the Marketplace and we'll of course let you know when it is available.

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We like art, photography and images just like a lot of you. And sometimes we just want to find a photo on the internet. So we're pleased to present two great apps that we figure you'll want to know about:

Das Image

Das Image - This app has been out for awhile already and it's garnered  4.5 stars out of nearly 500 reviews. There's a reason for that: the app is buttery smooth, has a gorgeous layout, allows you to save images and search to your heart's content. The app is very Bing-centered but also brings down Flickr, 500PX and other sites with just a tap. In addition it has predefined categories to help you get your browse-on.

The best part? This app is completely free and has zero ads. So why is it not on your phone already? Go get it here in the Marketplace.

Designspire

Designspire - This app is also not new but it did just go to v2.0 with Mango features.  More importantly, it was completely re-written giving this app a much needed fresh start. This app is great for graphic designers our there, those who love imagery, art or just like to look at cool stuff. The app is very Metro, based on the Start screen design and features an intuitive and unique layout.

The app pulls images and articles from some of the top sites out there including Adaptive Path, Core 77, Cool Hunting , Colour Lovers, Design Critique, Frog Design’s blog, Design Shack, Dexigner, Design Observer, FFFFound, Ideo, IXDA and more. All of those sources are also pinnable which is a nice touch. Designspire goes for a modest $1.29 with a free trial and we're more than pleased with it. You can pick it up here in the Marketplace.

Overall, two outstanding apps in the Marketplace that will sure to keep your eyes and senses busy. QR codes after the break...

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Six Apps to help with your New Year's Resolution

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions. Everyone makes them but not everyone keeps them.

Sometimes it just takes a little help to keep your Resolution and your Windows Phone might do the trick with the right app. The most popular Resolutions likely deal with diet, fitness, financial management, better time management, stopping bad habits (drinking, smoking, betting on the horses, etc), and travel. We have compiled a list of six apps that we think will help you keep your New Year's Resolution or in the least, give you a fighting chance at success.

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Klout

We showed you last week a 3rd party Klout app for Windows Phone that would make an excellent official version, in our opinion. That app is now available for free in the Marketplace for download.

Klout (see site), as you may or may not know, is a new service that estimates your level of influence on others via social networks e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. Depending on how many people follow you, re-Tweet what you say or who you interact with influences your score. In turn, having a high score can open the door to "perks" which are basically methods of promotion. One of those perks we saw late last year was giving away 500 Windows Phones, so sometimes it is worth it.

The 3rd party Klout app by Julien Dollon though is an excellent program for the service and Windows Phone in general. Pick it up here in the Marketplace. Thanks, @N4vX, for the tip!

QR: Klout App

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If there was an over-hyped technology in late 2011 it was perhaps Apple's Siritheir voice recognition/information application for the iPhone 4s. Now we'll admit that Siri is quite a strong piece of tech one that we wish Windows Phone had built-in in addition to our Bing Voice service, but the marketing machine behind Siri was a tad overwhelming. Then again, there's no denying facts: Bing Voice while pragmatic for certain tasks is still behind Apple's Siri in some ways.

However, developer Shai Leib has given us Windows Phone users an option: Ask Ziggy. The new app is a free, ad-free and as far as we can tell, completely unique. We spoke with Leib about his project and how it works:

"Ask Ziggy uses Speech Recognition to translate human speech into transcribed text, which is displayed in a speech bubble. The transcribed text is analyzed for patterns to detect commands or general queries. Commands are interpreted and routed to routine phone tasks such as emailing, texting, calling, social network updates, and getting directions.

When a general question is asked, a mixture of mash up technologies and web scraping is employed to search the web for relevant responses. Pattern matching is used to summarize a direct answer from a web page. Several passes may be required to find a concise answer. A direct answer is then spoken out loud, and displayed in a speech bubble. When a direct answer cannot be summarized the user is prompted by speech to click on their search bubble to see web search results based on their spoken query."

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6

Beware fake Spotify app in Marketplace

Beware the fake Spotify app

On December 20, a fake Spotify app surfaced in the Marketplace.  It is published by a user called khanamish and is selling for $.99, as opposed the official Spotify, which can be downloaded for free.  Other signs to look for to differentiate between the two are that the real Spotify is listed with a capital "S" in the title and uses the Spotify logo, whereas the fake one's icon actually has the word "Spotify" as its icon.  The fake also only has two reviews, one of which flat out calls it a scam.  We're not exactly ready to do that ourselves, but we will question the developer's motives and tell you to steer clear of it.  At the very least, why pay when you can the official app at no cost?

Khanamish has two other apps in the Marketplace, Stock Today and AllSportz.  Both have the same look as the Spotify rip-off, but both are free, so maybe they are legit.  We're not looking to make trouble for any devs, but khanamish's Spotify app is dubious and warrants being called out.  If anyone out there has used this or any other app by this developer, we'd certainly like to get your feedback.

Thanks to Den for alerting us to this!

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MetroRadio v3.1

We like the little competition between MetroRadio and Radio Controlled for best 3rd party Pandora app and while the latter still has more features, MetroRadio's v3.1 update is looking quite nice.

As you can see above, the player itself now features the album art as a background which works weill with the minimalist layout and design of the app. The program's icon also got a refresh and looks a lot sharper now. Other changes include:

  • Added Live Tile for the main app, and for each individual pinned station.
  • Cleaned the player Interface.
  • Better Station-Adding experience.
  • Adding Coming Up for next songs in the player.

Nice changes for sure and it should make fans of this app quite happy. Can't wait to see what else is coming. Pick up MetroRadio for free in the Marketplace here.

QR: MetroRadio

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Reddit app Baconit now available internationally

“The Narwhal Bacons at Midnight”

The other week we mentioned the new app Baconit from Quinn Damerell as being one of the first Mango-enabled Reddit.com apps for Windows Phone. Not only that, it's quite slick with a Metro UI and a ton of options for an initial-release.

One snafu at the time though was the app was only available in the US. This however wasn't intentional on the dev's part but was instead a hiccup in the Marketplace which has now been rectified. So if you were looking to try it out, you'll want to head back to the Marketplace to give it another go. Did we mention the app was completely free with no-ads and a Live Tile? Pretty great stuff if you're a Redditor like ourselves.

Version 1.4 should be entering beta real soon as well. That version will fix a couple of issues in v1.3 as well as bring new features. Grab the current release here in the Marketplace or click-n-zoom the QR code below to get your Reddit-on.

QR: Baconit

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Supreme Shortcuts

We covered Supreme Shortcuts before, the homebrew app over at XDA by MJCS that allows you to add shortcuts to virtually anything on your Windows Phone. Unlike similar apps in the Marketplace, Supreme Shortcuts go waaay beyond what those offer by giving access to deeper level settings. How many shortcuts can you create? As of version 2.0 you can pin 71 settings/menus/apps. That's why it's supreme and now version 2.0 is out and looks even better:

Supreme Shortcuts 2.0

  • Major UI overhaul
  • Ability to select: Accent Color (both stock and custom), Library of stock Icons, Library of your own Icons, Library of stock Backgrounds, Library of customized Backgrounds

Sure, you probably won't even use a 1/4 of these but being able to have a shortcut to Internet Sharing for us is enough to sideload this free app (though donations are encouraged). If Supreme Shortcuts sounds like something you want, head to the source link below for more info, including a list of all the shortcuts.

Source: XDA Forums

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5

WPCentral Holiday Gift Guide: Apps and Games

WP Central

Happy Holidays everyone! With some of our readers finding a new Windows Phone under the tree or getting their Windows Phone Marketplace gift card in the mail, we thought it was a good time to throw out some app suggestions. We've polled our staff and have come up with a few games and apps that we think every Windows Phone should have. Or in the least, we highly recommend you give them a try.

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moTweets gets ready for v3.0 and we get an early look

moTweets

While Mehdoh is dying and Tweet it! is not for everyone, the old standby moTweets by Panoramic Software is getting a nice update very soon. Yes, version 3.0 is being prepared for submission to the Marketplace and we have the changelog for you.:

  • New: Background agent checks and updates the new Mango Live Tile
  • New: Ability to add the Post screen to the Live Tile for quick posting
  • New: Links now open in Pocket Internet Explorer
  • New: Reply auto selects the account you are reading from
  • New: Completely redesigned social engine, using https and much quicker response time
  • Proper translation of t.co twitter links.
  • Custom handling for Japanese font
  • Link, Picture, and Timeline fixes for Twitter, Facebook, and RSS feeds
  • Fixed ImageWall
  • Better handling for Retweet, Spam
  • Fixed Trends and Local Trends

On top of that, a second update will closely follow bringing the highly sought after Toast Notifications. Panoramic is also exploring adding GooglePlus and LinkedIn support, though they're not certain on the timing of those features just yet.

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