Apps

One thing that Windows Phones currently lack is a common API for accessing the compass feature, even though all phones require the hardware. As it turns out, some phones have easier access than others. My LG Quantum has the augmented reality app 'ScanSearch' which has a compass in it and evidently the Samsung Focus has driver support for a compass too.

Dave Amenta, responsible for Send to WP7 (Desktop) and Accent Changer has come through again with a compass app, albeit rudimentary, that totally works on the Samsung Focus (and presumably the Omnia 7). As of now, no support for HTC, LG or Dell, but that's probably just a matter of time anyways. We'll keep you posted.

As before, you'll need a developer unlocked device. Source code is available for developers too.

Read more here and thanks Dave for the heads up!

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6

The Daily Show official app for WP7 video tour

Fetching for $1.99 with no trial, the official Daily Show app could be some awesome companion program for what is a great show. Or it could be kind of a rip off, too much money for what is basically beta software

Guess which camp the TDS app falls into? So watch the video, save yourself the $1.99 and let us do the testing for you.

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Hooray! One of our favorite "brain games" has made a triumphant return to Windows Phone 7: Brain Evolution 2 by SPB software. SPB said Windows Phone 7 was an option just a few weeks ago. Guess they weren't kiddin'.

It just went live in the Marketplace and fetches for $4.99, which is on the high end for a non-Xbox LIVE game these days. Still, we've always really liked this game so we're gonna give it a thorough trial.

You can grab it here in the Marketplace. Oh and SPB, nice to see your back and can we have Quads next?

Thanks, @paulwillen, for the tip!

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Truecaller - Review

Need to look up a phone number that's appeared on your Windows Phone caller ID? Truecaller is a Windows Phone 7 app that will let you not only search by keyword but also by phone numbers.

Results are returned listing the name and address (if available), a link to show the location on TrueCaller's map, a link to search the result through Bing, as well as the ability to call the number or add it to a spam listing. While I like the ability to add a number to a spam list, there doesn't appear to be any way to manage such a list.

TrueCaller also gives you access to International numbers.  Just tap the Choose Country at the bottom of the main page and select the Country you would like to search.  For the most part, TrueCaller ran smoothly but from time to time, the app crashed while conducting the search.  It's not enough to drive you crazy and hopefully the next update will fix things.

There isn't a trial version available for TrueCaller but the full version is only $.99. If you need to search phone numbers, TrueCaller is worth a look at.

You can find the Windows Phone 7 app here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace and follow the break to see a video of TrueCaller in action.

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Kill the Duck - Review

Kill the Duck has been in the Top Ten list of Windows Phone 7 downloads for some time now. It's a free game for your Windows Phone with a simple gaming objective; shoot down as many ducks as you can without taking out any doves.

There is a little more to this hunting game. Each level is timed and you have scoring objectives to meet in order to advance to the next level.

Graphics have a classic gaming appearance and to take out a duck, simply tap the screen on the duck. For effect, cross-hairs appear on the screen. The doves are sneaky in that they often fly across the screen in between ducks making the shots more challenging.

The game ran smoothly with no glitches, bugs, or crashes experienced.  There is an addictive quality to the game and after playing if for a while, I'm not surprised Kill the Duck has stayed in the Top Ten Downloads for so long. 

You can find your free copy of Kill the Duck here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace and just past the break you can see a video of the gaming app in action.

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Liquor Run is a surprisingly neat little app, ported from the iPhone and Android, with a specific purpose: find liquor stores anywhere around you. The thing is, it does it well in a very fast and slick little package. By simply using your location, typing in address or zip code, the app shows all the known liquor stores in your immediate area. On top of that, it gives you turn by turn directions, maps, ability to call and local liquor laws for selling (hours, days, etc.).

Extended features include over 1000 drink recipes separated by category and a list of beers by alcohol content and calories. Did we mention it was free too?  Check out the vid above and if you think you'll want it, grab it here in the Marketplace.

Bonus trivia fact: In Massachusetts, Georgia and Connecticut (where I'm from), liquor stores are called package stores and we go on "packy runs". No joke.

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We already demonstrated that you can change the accent color or theme on HTC (but complicated) and Samsung phones, but now Dave Amenta has also added LG and HTC support to his simple app Accent Changer..

It's the same deal as before, you need to have a developer unlocked phone to sideload the XAP file, but once you do so you  can simply drag your finger to manipulate the color gradient. Heck, you can even restore the original value with a touch of a button.

And now that LG and HTC devices can join in, the circle is complete (Oh right, no Dell, sorry). Read more and grab the XAP here.

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Whoa, where did this come from? Even though the Daily Show is openly pro-iPhone, looks like they are showing some Windows Phone 7 love as MTV Networks (Viacom) just released an official app for the show.

From the description:

"Get the Quote of the Day and video clip for the most recent episodes. Share them on Facebook and Twitter. Search the entire archive of videos by category or topic. Drag topics together to narrow results to an interesting combination."

That's the good news. The bad news is it costs $1.99 and there's no trial available. Oh Viacom, you greedy devil you. And you just know you won't be able to watch the whole episode. Torn between our love of Jon and dislike of corporate media giant.

Grab it now, right here.


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Zombie Defense - Review

While Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst (see full review) has mutant freaks, Zombie Defense from Rush Forward has plain old zombies. The Windows Phone 7 game has you defending your neighborhood from a parade of the living dead.

The multi-level tower defense game offers ten types of zombies to defend against and three different tower weapons. Zombie Defense is an entertaining game for the Windows Phone but to see if it's worth the $.99 price tag, you'll have to follow the break.

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Wordish - Review

Like word games? Wordish is available for Windows Phone 7 that is a blend between scrabble and solitaire. It's an entertaining app for your Windows Phone that has you finding four words from stacks of letters.

Each letter is assigned a point value and the game ends when no more words can be created. No Springs Studios, the developer, has put together a nice package with Wordish and to find out more, hop on past the break.

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Apict - Review

Nostalgic over Polaroid styled pictures? If so, Olivier Payen has developed Apict for your Windows Phone that gives ordinary pictures that instant camera effect.

Apict can be applied to new photos, saved photos, and is accessible from your Windows Phone camera app through the "Extras" menu.

To read more on this $.99 Windows Phone 7 application, click on past the break.

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Panoramic, who just released the stellar BlackJack for WP7, is aiming to have their flagship app moTweets ready by February.

While Seesmic received a nice update, the official Twitter client still at 1.0 and Beezz doing alright, we're pretty excited about having ol' moTweets around again. Considered one of the top Windows Mobile Twitter apps (save Twikini, RIP), moTweets should be a pretty stellar app from this experienced company.

Fingers crossed.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, A--, for the tip!

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We were just envying LG's amazing Voice to Text app, wishing it were on other Windows Phones and evidently others at XDA thought the same. Difference being they went ahead and they allegedly patched the XAP file so as to make it work on any unlocked Windows Phone.  (Similar case with Samsung's apps).

To see if it works we tried it ourselves and sure enough, it does what it was meant to do. Most of you won't have a developer unlocked device to do this and the ChevronWP7 loop hole will be patched soon, plus there's the whole thing that this is technically stealing LG's software and one of their device selling points (though everyone seems okay with loading WP7 on their HD2s, with no concern there--double standard we guess). So you know, we don't recommend you do this, even if you could, which you probably can't.

Source: XDA

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Although LG may be feeling some blues over the response to Windows Phone 7, one area they nailed was their awesome Voice to Text app.

We're sure Microsoft and their Tell-Me system will add this feature to all Windows Phone in the future, but for now, LG has it all to their own. That's because they're using Nuance Dragon Diction to do the actual speech translation and it works quite well.

Supporting Twitter, SMS, email and memos, the LG-only app is a shining jewel for their Quantum (see review) and Optimus 7 phones and something to consider when buying your device.

Bonus Tip: saying "period", "exclamation point" or "question mark" will do punctuation for you. So cool.

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Leave your mark on MP3s with AudioBookMark

One thing that seems to be missing from all of the audiobook apps in the Marketplace is the ability to easily bookmark your spot in an MP3 and return to it. 

XDA member, dbroome, has developed AudioBookMark, which as the name implies, does just that.  AudioBookMark not only remembers which MP3 file you are listening to, but where in that file as well.  And in case you are someone who likes to skip from title to title, you can select from a list of your books and dive right in where you left off on each.  You can use the built-in transport keys to speed to a certain point of an MP3, or manually enter HH:MM:SS to jump directly to the juiciest parts.

You can download it here for $.99.

Source: XDA

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WHS solution already available in Marketplace

Branching off our previous look at Windows Home Server (codenamed “Vail”) coming to the Windows Phone platform, there has been an app already available in the Marketplace for some time that can accomplish a streaming ready connection between your home server and your mobile phone. So, what does this handy little tool have to offer?

Apart from the obvious feature of streaming music and media, WHS Phone brings with it server health and disk space of mounted drives clearly displayed, a list of connected clients on the network, with the addition of being able to browse through local shares, managing users and resources is also present. A welcomed ability to upload photos directly from your phone will interest those who love to capture every moment.

Though not an official release from Microsoft, this is a fantastic effort to bring functionality, which (in the eyes of some) should have already been officially included. It also makes the wait for an official app more bearable. Have you already got this app installed and running? If so, what's your experience with your home server?

via: WMPU

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5

Seesmic v1.3 is out now and it is gloriously fast

Just a few hours ago we're reporting on those new features in Seesmic v1.3 and now it's live in the Marketplace.

Although we gave some flack to the Twitter Racoon for no push updates, we'll applaud their team for this: Seesmic v1.3 is hands down the fastest Twitter app now on Windows Phone 7. It is very zippy and we even had our own 'Neo' moment with an audible "whoa" when launching it. (Too geeky?)

Besides the very impressive speed updates and unmentioned bug fixes, not much else has changed, including no landscape support, no conversation view (gah!). It also still doesn't run under the lock screen, so you get that 'resume' thing happening (double gah!). Oh, but there is that new Tile art above.

But hey Seesmic, you have a solid base going right now for your WP7 Twitter app--let's get some landscape support, run-under-lockscreen and push notifications going and you'll own this race. Twitterers: grab the update now.

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One of the top games in the Marketplace is Crackdown2: Project Sunburst (see review). Although kind of gimmicky, it's can still be quite fun for many, even addictive.

Nice to know then an update is coming up "shortly" for the title. No word on what the improvements are, but we can imagine general bug fixes and hopefully some performance enhancements as well. Also, those GUI controls could use some refinement.

Keep an eye out or follow us on Twitter @wpcentral for when it goes live.

Update: It's up. Seems to load faster, not much else is known yet. Find something, lets us know in comments.

Source: @KarlStricker

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Seesmic was one of the top Twitter apps in the Marketplace for Windows Phone 7, until a little app called Beezz showed up. Still, many prefer Seesmic's UI and general behavior but the company has been pretty quiet on any updates as of late.

The current version is 1.2 and we imagine what their blog is referring to is a yet-unpublished v1.3. If that's the case, here are the folloiwng improvements we can expect:

  • Timelines are now cached for increased loading speed
  • Speed and scrolling improvements, everywhere in the app
  • Display of private and verified Twitter accounts
  • Added animations and transitions
  • Bug fixes

Speed is good. Still, while Seesmic does support multiple Twitter accounts, something currently Beezz is lacking, the missing ability of push notifications is still quite significant. C'mon Seesmic, it's been a few months already--we'll all pay the $0.99 for the push-privilege, it's no biggy.

Source: Seesmic Blog

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Putt in Golf - Review

7.1.M is offering a really nice looking putt-putt golf game for your Windows Phone. Putt in Golf is an 18 hole, miniature golf game for the Windows Phone 7 platform.

While not an XBox Live game, Putt in Golf will allow you to upload your scores to an online leader board to see how well you've done against other duffers.

Read more about Putt in Golf after the break.

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Reach Central - Review

The Halo series of Xbox games have been without question, hugely popular. Reach Central is a Windows Phone companion app that will allow you to keep tabs on your Halo Reach progression.  If you're a big Halo Reach gamer, this Windows Phone 7 app will let you brag about your accomplishments and progress in a graphically pleasing manner.

Reach Central lays things out nicely on a four page hub detailing your progress in the game. Just enter your Xbox Live Gamertag and Reach Central will pull the Halo Reach stats from your account.

Follow the break to read more on Reach Central.

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Sure, we hit 6,000 apps tonight in the Marketplace, but what's a Tues/Wed day without some Xbox LIVE goodness? Tonight, two pretty solid titles have hit the streets: Zombies!!! by MGS and Brian Challenge HD, another welcomed Gameloft production.

Brain Games HD is one of them there "smart apps" that are suppose to be entertaining as well as exercising your noggin'. It features 43 mini-games and should provide quite a few hours of frustrating and yet rewarding game play. But, will you force yourself to do it every day? That's the question. Personally, we always dug these games, when done right. We're not yet sure with this, plus the "HD" thing...well, it's getting old.

Zombies!!! is a deep, meta-exploration into the meaning of nothingness, based on the writings of famed philosopher Nietzsche. Nah, just kiddin', it's a game where you have to kill what is already dead, like a million times over. Oh and it's got killer lookin' graphics. Check here for our earlier coverage plus video.

Both titles fetch for $4.99, which is on the high-end these days, and can be found here (Zombies) and here (Brain...) in the Marketplace.

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"Remote" lets you control iTunes using WP7

On the off chance you are a WP7 user who loves iTunes, you can now have your cake and eat it too...kinda.  "Remote," an aptly-named new app by Komodex Systems, let's you browse your computer's iTunes Library and let's you play, pause and control the volume via WiFi.  You can also use your phone's keyboard to search for albums and artists. 

"Remote" recently popped up in the Marketplace for $1.99 and requires WiFi and the installation of a desktop client on the computer you want to control.  It works with both Macs and PCs. Of course we have to wonder what kind of commie you would be to run iTunes over Zune, but hey...we're accepting around here. Kinda.

Source: Zat's Not Funny; via: Engadget

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ArkWords is  a great little app by Arktronic that features not only a great dictionary and thesaurus but an impressive, multi-language translator. In addition, it has a swanky Live Tile that updates every morning with the WOT (word of the day).

The app is superbly built with a very minimalist and fluid UI. Plus it's free, so there's little reason to not give it a shot. And now that the Live Tile has been fixed in v1.1, all seems right with the app and gets our strong recommendation.

Grab it here in the Marketplace and go here for the developer's blog.

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For those of us who like to sideload Homebrew apps on our Windows Phone, the process can be a little tedious e.g. your phone re-locks often, having to run the Zune software, etc.

The latter piece though can be avoided, that is you don't have to run the Zune Desktop just to sideload a XAP file or even unlock your device (using ChevronWP7). XDA member xbodmod has described a way to just run the "connect" part without Zune, making the process much more streamlined. The process is fairly simple:

  • Disable Zune auto-start (Zune --> Settings --> Software--> General --> "Start the Zune software..."
  • Create a shortcut to desktop from C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Phone\v7.0\Tools\WPConnect\WPConnect.exe
  • Plug in phone

That's it. Just running WPConnect.exe and allowing it load for a second does the job and now you can run Tom's XAP installer, ChevronWP7, etc. We like simplicity around here.

Update: @adamUCF lets us know that Microsoft themselves have described this exact method, so credit to them first.

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