Apps

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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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1

Skandia Bank releases Windows Phone app

Skandia Bank App

Skandia, a Swedish bank, has released a Windows Phone app which blows the recently highlighted Barclays secure pass generator out the water. Skandia's offering allows customers to perform common account operations and manipulate account settings, including the following:

  • Account overview and bank statements
  • Transfers
  • Brief overview of all connected cards
  • Region lock to set up a card when travelling broad
  • Spending limit 

An interesting feature is the ability to set the spending limit. The user can change the overall spending limit, set a spending limit for internet purchases, or completely block the card for purchases on the Internet altogether.

You can download Skandia bank & försäkring from the Marketplace for free.

Source: Wingadget.se

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Sneak peek - MetroTube by Lazyworm Apps [Video]

It's close folks. MetroTube aka the former app that used to be know as LazyTube is in the final stages of approval in the Marketplace, which means in days or even hours, the app can be yours. MetroTube is a complete rethinking of a YouTube app where the UI has be redesigned all around the Metro UI framework. We like that. You like that.  So lets watch the video and get ready for some greatness.

MetroTube

From our earlier write up on the app's new features:

"We have a revamped UI and pinnable tile support. Users will be able to pin videos and categories (playlists, favourites, subscriptions, etc.) to the home screen for easy access. The most interesting item to pin is an individual author where the thumbnail of the latest video added will be pushed through."

Yeah, it's pretty awesome indeed.

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31 Days of Mango--The App!

We mentioned how developer Jeff Blankenburg was doing a 31-Days of Mango tutorial via his blog a few weeks ago. The idea was to publish a tutorial about specific app development on Windows Phone every day, giving a kind of boost for newbies out there as well as some tips for those with previous experience.

Now you can take the whole series with you on the go via the app, which is kind of meta when you think about it. The app does fetch for $0.99 and considering all the knowledge you're getting, seems like a fair offering for the man. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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First pic of TalkBox voice-chat app for Windows Phone

TalkBox for Windows Phone

The other day we mentioned that TalkBox was well on its way to Windows Phone. The popular voice-chat app allows you to record less-than one minute messages which you can then pass on to other TalkBox users or post to your Twitter/Facebook for others to hear. The app is popular on the iPhone and Android and now looks to be coming to Windows Phone.

At the time we reported that the app was to premier at the Hong Kong launch-party for the Nokia Lumia devices and the Hong Kong fan-site We Love Windows Phone managed to track it down and take a photo. That app looks nice enough and we're always excited about having more voice chat apps in the Marketplace. Hopefully we'll be seeing it soon, especially since it already looks to be running on hardware.

Check out the TalkBox website for more info: http://talkboxapp.com/en/intro

Source: We Love Windows Phone

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Handyscan

Handyscan (see our old review) is easily one of out top apps for Windows Phone. If you ever need to keep receipts for expenses, photograph that insurance information after a crash, wanted to keep a copy of you passport, then you need this app. Not only does it work real well for document-image taking, but it allows you to save as a JPG or PDF, then upload it to Skydrive or Dropbox for safe keeping. It's smartly designed, elegant and makes scanning docs a pleasure.

We've been using it for so long that we thought it already was on Mango, but alas that's not the case. Now with version 3.3, you can get Mango fast-app switching but also a few other additions:

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Barclays Bank releases Secure Pass app

Secure Pass

Barclays, a UK bank, has released a passcode generator for Windows Phone. While at least it's something from the bank to customers who use Windows Phone, the app itself is pretty poor and limited. It replaces the passcode generator for security verification and looks like an iPhone rip. The app description is a beauty:

"Secure Pass is a one-time passcode generation application"

Sure, it may just be a passcode generation app and nothing more, but it should be a full scale experience that acts as a gateway to online banking. Are you using the app for banking, what are your thoughts on it? You can download Secure Pass from the Marketplace for free.

Thanks Tahiti for the heads up!

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1st WPCentral App Request - Ffffound by RogueCode

It's well known Windows Phone is missing some apps that we'd like to see. A few weeks ago we were missing a solid app for the site Ffffound and decided on a whim to ask developers to make one. RogueCode answered our app-request and bam...here we are.

If you have never been to the site Ffffound (www.ffffound.com) you should take a moment and do just that, don't worry, we'll wait. Okay, as you can see, Ffffound is a site dedicated to pop art, photography and image design. Some really interesting pics are curated there and they more often than not they tend to make exciting wallpapers for your Windows Phone Lock-screen, hence our interest in wanting an app. Within a few days of RogueCode taking us up on our offer and tossing some ideas back and forth between us and him, he had a finalized app that was ready.  And darn it all, it's a gorgeous little thing--fast, smooth and intuitive to use.

Ffffound by RogueCode

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Official Amazon Mobile app

We do like the Amazon.com app--it's well designed, sharp, fast and has that irresistible 1-click buying option. But the one thing it was missing was some Mango-love and that has now been resolved. Version 1.5 of the app was pushed out today bringing of course fast-app switching but in addition, Amazon threw in a few other fixes and new features as well:

  • Scan It: use your device camera to scan a barcode to check prices and availability.
  • Pin barcode scan to Live tile: From Start screen, click to instantly open barcode scan tool and search for products.
  • Fast application switching: switch from Amazon Mobile to other apps then return to where you left off.
  • We hate bugs as much as you do (so we fixed a bunch)

Amazon Mobile tiles

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Freda ebook reader in search of beta testers

Feda ebook reader

The new version of Freda, a free ebook reader, is almost nearing completion and the developers require some assistance with testing the app out. The update will include a number of new features:

  • Freda's front screen now shows a 'live tile' display of book sources
  • You can pin books to the phone's start screen
  • The display of book text is much faster and smoother (it now uses XNA graphics)

Should you be interested in signing your name up as a beta tester, email beta@turnipsoft.co.uk with your details (including Windows Live ID). For now, you can download Freda from the Marketplace.

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32

Nokia Drive patched to work on other Windows Phones

Nokia Drive, their mostly-offline navigation system for the Lumia series, has been hacked off the 800 and patched to work on other Windows Phones. We loaded it up on the HTC Titan to see if this was all legit and sure enough, it is.

Coming from a Chinese forum (which we're not linking), the XAP comes in at 7.35MB but of course grows dramatically once you choose and download maps. In fact, the maps are quite massive here for the States, where it weights in at 1.9GB and took nearly an hour to download and install. It's certainly not a bad piece of software but it's also nothing to go out of your way for either.

This isn't the first Nokia app to be ripped either, as Nokia Music too has been ported for other phones.  Hopefully that server-side Marketplace encryption reported to be coming for devs will be happening soon. We know for Nokia, it can't come quick enough.

Thanks,  Gaille J., for the heads up

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Mehdoh Twitter client updated to version 1.5

Mehdoh App

Mehdoh, the light and feature rich Twitter client, has been bumped to version 1.5, bringing an array of new features and fixes. A full run through of changes in this update:

  • Instapaper and Read It Later support (for tweets and links)
  • translate tweets (via Bing)
  • can now save images in tweets to your library (long press on the image *full version only)
  • hashtag autocomplete
  • view followers (yours and other peoples)
  • tweet counts added to profile page
  • new tweet counts on each pivot
  • added ability to compose tweet from search/trend results
  • now uses twitter account settings for SSL/non-SSL
  • extra hash tags for "now playing"
  • infinite scrolling on user profile timeline
  • option to disable toast notifications
  • fix for changing profile image
  • fix for sharing retweets
  • fix for ocassional problem when resuming

Not a bad update, bringing more functionality to the table. You can download Mehdoh from the Marketplace for $0.99.

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Kleio Flashcards - Review

Kleio Flashcards is a learning aid application for your Windows Phone that gives you the ability to create your own flashcards as well as download pre-made flashcards from Kleio's website. You can track your progress, maintain a library of flashcards, and import files from StudyStack.com

Kleio Flashcards is a Mango App and is a well laid out, useful Windows Phone application that should be helpful to students of all ages. To read more on Kleio Flashcards, hit the jump.

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IM+ Pro

Love 'em or hate 'em, you have to give SHAPE Service some credit: they are dead set on making IM+ the best instant messaging option on Windows Phone. They consistently make updates to the app and they're not exactly inconsequential ones either. So it's always exciting to get an update from them and version 1.9 doesn't disappoint. Here's the changelog:

  • Mail.Ru Agent instant messaging service.
  • Option to select font size in conversation window.
  • Support for Facebook contacts in ICQ and AIM contact lists.
  • Typing modifications.
  • Added "Slide-to-dismiss" option for Toast notifications.
  • Options to block authorization requests and do not receive messages from contacts not on your contact list.
  • Russian localization.
  • Major performance boost and bug fixes.

Overall the update is quite nice and yes, it seems faster on our end. There's not too much we don't like IM+ which comes in a paid Pro version ($4.99) and an ad-supported free option.  Oh and before you ask, no, there's still no MSN/WLM due to Microsoft's request.You can find IM+ Pro here in the Marketplace.

Thanks, @jubbing, for the tip!

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TalkboxDetails are bit a scarce right now, but TalkBox, a voice-based instant messaging system, is reportedly ready to come to Windows Phone. The developers of the app were invited to the Nokia Lumia launch in Hong Kong yesterday and were expected to show off the app for Windows Phone. From the micro-Blogging site Weibo (translated):

"Today (November 18) night will be the long-awaited Hong Kong Nokia Lumia Launch Party, which is the Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 of the conference! Mysterious TalkBox for Windows Phone will be unveiled tonight, TalkBox team invited presentation at the conference site WP7 version TalkBox, let us wait and see!"

TalkBox is a popular app found on the iPhone and Android that allows you to record voice-messages (up to 1 minute) that can be posted to Facebook, Twitter or within the app itself. The app access your contacts and much like WhatsApp, Kik and Tango, sees who is already using the service, adding them as in-app contacts. A similar service is found on Windows Mobile called Palringo, an app that is also being currently ported to Windows Phone.

No word on availability but we'll do our best to keep an eye out. For more info, see their site.

Source: TalkBox (Webio); via WinPhoneXAP

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4

Smart Dialer - Mango App Spotlight

Here's a quick look at a utility app for your Windows Phone. Smart Dialer by Xtreme Apps brings a Windows Mobile feature to your Windows Phone. Smart Dialer basically pulls up your contacts through a phone dialing pad.

Just start dialing the name (using the alpha display) or the phone number of your contact from the dial pad and matching contacts will appear. The more you type, the selection is filtered further. Once you see the contact, tap on it and you'll get a confirmation window to dial the number.

Smart Dialer doesn't replace your native phone dialer but can be pinned to the Start Screen for quicker access. The one downside to Smart Dialer is that if you have multiple numbers for a contact, Smart Dialer only picks up on the first number listed.  If you can live with that limitation, Smart Dialer does a nice job of it.

There is a free trial version available for Smart Dialer (limits you to displaying only ten results at a time) and the full version will cost you $1.49.  You can find Smart Dialer here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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4th & Mayor v3.0 for Mango now available

4th & Mayor 3.0

If you saw our earlier coverage of '4th & Mayor' this week, the alternative Foursquare app,  you'll have noticed that version 3.0 for Mango was slated for release. That day is now upon us and you can go ahead and grab the latest and greatest version of that app in the Marketplace.

Not only does v3.0 feature new fast-app switching, but all sorts of new features and enhancements, most of which folks should really enjoy (we dig the friend-mapping and secondary Live Tile for quick checkin). To see the full changelog, see our earlier story. To just grab the free app, head here to the Marketplace. Thanks, Imran K., for the heads up!

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Jewel Tower - App Spotlight

XIMAD has developed some interesting Windows Phone games such as Pandas vs. Ninjas, Bubble Birds and De-Bugs. Add Jewel Tower to the XIMAD's list of entertaining, somewhat addictive gaming lineup.

In just looking at the screen shots you would think Jewel Tower is another Tetris styled game. Well... it is in a manner of speaking but in reverse.

Where a Tetris styled game has you stack odd shaped pieces to form nice and neat, complete rows that will disappear and help avoid your overall stack reach the top of the screen; Jewel Tower has you stacking these oddly shaped pieces to build rows however you can to reach certain height goals.

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PicSafe Pro - Mango App Spotlight

PicSafe Pro is a photo album app for your Windows Phone that offers a level of security from those who might snoop around your Windows Phone. PicSafe Pro is password protected and goes a step further by password protecting individual photo albums.

PicSafe Pro features includes:

  • Auto-Sync with your Pictures Hub photos
  • Hide locked albums for more privacy
  • Import/Export photos to your Pictures Hub
  • Access your Windows Phone camera from the app
  • Share photos via Twitter and Facebook

When you first launch PicSafe Pro you will be prompted to create your password, enter a reminder phrase, and an option to email yourself the password. From there it's simply a matter of syncing PicSafe Pro with your Pictures Hub (referred to as System Albums) and your in business.

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