Apps

The developers of the Windows Phone weather app, Photoweather, have a new weather app in the works for Windows Phone Mango. At this point, we aren't sure if this will be an update to Photoweather or a stand alone app. The app is close to being submitted for certification and while there are a few bugs present, we thought we'd offer you a preview of Photoweather Live.

For those not familiar, Photoweather is a basic weather app for your Windows Phone. Photoweather not only offers you the current conditions and forecast for your selected city but also photos of local attractions. Photoweather Live will bring Mango features into the mix but as well as giving things a bit of a face lift. Instead of having all the information displayed on one page, you now have the same information spread out across three pages.

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For those developers who will be attending the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011 (website), happening from October 3-6 in Anaheim, CA, you'll want to grab the official app for that event.

"With MySPC mobile you can browse or search for conference session information, view event maps, build your personal event schedule, fill in session evaluations and more. MySPC mobile automatically syncs your personal schedule with the conference website so you can view or build it in either place..

MySPC mobile will also work offline, so if you are stuck without a data connection or WiFi you can still see your schedule or find sessions to attend"

Sounds pretty killer to us, so why wouldn't you grab this? The app is NoDo ready, so anyone can use this. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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First look: WhatsApp for Windows Phone [Video]

This morning there was a bit of a false alarm as a private beta link for WhatsApp made its way around the 'nets. The app is clearly close to being released and for all intents and purposes, is done.

Someone managed to rip the XAP from the private Marketplace (you can rip free apps using a number of Windows programs) and we went ahead and sideloaded it to see what all the fuss was about. So quick take:

  • For Mango only (fully integrates with your Contacts DB)
  • Very fast, smooth UI with fast app resume
  • Push Notifications
  • Minimalist almost sparse UI
  • Very few features or bells and whistles
  • You can message, share location and send images
  • No landscape support (at least in this version, perhaps this will change upon final release)
  • Green checks seem to indicate sent/received status--not as rich as Kik's system though

The app in our opinion is exactly like Kik Messenger but a little more boring. It feels like they rushed it through a bit, which would not be surprising. However, it is fast and smooth, meaning a lot of folks will like its "to the point" design. We just hope it gets landscape support on release as that'd be pretty nasty for messaging on our Focus. Check out the video to see it in action.

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RemoteDesktop, an app that pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin, has been updated to version 1,5, which brings with it Mango support and sheds the requirement of using Topperware servers. The updated client will now be able to connect directly to host machines and will run with increased performance.

The app will allow the user to connect to any host running a professional or above version Windows XP, Vista, 7, 2003 Server, etc. and sports:

  • support for standard security, or Network Level Authentication.
  • screen resolutions from native Windows Phone 7 resolution upto 1600 x 1200 and in 256 colour or 64 thousand colours.
  • support for advanced RDP draw orders for high performance on low bandwidth connections.

You can download RemoteDesktop from the Marketplace (as version 1.4) for a reduced price of $5.99.

Via: WMPU

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This is a bit odd, but the highly anticipated WhatsApp is listed the Marketplace but it looks like you can't download it yet. The app will return an error saying "Can't Download: Sorry, You don't have permission to download this app".

Combine that with the app not showing up under new listings, the lack of description and images (there's one) and you know what guys? We're looking at an internal, private beta testing link. This is basically what happens when you try to download an app that you were not invited for to be evaluated--that's why it's not listed, there's no description, there is just one image, etc.

So our bet? This link (found here) won't be the final Marketplace link and we're still a few days from final release. So we're calling false alarm on this folks, sorry. Thanks, Maneesh V., for the link

Extra: For those who can side load, Giuseppe Spagnolo in WMPU comments, managed to rip the XAP from the Marketplace (there are legal programs that rip only free apps) and posted it here. You can get that here directly.

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Windows Phone Insider is a decent little helper app that Microsoft created, but for some reason doesn't ship with, Windows Phone. It has tips, Bing wallpapers, top apps, etc.

Recently, it too got a Mango refresh and it actually has some really cool features now to take note of:

  • Exclusive Ringtones! 5 free every month from musician and composer ill. Gates.
  • Live Tile: Pin the Insider app to your phone's Start screen.  See the Tile come alive. Enjoy the daily Bing wallpaper and see at a glance when there are new apps, games and ringtones to explore!
  • Tips: To help you get started with your phone, and easily discover the 500+ new features in Windows Phone 7.5.
  • Game top picks: Discover 5 new games each week

No, that's not a typo either, there really is a phat composer (his words) named ill.Gates--check his website here. We think that's pretty great that they're working with someone to create some original ringtone content each month and that alone makes this app worth it. The other stuff is just bonus material.

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In case WhatsApp and Kik aren't enough, there's also PingMe headed our way to Windows Phone. Though no ETA is given, on the PingMe page, wihich prominently shows the iPhone, Android and Blackberry, we get a nice little "coming soon" for Windows Phone. Sure, we're not the first, but it's actually kind of nice to see Windows Phone listed on new services, it's almost if companies are finally taking note of the platform, ya know?

Anyways, here are some of the features of PingMe:

  • Free
  • Cross platform
  • Real-time message receipts
  • Group chat
  • News feed (from friends)
  • Geo-location
  • Push notifications

We'll keep an eye out for any news with this one, but it should be a nice addition to our IM offerings. Thanks, Amir, for the heads up!

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Garmin Streetpilot goes Mango

Garmin Streetpilot (here's our review) was updated today and now is Mango-ized. While some of the changes are obvious, others are not.

The pre-Mango version is version 7.2 with the Mango version being 7.3. There is a decent amount of design changes put into place but the only noticeable feature change is the addition of a Contacts Tile on the "Where to?" page that opens up your Windows Phone contact list.

Streetpilot does have a little more zip to it and the fast-resume feature of Mango. The settings are identical but also experienced a slight make-over. Should we discover more changes, we'll update the post. And should you run across any, feel free to share in the comments section.

There is a free trial version of Streetpilot available with the full version running $34.99. You can find Garmin's Streetpilot here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Mixtapes - App Spotlight

Keeping with the music theme of the day, Mixtapes is a free music app for your Windows Phone that is powered by 8tracks. We mentioned the official 8tracks Windows Phone app earlier (Mango app) and just to cover all the bases, 8tracks is a music site where members can up upload their own music mixes to share with others.

Mixtapes is a Windows Phone 7 app that taps into the 8tracks music mix collection much in the same way as 8tracks does. You can log into your 8tracks account from Mixtapes and the app's layout highlights pages for new mixes, hot mixes, and popular mixes.

You have the ability to filter mixes by tags but there is no genre or artist search or the ability to play music in the background as you'll find on the 8tracks app. You still have the wide range of music that 8tracks offers just in a more basic, scaled down package.

If you're a music fan, Mixtapes is worth looking into. It's a free, ad supported app and you can find Mixtapes here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Supermusic jumping on the Mango train

It seems as if it was yesterday when Supermusic and Free Music Downloader hit the Windows Phone Marketplace. We have now been told by the developer that a Mango update for Supermusic has been submitted to Microsoft for certification and should be available in the coming days.

The music download app allows you to download music files from a wide variety of free music sites. You can create playlists from the downloaded tunes and the Mango update adds background music play and downloads into the mix.

The list of apps being updated continues to grow and based on Joe Belifiore's earlier tweet, Fall can't get here quick enough. There is a free trial available for Supermusic and the full version will run you $1.29. You can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Free Music Downloader, the free ad-supported version of Supermusic, is expected to be updated to Mango sometime next week. You can find it here at the Marketplace.

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8tracks - A Mango app review

As described over at the Windows Phone Marketplace, 8tracks is a handcrafted internet radio for your Windows Phone. The Mango app offers a simple way to discover and share music through an online mix that contains at least eight tracks of music. The eight is actually the infinity symbol ( ∞ ), representing infinite music but "eight" is easier to type.

The 8tracks concept is rather interesting. You sign up for a free membership (here's their website), upload your favorite tunes in mixes (playlist for us old timers), and add them to 8tracks collection for all to enjoy. The Windows Phone app, taps into this collection and brings the mix to your phone.

The 8tracks app lays things out rather nicely with the ability to listen to established music mixes, create your own mix, as well as search the online library by artist or genre.

To see how well 8tracks performs, hit the jump past the break.

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Weather Live v3.0 with new Mango features [Video]

Our favorite weather app Weather Live (previous coverage), is about to hit the big v3.0 today. This new version is for the Mango peeps out there, bringing some excellent new functionality to the Metro themed weather program. New features include:

  • Multiple locations with secondary tiles (in paid version).
  • Display location, next forecast (today or tomorrow) and alerts in the back tiles.
  • Background Agent to automatically update locations when you are on the go (in paid version).

As you can see in the video hands on above, the new tiles add some excellent options to the mix and with fast-app resuming and improved Mango scrolling, the app is better than ever. Expect version 3.0 to appear today or tomorrow. You can pick up Weather Live here in the Marketplace (both paid and unlimited trial).

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Sat Rad Player gets Mango-ized

Sat Rad Player is one of the latest apps to become Mango-ready in its new version 3.0.  Besides a patch that fixes a bug where the app pauses when the phone first locks, the update features some exciting new functionality.  Firstly, you can now use Bluetooth devices to to listen to your favorite satellite radio stations on your phone.  The other big addition to Sat Rad Player is the ability to run it in the background on Mango devices.  That way, you can rock out with your Cocktail Flow out.

Special instructions given for running the app in the background are provided by the developers:

Press the volume control on the phone to bring up the mini-player (aka UVC) that allows you to stop/start playing, and change channels. The mini-player can be accessed from anywhere on the phone through the volume controls (even if the phone is locked). TO ENABLE THIS FEATURE make sure the 'plays under lock screen' option is checked off in the settings menu.

There is a fully functional, ad-supported trial version, as well as a paid version.

The Sat Rad Team also reminds you that your current US-based Sirius/XM subscription must include the internet play option for the app to work. Grab it here. (Thanks for the tip, Frank!)

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BBC Radio Player app chimes onto the Marketplace

Good news UK users (and for anyone else who can gain access)! Igneous Software has released a BBC Radio app that features 6 Music, 5 Live, Radio 1 Extra, Asian Network, World Service, BBC Ulster, BBC Wales and BBC Scotland as well as the main stations. Highlighted features include: 

  • Choose from all BBC Radio stations
  • Now and next programme guide
  • Full integration with music + video hub
  • Playback continues under lock screen
  • Ability to block GSM-based streaming
  • Buffering confirmed with audible “pips”
  • Comprehensive programme caching
  • Dynamic server management

BBC Radio Player is a well polished app and the streaming over both WiFi and 3G is smooth and reliable. You can download the app from the Marketplace for £0.99 ($1.29) - four standalone apps are available for BBC Radio 1, 2, 3 and 4 but these stations are included in BB Radio Player itself.

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BandWidth gets major overhaul with v3.0 [Mango]

We covered BandWidth back in January when it was v2.0. Written by XDA member microhaxo, the free app is a great little utility--sharp, to the point and it does its job well of nailing your upload and download speeds via 3G or WiFi. Allowing you to pick the server, file transfer size and more, the app has always been a staple in our tool belt for phone testing.

Version 3.0 is completely re-written and now Mango enabled, making it even more a must-have in our book:

  • Automatic server selection based on location (over 600 severs world wide).
  • Options to choose which file size you want for the server. (changes upload file size too!)
  • Option to pick how far out distance wise you want to load servers from (default 400 miles).
  • Ability to share your results on Twitter and Facebook! (text output at this point).
  • Option to turn off gps if not wanted (loads original static list)

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Flixster gets Mango-ized in v1.6

Movie app Flixster, which offers access to showtimes, movie trailers and Rotten Tomatoes reviews, has made the leap to Mango in its newest version 1.6. 

The biggest improvement is the ability to create multiple live tiles for favorite movies and theaters.  Movies that get pinned to the start screen flip between the movie poster and the Rotten Tomatoes score, along with a tomato or "splat" icon.  Version 1.6 also includes Bing mobile search integration and fast app switching.

You must have Mango installed on your device for this update.  If you do, you can get Flixster here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

Thanks to Travis S. for the tip!

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Official Foursquare app is now Mango compatible

If you're on Windows Phone 7.5 Mango already, you'll be happy to know that the official Foursquare client, v2.5, is Mango compatible as of right now.

New Mango features include:

  • Fast-app switching
  • Secondary Live Tiles (for locations, but not friends)
  • App Connect

In addition, did we mention it's buttery smooth now? And call us crazy, but today IS the 15th and now we have official apps going all Mango on us. Purely coincidence! You can get v2.5 right now from the Marketplace here.

Thanks, @iLLeStEyECoN, for the heads up!

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Weave v3.1 for Mango lands in the Marketplace

Just a few weeks ago, Weave, the super slick RSS news reader, received a major UI overhaul which we gave high marks due to its exceptional elegance. Now, v3.1 is available in the Marketplace (paid version) and it's all Mango outfitted for your pleasure.

For Mango features, you have your fast app switching/resume, which allows multitasking to finally be enabled. On top of that, the app is smoother for scrolling and quite zippy to use.

If you haven't tried Weave yet, you really should. One of the its best features are the 33 preloaded categories e.g. politics, technology, Windows Phone, etc. with each category featuring some of the best blogs and news sources around. In turn, you don't have to sit and think about which RSS feeds you should subscribe too (though of course you can manage those and even add new ones). There's a free version (currently non-Mango) and the paid version (with trial) which fetches for $2.99. Grab the Mango v3.1 here in the Marketplace.

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WP Shortcut Tiles - Mango App Spotlight

Today's Mango App Spotlight deals with shortcuts. WP Shortcut Tiles gives you the ability to create shortcut tiles on your Start Screen. The Mango App is very similar to Connectivity Shortcuts but deals with seven settings and features instead of four.

You can create tiles for your cellular, wifi, airplane mode, and bluetooth settings. You can also create tiles for a new email message, sms message and view your share status. To create the tile, just tap on the tile of choice, confirm placement, and your done. The down side of things is that you can only create one tile at a time. There's a lot of back-and-forth with WP Shortcut Tiles.

When your ready to remove the tiles, you can do it the old fashion way by unpinning them from the Start Screen or use the "unpin all" button in the app. Still a shame you can pin multiple tiles at once.

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Palringo for Windows Phone 7 -- first screenshots

Here you go folks. Just yesterday we were reporting on Palringo, the super IM client, coming over to Windows Phone 7 and today you get your first look.

Above are three shots from the upcoming release and it is what it is. The app is still in beta meaning things can change. As the app comes along, we'll pass on features list and some more screenies to wet your appetite. We're quite excited about this release as it'll help complete the Windows Phone ecosystem.

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Early look: NextGen Reader 2.0 for Windows Phone Mango

Fans of NextGen Reader will be excited to know that the developer has completed v2.0 of the app, which will see it become Mango-fied, adding all sorts of neat new features sure to make this app even better. For those unfamiliar, NextGen is billed as one of "the fastest Google Reader clients" for Windows Phone. Indeed, due to its minimalist Metro design it's not only fast but is packed full of features.

We were able to play around with an early release of the app and have come away quite impressed. In addition to the Mango v2.0 update, there will be one more for NoDo users (v1.17) and he's already started on v2.1 for Mango. Check out the video above for our quick hands on and look for the final release to hit the Marketplace soon (we'll announce it). As to all the new Mango features in v2.x, here you go:

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NoFoto - Mango App Spotlight

Today's Mango App Spotlight focuses on the camera. NoFoto lets you discretely take pictures by replacing your camera software view with a blank screen. To take a picture, just tap on the screen.

NoFoto will then focus the camera and snap the shot. The shutter sound is muted and to confirm the shot, your Windows Phone will vibrate once the picture is taken.  A number indicator will appear in the upper left corner of the screen showing how many photos have been taken.

An instructional screen will appear when you fist launch the app. From there you just tap "okay" and start taking photos. If you don't tap okay in a timely manner, the app will shut down.  In taking NoFoto out for a short test drive, it works as advertised.  If questioned, all someone will see is a blank screen giving your Windows Phone the appearance of being turned off.  There were a few times it took the camera a little longer to focus so you have to be care not to move your phone too quickly.

The downside to this Mango app is that there isn't a trial version available for NoFoto. The upside is that the app can come in handy and only costs $.99. You can find NoFoto here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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Although we know a lot of the big Twitter clients out there will be going "Mango" soon, Mehdoh is a completely new Twitter client from developer Chris Field that is Mango-ready out the gate. The app is in the final approval stages for the Marketplace now, meaning it should be showing up any day now.

Mehdoh is a fairly impressive v1.0 client. Featuring background checks for mentions (every 30 minutes), Toast Notifications, flipping live tile (shows your profile pic, along with number of mentions) and adherence to the Metro design, we're quite impressed with this minimalist, yet highly functional app.

In addition to the above, it features a "report spam" selection, conversation view, super smooth scrolling, fast app resume, reTweet with comment and the ability to view web links and images inline with the Tweet--something that is highly useful.

The app does take a little while to update, mostly because it pre-downloads a lot of data, however Chris is looking to tweak this and we can expect it to change upon final release or soon thereafter. Mehdoh will fetch for $0.99 upon release with a free trial. A free,  ad-supported version is planned, but not until a decent ad-service for Mango apps can be had in the UK. We recommend for the Mango users out there to give Mehdoh a look, as it's pretty sharp for a v1.0 release from an indy developer. Check out our video preview to get an idea of well it works.

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Timer - Mango App Spotlight

Here's a handy utility for your Windows Phone. Timer is a Mango App over at the Marketplace that allows you to create and set countdown timers that will run in the background on your phone.

The interface is straight forward with two preset, customizable timers already present. You can modify each timer by tapping on the display and edit the time duration and/or description. To add more timers, tap the "+" button at the bottom and create away. Once your ready to use a particular timer, just tap the toggle switch and go about your business. The alarm will ring, regardless of your phone's volume settings, and give you the option of snoozing or dismissing the alarm.

Timer is a simple app that can be used in a bunch of ways. Need an exercise timer? In the kitchen, would multiple timers help keep track of everything on the stove? Trying to limit the kids video game time? Need to time yourself during practice exams?

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Live Tile Now - Mango App Spotlight

Here's a Mango App that will let you pin your favorite photos on the Windows Phone Start Screen. As with other Mango Live Tile apps, such as Sticky Tiles and NFL Live Tile, the interface is short and simple.

You have one page to select the image from (one for either side of the tile) and one page to enter optional text. From there you pin the app to your Start Screen and the tile is generated. There's also a tile count area where you can enter a reminder such as a date or number of days until an event.

The only downside to the app is that your only limited to one tile. Still, it's a nice way to pin a photo of your pets, kids, girlfriend or wife (but not both) on your Start Screen. If you're running Mango, Live Tile Now is a free, ad-supported app and you can download it here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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