Apps

Smart Resize first hit the radar last month as the winning app in Nokia's Future Capture contest. The Windows Phone 8 photography app is now available over in the Windows Phone Store and takes an interesting approach to editing things out of your photos.

Instead of cloning or cropping unwanted items or empty space out of your photo, Smart Resize downsamples the image. It utilizes a content-aware scale algorithm that differentiates between the less important and more important parts of the image.

In a manner of speaking, Smart Resize squeezes out the unwanted areas of your photos.

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PSA: WhatsApp is not in open Beta for Windows Phone

Over the weekend, we started receiving a truckload of tips regarding the WhatsApp beta being “opened to the public”. For those who don’t know, WhatsApp maintains two branches, one being the public release the other one for beta development. The second branch is closed and “invite only” (yes, we’re a part of it) while the other one is for general release.

We obviously didn’t write anything on the story because frankly, it didn’t seem right. Why would WhatsApp suddenly open a beta that had been private for a very long time? Publicizing it as an "open beta" when it in fact was not, would do nothing but contribute to misinformation. So we held off.

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Believe it or not, the NBA has had a Windows Phone app since 2011. They first launched Game Time back in time for the 2011 playoffs allowing players to catch the latest news from the NBA. A year later, the app was updated with the ability to watch live video of the playoffs if you were an NBA League Pass holder. Today, we’re looking at a new update for NBA fans that will let you catch the entire season. Details below.

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Fandango is admittedly a very useful service for U.S. movie goers. By allowing people to purchase tickets from their home, via a PC and more recently, through their phones, it saves people time and frustration from shows being sold out. Tickets are rendered as QR codes on their smartphone for quick scanning at theaters, and movie goers feel like they’re in the year 2013.

The Windows Phone app has been around since day one, coming out in late 2010 with the release of Microsoft’s new mobile platform. Fandango even boasted about how easy it was to make their Windows Phone 7 app. Since then, it has had a minuscule four updates in three years.

If that sounds like a neglected app, you would be correct.

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When it comes to RSS feeds, Windows Phone users have numerous choices for an excellent experience and superb design. One of the more established creations is Nextgen Reader, which goes way back to January 2011 on Windows Phone. How’s that for dedication? The app now uses Feedly for RSS management and it’s a joy to use.

Version 5.31 is now live in the Store and we’re teaming up with Nextgen Reader to make it free for 24 hours. You heard that right. The app usually runs for $1.99 but if you grab the app in the next day, you’ll have a free, perpetual license on this excellent RSS reader forever. That means if you buy a new Windows Phone, this app will still be free for you.

Why? Because you folks deserve your news.

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Nokia not only announced new products and accessories at Nokia World 2013, the company also unveiled some new software features - one being Nokia Refocus. The app enables you to capture an image, much like you would with the Nokia Camera app, with the ability to alter which elements of the photo are in focus afterwards.

It's a really cool idea that Nokia is now discussing on their Conversations blog.

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InNote is a new Windows Phone 8 app that was announced during Nokia World 2013. It's a feature rich handwriting note taker for your Windows Phone.  InNote comes in handy when you need to jot down spur of the moment ideas, work on a shopping list, sketch a drawing, or craft a to do list.

Notes created in InNote can be shared in .PDF format or image format as well as organized into notebooks. InNote makes a nice impression and if you're in the need for a handwriting note taker, it's well worth a try.

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The unofficial Instagram client for Windows Phone, 6tag, has received yet another update today. Version 2.0.2 has arrived on the Store and it brings with it a handful of user-requested fixes or features.

As can be noted by the version number, it’s not a huge overhaul, so many of the changes are minor but for some users, significant. So what’s new? Head past the break to get the answer.

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Viber is a messaging app that enables you to text, group message and make free HD calls. Available cross-platform, the app has been updated on competing platforms, but now it's Windows Phone's turn. The client has been bumped to version 3.1. The release itself is quite a large one, packing a completely redesigned UI and more. Head on past the break for the details.

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Last week we reported on the status of Nokia Camera, the new app that combines Nokia’s Pro and Smart Cam apps into one with some new UI changes and features. That update was supposed to be released on Friday but it was postponed for more in-depth testing.

Today, that update is now available. Version 4.3.0.6 is live in the Store for all Lumia 92x and Lumia 1020 owners. This update is expected to fix a re-cropping issue that some users were experiencing when saving images. No other features have been reported.

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If you're looking to get more out of your Windows Phone 8 lockscreen, take a look at AwesomeLock. It's a simple, straight forward lockscreen app that delivers news, weather and upcoming appointments to your lockscreen.

AwesomeLock also delivers Bing daily pictures or you can tap into your Pictures Hub and use one of your own images for the lockscreen wallpaper.  The app makes a nice first impression and likely is only held back by the lack of a trial version.

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myAppFree is a Windows Phone app that works with developers to offer one free app or game for free per day. The Windows Phone mixology app Cocktail Bar is currently on the clock and will be a free app for the next twenty-four hours.

Cocktail Bar delivers over 150 cocktail recipes to your Windows Phone that is sorted out rather nicely by categories that are based on ingredient, time of day, and style. You can tag mixes as favorites for quick reference and share them with your friends.

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Remember the Nokia Future Capture contest? It was a contest announced in June that ended early last month. Entries asked for new app ideas around imaging, select participants flew to Finland to compete in a hackathon to make those ideas a reality. TapShoot is an app that was second-runner up in that hackathon and is now available in the Store for you to download. Let’s check it out.

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Watch Corner Gas is a Windows Phone 8 entertainment app that delivers the Canadian sitcom Corner Gas to your phone.  Watch Corner Gas lets you stream all 107 episodes of the Canadian sitcom Corner Gas which ran from 2004 to 2009. The comedy series is described as "the Canadian version of Seinfeld" and in just checking out a few episodes, I can see the comparison.

On a side note the app was developed in part with the relatively new Microsoft App Studio and later fine tuned in Visual Studio.  The App Studio was designed to show app developers how to build a full Windows Phone app prototype without any programming code, all from a web browser.  An effort to make it easier for developers to jump on board with Windows Phone.

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We’ve been boasting about Digitally Imported (www.di.fm) for quite some time on this site, specifically with the unofficial app Beem, which is so good we can’t refuse it. Earlier this summer, Digitally Imported aka DI.FM, started up their Windows Phone app beta program, which concluded a little over a week ago.

The result? The official, free and fantastic app is now live in the Store for all Windows Phone 7.x and 8 users.

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Windows Phone may be in distant third compared to Android and iOS, but we certainly are gaining more and more of the big name apps for our platform. When it comes to music services, we’re certainly not lacking any of the major ones out there.

We’ve got Microsoft’s own Xbox Music and other third party services like Pandora, Rdio, Spotify, Nokia Music, and more. They all compete on features and price, after that it comes down to which one you personally like better. Fans of Rdio on Windows Phone 8 should be happy as the app just picked up a big update today, let’s check it out.

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We first took a look 7-Minute Workout over the summer and found it to be a simple, yet effective Windows Phone 8 fitness app. 7-Minute Workout guides you through twelve exercises in seven minutes designed to get your heart pumping, muscles flexing and calories burning.

The fitness app was recently updated to add a little more customization to the exercise routine and to launch a free version where users can purchase additional features via in-app purchases.

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Time-lapse photography can create some interesting effects. The technique involves recording film at lower frame rates than that used for playback. The end result is what appears to be a sped up film - think the opposite of slow motion. Social Scene is an app that brings time-lapse photography to Windows Phone. But it's much more than just a simple camera app. Head on past the break to see why.

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Have you ever wondered what the weather is like on down the road? Weather in the Distance is a unique Windows Phone 8 weather app that will give you the current conditions from points as close as one mile away up to 24,901 miles away.

The app uses your camera viewfinder, compass and shutter button to give the app a virtual reality feel to things. Weather in the Distance is a simple and fast way to get a feel for the weather off the horizon and beyond.

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Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re all investing in the stock market one way or the other. Whether you do so as an individual investor or participate with mutual funds and hedge funds, we’re all in this together. TipRanks is a new app for Windows Phone 8 that’s aimed at all investors. It’s now available for you to download in the Store, so let’s check out what this app is all about.

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Driving provides freedom to millions of people across the UK (as well as beyond the borders), but learning to drive can be a stressful and/or tedious experience. There are numerous resources available for you to build up knowledge and prepare for examination, and now the AA (Automobile Association) has launched an app for Windows Phone to help you pass your theory test.

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WhatsApp receives another update with minor fixes

WhatsApp has been on a roll recently, with a big update arriving a few days ago with some new, highly valued features. That was version 2.11.276 and today, version 2.11.282 has landed in the Store.

Although today’s update is nothing major, it does tidy up a few things and fixes a bug or two that some users have experienced.

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