Looking for some new apps? But too busy to read every single post during the week? Then it’s time for another weekly roundup of the best new apps in the Windows Phone Store. We’ll take a look at what apps and games are new to the scene, which of our favorite apps picked up a worthy update and notify you of any open betas worth joining. Let’s get started.
The long-awaited Nokia Lumia Icon has finally made its way to Verizon this week and we have good news for deal-seekers. Originally retailing for $199.99 with 2-year contract, you can now get it for $50 off. Use the coupon code VZWDEAL at the Verizon Wireless online store to get the new Lumia Icon for $149.99.
Ford is reportedly ditching Microsoft for Blackberry’s QNX platform in their integrated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system. According to Bloomberg, using QNX will be less expensive than licensing Microsoft technology and will improve the flexibility and speed of the next Sync system.
The decision hasn’t been made public yet, but sources close to the situation have told us the report is accurate.
The Daytona 500 is less than 24 hour away. It’s regarded as the most important and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar. Think of it as the "Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing." If you’re a die-hard racing fan with a Windows Phone 8 device, then make sure you have the latest update for the NASCAR mobile app.
Mobile Nations has landed in Barcelona! We're not just here for cervezas and tapas, of course, but for the annual Mobile World Congress. We've got a lot to look forward to this week and the team on the ground will be bringing you the very best of it all.
We've a team of six on the ground in Spain, and besides keeping up with everything on the blogs you'll want to be following us on the socials as well. Head on below for all the links you need!
Microsoft recently has been on the offense against perceived competitors in the form of the Apple iPad and Chromebooks powered by Google's Chrome OS , and now they're taking the fight straight to their Windows licensees by slashing the cost they'll be required to pay by 70%. The reported cuts bring the cost per device for Windows 8.1 down to $15 for devices that will retail for less than $250. The standard licensing cost is $50, though it can be brought down closer to $30 when marketing incentive funds are factored in. Bloomberg's "people familiar with the program" said:
Microsoft is seeking to speed up development and introduction of new devices. It won’t require products that use the cheaper licensing to complete logo certification, a process that verifies hardware compatibility, one of the people said. Devices aren’t required to be touch-screen compatible, sources said.
Office Lens for Windows Phone 8 is a beta app that lets you snap pictures of text and turn them into OneNote notes. Using OCR technology, Office Lens instantly recognizes text in documents, business cards, and even whiteboards, and then converts them into searchable electronic files. It is also one of the features that was listed as part of the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK late last week.
The official Twitter app on Windows 8 sucks. It hasn’t seen an update in months and it doesn’t even fully take advantage of the unique new features in Windows 8.1. It’s just not that great, which is unacceptable for an app and company with over 2,000 employees and a market cap of $31.44 billion. Twitter claims north of 230 million users and we think those users on Windows 8 deserve a great Twitter app. Thank heaven for Tweetium.
It’s been awhile since we’ve written about MetroTube. It’s the YouTube application that has been wildly popular on both Windows Phone and Windows 8. The only problem with the Windows Phone app was that it hasn’t been updated since last July. It was a month ago that we reported an update was coming for MetroTube on Windows Phone. Today is that day that you’ll finally be able to get a new update for MetroTube.
If you want the best smartphone camera right now, you buy a Nokia Lumia 1020. It’s been that way ever since the Lumia 1020 launched on AT&T here in the United States a little over six months ago. After the initial US availability of the device in July, it slowly showed up around the world on other carriers over the next few months.
It’s not a wildly popular device like the Lumia 520. The Lumia 1020 was never designed to move huge volumes of sales. Instead the Lumia 1020 was as an exercise in combining elegant hardware, innovative software and the best possible mobile imaging capabilities into a smartphone. It's unashamedly a niche device.
We’ve had the Lumia 1020 since launch and have loved every minute of it. But six months is a long time in tech, so we're going to take some time and look back at how the Nokia Lumia 1020 has performed over the past six months.
The advent of social media profiles has created an interesting problem, from a philosophical perspective: what happens to your profile after you die? Originally they would just go dormant unless somebody had your password, but then Facebook updated their policy to place the profiles of our dearly departed into a "memorial" mode where visibility was restricted to only friends. But starting today, Facebook is changing that.
QuizUp is a very popular iOS quiz game that let’s friends compete against each other in real-time. Not only can you play against friends, but you can play against strangers and rank up points. Another great feature in QuizUp is that those games don’t have to be played in real-time. You can challenge a friend to a game, play and complete it, and they can play that same game later when they have time. We don’t have an official QuizUp app on Windows Phone yet, but we will have one soon thanks to Windows Phone developer Daniel Gary. He’s working on QuizIt, a QuizUp client for Windows Phone. Check out the video of the current state of the app.
Responding to complaints of skin irritation from Fitbit Force users, Fitbit has stopped sales of the fitness band and is conducting a recall of the product. They're offing a refund direct to consumers for the full retail price of the Force ($130) and have set up a dedicated webpage and call center to handle the recall.
Fitbit CEO James Park said that "only 1.7% of Force users have reported any type of skin irritation," that test results have shown "are likely experiencing allergic contact dermatitis." The growing chorus of reports about skin irritation was likely a factor in pushing the company towards the recall.
The Official Tap The Frog Windows Phone game from Playfo has finally arrived in the Windows Phone Store. For those not familiar, late last year an unofficial version of Tap The Frog was released, then pulled due to copyright issues. Playfo shared with us that an official version of the popular iOS and Android game would be heading to the Windows Phone platform eventually.
While it took a while, the official version of Tap The Frog is now available for Windows Phone 8 and includes eleven mini-games that will challenge your reactions and skills of observation. Tap The Frog is a fun game to help you pass the time or when you need a longer gaming fix.
Microsoft today unveiled a sweet freebie for everyone to enjoy this weekend. Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem will be available for free, enabling those who haven't yet seen the 2007 AvP sequel to sit through the sci-fi horror movie.
Mobile World Congress 2014 kicks off this Monday, February 24 in Barcelona. Nokia will be there. Microsoft will be there. We’ll be there.
Nokia will reportedly announce the Nokia X (aka Normandy) Android device, a rumored refresh of the Nokia 105 and a new low-end Asha. While no new Lumias will be revealed, this is Nokia. They always have some cool things to reveal, including new apps and accessories. We’ll cover it all.
The search engine that was first launched five years ago by Microsoft in 2009 as a competitor to the giant multinational corporation, Google, now has a global markets share of 5.62% across desktops and 2.64% across mobile devices. Bing is currently ranked as the world’s third most popular search engine and sits behind Yahoo’s 8.22% and Google’s massive 83.04% desktop search engine market share.
However, Microsoft is not just trying to get users to visit their own website – they are playing the covert operations game and acting as the backend for many services you and your friends may use. In fact, you might be loving Bing and not even know it.
Although the main news at Mobile World Congress from Nokia will center on Nokia X, we’re sure the Lumia makers will have some new Windows Phone apps and goodies on hand.
Indeed, Nokia via their Vine channel, have posted a short movie showing a woman taking "selfies" with her Lumia 1020. While some have jumped on this as a new device announcement – it’s not – we’re confident that this is for an Imagin8 app, used for adding digital effects in real time. Think of Kinect, but for your phone.
Vector is Mobile Nations' cross-site, cross-platform analysis show where we discuss all the biggest stories in tech. On this week's episode Kevin Michaluk of Mobile Nations joins Rene to talk about Facebook’s $16 billion WhatsApp acquisition, not mistaking products for businesses, the value of user-base, the mobile hierarchy of needs, BBM’s missed opportunity, LINE, WeChat, Kik, and more.
Back a few months ago, Nokia entered the hyper competitive tablet market with the Lumia 2520 (review), a Windows RT device that has received a lot of high praise, even if limited availability. That device also had some exclusive software on board, including a full HERE Maps suite.
Today, Nokia has announced that a new and improved version of HERE Maps is coming to all Windows 8.1 devices over the coming days. HERE Maps have always been really fun to use, but with the syncing ability between Lumias phones and HERE Maps on a PC, it should take it to the next level.
Nokia has today pushed out an update for its Glance screen. This Lumia exclusive feature enables consumers to add images and display the clock while the Windows Phone screen is locked. It's possible to configure the Glance screen to display at intervals, as well as setting night modes, but Nokia is extending functionality even further.
This latest system app release introduces a new feature for consumers, making it possible for custom messages to be created for display when the screen is locked.
Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Fitbit Apps
Many of us took on New Year’s resolutions to get into better shape, lose weight or another fitness/health goal. In pursuing these goals, you may look to the Fitbit line of activity trackers to help you manage your fitness goals. The Fitbit line of devices track your steps, distance traveled, stairs climbed and sleep. The overall Fitbit system helps you manage additional activities that aren't registered with the device, your diet and weight. From the pocketable Fitbit One to the digital display of the Fitbit Force, these little devices are fantastic fitness oriented devices.
While Fitbit has released “official” apps over on iOS, we are still waiting for the official Windows Phone version. Not all is lost though in that Fitbit has made their API available to developers and we have a few capable un-official Fitbit apps in the Windows Phone Store. This week’s Windows Phone Central roundup will focus on a few of the top rated Fitbit apps available for Windows Phone. Hopefully it will not be long until Fitbit releases an official app but in the meantime, these third party alternatives aren’t too shabby.
The Surface Pro 2 is an incredible machine. Those who have on love them. The biggest complaint against the Surface Pro 2 is the stock issue. Since launch, those wanting a Surface Pro 2 have had an impossible time getting their hands on one. Those who pre-ordered didn’t see them arrive for months at a time. Good news if you’re still hunting, the Surface Pro 2 is back in stock at the Microsoft Store.