Apps

Using YouTube in Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 8 can be a bit of a pain. The mobile website is barebones and doesn’t work as well as it should. And as you know, YouTube has yet to release a competent native app for Windows Phone users. Their loss since we’re getting by fine with stellar apps like Metrotube and myTube.

However, every now and then you end up on YouTube in the browser. Maybe you clicked a link in a tweet or someone sent a link in an email. You’re now about to watch a YouTube video with poor playback controls and no option for 720p video. Or are you? Probably not if you’re a fan of Metrotube. You can now open YouTube links in Metrotube with minimal effort. Details on how below.

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Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Saint Patrick's Day Apps

Just in case you were unaware, this Monday, March 17th, is Saint Patrick’s Day. The one day where everyone declares Irish roots and green beer flows like streams at the local Pub.

We thought it was a fitting occasion to muster up a roundup of a few of the St. Patrick’s Day apps available in the Windows Phone Store. We have included a few that are deeply rooted in the holiday that may help you find your way around the pubs on the holiday or any other day for that matter.

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Nokia World in Abu Dhabi was a big event for Nokia and Windows Phone. It was there that Nokia unveiled new handsets like the Lumia 1320, Lumia 1520 and Lumia 2520. In addition to hardware we had some new apps from Nokia. One of the more interesting apps was Nokia Refocus. With Nokia Refocus you’re able to take a picture and select a focal point in the photograph over and over. That app has just been updated to make all Lumia owners happy.

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From the developer of myBattery, a popular Windows Phone app to monitor your internal charge, comes myBattery Lockscreen. This app, as the name suggests, enables users to glance at the status of their battery on the lockscreen with detailed information on percentage, status and a custom message. It's a super handy little app, which is completely free to use.

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March Madness is coming soon to college basketball here in the United States. For college hoops fans this is the best time of the year. It’s when 68 college basketball teams come together and compete to be number one in the entire country. Late last month we learned that there would be an official app coming to Windows Phone and Windows 8 to allow you to watch every game this tournament. That Windows Phone app is now here.

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OneShot was the first third-party app to take advantage of Nokia’s Imaging SDK and offers a nice range of professional controls and filters for your Windows Phone camera.

An update for OneShot is being pushed out that takes the photography app to version 4.0 and adds full support for the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520 Windows Phones. This will allow you to take photos over 38MP on the Lumia 1020 and 20MP for the Lumia 1520.

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If you’re a fan of Facebook, then you’re probably happy about the new hit Messenger app from the company. Looks like they haven’t forgotten about their main Facebook app either, even though it’s managed by Microsoft. Today, that test version of the popular app gets bumped from 5.2.3.0 make that 5.2.2.2 to 5.2.3.1. That brings it to being just ahead of the official app, which is at 5.2.3.0.

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We know you’re eagerly waiting for the next WhatsApp update. And why not? After all the beta leaks, it’s looking to be a doozy. From custom notifications, media download controls, custom backgrounds, privacy controls to many subtle UI changes, the next version of WhatsApp is looking to be a wow-worthy update.

Tonight, another private beta update has gone out (build 398), and it brings something even better than the ability to set a background image for all your chats: the ability to set custom images for individual contacts. Give your best friend one image, your significant other another and yet another for your colleagues, the choice is yours.

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It has been a rather quiet week so far with the news, but we're looking at more app updates being pushed through the Windows Phone Store. Updating your arsenal of content will surely make up for the lack of hardware announcements and help you through the wait for Windows Phone 8.1.

Today, we're looking at both 2flicka and Cal, not to mention some other apps worth noting. Slip past the break for more details.

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While telephony has changed through the years – from landlines to mobiles to VoIP – voicemail has remained pretty much the same with plain vanilla functionality of receiving recorded audio messages when you can’t answer the phone.

Smart Voicemail aims to alter this perception, and attempts to be the next evolution of voicemail with status updates & availability to quickly let callers know why you missed their call.

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Although the app-gap for Windows Phone dwindles each and every day, there are still a few banner apps missing. One of those is Starbucks for the US market (there’s already one for Mexico and Russia, who are managed by different companies).

The Starbucks apps aren’t just store locators, like the well-done app we covered this morning, but they help manage your account, keep track of awards and lets you replenish your pre-purchase card. The apps on iOS and Android are quite popular, but Windows Phones in US are left on the sidelines.

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Latté Locator is a simple, nicely laid out Starbucks finder app for Windows Phone. Latté Locator will not only discern the closest Starbucks but also map out directions to get you to that next cup of joe and pull up contact information for that particular café.

What makes the app unique though is where it gets its data. It’s not scrapping it from Google or Bing like other apps, but rather it is connecting directly to the Starbucks server via their private API. Think of how 6tag and Instance work with Instagram, and you have the same model for Latté Locator. The result? Highly accurate information and no “noise”. Throw in a nice UI with some cool features and we like what we see.

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Location Finder is a handy Windows Phone 8 app that will find, save and share your current location. With Location Finder you can record locations such as a campsite, where you parked your car, the location of a business you need to remember or simply sharing your location with friends/family so they can find you.

Location Finder was updated to version 2.6 last night that includes a handful of changes that are user driven. For example, many users asked for shorter URLs to make sharing your location easier. You can opt for the shorter URLs in the app’s settings.

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Top five Windows Phone apps for music fans

If there’s one form of media smartphone owners enjoy access to it has to be music. Windows Phones and music go hand in hand with numerous solutions available on the store, whether it be local library management, cloud services and music stores. From Xbox Music to Nokia MixRadio, we take a look at five popular music apps for Windows Phone.

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If you’re a fan of Weave, the popular news aggregator app for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, get ready to start checking for updates. Version 8.6.5 should be hitting the Store anywhere between the next few hours and tomorrow. That’s the Windows Phone 8 version and it has some swell additions, making it one of the more visually appealing news readers at your disposal.

Version 8.6.5 is not a major overhaul, but it does finally bring Pocket support (www.getpocket.com). With great apps like Poki or Pouch on Windows Phone, we find ourselves using the Pocket service more and more. With this update, when you hit the Share button, you’ll have Pocket and Instapaper as saving options. We’ve also heard there’s room for “one more” service, so look for that in another update.

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Taking amazing photographs on your Windows Phone is one task. Printing them off is another, but luckily Zoomin (www.zoomin.com) now has an official solution now available on the store. Photo Prints is a sweet app, enabling consumers in India to order prints anywhere in the region, perfect for those who wish to keep a physical copy of captured memories. 

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