Apps

Google just can’t seem to make friends with Windows Phone. The latest crackdown will come in May 2014 when the search giant begins to enforce its terms-of-service for its Google Voice service, barring third-party companies from making apps.

Google Voice, which used to be Grand Central before it was bought, is a one-number-service that allows users to have a single phone number to ring all of their phones—landline or cellular. It also allows users to protect their real number by giving out their Google Voice digits instead as well as send “free” text messages, since the service utilizes data.

Up until recently, third party developers could tap into the service, releasing their own apps. On Android or iOS, the demand for such solutions is quite low due to both platforms having official options for users. However, since Google shuns everything that is Windows Phone, there is no official Google Voice app for Microsoft’s OS. As a result, developers have created solutions, including the top-rated MetroTalk app to fill in the gap.

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While we have access to the high resolution images captured on the Nokia Lumia 1020, you've got to connect your Windows Phone up to a computer and weed out the high-res files. 1Shot Beta hopes to change all that.

The Windows Phone 8 photography app captures images at the highest resolution and saves them as a viewable file in your camera roll. The end result, direct access to the high resolution images.

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Halloween may have already passed but if you ever have the need to add a little spookiness to your photos, GhostCam for Windows Phone 8 might come in handy.

The photography app overlays a ghostly spirit to your photos to give them that supernatural feel.  The end result isn't too bad but the app could use a little fine tuning.

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Goibibo, one of the fast growing online travel booking platforms in India, now has a Windows Phone app to book flights on the go. Incidentally, Goibibo has a Windows Store app since last year.

Like the Windows 8 app, this one is pretty basic too. While it is very clean and fast, it’s limited in offerings. The app does not allow the booking of bus tickets, hotels, and travel packages as available on their website. Even for flight bookings, the app only allows the booking of domestic flight tickets.

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Swish (www.getswish.se) is a popular Swedish payment system that allows the transfer of money via mobile numbers. Funds are automatically withdrawn and deposited into respective accounts, regardless of the connected bank (as long as they're participating). The service has now launched an official app for Windows Phone, enabling those enrolled with Swish to get cracking on Microsoft's mobile platform.

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It’s been a fairly quiet week in terms of breaking news, but the world of Windows Phone doesn’t stop. We’ve got a handful of great apps to highlight for you this week. This is our second time rounding up noteworthy apps that are new to the store or current apps that received a substantial update. We’re going to be calling this column our Weekly App Highlights. Again, this is to make sure you didn’t miss out on any cool new apps in the Store. We’re doing this for you, so be sure to leave us feedback on what you want. Now, without further ado, let’s check out the apps for the week.

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Fhotoroom is a feature rich photography app for both Windows Phone 7.x and 8. It combines a photo editor, camera app and photo sharing/social network all into one package.

The Windows Phone 8 version of Fhotoroom was updated over night to version 9.3 which adds a few new filters, new comment feature and a few UI changes. The update comes just as Fhotoroom moves within reach of a milestone... 3,000,000 downloads.

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Music lovers in India have another reason to celebrate this festive season. Hungama, one of the biggest digital music services in India, has finally launched their Windows Phone app this week. Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt Ltd. is the largest aggregator, developer, publisher, and distributor of Bollywood and South-Asian entertainment content in the world.

The beautifully designed app is definitely a one-stop jukebox for free music streaming. Along with songs and music videos, the app provides trivia, lyrics, and info for all the latest songs. The service is backed by a huge library of over 2 million songs and music videos spread across bollywood, devotional, ghazals, pop, and rock genres in Hindi and several regional Indian languages, along with popular and latest international music.

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The official Flickr app for Windows Phone is slacking off. It hasn’t been updated since 2012 in March. Thankfully, we’ve got a ton of great developers stepping up to the plate to provide solid Flickr experiences on Windows Phone. Some of our favorites include Pixl, Indulged, and Viewr for Flickr. Feel free to add newcomer 2flicka to that list of awesome Flickr apps for Windows Phone. Let’s check it out.

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Quality apps that are exclusive to Windows Phone make us very happy. Foundbite is one that we’ve covered in the past in beta form and it’s now available for you to download. This is an app we’ve been looking forward to hitting the Store for a long time. Now that it’s here we’ll check it out and hopefully help convince you to get on board with one of the coolest apps to come out of AppCampus.

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Although Windows Phone 8 is nearly one year old, the promise of numerous VOIP apps is still not quite a reality. Yesterday though, Nimbuzz, an old school messaging service, finally delivered on free voice calls for their Windows Phone app.

Version 1.1.4.0 is now live in the Store for Windows Phone 8 devices. Free voice calls (with your Nimbuzz contacts) and bug fixes are the two features on order.

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Movember (a charitable spin on November) is an important month of the year, enabling every man to grow a moustache for charity. These "Mo’s" raise vital funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. It's a worthwhile cause. If you remember last year, we also got involved with Movember, but Nokia has now released an unofficial Movember (www.movember.com​) app, titled #MoWithLove.

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Windows Phone Central App and Game Roundup: Are you ready for some Football?

This time of year many will find themselves pre-occupied with the American pastime football. Be it fixated on Saturday with College Football or glued to the screen on Sunday with the NFL, we love our football.

The sport now transcends the weekend with games during the week as well as on the weekends.  For the times we can't be anchored to the couch, taking in all the games, our Windows Phones are a great way to stay in touch with the sport.  This week's Windows Phone Central Roundup focuses on those gridiron apps.  Apps that focus on delivering all the news, scores, stats and standings from the football field.  We also throw in a few football games for good measure just in case you need something to help you pass the time with during those extended t.v. time-outs.

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Nokia’s App Social is a clever app for users. It’s in the Nokia Collection, so exclusive to Lumia owners. However, it’s still a pretty fun way to discover new apps in the Store. App Social is a place where a social network becomes a great place for app discovery. It started out in beta as App Highlights before graduating to App Social. Now there’s a new a new beta version of App Social for you to try out, so let’s check it out.

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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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Are you a bargain hunter? If so, you'll definitely want to remain in the loop when it comes to Red Stripe Deals. Microsoft puts three apps (and/or games) on sale to save you some cash. The selections are generally what you'd want to download too, which is always a. What are the deals for this week? My Notes, Eyez and Skulls of the Shogun make the list.

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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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