apps

Back in February, Microsoft held a contest to name the top healthcare and medical apps available for WP7.  The results were announced earlier this month and are as follows:

What is interesting to note here, is that the winners listed above fit more into the Health and Fitness category, rather than Medical.  Dan Buckland from MedGadget is quick to point out that WP7 is somewhat lacking when it comes to straight-up medical apps, especially some of the big names that medical professionals often use.  While users can find a couple of well-known names, like Unbound Medicine and Microsoft HealthVault (of course!), others like Skyscape, Medscape and Epocrates remain absent.  When MedGadget put the question to an Epocrates representative of whther or not a WP7 version was in the works, they vaguely replied that they are “currently investigating the Windows 7 platform and will update website with more details as they become available.”

Microsoft has been touting the wide-range capabilities of Windows Phone for business use, but it seems that they would be well-served to make that include specialized fields, such as medicine.  It is certainly a large enough market to help the platform gain ground on its competitors.

What do our medically-inclined readers think?  Is WP7 falling behind early?

Source: Microsoft; Via: MedGadget

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FoodSpotting app hits Marketplace

The official WP7 app for FoodSpotting has made its way to the Marketplace.  Just like the site itself, the new app helps users find nearby restaurants and review them, right down to the individual tasty tidbit.  Take photos of your favorite dish, upload it, and share it with others.  You can search by map or genre and even bookmark foods you want to try.  And all of this can be shared with other FoodSpotting users.

You can get it here.

Source: FoodSpotting Thanks goes out to Nicolas for the tip!

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Zune HD apps to be ported to WP7

It's been revealed that there are plans for some apps on Zune HD to be ported onto the Windows Phone platform. This is fantastic news if this goes ahead at some point due to the quality of apps available to Zune HD users is pretty high and the WP7 Marketplace could always use a slight positive boost (especially with recent spam).

In a Zune Insider podcast, Zune senior business development manager, Dave McLauchlan explained that Zune HD apps could make an appearance in the WP7 Marketplace.

"A question I keep getting around apps on Zune [HD] is, what about porting to Windows Phone? There are many thousands of apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace, it’s going gangbusters and not so much on the Zune HD Marketplace. And that’s by design, we designed the system such that we would have a very public, very open marketplace for Windows Phone. But hey, what about the apps that are on Zune [HD]? We had some very good apps there. When are they coming to Windows Phone?

The answer to that question is two-fold. Number one, we actually have some developers that have developed titles for Zune [HD] that aren’t Microsoft employees or aren’t on the Zune team. And those guys are very welcome to go and create apps for Windows Phone any time they like. The apps that we have built internally for Zune [HD], we’re actually looking at porting those over to Windows Phone. Right now, our focus for the app team is, more apps for Zune [HD]. Zune [HD] owners would like to hear that there’s more stuff coming. So that’s definitely the case."

You can check out the podcast where you can witness the banter surrounding the topic. What apps would you like to see ported?

Via: AnythingbutiPhone and Windows Phone Secrets

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Security is always a cause for concern, whether it be with online banking or simply ordering a Domino's pizza. Passwords used online for applications or services are no different, especially with the amount of cyber crime occuring since the boom of the world wide web. Google have published an article on their blog outlining recent attacks being made on Gmail accounts and how users can protect themselves further.

One way to further protect your email account is to use OTP (One Time Password) via the web interface when logging on across multiple machines, networks and/or locations. For your Windows Phone (and other devices) you can use application specific passwords, which are password that are randomly generated and are used per device. You don't need to remember it and it doesn't affect your main login credentials. Think of it as an access key your device requires to be able to gain access to your account.

Check out the video after the break for the step-by-step walkthrough on using two-step verification and creating an application specific password for your Gmail account on your device. 

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Not so long ago, 1800PocketPC reported that the Marketplace ranking system which moves apps and games up and down within a category depending on popularity and rating was broken (probably Chuck Norris had his app declined at certification and decided to round-house kick the Marketplace). Everything now seems to be back to normal and rankings reflective of respective ratings.

The problem was most notable with Lunar Lander, released on 11th May, has a two and a half star rating and was frozen at 68th position, while newly released Hydro Thunder GO, which has a four star rating was stamped at 1277th position. While this may not affect big developers much in terms of reach, indie developers who don't have Live titles in the games category would have found this particularly worrying, especially since they already have problems with Live titles getting more coverage.

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Windows Phone apps magazine

The Windows Phone UK blog have just posted a new entry about their digital guide to the Windows Phone 7 for consumers. This magazine covers topics including; social networking, games, FAQs, Marketplace and an introduction to the operating system.

Perfect for all users, especially those who have just made the leap to WP7, the magazine features over 140 apps. Some of which are sorted into twelve categories: news & weather, travel, maps & search, games, productivity & tools, business, entertainment, music & video, lifestyle, reference & books, social networks and photography. Not to mention a list of ten apps that will help improve ones life.

Some helpful tips on getting yourself started with both Zune and setting up a Live ID are included as well as some tips and highlights of WP7. Head on over to the blog via the link below to check out the publication.

Source: Windows Phone UK Blog

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We haven't tossed this one around in a while and with Verizon customers coming on board soon with the HTC Trophy, it was suggested (thanks Sam) that we touch on the top apps over at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

We've got two sources to draw upon (actually there's more but we decided to settle on these two). First there's Bing's Visual Search (as depicted above) that lumps free with paid apps in their list. Then there's the Marketplace top ten that breaks things down into a list for free apps and a list for paid apps (see below).

Follow the break to read what apps stood out from both lists.

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If you are looking for a good YouTube app for WP7, head over to XDA and check out the latest version of LazyWormApp's YouTube.  This stunning client is packed with features, including customized searching, favorites, full comment support and streaming of HQ videos over 3G and Wifi.  You can watch videos in preview form, or rotate your phone for full size.  There are a number of new features and improvements over the previous version:

New features
- Lazylist (customizable video feed)
- Author details and subscription
- Regional settings
- Recently played videos (history)

Improvements
- Subtle interface animations
- Selectable description text (Nodo only)
- Preview playback while browsing comments & author
- Usability improvements
- Bug fixes

You can download the Marketplace or from the original thread.

Source: XDA

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WP7 now features a sex offenders app

With all the 'bad people' out there and how smartphones solve Human problems (wireless communication, entertainment values, etc.), one would hope that an offering would reach Windows Phone 7 to combat sex offenders. Well, it has.

An app called Sex Offenders Search is slightly like Bronseal's slogan; "It does exactly what it says on the tin" (if you don't know Bronseal), where it displays to the user all registered sex offenders in and around your area (using GPS and maps). The app allows you to select an offender and view a photo, name, address and offenses. 

Sex Offenders Search is currently only available in the US, bit of a pain for us Europeans, and can be found on the Marketplace for $1.99 here.

Source: WP7 Connect

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Although we have seen some MIX11 apps for Windows Phone in the past, it looks like Microsoft rolled out their "official" one yesterday, called 'Conference Helper'.

The app is a great tool for those attending the big Microsoft sponsored dev conference next week in Las Vegas, as it gives a way to mark events to attend, has a floor map, news and general info. No outstanding features e.g. live tiles or notifications are present, but it's not bad for what it is either.

  • Browse and search sessions
  • View sessions filtered by speakers and tags.
  • Manage your favorite sessions.
  • Access sessions and schedule information even without Internet access.
  • View maps of the conference center and the neighborhood.

The alternates, MIX11 Explorer (from eDefine) or MIX11 from ConceptDevelopment.net are also good choices, with MIX11 Explorer getting the highest reviews of all.

Here are the links to the Marketplace for each: Conference Helper (Microsoft); MIX11 Explorer and MIX11

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Official XDA app is here

After 7 months of development, XDA's official app for Windows Phone 7 is here.  It is equipped with Toast notifications and Live Tile support, so you can receive real-time PM notifications.  Sporting the Metro user interface, the XDA app let's users:

  • View forums
  • Send/receive PMs
  • Subscribe to forum
  • Read and respond to posts
  • Check news from the Portal

Download it here for $0.99.

Source: XDA; Via: MobilityDigest

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HTC releases a native compass app

If you have an HTC branded Windows Phone, you may want to check out their new free compass app pushed to the Marketplace (though oddly, not available in the HTC Hub just yet).

The app is not as nifty as LG's augmented reality apps but it's not half bad either, allowing you to have a dynamic magnetic compass plus use "walking directions" to some nearby location can be pretty useful. Plus, it's free and is fun to play around with (the app will even keep your screen on while running, which was smart).

Just click the link here to open up the Marketplace either via Zune or on your phone. Only HTC devices need apply, unless you have an unlocked/developer phone then you can try the .XAP file here.

via wmpoweruser

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Kinabalu Innovation Limited has informed us that SurfCube is making the move to being ad supported, starting with version 2.5.  The trial version will no longer be capped at 20 uses, but will display a small advertisement.  Anyone who purchases the 3D browser will be able to use it free of ads.

Due to popular demand, SurfCube 2.5 will also include the ability to save JPEGs directly to the phone.  The people spoke and Kinabalu listened.

If you want to check out SurfCube Free 2.5 you can get it here.

The full paid version ($1.99) can be found here.

Source: Kinabalu Innovation Limited

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According to Jaime Rodriguez on Twitter, a client evangelist at Redmond, the Facebook for Windows Phone 7 team is working on a fix for the problems some users have been experiencing with the official Facebook app. Until the fix is cleared and the app updated on the Marketplace, we recommend to continue using built-in integration, albeit slightly less feature rich. 

Stay tuned for an announcement as to when the update is available for download!

Update: The update has been released on the Marketplace and is ready to download. Please update when possible to fix the crashing issues present.

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Opera for WP7 launching at CTIA

Opera has announced that it will be releasing its first WP7 browser, Opera Mobile 11, at CTIA next week.  Along with Mobile 11, the launch will also include Opera Mini 6.  Between the two versions Opera plans to cover a wide range of mobile operating systems: Windows Phone 7, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Symbian/Series 60, J2ME and MeeGo. Commenting on the versatility of the cross-platform browser, Lars Boilesen, CEO, had this to say:

"In our lineup, all players are equally important--we leave no device behind. Our small and clever pieces of software will give you a 5-star experience, no matter what hardware you prefer"

Details are scarce, so we'll just have to wait and see develops at CTIA.  If this holds true, Windows Phone 7 users will finally have an alternative to Internet Explorer.  It will also be interesting to see how the Opera announcement will effect the Mango update and IE9's transition to the mobile platform. 

Source: Opera; Via: PocketNow

Update: False alarm

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The majority of us are by no means tech savvy and we are sometimes found to be stuck at a wall when attempting to accomplish something that requires some technical knowledge and/or skill. To name a specific situation - bloggers or website owners who wish to publish an app that allows readers (and visitors) to use the website or services through a customised environment, instead of the web browser.

This is where FollowMyFeed comes into play for Windows Phone 7. Any website owner who wishes to feature an app, one can simply input their RSS feed into the system, which then creates an application based solely on that feed. Very handy for end-users with the included availability of faster loading times, offline usage and a Metro UI feel. The only perk is you will need to be able to submit the application to the Marketplace, which requires an annual subscription of $99 over at the App Hub.

There have already been successful implementations similar to this idea on other platforms. Invision Power Services, who specialise in community software (namely IP.Board), introduced means for forum owners to use the official app on the iOS platform that took advantage of the mobile template offered and allowed for a more enjoyable experience for end-users.

FollowMyFeed is a great option to aid sites and blogs with easily creating an app for the platform quickly and effectively. While not perfect by any means, and not entirely comparable to full personalised apps with huge lists of features, it’s a step in the right direction for more exposure with the growing Windows Phone 7 community.

Source: Go Microsoft; via 1800PocketPC

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The official Facebook application, brought to you by Microsoft, is experiencing some odd crashing issues with some users. Checking the Marketplace for the application and reading some reviews featured on the app summary page displays a clear indication as to the scale of the problem.

We have attempted to reproduce the issue ourselves, and were only able to report one instance (Samsung Focus - another Focus worked however) that experienced crashes when running the Facebook app. It appears (at this early stage) to be randomly tripped with no apparent cause(s) being identified.

Reading the reviews back to the beginning of March, it seems as though it suddenly sprung on unsuspecting users, who are now understandably frustrated. Much like the Youtube offering from Microsoft being a complete flop, this is a serious concern that must be addressed soon to prevent further negativity clouding the WP7 experience and continuing the painful reminder of the pre-NoDo update.

Are you familiar with these recent issues? There is a temporary workaround for posting statuses and commenting on friends updates via the built-in integration the Windows Phone 7 platform sports. At least we have some way of spying on people we dislike while the official gateway to social goodness is unreliable or simply not working.

Thanks mk for the tip!

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Debugging WP7 apps [Developers]

Den Delimarsky has posted a great video over at DZone that runs through some steps which can be carried out to debug Windows Phone 7 apps while they run with no debugger attached. Without one present, it proves to be increasingly difficult to track down every exception present. 

Source: DZone

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Ryan Lee, developer of the Favorites Hub, has submitted an interesting application for Windows Phone 7 Marketplace certification. Terra Explorer is a web browser that uses a search engine as a central theme for the browsing experience. Instead of entering a URL, you explorer the internet by searching keywords.  You then have an internal mobile browser to view specific search results.

Searches are returned in a nice range of categories, spread out on hub pages that includes web, news, video, images and wiki results. You can disable the search categories in the settings.  Searches and specific results  can be saved to a favorites list.  Terra Explorer also has theme support with five pre-installed themes and the ability to create custom themes.

Based on the demo video, the app has a clean look to it and a straightforward interface. It will support five languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish and English) and is being submitted as a free application with ad support.  There isn't a time frame for when Terra Explorer will be available at the Marketplace but once it becomes available, we'll get a full review up for it.

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MoTweets 2.1 for WP7 delayed

Panoramic Software reports via Twitter that MoTweets v2.1 for Windows Phone 7 has been delayed.  They have not offered up a timeline for the release, but they have made a list of features available:

  • More robust timeline Tap’n’Hold for quicker interactions
  • Fixed an issue with White theme post screen
  • Better handling of twitter errors in Tweet details and User details screen
  • Fixed Hashtag issue on posting tweets
  • Fixed List selection bug
  • Added “more” at the bottom of timelines to load older tweets
  • Option to keep 200 tweets
  • Better handling and more access to create DM’s
  • Showing new icon for new RSS items
  • Progressbar for translate option
  • After timeline refresh, animates to first new tweet arrived
  • Option for Vibrate on/off
  • Reply All option
  • Speed and stability improvements
  • Several smaller fixes

Update: Panoramic tells us that they are hoping for a Friday release, pending Microsoft's verification process.

Source: Panoramic Software (1, 2)

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