apps

Microsoft seems to be constantly tweaking and fine tuning the Windows Phone Store experience. The latest upgrades will be seen with Windows Phone 8 store and covers a few design changes, a little under the hood tweaks and a hand full of new features.  All designed to help consumers with app and game selection and to help developers get thier works seen.

If you are curious if an app or game has Live Tile support, the Details Page of the application will make note if the app has a Live Tile.  This may not be a major improvement but how many out there have been curious is an app or game they are shopping for has Live Tile support and it's not noted in the description?

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Last year we reported on Microsoft’s Canadian initiative to spur on developers to create some great apps and in the process pick up some awesome stuff.

The system is based on points and from simply registering to publishing your app, you’ll be rewarded with some credits towards a long list of prizes. Read on past the break to see what you can get.

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Rogers has published a blog post detailing what hardware the carrier will be sporting from Microsoft for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, as well as any exclusivities Rogers will hold on said devices. We're already aware of which Windows Phones the carrier will be taking, but the blog post also touches on carrier apps that will be pre-loaded.

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Windows 8 presents a totally new way of using the OS, from the new touch screen interface to buying stuff from a store. There will be much to learn for consumers and more importantly perhaps, retail store staff.

ExpertZone TV have posted up a video to help the folks who are going to sell these machines work up a nice demo. Unlike your granddads version of Windows, 8 presents more than its fair share of new concepts to get to grips with. Let’s see how well they present the hard sell!

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Yes folks it’s finally here, the week that will see Microsoft launch Windows 8, spearheading its massive 2012 product launch schedule. It’s keystone of the ‘Three Screens & Cloud’ play and this is where we see how it’s all going to shake out.

The pre-orders for Surface have started and even run dry in some regions, invites to the various launch events have gone out and now it’s time to put all the cards on the table. With such a wide ranging spruce-up of the entire product line from Xbox to Windows Phone, we’re in for a wild ride. Windows 8 will be at the centre of these launches, not just because it’s Windows but because with it we will see a whole host of services light up to enable the entire eco system.

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We looked at NewsSpot back in September and have since been contacted by the developer to advise that version 2.7 is now available.

The Google Reader client was well received by us and we were looking forward to seeing the updates trickle through so we’re glad things are now on track. To get the update you will need to hit a new link in the marketplace which you can find below.

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Reinstaller is a free little app available for Windows Phone that aids consumers in starting fresh on a new handset, or when reseting a Windows Phone. The app essentially does exactly what the name suggests - it reinstalls apps already purchased by connecting to windowsphone.com.

Once the user has logged in and connected Reinstaller to the official Windows Phone website, Reinstaller pulls down all previously installed apps (both paid and free downloads). Instead of searching the Store for each and every app you've previously owned, Reinstaller provides a useful shortcut.

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The next version of Windows Phone is just around the corner, with it comes some fantastic hardware and the promise of new features. But what about the next gen apps?

While we have spent a great deal of time looking at the coming phones and peeking at the new underlying operating system did we forget that it’s the apps that matter? While we know that existing apps will work fine on the new OS, what lays in store for those dedicated Windows Phone 8 apps?

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Windows 8 has been pegged with the RTM title for some time but that does not mean it is really done. The code was simply ready to ship to PC makers and for developers to get busy creating apps.

The end user experience in Windows 8 has remained problematic, mainly due to the incomplete nature of the core app experiences when using the tile based WinRT interface. Whilst there have been a few minor updates nothing much has changed from when the OS was in its first public preview. All looks set to change as Microsoft just announced a slew of coming updates to the entire set of Microsoft WinRT apps.

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One of the biggest knocks that critics like to sling against Windows Phone is that there aren't enough apps available when compared to Apple and Android. Well, a new deal between chip maker AMD and software developer BlueStacks will ensure that the same cannot be said for Windows 8. The two companies have agreed to work together on bringing around 500,000 Android apps to Microsoft's upcoming operating system for PCs and tablets using AMD's AppZone Player.

By updating code in their processors and graphics chips, AMD has made it possible for apps designed for mobiles devices to look good on the larger displays of PCs and tablets. They hope that this will lure consumers to AMD-powered devices, rather than those running Intel chips.

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A new menu option in Windows Phone 7.8 for sharing apps

When we covered the Windows Phone 7.8 custom ROM last week in our hands on video, one thing we missed that has been brought to our attention involves the Program list.

Evidently, when you press-n-hold any third party app within the jump list, you now have a new option besides the current Pin to Start, Rate and Review and Uninstall and that’s Share.

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There have been a number of updates being pushed through the Windows Phone Store today, including new versions for ARMED!, Farm Frenzy 2, Adobe Reader and USA Today. While we've only managed to obtain changes for ARMED!, we'll still fire up the alert that you can look forward to update notifications for both USA Today, Adobe Reader and Farm Frenzy 2.

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Windows Phone Central's London Travel Companion App Roundup

We've got a bonus Windows Phone Central Roundup for you today that focuses on travel apps, specifically London travel companions, for your Windows Phone.

When traveling through London it can prove to be baffling when attempting to make use of public transport - particularly the Underground system. There are a number of apps available on the Marketplace that each offer unique functionality and user interface thanks to Windows Phone. But which one should you choose? 

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As Bruce Forsyth would say - higher or lower?

Bernardo Zamora has published an insightful blog post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, which goes into detail on how developers should configure individual market pricing - if at all. It's an interesting part of marketing one's work. Building and submitting the app is one thing. Effectively pricing your app(s) is another.

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“Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing." -Hitchens

Being a full-time writer and frequent traveler often means one enjoys spirits—it helps free the mind for writing or eases a hard day from running around airports.  And in this case, yours truly is a fan of Whiskey—scotch, bourbon, it doesn’t matter so long as you’re not putting Coke in it.  Pansies.

Last night I purchased a nice bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask. For those connoisseurs in audience, air high-five. I tossed a lovely pic on Twitter and thus started an awesome stream of recommendations from the Twittosphere.  Only one problem: true Scotch often has the original distillers name, which to my eyes (and ears) look like “Hey, you should really try Ddfjpshee Allt-Aphaig” or something.

Foreign tongues can be tough, so when someone really says that I should try anConc or Adelphi Fascadale (real names),  I need a way to remember and categorize that. Enter in the app Whisky Bar.

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Though it is most likely Vimeo, Instagram is said to be coming to WP8

Instagram has been confirmed to be heading for Windows Phone, according to a report by The Verge. We've previously managed to enjoy third-party alternatives due to no official app being available for Windows Phone consumers, which is until the Instagram team decided to destroy all hopes by denying developers the ability to include upload functionality into their apps. We've continued to sit tight and hope for a speedy arrival of an official offering.

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If only backing up was this easy

Continuing on with our series of Windows Phone how tos for those who are new to the platform, today we'll be looking at how to backup and restore our smartphones. Backing up is a chore than many have to undertake on their PC, whether it be apps, documents or photos from a memorable vacation - it's always best to have more than one copy of everything. The same goes for contents on your smartphone.

Should anything happen to your Windows Phone, or if you’d like to revert to an earlier snapshot, you’ll need a backup at hand to get everything working in perfect order. Unfortunately Microsoft doesn’t currently offer an official facility to manually backup a Windows Phone (not even in Zune), but luckily there are alternatives thanks to an active developing community.

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It may have take a while but Nokia Music is now available in the U.S. Windows Phone Marketplace. The music app is an exclusive to the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone and allows users to stream music from a collection of over 150 exclusive playlists.

In addition to the playlists, users can tap into a library of millions of songs and generate their own playlists.

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With the launch of the new Lumia 920 and 820 Windows Phone 8 devices, Nokia has also announced new group of exclusive apps coming to the Lumia line of WIndows Phones. The apps making it to the demo during the Lumia showcase was Angry Birds Roost which will be Nokia only for the first three months of availability.

The new Lumia handsets will boast NFC technology and Nokia have secured exclusives on apps that take advantage of this. YouSendIt which will also be a three-month exclusive will allow NFC file transfers as well a NFC travel app from Michelin which will allow retrieval of specific information at Michelin 2012 NFC enabled restaurants.

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