apps

Alan Mendelevich, the genius behind the AdDuplex advertising network for Windows Phone developers, has launched a new marketing and monetisation focused podcast titled AppBizDev (www.apbizdev.com). The bi-weekly podcast aims to aid developers and businesses who choose to launch apps on Windows platforms - be it Windows 8 or Windows Phone.

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We're back again with more spam (or useless app deployment) rants, folks. Apologies in advance but it really tickles the annoyed spot when we come across developers who either believe it's perfectly fine to publish copyrighted content with other owned properties, or simply launch themselves on a crap-posting-spree.

The last time we touched on spam itself, we were following the work of Eric_Rulz, but don't worry if you missed our coverage and investigation as his account is still present as well as the apps he produced. This is a developer who was obviously on a path to cause trouble by building and releasing apps that hold little (if any) functionality that's useful for consumers. In fact, he has an app called Spam.

Unfortunately we've noticed some more extreme levels of spam, from a developer called Bhavana Khatri.

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Windows Phone Central's roundup of Football apps

We've already covered a roundup of apps for your Windows Phone should you desire to follow American Football, but what about 'football' for the rest of the world (also known as soccer)? We've got you covered with this roundup of the football apps available for Windows Phone. Prepare yourself for an eventful 2012/13 season with Windows Phone Central.

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Base, a software startup owned by Future Simple (www.futuresimple.com) has gone on a development tear, releasing their new mobile Customer Relation Management (CRM) app for iOS, Android and now Windows Phone.

The app, which bears the same moniker as the startup who developed it, is a tool that allows businesses to track their sales and manage their contacts. It works in conjunction with Base's web-based desktop application so information is available across devices.

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627.AM is a popular daily assistant for your Windows Phone that helps you manage daily alarms, check in on the weather forecast and jot notes on daily tasks. Our initial impressions found 627.AM to be a simple, clever and gorgeous app. The original release had 627.AM being a free, ad supported app. If you liked the free version but didn't care for the banner ads, an updated, ad-free version hit the Marketplace recently.

Losing the ads will cost you a little but you will also get a few new features including a theme friendly Live Tile, refined navigation animations, and the alarm time on the main page will now pick up the right time format based on your Windows Phone settings.

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The speech recognition service, offering similar capabilities to Apples Siri is set to get a sweet little cash injection. The company has just walked away from talks to inject $5 million US into expanding its service to include more accents and languages.

The company is working closely with Nuance Communications to deliver mobile apps for Android and Apple devices and even bring the service to normal cell phones too. They aim to bring the service to tablets and computing headsets also.

Ask Ziggy also announced that they intend to release its SDK shortly. Sounds like good news for the company. It is clear that investors see the market value of these speech recognition systems. As Windows Phones users, we have had Ask Ziggy for some time and overall folks seem happy with the service.

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An update has been released for Nokia's Weather Windows Phone app, which is available in the OEM collection on the Marketplace. The app is a "suped-up" version of The Weather Channel app that is available for all Windows Phone owners to use, and sports some interesting functionality and features. The manufacturer launched their own version of the app back in July and already they've released an update.

It was previously limited in availability but this update brings with it new region support. While no changelog is presently available, we expect backend changes and improvements to be bundled with the release. 

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Software piracy is a serious battle, which can also affect our beloved platform developers. Microsoft has taken action by automatically applying encryption to all apps through the newly unveiled Dev Center. According to a detailed post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Todd Brix states that all apps (including those already submitted) are automatically encrypted without user input.

We first heard about the possibility of server-side encryption back in November, 2011. From our understanding, Microsoft was waiting until everyone was on Mango to implement that feature and it now looks to have happened. If you recall, at the end of April Microsoft decreed that you had to have Windows Phone 7.5 to get to the Marketplace. Combined with the Dev Center refresh, we think that transition for encryption is now complete.

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Nokia Netherlands has confirmed with WhatsAppen, a dedicated WhatsApp website, that an update for the Windows Phone app is well on its way. This is to follow the mysterious disappearance of WhatsApp, which is now set to private and is unavailable to those who do not have it installed.

It was only a few days ago when we first covered the disappearance of WhatsApp from the Windows Phone Marketplace, and were later contacted by the WhatsApp team who denied reports suggesting this pull was due to security issues. Unfortunately, they were unable to inform us exactly why the app was set to private, but it shouldn't matter in the next 48 hours as that's when Nokia has stated the app will return with the update.

We'll fire up a quick announcement when the app is once again available on the Marketplace.

via: WhatsAppen; thanks, Dennis, for the tip!

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We reviewed CleverPhoto way back in October 2011 and gave it quite favorable feedback:

“The layout is clean. The editing tools are enough to do a decent job at cleaning up your photos or give them an artistic feel. And as someone who has processed what feels like a bazillion photos over the years, the editing history tile is a very nice touch. It's easy to forget if you've adjusted contrast or what filter was applied and the history tile leaves no room for doubt.”

The photo editing app always stood out amongst the herd. The app fetched for $1.49 with a free trial but it is now marked as free in the Marketplace with the price drop just occurring. In addition, the app hit version 2.0 at the end of July making this a double win if you had not already purchased it...

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Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Photo Effects Apps

There's very little argument that the camera is one of the center pieces of our Windows Phone. We use it to capture the moments in time that are special and sharing them. We've touched on several photo editing apps for our Windows Phones in the past (Thumba, Fhotoroom, Fantasia Painter, etc.) and this week's round up focuses on those editing apps that simply apply effects to our pictures.  

These are the apps that apply artistic filters, frames, and the sort to give our photos a little flair and pizzazz. They turn a color photo into a black and white image, give the image a sepia filter for that antique feel, or presents your photos in a Polaroid styled frame. No cropping, exposure editing, etc.  Just effects with a little framing thrown in for good measure.

As always, if we've left out a title that you would recommend, it shouldn't reflect poorly on things. If we've missed one, feel free to chime in down below in the comments.

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Windows Phone App Review: Dad's Taxi

For those with children, ever feel as though you drive a taxi? Dad's Taxi is a novelty app for your Windows Phone that might help you have a little fun with your kids. 

Dad's Taxi uses your Windows Phone location services to track distances traveled and then converts it into metered rates. Very similar to a taxi cab's meter. You can use the app to charge your kids a fortune the next time you have to cart them to the mall, the theatre or where ever duty calls.

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Turbo Camera is a neat camera app for your Windows Phone that delivers high speed shutter performance and allows you to convert your images into an animated .gif file.  The burst mode reaches as high as 30 frames per second on some Windows Phones. The app recently passed the 250,000 download mark and in celebration, the developer has lowered the price to $.99.

Turbo Camera normally runs $1.99 and the sale price will stay in place until the version 2.0 update hits the Marketplace. According to the developer, the update is scheduled in the next few weeks.

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HBO Go, the service that let's HBO subscribers stream movies and TV shows to various devices, is one of the greatest blessings to the world of apps in recent times. And now it has finally come to Windows Phone...but only in Romania. You may ask yourself, "Why Romania?" Well, the answer may be that HBO Go depends heavily on regional cable providers and those carriers in Romania were the first to get agreements in place with television giant. At any rate, customers of Romanian providers HBO Go VIP/Club Romania, INES, NextGen Communications, or Romtelecom can now watch their favorite shows on their Windows Phone devices.

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[+] Lock Screen is a stellar app and a must-have

Looks like it’s a good week in the Windows Phone Marketplace for deals as we just got tipped that Snack Studios have made their pay-apps free for an undisclosed time.

The developers have numerous apps in the Marketplace and in our opinion, all are top notch with an elegant design and useful functionality.  Those are apps are the following:

  • [+] Lock Screen – This app comes with a surprising array of gorgeous wallpapers for your Start screen but you can also add a physical calendar and other graphics on top before you save. A must-have app, trust us.
  • [+] Lomo Cam – A standard camera app that has pre-set filters including Lomo, Black and White and others giving your photos a unique look. Also very well done.
  • [+] Note Plus – A unique note taking app with elegant backgrounds, this app uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and has SkyDrive backup. Huzzah!
  • [+] Moments – This app merges photos with notes to allow you to save your memories
  • [+] Emoji – A helper app that allows you to easily insert emoji into text messages

All of those apps are normally $0.99 but dropped to free on July 7th. There are ‘lite’ versions for some of these apps but you can evidently have the full ones for zero—so hop to it as these are some seriously nice programs.

Hit the links above which take you to the Marketplace or just search for ‘Snack Studio’ to find all of their apps. Thanks, Nettwerk, for the tip! 

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Although news on or about Windows Phone may be slow coming out today there’s still plenty going on in the tech world that’s tied to Microsoft with some residual effects for our favorite mobile OS. Instead of spamming our own site with tangential news, we figured we would just summarize in a digest. Cool?

Today’s new stories that we've found interesting are the following—

  • Motorola import ban for violating Microsoft’s patent goes into effect tomorrow
  • Office 2013 has an app store + hidden Metro site
  • Forbes Online says Nokia stock is worth holding on to

So head past the break to catch up on some of these interesting stories making the rounds today...

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Developers, Scott Lovegroove and Dan Thomas are set to bring a Windows Phone developer event to the charming surrounds of Bournemouth. The seaside-based event is to provide a space for fervent discussion on the recent developments from Redmond, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. 

Whilst a full agenda for the day is still to be confirmed, the day is to be peppered with presentations, developer insights as well as some time to get in and hack away at some code. If that’s not enough for you they are also planning a ‘Geek Dinner’ where I’m sure the frivolities will continue with gusto.

With the coming opportunities to cross develop for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 coming edging ever closer. Events like these should be invaluable to those seeking to know more about these exciting changes. So if you have an interest in development I’d urge you not to miss out. As with all developer events like this, the more that attend and contribute the better. 

Windows Phone Central will be representing there too in the form of Richard Edmonds and myself. We are always interested in seeing any upcoming projects you may be working on so please do come by and say hello. We will endeavour to make ourselves known. Head on over to the WPDD website for more information and spot registration.

Source : Windows Phone Dev Day

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The Hertz Car Rental app has landed in the Windows Phone Marketplace to help manage your car reservations a little easier. The app is laid out nicely in panoramic or metro fashion with pages to view your reservations, find your car, and to find gas stations nearby.

From the My Reservations page you can create or modify rental car reservations. Just tap the blue "reserve or modify your reservation" bar or the plus sign at the bottom of the page. You will then be prompted to the reservation forms from Hertz. You can log into your Hertz Member account from the reservation pages as well.

The "Where is my car?" page is a nice touch and lets you mark where you parked your car using your Windows Phone location services. Just tap the plus sign to mark your location, add a description and then tap save. A map thumbnail and description will appear on the page to help you get back to your car. You can even pull up Bing Maps to get directions back to your car.

The Gas Stations page is somewhat self explanatory. The page will tap into your location services and pull up a listing of all the gas stations in your area.  Tap on a location to generate driving directions (through Bing) to the gas station and pull up the map view of the location.

All in all, the Hertz Car Rental app is a nice tool for your Windows Phone. In navigating around the app, managing car rentals is about as easy as calling an agent or going on-line. Hertz did a good job of making things simple and straight forward. If you find yourself renting cars with regularity, this app may be a must have app for your Windows Phone.

Hertz Car Rental app is a free Windows Phone app that you can find here at the Marketplace.

Thanks, Evan, for the tip!

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