apps

The official 2012 Olympic Games app has landed in the Windows Phone Marketplace. London 2012 was developed by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and is designed to keep you up to date with the latest Olympic action and Paralympic action.

The app is laid out nicely with the following pages.

  • Live Updates Page that currently displays a countdown timer to the Olympic Opening Ceremony. From there, the page will display updates from the games.
  • Sports Page that breaks down the events by sports. Each sports tile will pull up the specific events, news items for that sport, a photos page and an About page that covers any rules and venue information on that sport.
  • Calendar Page breaks things down by date. Tap on a date and you'll pull up an time listing of events by sport. Tap and hold an event to set a reminder so you won't be late.
  • The Favourites Page lists any sport you've tagged as favorite or reminders you've set.
  • The Menu Page has links to view the games schedules and results, medal tally, athlete profiles, access the My Games section and access the app's settings. The My Games section can be set to a specific Country to pull up news, reminders and favourites for the Country.

You can toggle between the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games through the three-dot menu that runs across the bottom of the main pages. The Paralympic content isn't currently available but is expected to be available in time for those games (August 29th through September 9th).

London 2012 is a very nice application to keep you informed on the Olympic Game results and schedules. While the app does give a good bit of information about the venues of the Olympics it lacks any mapping support. While you can easily switch over to Bing maps or Nokia maps, it would have been nice to have everything under one roof.  

The LOCOG is working on a companion app for London 2012, the London 2012 Join In app, that is a mobile guide to help plan, enjoy and share your gaming experience for the Olympics and Paralympics.  Hopefully the mapping component will be a part of this companion app but it sounds more like a Twitter/Facebook app.  We'll keep a look out for the Join In app and let you know.

London 2012, the official Olympic Games app, is a free offering (ad supported) that you can find here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. While this is the official app, there are several other 2012 Olympic apps available on the Marketplace. Look for a round-up of these alternative Olympic apps on Friday with this week's Windows Phone Central Roundup.

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Nokia continues to strengthen partnerships with software providers to bring more compelling content to the Windows Phone platform. This time they are working with Genius Brands International to bring their *Award Winning* Baby Genius products exclusively to Lumia devices. 

Baby Genius apps aim to help children transition from preschool to kindergarten. The first two apps from the series Sing ‘n Play Pals will arrive this summer as Nokia exclusive content. The apps are said to contain both free and premium content that can be unlocked by a parent at their discretion.

CEO of Genius Brands Klaus Moeller had this to say about the announcement...

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According to some of our readers, the Windows Phone Marketplace appears to experiencing some issues. We've confirmed ourselves that the UK and US Marketplaces are down, throwing a "c101a249" error when an attempt is made to download an app. As was the case with previous outages, we'll not get too worked up about potential maintenance.

Hopefully this downtime will be minimal. Have you experienced any issues today? Let us know in the comments. 

Update: Xbox LIVE and Zune are also down for a lot of users, so evidently the two are connected

Thanks, revamp, for the heads up!

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Happy news for those of you who are fans of LazyWorm's Metrotube app. After announcing that it would no longer be available after the first of the year, the developer has decided to bring it back to the Marketplace, this time, as a free app. In a letter to users,  the company explained that they faced a challenge with YouTube's API when trying to obtain high-quality videos from the Google-owned site. They were forced to use a workaround, but found it to be unsustainable in the long term. LazyWorm tried to get support in an official capacity from both Microsoft and Google, but just couldn't work it out, so they originally decided to pull what was widely considered to be the best YouTube app out there.

Since an officially-supported solution could not be found, LazyWorm decided to re-offer Metrotube for free using the workaround.  LazyWorm's announcement was short and to the point.

Our goal from the very beginning was to deliver a rich YouTube experience that could be officially promoted by Microsoft (or Google). It was for this reason that we never supported features such as video download or the playback of non-mobile content and why we have spent the past 7 months investigating alternative avenues of delivering the same rich experience via official means.

We were truly hopeful that we could resolve these issues however it has gotten to the stage where we've exhausted all of our options. Essentially, we have done everything in our power to go through official channels without any luck. We don't want to see the project that has consumed a year and half of our lives go to waste like this and so we've decided to re-launch Metrotube for free.

We hope the app receives a big enough response from the Windows Phone community justifying the need for Google or Microsoft to show us a little more support.

While it's not quite the storybook ending they had hoped for, we here at Windows Phone Central are psyched for Metrotube to return. Perhaps Google will realize that it runs circles around their official app and will decide to support it in some fashion.  Metrotube has passed Marketplace certification and should be available within 24-48 hours.  We'll update things with a link once it becomes available.

Source: LazyWorm Apps

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The Windows Phone UK team have released two editions of the Apps Magazine so far that is focused on helping new adopters get started with their new Windows Phones. Edition #3 is readily available should you find yourself in the dark and haven't quite yet got round to checking it out for the rich content available.

The edition follows #2, which was released back in November. As well as running through a number of apps (160 to be exact) available on the Marketplace, the magazine does feature highlights of Windows Phone itself, from Live Tiles to Bing and local services. Whether you're an experienced fan or have just jumped from a competitor platform, it's well worth a read.

Be sure to check out the Windows Phone Apps Magazine on Facebook.

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Qualcomm has announced a Windows RT Metro Style App developer contest at Uplinq 2012. Before you get yourself excited, the competition is only available to those who reside in the states, but should you be eligible you can pocket a chunk of the $200,000 prize - not bad, eh?

Winners will be selected in a number of categories, including 'Best Overall Windows RT app" ($100,000), "Best Compelling Connectivity Use Case" ($20,000), "Best Gaming App" ($20,000), "Best Productivity App" ($20,000) and "Best AllJoyn Peer-to-peer app" ($40,000). Each entered app will be evaluated by a panel.

To enter one must submit their working application where it will then be judged. The entry period is active until October 1st 2012. For more information, check out the competition website. Full press release can be found after the break.

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Twabbit for Windows Phone is a Twitter client that is nicely laid out, has plenty of features and overall is a really nice Windows Phone app.

Twabbit's main pages cover your Twitter home page with all your tweets, interactions with other tweets and your direct message inbox. Other key features include:

  • Persistently present tweet button that enables you to compose tweets from anywhere in the app
  • Quick reply bar, Support for multiple Twitter accounts
  • Ability to mute users, hastags and apps
  • Support for Twitter, TwitPic and yFrog photo upload services
  • Live Tile Support

Tweets load fast and there are a ton of settings to let you customize Twabbit to suit your needs and tastes. There's even gesture settings for customizable single and multi-touches.

There is a free trail available for Twabbit and the full version is currently running $.99. Today's the last day to pick Twabbit up for $.99 and then the price jumps to $1.49. If you're looking for a nice Twitter client for your Windows Phone, Twabbit is worth checking out.

You can find Twabbit here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Windows Phone App Review: Tile Master

Tile Master is a utility app for your Windows Phone that has the capability of creating fourteen live tiles. The tiles can be pinned to your Windows Phone Start Screen or to a virtual start screen within the app.

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Changes are coming to the popular Windows Phone app ...I'm a WP7!. Changes that will give the app a name change and a few design changes.

For those not familiar ...I'm a WP7! is a popular Windows Phone app that lets you locate Windows Phone users in your area, interact with them, share tips and tricks, have access to daily and weekly wallpapers, tap into custom ringtones and tons more. ... I'm a WP7! has grown so much since it's launch in April of 2011 that a core group of users have put together the "Uber Outsiders Guide for Noobs" to help guide everyone through the ...I'm a WP7! environment.

With Windows Phones moving to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 right around the corner, the developer has decided to change the name to better capture the nature and intent of the app. The version 3.12 update has been submitted to Microsoft for certification and will give ...I'm a WP7! a new name and slightly new look. With the update, ...I'm a WP7! will become Outsider for Windows Phone.

Why the "Outsider"? Since the app is heavily “unrecognized” by Microsoft and the Windows Phone Team, the term “Outsider” has been chosen in direct contrast to “Insider”. The app's concept and features won't change (well... the features will continue to grow), it's just the name.

Look for the update to be pushed out in about a week and if you haven't checked out ...I'm a WP7!, it's followers number over 300,000 and span 189 countries. It is a free app that you can grab here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Oh...and you can find the "Uber Outsiders Guide for Noobs" here on Skydrive. It's a OneNote document and is a work in progress.

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NASCAR Live making the turn on the Marketplace

If you follow NASCAR, check out NASCAR Live over in the Windows Phone Marketplace. The lays out everything NASCAR rather nicely on your Windows Phone with pages for News, Races, Rankings, Videos, and a page with links to NASCAR, Driver and Truck (team) Tweets.

Additional features for NASCAR Live include:

  • Live race details for both NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide tours
  • Ability to create a secondary tile for any race
  • Detail list of upcoming races
  • Detailed driver information.

Completed races will display the final positions for the drivers. The only thing I can think is missing is a map of each track that NASCAR races on and maybe live broadcasts (that may be asking for too much though). Otherwise, NASCAR Live is a fairly comprehensive application for your Windows Phone.

NASCAR Live is a free, ad-supported app that you can find here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

via: wmpoweruser

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OverDrive Media Console is an eBook reader for your Windows Phone which has been recently updated. It's a cross platform app that is also available on the iOS and Android platforms that taps into over 18,000 public libraries worldwide.

Digital titles from the library are borrowed and have expiration dates. Very similar to the due dates on printed books that you check out from your local library. If a title is already checked out, you can be placed on a waiting list and alerted once the title becomes available.

The version 2.42 update adds background downloads, new zoom options for images within the eBooks, improvements to the Wikipedia and dictionary look-ups, continuous playbook for audio books and the customary under-the-hood tweaks to improver performance.

OverDrive Media Console is a free app for your Windows Phone and you can grab it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Via: Appnewser; Thanks, Gopalan, for the tip!

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According to data published by AllAboutWindowsPhone, using their in-house Marketplace tracking system, the Windows Phone Marketplace now boasts a healthy catalogue of apps / games. 100,000 to be almost precise. It has taken just 20 months to accumulate the total, which is four months quicker than Android, but slightly behind iOS at 16 months. Data shows that approximately 300 apps are being added to the Marketplace on a daily basis.

The chart below takes us through the submission numbers per-month since Windows Phone officially launched back in October 2010. What's clear to see is the substantial increase in 2012 compared to numbers from 2011. Of course, out of the 100,000 available apps, there are a number (estimated at around 10,000) that aren't available to consumers, due to Microsoft and / or the developer pulling content. But it's not always about quantity, right?

AAWP have noted in their report that UK and US data show a stable 12% of apps being of some quality - taking into account apps and games that are frequently downloaded and rated numerous (more than five) times. It's relatively difficult to judge how many available apps are useful to consumers and are not spam, but the report does suggest that Windows Phone is no different to competitor platforms. In the end, there'll always be crap in the Marketplace. 

The above (and last) chart shows us the category breakdown of the Marketplace. Surprisingly, it's not games that takes up the largest chunk. Entertainment is up top at 19%, Tools + Productivity is next with 15%, and Books + Reference is third at 13%. All-in-all, taking into account the growth figures above, Windows Phone is on the steady increase. With Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and the announced updates to Xbox Live this coming fall, not to mention Xbox SmartGlass, we could see the momentum build for the platform. Here's hoping anyway.

We'll not repeat all details that are contained in AAWP's report, so be sure to head on over there for more juicy graphs and info.

Source: AllAboutWindowsPhone

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JDBPocketware, developers of the Windows Phone app Handyscan and SkyManager, have been hard at work improving another one of their apps. To celebrate their hard work on 7Dialer, they're putting the app on sale.

7Dialer is is a utility dialer that allows you to use the dial pad to pull a listing of your contacts that correspond with the letters dialed. On top of that, there is a tabbed page that you can use to pin frequently called contacts.

Additional features with 7Dialer include:

  • Copy and Paste numbers or contact details
  • Automatic contacts syncing
  • Options to call, SMS or email
  • "Call Later" reminders
  • Custom backgrounds for dialer
  • Dial pad sounds
  • Live Tile support
  • Call timers

The dialpad sounds range from the traditional tap sounds to a lightsaber. In just tinkering with 7Dialer, it comes across as a nice alternative to the traditional Windows Phone dialer.

There is a trial version available for 7Dialer to let you try things out before buying. The standard price for the full version is $2.49 but for a limited time, you can snatch it up for $.99. You can find 7Dialer here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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In honor of their nomination for "Best App of the Year" over at WP App List, the developers of I'm A WP7! are running an “our fans rock" freebie offer. Starting today, you can download the full version of the social networking app, plus the features of the I'm A WP7 Extras! app, free of charge, saving yourself the usual $2.99. This offer runs until Midnight PST on Sunday. Here are the full details from Scott J. Peterson, developer of I'm A WP7:

Unlocking of the all features and functionality of the app, including the Forums, GamerHub™, as well as full access to all Statistics, Wallpapers, Ringtones, Easter Eggs and Extras normally requires the purchase of the $2.99 U.S. “...I'm a WP7 Extras!” app, but all these features will now be unlocked and available for both new and existing users. Existing Fans who access the app through the weekend will continue to have full functionality as well, as long as they access the app at least once during this period. Thanks to our 310,000 fans worldwide for their support!

I'm A WP7! is a great way to share your love of Windows Phone, and has been quite a useful tool in learning about new versions that are out there in the wild.

Clarification: The app "I'm a WP7!" is always free but certain features within it are "locked" and supplanted by a secondary app called "Extras". This promotion unlocks those features in the original app for free and keeps them unlocked going forward if you do it during the special period.

Pick up I'm a WP7! here in the Marketplace.

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It's been a busy month for the Windows Phone Marketplace and it's nice to see the momentum building. In May we've seen new apps such as AboutOne, LinkedIn, Photosynth, Baseball Live and Talkbox. Add new games such as MonstaFish, Feed Me Oil, MissileDefender, Logorama and WordHog and the Marketplace continues to build a very nice resume of titles.

We also saw updates to Facebook, WhatsApps, Rowi, Skydrive, Monster Island and our own WPCentral app. Oh, and the list of $.99 Xbox Live gaming titles continues to grow.

May was a busy month for the Windows Phone Marketplace and it doesn't look like things are going to slow down in June. There is the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) next week which we could see more Marketplace news hit the press. You also have the Nokia exclusive apps lurking in the shadows. Could we see Angry Birds Space, Madden NFL or Tiger Woods PGA Tour roll out in June?

Many criticize the Windows Phone system as lacking a strong enough Marketplace. Sure... we don't see it that way and the growth the Marketplace has had over the past month may thin our critics a bit.

We leave you with this question. As the Windows Phone Marketplace continues to grow, what is the one app or game that is missing that would make your app/game library complete?

via: Windows Phone Blog

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Reports are circling around the web that the massive social giant Facebook, which is now a public company, is still looking at creating their own hardware. The Facebook Phone, or the FacePhone? Who knows, but according to the New York Times CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seriously looking at the mobile market as a means for future revenue and ventures. 

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BoxFiles, the unofficial DropBox app for Windows Phone, received a minor update today, offering some bug fixes and overall faster launch time. The update also addresses performance issues specific to the Nokia Lumia 610, making it run faster on the lower-memory economy handset.

BoxFiles was recently overhauled in version 3.0, which saw a new look and the addition of auto-uploading from camera to DropBox. BoxFiles is a favorite of ours over at Windows Phone Central, as it offers a ton of functionality. While the ad-supported free version is near fully-functional, it does not include SkyDrive integration, nor does it allow background transfers. These features alone make it worth the $1.29.

Get the full version of BoxFiles here or try it for free first.

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With the arrival of LinkedIn's official app in the Marketplace, users of the unofficial substitute, IN+ Networking, developed by Skilloo, are beginning to receive notice of IN+'s imminent demise. As of May 31, IN+ Networking will no longer be available for download and will cease to function.

Skilloo founder, and now member of LinkedIn's Mobile Team, Christian Haas, sent out an email to users to let them know that IN+ Networking will be replaced by the official app:

Hi IN+ users,

We're excited to announce the launch of the official LinkedIn app for Windows Phone. Developed in collaboration with Skilloo, LinkedIn, and Microsoft, the  
LinkedIn app for Windows Phone delivers on-the-go access to 160M+ professionals around the world.

IN+ will no longer be available for download or use after May 31, 2012. Please click on the button below to install the new LinkedIn app for Windows Phone.

Thanks again for being such a valued member.

-Christian Haas, Skilloo Founder and the LinkedIn Mobile Team

LinkedIn for Windows Phone was partially developed by Skilloo, in collaboration with LinkedIn and Microsoft. It has a beautiful interface and functionality galore. You can get it here.

Thanks, for the tip, Phrotzy!

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Competition winners from a Windows Phone Developer Camp have been announced. The Dev Camp, sponsored by T-Mobile, saw a "huge" amount apps being submitted to win smartphones running Microsoft's OS. Much like we've seen elsewhere, these sessions aid developers who are new to the platform, who'd like to network and pick up on some skills and knowledge from more experienced personnel.

So what are the seven winning apps we speak of?

  • AquaGuard - a tower defense game that puts the player in charge of preventing water pollution affecting populated countries with strategically placed defenses.
  • Nastani Time.mk* - an event planner for residents of Macedonia. The app enables users to check out latest events, plan ahead and receive reminders.
  • LiquidLab - a thought-intensive game that requires the player to measure liquid in glass beakers, sounds easy? How about doing this with now measuring instruments or guides?
  • ColorFever - enjoy puzzles? You'll want to check out ColorFever. The object of this game is to paint the entire board with a single colour, but not everything is as straight forward as it sounds.
  • ProveriBroj* - a simple app that enables users to check the mobile provider of any given number. Data is supplied by the AEC database.
  • Najeftino* - this handy shopping app acts as a comparison tool, where consumers can compare the prices of multiple products.
  • Be Humane - the last winning app is a charity based solution, which provides users with the tools to view upcoming charitable events (blood donation, etc.) and more.

* denotes apps in Macedonian only.

Source: Windows Phone Dev Camp; thanks Martin for the tip!

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