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You can now capture Snapchat screenshots with 6snap

We still don’t have an official Snapchat application on Windows Phone, but we do have 6snap. It’s the unofficial (but great) third-party client for Snapchat. The app has worked well since launch and gained impressive features that you can’t get with the official apps on iOS or Android. Though today’s update brings a feature you technically can get with the others. The ability to take screenshots is now supported.

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When hoards of Xbox 360 fans rushed over to the Xbox One on November 22, they noticed that much had changed – including the controller’s standard headset port. The changeover to Microsoft’s new Xbox One headset had created trouble with brand loyalists who had already spent their hard-earned money on expensive Turtle Beach or other gaming brand headphones for the console. Luckily, Microsoft has officially announced their upcoming Xbox One Stereo Headset and Stereo Headset adapter, which are scheduled to touch down sometime in early March.

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As part of their latest update, Nimbuzz (www.nimbuzz.com) has introduced VoIP calling to allow users to buy NimbuzzOut credits and make cheap international calls to mobile and landline over WiFi or 3G, using your Windows Phone 8 device.

The 1.1.5 update includes NimbuzzOut, a guided tour, some bug fixes, and overall performance improvements.

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GroupMe (www.groupme.com) is a popular app from Microsoft that enables teams (or simply groups of friends) to collaborate and enjoy the transfer of photos, while making use of both data or SMS for messages. It's available on iOS, Android and even has a web version.

The team has pushed out second, rapid update for the app this week, introducing new emoji support (also available in the GroupMe apps on other platforms) as well as fixing some lingering issues.

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Viber, the messaging app that lets you text, group message, and make free HD calls, just got updated to version 2.3 for Windows Phone 8. The desktop application for Windows was also updated, allowing it to better integrate with Windows Phone.

Talmon Marco, Viber's CEO, spoke of the company's latest move:

We have focused on bringing Viber to multiple platforms, ensuring our users can communicate freely with as many of their friends as possible. Today we are very happy to bring important updates to two of those platforms, ensuring full compatibility between the Windows Phone and Desktop versions of Viber.

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Nokia Chat Beta for Windows Phone 8 released

Nokia has released the beta version of their new Chat app for Windows Phone 8. Nokia Chat lets you keep in touch with your Yahoo! Messenger contacts or friends who use Nokia Chat on other platforms. It's been around for quite a while on Asha, S40, and Symbian, but this is the first time it is being offered for Windows Phone.

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Xbox for Windows Phone is a key selling point for gamers, but the implementation leaves much to be desired. This editorial series has covered a lot of ground so far, including the need for streamlining the Xbox Live certification process, Microsoft’s failure to appreciate the importance of Xbox to Windows Phone, the need for multiplatform game engine support, and the need for better PR and a download code system.

This week we tackle software and online features that Xbox Windows Phone badly needs.

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Windows Phone 8 Rooms feature

Windows Phone 8 brings with it many improvements to its social abilities, one such improvement is the inclusion of “Rooms”.

Taking some of the ideas from Windows Phone 7’s Groups feature and expanding it out, the new feature allows for powerful social interaction with a selection of your contacts. Windows Phone has always been a powerful performer with regards to its social networking prowess and Rooms is going to take that a step further.

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Lo and behold, WhatsApp for Windows Phone has returned. The popular messenger app vanished from view just over a week ago and has remained "private" since. We got in touch with the WhatsApp team in attempt to withdraw information detailing the reasons why it was hidden from consumers who may be looking to download (or reinstall) the app, but had no luck with replies received from employees.

We later relayed the news that WhatsApp for Windows Phone was possibly removed because of security concerns and vulnerabilities. A German website reported an Android WhatsApp sniffing tool was able to intercept messages sent using the messaging app over a WiFi connection. WhatsApp later denied this as the cause for the app pull and assured Windows Phone Central that this was not a security related incident.

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Many Windows Phone owners noticed this morning they could no longer see WhatsApp, the popular messaging service, in the Marketplace. WhatsApp was bumped to version 2.0 back in May earlier this year and we can't think of a reason why it would vanish from view without prior warning - though we've almost grown used to this occurring with many other apps disappearing.

We've reached out to the WhatsApp team and will update this article accordingly. Of course, in the meantime there are plenty of alternative apps on the Marketplace, Kik being a popular alternative. Should you already have the app installed, fear not as the service works as one would expect. As for those who don't and wish to download it, we'll hopefully have more information for you soon.

Update: The app has not been completely pulled from the Marketplace as the hard link still links to it. Instead, the app has been marked as 'private' probably on error by someone--that mode is for when it is in closed-beta testing. WhatsApp could be re-working the app and may have another version going live soon (this is what happened with the CNN app the other day). We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can still see the app from this link though downloading is not allowed due to the 'private' status.

Update 2: WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton responded to the fan site WhatsAppen.com noting that their team hopes to submit a new version to the Marketplace soon. No other details were given but this sounds like an execution error rather than something more deleterious.

We're starting to suspect that WhatsApp will begin charging for the app (it's $0.99 on other platforms) and this is the changeover period. 

Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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We'll be honest here, LINE messenger by a company called Naver is not something we're familiar with but our audience certainly is. Boasting about being in 230 countries, LINE is a VOIP/chat service that is evidently popular in a lot of Asian markets so it's great to see it come to Windows Phone.

Available already on iOS, Android, PC and Mac, LINE is actually a well done app with a snazzy Metro UI and decent enough features to make us take a look at it. Of course none of our friends use it so it's hard for us to take it for a spin on such short notice, but loading up the app was a refreshing change from some other chat programs out there.

The app doesn't have a killer feature per se but it does contain the usual fare: send messages, photos, videos, voice messages, as well as location info. It also has a thing called "stickers" for conveying emotion which we suppose is a bit quaint. Note at least with this release there is no VOIP just chat.

Like all messaging apps, your usage is completely dependent upon your social circle and if they use it. Having said that, LINE is actually quite nice and we're a bit jealous that we don't have an immediate need for it---with Kik, WhatsApp, TalkBox, OctroTalk, GroupMe and IM+ already available, it's tough to find a spot for LINE. But for those that need or use said service, it looks like there's a winner here for you.

Pick up LINE by Naver for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, PsycheBlue, for the tip

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We're not huge fans of Cleverbot aka the witty artificial intelligence program out there that engages in a back and forth conversation (www.cleverbot.com), but we do recognize that a lot of people are fascinated by the technology.

Luckily you can now bring the fiendish AI bot with you on your Windows Phone. Yes, the official Cleverbot app for Windows Phone is now in the Marketplace and fetches for $0.99 with no trial.

That's a shame about no trial but the app is well done. It has some neat little sound effects, allows you to share your conversations to Facebook, Live, Twitter and even email. That's a requirement because sharing those conversations with the 'bot is one of the favorite pastimes for folks on the inets these days. From the app description:

"Talk to an app with Actual Intelligence! Say anything you like and it will reply. Make a friend! Roleplay, lyrics, jokes, memes - all sorts!

Cleverbot is Artificial Intelligence. It learns what people say, in context, and imitates.

Cleverbot says many things - claiming to be human, role-playing and much more. It may even say things you find inappropriate. Use with discretion and at your own risk.

Cleverbot is conversational entertainment - no more, no less. It is not made to be logical, give advice, or be useful. Parents must decide whether they wish young people to have access. Be sure of this, however: it is a bot. It is software. You will never talk to a human."

Like we said, the app is well done and if 'bots are your thing the $0.99 is worth it. Pick it up here in the Marketplace. Bonus points for you if you post some funny AI conversations in our comments. Thanks, Farhad A., for the tip!

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Well, it's a day late, but Tango, the video-chat app for Windows Phone, is finally here. So for all of those folks with a Samsung Focus S, Flash, HTC Radar or Titan, you'll want to pick this little guy up and give it a go. From the app description:

Tango allows you to make free phone calls and free video calls over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi. Make calls to any other person who has Tango installed on their smartphone, tablet or PC. Start a Tango call with just voice, and easily move into a video call when you have something to share. It’s easy to use, it’s fun, and it works.

Tango Features:

  • Free calls between Windows Phone, Android and iOS phones and tablets, and PCs
  • Save money with free international calls to other Tango members
  • Start a phone call with Tango and switch to a video call when you have something to show by tapping the camera icon
  • We automatically find the friends that already have Tango
  • No log in and password - create an account in less than five seconds
  • Invite your friends by Text and Email
  • Simple and easy to use

Cute girls in image are not included with app, nor will they be calling you. Grab the app here in the Marketplace; Thanks, Ryan R/@volvoshine, for the link!

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The first of the big announcements for the user end is Mango will be bringing messenger to Windows Phone 7, which will support groups and threaded chat. SMS conversations will also receive this threaded feature as well as the ability to group texts. Allows integrated communication to friends without running applications for specific tasks. Windows Live will see a more prominent presence.

Also on the groups note, Live Tiles for individual contacts will notify the user upon changes with alerts for new emails etc. from that specific contact.

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Another enterprise tool hit Microsoft’s portfolio today as they launched their Lync 2010 platform. An updated take on their Office Communication Server, Lync provides everything from chat services (text, voice, video) to enterprise level VOIP services. The really cool thing about Lync is that it integrates with Microsoft’s other enterprise level products like SharePoint, Active Directory, and Exchange Server, giving an unprecedented level of coordination between all forms of communication.

Microsoft would probably hate this comparison, but Lync offers a lot of the same functionality as Google Voice; except on an enterprise level. Voice mail transcription and simultaneously ringing multiple phones are both features that are shared between the two products.

The best news for us is that Microsoft fully intends to tie the services offered by Lync into Windows Phone 7. As an IT geek and a Windows Phone lover, the possibilities running through my head are exciting. As a consumer, I'm really hoping that Microsoft brings some of these technologies to the Windows Live side of the house.

Source: Microsoft Lync Product Page; via: Ars Technica

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Though we didn't get to see it Monday, evidently Windows Phone 7 will launch with support for Windws Live Messenger, something that was not at all to clear recently.

Interestingly, the program was written by their software partner Miyowa, who evidently builds on a regular basis Live Messenger clients for Microsoft, just not for their native OS.

Either this was a case of not enough time or perhaps Microsoft just recognized good talent when they see it. Whichever the case, for a lot of folks this should make them quite pleased knowing that they can still access their favorite IM app on the go.

No word on extended functionality, but we do get a teaser shot as seen above.

via MocoNews

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Microsoft's Corporate Vice President in the Microsoft Developer Division, Scott "the Gu" Guthrie will be hosting an "unplugged" online chat session this Thursday at 10am PDT/1pm EST.

For 90 minutes he'll be talking about .NET 4, Visual Studio 10 and, relevant to our interests, Windows Phone 7.

What's even more cool is during this chat you can directly submit questions to him and assuming enough time, he'll answer.

Sound like a  good time? Go here for further information and here for the actual chat at the aforementioned time.

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