client

For those of you who can’t help to wave around your tablet and take photos, we have an exciting announcement. InstaPic, a full featured Instagram client will be headed to Windows 8 device shortly.

The application will allow users to view timeline and popular posts, search for users and tags, pin favorites to the Start Screen, locate friends from Facebook and their address book, and even upload photos to the popular social photo sharing service.

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Microsoft has today unveiled and launched a new client for Xbox Music. Subscribers to the service can now enjoy music through the web interface. The new client (found at music.xbox.com) shares a similar look and feel to the Windows 8.1 Xbox Music app we recently looked at, which isn't a negative. Keeping it all familiar is a bonus for those who utilise multiple platforms.

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The poor Windows Phone Connector for Mac (now known as just 'Windows Phone') has always had issues since the app was made available on the Mac Store. Enabling the synchronisation between a Mac and Windows Phone, Microsoft was praised in allowing those who happen to own Apple computers to control what content is located on their mobile device. But it hasn't always been a rosy experience.

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Seems like the minor tweaks and adjustments for apps for Windows Phone 8 keep on coming, this time it’s the official Twitter client.

The update is now showing as version 1.3 for Windows Phone 8 while the Windows Phone 7 version is holding steady at 1.2. A quick scan of the changes doesn’t reveal an awful lot of changes so we’re putting this one down to some general tweaking in the absence of any change notes.

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Microsoft is rolling out another update to its SkyDrive Windows Phone client today. Not a huge amount has changed in the latest version but it does bring some welcome graphical changes.

The logo has been updated to now fall in line with that seen on the web and on the desktop version  of the client, gone is the swish and onwards with the ‘flattening’. It is also adhering more to the Metro feel, dropping the rather dull skeuomorphic yellow folder icons and replacing them with their authentically digital counterparts. Yes, that means blue squares to you and me.

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Red Badger has finally released update 1.7 for Birdsong, the Twitter client for Windows Phone that has been left collecting dust on the shelf for a fair few months. We previously looked at version 1.7 when it was announced on the Red Badger blog that the update would be pushed out soon. 

Without repeating ourselves too much, this version fixes the login issue that users were experiencing, as well as the setting save 'fail' that prevented live tile functionality being enabled. The search has been revamped, which now sports saved searches pulled down from the micro-blogging website. If saved searches weren't enough, the team have also thrown in trending topics functionality.

You can download Birdsong from the Marketplace - we'd recommend a fresh install if you've been experiencing problems with previous versions.

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The popular (and rather unique) Twitter client for Windows Phone glƏƏk! (see our review) has been recently updated to version 1.5, which introduces a number of new features. The functionality that's included in this update includes user colour coding, which will please those who are arriving from other platforms and are heavy Twitter users. When browsing through tweets, users can now add colours to specific accounts they're following.  

That's not all as the developer has bundled a number of extras into the app, including custom ringtones. Ringtones for Carbon, glƏƏk!, Meadow and Rowi can be found in the extras section. Adjusting the font size is now available, and finally a number of performance improvements have been applied. Not a bad update, right?

As well as the above features, there is a public service announcement the developer asked us to publish. An issue has been located and subsequently fixed, but the update containing this solution is not going to be live for another handful of days. Should you encounter this issue, we ask that you simply ignore it for now until the patch is rolled out. The problem is when users attempt to save their accounts / settings while their Windows Phone is configured for a region that uses commas (",") for numerical separation / decimal marks.

Should you be using commas, instead of periods (".") in your region, you may wish to hold off on updating to version 1.5 until the patch is available. If you've already updated then it's only a number of days before the fix will be heading for your Windows Phone - as a temporary fix, you can change your regional settings to work around the issue (though we've not encountered the problem ourselves).

You can download glƏƏk! from the Marketplace.

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For those of you who use Reddit.com, the social news aggregation site, you may have heard us pimping the Windows Phone client Baconit in the past. It's one of a few clients available for Windows Phone and while the others are certainly solid we've been fond of this one partly due to the frequency of updates.

A mere four months after its premier we're getting v2.0 with new options, aspects of it re-written for optimization and other new tweaks. Here are the main changes:

  • Added Recent tiles
  • Added .gif support
  • Made subreddit list scroll larger
  • Viewed stories now have a different title color to indicate what has already been seen.
  • Endless scrolling work 100% of the time
  • Made first comment bar color much brighter than the others
  • Pressing up vote or down vote after it is already now neutralizes the vote
  • Main user account now also show liked, disliked, and hidden
  • Fixed returning to the wrong Image
  • New and better live tiles features
  • Much of the app's code was rewritten
  • Bug Fixes
  • Sooooo much more :)
  • There's actually more stuff which you can find here in the full change log.

Baconit is of course still free with no ads making it a rare gem on the Windows Phone Marketplace. There's also a "donation" version which has the same feature set but you get the nice fuzzy feeling of making the dev happy (plus you got 2.0 nearly a week early), so if you enjoy Baconit consider that version.

Oh and if you're a Reddit fan, you may notice on the main site for WPCentral, we now have Reddit submit buttons with up/down arrows. So go nuts, submit our stories and give us some 'up boats'.

Pick up Baconit v2.0 for free here in the Marketplace or grab the donation version here instead for some karma.

    

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Microsoft has been pouring resources into the SkyDrive service with a recent update that introduced a fresh batch of features and functionality. While 25GB is offered for absolutely nothing (and is more than enough for most users), the software giant is looking to introduce paid upgrade plans according to a report by the Brazilian site Gemind

The prices for storage upgrades that allow up to a cumulative total of 125GB (25GB standard + an extra 100GB) available cloud storage space, are set to look like the following:

  • +20GB for $11/yr
  • +50GB for $27/yr
  • +100GB for $54/yr

Not only that but there's evidence of native clients for both Windows and Mac (see below), which will please many for more convenient access to their stored files.

The news of a Mac client will definitely impress users as iCloud upgrades can prove costly. In fact, Microsoft could really work wonders with SkyDrive on Apple's platform with the iOS app and now for the desktop OS. It's not known when this rollout will cover the rest of the world.

Source: Gemind.br, via: TNW, thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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According to Mail.ru Group, the new owners of old-school ICQ, has announced that they are planning to release a client for Windows Phone. Should you still be using the service, you'll be able to chat with contacts on the go with your phone. Will you be looking forward to getting back into the old days?

Source: Mail.ru, via: Pocketnow

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Thankfully, Windows Phone "Mango" greatly enhances Bing on our devices (see video review), meaning we can be less jealous of the search service on competitors brands like the iPhone and even Android (with the latter always being more "meh"). Having said that, it's still nice to see Bing getting its due and in this case, Android just received a nicely new minted update to their Bing client.

It's an interesting design--not as polished as the iPhone/iPad version but it still has a certain flare to it. Less Metro, more style. Surprisingly, despite some of the anti-Microsoft pot shots that you would expect, users seem pretty impressed with it which goes to show you that on some level, Android and Windows Phone fans can agree on something.

Check our Phil's AndroidCentral video review of the client to see it in action after the break.

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SuperTube hits v1.1, adds YouTube login

Even though Google is accused of blocking Microsoft's high quality YouTube client, it hasn't stopped SuperTube from going forward.

We covered the app last week here (video) and it just received a nice upgrade, including the much coveted YouTube login feature allowing you to view your subscriptions. Here is the rest of the changelog:

  • Video Player supports full-screen mode to watch videos
  • Login Youtube account to view subscription and favorites
  • Check the most viewed videos by updated time
  • Optimize the performance of the Video Player
  • View videos by author and relevance in the video details page
  • Optimize the scroll bar of video lists

The app still fetches for $1.29 with a free trial (limit of 3 downloads). Linky to the Marketplace.

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While those with HTC devices enjoy the benefit of HTC's own YouTube client which streams in HD, the rest need to use the "official" method, which is...err..lacking.

SuperTube actually outdoes the HTC app by going one-step further and allowing you download the video to your phone (in regular or HD format, to boot). The app fetches for $1.29 and there is a free trial, with ads. Our thoughts? It's slick, fast and it works, so it's a winner.  Grab it here in the Marketplace

via MobilityDigest

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Twitter, the social network that has skyrocketed out of control, has been bombarded with API connections and tweets being published and re-tweeted through exceptional growth. Ryan Sarver, who is a member of the Platform Team at Twitter, announced that they've updated their Terms of Service to help mainstream the Twitter experience and ensure users are connecting to (and using the) service in the same way.

With more people joining Twitter and accessing the service in multiple ways, a consistent user experience is more crucial than ever. As we talked about last April, this was our motivation for buying Tweetie and developing our own official iPhone app. It is the reason why we have developed official apps for the Mac, iPad, Android and Windows Phone, and worked with RIM on their Twitter for Blackberry app. As a result, the top five ways that people access Twitter are official Twitter apps. 

Still, our user research shows that consumers continue to be confused by the different ways that a fractured landscape of third-party Twitter clients display tweets and let users interact with core Twitter functions. For example, people get confused by websites or clients that display tweets in a way that doesn’t follow our design guidelines, or when services put their own verbs on tweets instead of the ones used on Twitter. Similarly, a number of third-party consumer clients use their own versions of suggested users, trends, and other data streams, confusing users in our network even more. Users should be able to view, retweet, and reply to @nytimes’ tweets the same way; see the same profile information about @whitehouse; and be able to join in the discussion around the same trending topics as everyone else across Twitter. 

More after the break.

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In addition to Netflix, Flixster, official Twitter and all those other apps demoed today by Microsoft, they also finally gave us a look at their official YouTube app, which will presumably be an optional download in the Marketplace.

While you can't stream YouTube videos directly in Mobile Internet Explorer (not yet at least), when  presented with a YouTube link a separate program launches and streams the video. So, familiar territory for Windows Mobile users. No mention of HD streaming though, which is offered on such high-end devices as the Android HTC EVO.

One of the nicest aspects is how the video history is stored under the Pictures/Media hub automatically, allowing quick access (and pinning to a Start Tile) to your videos. That should be great if you're that guy who likes to constantly show off the latest viral videos to your friends...are you that guy? Stop it.

Anyways, between Xbox LIVE, Netflx, YouTube, Zune (music + videos), Twitter, Facebook, etc., Windows Phone 7 finally looks to have nailed down all the corners of social/media tent of 2010.

[via WMPU]

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Back a few months ago, when Windows Phone 7 was first announced, there was talk about how there won't be a separate, native Twitter application when launched. Instead, Microsoft talked-up their Live services which could access and pull down your Twitter feed for you.

Sure, it wasn't a direct route but if you use Live, you had a one-punch solution to social integration on WP7.

Now we're getting word that's just not the case as Twitter as changed their Terms of Service back in June (which explains why it was missing as of late) and have blocked companies like Microsoft from accessing via that method. To be clear, Microsoft is working with Twitter to come to a solution, but it seems Twitter has Redmond by the Rocky Mountain Oysters on this one and since the end of June, it hasn't be restored.

Of course there are a few of third-party solutions, including Twikini, Seesmic and even some up and coming developers who will have clients out the gate at launch--and lets be honest, when it comes to Twitter clients, the free market has made bigger, better and more fully-featured Twitter programs. The Android and iPhone software community are testimony to this approach.

On the other hand, full, native integration is pretty sweet. Can Microsoft, perhaps, pull off a last minute coding trick to get back Twitter or should the Market just have it instead? (Hint: we think Twikini and Seesmic are much better options anyways, so long as they fully integrate in the OS, including contacts).

[via Pocketnow; thanks Stephen]

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We mentioned last week about MetroTwit, the desktop Twitter client who's UI was influenced by Windows Phone 7. At the time, the software was still too early in development to be released, but alas its creators have allowed the beta our the gate.

First thing you should know is it'll require you to install .NET Framework 4 Client Profile and Extended, which it will do on its own if you allow it. That's a whopping 89MB for that entire framework, so be prepared. Then you'll have to restart your computer and the final install of MetroTwit will take place. The actual MetroTwit program is very tiny at less than 3MB, owing to its .NET coding.

Overall, it's quite a pretty program. With its configurable columns, its very much like Seesmic. You can add/remove those columns (your feed, replies, friends, direct messages) and drag and drop to re-arrange them.

Technically it can do multiple accounts, but we had trouble getting it to do so. Especially noteworthy is the live "badge" on the icon in the Windows Start bar which displays how many new Tweets you have. Other advanced features like delete, map, conversation, show in browsers are missing as of this early build, but we imagine it's just a matter of time.

Remember, this is a beta, so there are some bugs and some of the menu/options are less than intuitive, but overall it's not too bad for such an early start.  

Get it herehttp://www.metrotwit.com/

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As we move into the future of cloud computing, online storage and retrieval is becoming more and more important.

Dropbox is a popular free file hosting site which offers 2gb of storage (and up to 100gb for paying customers). Like other services e.g. SugarSync, they offer a desktop client which allows drag-n-drop from your computer to the cloud.

The iPhone, Android, BlackBerry (soon) and even the iPad all have "official" clients from Dropbox themselves but alas Windows Mobile and WebOS are absent. Luckily Ruttensoft has stepped up to the plate to make their own client and truth be told, we're 90% sure they did a better job than what Dropbox could have managed.

If you're looking for a solution to cloud-based storage and management on your Windows phone, look no further. Read more after the jump for our review of CloudFiles.

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It seems as if the Twitter-client wars have simmered down a little bit (remember when we had updates like every few weeks?), but the biggies are still dropping some changes.

In this case, TouchTwit has updated to v1.6 (the author has been busy with civil service) and there are some nice new features and fixes:

  • New notification for "new followers"
  • New notification for "unfollows"
  • Some Theme-bugs fixed
  • Lesser memory ussage
  • Lesser cpu ussage
  • Scrolling bugs on 1Ghz processors fixed
  • More->Following was modified
  • And a lot of small bugs are fixed too

Overall it seems to work quite well, although we find the background vs. foreground sync option a bit confusing and limited (only 1 hour in background?).

Still, you can't beat the graphics and that scrolling all for a very fair $1.99.  Updates can be found in the Windows Marketplace.

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