Contacts

People Search is a contact search app that is based off of the T9 system instead of a full-QWERTY keyboard meaning you can easily use it one handed.  In addition, you get a ton of features including customized searches, ability to share contacts, and a QR Tag generator.

People Search was recently updated to version 2.4.31 that separates that Windows Phone 7.x and 8 builds along with a little fine tuning that improve support for 720p devices.  Along with the update, the developer is marking down the price for the weekend.

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Google is set to cease supporting Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for its array of online services, including both GMail and Calendar. This will prevent consumers from setting up accounts on Windows Phones with both contact and calendar support (but will not affect those who already have email configured on Windows Phone). Consumers who make use of said features will have to go through workarounds to get connected, or switch across to Outlook.

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Even though Google Sync is nearing its end on Windows Phone due to the company dropping Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up hope with using their services. With no extension of the deadline in sight, Windows Phone users need an alternative and now we have one.

Rudy Huyn, one of the top developers on Windows Phone (Fuse, TVShow, Wikipedia, 9Gag and more) has just released a free, brand new app called GContacts that will keep your contact’s name, phone number and email up-to-date on your Windows Phone. Users can manually sync the app to check for any new changes to bring down to their phones, whenever they want.

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What would a mobile phone be without an address book of contacts to open up communication with, or a calendar to keep up-to-date with social events? Windows Phone takes strives in being more socially connected than the likes of iOS and Android by sporting integration with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. But how does one import contacts and calendars from services that are also used on competing platforms?

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People Search is a Windows Phone contact search app that is based off of the T9 system instead of a full-QWERTY keyboard meaning you can easily use it one handed. What's more it's full of features such as customizations, how much information it should search through (e.g. just names or phone numbers, email, etc.) and the ability to send contacts via email, SMS, copy-to-clipboard or create a QR tag with the contact information. 

An update has just been released over at the Windows Phone Store taking the app to version 2.0 that adds a new metro-friendly keyboard, and speed dialing to the mix. The update still has People Search written for Windows Phone 7.5 but has some minor enhancements to take advantage of the faster Windows Phone 8 devices.

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We’ve been getting a lot of Windows Phone 8 live lockscreen apps lately and we couldn’t be happier. With these new tools for developers we’re going to start to see some real creativity in the coming weeks and we just found our new favorite: HelloFriends.

The app is so ingenious, we’re kind of shocked Microsoft didn’t build this in to the OS—after all, the concept is their very own. HelloFriends simply generates gorgeous lock screen wallpaper based off of your contact photos. It creates three types—all mini tiles, one with varying sizes and one with some huge tiles mixed in and then updates every 30 minutes with a new pattern.

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If you want to add a little something something to your contacts, we ran across a way to add emoticons to your contact's name over in the Windows Phone Central Forums. All you need to do is start a text message and add the emoticon of your choice.

From there, highlight and copy that emoticon. Leave the text message and go to your Peoples Hub, find the contact and choose to edit the name. Add a space at the end of the last name and paste the emoticon.  It's a neat way to add a little customization to your contacts.

Edit: As noted in comments by hopmedic, to prevent it from breaking voice dialling, put the emoticons in the last name field, but put a hyphen after the last name, and then the emoticons.

Thanks, danclyons, for the tip!

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If you are new to Windows Phones and are dreading having to find a way to transfer the contacts from your old phone to new, we may have a solution for you.

For those opting for the Nokia Lumia 920 or 820, Nokia has the Contacts Transfer app that will facilitate the transfer of contacts from Symbian, Android, iOS and Blackberry phones via Bluetooth.

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Nokia promised back a few weeks ago that they had plenty of software to still releases yet for their Lumia line of Windows Phones and today they did so again with the Contacts Share app.

Contacts Share is yet another “fill what’s missing in Windows Phone” app from the Finnish company and should be a huge boon for business users. The app is simple enough as it allows you to send contact info via email or SMS to any phone including Symbian, Android, iOS and BlackBerry in standard Vcard format.

The contacts are then imported by email or when the app is opened and they brought right into the People Hub like any other contact...

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Gydar Industries has been busy updating People Search for Windows Phone. The update bringing the Windows Phone app to v1.2 has been submitted to the Marketplace for distribution and v1.3 is already in the works.

For those not familiar, People Search is the result of Ronny Gydar (the man behind Gydar Industries) needing to find a simple way for his Mom to find and call contacts on her Windows Phone. Seeing the need for something fast and easy to use, Ronny developed People Search.  People Search is a feature rich contact search engine that is based off the T9 dial pad instead of the full QWERTY keyboard. Using the T9 dial pad speeds things up a little and makes one handed use a little easier as well.

Version 1.2 brings the following improvements and features into the mix.

  • Improved search speed, Cyrillic search characters added
  • Ability to share contacts with QR Tags
  • Various adjustments and tweaks to improve overall performance and appearance

All in all, the version 1.2 update gives People Search a bit more zip and the internal QR generator makes sharing contact easy between Windows Phones, iPhone, or Android phones.

There is a free, 24-hour trial version of People Search available with the full version running $.99. You can find People Search here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. If you are already enjoying People Search, you should be seeing the notification for the update any time now.

Oh... and speaking of the next update, hit the break to catch what Gydar Industries has in store for version 1.3 of People Search.  Look for this update to hit the Marketplace in a few weeks.

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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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New Twitter integration with Live and the People Hub. Left (New) and Right (Old).

Microsoft has evidently updated how Twitter interacts with Live services on Windows Phone by automatically pulling down a contact's Twitter profile an merging it into "Notes".

We're not sure when the change occurred but reader Kaush noticed the difference today which evidently happened when Windows Phone auto-syncs back to the server for contact updates. We managed to break out our international Titan (which we last used a few months ago) to quickly compare for a "before and after".

As an example, under Jay Bennett you can now see his Twitter profile integrated into Notes whereas the device on the right does not have that information.

While this is a small and subtle change, it is certainly good use of the Notes area which often goes unused.  So to our readers: is this something really new or have we just missed it?

Thanks, Kaush, for the tip!

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Regular visitors of our site will be familiar with Ronny Gydar, the Windows Phone dev who's behind the popular Trines Hangman game. If you know the quality and dedication behind that app then you'll know what to expect from his latest: People Search.

People Search is what it sounds like: a contact search app. But it's based off of the T9 system instead of a full-QWERTY keyboard meaning you can easily use it one handed. What's more it's chock full of features such as customizations, how much information it should search through (e.g. just names or phone numbers, email, etc.) and the ability to send contacts via email, SMS or copy-to-clipboard.

We've been using the app since yesterday and we're kind of blown away by it. It's smart (auto-indexes your contacts every 24 hours), beautifully laid out and dead simple to use. We're not even kidding when we say we've replaced our People Hub on our Start screen with it (we don't really check up on our friends' social updates, so no big loss for us).

People Search was just released yesterday and today it's getting the special treatment. While normally it will fetch for $0.99, People Search is completely FREE today meaning you'd have to be daft to not even download the trial.

The app was extensively tested right here in our own Forums, so everyone should be happy with it. We're giving the app a huge thumbs up at Windows Phone Central both for creativity and it's super well designed and polished UI. Don't take our word though, go try it yourself and hit us up on comments.

Remember, it's only free for today, so grab it now and think about it later. Make sure to check out the hilarious demo video after the break too...

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Microsoft has released some more information detailing the Windows Live services for the next upcoming instalment of the software giant's operating system. As the company continues to move away from the Windows Live and Zune brands, Microsoft Account begins to take over with services such as Messenger and Hotmail being rebranded for easier recognition.

The UI hasn't been the only element of Windows to be redesigned, as one can see in the below table the Windows Live services will all be renamed to match the simplistic new approach Microsoft has undertaken.

Those who have actively used Windows Phone will feel right at home with Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos / Videos and other new branding that will be present in Windows 8. It's interesting to see just how far the services have come. Skype isn't mentioned, but we're sure we'll see more details as to how VoIP will be further integrated into Windows 8 and Windows Phone. We've also yet to hear more surrounding Microsoft's new music service.

"Windows Live reimagined" (check out the video on the official blog post at MSDN for more information) will see the Microsoft Account act as a key to the storage of personal information and settings. Simply connecting the account to a Windows 8 PC will automatically setup and integrate contacts, email, calendar events, photos, SkyDrive and more. The same experience will be present on the big screen (and tablet) as it is on the smartphone.

The future's bright; the future's the cloud.

Source: Building Windows 8 (MSDN Blog)

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Windows Phone Basics: The People Hub

WPCentral's Guide to the Windows Phone People Hub

Our next helpful article for those who are new to Windows Phone covers the People Hub - the one stop for all your social requirements when on the go. The People Hub, as the name suggests, is where all your contacts are available to communicate with. Upon launching the hub from the home screen (tile is present by default - a mosaic of randomly generated photos) you'll be presented with your profile summary with latest Facebook status or tweet (if not simply swipe to the right - we'll keep things simple and start from the contacts list).

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AT&T's Mobile Transfer services isn't exactly new but, with several making the move to the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 from a non-Windows Phone the service might come in handy. Mobile Transfer allows you to transfer contacts, pictures and videos from your old phone to, say, your brand new Nokia Lumia 900.

The service isn't available for every phone AT&T carries and you can find out if your phone is compatible here. The Lumia 900 is the only Windows Phone currently compatible. There is no indication if the HTC Titan II or other Windows Phones will join the Lumia 900 on the compatibility list at this time.  However, If your moving to the Lumia 900 from another Windows Phone, your contacts will transfer through your cloud service (Windows Live, Google, etc.).

You just install the Mobile Transfer app on both phones and follow the on-screen prompts. There is a 2gb transfer limit on videos and photos.  Contacts do not count against this limit.

Once you've transferred your contacts, pictures and videos to your Lumia 900 then you can sync them with your Windows Live account or Skydrive.  You can find more about AT&T's Mobile Transfer here at the Mobile Transfer website.

Thanks, mjhannaf, for the tip!

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Ronny Gydar and Gydar Industries, the developer behind the fantastic Windows Phone Game Trine's Hangman, is working on a new Windows Phone project. Nope, the new app isn't another word puzzle game but a contacts search engine for your Windows Phone.  What started out as a project to help his mom with her Windows Phone has become People Search (Finn Folk for those in Norway).

People Search is designed to make the process of searching for contacts and contacting them with your Windows Phone a little easier.  People Search indexes all your contacts by user selected fields (name, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.) and as you dial the number, name, email, etc. a list of contacts is generated above the dial pad.  People Search reminds me of the old Windows Mobile type that would pull up a list of contacts as you began to dial out the number.

As you see the contacts and tap on the contact of choice, you will see options to call, text, email, and other options depending on how much information you have on that particular contact.  People Search looks like it could be a useful app but Gydar Industries needs your help to iron out all the kinks.

Gydar is looking for Beta testers for People Search and if you're interested, head over to Gydar's website and use this contact page. You'll need to provide them with your Live ID and the Beta is limited to 100 participants.

Got questions? There's a discussion going on over here in the WPCentral Forums about the Beta and the head honcho himself, Ronny Gydar, checks in on things regularly.  People Search looks interesting and we'll keep you posted on its progress.

Update: Well that didn't take long.  We just received word that Gydar Industries just received their 100th request.  Unfortunately that closes the Beta to new users but you can always chime in over in the Forums and follow the Beta progress.

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Windows Phone App Review: ScanBizCards

Deal with a lot of business cards from associates, customers, and other contacts? Looking for an easy way to import all that information on to your Windows Phone? If so, take a look at ScanBizCards. Not only will ScanBizCards let you scan business cards but you also have the ability for cloud backup and syncing your cards across multiple platforms (support for iOS, Android and a desktop client).

With support for twenty two languages and the ability to import information into your People's Hub, ScanBizCards definitely sounds promising.

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Sharing is cool. We all love to share things, whether it be what we're currently up to on Twitter, or by publishing photos to Facebook from our Windows Phone, it walks hand-in-hand with being intrigued by what our friends are up to. Square, by Lawrence Gripper (the developer behind the BBC News Mobile app), Chris Sienkiewicz and Dave Crawford, is a new solution to contact and image sharing between platforms using QR codes. It's a fairly simple concept, but ingeniously executed.

Square will enable the user to grab an image from the Pictures Hub (providing choice of camera roll, SkyDrive or Facebook albums) and share it to another device with a generic QR code scanner. Not only that, but contacts on the Windows Phone can also be shared to another device with a scanner (and support for vCards). If you're one who detests carrying around business cards as much as I, Square also sports a contact card option for yourself (basically choosing "you" from your contact list to import your details), which can be pinned to the home screen for quick access and turns your contact information into a handy QR code (in vCard format).

Of course, the app wouldn't be complete without a scanner. Square comes kitted out with the tools to scan QR codes and import images and contacts. It all works flawlessly, and the UI (although there's not much depth) is simply gorgeous. When will we see Square on the Marketplace? In the next couple of weeks. To see the app in action, head on past the break for a quick demonstration.

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