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Weather Hound is a simple Windows Phone 8 weather app that provides you with the basics on the current weather conditions, an hourly forecast and a seven-day, extended forecast.  You can track the weather based on your current location or set a fixed location in the app’s settings.

Weather Hound was updated today to version 1.2.1 that adds doublewide tile support.  The wider Live Tile displays your current conditions along with a three day, extended forecast.

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We love the live tile for Today’s Word on Windows Phone 8. It lets us increase our vocabulary by displaying a new word with its definition every day. Today, the app has received an update to version 1.1. The new features appear to be in direct response to your feedbacks! Let’s take a look at the change log after the break. We also have video.

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Do you want to increase your vocabulary? One way to do that is by learning a new word every day. Today’s Word, a new app from the Windows Phone Store was built to help you with that. Just open the app and you will be given the word of the day. In case you missed it, yesterday’s word is also available. If you’re eager, you can also look at tomorrow’s word.

Each of the word displays its definition and example. Some words also include the pronunciation and their origin.

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If you’re like us, you’ve spent a good chunk of the day updating your PCs, tablets and Ultrabooks to the brand spanking new (and spectacular) Windows 8.1 OS. If you did, pat yourself on the back because we have a small, but cool, bonus for you troopers: The Windows Phone Central Live Tile.

Sure, it’s not our official RT app, which is still in the works (you can bug Jay about it), but as runner up you can use the new Internet Explorer 11 “pin to start” feature, which will give you four Tile sizes: small, medium, large or wide. The tile is also Live, pulling directly from our site—think of it as another cool way to keep up to date on your favorite Windows Phone and Microsoft news.

The Tile will update every 30 minutes, giving you a peek at what’s new on the site!

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Weather Radar Tile is an interesting Windows Phone 8 weather app that not only allows you to access weather forecasts and radar, but also pin a radar tile to your Windows Phone Start Screen.  The radar Live Tiles are not animated but do update periodically to give you a snap shot of what's headed your way. Weather forecasts and radar are provided through the National Weather Service and locations are U.S. only.

Weather Radar Tile isn't a bad Windows Phone 8 app but navigation isn't the smoothest. The app is worth a try but may not appeal to everyone.

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If you're looking for a way to snaz up your Windows Phone lock screen, take a look at the Windows Phone 8 app Lock Manager. It is a feature rich option to add everything from the weather to appointments to a slide show of your images to your lock screen.

Lock Manager includes four weather themes, Bing daily image support, and live tile support that reflects the information posted to your lock screen. The app definitely has the ability to throw a lot of information up on your Windows Phone lock screen.

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Iconical is a Windows Phone calendar app that allows you to create multiple appointment groups filtered from your Windows Phone calendars and pin them to your Start Screen for quick and easy reference.

You create appointment filter groups based on subject keywords.  The Live Tile focus lets you pin that group to your Start Screen, view up to three appointments (ten with the Plus version) in that filter group, and help you keep up with all your appointments. You can create filtered groups for school, work, medical or any other appointment keyword that you need to monitor a little closer.

Iconical is an interesting Windows Phone calendar app that definitely has potential.

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Los Angeles, California based furniture company Stanton True is now offering a series of tables, rugs, and seating options that are inspired by our Windows Phone Live Tiles. Stanton True focuses on the modern market specializing in bold, customizable furniture pieces.

The high end furniture company looked for pieces with a sophisticated, neatly designed layout that is functional as well as attractive. Not only did they draw inspiration from our Windows Phone Live Tiles but also Microsoft's three-screen approach.  The style not be for everyone but you can see the Live Tile influence.

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Note+ is a rather straight forward Windows Phone app to pin note reminders to your Start Screen. The app was recently updated to version 2.7 that brings a few under the hood improvements along with Kid's Corner integration.

So why Kid's Corner integration? Should your kids use your Windows Phone they can leave reminders for school, chores around the house, etc.  Then there's situations where you might want to leave them a note to remind them about something.  The integration keeps your Note+ notes separate and unseen from those generated in the Kid's Corner.

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Here's an app that should excite some of you new Windows Phone 8 owners out there: Battery Level for WP8 by Alex Golesh. The first of its kind, as far as we know, the app allows you to constantly keep abreast of your battery life on your WP8 device with a simple Live Tile.

Just pin the app to your Start screen and choose one of three sizes (small, medium and doublewide) to suit your needs. The doublewide will even display the charging state (discharge or charging) in addition to the battery icon and percentage left. Oh and the app can also display a battery icon and percentage on the Lock screen. Yup, just head to Settings and choose it as one of your five options and you'll be good to go.

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Official Twitter Client for Windows Phone 8 updated

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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Nokia's ESPN app updated, beefs up notifications

While the big news today was definitely the official launch of Windows Phone 8, Nokia was able to slide in an update to their ESPN app over the weekend.  The update mainly deals with increasing how you can be notified on scoring and news updates through the Live tile and toast notifications.

The update adds the ability to save and pin your favorite teams and sports to your Windows Phone Start Screen, customize the Live Tile score updates and you can now receive toast notifications for news and score updates.

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Last week the Verge ran a story noting that poplar photo-sharing service Instagram was headed to Windows Phone this fall.  Later, VentureBeat squashed those rumors saying that ‘no’ in fact Instagram is not being developed for Windows Phone, either 7 or 8.

An eagle-eyed viewer started the controversy seeing what looked like an Instagram-like Live Tile pop up during a Nokia promo video. Later, the Verge backtracked noting that instead it may be Vimeo (who do have an updated, Nokia-focused version on the way).

But a new explanation has come forth: Molome.

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Windows Phone App Short Take: Badgework

If you've got any Boy Scouts in the house, you may want to take a look at Badgework for your Windows Phone. Badgework helps you keep track of all the requirements to achieve rank in the Boy Scouts from Scout to Eagle.

Each rank within the Boy Scouts requires a series of accomplishments or achievements. They range from earning a certain number of merit badges, displaying a certain skills, and participating in community projects.

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The offiical Twitter app's new Toast push-notification in action

If there was one nagging issue with the official Twitter app for Windows Phone, it was the inability to get Toast notifications for new mentions or re-Tweets. Even after receiving a new update just 3 weeks ago, there was still no sign of any of these advanced features.

So we were a tiny bit flabbergasted to actually see a new notification section in the latest update, version 1.2.4555.39631 (or just v1.5 in the Marketplace) which just went live tonight. The updated Notification area has the following options

  • Mentions - Off, From people you follow, From anyone
  • Favorited Off, From people you follow, From anyone
  • retweetsOff, From people you follow, From anyone
  • Direct messages
  • New followers

That's actually a fairly robust selection of possible notifications for Twitter these days and yes, they are the Push type i.e. nearly instant. What's more, while there is seemingly no Live Tile counter, the Tiles does flip to show you new mentions or notifications in addition to the Toast alerts (which work quite fast from our experience).

While there is no counter, the Live Tile flips to show mentions

While it may have taken nearly two years to get this feature on Twitter, we are just going to sit in awe now and enjoy what we have.

Pick up the official Twitter app (v1.5) for Windows Phone now in the Marketplace. Thanks, Osvaldo C., for the tip

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Windows Phone App Review: SuperTimer

Here's a nice timer app for your Windows Phone, Supertimer. Supertimer is a combination timer and stopwatch that takes advantage of the Windows Phone panoramic layout and metro style with up to four live tiles.  Supertimer has potential but there are still some hurdles to overcome with stability and the live tiles, while a nice touch, may not be living up to their potential.

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Windows Phone App Review: Clearer

The other day we took a look at the Windows Phone app Zero, a gesture based To-do list manager. We then received several tips suggesting another gesture based To-do list manager for your Windows Phone, Clearer.

In many ways Clearer is just like Zero but with a bit more features. Which is better? Both Windows Phone apps do what they do really well.  I'll try to break the differences down in a bit but for now, if you like gesture based apps Clearer is well worth a try.

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Windows Phone App Review: WeatherPro

There's little argument that there is no great shortage of Weather apps for your Windows Phone these days.  WeatherPro is one such Windows Phone app that was recently updated and after receiving several requests, we took a peek at it. With regards to features, WeatherPro is a notch above your basic weather app by providing both forecast information and animated weather radars.

Weatherpro is a nice app but its weakness rests within its navigation. While you can find what you're looking for fairly easy, there's a little inconsistency in how certain screens react.  It's nothing detrimental but rather something that I couldn't help but feel could be better.  The update (version 2.0) brings live tiles into the mix and mangofies the app, all of which helps WeatherPro's overall impression.

WeatherPro isn't a bad weather app, I just expected more for the $2.99 price tag.

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Windows Phone App Review: Newsy

Here's an interesting news reader for your Windows Phone.  Newsy is a news app that presents two minute videos on daily news stories that are compiled from various sources. A summary video of sorts that puts all you need to know on a current event/news item in a nice, two minute package.  As the Newsy tag line reads, "multiple sources, the real story".

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