sharing

Instagram is one of those social services that many people simply can't live without. Sharing photography with friends and family can create magical moments for people, through locations, events and other situations. Now that we've finally got a Windows Phone app available on the store, Instagram has now announced a new feature - Instagram Direct.

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Updated 11:30 AM ET: The Official Vine app is now live in the Store. Link below.

Vine has today announced on the official blog that their Windows Phone app will be released today. Fans of the service have been left with little choice but rely on third-party solutions (6sec and Viner to name a few) while Vine looked at developing an official app for Microsoft's mobile platform. We covered an unveiling of the official Vine app at Nokia World 2013, but soon you'll be able to download the app and create some awesome short clips.

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Nokia today unveiled that an official Vine (www.vine.co) app is well on the way to Windows Phone. If you're not familiar with the service, it's a social network owned by Twitter. You essentially record and share clips that are up to 6 seconds in length. The recordings can be of anything you choose, be it cats, humorous sketches or just random updates. 

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We've all been there. Whether it be on holiday or simply out and about, there have been those moments when you wanted to take some photos, but add a special element to bring them to life. This is where upcoming Windows Phone app Foundbite comes into play. The new app by Mendzapp, the developer behind VizAge and more, enables you to add sound recordings to photos and share them online. It's an interesting concept that bring photos to life.

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Should you use your Windows Phone and wish to transfer files between the device and a laptop, tablet or even SmartTV over Wi-Fi, you'll want to check out JoikuShare (www.joiku.com/joikushare). The app has just been released for Windows Phone and enables the transfer of said files to extend functionality from the phone to other devices available, and vice-versa.

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With the latest versions of Windows Phone consumers are able to make use of Internet Sharing, depending on carrier, device capabilities and allowance. But what if it doesn't work as planned? Many have encountered issues when attempting to connect to the Internet via a Windows Phone.

Devices are able to view and connect to the new access point created by the smartphone, but Internet access isn't available. Luckily, there are a few steps that should resolve the issue, thanks to folk at the Nokia forum and beyond. So what does one have to do to get Internet Sharing back up and working?

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There's no shortage of photo sharing apps for Windows Phone, with the likes of Pikchur already available on the store, but here we have eyeMe. The app is also available for iOS and enables users to share photos and updates to social networks. It's a simple but useful offering, especially for those who enjoy taking a load of photos when out and about.

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Microsoft’s cloud based storage solution; SkyDrive has picked up its first set of updates as we go into 2013. The service has quickly evolved to become the hub for nearly every product in Microsoft’s line up. Windows Phone has always been deeply connected and the past year has seen Windows and Office hook into the mesh.

The public face of SkyDrive is through a web interface and it's here that many will create folders and share them. The team has improved sharing, speed and touch responsiveness to the latest update.

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Good news for those who have been waiting and anticipating the arrival of Dropbox for Windows 8, it is now available. The popular cloud storage and sharing service has built a reputation as one of the more ubiquitous ways that folks like to share files and so its arrival on Windows 8 as a metro app is significant for the new platform.

The app is available to download for free and will work on both Windows 8 and Windows RT machines allowing you to download and share files at will.

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While some Windows Phone photography apps have a sharing feature native to the application some, such as Cinemagraph (here's our review), don't. In these cases you rely on your Windows Phone Pictures Hub options to share these images.

You've just created a fantastic animated GIF through Cinemagraph and are eager to share it with friends or family. Once the image is saved to your Windows Phone, head over to your Pictures Hub and go into the Camera Roll gallery. Find the Cinemagraph image you want to share, pull it up to full view and tap the three dot menu.

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Nokia has released an interesting tool that enables the sharing of photos on a Lumia Windows Phone with a PC or other web-enabled device. Through the use of QR Codes, those with a Lumia smartphone can send a photo on the device over Internet tubes to a larger screen or to a friend's smartphone. All that's required is the Windows Phone app and a second screen, both with Internet access.

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Box is available for Windows Phone

The team at Box, a cloud-based storage and sharing service, have published a blog article detailing the release of their Windows Phone app, which has been published since June. The app joins their catalogue of mobile apps for iOS, BlackBerry and Android.

The Windows Phone app is a native client so you're getting all the goodies offered from Box. So what's the service all about? Box enables users to upload, store and share files from computers to the cloud. Much like DropBox, SkyDrive and similar services, Box provides a limited amount of space (5GB) for free.

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WorldMate (website) is a popular mobile travel organiser, which has witnessed success on the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Nokia (S60) and Windows Mobile. The Windows Phone app will feature an itinerary organiser that will enable users to share WorldMate content with the community.

WorldMate for Windows Phone will also be able to connect to Facebook and LinkedIn accounts for convenient sharing, as well as the ability to check out who's nearby to trip destinations. It's a must-have calendar for any soul who travels often. We last covered the app when it was named runner-up at the Microsoft Acceleration Week.

WorldMate is set to be available next week. We'll be sure to alert you when it's live and have a quick video walkthrough published. 

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While we're still waiting on Instagram to show up on Windows Phone (it hasn't even started development yet) another popular niche app may be heading to our Metro devices sooner than later.

VIddy, available on iOS and Android soon, has been called by many to be the "Instagram of video" allowing users to apply filters to their 15-second video clips, giving them an artsy feel. In addition, videos are featured on the site's feed which are then viewable within the app and videos can be uploaded and shared to Facebook.

What's interesting though is if you go to Viddy's site page (http://viddy.com/) next to the Apple and Android links we see a clear Windows flag, strongly indicating a Windows Phone client is just around the corner. Seeing as Viddy is strictly a video-making app for mobile devices, we don't see this as a Windows 8 move either.

We've reached out to the company for comment but so far have not heard back from them. If Viddy is coming to Windows Phone (and we believe it is) that's a strong vote of confidence for the OS and will be one more feather in its cap.

Thanks, Amir, for the tip

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Busy day here at WPCentral and for Windows Phone. While we just reported the official Skype app going "gold" and hitting version 1.0 users can also go get the official SkyDrive app which is now at version 2.0. Coming out last December, the official SkyDrive app was a long over-due addition to Windows Phone and this update coincides nicely with the recent backend changes, including more friendly URLs.

There doesn't seem to be that many new features but there are a few that we've noticed. The UI has been re-worked a bit especially for dialogs and menu options. In addition, the ability to batch-select items for deletion or moving will come as a great tool for many

It also looks like you can manage permissions for folders and files directly now, allowing certain items to be shared and edited with others. Even more cool, you choose contacts from the People Hub to share those files, even granting editing access (it will even alert them that you've shared items). This should be a big feature for those who need to do online collaboration or need others to view something with minimal effort.

We'll peep around for more new stuff and if you find any, hit us up in comments. Grab the official SkyDrive app version 2.0 here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Sarang68, for the tip!

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There has been a recent upsurge in interest for an official Instagram client for Windows Phone recently. The desire for the popular photo-manipulation and sharing app has been driven, in part, by numerous developers working on unofficial apps for the service. We first reported one in development by Bil Simser called 'Metogram' (later renamed to 'Photogram') and since then, two other apps have hit the Marketplace, Metogram and Instacam. The problem, however, is two fold:

  1. Instagram does not allow 3rd party access to photo uploading APIs
  2. Instgram does not allow one to register via the website, only by the official iOS app

Simser has been in contact with the head honchos of Instagram in an effort to get special permission for photo uploading. At the time, Instagram cited a somewhat dubious reason for denying such an API, namely an effort to reduce spam and low-quality images. However, Simser was determined to see if an exception could be made in this case seeing as Windows Phone users do not have any options.

That request has now been denied by Instagram. In an email to his beta testers (we're amongst them), Simser notes that since Instagram is not allowing uploads:

"I made a plea to Instagram and got a response in the form of a few email exchanges with Kevin Systrom the CEO. Unfortunately they are still taking the high road and not offering upload capabilities or white-listing any application at this point. I have my own thoughts around why this is but the short of it is that they are not white-listing at this point but Kevin did tell me to “keep in touch”."

More importantly, Simser notes that there is no way for new users to even join the network for voting or commenting on photos. These are deal-breakers for him as it would severely limit Instagram functionality in his client. Due to those reasons, Simser has decided to pull the plug on Photogram.  However, he will continue to make apps that are currently missing on the Windows Phone platform:

"I’m all about “filling the gap” on Windows Phone and want to create apps that will either be better than the “official” ones or give users the experience that a non-existent official app would. I will continue to do that (as I’m working on something right now but won’t say for whom) and you can follow that on Twitter via @bsimser or @simstools. We’ll also announce new apps on http://www.simstools.com as we complete them. Shameless plug, please check out my other apps and feel free to continue to support myself and all the independent developers out there. I, as always, am available to help out so if you have an idea for an app or are looking for some help with your own app please don’t hesitate to contact me."

So bad news for Windows Phone users but perhaps Instagram will surprise us with an official app sooner than later.

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Details are a bit fuzzy on this right now, but developer Bil Simser has been working on an Instagram client for Windows Phone called Metrogram. Instagram is an extremely popular photo client on iOS, analogous to BubbleGum for our phones, that allows users to apply somewhat kitsch filters to their photos and share them within the Instagram network (and Twitter/Facebook). File it under "arbitrary but must-have apps" for Windows Phone.

What's interesting is how quickly Simser coded the app, once again demonstrating how easy it is to write apps for Windows Phone. According to his Tweets, it did not take very long at all:

"58 minutes later an a new wp7 Instagram client is born. I think that's a record for me" "Writing the Instagram client for #wp7 has been so freaking easy. 2 hours and I have a fully functional client"

By the sound of it, this isn't just a viewer of Instagram photos but rather something to create photos with directly. However, we're not sure if this is official (and Simser was hired as a contractor) or this is just a side project. Looking at the name Metrogram, we're betting unofficial. We've reached out to Simser to hopefully find out more info, so until then, just relish those screenshots.

Update: Developer M.Saleh Esmaeili chimes in that this is just a viewer-only, as Instagram APIs restrict access (though some sites do interact with Instagram). Hopefully we'll hear from the developer soon.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Amir, for the heads up!

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Sharing images and web pages [How To]

Everyone loves to share, which is why there is a huge part of Windows Phone 7 that is focused on social connections and platforms. As well as engaging with your friends while on the go, you may find yourself browsing the web within Internet Explorer an feel the need to share an image you see on a website, or the web page itself.

While offline and browsing through our photo albums there is fantastic social integration with the ability to share images to your online profiles and through other services, but what about while online? Via email, you can send any image or web page straight from your browser to a recipient of your choice, which can come in handy should you be the sharing type and wish to save a good number of clicks (or in our case – presses) when sending some useful content to your contact(s).

Sending an image from a current web page is simple enough, simply press and hold on the picture you wish to share and a menu will pop up with a “share” option. Then select your desired email account to send from and an email composition window will then slide into view. If you wish to send the entire web page as opposed to just an image, press on the “…” at the bottom left of the browser and select “share”. Again, an email account selection will appear and then a composition window. 

Windows Phone 7 makes simple tasks easier and faster for people to complete and communicating in more complex ways is possible, rivaling with competing platforms. What do you share while browsing around; do you use this feature regularly?

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Qik, everybody's favorite live video streaming application that never was crippled on Windows Mobile (oooooooo, feel the burn), appears to have gotten a bit of a user-interface upgrade.

Version 4.2 for WinMo brings "a cool new look, much improved sharing to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and better performance and frames per second, especially on the Samsung Omnia series phones. It also provides an easy way to upload existing videos on your phone to qik.com and share it to other networks."

Get your download on here (CAB) and see whatcha think.

Qik via @WMDev

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