updates

We're rounding off our Monday with a batch of small updates that have been pushed to the Windows Phone Store. While we all recover from a rather busy CES 2014 (for Windows 8 and beyond), platform developers are still releasing updates for all your installed apps. Today we'll be looking at Asphalt 8, DI.FM and Status Tiles. Head past the break for the details.

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A handful of popular Windows Phone apps have received updates recently that appear to mainly deal with fixing bugs and improving performance.

First up is the addictive Empire building game from Disney Mobile, Star Wars: Tiny Death Star.  The game has you building an all-new Death Star and defeating the Rebel Alliance.  The update takes the game to version 1.0.1.7 and fixes the problem of stores not producing coins while the game is closed of minimized.

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Everyone loves that feeling when apps and games have updates available. We also love a great deal here and there. Today's app update roundup features a bit of both to round off our CES coverage (for Windows Phone Central anyway – the event continues). Head on past the break to see which apps and games are included in this roundup and what's new.

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1Shot is a Windows Phone 8 photography app designed to let you capture images at the highest resolution possible and saves them as a single viewable file in your camera roll.

1Shot was updated a few days ago to address a few performance issues but it prompted us to take notice of additional features that had arrived through previous updates.  From user interface re-designs to adding a few new settings, 1Shot has progressed rather nicely.

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On New Year’s Day, we wrote about a recent App Campus game released for Windows Phone 8: Mossad, from Israel-based indie developer GreenShpits. Mossad marries location-based gaming with searching for virtual items in the real world via augmented reality, something you don’t see all that much on Windows Phone.

While Mossad’s unique gameplay made the game noteworthy, a few major bugs tempered my enthusiasm for it. The developer took notice of our report, and quickly released a patch that addresses most of my concerns. Head past the break for post-update hands-on video and impressions!

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Unibeam is a simple flashlight app for Windows Phone 8 that has an eye-appealing interface.  Unibeam was recently updated to version 1.3, which adds a few new features, gives the app a slight makeover and fixes a few bugs.

The new features include a SOS mode that utilizes the Morse code format in time of emergency and a battery status on the Live Tile.  The makeover removes the Joker theme, revamps the Ironman theme and improves voice command support and performance.

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Calendars, calendars, calendars. If there was one category of apps that Windows Phone has nailed is the calendar. There's a huge selection of solutions available, each with unique and interesting UI elements and features. 2014 has kicked off with multiple updates already pushed out for calendar apps and today we're looking at another two; Calendar Calleague and Simple Calendar.

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4Blend HDR is the latest HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography app for Windows Phone 8.  The app takes three photos of your subject at varying exposure settings and blends them together into one image.  The result should give the photo more dynamic colors/range.  4Blend HDR has a simple layout, a healthy selection of effects filters and a voice-triggered shutter.

We found the app to have potential but was held back, in part, by stability issues.  As expected, an update was released today taking 4Blend HDR to version 1.0.1 to address the stability issues.  The update also adds a flash setting to the control panel to allow you to turn off your Windows Phone camera flash.

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Awesome Lock is a Windows Phone 8 lockscreen app that allows you to customize your lockscreen with the latest news, weather forecasts, calendar events, tasks and a lot more.

The app was recently updated to version 3.3.0.25 that takes care of a few bugs and adds a nice list of customization features.  In addition to the update for the paid version, the developer also has released a free version of Awesome Lock.

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Car Starter is a dashboard app for Windows Phone 8 that places a decent amount of functionality at your fingertips while on the road.  The app was recently updated to version 2.0 that not only brings about a name change but also a few design changes.

Now known as Car Dash, the version 2.0 update adds a dial pad to the Contacts Page and a music selection feature to the Music Page.  The dial pad will allow you to dial a telephone number directly from the app.  The music selection feature lets you browse through your music collection to find what song you want to listen to.

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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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Last week, Rovio was kind enough to update all of their Angry Birds games for Windows Phone 8 with new content. This included an update for Angry Birds Star Wars II, which was supposed to bring the Windows Phone version in-line with the December 5th iOS update.

For some reason, the new “Battle of Naboo” levels did not show up for many Windows Phone users after installing the update. We’ll never know what went on there, but it hardly matters any more. Today the game received an update that corrects the issue with the previous patch. At last we can battle for Naboo like the cool kids are doing!

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If you have be experiencing wantingness for new gaming levels to your favorite Angry Birds game, today is your lucky day.  Updates have gone out to just about every Windows Phone 8 Angry Birds gaming title, adding new levels, characters and features.

We will start with the original Angry Birds game being updated to version 4.0.  Based on the Windows Phone store details the update adds 30 extra levels in a new Short Fuse episode.  You also have 15 new levels in a Birthday Party episode and a new wave bomb feature.

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CarStand is a feature rich dashboard app for Windows Phone 8.  The app lays a list of basic Windows Phone functions (access to maps, weather information, speed dialing, etc.) at your fingertips for easy access while driving.

CarStand was recently updated to version 2.0 which gives the application’s user interface a new facelift which includes a new music player page and new shortcut options added to the main page of the app.  The update also adds a slightly different pricing point.

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Weather Hound is a minimalistic weather app for Windows Phone 8 that offers you a summary of the current weather conditions, an hourly forecast and a seven-day forecast.  Weather Hound supports only one forecast location (either your current or a fixed spot) and offers an in-app purchase ($.99) to add New York MTA Subway information to your weather info.

Weather Hound was updated to version 1.2 today and adds a small collection of minor tweaks and display options.  You now have the options to display your current location on the lockscreen and in the app as well as an option to use an “apparent” temperature that will reflect how the weather feels.

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The BBC has released an update for its iPlayer app on the Windows Phone Store. The popular client enables you to watch and enjoy your favourite shows in a catch-up and on-demand like experience. There's no public change log, but we're got you covered. The latest version (1.2) introduces a few new features, so pop on past the break to find out what's new in the release. 

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