updates

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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This has been a terrible year for Xbox games on Windows Phone. Microsoft has all but dropped support for the Xbox branding on phones, developers have stopped releasing Xbox games en masse, and new Xbox games are basically a rare occurrence nowadays. Don’t you wish the Windows Phone team cared a lick about gamers?

The latest sign of the inevitable demise of Xbox on Windows Phone comes with last week’s Tetris Blitz update. The game launched in a bug-ridden state (see our review). But to Electronic Arts’ credit, the publisher has released a steady stream of updates to improve its product. The latest update certainly packs some improvements, but it sort of looks like it removes Tetris Blitz’s Xbox branding. Could this be the end of EA’s Xbox support or just a snafu?

Update: EA's official response after the break!

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Diptic, a collage creator for Windows Phone that we have covered a couple of times already, has just received an update that is going to make a lot of people happy. Version 1.0.1.0 adds compatibility for low-memory devices! Many of you have complained, so this is great news.

This means you should now be able to install Diptic on devices like the HTC 8S, Ascend W2, Lumia 520, Lumia 620, and Lumia 625

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Forza Motorsport 5 is one of the premiere titles in the Xbox One launch lineup. With hyper realistic graphics, excellent physics, and innovative cloud-based driver AI, Forza 5 should keep fans of racing sims busy for months on end.

That’s all well and good, but my favorite feature of the Forza series has always been its unrivaled livery editor. Players have an impressive amount of freedom to make practically any decorations they want. An enterprising gamer could even make some classy Windows Phone designs with which to adorn the game’s cars. That’s just what our reader “B0BCAT wp” has done, as a matter of fact. Look at the detail on that phone!

Meanwhile, Forza 5 is set to receive a significant balancing update sometime within the next week or two. More details and custom car design pictures after the break.

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Phototastic is a handy Windows Phone and Windows 8 photography app that focuses on photo collage building.  Phototastic also has some nice editing tools to let you make the most of your collage building skills or just give your individual photos a little flair of its own.  Once built, the collage can be shared or used as your Windows Phone lockscreen.

The Windows Phone version of Phototastic was recently updated to version 2.9 which adds new frame backgrounds, new stickers that includes photos, and several user interface changes.

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