updates

The past few months have been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the Windows Phone navigation app GPS Voice Navigation.

Last month the app was recognized as the Best International App at the Mobile Excellence Awards. Then the app was pulled from the Windows Phone Store due to a dispute with Nokia Maps. And now, the app has been re-released with a few features missing and a few new ones added to the mix.

While we don't know the particulars of the issues that caused the app being de-listed, it's nice to see the developer being able to work around the restrictions and re-release a rather capable Windows Phone navigation app.

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Fhotoroom is a feature rich photography app for both Windows Phone 7.x and 8. It combines a photo editor, camera app and photo sharing/social network all into one package.

The Windows Phone 8 version of Fhotoroom was updated over night to version 9.3 which adds a few new filters, new comment feature and a few UI changes. The update comes just as Fhotoroom moves within reach of a milestone... 3,000,000 downloads.

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We first took a look 7-Minute Workout over the summer and found it to be a simple, yet effective Windows Phone 8 fitness app. 7-Minute Workout guides you through twelve exercises in seven minutes designed to get your heart pumping, muscles flexing and calories burning.

The fitness app was recently updated to add a little more customization to the exercise routine and to launch a free version where users can purchase additional features via in-app purchases.

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Car Starter is a Windows Phone 8 app that delivers dashboard styled access to key features of your Windows Phone. It reduces the amount of navigation needed to move around your phone while traveling, making it a little safer to access your phone.

Car Starter was update to version 1.2 and adds a few new features and fine tunes others.

For starters you now have three programmable app buttons that sit at the top of the screen to give you quick and easy access to a collection of Windows Phone apps.

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Bright Weather is a visually appealing Windows Phone 8 weather app that delivers everything from the current weather conditions to a five day forecast to moon phases to your Windows Phone.

Bright Weather was updated the other day to bring a handful of new features to the party that includes lockscreen support and a free trial mode.  We were rather impressed with the Windows Phone 8 weather app and the updated version simply adds to Bright Weather's appeal.

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While AT&T is sailing into rough waters with the recent signs that the Nokia Lumia 1520 could be scaled back, the wireless provider has moved in a positive direction with their myAT&T Windows Phone app.

The app that gives you access to your AT&T Wireless account was updated yesterday to version 3.0 and while there doesn't appear to be any new features (no change log), the design and layout has noticeably changed.  The new version is pictured above to the left and the previous version to the right.

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Believe it or not the Windows Phone Update 3 (also known as GDR3) is being pushed out to the Sprint HTC 8XT.

We were skeptical at first but in checking Sprint's Support Site for the 8XT, the update is listed as clear as day. Update version 2.12.651.02 is described as containing streaming audio improvements, accessibility improvements and Microsoft's GDR3 release.

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A few days ago Microsoft pulled the Windows RT 8.1 update due to startup issues that a limited number of users experienced. According to Microsoft one out of every 1,000 Surface RT 8.1 updates were experience problems that bricked the devices.

Microsoft took the issue head on and pledged to work diligently to resolve the situation.  They even released a Windows RT 8.0 recovery image to restore buggered devices.

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Well the rumors of Nokia combining its Pro Cam and Smart Cam photography apps into one package have proven to be true. Just a little while ago Nokia released its Nokia Camera App for Lumia Windows Phones.

You get the camera controls and zoom later features that Pro Cam offers along with the smart mode we've grown fond of that Smart Cam offers.

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Line is a popular messenger app for our Windows Phone that touts over 260 million global users that span over 231 countries. Line was updated today, bumping it to version 3.0 and adds voice call support, a few new stickers and the customary bug fixes/performance enhancements.

Call support provides free voice calls for Windows Phone 8 devices only.

Along with the free voice calls, the update delivers four types of free special stickers to add a little spice to your messages. The four freebies are Moon, Brown, Cony and James.

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SophieLens Pro has been updated and re-released as SophieLens HD. The Windows Phone 8 photography app updates it's user interface to a more sleek design, adds high resolution support and more.  SophieLens HD

The update takes the app to version 2.0.0.487 and refines the user interface with control icons in the four corners of the screen that give you access to flash controls, filter effects, camera toggle (front/rear cameras) and app settings.

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Surfy is a tabbed web browser for our Windows Phones. It was initially released for Windows Phone 7 and was overhauled earlier this year for Windows Phone 8. However due to a few stability issues publicizing the app was held off until those bugs could be addressed.

The updated version went live over the weekend and delivers a rather peachy tabbed web browser with voice command support. Version 2.1 of Surfy also adds a text to speech feature that adds an audio reading of web pages.

In the short time we've tinkered with Surfy this afternoon, it makes a nice impression. It might just be that Windows Phone web browser you've been looking for.

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The Sims FreePlay was a very big game when it arrived on Windows Phone 8 in September. So big that we published a two installment Achievement guide and an In-App Purchase guide on top of our usual review. But even then, our version lacked some content from the iOS version, including all social features. The iOS and Android games received a new update on October 11, pushing even farther ahead of our version.

Only one month after its initial release, The Sims FreePlay has just received a massive update. Windows Phone players now have access to the Mysterious Island area, teenage Sims, a whole new quest system, tons of new items, and much more. However, the update also makes a few Achievements much more difficult and time consuming. Head past the break for detailed descriptions and screenshots of the many changes!

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The other day we reviewed the Windows Phone 8 game Cartoon Ball. It's an entertaining, casual game where you blast a blue ball into a basket. To keep things challenging you'll have to navigate around various obstacles along the way.

The game has potential but is held back by a few performance bugs and the lack of a trial version. The latest update takes Cartoon Ball addresses the bugs but the game still lacks a trial version.

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Back at Casual Connect in August, we interviewed German developer Handy Games about some of their upcoming Windows Phone and Windows 8 titles: 1941: Frozen Front and Townsmen. Those two fine-looking titles are still in development, but the game maker has something else to tide us over right now.

Handy Games has just updated both mobile Windows versions of their 2D shoot-em-up Aces of the Luftwaffe, right alongside their Android counterpart. One of our favorite shmups on Windows Phone 8, Aces of the Luftwaffe is free to play. This update adds a bunch of new content that will keep shooting game fans busy for hours.

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AppoinTile is a Windows Phone 8 calendar app that lets you replace the native Windows Phone calendar app tile with a customizable Live Tile. A tile that is designed to place more information on your daily agenda on your Start Screen.

AppoinTile was recently updated to version 2.2.2 that adds the customary performance tweaks as well as adding a search function and Facebook integration. The app has also gone on sale with the price dropping to $1.99.

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Fhotoroom is a popular Windows Phone photography app that has a Windows 8 counterpart. Just as with the Windows Phone version, the Windows 8 version is part photo editor, part photo sharing app, and part social media app.

The Windows 8 version was recently updated to version 3.1 and adds Windows 8.1 support, a few fixes and a few new features to the table.

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We first discovered unconventional platformer/puzzle game Eyez back in June, right around E3 time when we interviewed the developer. The game instantly caught my eyes with its beautiful hand-drawn Asian artwork and striking use of colors. It also packs some highly creative puzzle mechanics that you don’t see every day. Oh, and it runs on both Windows Phone 7 and 8.

Since Eyez’ release, developer Hua “Rex” Chen has steadily updated it with tweaks and compatibility improvements. The latest update even adds better touch controls. Head past the break for more update details, screenshots, and more!

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