video tour

Earlier today, Microsoft surprised the Windows Phone community by not only announcing all the new features in GDR3, but by announcing the Developer Preview Program. That just announced program allows developers and enthusiasts to download the latest operating system updates from Microsoft. In fact it was just a few hours after those announcements that the Preview for Developers app went live allowing everyone to download GDR3, which Microsoft is calling Update 3. Let’s check it out those features in Update 3 for Windows Phone 8. 

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We go hands on with the 'Preview for Developers' app and show you what it's like to update to Windows Phone 8 Update 3 (build 10512)

This morning, Microsoft not only announced Windows Phone 8 Update 3 (aka GDR3) but they also announced a Preview for Developers program whereby devs can get early access to the latest OS builds by download an app (and being a registered developer). How fast can you get GDR3? Well you can do it right now. In fact, we updated our Nokia Lumia 925.

Want to see how it all works? Watch our video tour of the process to see what will happen.

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Today saw the surprise (yet anticipated) reappearance of the Microsoft YouTube app for Windows Phone. This time the app evidently has the consent of Google, who took issue with some of the features in the app and had asked Microsoft to pull the original. The bold move by Microsoft though has evidently paid off—Google has finally agreed to what looks like most of Microsoft’s requests for the app.

Our readership requested a video tour of the app and since we’re here to serve, we have obliged. Granted, we’ve only had the app for less than 60 minutes, but we can show you the basic functionality and even a few changes from the previous 3.0 release.

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We recently reported that the developers behind the popular YouTube apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, PrimeTube, had a new one in the works titled InstaPic. The app was to be the very first, native Instagram client for Windows 8 devices, allowing you to see all of your images, activity, share images and more importantly, post directly through the app from your photo library or device camera.

We’re happy to report that InstaPic is now live in the Store and ready to be downloaded to your Surface or Windows 8 machine. You can see in our video tour that a native app, as opposed to an inferior “web wrapper” app, provides a fast and fluid experience. Indeed the app is quite fun to use and for being a 1.0 release, it’s quite stable (we did occasionally have a loading issue here and there, but trivial).

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Although Microsoft has not yet said anything official on the Windows Phone 7.8 Global Rollout, we are expecting devices to be begin getting updates around January 31st.

As we reported yesterday, Nokia has uploaded their OS update for the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 (review), one of the most high profile devices of 2012. We decided to take it for a spin.

The update is what it was rumored to be: new Tile options and a few other additions. There are no surprises here, folks.

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We've been waiting for a long time for an Audible client for Windows Phone and that day is finally almost upon us. Currently the popular audio-book app is in limited beta testing but we managed to get our hands on a copy and to be honest, we're impressed. The folks at Audible have given time and consideration when making this app as opposed to rushing some basic player to the market and it shows.

The Audible app is fast, nimble and to the point allowing you to purchase your favorite audio books on the go and with ease of listening. Some of the highlights of the app include:

  • Primary Live Tile that flips with recent history on the back
  • Secondary Live Tiles based on book title; enables 1-touch playing of audio; flips to show bookmark history
  • Configurable "jump back" feature to re-hear a section (default is 30 seconds)
  • Button-less playback which uses gestures instead of buttons to control the audio
  • Badges and statistics viewer
  • Sharing of book info and general news via the Windows Phone built in social networks
  • Gorgeous UI

One small downside is that it uses the built in browser/embedded IE9 for book purchasing as opposed to a dedicated native marketplace. The embedded option works well enough but it feels a little jarring to be ejected momentarily from the app-experience.

The design of the app is really striking and in our mind, Audible has done a knock out job here. In addition, there are enough options to keep most users happy but not too much as to overwhelm. While purchasing audio books may not be everyone's cup of tea (gosh, they're expensive!) we know many of you really insist on this service and for you , we have just a few words: you won't be disappointed.

Look for the official Auidble app to hit the Marketplace in the next few weeks. We'll of course keep you abreast of when it finally is released here at WPCentral. Thanks to Jack K., for the assitance!

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