Windows Phone App

Podcast Lounge is a popular app for Windows Phone, enabling users to check out and enjoy thousands of recorded shows while on the go. We've been covering the app since it appeared on the Windows Phone Store, witnessing the developer publish multiple versions with each introducing new features and functionality. We're now on version 1.8 and this is no minor refresh, so let's jump in and see what's new.

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Al Jazeera English is a sister channel of the popular Arabic-language news network Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera English launched in 2006 and was aimed at broadening the portfolio and audience. So far it’s been met with fairly good reviews from critics and viewers, picking up various awards since its inception a few years back. Here’s an award from Al Jazeera English to its viewers and readers on Windows Phone, an official app.

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We aren't sure as to the "when" but the Windows Phone app/tool for Windows 8 was recently updated. The update adds the ability to transfer playlists and ringtones to your Windows Phone 8 device and watch videos you've taken with your Windows Phone.

Ringtone files must be .m4r format any non-DRM protected music file that the phone can play, no larger than 30MB and can not be protected with digital rights management. When you transfer the ringtones to your Windows Phone 8 device, they will appear in your Settings under Ringtones and Sounds as any other tone would be.

If you haven't installed the Windows Phone app to your Windows 8 computer or tablet, it's a free app that you can find here in the Windows Store.

Thanks, Andy, for the tip!

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Microsoft's SmartGlass on Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8

As E3 is just getting started we managed to sit down with Microsoft's Peter Orullian who not only has the most wicked ponytail ever but also gave us a personal tour of SmartGlass. As many of you know, Microsoft yesterday pulled the cover's off of the new technology which looks to unify media playback and enable "second screening" while watching a movie or TV Show.

SmartGlass will be device agnostic as there will be companion apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and of course it's all powered by Xbox 360. 

Many in our audience are already familiar with the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone--a virtual remote control for the Xbox 360. From our discussion and hands on with SmartGlass we can tell you that this is in essence version 2.0 of the Xbox Companion app. Although SmartGlass won't be ready until this holiday season, the app in its early stages looks very similar to Xbox Companion and is in fact built off of the concept and UI, making this app feel quite familiar.

SmartGlass for Windows Phone looks a lot like the Xbox Companion app

From our demonstration, we were impressed. Although "School of Rock" is a test movie for the system, the ability to see dynamically as characters came on and off the screen reflected on the tablet was simply amazing. What's really neat about the SmartGlass concept is that creators are free to do whatever they want with the system, giving them powerful leeway to make new experiences. It's universal, optional and will deliver a similar experience across platforms.

Make no mistake, we think SmartGlass is a game changer and can't wait till this Fall to get our hands on it. Watch our video below to see it all in action.

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