Windows Store

The best thing about being a developer in the Microsoft technology ecosystem is the terrific support that the company offers to the developers. From dedicated forums and learning resources to public events, the community feeds off this support and grows further.

Microsoft has just launched an Windows Phone app for developers that aggregates official Microsoft resources related to building apps for the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store. The app is titled ‘#wpdev’, picking up from the popular Twitter hashtag that Microsoft and the developer community use on Twitter for sharing development resources and insights.

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Ready to find out how the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store are doing? Microsoft has just published a report showing trends for the two platforms. We learn a lot of interesting things in the post. For example, did you know that low-memory devices, like the Lumia 520, lead in app downloads? Highlights after the break.

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This morning, Microsoft is pushing out another serious update for Windows 8.1 consumers that will greatly improve the Store experience. Although the Store was redone for 8.1, there were still many refinements needed that were missed with the spring update a few weeks back.

The updates concentrate on usability, mouse and keyboard users and bring some parity with Windows Phone, greatly improving the experience of finding new apps and games.

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Sometimes, the most addicting apps are the simplest.

Today’s review of Laser Dodger in the Windows Store, truly adopts that motto and runs with it. This arcade style game comes in at a super small 5.8MB when downloaded and is completely free for all to play.  There is no reason that you should not at least give it a go and dodge some face-melting lasers.

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Back at Build 2014 (remember that, two weeks ago?), Microsoft announced their initiative to unify apps across their entire ecosystem. That way a developer could build an app once and deploy it to Windows Phone, Windows, and even Xbox. But to make that a reality there was some back-end housekeeping to be done in order to make that a possibility. One of those steps: making it so you can price apps the same across all the stores.

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When you pick up a tablet for multi-media consumption, it may be a safe bet that a good magazine app will be on your Start Screen. From our forums, Windows Phone Central member rkeenan wants to know your suggestions for a good magazine application for his Windows RT tablet.

In addition to carrying around his Windows tablet, rkeenan also carries around his Galaxy Note 8 (which he'd like to get rid of) to access his Google Play subscriptions. Let us take a look at a few magazine apps from the Windows Store that might help rkeenan cut his ties to the Galaxy Note.

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Reddit (www.reddit.com) likes to call itself the 'front page of the internet'; it is a place where anyone on the World Wide Web can gather together to share content. The content is sorted into various “Subreddits” and then is voted upon by “up” or “down” buttons. Essentially, Reddit is an online news and entertainment source with user curated submissions that are voted upon by the community.

If you have even opened a web browser since June of 2005, when the site originally launched, then we have to assume that you have probably used Reddit or at the very least, visited it. Today, we are going to take a look at different ways to visit Reddit through some of our favorite Windows 8 apps available in the Windows Store.

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Once again, we travel to the Windows Phone Central forums to help a reader in need. This week, we are looking at a question by SocalTouch, who just purchased his Dell Venue 8 Pro. SocalTouch wants to know what the “best” podcast application for Windows 8 is. Let us see if we can help him out!

Before everyone screams out the Zune desktop application (because we know it is a favorite of many), let us note that our reader is looking for a Windows 8 application – something that is touch friend for his 8-inch Dell tablet, so think apps from the Windows Store.

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BINGO might be a great game for your grandparents to download and enjoy, but it can also be a great relaxing way to pass the time with your Windows 8 PC. Today, we will be counting down the top BINGO games available in the Windows Store and comparing the different features and methodologies between each. Let us get started and do not worry, as all of the apps mentioned are free!

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While Flickr’s competitor, 500px, has beautiful applications for both Windows Phone and Windows 8; Flickr themselves have yet to deliver to the Windows Store and the last update to their Windows Phone application was pushed out in March of 2012.

However, to fill the void of an official Flickr application on the store for Windows 8, we have set out to find the best third party app and to see if any of them has what it takes to provide the ultimate Flickr viewing experience. After shuffling through collections of terribly mediocre Flickr applications, which trust me that some of them are simply terrible, we stumbled upon “Flickrology” for Windows 8.

Follow us as we explore the app, and decide for yourself if the full version’s price tag is worth $2.49 USD.

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Not everyone are fans of the native Windows 8 Music and Video apps, but for those who are looking to find an alternative solution – you will not have to wait any longer. Back in November of 2012, VLC announced a Kickstarter campaign to launch the software on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. As of today, the application has passed certification and is now published in the Windows 8 Store for x86 and x64 based machines.

RT and Windows Phone versions will still have to wait, though they are planned.

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App Social by Nokia is a great app for making app discovery a bit more social rather than diving deep and across the breadth in the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store.

App Social first arrived as part of Nokia Collection on Lumia devices evolving from an erstwhile app called App Highlights. A while back the app made way to the Windows Store exclusively for Nokia Lumia 2520 tablets. The app is now available broadly for all Windows 8 devices.

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It's old news when we talk about Microsoft's problem with getting developers on-board with both Windows and Windows Phone. The company has had trouble having new content developed and released on its own operating systems alongside iOS and Android. It's no secret that Microsoft platforms are generally left in the dark — just take a look at Flappy Bird.

Now, according to The Verge, Redmond could be considering Android apps to solve its problems. We've previously looked at what Microsoft is actively doing to help alleviate their market growth issues, but there could always be more done to bring across more platform support. 

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The Windows Store is certainly growing and it seems that if you delve deep enough, there is always a new interesting app or game to tryout. We have played quite a few games on our Windows tablet’s such as Halo: Spartan Assault, that take full advantage of the graphic processing at hand. However, as we all know, complex graphics are not always the most important aspect. Today, we are looking at a simple, yet fun, infinite platformer – Night Lighter.

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If you’re a fan of managing your health or managing your money, then there is a good bet that you might be using the Fitbit and/or Mint.com apps on your Windows 8 PC. Some troubles over the last few days have prevented some users from logging in to either service from the Windows Store application, and a new update is here to fix issues for both.

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When it comes down to your Windows 8 device, Skype provides the most integrated solution for video, audio, and text messaging. The application itself isn’t yet perfect, and I constantly find myself having to jump into Google+ Hangouts to get multi-person conference calls done correctly, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t working every day to make it better than the last. Recently an update has been pushed for Skype on Windows 8 – let’s take a look and see what has changed.

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