Archive for the ‘Windows Phone Apps’ Category

Moving files around on smartphones is the kind of thing we’ve been arguing over for years. There are two schools of thought; one group of people think that seeing as our smartphones are basically little computers, we should treat them as such. That means file systems, directory structures and a file manager just like our computers. The other group of people thinks that we should take the opportunity to dump all that nonsense, hiding the whole thing.

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Even though the tiled nature of Windows Phone serves as a quirk, it’s also a hindrance to those who like their traditional wallpapers. Recognizing this, Microsoft has come through with a compromise in Windows Phone 8.1, allowing wallpapers to be spread across tiles in a neat, mosaic fashion. But there is still a conflict of interests between tiles and wallpapers thanks to fixed-color tiles, and with everything appearing a little too busy and cluttered, one developer has decided to create an app that renders these stubborn tiles completely transparent.

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Apple finally put the rubber stamp on its deal to acquire Beats Electronics, and immediately, Apple made some adjustments to the Beats Music streaming service app on iOS. The app is, incidentally, also available to those on Android and Windows Phone, although at this moment in time, limited to those within the confines of the United States.

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Having officially announced the acquisition of Beats Electronics, the official Beats Music app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone have seen a new pricing and trial structure with immediate effect. Although the app itself remains largely unchanged, the previous 7-day free trial of the premium service has now been pushed to 14 days, while the annual subscription has dropped around $20 to just $99 for the whole year.

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Social apps often overlap each other. It’s the nature of the beast that if one service implements a useful new feature, several others will follow suit. On a day that has already seen Snapchat go all instant-messaging on us, Foursquare has announced Swarm, an app that helps you find close-by friends and discover things to do. The app represents a departure from the company’s check-in ways, and also throws down the gauntlet to a neat little feature that Facebook added to Paper only a week or so ago.

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When Microsoft detailed what would be part of its Windows Phone 8.1 update, one of the features that caught our eye was the introduction of ‘Project My Screen.’ Having the ability to display a smartphone’s screen output on a computer may not seem too exciting at first, but if you throw a touch-screen monitor into the equation, things start to get interesting. Unfortunately though, the PC aspect of the whole thing wasn’t quite ready, leaving eager tweakers to sit on their hands and wait.

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In the earlier days of the modern smartphone, it was the new, casual games that really caught our attention, with the likes of Angry Birds and Cut the Rope really taking a stronghold. But as devices have improved considerably during the past few years, developers of famed PC and console apps have seen the mobile market as an important outlet, and joining the many classic titles to reach the mobile platforms, Age of Empires will soon be heading to the App Store, the Windows Phone Store, and Google’s Play Store.

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Remember when Microsoft promised that the official Facebook Messenger app would be making an imminent appearance on Windows Phone? That announcement was made back in February, with Joe Belfiore announcing that the native Messenger app will introduce additional features above and beyond those found in the system based Facebook messaging integration. Belfiore, Microsoft and Facebook have stayed true to that promise, with the official Facebook Messenger app for Windows Phone now available to download from the Windows Phone Store.

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Having taken the wraps off the new Nokia X family, Stephen Elop also took the opportunity to announce that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) would be headed to Windows Phone, along with Adobe Photoshop Express. The instant messaging service, which only arrived for iOS and Android a few months back after years as a BlackBerry-only feature, will be releasing a version for the Windows Phone Store in due course, although at this moment, it is unclear as to when exactly it will become available.

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After being forced to ditch its SkyDrive name following a dispute with the telecommunication and TV giant BSkyB, Microsoft has today begun the rebranding process that will see SkyDrive become OneDrive. Existing users won’t notice a great deal other than the new name, but Microsoft is now also offering people who use its service the ability to increase their free storage capacity via referrals a la Dropbox, with the potential to earn an extra 5GB of space.

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When it comes to major mobile gaming releases, it’s fair to say that Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform is frequently left out in the cold. But Rockstar Games, having recently ported GTA: San Andreas to Apple’s iOS as well as Google’s Android, has finally brought said title to the Windows Phone Store. It was supposed to arrive last month at the same time as the Big Two, but despite taking an additional few weeks, it’s finally ready for prime time. Check out the details after the break!

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The last few revision of iOS have seen many big features arrive to the scene, but one of the quieter entries, if you’ll forgive the pun, is the Do Not Disturb utility with iOS 6. Now, something similar has arrived over at the Windows Phone Store in the form of an app called Quiet Hours, allowing you to readily prevent your device from bothering you when you’re asleep, in a meeting, or other formal or informal event where discretion is paramount.

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