Saturday, May 23, 2015

Instagram Client for Windows Phone gets video upload, 3 new filters, emojis and more in latest update.


Any serious Instagramers know that 6tag, a third party Instagram client for Windows Phone, provides the ultimate experience for filtered/unfiltered squared images. Likely, any serious Instagramers who use both Windows Phone and Android know that 6tag have some exclusive features that makes 6tag better than the official Instagram app. With that said, 6tag picked up an important update that brings it to version 5.0 that adds three new filters. But the most notable addition is support for uploading videos from your phone and saving them to your phone too. 

Here's the full change log:

  • 3 new filters: Lark, Reyes, Juno.
  • Video upload from your phone.
  • Save video on your phone.
  • Import/Export files from the other apps (including Dropbox).
  • Emoji hashtags.
  • Refreshed UI.
  • Performance improvement.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Shifty Jelly releases first Pocket Casts update for Windows Phone with their unique sense of humor.

Shifty Jelly, the developer behind my favorite podcast app for Windows Phone posted an update today. I'm not sure what I'm most excited about: the update itself or the detailed description of the update. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, then you've never used Pocket Casts on another mobile platform or, maybe, you just own a Windows Phone as your unique mobile phone. Any update from Shifty Jelly is always funny and this update is the first in a series of good laugh. 

"Welcome to the first update of many for our Windows app! Those of you who started countdown timers to see how long until we abandoned it are out of luck I'm afraid. It's nothing personal, but I'd avoid buying lottery tickets if I were you;)." That's only the beginning. Let's go check the full change log.

Here's what is new:
  • You can now long press on an episode in a list to add it to Up Next.
  • Added an option in podcast settings to refresh artwork, also tweaked the way artwork is loaded. If you had issues with that, they should now be gone.
  • Called your mum and wished her a happy mothers day. You're welcome.
  • You can now download episodes even when 'stream by default' is on. Oops.
So much for what's new. Before we go for the list of fixes, check if your mum got a call from Shifty Jelly :)

Fixes:
  • Fixed some crashes that have been reported.
  • Fixed font sizes breaking bits of our app.
  • Fixed your relationship with that person you've been ignoring. Again, you're welcome.
  • Custom skip times now work via BT and other external controls.
  • fixed issues with speeds higher than 1x, reverting to 1x.
And finally, here's what Shifty Jelly has on their to-do list:
"Next on our todo list is video playback, world peace, and allowing you to pin ALL THE THINGS. We're not sure why, but you peeps are obsessed with pins. We fear for your local butterfly population is all I'm saying. You're on the Shifty Jelly train now kids, there ain't no stopping it or getting off!"

Can't wait for the next update. You can download the current one in the store.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Band Companion's remote shutter now includes video recording & four different battery positions.


If you happen to own a Microsoft Band, you should also consider getting Band Companion app. It's a third party app that will add new features to your Band through in-app purchases. Two of the features that are well worth the money are the battery status and remote shutter. These two features got better in an update published to the store.


Here's what is new in version 1.5.0.0:

  • Choose between four different positions of battery status on Me tile of your Band.
  • Remote shutter feature now includes video recording
  • Remote shutter settings are now saved.
The developer also fixed some bugs reported by some users.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Disney's Frozen for Windows Phone gets 45 new levels to welcome Spring.

The extremely popular Disney movie Frozen was updated today with 45 new levels to celebrate spring in Arendelle. That's 45 new levels with the non-stop singing of the soundtrack by my daughters.This update also includes 10 umbrellas that players need to find to avoid getting wet. And finally, since this update is all about spring, watch the flowers blossom as players create matches. And...No bugs fixes and improvements :)

Download Frozen for Windows Phone free in the store.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Microsoft quietly releases contacts+message backup app for Windows Phone.


As a community moderator on Microsoft Windows Phone forums, I get to interact with people worldwide with various issues and one among them is the ability to backup SMS messages. Currently, Windows Phone does allow the backup of SMS messages, which is then stored on OneDrive and available for restore whenever disaster strikes. The problem with that implementation is that it does not allow the user to view the content of the backup. I very often see such requests on the forums, especially from users in the legal profession. I have some good news for those users.


Microsoft has quietly released a new app called contacts+message backup that lets you save your contacts in VCF format and messages in XML format to your storage card. No data is sent to Microsoft servers. However, it is very unfortunate that the app won't work on devices without a storage card. Most Windows Phones have a SD slot, but it does not necessarily mean they hold a storage card; Like my Lumia 1520 for example which has 32GB on-board storage and makes a SD card useless for my needs. SInce Microsoft budget devices are quite popular out there, it kind of make sense to go with the storage card.

Download contacts+message backup free in the Windows Phone store. After downloading, the app won't show in the app list, it will be in Settings.

Lumia Beamer URL changed to Lumiabeamer.com in latest update.


I'm not comfortable passing my phone around to people when I want to show them something on my device. Thanks to Lumia Beamer, I don't do that anymore because Lumia Beamer lets me throw my phone screen on any web connected devices. Those people receiving the beam do not necessarily need to have the Beamer app, a simple browser is all that is needed for them to see what I want to show them. If the name is no indication, The Lumia Beam is Microsoft Lumia exclusive app, provided they run the Black firmware or higher.

After quite some time, The Lumia Beamer app got an update today that changes the beaming URL to Lumiabeamer.com. The old URL was beam.nokia.com. With Microsoft having acquired Nokia mobile wing, they are still transitioning everything Nokia to the Microsoft brand.

Grab the update from the Windows Phone store.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Telescope for Twitter's Periscope update fixes crash on login.


Live video sharing is the new craze these days after Twitter acquired Periscope, a company or service that lets users broadcast live video to their followers for the world to see. Periscope was launched last month on Apple's iOS only. Fortunately, the vibrant Windows Phone developer community has stepped up and made an excellent third party Windows Phone app called Telescope to give access to Twitter's Periscope.


As of now, Telescope allow users to sign up follow users and view broadcast. The developer has announced that more features are on the way, including the ability to broadcast. In the mean time, an update has been published to the store that fixes a bug that caused the app to crash on login. Indeed, many reported not being able to get past the login screen

Telescope is available free in the Windows Phone store. Give it a try if you haven't done so yet and send your feedback to the developer.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Skype Translator preview now speaks Italian and Mandarin.

Back in December last year, Skype debuted the preview of a new service called Skype Translator that lets users connect to people around the world without worrying about the language. Back then, Skype Translator only supported Spanish and English. Four months later, Skype is now adding Italian and Mandarin to the list of languages.

The announcement was made on the Skype blog today. the blog post state how "Mandarin is challenging language to learn, even for Skype Translator. With approximately 10,000 characters and multiples tons, this is one of the most difficult languages for a native English speaker to master, along with arabic, Japanese, and Korean." Italian was added following popular demand when Skype rolled out the sign-up page for the preview.

Besides the addition of Italian and Mandarin, this new release also include some "key" changes:

Text to speech translation:

  • You now have the option to hear the instant messages people send to you - in the language of your choice.
  • Continuous recognition - Recognized text translation as your partner is speaking.
Automatic volume control:
  • Your partner can speak while the translation is still happening. You will hear the translation at full volume, and your partner at a lower volume, so that you can follow the translation, which will help make conversations more fluid.
Mute option for translated voice:
  • There is now an option to easily turn translated audio oe or off if you would prefer to only read the transcript.
Read the full post on Skype blog.

Candy Crush for Windows Phone gets new episode, Nougat Noir.



A delicious game is all I need to make my day and Candy Crush serves my favorite candies. Today's update does not offer my favorite candy, but I'll greedily play the new Nougat Noir episode that adds 15 new levels to the popular Candy Crush saga. 


In this new episode, someone has stolen gold from the Candy Bank. Detective Dachshund will investigate and unmask the culprit. At the same time these 15 new levels will take you up to level 845.

Download the update from the Windows Phone store and work out your way to the top level.