Saturday, October 18, 2014

Flipboard now lets you pin, but still does not flip.

Flipboard is a beautiful magazine-like app that has recently been ported to Windows Phone. With Flipboard you can naturally flip through the news like you would do with a paper-based magazine. You can, obviously, connect to your Facebook and Twitter account or your favorite news source. Err... wait a minute, Flipboard does NOT flip on Windows phone. That's right, for some obscure reason, Flipboard does not flip on Windows phone. I was disappointed that they did not include its most famous flip feature.

Today's update does not include the flip feature, but users will now be able to pin their favorite section and magazine to the start screen. It is also now possible to like any articles, photo gallery or video right from the app bar.

Finally you have the usual bug fixes and performance improvements plus the improvements to video playback.

Download Flipboard for free in the Windows Phone store.
 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Microsoft Research adds automatic noise removal to Blink.

Blink is a cool app by Microsoft Research that lets you capture burst of images before you even press the shutter and it continues capturing after you release the shutter. The result can be quite surprising. So if you haven't got Blink in your lens collection yet, now is the perfect time to download it.

With today's update, Blink will render sharper images thanks to automatic noise removal. Yes it is automatic, so you won't have to edit the pictures manually after. This new addition will come handy when shooting in low light condition.

This update brings Blink to version 2.5 and in addition to automatic noise removal, includes the usual bug fixes. Blink is free for download in the Windows phone store.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Microsoft updates Glance app to display Weather and Health data on lock screen in standby mode.

Not many smartphones out there have the capability to display useful data on the screen when the phone is in standby. Windows phones, specifically the Lumias are capable of doing that and my 920 is one of them. Before today, My Lumia displayed data such as the number of new emails, new messages, missed calls or data from whichever app I selected in the lock screen settings and in standby mode.

Today Microsoft has released an update that improves what Glance can display on the lock screen when the phone is standby, making it more visual. Glance is capable of showing weather data from the MSN Weather app and health data from MSN Health & fitness app. An excellent addition that reinforces the concept of Windows being a glance and go phone.

Again, this feature is not available on all Windows phones. Glance app is a Lumia exclusive and is available free in Windows phone store.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

UC Browser gets major update with new UI and more.

If you're out looking for a new internet browsing experience on your Windows Phone, you must check out UC Browser, a third party browser that is available free and is a decent and pretty alternative to the native Internet Explorer.

UC Browser has been updated today that brings the app to version 4.0. If you're familiar with software version numbering, then you know that this is a major version. Just look at the list of new features below before hitting the download link to download or update UC Browser:

  1. New Cooler UI
    Totally new speed dial with a cooler UI.
  2. Richer Site Navigation
    Beautiful graphics make it easier to find the latest hot sites.
  3. Merged Address Bar and Search Box
    Offers you a more intelligent input experience.
  4. Better Tab Switching
    More intuitive gesture control for switching tabs.
Download: Windows Phone Store
 

Summer finally comes to Disney's Frozen Free Fall.

Anna and Elsa are two sisters and they are not my daughters, but two characters made very popular by Disney hit movie Frozen. It is the story of two sisters, princesses of course, who end up in charge of a kingdom. The elder sister, Elsa, has special icy powers that accidentally plunges the kingdom in eternal winter. She then leaves the kingdom. Her departure sets off a series of funny events. The movie was such a huge success that Disney built a multi platform game called "Frozen Free Fall". And my daughters love it.

"Frozen Free Fall" was updated today with 30 sunny new levels and a bunch of new features that will certainly make fans happy.

New in this version:
  • Play through 30 sunny and bright levels in our brand new sunny map and get gorgeously tanned with Olaf.
  • Featuring all new collectibles! Gather flowers and unlock hot rewards like Olaf's new sneeze Power-up!
  • Row into the sunset! Send Olaf's boat a'sailin to clear tiles in your path!
  • Spin into Whirlpools and help Olaf move tiles across the board!
Download: Windows Phone Store

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"Transfer my Data" supports transfer of SMS/MMS to/from SD card.

"Transfer my Data" is a free app that comes in handy when switching to a Lumia. Notice here that I do not say Windows Phone but Lumia because "Transfer my Data" is a Lumia exclusive. So if you're planning a switch to Lumia phones, add this app to your check list.

"Transfer my Data" has been designed to let you easily and smoothly transfer your contacts from almost any phones: Symbian, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone and others. Some phones may also support transfer of text messages. That's what the app description says in the Windows Phone store and I do not know which phones are actually supported.

In the update published today, one of the new features listed is "Transferring text and MMS messages to and from an SD card". Support for MMS is a new addition. The second feature is the usual bug fixes.

"Transfer my Data" is free for download in the Windows Phone store.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tubecast for Windows Phone gets full Apple AirPlay support and more.

The rumor is more and more persistent about Microsoft releasing a Miracast dongle to compete against Apple and Google. But until we see the actual thing, which according to the same rumors should surface at IFA, there is Tubecast which lets Windows Phone interact with Google's Chromecast. As a side note, it is interesting to see the ingenuity of the Windows Phone developer community who works hard to bring Google apps to Windows Phone. It is just silly that Google still does not grasp the ridicule it put itself in by ignoring Windows Phone. 

Tubecast is an excellent YouTube client with great support for Chromecast, Google's proprietary dongle that lets Android and iOS users project media on their phones or tablets to a TV. The Windows Phone app has been getting better and better. When it was first released, all it could do was to play a video at a time. Tubecast has improved a lot since and is getting more mature and interesting if you own a Chromecast dongle.  

Tubecast was updated today with a slew of features and bug fixes. The most noteworthy feature is full support for Apple AirPlay including full password handling. See the full change log below:
- Apple AirPlay full support (passwords handled too)
- Chromecast bug fix (video seek) for the new firmware
- DLNA bug fix, have a try if cast didn't work
- Preload MP3 from videos
- Windows Phone 7 video playing bug fix
- New gesture : hold to close the Picture in Picture
- Picture in picture bug position fix
- Bug fix for fullscreen video HD playing (no more drop frames)
- New channel page user interface (more handy)
- Keep playing while switching apps is now disabled by default (change in the settings)
- Youtube URL copy to clipboard : direct access in the application bar
- Newsfeed faster loading & less data downloaded
- Live Tile shows newsfeed subscription when you are logged
- 20 icons improved


Tubecast has a free and paid version available in Windows Phone store.
 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Office Lens new algorithm generates cleaner document images.

Office Lens is a Microsoft developed app that puts a scanner into your pocket. Using your device camera, it is possible to digitize a document, business cards even notes on whiteboards and blackboards. A very useful app to also keep track of receipts and save them to OneNote. Today Office Lens was updated with an improved algorithm that generates cleaner document images. This update also lets you select the OneNote location where a new page is created. Finally the usual bug fixes that makes Office Lens more stable.

Office lens is available free in Windows Phone store.

CloudMesh updated with new sync feature and support for more languages.

Think of CloudMesh as your favorite newsreader. It brings all the popular cloud storage services in one app thus negating the need of downloading and using separate apps on your Windows Phone. CloudMesh does that very well with the ability to sign in to OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, Mega Dropbox, Facebook and MeoCloud.

It is not only your one stop shop for your cloud storage needs, CloudMesh also includes a sync feature that lets users sync/copy files between the cloud services. A very neat feature that gets even better with today's update as synchronizing files from the phone to the cloud and vice-versa now happens in the background.

The update adds support for more languages: Swedish, Russian, and Dutch. Besides the usual performance enhancements, the developer added support for offline folders and UI and UX improvements.

CloudMesh is available in the Windows Phone store in both a free and paid version.