Tuesday, July 23, 2013

WeChat for Windows Phone updated.

WeChat is a very popular multi-platform messaging service in in far east countries. It's no coincidence that a friend in China invited to me to use it instead of Skype. WeChat is a strong competitor to Skype in China and its Administrative region and other coutries in the region.

A phone number is what is required to register and start using WeChat to chat, share pictures and videos with friends whether they be on iOS, Android, Symbian and Windows Phone. WeChat for Windows Phone got new features added today including the ability to invite friends to WeChat group conversations via QR code. See the change log below for more.

1. Invite your friends to a WeChat group chat via QR code
2. Support sending multiple images
3. Navigate to your friend’s location
4. Easy to cancel voice messages sending
5. Click “+” to send screenshots quickly
6. Support setting font size on chat page
7. Support for Thai and Portuguese

Source: Windows Phone Store

Nokia announces the affordable Lumia 625 with a big screen.

The Lumia 625 is a low pec device announced by Nokia today. Unlike the Lumia 620, it has a big 4.7 inch WVGA display. Not bad for a device that will be priced at around 220 Euros. Besides the big screen, the Lumia 625 sports 512MB of RAM and 8GB of storage with support storage cards up to 64GB; 4G connectivity is also supported.

On the software front, most of Nokia's Here apps are supported thus providing turn-by-turn navigation and maps services similar to high end Lumias.

The Nokia Lumia 625 will be available in a range of colours including orange, yellow, bright green, white and black with an array of changeable shells enabling easy personalisation. With an estimated retail price of 220 Euros before taxes and subsidies, the Nokia Lumia 625 is planned to begin selling in China, Europe, Asia Pacific, India, Middle East, Africa and Latin America in Q3 2013.

Read the full press release after the break.

Friday, July 19, 2013

GDR2 update for Windows Phone 8 is live.

I am downloading the update on my HTC 8X as write this after getting the notification early this morning. My phone is unlocked and if you haven't got it yet, just go to Settings > phone update and tap the check for updates button. Don't freak out if no update is available yet; Be patient and try again later. Until then, check out the change log:

Xbox Music. It's now easier to select, download, and pin music. Plus, music fans will see more accurate metadata (such as song and album information) and many other performance improvements.
FM radio. Listen to FM radio right from the Music+Videos hub. (Not available for all phones.)
Data Sense. Stay on top of your phone's data usage with Data Sense. You can set a limit based on your data plan, or just keep track of which apps use the most data. (Not all mobile operators offer Data Sense.)
Skype. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps like Lync and Skype now feature improved stability and performance.
Internet Explorer. Your web browsing experience is now better than ever with improved HTML 5 audio playback.
Camera. Set your favorite Lens so it opens automatically when you press the camera button. (Not available for all phones.)
Other improvements. Includes many other improvements to Windows Phone.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wikipedia app gets WP8 support, Live tiles.

The best Wikipedia app for Windows phone got an update today. The reason I call it the best app is because it won Microsoft Next App Star contest back in April. The app is really good and a must have if you own a Windows Phone.

If you are still not convinced by the above statement, then the fact that the developer, Rudy Huyn, is also the guy behind 6Sec, the now popular unofficial Vine client for Windows Phone should change your mind.

Here's the list of new features in version
- WP8 support
- Live tiles
- Voice command and speech recognition
- NFC sharing
- Protocol extension

Download Wikipedia from the Windows Phone Store

Monday, July 15, 2013

6sec: Full featured Vine client comes to Windows Phone 8.

While an official Vine is still in the works, a developer today published an unofficial but full featured Vine client to the Windows Phone Store. The app is free but requires in-app purchase after two uploads to cover the server cost. 

• Find, follow, and interact with people close to you.
• Explore trending posts, featured hashtags and channels.
• Search Vines using hashtags.
• Share Vines to Twitter and Facebook.
• And so much more!

Download: Windows Phone Store

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How Nokia and Microsoft collaborated to create the Lumia 1020.

Michael Stroh posted an interview of Joe Belfiore and Kevin Shields of Nokia, on how they collaborated to make the Nokia Lumia 1020 with 41-megapixel sensor. Check out the full interview over at the Windows Phone blog.

Press Release: Nokia Lumia 1020 inspires developers to push boundaries of smartphone imaging

Nokia Imaging Software Development Kit (SDK) now available at developer.nokia.com 
Espoo, Finland and New York, NY - After unveiling the Nokia Lumia 1020 today, Nokia also debuted a range of exciting applications that push the boundaries of smartphone imaging.
Hipstamatic, Path, Vyclone, SNAPCAM, Panagraph, Yelp, CNN and Foursquare are just a few of the developers building unique applications for the Nokia Lumia 1020 with the new Nokia Imaging SDK. It was also announced that popular personal magazine Flipboard and popular video service Vine will also be coming to Windows Phone.
"Now more than ever, people are using their smartphones to shoot, edit and share pictures," said Marco Argenti, Senior Vice President, Nokia Developer. "With the Nokia Lumia 1020, we are delivering an industry-leading imaging experience that takes people closer to the details that really matter. We've collaborated closely with Microsoft and top developers around the world to deliver unique app experiences, pushing the boundaries of innovation with our ecosystem."
The Nokia Imaging SDK was built with the same technology Nokia uses for its own imaging applications, including Smart Camera and Creative Studio. The SDK gives developers flexibility to create advanced imaging experiences in their applications for Nokia Lumia smartphones. Whether applying or creating filters or adding effects and adjustments to images, developers can offer people the ability to instantly personalize photos or relive the moment in a variety of ways. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Skype for Windows Phone 8 gets significant performance improvement.

I think we all expected the next Skype update to finally include video messaging, a feature that has been released a few weeks ago to Android and iOS. Unfortunately, the update pushed today to Windows Phones does not contain this much awaited feature. But it is interesting nonetheless. The app does get a significant performance boost that makes resuming Skype conversation mush faster; No more pause when switching apps. See the full change log for Skype for Windows Phone 8 - version 2.8.

  • Start and Resume Performance – Improving the start and resume experience has been the main focus of this release. It’s now much faster to return to the app when it’s in the back stack. If you open the app and then hit the start button or turn off the screen, pressing the back or power button now gets you back into the Skype app much more quickly. You’ll also see some general improvements to the start experience.
  • Live Tile Count - Based on user feedback, we’ve changed the Live Tile notifications to show only the number of unread conversations, rather than the total number of unread messages.
  • South Korea Availability – Skype for Windows Phone 8 is now available to download from the Windows Phone Store in South Korea.
Get the updated version now from the Windows Phone Store. 

Source: Skype blog

Monday, July 01, 2013

Facebook 5.0 for Windows Phone released.

The Facebook app for Windows Phone is finally out of beta. The final and major upgrade has been published to the store and reaches version 5.0. This new version lets "you can post status updates, receive Live Tile updates, check your news feed, review upcoming events, check in to places, manage your inbox, upload photos, publish notes, accept friend requests, pin Places and Messages as Tiles, and look at your friends’ photos, walls and info."

Download: Windows Phone Store

Source: Windows Phone Blog

iHeartRadio comes to Windows Phone 8.

The popular streaming internet radio app, iHeartRadio, makes its debut on Windows Phone 8 today. The app lets you stream some 1500 US radio to your phone wherever you are. iHeartRadio also lets you create your own radio station from a catalog of 16 million songs and 400, 000 artists.

  • Recommend stations. Find the soundtrack for studying, driving—even cleaning house. 
  • Sleep Timer. Doze off to your favorite station.
  • Lock screen album art
  • Bookmarking: Pin favorite stations to your Start screen.
  • Universal search. Now you can search across the app.