Saturday, December 19, 2015

Adobe Photoshop Express makes Noise Reduction and Looks premium packs free for a limited time.

Adobe Photoshop Express is an excellent photo editor app for Windows desktop and Windows 10 Mobile and one of my favorites because it's super simple to use and full of those automated tasks that makes my photos look good without much effort. I'm very lazy when it comes to photo editing plus my lack of artistic taste is evident. I always scored ZERO in arts class, no kidding. 

That's why I like apps like Adobe Photoshop Express, to handle those tedious manipulations for me. The app has been updated today with one feature removed, Adobe Revel. The latter was Adobe's cloud storage solution to store your photos and sync them to your Windows computer/tablet and iPad. Adobe did not say the reason for removing Adobe Revel.

With the holidays almost upon us, Adobe is making its premium features free, meaning the Adobe Noise Reduction Pack which was sold at $4.99 and the Adobe Looks Pack which was at $2.99 are now free when you sign in with an Adobe ID. Adobe does say within the app that this offer is "for a limited time", so hurry to take advantage of it in the Windows store.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Duolingo adds Russian, Polish and Ukrainian to its language learning portfolio.

Correct me if I'm wrong when I say we all speak at least one language. But the real question is why stick to one when you can speak more thanks to apps like Duolingo, a Universal Windows app that is among the best in its kind in that it makes it fun and easy to learn a foreign language. Duolingo lets you learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Irish, Dutch, Danish and English; all of that totally free, with no in-app purchases. So no surprises.

Today the developers behind the learning app released an update that adds three new languages to the lot: Russian, Polish and Ukrainian. Three additional languages to learn at your own pace. 

If you haven't tried Duolingo yet, visit the Windows store on your desktop or phone to download and have fun learning languages.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Send group text messages from Windows desktop with Pushbullet.

Pushbullet made it easy to send text messages from our Windows computer and Android tablets. Today, the amazing team behind Pushbullet published another update that brings group texting support to the app. Users of Windows and android on tablets will thus be able to reply to groups on their devices without reaching out to their phones. All that is needed to start using this new feature is to download this update in the link at the end of this post. 

Group texting is supported in Chrome via the extension, the Windows desktop app and the Android app. The update will be available soon for Safari, Firefox and Opera extensions. Sending group text will be without limits until January 1st. Pass that date, the same individual text message limit will apply to free users of Pushbullet.

Whether you're a free or paid user of Pushbullet, download the update from Pushbullet and enjoy sending group text from your Windows computer.

Windows Maps for Windows desktop and Mobile gets lane guidance, Santa tracking and Home pinning.

Windows Maps for desktop and Windows 10 Mobile was updated today with features that I find very helpful. Not that I really need them in Mauritius, but they will come in very handy during my travels. Before we look into the update, I want to draw your attention on the availability of the update on Windows Desktop and Mobile at the same time. This is the power of Universal apps.

In this update, Microsoft introduces a feature I think they borrowed from Here Maps, recently owned by Nokia and sold to a German consortium, which lets users pin their Home and later tap on it to get directions back. In this update, Microsoft lets you do that by pinning your Home or Work to get guided directions from anywhere.

With Christmas right around the corner, every maps app has to have their own Santa tracking feature and Windows Maps will let you find Santa and "follow him as he travels around the world on December 24th". Microsoft says in the change log that this feature is not available in all countries or regions. In the case this feature doesn't work at your location, just sit back with your favorite drink with your family and do it the old way, by scrutinizing the sky, which is way better than looking at a screen.

The last item in the log, is lane guidance in turn-by-turn navigation. Every driver, no matter how good, has had to face this moment of not knowing which lane to use. This feature should help avoid these confusing moments for a safe ride. 

This is pretty big update for Windows Maps. This app gives you voice navigation, turn-by-turn driving, transit, and walking directions for free and without the need of a live internet connection. Simply download the maps within the app, but before you can do that, make sure you download/upgrade Windows Maps app in the store.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Candy Crush Saga for Windows gets 15 new levels of Siberian Sorbet-filled episode.

It's the holidays season, just the perfect time to add new episodes to the ever popular Candy Crush Saga for Windows. This translates into 15 new levels of ice-cold Candy Crush Saga for your immoderate consumption.

"Do you like ice cream? Of course you do! Then you will love Siberian Sorbet, our latest episode! It comes filled with 15 NEW LEVELS and an extra slice of sugary fun on top!"

Candy Crush Saga is a completely free game, but some in-game items will require payment. That said, head over to the Windows Store to download the latest icy episode of Candy Crush Saga.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sway update makes it easy to drag & drop, copy & paste from Windows File Explorer.

We all have a story to tell whether it's for work, school, family event and nowadays not a lot of tools allows us to do so easily. Sure there is PowerPoint, but that requires you own a version of Microsoft Office and not everyone can afford one. Thankfully, Microsoft came up with Sway, a free tool for Windows that makes it easy to create and share personal stories with interactive multimedia content including maps, tweets, Vines, graphics and GIFs. And you don't have to be a professional designer to use Sway.

Microsoft makes a great job adding features and improving the current experience. They recently published an update that adds the following features to Sway:

  • Full screen - You can now view and present Sways in full screen mode.
  • Insert Pictures - It's now easier to copy & paste and to drag & drop pictures from Windows File Explorer into Sway.
  • Miscellaneous - We've made several performance improvements and bug fixes.
If you haven't tried Sway yet, give it a try and unleash your productivity across your devices. Sway is a free download on the Windows Store.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Game Troopers releases Equalicious, a fun brain teaser for Windows Phone.

Equalicious is a fun brain teaser brought to you by Game Troopers. The free game is a Windows Phone exclusive for a short time and will run on 512MB devices too.

Equalicious is a game that lets you "train your brain going through multiple levels, arranging the tiles to solve simple equations with basic operations...". You also earn Xbox achievements along the way and as you get better, you can challenge your friends. 

This game has really been designed to be simple and fun, so check it out in Windows store

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Microsoft OneNote for iPhone gets support for Touch 3D.

This is my second post about a Microsoft app receiving a cool update on another mobile platform, namely iOS, the Apple mobile operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad. The Microsoft app getting updated is OneNote, the note taking and to-do app.

The update adds features that cater for both phone and tablet version of iOS, especially the iPad Pro where OneNote will now support Apple Pencil letting you draw and OneNote will take care of converting hand drawn shapes "into crisp, perfectly regular polygons and circles." Better yet, line thickness will be proportional to your stroke speed. The faster you draw, the thinner the line gets. Microsoft also improved the drawing palette.

With the recent release of the iPhone 6S/6+S and their new features, Microsoft was quick to update OneNote to take advantage of one of selling points of the 6S/6+S, the Touch 3D which, basically, allow users access to a contextual menu after a long press on the app icon. With this new feature, users will be able to create new notes and access recent notes by simply doing that long press on the icon without having to open the app first.

Microsoft OneNote for iOS is available free for download in the App Store.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Vine for Windows Phone updated with double-tap to like and more.

Fans of short videos rejoice, the official Vine app for Windows Phone has been updated today to make your experience more enjoyable. Check out the full change log below:

  • Now you can double-tap to like! Go give it a try:)
  • Find more accounts to follow with a new list of suggested Viners. Tap to Find People icon in the the top left corner to see hand-picked suggestions.
  • Video performance improvements and bug fixes.
Head over to the Windows Phone store to download Vine.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Game Troopers releases new Windows game free: Trucking 3D

Game Troopers has released yet another game for Windows/Windows Phone today, a game that will fulfill one of my oldest dreams which is to drive a huge truck around. 

As a kid, I used to dream about driving big trucks, even determined to making this my career. Of course things did not turn out the way I wanted, but Trucking 3D may help me get there. Game Trooppers' Trucking 3D is a free game “where you will have to maneuver your truck in a lively 3D environment while completing your missions.”

The game was initially developed by Evlppy and ported to Windows and Windows Phone, including 512MB devices. Trucking 3D offers more 60 levels and the following features:
·         6 different trucks and 4 special vehicles (ambulance, fire truck, plane carrier…)
·         18 visual upgrades
·         5+ hours of gameplay
·         Lots of new stuff in upcoming updates
·         You don’t need a driving license to play the game
·         Game available ONLY on Windows

Download Trucking 3D for Windows:
Windows 10 
Windows 8.1 and earlier 
Windows Phone 8.1 and earlier 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Microsoft Health for iOS gets support for Microsoft Band 2.

With Microsoft putting all their apps on every available platform, I've decided to use this blog to cover Microsoft apps for the iOS platform. I was recently given an iPhone 6 Plus to play with and the first apps I installed on it were, obviously, Microsoft apps. One of them is the Microsoft Health app to sync with my first generation Microsoft Band.

Microsoft has updated the app today, adding support for the Band 2. The fitness band is not yet available, but can be pre-ordered from Microsoft and Best buy. Your iPhone will be ready to work with your shiny new Band if you're after one. The change log does not say much, but the "What's New" section of the Microsoft Health app does invite you to check the new Band, UV monitoring, stairs counting, wake up refreshed and workout customization. 

Get the Microsoft Heath update in the App store. Check out Windows Central for details about the Microsoft Band 2

Friday, October 02, 2015

Game Troopers announces the release soon of new game Super MonkeyStar.

The prolific developers over at Game Troopers announced the upcoming release of a new game for Windows Phone called Super MonkeyStar. The company did not set any release date, just mentioning that the game will be available before the end of the year.

The adventure takes place on Qvimian Prime - This planet is in no way linked to Optimus Prime the Transformer - and you're Ape 013 or Iter who discovers his powers after escaping from his captors. Using them you will fight your enemies with the help of additional power ups and earn points, score, level rates etc. as you progress through the game.

Check out the teaser below:

Visit the Super MonkeyStar web site for more info.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Duolingo now supports Windows 10 Mobile & Desktop; Adds Esperanto and Norwegian.

Learning a new language can be a daunting task, but it does not have to be that way. Enter Duolingo, a free app for Windows Phone and Windows that makes the learning experience fun, rewarding and FUN. This app will definitely win your heart. I used it to learn italian. With Duolingo you can learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Irish, Dutch, Danish and English. The app will remind you if you miss your daily intake of whatever language you're learning. It was not necessary for me as Duolingo is so engaging.

Duolingo has been updated today and is now a Windows 10 universal app. Two new languages have been added and you can now learn Esperanto and Norwegian from English. Head over in the Windows Phone and Windows Store to download Duolingo and start the language of your choice.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Telescope for Periscope brings all live broadcasts in new global screen.

If you're a fan of live video broadcasting, then you probably already use Telescope for Periscope, a third party client of Twitter's Periscope service. Telescope was released on Windows Phone shortly after Twitter made the the first official app available on iOS. It was released on Android months later. The latter joined the club of users who enjoyed broadcasting live videos to the world. 

Telescope for Periscope (I'll just call it Telescope as from now) has picked up an update today that raises the version number to 1.1.05 with the following changes:

  • Loading indicator on sign-in.
  • Updates to home screen to show broadcasts from followers and most recent ended broadcasts.
  • New global screen to see all live broadcasts.
Download the update in the Windows Phone Store.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Microsoft announces Windows 10 Mobile Build 10512.

Microsoft has unexpectedly made Build 10512 of the Windows 10 Mobile available to the Fast ring of the Windows Insider program. Gabe Aul, also known as the ring master, posted a list of improvements and fixes on the Windows blog:
  • General improvement in overall stability and performance.
  • You can now set the Lock screen and background image from within the Photos app.
  • We fixed an issue where apps installed on SD cards weren’t working after a reboot.
  • We have improved Latvian and Chinese inputs.
  • We have made improvements to the Kid’s Corner tile layout.
  • We have improved reliability of Data Sense notifications.
  • Modified Shape Writing algorithm to be less aggressive in suggesting contact names over common words.
  • Resolved an issue where Camera would not launch when the phone was locked.
  • We fixed an issue where notifications for incoming text messages weren’t appearing.
  • We fixed an issue where the touch screen wouldn’t be responsive after ending a phone call on some devices.
  • And we fixed an issue where folder tiles have obviously overlapping text.
According to Gabe Aul, Windows 10 Mobile builds should be released more frequently now. He also posted a list of known issues that needs to be addressed:

  • Mobile hotspot doesn’t work in this build. When sharing the Internet from your phone using Mobile Hotspot, devices will fail to get a valid IP address from your phone and will show no internet access.
  • Two-factor authentication for your MSA with a phone number doesn’t work in this build. If you reset your phone and go through the first run experience, you won’t be able to input more than 2 characters for validating phone or text authentication. If you have a secondary email for two-factor authentication – you can choose that. As a workaround, add secondary email for two-factor authentication.
  • Some phones might spend a long time in the post update migration experience – just let the phone sit and it should complete this migration.
  • Apps that use background audio such as Groove, Podcast, Pandora, etc. will crash when launching after receiving an app update from the Store. Rebooting the device will resolve this issue.
  • Some phones with a large number of tiles pinned to the Start screen may get stuck in a state where the device shows “Loading…”; the device will need to be reset or rolled back to Windows Phone 8.1 using Windows Phone Recovery Tool.
  • Some apps may fail to update through the Store with the error code 0x80073cf9; uninstalling the application and reinstalling it will resolve this issue.
  • The Movies & TV app will not work in this build (video playback is currently broken).
The most annoying issue for me is the 5th item in the list where the phone will remain stuck while loading the Start screen. There are two workarounds which are to hard reset or go back to Windows Phone 8.1 and I'm not willing to go through this again on my Lumia 1520. I had to roll my 920 back to 8.1 today, so I'll wait for the next build with hope that Microsoft will definitely fix the "loading" problem.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

6tag updated with Windows 10 design and improved search.

6tag, the unofficial but full-featured Instagram app for Windows Phone has been updated today, bumping the app version to 5.5. The app interface has been updated to match the Windows 10 design. The search feature has also been improved so "you can search places and search user/hashtags/places at the same time." Note that the official Instagram app for Android received a similar update on the 20th of July. The last item in the change log is about a feature that lets user "press and hold the camera button in the application bar to directly select a file." 

I have not been able to update the app yet, even though it shows an update is available. I'm not sure if there's something broken with the store, but tapping update button opens 6tag instead. All my devices are running Windows 10 Mobile, so that could also be an issue. Has anyone been able to update 6tag?

Download the update in the Windows Phone Store

Friday, July 24, 2015

Game Troopers releases teaser trailer for new game: Abyss

Game Troopers is one game company which seriously believe Windows Phone has a future despite all that has been said recently after Microsoft fired nearly 8000 employees and write off some $7 billion. Check out Game Troopers titles for Windows Phone, some of them are free and others available at a decent price.

Today Game Troopers has announced a new title called Abyss. The game has yet to be published to the store, which Games Troopers says will happen next week. "In abyss you will control Nep2no, a biochemical robot created by humans to explore the depths of the ocean in seek of a new source of energy called 'Gaia'."

Abyss has 20 levels with achievements and leaderboard so you can compete against your friends. The game will cost $2.99 on launch and will support 512MB devices.

Game Troopers has posted a teaser video to their Youtube channel to keep you waiting patiently until next week.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Dropbox for Windows Phone gets recent tab, in-app video streaming and more.

Dropbox for Windows Phone received a few nice updates today. First in the list is the recent tab. This is the one location where users will be able to see their last activities on Dropbox, such as "anything you’ve viewed, uploaded, renamed, or edited, on that device or on The files you’re most likely to need on the go will always be front and center." So much to help you be more productive on the go.

Second in the change log, is about invitation for your friends to subscribe to Dropbox. Anytime friend signs in to Dropbox using a referral you sent within the app, both you and the friend will receive free storage. The log does not mention the amount of storage both will benefit, but more storage, and free, is always welcome.

This update also brings video streaming to the app. As from now on, there is no need to download a video first before watching; start streaming right from the cloud and save time.

Check out the rest of the change log below and then proceed to the Windows Phone store to update or download the official Dropbox app for Windows Phone for free:
• Save web links to your Dropbox
• Open internet shortcuts
• Add a text viewer
• New option for favorites: view in parent folder
• Bug fixes and performance improvements

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Sendtiment for Windows Phone gets new UI and new 4th of July, summer & yoga cards.

Traditional post cards are something of the past and that's undeniable. With the emergence of the internet, every aspect of our lives have changed, even the way we socialize, share our love and wishes. I'm not saying the traditional post card is dead, they are still out there and they serve more as souvenir cards of our travels. It's so easy nowadays to just snap a photo with our phones and share it online with our families. Thankfully the postcard has evolved and fully embraced modern technology. Sendtiment is a great example of that transformation.

Sendtiment - the d is silent - is a free app that is available free on Windows Phone and iOS. Initially a Windows Phone exclusive, Sendtiment lets users send everything from personalized postcards, invitations, notes in a colorful way right on their Windows phones. The app is beautifully designed and lets you easily share your art work through the major social networks or with traditional email and text. 

Users can choose among the quite large database of professionally designed digital cards or pick a photo on their phones and design their own card very easily. And Sendtiment has a card for every occasions: Thank You, Love, Invitations, Hello Greetings, Happy Birthday, Happy Holidays, Independence, 4th of July, Sorry, Baby, Engagement, Wedding, Marriage, Announcement, Graduation, Support, Summer, Sushi, Yoga. Quite an assortment to choose from.

Sendtiment has been updated today with the following changes:
* Refreshed UI to match our new brand identity
* Bug squashes - blame it on the summer heat that brings out all the bugs
* Add a couple of new cards because summer + yoga + 4th of July

Before you go into the Windows Phone store to download Sendtiment, I just want to share small piece of history about postcards: The very first postcard was a hand-painted card posted in Fulham, London in 1840. In 2002, the card was sold for...31,750 Pound Sterling.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

myTuner Radio for Windows Phone now supports installation to storage card.

If you like music and live in Mauritius, it can be quite frustrating not to be able to buy songs on Windows Phone and Android. But thanks to apps like myTuner Radio, we have access to 30,000 radio stations from more than 120 countries for free. This is great, but these type of apps/services require an internet connection and does not work offline. And not everyone has unlimited data or access to data everywhere. But until Microsoft opens up their vast song library to Mauritians, myTuner Radio is one of the many alternatives to listen to radios worldwide.

myTuner Radio was updated today which allow users to install the app to their storage card. An addition that will please owners of devices with low memory. The change log also states the database has been updated for fresh install with this between parentheses: Remember that the database is updated while the app is opened." I'm not sure what that means.

The update brings myTuner Radio to version 2015.615.843.4530 which is available free as a universal app in Windows and Windows Phone store.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Game Troopers announces new game: The Last Door.

Game Troopers, the brilliant folks behind the games like Overkill 3, Tiny Troopers etc have announced today the upcoming release of  new game in July for Windows Phone and Windows. The game is called The Last Door and was originally developed by The Game Kitchen and available on PC, MAC, Android and iOS. 

The Last Door is a point and click adventure horror game with low res graphics "and a spine-chilling horror storyline".

Jesus Bosch, the CEO of Game Troopers, thinks "that this is a very special title, an indie game executed with a very high level of production quality. I got impressed about the high level of production just right after playing for a few minutes. We have very high expectations about the success of this title on Windows Phone."

The Last Door will cost $2.99 on release and will feature achievements like Game Troopers other titles. Until the release next month, check the teaser video below:

Disney's Frozen Free Fall gets 45 new levels, Snowgies & new Ice Cream mode.

Rumor of a sequel to Disney's hit movie Frozen is rampant on the web. True or not, Disney is making sure you do not forget about Frozen through the Frozen Free Fall game for Windows Phone which picked up an update today, adding 45 new puzzles on a brand new map. And to make things easier and funnier, Disney added new characters called Snowgies. They are mini snowmen, probably Olaf's kin, but without the carrot in place of the nose. Actually, those mini snowmen do not have one. According to the change log, the Snowgies will help players beat the levels faster.

Finally, this update introduces a new Ice Cream game mode where players will be able to "collect scoops of ice cream to build delicious ice cream cones!"

The update is 122MB in size and will require a WiFi connection to download version of Frozen Free Fall in the Windows Phone store.

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 :)

  • 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

  • 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 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 The old URL was 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.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Tubecast for Windows Phone gets 4K casting, landscape navigation and more.

The wonderful thing in the Windows Phone world is its awesomely creative and passionate developers. Android may have millions of apps in the Play store, a lot of those do not meet the quality apps made by the fantastic Windows Phone developers. Examples of such developers abound in Windows Phone land and Webrox is one of them.

Webrox developed Tubecast, the ultimate Youtube client that supports Chromecast, DNLA and AirPlay. And Tubecast is also a universal app, meaning it runs both on Windows Phone and Windows. Buy it once and it's available for download on all your Windows devices. Today, the popular Youtube client got updated with the following features:

  • 4K
  • Windows 8 merged design and code.
  • Horizontal navigation.
  • Improve annotation handling.
  • Improve DLNA (with new smart TV).
  • New pinch gesture and double tap for full screen videos.
  • Bigger newsfeed for logged users.
  • 'Network error' fixed, it was due to Youtube API quota.
  • All the player zone is clickable for play/pause.
  • Bug fixes.
  • New Icon.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Vine now lets you trim videos from the Camera Roll on Windows Phone.

Vine got an interesting update today that finally allows users of the looping-videos app to upload videos from Windows Phone's Camera roll. I know, you would have expected this to be inherently built into such a high profile app, but it was not the case when Vine was released. Today's update fixes that with a button in the capture screen that will take you to the camera roll and lets you select your stored videos and trim them to adhere to the 6 seconds vid you want to share. The update also lets users mix and match videos.

See the full change log below:
  • Uploading videos from your camera roll:
    - In the capture screen, you'll find a new button on the bottom left to access your camera roll.
    - Preview videos of any length length, and trim them to 6 seconds or less.
    - Upload a single video, or mix and match to tell a story!
  • Privately send Vine videos and texts back and forth with a friend.
  • Customize your profile with colors.
Vine is a free download in Windows Phone store.

Video Messaging: Get creative with 7 new Skype Qik live effects.

Skype Qik - pronounced quick - is Skype's second app that is cross platform, just like it's big brother Skype. But Skype Qik still plays in the messaging category albeit exclusively video. It can be compared to Instagram in that Qik lets you capture moments by shooting videos, add predefined effects to them and share with friends or groups of friends. Besides being a video messenger app, Skype Qik is really good at making your videos a great piece of art.  And it keeps getting better at that.

In the most recent update, Skype Qik got 7 new live effects. Users will be able to pick the effects they want while shooting the videos, hence the live effects. Simply swipe over the viewfinder to scroll through the fun effects before sharing the masterpiece with friends.

Check out the update in the Windows Phone store