Saturday, November 26, 2016

Playcast gets XBOX One support and more.

Playcast has been developed to allow users to cast movies, songs and pictures not only to Google Home, but also to Google Cast Audio, Apple TV (AirPlay), DLNA Smart TV, Miracast, Internet Box, Xbox One, Xbox 360 etc. Playcast cost $3.99 and offers a week trial before you make the decision to buy it and I can tell it is a well worth purchase. There are not many apps in the Windows Store that let you throw stuff to your TV. Plus the app is regularly updated with new features and fixes. 

Speaking of updates, Playcast has been updated this week. Check out the change log:

  • XBOX One ready.
  • Chromecast Audio Multi-room support.
  • German language.
Download Playcast in the Windows Store. Playcast is Windows Universal App. Buy it once and you'll be able to use it on your Windows phone and PC.



Pushbullet client for Windows gets speed improvements and bug fixes.

Like many apps in the Windows Store, Pushpin is a third party client of a popular software called Pushbullet that is available on Android and iOS. Pushpin brings a very useful feature to Windows Phone. With Pushpin, you can easily share files, pictures, links, news with your friends and the world, provided people subscribe to your channel. I use Pushbullet on all my phones and computers and like how stuff I push almost show up instantaneously on my other devices. Pushpin can be installed on as many devices you want and you can choose to which device you want to push to. Pushbullet also handles your SMS so you can reply to them on your computer instead of reaching out for your phone as the messages come in. For this feature to work, download Pushbullet for Windows here.

Back to Pushpin. Whether or not you own multiple phones and, at least a PC and you have been emailing files to yourself, you should give Pushpin a try. It is free with the option to donate via Paypal to the developer for his efforts into bringing this utility to Windows. 

In the latest update, the developer added ads in the full trial version of the app and made some speed improvements and bug fixes. Again, if you haven't tried Pushpin yet, head over to the Windows Store and get your free ad supported copy or pay $1.49.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Viber brings animated stickers to Windows Phone.

Viber has updated its app for Windows Phone today allowing the few Windows Phone users out there to use and send animated stickers, bringing some fun to a platform that has lost its identity thanks to its creator. I'm still a fan of Windows Phone, but it's sad to see the platform losing ground everyday. Viber also lets users save photos and videos to Viber folder as well as sharing them to any app.

Grab the update in Windows Store for free. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Asphalt 8: Airborne update for Windows brings new competition, rewards and new cars.

If you're having a lonely and boring Saturday with your Windows Phone, download the latest update to Gameloft's Asphalt 8: Airborne game to enjoy great new features. Today's update introduces Multiplayer Seasons where players will race against other players to score points in time-limited races to unlock prizes. The multiplayer league lets players earn bigger rewards at the end of the season as you drive your way through the top of the league.

An update of Asphalt 8 without new cars is not an update per se. This one adds more virtual cars for your pleasure: Falcon7, Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG series, GT by Ctroen, Icona Vulcano V12 Hybrid. The developer promises more cars you cannot afford in future updates.

Check out the full change log before heading to the Windows Store to download and update Asphalt 8: Airborne:

- MULTIPLAYER SEASONS: Multiplayer just got a nitro boost of competition and rewards! Race your best against other players to score points and unlock prizes in limited-time Racing Seasons. 

- MULTIPLAYER LEAGUES: Your skills behind the wheel will be fully recognized as you score high ratings and make your way into higher leagues. The better your league, the bigger your rewards at the end of the Season! 

- NEW CARS: Hungry for more speed machines? The Falcon F7, Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG Racing Series, GT by CITROEN, Icona Vulcano V12 Hybrid, and more will be added regularly, so check back often! 

- NEW EVENTS: Are your skills sharpened and your engine revved for the new R&D event and 2 new Enduro Challenges? Be among the first to claim some of the most powerful cars ever added to the game! 

 - RIO & AREA 51 UPGRADES: We’ve improved our newest tracks with greater visibility, better lighting and lots of tweaks to make every race more vivid than ever.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Game Troopers launches Pebble game for Windows Phone.

I like those games that do not take a toll on your sanity and helps you enjoy, have fun and relax. Pebble from game powerhouse Game Troopers seems to fall into that category with a game that is simple, "easy to play but really hard to dominate, the perfect mixture between minimalism and velocity, all inside a peaceful environment with relaxing music". I have not played it yet, but this description definitely makes it tempting.

The game play is simple. Drag the pebbles inside a circle as long as their colors match. Should you miss, it's game over.

The game features:

  • Drag the pebbles of the right color inside the central circle.
  • Challenge your friends and play together on the same device.
  • Infinite game play, how many points can you score?
  • Boost your game play with amazing power-us.
  • Log in every day to get big rewards.
Before proceeding to the Windows Store to download Pebble on your Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile, check out this short video: 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Runtastic for Windows Phone introduces Shoe Tracking to protect your joints and prevent injuries.


I never heard of shoe tracking up until today. At first, I thought it was surreal, but Runtastic really wants to help you track your shoes condition from the time you buy it and for the next 500 km you use to run or walk. Why 500 km you may ask. Well according to a study by Cook, Kuster and Brunet, "the initial cushion of running shoes dropped to 67% after about 150 miles (240 kilometers) and further to 60% after a little more than 500 miles (800 kilometers)." And another study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences "has shown that as the number of miles increases, the cushioning capability of the shoes decreases, exposing your joints to greater shock and force." So take note and mind your joints as from now on. But don't freak out, Runtastic has you covered with an update to their app for Windows Phone. 

They introduced Shoe Tracking to help keep track of the mileage on your running shoes. The app has a builtin database of shoes from which you can choose, and if your's are missing, snap a picture of your shoes to add to the app. If you have an existing shoe, specify when you started using it and include your mileage and Runtastic will take it from there. It is also capable of handling several shoes. 

Head over to the Windows Store to download the updated Runtastic and add Shoe Tracking to your fitness statistics.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Candy Crush Jelly Saga for Windows gets 420 new tasty levels.

I don't know about you, but my Candy Crush intake has dropped to the zero level now, even if the game comes pre-install in Windows 10. Candy Crush, like the Angry Birds franchise, are those games that just plain refuse to disappear. Candy Crush for its part keep adding more "chewy episodes" for the fans out there and I can tell there are a lot and I'm making this statement based on the number of phones and tablets that popup during commute with the different versions of the game running.

In order to keep the fan base happy, 420 levels were added to the game today. Yep, you have to be a fan to enjoy going through all of this. I never got to get above level 10 because I get bored very quickly. For the fans out there, head to the Windows Store to grab the update.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

WhatsApp for Windows Phone updated with links rich preview.


It's been a while since I saw an update for WhatsApp for Windows. There seems to be a lot more updates for the beta version of the app, but very few for the official app. Now it may be a misconception on my part, especially that I'm not part of the beta program. Today WhatsApp published an update that brings a somewhat useful feature when sharing or receiving links within the app.

Users who share or receive a link will now include a rich preview. This feature can be removed when sending a link.

Check out the update in the Windows Store

Evernote explains how the Basic accounts two-devices limit works.


This year Evernote changed its subscription plan and caused some confusion for those who chose to subscribe to the free basic offering. Evernote stated that Basic users can access Evernote on two devices only, prompting long time users to validly ask how devices are actually counted. And Evernote kindly obliged by sending out a short explanatory email to its subscribers.

Evernote made it clear that the app can be installed on as many devices users own. However, Basic subscribers can only access the note-taking service on any two devices at a time. If a user is already logged on two devices and wants to launch Evernote on a third one, the user will first have to logoff on one of the previously logged on devices. If that is too cumbersome, users can always access Evernote Web on any device with an internet connection.

Download Evernote for your devices: Apple Store | Google Play Store | Windows Store

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Microsoft Sway for Windows 10 update makes it easier to find and view featured Sways and more.


Sway is a presentation program made my Microsoft and is a member of its Office suite of applications available free as a stand alone app in the Windows Store. Sway is also available on the web for those who do not own a Windows PC and as an app in Apple store


In order to use Sway, a Microsoft account is needed and allows users to create digital presentations in a website format from content stored locally on the computer or from the internet. No particular skills are required to create sways, simply add your content and Sway will do the rest and contents include a variety of file types ranging from simple text to images, videos, GIFs, maps, tweets, vines etc.

Microsoft has updated the app for Windows with the following features:
- My Sways - We’ve redesigned the My Sways page to make it easier to find your Sways and view featured Sways. 
- Maximize Storyline - You can now hide the Preview pane for a more focused editing experience. 
 - Accessibility Support - We've made several improvements including better screen reader, high contrast, and keyboard support. We've also added an accessibility checker that flags alt text and hyperlink issues, and makes it easy for you to fix them immediately. 
- Miscellaneous — We’ve fixed several bugs in this release. 

I strongly recommend you give Sway a try as it will let you create some great presentations to share with family, friends and colleagues. Sway is also an excellent tool for collaboration as sways are stored on Microsoft servers, making them available on any device with an internet connection. Check it out in the Windows Store.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Playcast for Windows restores Sort buttons in new update.


Playcast is a must-have multimedia player to cast your movies and songs to devices like Google Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, Apple TV, DNLA Smart TV, Miracast or the Xbox One. A Windows Universal app, Playcast is available for $3.99 in the Windows Store with a 7 days full-featured trial. Being a universal app, you buy it once and use it across your Windows devices.

Playcast was updated today with a minor fix which restores the Sort buttons which was accidentally removed in a previous update. Playcast is one of my favorite apps on Windows and one that I strongly recommend. My only issue with it is that it does not support playing movies purchased from the Windows store for obvious rights reason and I cannot blame the developer for this.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Surfy browser for Windows Phone gets a new logo.

New logo
Old logo


Surfy is a popular browser on Windows Phone. Unfortunately, its use is held back by the fact that Microsoft does not allow the switch to a browser of our choosing, the default being Internet Explorer on windows Phone and Edge on Windows 10 Mobile. And Surfy offers some nice features that Edge doesn't. It supports tab browsing similar to browsers on tablets or PCs. Surfy also lets you use swipe gestures to navigate between open tabs. All in all, Surfy is a great browser that just works. I just wish I could use it as my default browser.

Surfy has been updated today. However there are no new features, bug fixes or performance improvement, just a simple change of logo. Get Surfy free in the Windows Store.


Share your content through social networks & more in one click with UniShare for Windows.


Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile like all operating systems let us share just about anything to social networks, to messaging apps etc. But the annoying thing is that these modern OSs don't bundle a simple thing like sharing to all these platform in a click, a kind of share-once-to-all. We all have a presence on more than one social network. Every time I update this blog, it used to be a pain to share my posts to my multiple social accounts. Thanks to UniShare, sharing in one click makes life a lot easier.


UniShare is a Universal Windows app that's available free on Windows PC and phone and is a simple and powerful app. In its basic free form, UniShare allows you to share content to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in one click. All you have to do is safely add your accounts into the app. The app itself will appear in the sharing options throughout Windows and when selected, lets you share content through the three social platforms mentioned above in one click. That's for the free version.

UniShare also comes in Pro version with the following additional features and support for more networks:

  • Twitter - Up to 3 accounts
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook - personal accounts plus pages you are admin/contributor
  • Tumblr
  • Pocket
  • Geeklist
  • Path
  • Slack
  • Choose from a broad range of picture upload packages - from 5 pics for free up to unlimited)

I strongly recommend you download UniShare in the Windows Store and enjoy the ability to share content to all your networks, email, messaging and other supported apps in a few clicks. And it is continuously being updated. See the full change log below:
- more languages (German, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian) 
- added link to translator registration page 
- mention suggestion search for Facebook no longer needs upper case letters 
- Import/Export of Sharing Profiles fixed, no longer throws errors 
- adding a picture from camera/library or pasting from clipboard is now also available in Sharing View 
- better handling of situations without internet connection 
- fixed sharing to external apps 
- added leet conversion extra 
- added Klingon translation extra (Pro) 
- added Giphy extra 
- lots of bug fixes  

Friday, July 22, 2016

F1 official app for Windows updated.


The F1 official app for Windows has been available for a short while and it's one that F1 fans must have to follow everything about the Grand Prix anywhere. The app is a Universal Windows App one, meaning it is downloadable on a Windows PC and phone or tablet.

The F1 app is a free app with the following features:
* Live Race Leaderboards (limited) 
* Latest news and videos 
* Post-race highlights 
* 2016 Schedule, Team and Driver Standings


Now if you're a fan and is willing to spend some money for additional features, here is what you will get with in-app purchase:

* Official Live Timing of all F1® sessions 
* Sector times with intervals and gaps, live tyre and pit stop information 
* Interactive 3D maps with driver gears and speeds, plus Drag Reduction System (DRS) usage indicator 
* In-Corner Analysis comparing drivers’ entry, apex and exit speeds 
* Immersive dashboard with text commentary (English, French and German), and English audio commentary during all F1® sessions 
* Team Radio Transmissions and Race Control Messages 
* Personalisation Options and more!

The app was updated today. Unfortunately, there is no change log. With the Hungary Grand Prix in full swing, grab the update in the Windows Store and enjoy.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Playcast for Windows now supports streaming a file from a URL to TV.


Some devs just don't get it, there's one Windows out there and Microsoft made it easy for you to make apps for one Windows that will run on any device, including the proclaimed dead Windows Phone. Take Webrox for example, the developer of of popular Tubecast, an excellent third party YouTube client for Windows that is one good example of a Windows Universal app. But Webrox did not stop there. Enter Play Playcast.

Playcast is a must-have multimedia player if you want to cast your movies and songs to devices like Google Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, Apple TV, DNLA Smart TV, Miracast or the Xbox One. A Windows Universal app, Playcast is available for $3.99 in the Windows Store with a 7 days full-featured trial. Being a universal app, you buy it once and use it across your Windows devices. Playcast was updated today - and it is regularly updated - with a new feature for streaming multimedia files through a URL. The developer also included a "DLNA drive workaround for large folders and some drives." and some various bug fixes.

Check out Playcast in the store and enjoy casting your media files from a Windows device.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Playcast for Windows 10 Mobile updated with a few fixes.


Playcast is a media player developed to allow Windows Phone users to cast movies, songs and pictures not only to Google Cast, but also to Google Cast Audio, Apple TV (AirPlay), DLNA Smart TV, Miracast, Internet Box, Xbox One, Xbox 360 etc. Playcast cost $3.99 and offers a week trial before you make the decision to buy it and I can tell it is a well worth purchase. Plus the app is regularly updated with new features and fixes. Speaking of updates, the developer, Webrox, published one a few days ago with some fixes:

  • Background audio volume bug fixed.
  • Workaround for Yamaha DLNA devices which won't show duration.

Again, Playcast is an app that I strongly recommend. Get it here in the store. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Simple, elegant and dynamic Ludo game ported to Windows by Game Trooper.

I used to play Ludo when I was a kid with my brothers and there was rarely, if never, a winner as the games always ended in a fight because one of us had cheated. In case you're wondering, it is not the author of these lines. That was a long time ago and I don't play Ludo anymore, but I'm glad to see the game ported to Windows as a Universal Windows Game under the name Ludo Blitz. We owe this to the good folks at Game Troopers who kept the game "simple and elegant, but also incredible more dynamic and unpredictable."


Key features
Shorter and casual games – ideal for your coffee breaks, or subway travels
Get ready for a completely new and challenging game every time you start playing. 
Watch your Pawns come to life – Enjoy the hi-res 3D movements and actions
6 boosters to take the fun in LUDO to a new level
2 special fields to enhance the wonderful chaos of LUDO

Ludo Blitz is free in Windows Store. However, it is possible to buy some items within the game. Check out the video about the game before heading over to the Windows Store to download Ludo Blitz.



Saturday, April 30, 2016

Game Troopers releases new Los Aliens game for Windows.

Games, games and more games seem to be the motto for the folks of Game Troopers. The company seems to be releasing new games for the Windows platform every two months, with the latest being Los Aliens, a multi-level puzzle game that takes you to space for a trip à la Star Wars. Developed by Shadow Masters, Los Aliens is a Windows Universal game, meaning it is available for download on every device running Windows.



Los Alien will take you into deep space exploration seeking for new worlds. As such you will obviously encounter new civilizations and new forms of life. Being a game, things are fun but not so easy as you will need to use strategy through the 170 levels with limited moves. One thing you will want to keep an eye on is fuel of course. Running out of it and you get lost in space forever. 

Key features:
• Cross-save your progress between devices
• 170 handcrafted levels
• 18 different Pads and Creatures that completely change the gameplay
• Two types of game mode challenges: move-limited and time-limited
• 6 different aliens with super-powers to overcome the difficulties
• Easy to play but challenging to master, resolving a series of brain-twisting puzzles

• Eye-catching animated space graphics

Los Aliens is free to download in the Windows Store and contains in-app purchases.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Playcast, an awesome media player for casting videos, songs, & pictures updated with Google Cast bug fix and more.


I first blogged about Playcast back in January of this year shortly after I purchased the app so I can cast my movies to my TV through my Chromecast, which has been renamed to Google cast recently. I believe Playcast is the only app in the store to do that. After the app was released, I ran into issues where I could not play some movies from my library and fortunately, Webrox, the developer, quickly issued a fix and I can now enjoy my movies serenely. 

Playcast has been developed to allow users to cast movies, songs and pictures not only to Google Cast, but also to Google Cast Audio, Apple TV (AirPlay), DLNA Smart TV, Miracast, Internet Box, Xbox One, Xbox 360 etc. Playcast cost $3.99 and offers a week trial before you make the decision to buy it and I can tell it is a well worth purchase. Plus the app is regularly updated with new features and fixes.

Today's update does not include any new features, but the developer added the following fixes:

  • Chromecast (Google Cast) bug fixes (was due to the new firmware)
  • Crash fix (bug in UWP: Crash while going to full screen sometimes)
  • DLNA server better handled (MonkeyServer)
  • Few minor bug fixes in UI.
Go check out Playcast in the store. Playcast is a Universal Windows App. Buy it once and use on your Windows Phone and Windows PC.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Twitter for Windows 10 Mobile gets a new beautiful design, content discovery, Moments and more.

Well that is kind of unexpected. Twitter today released a major update for Windows 10 Mobile totally making it beautiful and also bringing some new features that makes the app identical to its PC sibling. It even got the little heart in replacement of the star to 'Like' a Tweet. Really, the design is beautiful and on par with Twitter apps on other platforms with the addition of the black theme, which is not available on Android and iOS. Unfortunately, switching to black theme is not app specific and cannot be done in the app settings, is related to the system theme. There's also no way to navigate horizontally to switch between the different pivot screen. Overall, it remains a nice update and I expect it will get better in a future update.

Check out the full change log and update the app in the Windows Store:
Find the best of Twitter in an instant with Moments. Follow top stories through immersive pics, clips and conversations. Get insights and perspectives you won't find anywhere else. 
- Find the best of Twitter in an instant. 
- Get exclusive pics, clips and conversations. 
- Express yourself with a Tweet. 
- Find people and accounts that interest you. 
- Hello from this part of the world! 
- See the moment.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Microsoft adds camera translation for Arabic to Translator app for Windows Phone.

Last Monday I blogged about Microsoft updating its Translator app for Windows Phone with camera translation support for Romanian, Slovak and Serbia Cyrillic. Today, the Translator app for Windows Phone was again updated and this time Microsoft added camera translation for Arabic bringing the app version to 4.2. That is all there is to it. 

You can get the update here.

Microsoft has a slew of updates for its Facebook app for Windows Phone.

Facebook, the world's dominant social network, received a slew of updates on the Windows Phone 8, 8.1 and 10 platforms. The app is developed and maintained by Microsoft unlike other platforms where Facebook builds its own app. This update proves that Microsoft has been hard at work to bring some much needed features to the app and that will certainly please those who use Facebook exclusively on Windows Phone. Check out the full change log below and head over to the Windows Phone store to update Facebook.

Version Notes:
· Profile post editing 
· Cover photo management 
· Profile picture management 
· Threaded comments 
· Comment reply functionality 
· Album comment functionality 
· Create new albums via post composer 
· Share content to external sources 
· News Feed improvements 
· Interactive notification improvements 
· Contact sync improvements 
· Date & time localization improvements 
· Stability improvements 
· Improvements to Continuum experience 
· Bug fixes

Monday, February 29, 2016

Microsoft Translator updated with camera translation for Romanian, Slovak & Serbia Cyrillic, translation pack for Kiswahili.

Using your Windows Phone camera for translation is a feature we now take for granted and with Microsoft adding support for more languages, its Translator app is a required tool to keep handy when traveling. The world is a global village after all. Microsoft has updated the Translator app for Windows Phone, bringing the version number to 4.1 with the following new features:

- Camera translation for Romanian, Slovak and Serbian Cyrillic 
- Online translation and offline translation pack for Kiswahili

Microsoft added support for Kiswahili - better known as Swahili - in October last year. Back then the language was available in text form only.

The update is available in the Windows Phone store for download.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Glide video messaging available for Windows Phone.


Glide is a new live video messaging tool for Windows Phone. The app already exists on iOS and Android and now millions of Windows users around the world will enjoy fast video messaging to keep in touch with loved ones. This is pretty much what other similar apps do. But Glide boast its unique ability to handle sign languages. According to a post on Glide's blog, the app is very popular among members of the deaf and hard of hearing community, especially since a sign language conversation can take place one handed:

“My deaf students say: ‘It feels like this was specially made for us.”
“I love this app. It makes it much easier to keep in touch with my deaf sister. Thank you.”
“So awesome to be able to leave video messages for my Deaf friends. With voicemail not being an option for those who can’t hear, this is a fantastic option! Thanks so much!!!”
“Love Glide! I am deaf and use sign language to communicate with my friends so this app allows us to get our message across quickly! Awesome app!”
Glide also supports text messages in the event videos are not convenient. Videos are also saved to the cloud, making them available for viewing at anytime, anywhere and saves precious space on your device. The ability to review a video before sending is also cool. Learn more about Glide here and get the app in the Windows Store.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Dropbox for Windows Phone 8.1 updated with quick search, commenting and Jump list.

Dropbox

Dropbox for Windows Phone is a Windows Universal app, meaning that it works on Windows for desktop and Windows 10 Mobile. The popular cloud storage app also works with Windows Phone 8.1. Today, Dropbox was updated to bring some of the Windows 10 features to Windows Phone 8.1.

With this update Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows users will be able to initiate a search by simply typing anywhere. They won't necessarily need to tap the search icon first. The app also allow users to comment on files, bringing collaboration with others by inviting them to a discussion with the use of @mentions. Finally, there's Jump list for access to recent files through a right click on the application icon and tile.

Grab the update in the Windows Store.

Surfy browser adds Ukranian language and fixes LAN site browsing issue.

Surfy
I really like how Android lets me choose which browser I like most and set it as the default browser to open any links I click on my device. This is a choice I would like Microsoft to implement on Windows Phone. We already have the choice of search engine, so why not extend that to browsers. My favorite browser is on my Lumia is Surfy and it got a minor update today. The browser now supports Ukranian language and an issue with browsing to LAN sites has also been fixed.

There are two versions of Surfy available in the store, one free with some limitations and a paid version:




Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Microsoft adds GPS Power Saver to Microsoft Band 2 and weight tracker to its Health app.

 Microsoft Health picked up a nice update today, especially for those who own the Microsoft Band 2, the second generation fitness tracker made by the software giant. I do not own a Band 2 yet, but I like the addition of the GPS Power Saver, which Microsoft claims to extend the battery life up to 4 hours. I have the Band 1 and use it for biking. While I only bike a distance of up to 13 km with the GPS activated and battery fully charged, I will end up with 40%; enough to complete a guided workout of 13 minutes at home before plugging the Band to recharge and switch to my phone. An additional 40% of battery life will fulfill my needs.

This update also comes with an activity reminder. Again, another feature I wish Microsoft had made available for the first generation of its fitness band. The Activity Reminder will let users set reminders on their Band 2 for every 30, 60, or 90 minutes to take a walk.

The other features include the ability to create guided workouts in the dashboard and share them with friends. The addition of a weight tracking feature to help users maintain their current weight or to reach their goals  and finally, Microsoft added more Web Tiles for a variety of content for users to pick from. 

Get the updated Microsoft Health app in the Windows Store.

Monday, February 01, 2016

WeChat for Windows Phone updated with content sharing from Cortana.


The Windows Store on my Lumia 1520 is showing an update is available for the popular messaging app WeChat. Like other apps of its kind, WeChat is a cross-platform app for texting, making video calls, voice messages. Tencent, the China-based company and owner of WeChat, claims the app currently has 400 million users, many of which are in China where WeChat is extremely popular.

According to the change log, the updated app improved on the user experience on Windows 10, but does not give details about those improvements. The second item in the change log is the ability for sharing content from Cortana. I have yet to figure out how that works though.

WeChat is a nice messaging platform with a great walkie talkie which supports real time conversation with up to 40 friends. If you haven't tried it yet, download WeChat for Windows 10 Mobile in the store for free.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Third party YouTube client, Tubecast updated with in-app purchases fix & moved YouTube servers.

Tubecast

My favorite YouTube client for Windows Phone, Tubecast, has been updated today with a few fixes. The first deals with an issue with casting with moved YouTube servers which showed a HTTP 302 error. The second one fixes a problem with in-app purchases. This one seems to have been a long time source of frustration to the developer based on his wording in the change log: "After 1.5 years of Microsoft bugs with their incapacity to synchronize purchases correctly at anytime, purchases are now stored on my server". 
Tubecast is available for download in the Windows Store with a free and paid version available:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Microsoft OneNote gets Office Lens integration to capture document and whiteboard.


OneNote for Windows 10 picked up an interesting update today. The popular note-taking app gets support for scanning documents, photos and whiteboards. Sounds familiar? It should if you use Office Lens, Microsoft scanning app. I personally find this integration a great idea as I use Office Lens a lot to record my receipts in OneNote. With this integration, I get to do my record keeping all in OneNote. 

There's more to the update as listed in the change log below:

More organized notes

  • Move/copy pages and sections to keep everything organized, just the way you like.

    Shape recognition.
  • Automatically transform your drawings into shapes.

    Office Lens.
  • Use Office Lens from inside OneNote to capture that document or whiteboard.

    Know who's here.
  • See where others are working with you in a shared notebook.
Download: OneNote

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Dropbox is now a Universal Windows Platform app with a bunch of new features.

Dropbox
The more storage we have the better, no matter if we have to use different and several storage providers, especially that there are apps like CloudMesh that brings them all together for easier management. However, if Dropbox is one of your cloud storage, an update has been published to the store today for Windows 10 that makes it a Universal Windows Platform app. But the Windows 10 Mobile version of the app is not available yet. But I assume it shouldn't be long before it lands in the Windows store.

This update makes the app a lot faster, brings quick search, interactive device notifications, drag and drop functionality, Windows Hello integration, commenting and Jump List. See the change log below for details and head into the Windows store to download the update.

Microsoft updates Sway for Windows 10 with recycle bin, full screen mode, more textures and groups nesting.

Microsoft Sway
If you suffer from severe lack of arts talent like me, you will probably like Sway, a digital storytelling app made by Microsoft to give life to your photos. Put them all together with some text, videos and some other stuffs and you get a beautiful and professional presentation to show to your friends, family and colleagues. And again, you don't have to be a professional artist or be a PowerPoint specialist to use Sway. With that said, Microsoft has updated Sway for Windows 10 today that adds more styles and background textures, groups nesting and the usual performance improvements and bug fixes. Check the full change log below. Note that Sway is not a universal app yet, so, sadly, you won't find it in the Windows Phone store. 

We're all familiar with the Recycle Bin in Windows where all our deleted items are stored and I'm sure we all have stories of items deleted accidentally. Thanks to the Recycle Bin we're able to recover those items. Microsoft has ported the Recycle Bin feature to Sway. It work the same as on the PC in that sways that are deleted end up in the Recycle Bin for 30 days. Where it gets really interesting is that way that you delete on the web, Windows 10, iPhone and iPad will all go to the Recycle Bin. You can also choose to permanently delete them to empty the Recycle Bin, just make sure you really want to do that by checking what's in there before clicking that OK button.

Here's what's new:

  • More Styles and Background Textures — Customize your Sways with additional styles featuring a variety of new background textures. 
  • Groups in Groups – Nesting groups of content in other groups allows new format combinations, particularly in Sway’s presentation-oriented layout. 
  •  Miscellaneous — We've made additional performance improvements and bug fixes.
Download Sway in the Windows Store.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Playcast for Windows 10 gets major update, 1 more free day trial and some fixes.

When Playcast was released, I purchased it without hesitation despite the fact that a few days trial was available. And that's because the developer behind this excellent app is also the one who made the best YouTube app for windows 10, Tubecast (Paid, free). The latter and Playcast have that thing in common in that you can cast media to Chromecast, or DLNA devices. 

However, after buying the app, I ran into issues as it failed to cast movies to my Chromecast while it handled songs well. I reached out to the developer and he very quickly contacted me to help solve the problem. After sending one of my movies, he found out that a particular format was not being handled properly and a fix was quickly released.

Today, I am enjoying my movies from my Lumia 1520 via Chromecast. The fix is part of the update that the developer released today, among other fixes and new features as shown in the change log below:

What's new in version 0.8.0.0:
Monetization:

  • 1 more FREE day in trial per app update.
New drive sources:
  • DLNA Media Server
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Freebox
Technical:
  • MP4 'FastStart' transcoding on the fly for Chromecast unreadable MP4.
  • Miracast support.
There's also some UI improvements:
  • Remove items in Recent/Queue
  • Shortcut (desktop): F5 refresh - F11 fullscreen
  • Progress bar preview in PIP
  • Changelog popup at startup if it's a new version
  • "My libraries" only shows right content type files
  • List performance
  • UI contrast improvements
Get the app in the Windows Store.