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Windows Phone 7 App Recap – Freebies


The folks over at Microsoft were kind enough to let Platform Nation in on some Windows Phone 7 action for the last couple of months, and while I was initially hoping to give you all the details on Mango (Windows Phone’s latest OS release), I decided to give you an overview of some of the apps I’ve been using instead. If you’re looking for an OS review, stay tuned, as we’ll be getting more coverage on Windows Phone 7, which will include a full overview of the (in my opinion) incredible features that are packed into this OS.  I even picked up an HTC Trophy from Verizon for myself and my wife, we liked what we saw that much.

But I’m getting ahead of myself; in this recap, I thought I’d highlight some of the quality Free apps in the marketplace that I’ve come across so far.  This is far from an inclusive or exhaustive list, but what you’re about to see is what I have used and loved so far.  The links for the apps will take you to the Marketplace for the app, where you can download and add it to your phone from the website – no syncing to your computer is necessary!

Weave – News Reader: Weave is an app that “gets” what being a Windows Phone 7 app is all about.  It utilizes the Metro theme well, bringing you news based on topics you select when you first load it up.  Think the default options suck (they don’t)? Then use the in-app Google Feed search service to add more, or even punch in the RSS feed address directly (Like, say, http://feeds.feedburner.com/platformnation). Going through the news in the list will show you twenty articles on a page, with a click taking you to whatever the article has before the More tag.  You can easily view the article from within the app to see the entire article, share the article with Twitter, Facebook, instapaper, or even email the link to yourself.  There is also a section of the app for featured articles, which takes the top news from what you like and puts them in a list of about 8 tiles horizontally.  Personally, I didn’t find it to be particularly useful, and usually just opted to go into the list of news for the particular topics I was interested in.  There’s some lag time initially while it loads up all the news, and if you have a lot of categories, this could take a little time (30 seconds at most), but you can read what you had downloaded before while you wait.  Overall, a solid news reader, and at 1MB, a lightweight one as well. Would be nice to see some Live Tile support (A top story headline perhaps).

AppFlow and WP7applist – App Discovery:  I list these two different apps together because they both do the same thing, and do it well.  Even with just 30,000 apps so far, finding what you want (or what you SHOULD want) can be a little tricky.  Surfing through the default marketplace on the phone is hit or miss for app discovery, so using AppFlow or WP7applist will help wade through the crap to get to what you should have.  Both feature search functions such as New & Impressive (new apps with high ratings), Apps Gone Free, and Highest Rated.  AppFlow has a few more search functions, such as Hidden Gems (low download but high rating) or David vs. Goliath (Official and unofficial apps for the same function, compared together).   WP7applist does have a nice live tile that shows the number of new marketplace releases in the last 24 hours.  Pick up either one, and start finding more things to download.

Sudoku, Minesweeper and Flowerz – Games:  Free games are always good.  Free Xbox Live games are better. And free Xbox Live games with achievement points?  Sign me up.  Sudoku and Minesweeper should need no introduction.  Both have a similar looking layout, with clean and crisp graphics that are both intuitive and responsive.  As a nice added bonus, you gain experience for completing (or partial credit for failing) each game, and this experience will allow you to level up and unlock powerups.  Examples of these powerups would be things like adding in all possible answers in pencil mode, or providing one correct answer (in Sudoku), or revealing a section of squares (which mark all the mines) or getting a shield that protects you from one mistake (in Minesweeper).  These powerups use energy that is accumulated over time, so it doesn’t imbalance the games too much, it just adds a nice perk to playing.  Both of these games offer 50 achievement points each.  Flowerz, which is a match-3 game, offers 200 points.  While well put together, the limited game modes in Flowerz will make it tough to plow through beyond the first couple of playthroughs. That being said, there is some decent challenge to the game, and I liked the leaderboard integration, that keeps you going by showing your score against what your friends have done in the game.  I just wish it wasn’t so.. blah.

TouchDevelop – App Development: My final app for this first review is a great example of what I really hope is the new Microsoft when it comes to developing software that really makes your excited about them.  TouchDevelop is a development tool for Windows Phone 7 that allows you to create apps from within the phone itself.  Well, “Apps” is a strong word – scripts might be better, as you run them from within this app, but there is a social aspect in that you can publish your scripts for others to use.  The tool is very robust, while still being accessible, and there are great tutorials to help you along.  If you ever wanted to channel your inner developer, or if you want to see some of the stuff that other people are creating with this tool, check this app out.  It stands out as being something truly unique and, well, awesome.  I have a feeling that as more people get on board with this tool, you will begin to see some truly creative programs being shared, and this will only help to create cooler features for your phone.

Like I said, there are a TON of great free apps out there (and I have more that I use every day).  Hopefully these apps will get you started on getting your news, finding new apps, playing some games, and maybe even making some of your own.

If you like what you read, or want to give feedback on what you want to see in the future, let us know in the comments section below.

Source: http://www.platformnation.com/2011/10/12/windows-phone-7-app-recap-freebies/

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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in App, Facebook, Verizon, Windows Phone 7

 

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Windows Phone 7 App of the Week: Skype Video Calling Possibly Coming to Windows Phones in the Near Future


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Of course, that statement shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that Skype’s new owners have a bit of a vested interest in bringing that technology to Windows Phones (hint – it’s Microsoft).

This is purely speculative as of right now, but a recent job ad from Skype says they are looking for someone to optimize the Skype Video Engine for Microsoft Windows Phones – so, you know, that’s a pretty good sign. As no official statement has been released, there is no timetable for when this will actually be available to consumers. But, if you’re a Windows Phone owner, it’s something worth keeping your eye on.

Source: http://www.chipchick.com/2011/08/skype-wp7.html

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Microsoft, Windows Phone 7

 

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Fox News Launches Windows Phone 7 App


Fox News launched a free new Windows Phone 7 app Thursday that will keep you informed and in the know. Offering access to the latest video clips from Fox News Channel, new articles from FoxNews.com, photo galleries and breaking information, the app delivers the entire world of news to your cellphone.

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Live Tile: Pin the Fox News app to your Start screen for a snapshot of the top story. The Live Tile updates to bring the latest news coverage to your fingertips.

Shows: Catch up on your favorite Fox News Channel shows with video clips from recent episodes. View the TV schedule to find out what’s on later in the day.

Videos and Photos: Watch the day’s top news stories by scrolling through the latest videos on the main page. Dig deeper into Entertainment, Politics, Science and Technology, Health and more to explore videos and slideshows on your favorite topics.

Breaking News: Get breaking news delivered directly to the app as you browse your favorite news sections. Tap the breaking news banner to follow the biggest stories as they unfold.

Learn more about the app and how to get breaking Fox News alerts on your Windows phone at FoxNews.com.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/30/fox-launches-new-windows-phone-7-app/

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2011 in WP7

 

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Evernote Unveils Windows Phone 7 App


Evernote, a cloud-based service that stores text, audio files, and images that are accessible from a multitude of devices, has launched an app for Windows Phone 7. Evernote was an early force on Apple’s iPhone and has also had a mobile app for Android phones for a while, so it was only a matter of time before the Windows Phone 7 version appeared.

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As much as the company tends to deliver a fairly consistent design and set of functionality across its tools, the Evernote app for Windows Phone 7 looks rather different from both the iPhone and Android versions. The new app takes advantage of the Windows Phone 7 Panorama interface, giving it a distinctive look. From the panorama panel, you’ll find a list of all your notes, notebooks, tags, and recent notes. Luckily, in terms of functionality and usability, it’s very close to the other mobile apps.

Another interface element in the Windows Phone 7 Evernote app is an application bar that resides at the top of most pages and shows three dots when more information and functionality is available for the page you’re currently viewing. Tap the dots to see the options.

As with all the other downloadables in Evernote’s repertoire, the Windows Phone 7 app gives you access to any notes you’ve stored in Evernote from any other device.

Other Evernote applications include Evernote for Windows and Mac, downloadable desktop programs that give Evernote users maximum screen real estate for working on their files; a Web-based version, accessible from any browser; Evernote for iPad, as well as the previously mentioned mobile versions and a few others. While all the apps are free to download, Evernote’s service is based on a freemium model in which users can pay up to $45 per year for more storage space and a few premium features.

Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2387176,00.asp

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Windows Phone 7 App of the Week: FIM Enables Rampant Facebook Chatting Like Never Before


Facebook chat was a little slow to catch on, but it’s finally becoming a go to source of online communication. Thing is, people still don’t seem to take to the Facebook chat UI much. Well, FIM simplifies it – a lot. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Facebook, Windows Phone 7 App

 

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LifePics Releases Windows Phone 7 App, the Only Windows Mobile App That Allows Printing to the Largest Network of Photofinishers


LifePics today announced the release of its “LifePics Order & View Photos” app, which allows all Windows Phone 7 users to order photos to any retail photofinisher in the LifePics Network from any Windows Phone 7 device. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Windows Phone 7 App

 

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HTC News – Windows Phone 7 App: HTC Compass Magnetizes Directions


If you have a Windows 7 Phone and get lost, here’s a compass app for you.  HTC created the HTC Compass for the HTC Arrive that arrived earlier list month.  HTC Compass is in the Windows Marketplace and uses Bing maps to generate walking directions. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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