Microsoft removed the ability to browse or purchase new apps for Windows Phone in the Zune Desktop app causing a stir amongst users. While Windows Phone users can still get podcasts, videos and music, the only apps available are for Zune HD users (who have no other method to get apps). Instead, users are instructed to use the Web Marketplace or the store on their phone, which is how most users are doing it anyway.
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The official Skype for Windows Phone app has finally arrived on Windows Phone and will provide access to free voice and video calling.
The beta version of the app was released in February at Mobile World Congress. Since then, developers have released a few bug fixes, as well as added support for 18 languages and a few other add-ons, Microsoft said in a blog post.
Those upgrades include: portrait mode video calling; support for joining audio conference calls; call-in-progress notifications; and the ability to block and unblock contacts, as well as add new contacts.
The Windows Phone Skype app requires phones running Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” or above. Skype said it tested and certified seven specific phones for ultimate performance: Nokia Lumia 710, Lumia 800, Nokia Lumia 900; the HTC Titan and Radar; and the Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash.
“This is the first of many releases to come for Windows Phone, so stay tuned for even more capabilities in the future,” Derek Snyder, head of mobile product marketing at Skype, wrote in a separate blog post. “We believe in the great potential of the Windows Phone platform and will continue to invest over time to enable experiences unmatched by any other app in the market.”
The app supports English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, European Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, and Traditional Chinese.
Download it now from the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Check out Skype for Windows Phone in action in the video below
Image Credit: pcmag
Think of iROKING music app like African Spotify. You can access thousands of tracks from the iROKING catalog on the go with Offline mode. iROKING is completely free for your Windows Phone. Simply download the app and log in.
- Access to thousands of the latest African tracks
- Search by track, artist, album
- Stream over Wifi or 3G - create new playlists as well as access already created ones
- Playlists synced between mobile and computer
- Listen Offline with integrated ‘Offline’ functionality
- Share music with your friends on Facebook and Twitter
- Star your favourite tracks
- Link with your favourite artists videos via Youtube
Users can listen for free without signing up for a limited period before registering. So download it and discover the best of African Music
iROKING has officially launched its Windows Phone app. The app allows you access to thousands of the latest African tracks and lets you search music by track, artist, album. You can also stream music over Wifi or 3G, create new playlists as well as access already created ones. With integrated ‘Offline’ functionality, you can listen to while offline and also share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
The iROKING app is available on the Windows Phone marketplace and requires Windows Phone 7.5 or higher to function. So download the music app from the Windows Phone marketplace and experience the best of African music.
Read more about iROKING here
Microsoft has announced that they are expanding the Windows 8 Store availability to 33 new markets.
In the next significant preview release of the Windows Store service, we will significantly expand our global coverage. We will add 33 additional app submission locales for developers, bringing our total to 38 supported markets for submitting Metro style apps for Windows 8. We will also expand the number of market-specific app catalogs, from 5 to 26.
In addition we will expand the localization coverage of the pre-release developer portal as well, adding 7 new languages. When we release the next update to the Store service, you’ll be able to submit Metro style pre-release apps in any of 109 languages, as long as the app also includes a version in one of 12 app certification languages (an increase of 7 languages from the Consumer Preview).
Microsoft also said that they will soon detail the changes in Windows Store based on the feedback they got from Consumer Preview version of Windows 8.
Read more on it here.
Windows 8 developers may have a problem testing apps for tablets, given that the vast majority of PCs do not have touch screens. However you could test it out using an iPad! Splashtop’s Win8 Metro Testbed allows developers to remotely access their Windows 8 developer machine and try out all major Windows 8 gestures on their iPad. You will get a feel for how your app will behave on a tablet running Windows 8 with touch gestures enabled.
See how the app works below
The iPad app costs $49.99 ($24.99 for a limited period at launch however) and can be found in the App store here.
Read more about the app at Splashtop here.
The Windows Mobile Marketplace is to be discontinued on May 9th, 2012. From that date on, users will no longer be able to access the service to download content. All apps and games already installed on handsets will continue to work as expected after the Marketplace is closed down, but further downloading of already purchased apps will no longer be available.
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Microsoft is offering student developers who reside in the U.S. a chance to win a Windows Phone.
So how does one be in with a chance of winning one? Simply publish two apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace and enter your details on the Facebook page for the offer. However you need to make sure that you follow these guidelines::
- You are a student in an accredited university/college in the United States
- You have developed two Windows Phone applications that are (or will be) published between March 26th and May 31st, 2012.
- The apps are targeting Windows Phone 7.5, and support Fast App Switching
- The apps are of high-quality and are not created with one of the “do-it-fast” tools, like AppMakr or FollowMyFeed
- You have not received a Windows Phone device in previous student promotions from Microsoft
Check out the Facebook page for more details and -of course- to submit your apps.
Microsoft Confirms That Current Windows Phone Apps Will Run On Windows Phone 8, hints at Silverlight Death
On the Windows Phone developer blog, Microsoft’s Larry Lieberman reaffirmed that indeed, today’s Windows Phone app will work just fine on Windows Phone 8:
With regard to existing applications: today’s Windows Phone applications and games will run on the next major version of Windows Phone. Driving application compatibility is a function of Microsoft’s commitment to its developers. Regardless of what we release in terms of new developer features and functionality, we have made a large investment in protecting your existing investments.
That is certainly good news and should allay some fears for devs. Microsoft also discussed about the Silverlight development platform and there are hints that Silverlight may be de-emphasized for the next generation of Windows Phone:
We’ve also heard some developers express concern about the long term future of Silverlight for Windows Phone. Please don’t panic; XAML and C#/VB.NET development in Windows 8 can be viewed as a direct evolution from today’s Silverlight. All of your managed programming skills are transferrable to building applications for Windows 8, and in many cases, much of your code will be transferrable as well. Note that when targeting a tablet vs. a phone, you do of course, need to design user experiences that are appropriately tailored to each device.
From my own perspective, its really not that bad, and I think Windows Phone 8 development platform will be made similar to Windows 8.
Read more at Windows Phone Developer Blog.