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Apps

New App Brings The Look Of Nokia X To Your Windows Phone

Recently Nokia showed off its latest phone line, the Nokia X, which runs Android but has a Windows Phone inspired home screen and other user interface features. If you like the look of the Nokia X phones but don’t want to buy one or still love your current Windows Phone then there is a Nokia X Preview app that brings their UI to any Windows Phone.

nokiaxinterface

While some people may wonder why you would put an Android imitation Windows UI on your Windows Phone, the app is free and who knows you may like it. However, early reports show that the test app is fairly buggy and slow. Yet, it still gives a general idea of what the UI will be and at the very least it is interesting…and free!

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Apps

Take a Sneak Peek at Windows Phone 8.1 Voice Assistant Cortana

The frenzied rumors that Windows 8.1 will be featuring a Siri-like voice assistant in the form of a Halo inspired character Cortana appears to be gaining more foundation. Unleashthephones.com managed to grab Cortana at work in a 2 minute video that shows the basic setup that will get you started on Cortana. Sadly, we don’t get to hear the voice in the video, but if you’re eager to learn a little more about how Cortana, watch the video.

Cortana-Cover

Cortana can be activated either from the Start screen or via the hardware Search button. The first thing you need to do before you get started is sign in with your Microsoft account. Cortana will then ask you a series of questions to get to know you a little bit better. For instance, once you let Cortana know how you wish to be called, it will ask you to choose a couple of answers for a series of questions that include the following:

  • What are a couple of the most enjoyable parts of your everyday evenings?
  • When you think about food, what’s most important to you these days?
  • What are two of your main motivations for going out to an event/activity?
  • When you want to catch up on what’s going on in the world, which section do you go to first?

Cortana will also analyze text messages, location info, contacts, email data, browser history and search history to understand user behavior and habits.

The video also shows us a little bit about how Cortana works during Quiet hours. Basically, Cortana takes care of your calls, texts and other notifications, but you can choose to turn it on, off, or set it to turn on automatically. Some of the options that are allowed during Quiet hours are calls made 2 times in 3 minutes, or calls and text messages made by your “inner circle”.  Contacts who are allowed through may also be notified by Cortana that you are busy.

Cortana is obviously still a work in progress but it is exciting to see a little bit of the software in action. Whado you think of Cortana? Are you looking forward to this Windows Phone 8.1 voice assistant?

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Social

Facebook Messenger app is now available for Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 users can now communicate even more conveniently with their Facebook buddies. The reason: Facebook has finally launched the Facebook Messenger app in the Windows Marketplace.

Facebook Messenger comes with loads of good features including the ability to use stickers, send photos privately, have group conversations, share your location, keep track of all your buddies who are active on Facebook, mute notifications when you want a break, keep track of your conversations, and get notified when others have seen your messages. And you can do all this even without even opening Facebook on your phone.

Facebook Messenger App is available on the Windows Phone Store for the price of free. Be sure to grab it right away if you spend plenty of time connecting with your FB buddies.

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Fitness

No need for a real coach, try adidas miCoach

adidas-miCoach-Windows-Phone

Want to get into exercising but don’t know where to start? Normally you could get a personal trainer to help you and keep you motivated but this is 2014, no need for a human personal trainer. adidas miCoach is a new app that aims to be your virtual personal trainer and assistant to get you in the best shape you can.

adidas miCoach uses GPS and real time voice coaching to get you through your workouts and more. There are hundreds of pre-made exercise workouts that adidas miCoach can work you through and more get updated to your phone daily along with advice. In addition to access to workouts, adidas miCoach will track everything such as distance, pace/speed, calories burned and elapsed time. All of this can then be shown on animated charts. There is also a heart rate and stride rate built in to really get you in your best shape. Whether you are already serious about exercising or just want to start adidas miCoach can help.

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Apps

Want buffer? Try Stack; It gets the job done

For all you social networking addicts you may be familiar with a service/app called Buffer. Basically what it does is you can use it to post things to your Facebook, Twitter, etc. in the future at a delayed time. This can be useful for anyone who does hardcore social media work or if you want to have an active account and just want to write a bunch of posts at once and schedule them out.

Now, there is no official Buffer app for Windows Phone 8. However there is a new app called Stack that aims to fill that void in your life. Stack can do everything that Buffer can do and does it in that beautiful Metro look. So you can write posts to schedule, publish posts instantly, re-schedule posts and even look at your Klout score. Stack is still relatively new but the developer plans to add a lot more features such as camera support and cloud storage. You can pick up Stack for $1.99 for a limited time, so get it while its hot!

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Tools

Microsoft OneDrive now live!

A week ago or so we did a post about how Microsoft‘s current (at the time) cloud server, SkyDrive, was getting a re-branding effort to be called OneDrive. Well, it is official! Microsoft OneDrive is now live for all users to use.

OneDrive 2

Of course, OneDrive again is basically SkyDrive just with a new name. A name that is supposed to mean that you’ll use this drive for all your things and have it all in one place. However, there are a few new features that we welcome. There is automatic camera backup for Android and real time co-editing for one. Video sharing and viewing is easier now and there are new ways to buy and earn storage. For instance you can earn an extra 3 GB by activating your camera roll backup to save photos automatically. This is exciting news and we look forward to seeing what else OneDrive will bring in the future.

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Apps

Count calories the best way with Calorie Manager

With smart phones a lot of great life improving apps have come about. One of the main “genres” of these are fitness based apps, either focusing on exercise regimes or nutritional apps. Calorie Manager by David Holland is the later as the name suggests. However, Calorie Manager doesn’t just track your calories but rather all the nutritional values for all the food you eat.

Specifically with Calorie Manager you can track calories, calories from fat, total fat, carbs, sugar, protein, vitamins, cholesterol, etc. Basically a one stop shop nutritional app. In Calorie Manager you have tons of options to add food. You can actually scan barcodes, search databases for restaurant/generic/packaged food, input custom food, and more. From there you can create lists, goals, and net amounts. All of this can be exported to Excel files for easy looking/management and even synced to your FitBit. I’ve seen a lot of calorie and nutrition apps but Calorie Manager is easily the best I’ve seen.

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Tools

SkyDrive dead; Bring on OneDrive

Assuming you all have Windows Phones as you’re reading this site then you know that Microsoft has been using a cloud-based storage system called SkyDrive. That is no more…at least the name. Yep, Microsoft is dropping all branding associations with SkyDrive and re-branding it OneDrive.

OneDrive

Why the change? Microsoft’s reasoning behind it all is that with the name OneDrive it insinuates that while you have many different devices you now can store and view it all on one drive aka OneDrive. The whole re-branding aspect may sound dumb to some but marketing things is a huge industry and very important and OneDrive certainly does make sense. So far no date has been given to when the OneDrive will actually be happening but we’ll let you know when something does.