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Must have photo apps for Windows Phone (Summer 2012 Edition)

Must have photo apps for Windows Phone (Summer 2012 Edition)

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As I announced already yesterday, this post is all about must have photo apps for Windows Phone. The selection and this post is reflecting my own opinion about the apps. If you are using other apps or have another point to mention on the apps I write about, feel free to leave a comment below.
First, photography and social networking seems to be “modern” and “cool” at the moment. Before I did not give much about it, but over time, the community and the fantastic camera of the Lumia 900 I currently use have made me kind of addicted to it (and also my wife Winking smile).

 

Thumba Photo Editor
Thumba_logo

Thumba Photo Editor was one of the first Windows Phone apps when the platform was launched in 2010. Since then it made a really big evolution, providing tons of features to edit your photos. Check out a few here:

Thumba_Photo_Options

Once you choose an option, you will get a preview screen with a before/after view. Depending on the chosen option, you may have the option to adjust some settings before applying finally:

Thumba_Photo_Editing

And here is final result of the above set options (yes, that´s our cat):

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The app has built in sharing feature for Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. You can download the app right here from Marketplace. The App will cost 99 cents and comes with a free trial.

 

Lomogram

Lomogram_logo

This app was recommended to me by Enrico (follow him!).

Lomogram has only predefined filters. You can add some light effects, choose from filters and add some frames. The app can load already taken pictures or take one immediately.

Lomogram_Photo_Editing

Although there are only those predefined options, results are pretty good, as you can see:

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Once you saved your pictures, you can share your pics directly to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and vk (Russian network).

You can download the app here at the Marketplace for free.

 

 

My Comic

mycomic_logo

This is a very simple app. you choose a picture, and you will be able to add some comic-style text-bubbles to it. As you can see you have the option to position the bubbles, edit the text and its size.

mycomic_Photo_Editing

Sadly there are two points that are negative about that app:

– there is a watermark with the icon on every photo you make (you can overlay it with a bubble)

– the app is not ready for multitasking. If you are going away from the app and return, you will have only a black screen and all edits are gone.

Currently the developers run the app for free, it is a nice gimmick to have so head over to the Marketplace to grab it!
GetMeRated!

getmerated_logo

GetMeRated is a social network where you can get your photos rated via “photo questions”. If you want to have a look on their website, go to www.getmerated.com. They released until mobile apps for Symbian and Windows Phone first, Android and iOS apps are in the works.

Once you have finished the registration process, you are automatically following 11 people to assure you can test the network. This is how the photo feeds and the photo details are looking like:

getmerated_pictures_view_and_rate

Posting a photo question is also very easy done. You choose a photo, ask you question, choose if you want a rating ore a vote and post your photo. Votes can also be edited.

getmerated_post_picture

What makes this app outstanding are real-time push notifications about ratings, votes and messages and Live-Tiles. Don’t wait and head over to the Marketplace and join the fun!

They have also a translation program, so don’t hesitate to offer your help for translation via the contact form or their contact mail.

 

 

fhotoroom (upcoming V2!)

fhotoroom_logo

fhotoroom is another social network that is exclusive to Windows Phone. Their Windows Phone app is also a really fantastic photo editor. They are providing a ton of filters and options to edit photos.

As I am absolutely enthusiastic about this app and did mention it on Twitter, the devs contacted me to offer me to take part in a beta test in the last few weeks.

The images you now will see are exclusive and the first that are out in the wild!

When you start the app, you will see like before the “#recent” feed. It shows you the latest photos were posted by fhotoroom users worldwide. The UI has been completely reworked to match the Metro guidelines (Yes, I said Metro!). Also the profile is no following this new UI. The pics are now loaded really fast, even with a low EDGE connection you don´t have the feeling that you have to wait a long time.

fhotoroom_feeds

In their first versions you had to switch to another page to choose your edit option. That has completely changed. Now you have a one page editor that lets you choose your option and adjust its setting.

fhotoroom_edit_picture

In V2, you can easily switch between the edits, styles and frames without leaving the one editing page. That is really great and is a big step for usability and makes me love the app even more.

Another huge feature is the own camera part of fhotoroom, which lets you set a ton of options and really takes all the best from your camera.

The app lets you save your finished pic to the phone or to your SkyDrive so you can use it anywhere else. I for myself post them from time to time also to GetMeRated! to obtain some feedback.

As most other apps fhotoroom has also a connection to Twitter and Facebook, where you can share your pics as well as the pics from other users. Additionally you can post them to Tumblr and Flickr.

What do you wait? Head over to the Marketplace and join fhotoroom for free, while having a great photo editing app! Do it now!

 

 

Photosynth

photosynth_logo

We were really waiting a long time for Microsoft´s Photosynth app on Windows Phone. And the app is great, really great. First: The app does not really need a gyroscope. I tested it on a Lumia 800 as well as on my Lumia 900.

Photosynth lets you take 360 degree panoramas with your Windows Phone and upload them to www.photosynth.net (if you have an account). You can share them also via social network or view the ones you have already uploaded to this site. You can also view highlights if they were saved in a Photosynth.

photosynth_watch_panorama

While editing, the app helps you to take the right position, it is really intuitive to use:

photosynth_shot_panorama

If you like panoramas, head over to the Marketplace and download it for free.

 

 

Nokia Camera Extras – Panorama

Nokia_camera_Extras_logo

If you have a Lumia Windows Phone like me and the latest software installed, you can download Nokia Camera Extras to your phone. It is an camera extension that lets you also take panorama shots – but they are static, not 360 degrees like the ones from Photosynth.

The app guides you easily through the steps to take a panorama:

Nokia_camera_Extras_panorama

Due to the fact that the screenshot tool I used is not able to see the built in camera view, we can not see photo on the screenshot while taking them. But you are able to see how it the app helps you to get your static panorama. If you have a Lumia, you can download the app here at the Marketplace.

So this is my personal selection of photo apps, and I think it is a great one. You can do a lot of things with all these apps.

If you know any other app or just want to share your opinion on the apps above, leave simply a comment below.

Posted by msicc in App Reviews, Windows Phone, 6 comments

Microsoft releases “Experience it!” app in Germany

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Today Microsoft Germany launched a small little app called “Erlebe es!” (experience it) for German Windows Phone users. The app offers similar content as the “Windows Phone Insider” app we already know, except the wallpapers and ringtones.

The app shows the latest news on Windows Phone for customers, as well as their “apps of the week” and “games of the week”.

You can read a short description about the every of the above categories, and apps and games can be downloaded directly to your Windows Phone.

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Only thing I was missing is the ability to share articles from the app via the integrated social network. I am really wondering about this, as it is really more than easy to integrate this function in your app with a few lines of code. Hopefully Microsoft will bring this functionality with a future update.

The app supports toast notification as well as a live-tile, both of which will be updated once a new article get released.

Posted by msicc in App Reviews, Windows Phone, 0 comments
Microsoft wants your Feedback on WindowsPhone – Developer and User!

Microsoft wants your Feedback on WindowsPhone – Developer and User!

WPLogoBlog

With the release of Windows Phone Mango Microsoft issued also two new Feedback programs.

First I want to have al look on the developer-part:

Microsoft created a userchoice.com-site for developers, which can be found here. Recently they extended the page with an dedicated app for Windows Phone.

Here are some shots:

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You can vote for an existing topic or create a new one. For every topic you can give up to 3 votes, with a summary maximum of 10. There is a description which can be added to a topic. Also you can add your own comment on the topic. Check the shots below:

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So if you are a developer, head over to the marketplace and download this app to give feedback to Microsoft.

Let´s have a look at the consumer part of the feedback program:

Here you can have a look on the page for the consumer feedback. The App for consumer looks very similar to the developer feedback app, as you can see on this shots:

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Of course there is the same functionality for a topic as in the developer version: Give up to 3 votes for a topic, read or add a description as well as leave a comment:

Screen Capture (10)  Screen Capture (11)  Screen Capture (12)

So if you want to tell Microsoft what you want to have on your OS, head over to the marketplace an download the app right now.

There are some topics which are flagged with “started” on both the developer as well as the consumer feedback program. It seems really Microsoft hears to its customers.

Please provide feedback, only with this Microsoft will deliver those features we are waiting for!

Posted by msicc in App Reviews, Dev Stories, Microsoft, Windows Phone, wpdev, 0 comments
My Top 10 Must-Have apps for WindowsPhone (December 2011)

My Top 10 Must-Have apps for WindowsPhone (December 2011)

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On request from some of you I present you today my Top 10 Must-Have apps for Windows Phone. If you want to download one of those apps, just click on the image.

1. WhatsApp (free for one year)

WhatsApp

Everyone has Whatsapp. It is not important which platform you are using. iOS, BlackBerry, Android, Soon Symbian and of course Windows Phone. WhatsApp is a messaging client which works very well and keeps you informed about new messages via Toast-Notification as well as with an counter on your live-tile. Some say that the push and the Toast are not working properly for them. This is NOT an OS-thing, but app-related. I tried WhatsApp on Android and iOS and was also not receiving Notifications. All in all a really good alternative to SMS.

2. Mehdoh (free)

Mehdoh

Even with twitter integration baked into the OS, you cannot go without a twitter app. Before I was using MoTweets as well as Birdsong, which were the best apps when they reached to the marketplace. But then came Mehdoh. Mehdoh is a simple styled, but heavy functional twitter client.  You can use different image-services like yfrog, TwitPic, twidvid or img.ly. You can change your profile directly on the go within the app. The app has also an option for read it later. What I like most on the app is the ability to handle a lot of tweets. Over night you miss easily around 400-600 tweets. Before I was using the mobile twitter site to read them. But now I can do this with Mehdoh – the first app I used which can really handle so many tweets. There are few more features, e.g. the ability to edit retweets (I use this to correct the hashtags to my needs). The app definitely is worth every cent!

3. AccuWeather (free)

AccuWeather.com

With Mango this becomes my primary and only weather app. AccuWeather delivers  good forecasts. You can check how the weather will be hour by hour as well day-by-day. The absolute best feature are multiple live tiles. The app itself contains a live tile for your main location. Then you can set up even more locations and pin them to start. For my needs I have my German location on the main tile, while my Italian location is on a second tile. You can even rename the tiles. Now if they add a post-to-Facebook feature, this will be really the perfect weather app.

4. TuneIn Radio (free)

TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio is a great app to hear you favourite radio stations around the world. The have over 50.000 radio stations as well as more than 1 million on-demand streams. I love this app, because I can hear my favourite Italian radio stations here in Germany wherever I am. TuneIn is able to detect all available streams (important to save bandwidth on a contract with bandwidth-reduction like mine). You can pin every station on your start screen, so hearing is only a tap away! If you have an TuneIn account, you can sync your station settings with the app.

5. SuperTube (free and paid 1,29 €/$, with trial)

SuperTube

SuperTube is a premium YouTube app. You can log into your account on YouTube, your lists and follows will be synced with the app. What makes this app so special? Well, a couple of things. You can download videos directly on your windows phone. You can get channel Toast Notification, e. g. for new posts of channels which you are following as well as for you inbox. You can record videos and upload them to YouTube (including resuming on broken uploads). For the last feature you can create a Tile, so recording is only two taps away. I love this this app!

6. My Football (1,99 €/$, with trial)

My Football

My Football is an app to follow your favourite soccer teams and their scores. It was the first app of its kind on Windows Phone back last year. So I bought I it. You can follow all major leagues in the world and also some international events like the EURO 2012. Toast Notification can be set up for live notification of goals of your favourite teams. On the live tile you currently can display one team. You will see the results of the last 5 games (won, draw, or lost). All in all the app is still worth its money. Hopefully there will be a real mango update soon to enhance the app with the great mango features.

7. WordPress for Windows Phone (free)

WordPress

As I am a blogger and host my blog on WordPress, surely I want to manage my blog everywhere. With the app you can check comments and approve or delete them. Once you put in your wordpress.com-API-key, you can also check your stats. You can edit and publish your posts, even with images directly from your phone. Your Blog can be pinned as a tile to the start screen, so you don´t have to go to the menu and choose your blog. This can be useful if you maintain multiple blogs.

8. NAVIGON Europe/US (84,99€/99$ for Europe, 42,49€/49,99$ for US, no trial)

NAVIGON Europe

If you have a smart phone like our Windows Phone, you certainly may think: Why do I have to carry another device (navigation system) with me? Well, you don´t have to, because there is NAVIGON. It comes with a bunch of features. First is the premium navigation itself. Once you put in a route, the app lets you choose between up to three routes to your destination. While on the ride, NAVIGON checks also the traffic situation and recalculates the route for you, if there is too much traffic. There are POI´s as well, and what I really like, you can add locations as live-tile to your start screen. With this tiles, the navigation to their locations are only two taps away!

9. Thumba Photo Editor (0,99 €/$, with trial)

Thumba Photo Editor

Thumba Photo Editor was also one of the first apps I tried and bought on my Windows Phone. As I often do snap shots of my children or my cat, I love the possibilities of this app. It is a really fast little app, which integrates into the pictures hub (check menu and then apps). There are a lot of adjustments like auto contrast, normalize, brightness and contrast, hue and saturation, sharpness, exposure, white balance, shadows and highlights, color balance, colorize, grayscale, multiply, remove noise or posterize. You can also add effects to your photo like HDR, soften portrait, skin treatment, 3D glasses, Velvia, lomo, cross processing, vignette, black and white, retro, vintage, old photo, tilt-shift, lens flare, pencil sketch, zoom blur and many, many others.  The app is under constant maintenance, which means that there are updates with new improvements all the time. Worth every cent!

10. EasyRing&Music (0,99 €/$, with trial)

easyRing&Music

With the Mango update came the ability to add your own ringtones. EasyRing&Music makes this as easy as you can think. Search amazon.mp3, zedge and Myxer as well as some mp3-sites like mp3.com. Also SoundCloud is integrated. Once you found a suitable ringtone you can download it and add it to ringtone list. The developers are currently running a special offer: pay if you want. All functionalities are available for free as well as in the paid version. So if you want e. g. specific ringtones on contacts like me, this is your app!

I hope this article helps you to find new inspiration for apps you can use. There are certainly more apps which are useful, I will post them in a new series which will be category based (like photo apps, social networking apps, etc.).

Posted by msicc in App Reviews, Windows Phone, 0 comments
[Review] Tango for Windows Phone (Update 2)

[Review] Tango for Windows Phone (Update 2)

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Today I want to talk about the Tango video chat service for Windows Phone.

Update:
You can download the app here in the marketplace.

Update 2: HTC launched their own, localized version of Tango. If you have a Titan or a Radar, head over to the marketplace.

When you start the app, you will be asked to register a free account on Tango:Screen Capture (11)

Once you have done this, your contacts using also Tango (no matter on which platform) will be added to your tango contacts app. Like on Whatsapp, you can send a SMS or E-Mail to your contacts to invite them using Tango.

To start a new call, click on the name of who you want to call. Once the connection is established, you have to click on the video symbol to start the video call. You are able to use both cameras of you device. Standard is of course the front facing camera. You can switch also to the back camera. This might be helpful if you want to show your wife something while you make your household shopping. (This was the first thing my wife mentioned to me…)

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When someone calls you, you will get a toast notification on your phone:WP_000131 (7)

On clicking the notification the app opens up and you will get a phone ringing screen:

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Missed calls are signaled by a number on the live tile. Within the app, you have also a recent calls list, where you can check who called you.

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I tried Tango between HTC Titan and Radar, both on Wi-Fi as well as an 3G-connection, where it worked well with video. On 2G however it is almost not usable – the app shows you a warning that the quality might be bad for a low bandwidth.

The first video chat service on Windows Phone is really easy to use.

The app will soon be available on the marketplace.

As soon as Skype is launched, I will write a comparison of the two services. Until then I enjoy Tango.

Posted by msicc in App Reviews, Windows Phone, 0 comments