The idea of being able to follow someone on Twitter without their becoming aware of it might sound a bit unfair at first, but the truth of the matter is, public accounts on Twitter are meant to be used that way. Most celebrities who use Twitter have got millions of followers, and there is no reason they should ever want to know who reads their tweets. If you are privacy-conscious, it is possible to make your profile private, but most people don’t use Twitter that way. However, the public availability of tweets sounds a bit pointless if you can’t read them without openly following someone. If you don’t want to do that, or simply don’t have a Twitter account, there are a few services and apps that let you keep track of tweets from any public profile anonymously. We have previously covered TwittStalker for jailbroken iOS devices
, which is a Twitter client that does not require any sign up or access to your account. Now, the same functionality is available to Windows Phone users as well, thanks to an app named TweetReader
. With this app, you can stay in touch with the latest trending topics on Twitter for any region of the world, and of course, TweetReader for WP7 lets you search for, and follow, any public profile or even a particular topic.
Blackberry and even iPhones are usually termed as devices tailor-made for business people. While both these platforms have the advantage of having been around for quite a while, Windows Phone is catching up fast in terms of apps that deal with financial management. A lot of really good business and finance apps are already available in the Windows Phone Store, with PayPal among the recent big names to arrive on the Marketplace. As the release of Windows Phone 8 draws closer, more and more big names are coming up with their Windows Phone clients. The latest to join the list is E*TRADE
, and thanks to their newly released WP7 app, users can keep track of their own shares and investments, along side the option to monitor all the latest activities in the stock market of their interest. The app can be used as your primary source for business news, and lets you manage your E*TRADE account, too.
Ever since podcasts made it into mainstream, they have become a part of the daily routine of many smartphone users. The idea of being able to stay apprised of the latest happenings in the areas of your interest, without having to sit still in front of a TV or reading a book, is certainly appealing to most people. Having said that, no matter how good a podcast is, not all of it can be to your liking, and there are bound to be some boring its and bits in there. Won’t it be just heavenly if there was some way of creating your own, personalized podcast? Thanks to SoundGecko
, that is exactly what users can do. The service is not new, by any means, and has been around for iOS and web for quite a while. With SoundGecko, you just have to email any article’s link to the service, and all its text content is converted to audio (in MP3 form) and sent back to you. While this sort of functionality is useful on a computer, too, it becomes absolutely awesome if you can listen to all the MP3s on your smartphone (and hence, the iOS app). The big news regarding SoundGecko is that the service has released its official Windows Phone client, and is sure to earn the admiration of everyone who wants to listen to their RSS feed or other web content on the go.
The number of Android voice assistants and search apps, such as Vlingo
, Google Now
, Nuance’s Dragon Go!
, et al
, has grown to a point where one needs a very succinct analysis of what exclusive features a new entrant supports. Maluuba
, the brainchild of the company with the same name, is the latest to join the list of the apps mentioned above. Sporting an eye-pleasing Windows 8-style UI, the app accepts voice and text input to help you with virtually anything on your Android (Update:
Now available for Windows Phone as well). Using Maluuba, you can explore nearby food points, conduct general knowledge search queries, request for navigation to desired destinations, get business information, ask for detailed weather forecasts, manage & interact with your contacts via phone calls, mails, text messages & social media, post to various social networks, launch apps, get upcoming event details, play music, set reminders, alarms & calendar events, get movie showtimes, maintain routine schedules, and search across the wide world for web to get accurate answers for your queries. In some areas, the app can help you through its built-in features, whereas for all unsupported features, it presents you with the choice to head over to the concerned apps. Like most aforementioned solutions, Maluuba is quite effective in certain aspects, but can also leave users desiring for more in others. How? We shall explore past the break.
Mobile financial management and money transaction is something that has made a huge splash in recent times. Google has already launched Google Wallet, with similar features slated to come in Windows Phone 8. Among the top pioneers in this field is PayPal
. The service is used all over the world to make secure online purchases, donating to developers and receiving payments for freelancing. Such a useful service can become even more useful if you can access it on the go. That’s why Nokia took the initiative of partnering with PayPal to get the service’s app released for WP7. Fortunately though, the app is not just limited to the Lumia series, and is available for all Windows Phone devices. The PayPal app lets you manage your account, make transactions easily and find places near you that accept payments via “PayPal Here”.
There are many businesses that have attained success just because of having good management and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) capabilities. No customer is going to like it if their order is not delivered to them on time, and vendors go to great lengths to ensure efficiency in their business system. Technology can certainly help a lot in making everything about your business streamlined, and there is no better way of handling such affairs on the go than having a decent smartphone app that can cater to all your management needs. The Windows Phone Marketplace might have grown at a good pace in recent times, but there is still a lot of room for new apps. If you are looking for an app that can really help you in CRM, there aren’t too many options available in WP7. However, the newly-released Base
app has the potential to fill this void. The app deals with everything related to CRM, including contacts, deals and the assigning of tasks to people working with you. The thing that makes Base truly useful is its ability to sync all your data with the cloud, so that you can access the information whenever and wherever you want.
A lot of people get bored of their smartphone after a while, but delay making the switch to another device or platform to avoid going through all the hassle of transferring contacts and media to the new phone. If you are thinking of going to a new device that uses the same platform, things aren’t too messy, but if you are planning to give Windows Phone a try after using Android, Blackberry or iOS, then you are in for a long and troubling few days. As Windows Phone hasn’t gone too mainstream till now, there are not many tools that help people get started with their devices. Maybe this is why the folks over at Nokia have decided to take matters into their own hands, and have collaborated with Mark/Space to come up with a solution named Welcome Home
. With Welcome Home, you don’t have to worry about a thing if you are switching from any other smartphone platform to, say, your new Lumia. The application copies all your photos, videos, contacts and even apps to your new Windows Phone, and that too without requiring too much work from the user.
Nokia really knows how to make other Windows Phone users jealous. The Nokia Collection section of the WP7 Marketplace is always growing, and has got some really spectacular apps. Quite a few of these Lumia-exclusive apps are related to sports, and the latest to join the list is ESPN Fantasy Football 2012
. There are already many Windows Phone Mango apps that deal with American football, but ESPN FFL 2012 focuses primarily on ESPN’s famous online Fantasy Football game. With ESPN Fantasy Football 2012, you will be able to manage your fantasy leagues, view the results of your matchups, and get all the latest NFL scores, news and related videos clips. If you're not interested in fantasy football, and are just looking for a companion app for the NFL season, ESPN FFL 2012 is sure to prove quite sufficient for you.
If you don’t have access to Hulu because you live outside the US, then there are very few good and legal options available for streaming TV shows and movies. Even for people living in the US, Hulu and other similar services don’t offer a solution that is cheap, and you have to pay per view
in most cases. That’s why Crackle
is so special. Admittedly, the service does not offer all the popular movies and TV shows, but if you aren’t really choosy and just want to spend some quality time watching some good content, then you are sure to fall in love with this free service. Crackle doesn’t work everywhere, but it isn’t restricted to just the US, either. You can watch some really awesome movies and shows if you live in UK, Canada, Australia or US (the app might work in other locations too, specially if your WP7 ID is registered in any of the supported countries). Read More
The alarm clock functionality in Windows Phone 7 is enough to get the job done on most occasions, but it is very basic in its overall outlook, and does not have any extra features included either. You can use any feature phone to wake you up on time as well, so shouldn’t there be something extra in a smartphone’s alarm clock? If you agree with this, then you are sure to love 627.AM
. It is a WP7 app that adds a lot of spice and usefulness to the concept of having an alarm clock on your Mango phone. 627.AM doesn’t just wake you up; it helps you get your day started properly. Most people take a look at the weather forecast soon after waking up, and with this handy little app, you will be presented with the temperature stats with each alarm, so that you don’t have to go to a separate app just to gauge the weather. Not only that, you can also create small to-do lists and pin them to the app’s main screen. This way, you can always be aware of your schedule for the day.
After Nokia, Samsung is the most active app publisher for Windows Phone 7 among all OEMs. Of course, Samsung Zone does not offer as many exclusive WP7 apps as the Lumia series does, but nonetheless, there are a few really handy apps available for Samsung fans using Mango phones. The latest Samsung-exclusive app to make its way to the WP7 Marketplace is Family Story
. The app is the official client for Samsung’s own social network that is focused on providing users with a private environment for interacting with their loved ones. You can define or join groups in Family Story, and then share anything with complete ease. Using Family Story, you can share events, photos and notes with your close family. Even if none of your family members have got a Samsung Windows Phone, they can still use the service on a Samsung Android device, or simply by going to the web version of Family Story.
When the Lumia series was first unveiled, Nokia did not take full advantage of the OS customization rights that Microsoft had granted them. Nokia’s own version of Windows Phone wasn’t too different from the one rolled out for other OEMs, which proved to be a bit disappointing for most WP7 fans, but thankfully, the folks over at Nokia seem to be determined to make everything right and give their customers special treatment by rolling out a slew of Nokia-exclusive Mango apps. The latest addition to the Nokia Collection section of the Marketplace is Counters
. The app is sure to prove useful for almost all Lumia owners, as the functionality it brings to the mix is pretty basic, yet important. Using the Counters app, you will be able to view all the usage stats related to your monthly calls, text messages and internet data. And that’s just half of it! The app can also be used to place restrictions on all the aforementioned items, so that you can stay within your phone budget each month.
The Lumia series has got a nice mix of Nokia-exclusive apps, and fortunately not all those apps are about glitz and glamor. The Finnish mobile manufacturer appears to be taking user convenience pretty seriously as well. It is good to remember that no matter how many awesome features your Mango phone gets, it still has to perform the basic functions of an ordinary phone. One such everyday functionality is quick transfer and sharing of contacts. Although it is possible to copy any data from the People hub manually, this is not as efficient as sending a vCard to someone. This is why Nokia has come up with the new Contacts Share
app in the Nokia Marketplace. The app imports all the data from the People hub, and using it you will be able to create .VCF files and send them via email or SMS to anyone. Other than that, the app also handles the vCards you receive via text messages, and lets you export them to the People hub.
Fans of music streaming services and online radios have got access to a few decent apps on Windows Phone 7, but the absence of giants like Pandora means that the Mango platform still has a long way to go. Having said that, another way of looking at the situation could be that the Marketplace has a vacuum that can be filled by any good app released for music streaming and song discovery. Many people are already saying that AUPEO! Radio
can prove to be the app that makes all Windows Phone users forget all Pandora. For one thing, AUPEO is not limited to US only, and works around the world. In addition to that, you don’t need to sign up for any account if you want to stream music. The app supports an amazing number of genres and subcategories, and if you like any song in the radio, you can purchase it for offline playback via Amazon store. AUPEO! is intelligent enough to learn from your music history, and will play songs according to your taste after a while.
Although many people might be under the impression that due to its integration with SkyDrive, Windows Phone is not a good platform to be on for fans of other cloud storage services, like Dropbox and Box
. Fortunately, the folks over at Microsoft are trying everything in their power to lure more users to the Mango platform, and for that reason, they have welcomed the official app for Box with open arms, despite it being a rival of their very own offering, SkyDrive. After taking the new official Box client for a spin, we have to say that the app bests the SkyDrive client for WP7 by quite a huge margin. Almost all the options that are available in the web version of Box are there in the WP7 app as well. You can upload files, view all the data stored in your Box, and manage everything related to files, folders, comments and collaborators.
Siri might be responsible for creating all the hype for personal assistants having speech recognition capabilities, but there are services and apps that adopted the concept long before Apple introduced Siri. Speaktoit Assistant
is one such service that is among the pioneers of talking personal assistants
. Since the Assistant app has had more time to evolve and learn, it is much better than Siri in many regards. The app has been around for iOS and Android for quite a while, and after the two bigger smartphone platforms, Windows Phone has become the third one to receive the app. Assistant for WP7 has got all the features that made it popular on iOS and Android. You can use the app as your day planner, newsreader, music and video player, web browser, or just a buddy you can have a light chat with every once in a while.
Mango users might not have recovered just yet from the blow Microsoft dealt them by announcing that Windows Phone 7 devices won’t be getting the Apollo update, but apparently the Windows Phone developer community still has enough passion left to come up with an app like W Phone 8
. If you followed our coverage of the Windows Phone 8 event
held last month, you might already know that one of the best changes expected to be released in the Apollo update is the revamped Start screen. Users will be able to resize live tiles to three levels (small, medium and large) and most of the tiles will be made double-sided. So, what has the W Phone 8 app got to do with all that? In fact, it has got everything
to do with the WP8 Start screen! The app is a simulator of sorts that comes with a secondary Start screen having semi-functional tiles. Not only that, you can adjust the size and positions of all the pinned tiles just the way it will work in WP8, and there’s even a nice collection of accent colors to go with it.
They might appear to be a bit childish at times, but smileys can certainly spice up any boring conversation. Apart from that, it almost becomes necessary to use emoticons in some situations to convey the full meaning of everything you are trying to say in a text. Due to this importance of emoticons, all smartphones (and even most feature phones) come with a keyboard that has some menu for smileys. Windows Phone has always had a dedicated emoticon button on its texting keyboard, and things took a turn for the better when graphical emoticons were added to the mix in Mango. However, there is still no clear way of using all the supported emoticons, unless you memorize them by heart (something that is sure to require a few months of practice, because there are around 500 smileys available in Mango). EMOJI
is an app that will take away the need for all this memorizing, as you can compose your texts within its text editor, making use of all its neatly categorized emoticons!
Although the habit of keeping journals has gone somewhat out of fashion in recent times, you can’t deny the benefits and positives that diary-writing can bring to life. Even if you don’t plan to publish your memoirs one day, they can still prove to be an absorbing read for your loved ones, and you can also use them as letters to your future self. Having said that, it is no mean feat to maintain a proper paper diary in today’s fast-paced life. Fortunately, that’s where smartphones can prove to be your best friends. Moments
is a WP7 app that you can use to create short entries to record your moods and thoughts at any particular point in time. The best thing about the app, apart from its beautiful interface, is the fact that it really makes your journal everlasting, and backs everything up to the cloud.
Quite like iOS, Windows Phone also disables Wi-Fi if your phone remains in sleep mode for more than a few minutes. While this measure is useful for battery conservation, it can get a bit annoying if you have a download going on in the background, or if you don’t want to miss an important push notification. For iOS users having jailbroken devices, Insomnia is one tweak that never lets the WiFi go to sleep. Finally, the Windows Phone 7 community has got exactly the same option, thanks to Keep Wifi Alive
. This new Homebrew will keep your WP7’s Wi-Fi connection active for as long as you want. The app takes advantage of the fact that the Mango platform does not kill the WiFi connection, even when in lockscreen, as long as you are streaming some audio file from the internet. So, Keep Wifi Alive streams a blank audio file continuously, making sure your connectivity is never lost.