Next Windows 10 for Phone Build Covers The Entire Range of Lumia Devices

According to a blog post by Gabe Aul, if you own a Lumia device you will likely have the next Windows 10 for Phone preview available on your device.  The news is certainly welcome to everyone who was disappointed by the limited number of devices the original preview was available for in January.  That seems to be resolved thanks to the partition stitching process that had to be resolved on many devices and within the next couple of weeks we should see a new build.

OneDrive for Windows Phone Sees a Minor Update

The OneDrive for Windows Phone app has seen another small update with the focus on the vague “bug fixes and performance improvements” category.  The update, version 4.9.0.0 for those keeping score at home, does not list any other updates or changes as part of the update.  I appreciate these types of updates are not super exciting but it is good to see developers, particularly Microsoft, continue to improve and tweak their apps.

If you have auto updates enabled on your Windows Phone then you have likely already had this update pushed to your phone.  If not, go to the Store, tap the Menu button (…) > Settings then scroll down to Check for Updates.  The update is tiny so it will only take a minute or so to install.

Remember, if you have not signed up for OneDrive, you can do so at this link.  Free accounts get 15GB of storage for free and if you have your Windows Phone automatically upload photos to the service, you get an additional 15GB for free.

OneDrive for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Runtastic and Runtastic Pro for Windows Phone Gets A Big Updates

The official Runtastic (Free) and Runtastic Pro ($4.99) for Windows Phone apps have received a healthy update today, bringing several new features to help you better track your activities.  While most of the updates are aimed at the Pro version of the app, there are still plenty of new updates for those who have the free app and it is well worth the update.  The new update, version 3.0.4.0 for those keeping score at home, are both available now in the Windows Phone Store.

Runtastic – Free – Download Now

Runtastic Pro – $4.99 – Download Now

Amazon Launches Unlimited Amazon Cloud Drive Storage Plans

Yesterday, Amazon announced two new unlimited storage plans for the Amazon Cloud Drive to help it compete in the personal cloud storage market.  While the offerings are okay, for Windows and Windows Phone users, there is likely a better deal to be had with OneDrive, Microsoft’s own cloud storage solution.  The biggest problem for Windows Phone users is the lack of an app for Amazon Cloud Drive which can make uploading to these new unlimited services a challenge, especially on-the-go.

Why Microsoft May Actually Have It Right With Windows Apps

Throughout the lifecycle of the product we call Windows, the programs or applications we run on them gone through far more naming conventions.  When I started with Windows 3 back-in-the-day, we call them programs and really, up until Windows 7 that name pretty much stuck.  You would occasionally see “Application” but generally we call them “Programs”.  Enter in the iPhone, the App Store, the Google Play Store and yes, even the Windows Phone store and we have shrunk it all down to “Apps”.  But with Windows 8, we decided to throw in some confusion for the fun of it.  We have Modern Apps which run on the Start Screen in Windows 8.  Then we have the Desktop Apps which run in the desktop environment.  Don’t forget that we have Windows Phone apps because those are different than Windows apps – Modern or Desktop.  It seems that in Windowsland, App can mean a lot of different things.

Which is why I think Microsoft has hit it squarely by settling on Windows Apps for Windows 10.  It conveys the message that they have been promoting: One Windows for all devices.  But it does much more than that.  It avoids the confusion of what has become Universal apps today which to be honest, really aren’t that universal and clarifies to the consumer that this app works on everything simply because of its name.  While the verdict is still out on how successful Windows 10 will be, I think one of the master strokes for Redmond may be in this simple but powerful name for applications.

ESPN Hub Relaunched As All New ESPN App

ESPN has had an app, the ESPN Hub, in the Windows Phone Store for a couple of years now but it hasn’t seen many updates.  Today however the sports broadcasting company made up for it in spades.  The new ESPN App is essentially a relaunch of the ESPN Hub and it is a major update to this app.  The new ESPN app, version 1.0.0.1741 for those keeping score at home, has a completely new look and feel over the old ESPN Hub app and it brings sports to you front-and-center with things like real time updates, scores and highlights from all the major sports leagues and you can stream ESPN radio for free from the app.

Best of all, this new app is free and available right now in the Store.

ESPN App for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

6Tag for Windows Phone Gets Another Update And Remains THE Instagram Client for Windows Phone

The go-to client in my opinion for Instagram for Windows Phone is 6Tag, one of the many apps that developer Rudy Huyn has developed for the platform.  6Tag over the course of the last few months has received numerous updates as it is continually improved – a far cry from the year old Instagram official app that sits stale in the Windows Phone Store.  This latest update to 6Tag, version 4.0.6.0 for those keeping score at home, brings two new features an improvements to the Live Tile.

6Tag for Windows Phone – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Original Angry Birds Updated With 30 New Levels To Celebrate It’s 5th BirdDay

Believe it or not, Angry Birds has been around for 5 years.  I know, it made me feel old too.  But cheer up ole’ chap, there are 30 new levels for you to play in the latest update to the original Angry Birds for Windows Phone.  The update has been released in celebration of Angry Bird’s 5th “BirdDay” and the all new levels are inspired by fan art.  It’s a classy way for the team at Rovio Entertainment to celebrate the day and certainly one of the more unique ways of doing it.  The update is version 5.0.2.0 for those keeping score at home and is available now in the Windows Phone Store.

Angry Birds for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

myAT&T for Windows Phone Brings Rollover Data Balance View

AT&T has released an update to their myAT&T app for Windows Phone, adding the ability for you to see your Rollover Data balance from within the app.  Now if this sounds familiar, it should.  I posted back in early February that the previous version of the myAT&T app would allow you to see this balance too.  However it was unreliable and wasn’t officially supported.  Now it is and you can check your Rollover Data balance at any time. The update, version 4.4 for those keeping score at home, is available now and the only thing that changed is the ability to view the Rollover Data balance.

For those who aren’t familiar with the AT&T Rollover Data program, it is something all customers which allows you to carry over your unused data gigabytes to the next month.  You can read more about the program here.

myAT&T for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Xbox Music for Windows Phone Updated To Improve OneDrive Support

Last week Microsoft announced that OneDrive had been updated to allow for music to be stored by users in the cloud service and stream them to your various Windows powered devices and Xbox.  The update was free to all OneDrive users and there were some extra bonuses for those who are Xbox Music Pass subscribers.  At the time of the launch Microsoft also released an updated version of Xbox Music for Windows Phone to support this integration of the service with OneDrive.  Now they have released an update that addresses some issues with the app but also includes a tutorial of how the integration works.  The update, version 2.6.674.0 for those keeping score at home, is available now in the Windows Phone Store.

Xbox Music for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now