6Tag for Windows Phone Gets a Memory Usage Improvement Update

Developer Rudy Huyn just keeps at it on his various Windows Phone apps and today we see another update to 6Tag, arguably the best Instagram app on the platform.  The update, version 4.1.3 for those keeping score at home, is aimed at improving the memory usage of the app, making it a bit more efficient in its operation on your device.  There are no other changes noted in the Release Notes but if you are a 6Tag user, you should definitely go get this update today.

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

A Glimpse of The Future of Microsoft’s Windows Phone Apps – Via Android

Over the past few weeks I have been using a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 tablet as part of my daily routine.  As I put in my post a few weeks ago, it has been refreshing to have so many apps available on the platform but I still have plenty of things about Android itself that I’m not fond of exactly.  I love Windows and Windows Phone and I can only hope that the app gap is closed a bit when it is released later this summer.

We know for sure that Microsoft is heavily focused on their own apps in Windows 10 for the PC, Tablet and Phone and in Android, we get a glimpse of just where they plan on going with their apps on these devices running the new OS.  Equally, we know that Microsoft is pushing developers and themselves hard to create universal apps so no matter which device you are using an app on, you get the same look, feel and features across all devices.  If you look at the Office suite of apps – Word, Excel and PowerPoint – then look at Outlook on Android, you have a much richer and decidedly more touch friendly experience than you do currently with Office 2013 on Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets..  As for Office on Windows Phone, I’ve said before and I’ll say it again that it is just about useless at this point. Even Microsoft acknowledges it is a frustrating experience.

The future of these apps however looks bright and all you have to do is go look at them on Android.

TechMom Tuesday: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor

I am TechMom. I am a mom. Because of technology.

Search and Destroy (the TechMom tots) were born 13 weeks too soon (because who needs a third trimester when you have technology). I did not get to meet my sons the day they were born. A team of doctors immediately surrounded them, gently placing them in computerized incubators. A team of nurses hooked them up to sensors – the critical results to be displayed on the monitors above their isolettes.

It was technology keeping them alive from their first breath of air.

And it was the help of technology that helped drive me forward with a purpose, to share my story and deal with the emotional fall out of prematurity.

About a year ago, I saw the call for submissions to a book on mental illness. I laughed.

Because sometimes they only way to survive is to find the humor of the situation. Or, at the very least, make inappropriate jokes that diffuse the situation in your mind (your mentally misfiring mind, that is).

Over the last few years there has been a push to end the stigma of mental illness. One way to end the stigma is to begin talking openly about mental illness. I couldn’t agree more. (Although I did have second thoughts when I shared my affliction with ABC World News Tonight back in 2012.) Increasingly, I discovered that those conversations occurred with the friends who lived in my computer.

Personally, I’m fighting against depression and anxiety.

BLU Win HD LTE Windows Phone Now At The Microsoft Store for $199 Unlocked

The value priced but powerful BLU Win HD LTE Windows Phone has made its way to the Microsoft Store and is priced at $199 unlocked.  If you don’t remember, this new phone was announced just before MWC this year and is the latest in the lineup from BLU Windows Phones aimed at giving solid mid-range features at an attractive price.  This new phone also eliminates one of the complaints with the BLU Win HD which is that it did not support LTE bands for higher download speeds so at $199, it is a great deal for what it has to offer.

BLU Win HD LTE – $199 – Microsoft Store

Amazon for Windows Phone Updated With Bug Fixes

The official Amazon for Windows Phone app has received a small but important update today, addressing some bugs within the app and making some performance improvements.  The update, version 2.6.82.1 for those keeping score at home, doesn’t bring any new features but in my testing this morning does have a significant performance boost over the previous build.  If you use the Amazon app on your Windows Phone this update is certainly one to get.

Amazon for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

What Is New in Windows 10 for Phone Build 10051

As the latest Windows 10 for Phone preview is now rolling out, Microsoft’s Gabe Aul has posted a blog update outlining some of the new features that are in this build.  There are a lot but equally, there are a lot of known issues which could be a show stopper for some of you.  As I posted this morning, keep in mind this is a beta release so you can fully expect bugs to be a part of it.  Perhaps the most exciting news is that the new Project Spartan web browser is included in this release.

Windows 10 for Phone Second Technical Preview Now Available

As expected and promised, the second Technical Preview of Windows 10 is now available to Windows Insiders.  The update released around 10:00 AM PST this morning and for those who are a part of the Insiders program and have the Windows Insider app on their Lumia phones, you should check for updates on your phone to get it.  The build is 10051 for those keeping score at home.

As I noted in my post earlier this morning, this preview is still very much in beta and will have bugs and other issues.  But it is an update that many of us have been waiting for since February.  You can read the full blog post on the update here.

The Unified Windows 10 Store Movies & TV Content Now Accessible

One of the big changes coming in Windows 10 is the unified app store where no matter what device you are using – Windows 10 PC, Tablet or Phone – you go to one store to get the universal apps for all the platforms.  Today Microsoft has announced another step forward in this process.  Earlier this month in the Windows 10 Store beta we saw the Movies & TV section go live but you couldn’t actually access any content.  That has now changed and over the course of the next 24 hours, all users should see this roll to the Store beta on their devices.

Starbucks Locator App for Windows Phone Gets Another Major Update With Store Open Indicator

While there is still now official Starbucks app for Windows Phone, one of the best alternative apps is Starbucks Locator.  The app is developed by Lancelot Software and it has just received another significant update, its 3rd in the last month or so.  The new update, version 2.2.0.0 for those keeping score at home, brings a host of new features and fixes including a new icon that tells you if the stores being listed near you are open at the moment.  It’s a quick and easy way to see which store closest to you is open for that late night latte run.

Starbucks Locator for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Latest Windows 10 for Phone Preview Drops Later Today

Later this morning, likely around 10:00 AM PST today, we should see the next preview for Windows 10 for Phone.  This will be the 2nd release of the preview for phones, following on the first release that happened back in February.  This update will have a wide range of Lumia phones which it will work on – virtually all of them – and all indications are this build will be far superior to the that first release with a huge number of bug fixes, new features and applications.  And while I certainly don’t want to be a sourpuss about it, I would like to remind everyone that what we see today in Windows 10 for Phone will very much still be in beta.  Not everything is going to work and there will be issues.  Unless you are willing to put up with those issues, it may be best to wait to installed it.