Windows Phone Archive

Swarm for Windows Phone Updated with New Features

Swarm for Windows Phone has been updated with several new features including the ability to search your check-in history from within the app.  The update, version for those keeping score, is available now in the Windows Phone store online or through the Store app on your phone.

If you aren’t familiar with it, Swarm is the check-in and meet up app from Foursquare.  This is the dedicated app for such activities after Foursquare separated it from the original Foursquare app which is more about localized content now.  I’m personally not a big fan of the separated apps but I embraced the horror a few months back and have moved along.

Swarm for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Bing Rewards App Updated

Microsoft has released an update to the Bing Rewards app for Windows Phone.  The update brings the app to a level of being an actual app.  The initial release from this summer was little more than a web wrapper for the Bing Rewards site and, as you can imagine, was met with a fair amount of skepticism.  This update should squelch some of those concerns.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bing Rewards, it is a US-only program where you are awarded points for doing searching on Bing.  Those points in turn can be used to purchase of things like Microsoft Store or Xbox credits, Starbucks cards and the like.  The more you search the more points you get.  The Bing Rewards app lets you keep track of how you are progressing towards a point total or status level as well as shop to spend those earned points.

Bing Rewards – Free – Download Now

Need Help? Visit The Windows Phone Community

Even the most seasoned Windows Phone user from time-to-time needs a little bit of help.  An app is not behaving or there is a strange WiFi issue with the latest update or simply to get a suggestion on how to do something with your phone.  There are plenty of blogs and sites out there to help but sometimes reaching a broader audience – a global audience – is what you need.  That is where Windows Phone Community can be a huge help and frustration saver.

The Windows Phone Community is part of the Community pages from Microsoft.  These self-help site cover virtually every Microsoft product and are monitored by both enthusiasts, MVPs and Microsoft staff to help you with your Windows Phone needs.  The best part is that all of this is free.  All you need to do is sign in with your Microsoft account to post your questions and helpfully some answers to help your fellow Windows Phone user.

OneDrive App for Windows Phone Updated

It has been a busy 24 hours for the OneDrive team at Microsoft.  After announcing unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365 users yesterday, they also updated the OneDrive app for Windows Phone.  The update, version 4.4 for those keeping score, brings several new user experience improvements along with support for OneDrive for Business.  Now, like on other platforms, you can sign into both your personal and business OneDrive accounts from the app at the same time.

OneDrive for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Is Fitbit Betting on Windows Phone over iOS?

Today was a busy day for San Francisco based Fitbit.  The company announced three new fitness activity trackers – the Charge, Charge HR and Surge – all of which will be their next generation of activity trackers.  All three look really impressive and will offer different levels of tracking based on your needs as a user and all three have multiple days of activity between charges which, particularly in the case of the Smartwatch-esque Surge, is important.

Along with this was the announcement from Fitbit and Microsoft of the new Windows Phone app which I highlighted earlier in a post.  That update brings a lot of improvements and enhancements, particularly around SensorCore and Cortana support.  It is the first one of those that is interesting in light of the recent decisions that Fitbit has made around iOS.  It also makes me think that Fitbit is making a bet that Windows Phone, as a platform, is going to take off.

Let me lay a little bit of foundation for those who haven’t kept up with the state of affairs in iOS from Apple.  With the release of iOS 8, Apple introduced Health Kit, an aggregation app if you will that allows you to pull information from the M7/8 motion processor built into the iPhone 5s/6/6 Plus.  It also allows for integration of information from 3rd party apps such as MyFitnessPal and Jawbone’s Up.  It’s this last part that is interesting as Fitbit stated multiple times in their user forums that they have no plans to integrate into Health Kit.  Why is that interesting?  Because during the keynote introducing Health Kit, Fitbit was the first shown.  It seemed, by association, that Fitbit would be tied to Health Kit.  In fact, the link to the user forums above were updated on October 8th with additional confirmation Health Kit integration, for now, won’t be happening.

So that makes the integration with Windows Phone and SensorCore very interesting because it effectively is saying no to iOS and yes to Windows Phone.