There are some classic games out there that many of us grew up playing at one time or another. Bingo is likely one of those games, be it at home with family or in a bingo parlor. While often associated with seniors, Bingo is a fun game and can be quite competitive. Microsoft has captured that well in their Microsoft Bingo app. This universal app for all Windows platforms gives you both that competitive nature of the game along with giving you awards thanks to Xbox Live integration and frankly it has proven to be hours of fun as I’ve prepared this review. Whether you like the game or not, here is my review of Microsoft Bingo, a fun classic for your Windows devices that even casual players can enjoy for free.
Windows Phone Archive
Windows Phone activations for the week of Christmas this year were a strong 5.8% of the total activations for the market according to Yahoo’s Flurry service. This generally represents 2% over the general market share of Windows Phone globally and certainly is something that should please the folks in Redmond. Still, when compared to the mammoth 51.3% that Apple iOS devices collected in this research, it is clear that Windows Phone, the Little OS That Could, still has a long way to go.
Flurry is an analytics service from Yahoo and they measured the week of Christmas this year, December 19-25, and collected their data from the over 600,000 apps they track. They then use this information to extrapolate the number of devices that were activated over the week based on these apps. It’s not entirely scientific but it is certainly a good indicator of what devices people received as gifts or bought and started using last week.
This morning the Amazon app for Windows Phone received a minor update that has brought stability and performance improvements to the shopping app. The update, version 22.214.171.124 for those keeping score, only lists “bug fixes and performance improvements” in the release notes as what is new in this version. However, I for one, had significant issues using this app prior to this update with it often crashing on me as I was searching for products. This morning at least those seem to have gone away.
Now that Christmas has come for many, it’s time to see which Windows Phone you received this holiday! Give me your vote!
Microsoft has released an update to their Device Hub for Windows Phone app, bringing support for the Lumia MD-12 Wireless speaker amongst other updates. The update, version 126.96.36.199 for those keeping score, is available now in the Windows Phone Store and is a free download. Lumia Windows Phones come with Device Hub so you have this app already and my not know it.
For those who aren’t familiar with what Device Hub for Windows Phone does, it allows you to connect and manage your other phones, accessories, tablets, computers, TVs, game consoles and other devices. It is, as the name suggest, a hub for you to access these other devices in your life.
The Bing Translator for Windows Phone app has been updated with several new voice translations being supported. For those who aren’t familiar, Bing Translator allows you to translate spoken or written words to other supported languages. This includes the amazing Camera Translator feature where you simply point your Windows Phone at a sign in a foreign language and it translates it for you on the display of your Windows Phone.
Microsoft has released an update to their Remote Desktop app for Windows Phone. The update, version 8.1.7 for those keeping score, brings the normal bug fixes but also brings a new feature that heavy users will find a big benefit. Now you can pin apps to the Start screen on your Windows Phone.
In addition to this, automatic refresh of Azure RemoteApp has been added to this update for those who use that service.
The app is free and available now in the Windows Phone Store
Undoubtedly most of you know by now that Lumia Denim, the next firmware version behind Windows Phone, is rolling out worldwide. The update, which is actually a firmware (the Denim part) and software (the Windows Phone 8.1 part), is essentially only available in Europe at the moment but you can expect that it will hit the US shores in the new year. If you are curious as to what is coming in Lumia Denim with Windows Phone 8.1 then check out my Guide to Lumia Denim.
How then, you may ask, did I get Lumia Denim on my Windows Phone? Those of you who know me or follow me on Twitter know that last month I moved back the United States from England. I was in the UK for two years during which time I acquired the Lumia 1320. That phone is the country variant version of the 1320 for the UK which, you guessed it, is one of the phones that now has Lumia Denim available. Now when you will see Lumia Denim on your phone is anyone’s guess but unless you live in Europe and have one of these country variant phones, the chances are likely it will be 2015 before you see any updates.
But I digress.
I’ve spent the weekend with Lumia Denim on my 1320 and overall it has certainly been a worthwhile upgrade. That said, it isn’t perfect and I have run into a few issues but not enough to make me want to revert back to Lumia Cyan.
The Fitbit for Windows Phone app received an update yesterday that brings support for the newest Fitbit tracker, the Surge, along with some visual improvements and performance enhancements. The update is available now and it does require that your device be running Lumia Cyan to work properly and do the background synchronization between the tracker and your Windows Phone.
Lumia Denim, the next major version of Windows Phone, is starting to roll out to Lumia devices in some European countries. The news of the rollout is welcome as Microsoft had stated they would begin pushing out the release before the end of 2014 and come on the back of their release of an update video on their YouTube channel yesterday.