The official Amtrak app for Windows Phone has receive a big update today, bringing the ability to view your eTickets and monthly reservations amongst other changes. The update, version 2.2.0 for those keeping score at home, also brings the ability to purchase tickets right from within the app. For those outside of the United States, Amtrak is our national rail service and while not nearly as comprehensive as those you would find in Europe, it is pretty good especially if you live in the densely populated East Coast. Now you don’t have to always go to the Amtrak site while on the go with your Windows Phone.
Windows Phone Archive
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.
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.
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.
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 220.127.116.11 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.
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 18.104.22.168 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.
HERE has issued updates to their three main apps for Windows Phone, HERE Maps, HERE Drive+ and HERE Transit, all addressing the same issue with HERE account sign-in amongst other fixes. The updates are all available now in the Windows Phone Store and users of these apps should get the updates, especially if you have had issues signing into the HERE service or having issues with synchronization of your Favorites and Collections. HERE Maps is now at version 22.214.171.124, Here Drive+ is at version 4.2.5964.1 and Here Transit is up to version 126.96.36.199 for those keeping score at home.
My personal favorite version of the Angry Birds franchise, Angry Birds Seasons, has received a new 15 level episode honoring the NBA, aptly named NBA Ham Dunk. The new update also brings the game up to version 5.0.0 for those keeping score at home. It is the latest free update to the game which now sports hundreds of levels for hours (and literally I mean it) of entertainment on your Windows Phone.
For those of you who are AT&T customers and use the myAT&T app for Windows Phone, there is a minor update available in the Windows Phone Store. The update, version 188.8.131.52 for those keeping score at home, allows you to view your Rollover Data as you could when this particular update was first released a couple of weeks ago. Some users however were having some issues with it not showing data correctly or the app freezing (I was one of them). It appears that the issue has now been fixed in this re-release of the update.
The Fitbit for Windows Phone app has received an update that should help those of us who use the All-Day Sync feature. If there has been one complaint I’ve had about the app so far it has been the reliability of this background sync feature. Now it seems to be resolved. The update, version 184.108.40.20601 for those keeping score at home, dramatically improves the All-Day Sync functionality. It is much more stable than the previous release and it is on by default now. Having tested this last night and this morning, I can tell you it is noticeably better than before and the app actually stays connected to my Fitbit Flex via Bluetooth constantly.