Category: Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft Update OneDrive for Windows Phone with PIN Locking and A New Photo Album View

OneDrive for Windows Phone has received a significant update today, bringing several new features to the cloud storage app.  The new update, version 4.7 for those keeping score at home, is available now in the Windows Phone Store and brings four key updates that continue to level the playing field between the Windows Phone version and iOS or Android versions of OneDrive.

The first new feature is PIN lock support.  Now in OneDrive for Windows Phone you can setup a 4-digit PIN which will be required to access your files.  It is an added layer of security so if your device is lost or stolen, you have one more barrier for thieves to get through to get to your OneDrive files.  Obviously you should make sure the 4-digit PIN for OneDrive is different than the one you use to unlock your phone outright.

OneDrive for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Spotify for Windows Phone Update Brings Ability to Rename Playlists

After getting a massive update last month, Spotify has released a minor update today to the Spotify for Windows Phone app.  The update, version 5.1 for those keeping score at home, has general performance improvements along with a new but important feature for users.  Now you can rename your playlists from the Spotify from Windows Phone app, bringing this version on par with those on iOS and Android.

Spotify for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Review of Tetra Lockscreen – Great Lockscreen Alternative

Like many elements of Windows Phone, the Lockscreen is one of the areas of personal expression on the platform.  Whether you decide to display your favorite photo, Facebook or Twitter photos or the Bing wallpaper of the day, it gives you this individual touch along with updates and information on your email, Facebook and other apps that you can choose.  Tetra Lockscreen takes those and pushes the Lockscreen up a level in functionality.  This app allows you to have that photo background of your choice or Bing but also brings a whole new level of content beyond just your messages, email and Facebook updates.  It makes the Lockscreen interactive and allows you to see details of your calendar for the day, your location, local weather and even can provide you a stopwatch.  It is a great example of the flexibility and power of Windows Phone.

The app comes from the Microsoft Garage (which was literally a garage on the Microsoft campus at one point) and is one of several apps that developers have released for Windows Phone and Android.  While the app isn’t officially supported by Microsoft, the Garage apps have all performed well and Tetra Lockscreen is no exception.  If you are looking to spruce up your Lockscreen with a bit more content, look no further than Tetra Lockscreen.

Tetra Lockscreen – Free – Download Now

6Tag for Windows Phone Sees New Filters In The Latest Update

The Instagram app 6Tag for Windows Phone has received a nice update today, bringing new filters and editing functionality.  The update, version 4.0 for those keeping score at home, is available now in the Windows Phone Store.  The update comes after developer Rudy Huyn Tweeted yesterday that the update was in the hands of Microsoft waiting for approval.

#6tag 4.0 update submitted: edit posts, edit post location, 5 new filters, change filter strength, etc… soon on the #wpstore #windowsphone

— Rudy Huyn (@RudyHuyn) February 25, 2015

The update is a nice one and should be one every users of the app goes and gets.

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

Gameloft Releases Age of Sparta for Windows Phone

It has been anticipated for a while now but Gameloft has finally release Age of Sparta for Windows Phone and Windows.  The new game puts you in charge of the Greek army as you wage war against Xerxes and the Persians.  Using the powers at your disposal and with the help of the Greek Gods, you rebuild your city to get resources and an army to mount your campaign.  You can of course also align yourself with other players to form a bigger army and battle rivals.

While the game concept is not unique, Age of Sparta does have some outstanding characters and graphics as you play.  As most readers will know, I’m a big fan of Age of Empires Castle Siege and I like these top down, world building type of games.  This one fits the bill and brings a unique, historical twist to what could be a tired format for some.  Given that Age of Sparta is free, it is worth a try.

Age of Sparta for Windows Phone – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Age of Sparta for Windows – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Google Owned Softcard to End Windows Phone Support

This should come as a surprise to no one but Google has decided that their recently purchased Softcard NFC purchasing solution will shortly terminate their support for Windows Phone.  The purchase was made just this week and one of the first questions that came up was if Windows Phone support would continue.  Given that Google and Microsoft are not exactly bestest buddies, it seemed like a long shot that support would continue.

Cortana Continues To Evolve With New Movies and Concert Interests

The evolution of Cortana continues at a rapid pace with the Personal Assistant continuing to get more information of interest to you and bringing it to the fore.  If fact the biggest problem with the updates to Cortana is they happening so fast that they often get missed until you discover them by accident.  That may be the case with the new edition of Showtimes + Trailers and Concert Watch which now appear in the Interests settings of Cortana.  As the names suggest, you can now get movie show times and trailers for new movies in your area while the Concert Watch allows you to get concert information on your favorite bands when they are going to be in your area.

Windows Phone Market Share Grows Lethargically in 2014

The analyst firm IDC has released both their 4th Quarter 2014 and total for 2014 Smartphone OS sales figures and it is lethargic at best for Windows Phone.  The “Little OS That Could” had a reasonable 4.2% market share gain over 2013.  On the surface, that’s pretty good but you have to put it into perspective against the likes of Android and iOS.  Android grew some 32% in sales while Apple’s iOS was up 25.6%.  Let’s put it another way:  Android and iOS combined accounted for 96.3% of the total market share while Windows Phone came in at 2.7%.  So the good news is that Windows Phone is a solid 3rd over Blackberry and other mobile OS’.

But oh is there a long way to go to make a dent in the Android/iOS juggernaut.

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