Windows Phone Store Reaches 255,000 Apps, 10 Million Downloads Per Day

It has been a long journey for Microsoft in the smartphone market but it finally looks like things are on the up for them since they acquired Nokia who have become increasingly popular. The latest indicator of Microsoft’s growing success in the smartphone market comes from their own Windows Phone Store where the number of Apps has hit a staggering 255,000 – that’s more than Amazon’s Appstore which has 240,000 apps. What’s more the Windows Phone Store now boasts an incredible 10 million app downloads per day. While the bulk of the downloads continue to be top cross-platform apps like Instagram and Vine there is increasing demand for Windows Phone and Nokia exclusive apps according to Microsoft. Furthermore the Windows Phone store boasts 510,000 registered Windows Phone developers busy generating apps for an incredibly fast-growing platform. Every day an additional 500 apps are added to the store.

While impressive the figures pale in comparison to Google’s Play Store which has 1.5 million apps as of this month, that’s 6 times as many as the Windows Phone Store.

Source: Softpedia

Image courtesy of Microsoft

Windows Phone Rolls All ‘Gangsta’ While GTA San Andreas Lands In The WP8 Store

While successfully launching Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the most popular mobile platform, iOS and Android, it seems that Rockstar Games has finally managed to get a version of it on the Windows Phone Store as well, after delaying it for about a month. The popular GTA title has been announced for all leading mobile platforms (yes, including Windows Phone 8) back in November.

GTA: San Andreas was expected to be released for Windows Phone 8 in December along with the iOS and Android versions, but got delayed due to ‘various issues’. But at least it has been released, and Windows Phone 8 users can enjoy going old school with CJ, the main character for whomever does not know, through the cities of Los Santos, Las Venturas and San Fierro. And don’t forget to pimp up your rides!

Looking at the requirements listed on the store, the application currently supports Lumia 1520, 1320, 822, 820, 810 and HTC 8XT. The store will download a launcher of around 18 megabytes, which in turn will download the actual game assets estimated at around 2.5 GB over Wi-Fi. The required specs reveal a recommended 1 GB of RAM, however they are missing from the supported device list. It would be possible to install the game on other non-supported handsets that have at least 1 GB of RAM, but performance issues may occur.

The app can be downloaded right now from the Windows Phone Store at a price tag of $6.99 or £4.99.

Thank you Neowin for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Windows Phone Store

Instagram Windows Phone App Receives Update, Adds Photo Tagging and Maps

It’s thrilling to see more and more interest in developers develop and improve Windows Phone application as well, besides the usual Android and iOS releases and updates. That said, the official Instagram Windows Phone client has received an updated to version 0.2. While the app itself remains in beta, there are some visible improvements being implemented to better the experience for consumers. But users anxiously await for the much-anticipated major upgrade out of beta to bring the Windows Phone app up to speed with both iOS and Android.

There are a few new things in the update. One new features that has been included in this release is the ability to tag people in photos. Now when uploading content to the social network, you’re able to include the names of friends and followers. Not only that, but there’s also the option to use locations and add photos to maps added as well. What joy, right?

Besides the two new features, you can also see the usual bug and crash fixes and some user interface improvements. You can download Instagram from the Windows Phone Store for free, of course, if you haven’t already done so. In other words, enjoy the new update!

Thank you WPCentral for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of WPCentral

Ratings and Reviews Added in the Latest Microsoft Store Update for Windows Phones

Microsoft has recently updated their Store application for Windows Phone to version 2.3 which is said to bring improved customer experience in the catalog, but according to WP Central the store is still a little slow and confusing to use as no category for phones exists and users also need to use search to find Nokia Lumia devices.

In spite of the above, the new 2.3 version displays ratings and reviews for products, as well as allowing users to add shortcuts to the favorite categories. Another neat feature pointed out is the ability to see what’s going on at your local store directly form the Microsoft Store app. If you want to attend an event at your local store, you can use the app to view a schedule of what’s happening there in the next few weeks.

Windows Phone users can also browse the app to shop online for products available through the Microsoft Store. A list of the store’s features and improvements can be viewed below:

Features:

  • Find your nearest Microsoft Store
  • See store details including hours, map and directions
  • Schedule an Answer Desk, Personal Training, Personal Shopping or Business Consultation appointment
  • View events happening at a particular store
  • See latest Microsoft Store news from Facebook, Twitter and the Microsoft Blog
  • Shop for Microsoft Store products online

New in version 2.3:

  • Improved customer experience in the catalog
  • Ratings and reviews for products
  • Favorite shortcut to your favorite categories

It is not a massive improvement, as the Store app still needs a lot of work added to it, but at least Microsoft is taking things further instead of the other way around. For more information about the latest Store update you can head on over to the Windows Phone website here.

Thank you WP Central for providing us with this information

Vine Application Released On Windows Phone Store

Good news for Windows phone users. Vine, the new short video service from Twitter, has finally arrived in its official avatar for Windows Phone. Users with smartphones based on Microsoft’s OS can now tap and hold the screen to create short, looping videos with sound, use camera tools like grid and ghost (which “help you shoot like a pro”) and essentially can put users in the spotlight with the front-facing camera.

The release of Vine on Windows Phone does not come as a surprise as it was one of the new apps announced during Nokia World at the end of October, along with Flipboard, Temple Run 2, FIFA 14, and Instagram. However, Twitter video-blogging app managed to get ahead of Facebook’s Instagram.

Windows Phone users get some exclusive features such as the ability to pin their favorite accounts to the home screen, which allows for easy and quick access to the same. The app page is now live and can be downloaded right away from the Windows Phone Store.

Thank you NextPowerUp and Vine for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Vine

Microsoft Unifies Windows Phone Store And Windows Store Developer Accounts

Microsoft has confirmed that it has finished the unification of developer accounts for the Windows Phone Store and the Windows Store. The unification means that developers can use a single account for all Microsoft Apps which costs $19 a year for an individual or $99 a year for a company, and they can choose to publish apps to both Windows and Windows Phone users for no extra cost.

  • Registered Windows Store developers can now submit apps to the Windows Phone Store at no additional cost, using the same Microsoft account.
  • Registered Windows Phone developers can now submit apps to the Windows Store at no additional cost, using the same Microsoft account.
  • New developers can register and existing developers can renew their account using the same Microsoft account. Developers will enter registration information just once and pay a single lower price of $19 for an Individual and $99 for a Company account, providing access to publish apps for both Windows and Windows Phone users.
  • Developers already registered with both Windows Store and Windows Phone using the same Microsoft account will receive a code via email this month, valid for a free one-year renewal when their existing registration is up for renewal.
  • Students continue to be supported through the DreamSpark program.

The unification of the two developer account systems is part of a longer term Microsoft plan to unify its Windows ecosystem into one single andconvenient place. Rumours so far have suggested that Microsoft are intending to unify both the Windows Phone App Store and the Windows App Store into one App Store.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

Microsoft Packs Popular Websites Into Apps To Fill The Windows Phone Store

Popular apps such as Pandora and Tumblr have been cooked up into apps and headed over to Windows Phone in recent months, and in the coming days, Instagram and Flipboard will be the latest mega-popular smartphone apps added to that list. But despite the numerous big name, Microsoft is still trailing Android and iOS when it comes to apps.

Microsoft is turning to creating “web apps” for a number of popular brands and websites. A new section on the Windows Phone Store called Microsoft WebApps, first spotted by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, offers a number of downloadable, pinnable web apps that are basically app wrappers for popular websites, and nothing more. The hope is that WebApps for Windows Phone will encourage companies to develop full-blown native apps for Windows Phone.

Microsoft is currently offering more than 40 Web apps including Blockbuster, CarMax, Food Network, Glassdoor, Jimmy John’s, Listverse, TMZ, and Orbitz. As the previous list suggests, Microsoft’s WebApps are mostly mainstream retail outlets and some popular websites.

“These are not a replacement for native apps,” a Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet. “In most cases we hope that usage of the Web App will encourage the [website owner] to publish its own native app.”

While web apps aren’t a replacement for apps written in native code, they are a good stopgap to fill out any holes in the Windows Phone app catalog—but this approach can only take you so far. If a service doesn’t have a well-supported mobile website that offers a similar experience to a native app, then there’s little point to creating a pinnable web tile.

However, a combined effort to “convert” developers over to Windows Phone with direct appeals and Web app development could help Microsoft in its quest for app parity with Android and iOS.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information.