get Glance Screen background now!–Amber+GDR2 required

More customization comes to Glance screen. Now, you can choose from preloaded images or add your own. Select up to four images to update the screen.

Glance Background: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/glance-background/7c3378ff-2844-480b-b2e2-783537201b84

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Things wrong with Windows Phone-Microsoft/Nokia!

I have been an avid enthusiast of Windows Phone platform since the Windows Phone 7 platform, that is now discontinued. This brings me to problem numero uno. Leaving behind those users is/was a huuuuge mistake by Microsoft. I DO not know why a company would do that ever. I know the change in Kernel mumbo-jumbo, but Microsoft did pretty much the same thing it did with Windows Mobile Users. These disgruntled users flock to another platform—-NOT WINDOWS PHONE. Microsoft needs to drill this in their head asap. Discontinuing a platform, its app store, no more updates and constantly changing OS doesn’t give confident to developers. They don’t create apps and as a result app store doesn’t have quality first party apps and as a result the users don’t get the phones. Users do not know Windows Phone 8 is different. They look at it as that “crap” platform that was discontinued…with no major updates.

Problem number 2: Microsoft should not hold “exclusive” or “wanted” apps for a specific release dates…if it’s ready, release it. You aren’t exactly at the front and center of mobile app numbers that you feel like you should do special press release or OS release and make user wait. AGAIN, more disgruntled users.

Problem number 3: Updates. Need I say more. Windows Phone was supposed to be a platform that could update….but guess what Microsoft decided to pimp out those updates at the mercy of carriers who doesn’t give rat’s ass about updates after selling the phone. Microsoft should control this channel completely. Screw the carriers.

Problem number 4-Nokia: Exclusive models and variants. What is up with a model number for ATT and another one for Verizon and another one for t-mobile. 920, 928 and 925 respectively. That is so asynchronous. Why can’t one flagship launch? Lumia 920 on all the carriers. F*ck Carrier exclusivity if they don’t support updates. It also helps building brand or model recognition. Imagine S4 or I5 being released on different carriers with different names. A phone never gets popular since the variants are divided up….one phone never builds up recognition.

Problem number 5-Microsoft: Microsoft has already slowed down with the development of Windows Phone. And with Windows RT merging, I see the problem only getting worst. GDR’s are not exactly feature-packed  release and could never match Androids/iOS. Lumia Phones will, but Windows Phone with only GDR’s will never match feature parity until Windows Phone 8.1 But, by then Apple/Google would have moved on. Microsoft is shooting at a moving target and seems like they are always behind with their current philosophy. What gives? Are they really that oblivious?

Problem number 6: Exclusive apps. Dafuq. Again the ecosystem needs to grow and for that reason, you need everyone with equal access to all stores in the app and not just select few. Kinda shitty thing to do really. And then they wonder why the platform doesn’t grow. well, how would it if they purposefully cripple it.

Problem number 7: Letting carriers strip out features. Data sense in GDR2 is the glaring example of failed strategy. These features should never be allowed to be controlled by carriers. In developing world, these features are the single biggest selling point in markets. In India, I know this from experience, People get android because people can tether/internetshare/wifi-share etc. from their phone. Most carriers that carry Windows Phone take out features like Internet Sharing/Data sense. Once again, a stupid move by MS. This needs to be addressed as people flock to platforms that allow. In developing market, Windows Phone competes with Android only. Apple is a super-niche product….never a worthy competitor. Android gets users because, these features are so readily availbale. It is ridiculous and baffling when a friend/family asks for what phone to get and you have to add “caveats” and add points in a way that they would not get an android which they end up getting anyway because of this silly Microsoft bullsh*t. Sad to see a user go, after they love the phone but one thing they want to use wouldn’t be allowed.

FIX this Microsoft. If anyone at Redmond is reading this, if you are wondering why your devices aren’t selling well in markets like India, China etc. Because, people want those features and you don’t allow until you get in bed with Carriers. GET IT?

Awesome Windows Phone 8 Apps

Updated List of apps I used on regular basis on my Lumia 920:

Battery app by Arthur Semenov- App has lockscreen support and the live tile works on smallest tile size. I like saving space on start screen.

MetroTalk – One of the best apps I have used for Google Voice, including the official one from Google on Android.

XMBC remote free- To control my media center. Again the best XBMC app on any platform.

Whatsapp– To talk to people worldwide. It is a defacto messaging standard.

Mehdoh– Bes Twitter. It has realtime sync and is fully functional. Best thing though, I can long-press for context menu(add favorites)

Skydrive– For managing skydrive folders.

Weave– A news aggregator app. One of the best ones I have found. Supports live tile and a lot better than Phonely/feedly.

Bing News- Good app with realtime alerts. Newser is another one I like, but it uses more battery imo.

Craigslist+- Craigslist, as the name suggests

One Note- One of the most underrated app of All time. Of all time.

Rap Dialer- This app allows to search for contacts by numbers. Biggest selling reason for me. It has tons of other features.

Flight Status- Keeps track of your flight. With real time alert and background task support.

Fresh Paint- Elegantly designed app for photo manipulation and screen capture.

Vieather- Not as feature pack as other Weather Apps, but I love the feature where it refreshes every 8 hours and support smallest tile size.

Desi Music– For download latest Bollywood music. Offline capabilities.

Dhingana- Streams Hindi music. User generated playlist. very elegant.

My Stocks Portfolio- Perfect app to keep track of stocks. One of the best one I have found on any platform. Live preview

Total Fuel- Keeps of fuel usage for car. Live tile support

Film Closet- A really beautifully designed movie app. Not feature packed but I love the Live tile

Track My Life- Good app to keep track of your life and time spent. Stephen Elop used it when he flew back and forth from Redmond-Finland.

Tricky ways to get Swapchat or other pulled apps from store on Windows Phone 8

There are two ways to get apps on your phone, other than through Windows Phone store. These methods are helpful if an app you used to have has been pulled from the marketplace and you can no longer install it. “This app is no longer published” after a phone restore from backup, after a trip to Nokia care.

WP_20130907

If your phone supports sd card, skip to Method B. Since I have a Lumia 920, I used Method A. If you have an SD card, follow Method B first as it is simpler. If it doesn’t work, then use Method A.

Note: The xap files you need are different depending on the method you use to side-load an app.

Method A:

Pre-requisite- Windows Phone SDK. http://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us/downloadsdk. I have dreamspark account so my $19 dollar developer fee was waived. Continue reading “Tricky ways to get Swapchat or other pulled apps from store on Windows Phone 8”