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September 25th, 2014

WindowsPhone_Sep25_AThe app is arguably the most integral part of any smartphone operating system. It is apps that give our devices the functionality we all want, and the number of apps available is constantly growing. Because of the increase, we are also seeing a rise in malicious software that makes its way onto app stores like the Windows Phone Store. These can pose a security risk, but the question is, how you can spot malicious apps and report them.

To begin with, we should make clear that app store hosts like Microsoft do have strict security measures in place that strive to keep malicious software off of stores and therefore users' devices. That being said, there is always a chance that an industrious hacker can subvert these security controls and get their app onto the online stores. To counter this, here's four tips on how you can spot fake or malicious apps.

  • Look at the name - If you are looking at an app on the Windows Phone Store, always look at the name of the app. Some malicious software that has made its way onto the Store has had a spelling mistake in the name. If in doubt, do a quick search on the Internet for the app and the correct spelling. Should nothing turn up, it may be a good idea to avoid it.
  • Look at the publisher information - All apps for Windows Phones require that the developer/publisher includes information about the app and themselves. If you are looking to download what seems like a popular app, take a look at the listed producer or developer, and then search on the Internet for their site. If the developer of the app appears to be different, or there are differences in the spelling, it is best to avoid installing it.
  • Look at social media stats - On the Windows Phone Store, below the install information, are counters for social media likes and shares. If the app information states it is a popular app and yet there are no social shares, then this may indicate it is actually fake. You should therefore err on the side of caution.
  • Look at comments - Lastly, look at the comments/reviews of the app. The Windows Phone Store uses stars to provide a quick overview of how much people like each app, but if you read comments you can quickly get an idea of exactly what people say about specific apps. If you see words like Fake, Doesn't work, etc. then it is a good idea to skip installing it.
While it can help to be able to identify apps, you should also know how to report apps that you believe are malicious or fake. You can do so by:
  1. Opening the app's page on the Windows Phone Store.
  2. Scrolling down and clicking on Report concern to Microsoft.
  3. Selecting from a list of complaints. Note: Pick the one that is most appropriate to the issue, for example if it is a fake app then select Misleading app.
  4. Pressing Submit.
The plus side of the Windows Store is that Microsoft does usually act quickly to remove identified apps, so the actual chances of you downloading one are fairly low. But, it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you are looking to learn more about Windows Phones and how they can fit into your organization, contact us today.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

July 31st, 2014

WindowsPhone_July28_AOne of the biggest trends when it comes to mobile devices, is the increasing integration of smartphones into every part of our lives. Many developers are looking at ways to essentially turn the phone from a device you interact with into a device that is really an extension of yourself. The way they are doing this is by introducing apps that allow you to interact with your phone. Google has Google Now, Apple has Siri, and earlier this year, Microsoft introduced Cortana.

What is Cortana?

If you're a video game aficionado then you will likely know that Cortana is the Artificial Intelligence character from the immensely popular Halo series. In early 2014, Microsoft announced that they were working on a personal assistant program for the mobile version of Windows 8.1 and Cortana was created.

The idea behind Cortana is that you use it as your personal assistant. When you want to know the answer to a query, simply ask and your ever-helpful PA will find the answer for you. As you use your phone and interact with the app, it will learn what you like and your interests and keep you informed about these preferences. You can even use it to place calls, check-out the weather, set reminders, and more.

The Cortana personal assistant has been released for all US users of devices running Windows 8.1 and worldwide users should be getting it by early 2015.

On a side note: One interesting tie-in with the app is that the voice of the Cortana app on your Windows 8.1 device is actually the same voice as Cortana from Halo! We guess that this is Microsoft's way of telling us that the Cortana app is much like the full-on Artificial Intelligence from Halo.

How to use Cortana

Before you start using Cortana, you should first enable it. This can be done by:
  1. Swiping to the left on your phone to open the app drawer and selecting Settings.
  2. Swiping over to Applications.
  3. Selecting Cortana.
  4. Sliding the bar at the top of the screen from Off to On.
Once you enable Cortana, you should see a tile placed on your home screen. Tapping the tile will open the app, or you can press and hold the Search button at the bottom right of your device. When the app is open, simply press the microphone icon at the bottom to interact with your device.

You can tailor the information and interests Cortana has access to by pressing the Notebook button at the top-right side of the app. Once you have set a few interests and have used the app for a short while you should start to notice more relevant information being displayed.

Recent updates

Microsoft has noted that they will be releasing updates to Cortana every few weeks and some of the latest include features that make the app much more useful. The latest big update announced two new features:
  • Nearby places - Cortana will now recommend places to go to nearby. Using data from apps like FourSquare, you will now be able to discover the best places nearby that are new, popular or have lots of buzz.
  • Local apps - If you enable this, you will get suggestions for apps that are relevant to your location. For example, if you go to Seattle you will get a list of recommended apps like maps, transit, etc.
These new features should be available now. To ensure that they are:
  1. Open Cortana.
  2. Tap on Menu (three bars at the top-right).
  3. Select Interests followed by Discover.
Looking to learn more about using Cortana or the Windows Phone in your office? Contact us today.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

July 9th, 2014

Web_July07_AFiles and folders are essential parts of any operating system, mobile or otherwise. In larger devices, like computers and laptops, we often have hundreds, if not thousands, of files and folders that we use to keep our systems and processes organized. However, with mobile devices, such as Windows Phone, it is difficult to actually manage your files and folders properly. In fact, it’s been one of the most requested Windows Phone features and Microsoft has recently announced a new app to make management of files and folders on your device far easier.

About the Files app for Windows Phone 8.1

In late May, Microsoft posted an article on their Windows Mobile blog announcing that the Files app had been launched. The idea behind this app is that it allows easier viewing and managing of files and folders on your Windows Phone.

With this app you can:

  • Browse for installed files
  • Arrange files into folders
  • Move files or folders from one location to another
  • Open or search for files
  • Change the name of existing files
  • Share individual or multiple files with other users

While this app is a welcome development, there is one feature that makes it great: It allows you to also access and manage files on your device’s SD card – if it has one. This means you no longer have to connect your Windows Phone to your computer in order to manage your files. You can do so directly from your phone.

Where can I get the app?

If you use your device for work we strongly recommend that you install this app, especially if you store files on your device. Find the app on the Windows Phone Store for free. Simply click the Install button in the left-hand ribbon of the page and select your device. You need to be signed into the Microsoft account you use on your phone. You can verify this by looking at the top-right of the page and hovering your mouse over Explore. If you are not signed in hover over Explore and click Sign-in. Enter the username and password of the Microsoft account you use on your phone and you should be able to install the app directly from your browser.

Alternatively, you can install the app directly to your device by:

  1. Going to the Windows Phone Store app on your device.
  2. Searching for Files.
  3. Tapping on the Files app icon (blue square with a white document icon).
  4. Pressing Install.

The app should start to download automatically and install a new tile on your home screen.

Using the Files app

To manage or view the files and folders on your device, simply open the app. You should see a screen open with the option to either look at the files on your Phone or SD card – if your device has an SD card installed.

When you tap on either Phone or SD card, you should see the file structure pop up. Scrolling up or down and tapping on files or folders will open them. If you tap on the square box beside each file you will see a number of options pop up at the bottom of the screen. Pressing the related icon will allow you to interact with that file. For example, if you select a file and press the Trash Can icon, the file will be deleted. You can select multiple files at the same time by simply tapping on the white boxes before hitting any of the action buttons.

If you are looking for a specific file, make sure you don’t have any files or folders selected and press the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen. Enter the name of the file or folder you would like to find and it should pop up below the search bar.

Looking to learn more about using Windows Phone in the office? Contact us today to see how our services can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
June 5th, 2014

WindowsPhone_June02_AMicrosoft, well known developer of some of the most popular business software, has for the past couple of years been trying to break into the hardware market with their own tablet – Surface. While the first two versions of Surface were met with largely mixed reviews, Microsoft is determined to make this platform work and has recently released a new version – Surface Pro 3.

About the Surface Pro 3 tablet

Officially announced on May 20, this newest version of Surface brings about a number of changes to the platform. First and foremost, there is a change in the device’s positioning. While previous versions were designed to be direct competitors to the Apple iPad, the new version of Surface Pro 3 is being marketed as a highly mobile device that is meant to replace your laptop.

In fact, Microsoft has noted that they are targeting users, especially business owners, who have both a tablet and a laptop. The company is billing Surface Pro 3 as the device that will allow users to ditch the two, and instead replace it with one.

In pursuit of this goal, Surface Pro 3 has a larger screen and some advanced tech specs that provide it with laptop-level power, while keeping the overall portability of the modern tablet.

Technical specs business owners will find useful

Surface Pro 3 comes in five different versions, with the models being separated by which 4th generation Intel processor is included and the amount of storage space they have:

  • 64GB Intel i3
  • 128GB Intel i5
  • 256GB Intel i5
  • 256GB Intel i7
  • 512GB Intel i7

Aside from the processor, RAM and storage space, all versions share the following specs:

  • Size - The Surface Pro 3 is 11.5 inches wide by 7.93 inches high and weighs 1.76lbs.
  • Memory - The 64GB and 128GB models have 4GB of RAM, while the 256GB and 512GB models have 8GB of RAM.
  • Screen - There is a 12 inch screen with all models and a resolution of 2160 x 1440. This equates to a high resolution screen that should be more than enough for every user.
  • Connectivity - All models can connect to Wi-Fi, support Bluetooth 4.0, and have a full-size USB 3.0 port, along with a microSD card reader, and Mini display port.
  • Operating system - Surface Pro 3 runs a full version of Windows 8.1, which comes pre-installed on the device.
  • Accessories - There are a number of cases you can buy including the Surface Pro Type Cover which includes a full keyboard and trackpad built into the case. Combine this with the built-in multi-function hinge and you can use the device almost anywhere.
  • Battery life - Previous versions of the Surface had average, or slightly below average battery life. Because this device isn’t out yet, we can’t give an accurate number as to how long the battery should last. That being said, this is a powerful device so battery life will likely be closer to most laptops rather than tablets – anywhere from four to eight hours.

Should my business invest in this technology?

From the specs alone, the Surface Pro 3 looks to be a good investment for users who are looking to merge their tablet and laptop. Also, because this is a Microsoft tablet, users of the company’s other systems and software, especially Office 365 and Windows 8, will be at home with this device.

If you or your employees are looking to be productive while on the go, and use Microsoft or cloud systems, this device could be the perfect business tool. The major downside to Surface Pro 3, as with previous versions, is the price, which starts at USD$799 just for the device, so you are looking at almost USD$940 per unit. The most powerful version – the 512 GB/ Intel i7 starts at USD$1,949.

Should you be about to replace your tablet and laptop, this could be a viable solution as the cost of replacing both could be more than, or at least similar to, the cost of a Surface Pro 3. That being said, this is still a new device so it may be worthwhile waiting a few months to see how people who purchase the unit like it, and how it can be integrated into your business better.

Where can I find one?

Because this tablet was just announced the other week, it actually isn’t available to purchase just yet. You can go to the Surface website and pre order one now and as of the writing of this article, the i3 and i7 devices will be shipped August 31, 2014 while the i5 devices are scheduled to ship June 20, 2014.

If you can wait until the release, you should be also able to pick up the device from most major retailers and Microsoft partners who carry hardware. And, if you would like to learn more about this device and how it can integrate with your business contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
May 8th, 2014

WindowsPhone_May06_AAre you looking for a Windows Phone that’s intuitive, highly customizable, and a perfect fit for your business? If you answered yes, then the new Windows Phone 8.1 might be just what you’re looking for. All you need to do first is learn more about what the new phone’s features are and how you can personalize these to fit your business needs.

Every phone user desires a phone to reflect what they need a phone for; or how they use a phone. With this in mind, Windows Phone 8.1 was designed with customizable tools to allow users to creatively express their own individuality. Innovators in Windows even coined this, “the world’s most personal Smartphone”. So why is this? Let us first take a look at the screen.

A more personalized look.

Customization is the word to describe your phone screen if you have Windows 8.1 OS. Windows has made the Windows Phone start screen highly customizable by providing an additional column to give way to more tiles so that more can be seen, allowing ease in navigation. These tiles are also set on top of a customizable start background where you can add your favorite image or use the default options. There is also a new app that allows you to set up screen lock themes with tons of visual and animation themes available to choose from.

Superior streaming experience.

Aside from the highly customizable look of the start screen, Windows Phone 8.1 also offers an improved video and music streaming experience. Windows has added Internet Explorer 11, an upgraded browser that enhances video playback significantly. In fact, this new browser offers a playback experience like that of a desktop. It even allows for video and music playback even behind a locked screen.

Simplicity of navigation.

One of the most anticipated feature of this phone OS is its new notification center. This feature allows for users to manage all alerts from different apps by simply bringing them all to one location. It also has an action centre for easy access to settings.

Your own personal assistant.

What truly makes this OS a standout is Cortana. This voice assistant competes against Siri and Google Now. This feature is more than just a voice assistant; it can get to know your personal inclinations and update you regarding news and weather based on your location and preferences. Cortana behaves like a personal assistant by getting to know you the first time you interact with the feature and building a relationship by asking questions. Over time, Cortana will draw on the answers you provide and base actions on your pretences provided by you. Basically, Cortana detects what you care about, looks out for relevant information and even manages the phone volume so you can focus on whatever it is you are doing.

The Windows Phone 8.1 Operating System will be undoubtedly snapped up by smartphone users. This particular OS is available in Lumia 630, Lumia 635, and Lumia 930; it is also compatible to existing Windows Phone 8 OS users.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
March 13th, 2014

WindowsPhone_Mar10_AMicrosoft’s Windows Phone platform, despite being slightly behind in the Smartphone race between Android and Apple, is gaining traction among users. Especially since the release of Windows Phone 8.1, business owners are increasingly enticed to jump on the Windows bandwagon. Why you might ask? One reason is that there are several features that business owners love about the Windows Phone platform.

While there’s a plethora of reasons as to why business owners are moving to the Windows platform, these three powerful ones will give you a good idea of why people are making the shift.

Office apps, Lync and Outlook

Windows Phones have access to a number of Windows apps including the powerful Office suite which can turn your phone into a mobile office. By using the various Microsoft Office apps, you can share, access and edit your office documents all in one place. You can then sync all of the documents to SkyDrive, Office 365, or SharePoint sites after you’re done editing.

Are you a huge fan or avid user of Outlook tasks and calendar? If you are, then you’ll love how you can sync your Outlook tasks with your Windows Phone and have access to all of your messages, tasks and calendars at the touch of a button.

Beyond the core Office apps, there are also apps like Lync which allows for voice and video communication. Using Lync Mobile can be a game changer for your business. You can view your colleague’s availability, chat with individuals or groups through Instant Messaging, all from your phone.

Encryption and security

Viruses, hackers or malware can put you in a lot of trouble if left unchecked. Not only is it a good idea for business owners to make sure that their system is well optimized, they need to also make sure that their security is robust as well.

The Windows Phone has a trusted boot process that ensures only validated software runs, meaning that if software hasn’t been validated by Microsoft, it won’t be allowed to run. It’s also the only phone with native support for Information Rights Management that you can use for your business to protect critical and sensitive data.

Have you misplaced your phone before? If you answered yes, then you won’t have to worry as much if you misplace your Windows Phone as it has several layers of protection against that.

Here are some of the features that you can use:

  • Password or Pin
  • Remote wipe
  • Tools that you can use to find lost phones included in the Windows Phone management site

Have all of your contacts in one place!

The Windows Phone allows you to see all of your contacts on Hotmail, Messenger, Outlook, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and all other compatible email accounts. If you’re a Skype user, you can also see your Skype contacts. The neat part is, you can customize your phone to show from which source the contacts are coming from. So if you want only the contacts from Facebook and Skype to display on your phone, you can customize your phone to show just that and disable the other sources like LinkedIn etc.

Once you tap a name, you can then see a consolidated contact card showing all of the information you have about that specific contact. This includes all the methods to communicate, conversations, recent calls and even their social media activity.

This feature is especially helpful when building relationships with thought leaders and the influencers in your niche. You can easily be updated on what they’re doing giving you some more insight on how you can implement their techniques in your business. Using this to study your competition’s activities is another effective way of using this feature for your business.

A lot of business owners are shifting to the Windows Phone platform and they’re right in doing so. The features mentioned above can give an advantage over the competition and help boost business to greater heights. And the best part is – we’re just on the tip of the iceberg with all the features that Windows Phones have to offer.

Do you want to know more?

If you want to know more about how you can use your Windows Phone to better your business, then give us a call now and we’ll help you.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
February 13th, 2014

WindowsPhone_Feb10_AIn October 2012, Microsoft released their second generation Windows Phone mobile OS in the form of Windows Phone 8 or WP8. Although it replaced the Windows CE-based architecture used in Windows Phone 7, it still features the same interface known as the Metro or Modern UI. After near a year and a half in the market, Windows Phone 8 offers tons of functional features that you will surely love.

Windows Phone 8 has many worthwhile features and here are a few of the most instrumental new features.

Data Sense

If you haven’t subscribed to an unlimited data plan, perhaps you should be looking for ways to monitor and reduce the mobile data you’re using. Well, in this case, Data Sense can be a really useful Windows Phone 8 app because it helps you monitor your mobile data usage and explore a variety of efficient ways to use the data you have.

Data Sense compresses every single website you are opening, to minimize the data your smartphone is consuming. On top of it all, it provides an alarm feature called Live Tile that gives you a status update of the amount of data you’ve consumed, and alerts you when it’s near the preset limit.

Kid’s Corner

The Kid’s Corner is a special feature in Windows Phone 8 that allows parents and guardians to have total control over a phone. This app effectively manages the functionality of the apps that are accessible to children. Parents can configure the applications, music, or movies their child can access through the Windows Phone. Everything else that is not configured is protected by the PIN and Lock screen.

With this feature, parents can minimize accidental misuse and access to restricted content. However, this is not limited to children only, but to other people who want to use your phone as well. This feature app secures your smartphone, bringing you greater peace of mind.

FM Radio

Well, FM radio may not seem like the most innovative and groundbreaking feature in the smartphone era. But unlike its predecessors, FM Radio doesn’t require a data connection, and won’t eat up much of your battery life.

If you want to use this feature you need to have a headset – headphones – plugged into your device. Simply go to Music + Videos, click Collection, select the station number, and start listening to your favorite radio stations. Just make sure to buy a smartphone that has an FM radio on it, because not all WP8-based smartphones offer this feature.

The camera

WP8’s new camera feature has better support for high-resolution displays. Also, the update to WP8 includes several tweaks that will surely please photo enthusiasts, allowing them to take not only better pictures, but also edit and share these more easily.

The Windows Phone 8 is a highly customizable and sophisticated operating system, especially for businesses who use Microsoft’s products in the office. If you would like to learn more about Windows Phone 8, Contact us today for more information.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
January 16th, 2014

WindowsPhone_Jan13_AOver the past two years or so, there is one mobile trend that has become a mainstay in both Android and Apple’s iOS. That feature is the voice command, which Microsoft actually implemented in their release of Windows Phone 8. The issue with voice commands on Windows Phone are that not every app supports them, and it may not be easy to tell which apps do.

If you have a phone running Windows Phone 8, there are apps that support voice commands. This feature is actually built into the OS through the Speech feature.

About Speech

By using the Speech feature on Windows Phone 8, you can use your voice to launch apps, write an SMS, call people and more. You can also tell your phone to open apps and even navigate to a part of the app.

To access the Speech feature on your phone, press and hold the Windows icon at the bottom of your screen and it should pop up. In the window that opens, you should be able to just speak your command. If that doesn’t work, press the microphone icon, and you should see a message flash that says Listening…. You can then speak your command.

Some useful Speech voice commands

Here are five useful commands that you may find useful:

  1. “Call ‘contact name'” - This will call whatever person you say from your contact list.
  2. “Redial” - This will call the last number you called.
  3. “Text ‘contact name'” - This will start a new text message that will be sent to the contact you say. You can then dictate the the message without having to type it.
  4. “Start ‘application'” - This will open the application you say.
  5. “Search for ‘term'” - This will open your browser and search for the term you say.

How to tell what apps you can interact with using your voice

Not every app available on the Windows Store supports voice commands, and many don’t actually tell you the app does support them. Luckily, there is a way to see which apps you can interact with using your voice:

  1. Pressing and holding the Windows icon on your phone until the Speech feature opens.
  2. Saying “What can I say?“.
  3. Swiping right to the menu that says apps.

This will present you with a list of apps and pressing on each app will tell you what commands you can use while the app is open.

If you would like to learn more tips and tricks for the Windows Phone, please contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
October 24th, 2013

WindowsPhone_Oct21_ALast year Microsoft released their first two tablets - the Surface and the Surface Pro. While both systems were generally well received by tech experts, they seemed to lack the functionality many companies needed. The price of the Pro was another issue, which made it unaffordable for many businesses. Now, Microsoft is back with two new versions of the Surface - will they be any different?

In late September, Microsoft held an event where they announced a refresh of the Surface brand. Last year's Surface and Surface Pro have both received updates which could entice businesses users to look at the platform. Here's an overview of the important specs for both new devices.

The Surface 2 Last year's naming scheme was a little confusing, so this year Microsoft renamed the Surface RT the Surface 2. This is a tablet device that is meant to compete with the iPad and Android tablets.

  • Operating system - The Surface 2 will run Windows 8.1 RT, a more useable tablet-based version of Windows 8. The most popular change 8.1 RT will introduce is full support for Outlook. The Surface 2 also comes preinstalled with a touch optimized version of Microsoft Office - Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
  • Processor - This year's device will run a NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, one of the fastest and most powerful mobile processors currently available. It should be powerful enough to be able to handle pretty much every task with ease.
  • Screen size - With a 10.6 inch screen and a resolution of 1920 x 1080, this device has a full HD display that should look great.
  • Memory and storage - There are two versions of this tablet - one with 32GB of storage and the other with 64GB. Users will also get 200 GB of SkyDrive storage for two years. The device also has 2GB of RAM which should be more than enough to cover all types of use. There is also a full USB 3.0 port, so you should be able to attach an external hard drive for even further storage.
  • Battery life - According to Microsoft, users should get around 10 hours of use out of the device, but this hasn't been tested yet. However, you can expect the device to last at least a full day at the office.
  • Price and availability - The device can currently be pre-ordered from the Windows Store now, and will start shipping October 25. The 32 GB version costs USD$449 while the 64 HB version costs USD$549
The Surface 2 Pro The Surface 2 Pro is Microsoft's high-end tablet, but really, it’s more like an incredibly portable computer with a touch screen. This years update has even further improved specs that make it more or less competitive with most low to mid-range laptops.
  • Operating system - The Surface 2 Pro will run on a full version of Windows 8.1 Pro. From what we can see, there will be no difference between this version and that found on laptops and desktops.
  • Processor - This years device has seen a bump in processing speed and has a fourth generation i5 processor from Intel. This same type of processor is found in many laptops, which means there should be more than enough power to meet most, if not all of your business computing needs. It may struggle a bit with intense operations like graphics editing or gaming however.
  • Screen size - With a 10.6 inch screen and a resolution of 1920 x 1080, this device has a full HD display that should look great.
  • Memory and storage - There are four storage versions of the Surface Pro 2 - 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB. The 64 and 128 GB versions come with 4 GB of RAM while the 256 GB and 512 GB versions come with 8 GB of RAM. This means the device should be able to run almost any programs. Each device also comes with 200 GB of SkyDrive storage and a USB 3.0 port that you can plug an external hard drive into, so storage issues shouldn't be a problem.
  • Battery life - Battery life of this device has not been published, but you can expect it to be similar to most current laptops.
  • Price and availability - The Surface Pro 2 starts at USD$899 for the 64 GB version. The 128 GB version costs USD$999, the 256 GB version costs USD$1,299 and the 512 GB version costs USD$1,799. You can pre-order all four versions of the device from the Microsoft Store now, but the 256 HB and 512 GB versions won't ship until at least December 15. The 2 versions with the smaller hard drives will ship by October 22.
If you are looking to learn more about the Surface 2 or Surface 2 Pro, please contact us today to see how we can help.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

August 29th, 2013

WindowsPhone_Aug26_ASmartphones are a utilitarian tool. They have given us the ability to connect while on the move, and many people rely on their phones as their main social tool, often checking email and social networks regularly as they are out and about. However, if you have a Windows Phone, you may feel a bit limited when it comes to social media apps. In truth, this isn’t the case at all.

Here is an overview of five useful, and mostly free, social media apps for Windows Phone.

Facebook Beta
The Facebook Beta app is essentially the Facebook mobile app, but with some new features that Facebook wants to introduce in the near future. The latest update includes the ability to upload multiple photos, download photos, attach images in messaging and inline tagging (being able to mention another user in a post). While these features may be appealing, they are still in beta, meaning that Facebook is testing them with users. With some beta programs apps may not be 100% stable. That being said, being able to access new features sooner is something many users welcome.

You can download the app for free from the Windows Phone Store.

Pin+
Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing social networks and many businesses have found some intriguing uses for it. The downside is that there is no official Windows Phone app. What there is instead though is Pin+. This unofficial app brings Pinterest to your phone, with almost all of the functionality available with the Web version.

If you want to use Pinterest on your smartphone, this is the app that allows it. You can download it for free on the Windows Phone Store.

4th & Mayor
Foursquare is a popular social media service where you can ‘check into’ businesses and see who and what is around you. While there is an official app for Windows Phone, some users aren’t big fans of it. 4th & Mayor is an alternative app that uses the Foursquare programming interface. It has all the functionality of Foursquare, just with a different, more user friendly layout.

It’s available for free on the Windows Phone Store.

6tag
It’s widely known that visual content is the key to keeping users interested and invested in your social media efforts. Instagram is a great program for creating visual content with your device by allowing you to take pictures, apply filters and then upload and share images on various social media sites. Unfortunately, there is no official app for Windows Phone, and likely won’t be for some time to come. What you do have is 6tag. This unofficial app was built using the Instagram system, and includes all the same features like filters, sharing on social media, uploading and even video.

The basic version is free on the Windows Phone Store, but does have ads. You can upgrade to remove ads for USD$1.29 and add video support for USD$1.49.

Social Mints
Spend any time on social media and you soon understand that trends come and go at an astonishing speed. It can be incredibly hard to stay on top of them all let alone figure out what is worth looking into. Social Mints is an app that lets you monitor and follow social media trends. Put in a popular term and watch as updates pop up in real time. You can even learn through which mediums people are talking about it, including related keywords and top posters.

If you’re looking for a way to keep on top of trends, this is a great app. It’s available for free on the Windows Phone Store.

Looking to learn more about the Windows Phone? Give us a shout, we’d love to help you explore and exploit the full potential of what you can do and how it could potentially help your business.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.