Where's My App? Helps you transition to Windows Phone

Okay, sure, not every app that everyone is buzzing about is available on Windows Phone. But Microsoft’s Where’s My App? app intends to help people realize that the Windows Phone platform isn’t as desolate as it is made out to be.

Where’s My App? show cases the most popular iOS and Android apps, and tells you whether or not they are available on Windows Phone. If they aren’t, it will give you a useful hint to let you know if the app is in development, or if there are 3rd party apps that can provide the same or similar functionality. Are you looking for Yahoo! Fantasy Sports apps? What bout Chase Bank Mobile? Need a substitute for Instagram? Check out #2InstaWithMassiveLove!

This app will ease the transitional pain of coming to Windows Phone, were the phone is so much more than just the apps installed on it. So be sure to use Where’s My App? and give Windows Phone a fair shake.

3D Image Live Wallpaper

If you saw the introduction to iOS 7 for the iPhone this week, and though that the 3D effect on the wallpaper was about the coolest part of the whole presentation, well then color yourself lucky, my Android toting friends. There really is an app for that. And it’s on Android.

3D Image Live Wallpaper costs $1.60, and for that very reasonable price you can use several attractive backgrounds, or a photo of your own, as well as adjust the sensitivity or several other settings to get this great parallax effect from your Android’s home screen.

Vectrex games on iPad and iPhone!

The Vectrex was a home console that was based on a vector display. Unlike the extreme majority of home consoles that have existed over time, the Vectrex included its own small vector-based display. If you’ve ever played the original Asteroids in the Arcade, you understand vector-based graphics. The brilliant light and fluid animation might not wow you in screenshots or videos on the internet, but seeing it in person is an entirely unique experience. The Vectrex took advantage of that wow factor and released a home console. Unfortunately, it was never wildly popular, and a majority of the games had to have a semi-transparent plastic card overlay on the screen to explain what it was you were doing in the game. Because of their limited run, Vectrex systems are becoming quite the collectors items.

Well, scrimp and save no more: an official Vectrex app has been released on iOS. It is free to download and try several of the games. It is being updated for great iCade compatibility, and a mere $7 in-app purchase will net you the majority of the Vectrex game catalog (if no the complete catalog, I’m not even certain!). Although it’s not the same as seeing it on a vector-based display, the games are still an enjoyable throw back, ad the app has seen a few improvements since its initial release, although nothing new since December. Still, the least you can do is enjoy the free demos!

Adobe Photoshop Express – Free for Windows 8

It’s true, Windows 8 is still lacking a little bit in the apps department. But when awesome apps that do what you need them to do come to Windows 8, and they’re free, they deserve a little attention. Now, I know, kiddies, it’s not Instagram, but Adobe Photoshop Express has been released for the Windows 8 Store. You can use great features to clean up your photos quckly, save them, and share them from within the app. It’s got a lot of built in filters, what this app calls Looks.

Lots of very responsive and simple to use sliders for adjusting brightness, contrast, color saturation, hue, and all of those usual photo-editing knobs you can twist and turn all day long. The picture above is a scanned in photo from the 80’s, it’s me at around age 3 or 4 – I applied one of hte Looks that it shows below and viola, I could put this bad boy on the internet and look just as hip as the cool kids.

Alright, so it’s not quite as fancy as you might like, but you’re getting top level software, the pieces you need, and you’re getting them for free. It’s simple to use and a great addition to the Windows 8 Store catalog. Go ahead and download Adobe Photoshop Express.

Paid Windows Phone apps missing!

About a week ago, I noticed something strange in the Windows Phone Marketplace. The “Xbox Live” banner had disappeared from the Angry Birds game. It was no longer “a few bucks” – it was free. “Interesting…” I thought, “Rovio must think they do better with ad-supported games and released a free version!”

Skip forward to the weekend, I couldn’t find my phone in the last few places I had been, as a security measure (and since I had “Find my Phone” disabled), I connected to the corporate Exchange server my employer runs and sent a remote wipe command to my phone. The good news is, it worked. The bad news? I literally found my phone less than a minute after the wipe. Alright, fine, my mistake. So I started reinstalling apps.

Come to Angry Birds. An app which I had purchased while it was on sale for 99 cents. Alright, so I can’t find it in the Marketplace, but if there’s one thing I learned from Xbox Live, you can use your download history to reinstall games. So I find the Windows Phone Purchase History page and click “more” in the lower right until I find my Angry Birds purchase.


App is no longer published

Are… you… kidding. It’s gone. I can’t get it. This isn’t some questionable app using copyrighted IP that has been pulled from the Marketplace. This is Microsoft’s official release of Angry Birds. An app which I had paid for. Don’t try to tell me that I can switch to the free version. I’m an Achievement addict who lives by Xbox Live integration. It was one of the biggest features, it was a selling point for Windows Phone. And if you’re going to pull the app from the marketplace for future purchases, fine – but to remove the app altogether so that those of us who bought it can’t reinstall it? The free version is not a substitute.

I usually talk about apps, but today I’ve got nothing but frustration. Windows Phone is the 3rd place platform. Having not learned a single lesson from the Xbox Platform and how to manage apps after licensing expires, Windows Phone is going to remain the 3rd place platform. I’m trying my best to wait for a Windows Phone 8 on Sprint, I want to be deeply embedded in the Microsoft camp. But every time I turn around Microsoft is going something else to ruin this for me.