With each passing day, the app situation on Windows Phone seems to get better and better. In the past few weeks seen brand new Twitter and Facebook apps, a HDFC Bank app, Hulu Plus, Fidelity app, Open Table, better Skype and Viber etc, and today updated versions of the YouTube and Foursquare apps have hit the Windows Phone store.
The YouTube app is now an actual app, as opposed to the mobile website wrapper than the old ‘app’ was. You now have YouTube in the Metro UI, can sign in with your account, have access to playlists, play videos under the lockscreen if you just want the sound etc.
The official feature list:
- Pin videos, playlists, channels, and even search queries to Start as Live Tiles for fast access. The tile flips to show either the latest video from your subscriptions or the most popular one.
- A new and innovative playlist design gives you easy access to videos using a touch-friendly filmstrip.
- Just want to listen to a video? It now plays in the background even when the screen is locked.
- You can share videos to popular social networks, and via email and text.
The app has just been pushed to the store, and at the time of publishing was not yet available here in India. WP 8 only for now, but an update for WP 7.8 is coming in a ‘few weeks’. Windows Phone store link.
Onto Foursquare. We first got wind of this upcoming update at the Mobile World Congress. The app has been jointly developed by Foursquare, Microsoft and Nokia. The big 3.0 version is compatible with all Window Phone 8 devices, but has additional augmented reality features for Lumias.
“The new app has all the best Foursquare features, each tailored for the Metro UI — beautiful maps, great insider tips, trending places, and more. Some of the Lumia models even integrate Foursquare data into their augmented reality experience (!!!), so it feels like you’re in the future when you’re finding cool places and money-saving deals.
Apart from the refresh and the other speed and stability improvements, the welcome functionality is that Nokia Maps is nicely integrated with the app. Want directions to a particular location? Just hit ‘get directions’ in the app, and HERE Drive opens up. WP 8 only for now, but an update for WP 7.8 is coming. Windows Phone store link.
While Windows Phone has excellent third party alternatives for both these apps, MetroTube for YouTube and 4th & Mayor for Foursquare, its augurs well for a platform when the official apps keep the third party developers on their toes.