March 6, 2015 5:02 pm

Four essential app updates for your Lumia

Fresh from the Windows Phone Store come these new features for a quadruplet of great apps. Time to get downloading…

Shazam

ShazamIf we had our way, “Shazam” would have its own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. This wizard-like app magically identifies the music around you.

Whether that be an advert on the TV, a song on the radio, or a track in a club, just point your Lumia at the sound (or ask Cortana to “Shazam this”) and, Hey Presto!, let your audio curiosity be forever sated.

Its latest update brings goodies such as the karaoke lyrics of what you’re listening to, the TV show you’re watching and the 100 most Shazamed tracks worldwide or in your locale. It will even tell you how high your Shazammed song is currently charting.

The track page has a new design and nifty app tweaks mean that song identifications load faster. Shazam is free to use (though usual data charges apply) and can be downloaded here.

Xim

Freshly updated from the Microsoft Research labs is Xim – the photo-sharing service with a difference.

Simultaneous viewing is the name of the game here; select your photos from your Camera Roll, OneDrive, Instagram or Facebook and share your “Xim” feed with friends.

As long as you have the Xim app installed, others will be able to view the slideshow in real time. The new update adds the ability to swipe, pan and zoom, and to take a photo together. Everybody with access to your Xim feed can also add photos from their collection and share with the group.

While we extol the virtues of the Windows Phone version, your Xim shares will work across the other big mobile phone platform, too.

ViberViber

We’ve blogged about this widely popular voice, video and text-messaging service before. Your subsequent feedback suggests it’s a staple of many Lumia owners. So, what’s new in this latest update?

Well, along with a bunch of new emoticons, Viber has introduced the ability to block any phone number. Like us, we’re sure you can think of myriad reasons why this would be useful.

Other new features include a welcome indication of new message alerts in ongoing chats and general performance enhancements.

ParkMe Parking

If you’re a car driver, you’ll be familiar with scouring the streets to find a free parking space. However, with the combined power of your Lumia and the award-winning ParkMe Parking app, those moments of stress could be numbered.

With accurate data spanning more than 500 cites worldwide, the latest ParkMe update will not only alert you to your nearest free space (in real time) but also the rates and prices of each.

Interactive maps will direct you to the closest open parking space and you can reserve spots right from the app. You can even set a parking timer so you don’t overstay or overpay. Best of all, Cortana will help you with all of the above.

In all, this is an essential app for drivers.

Have you noticed a great app update of late? Let us know!