Why Developers are Developing for Windows Phone 8 rather than Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 8 Logo

It appears as though developers, especially those of the “big name” apps, are developing apps for Windows Phone 8 rather than Windows Phone 7, but why? This question may or may not come as a surprise, depending on how you look at the scenario. Any apps developed for the Windows Phone 7 platform will automatically, and natively, run on Windows Phone 8 devices; however, the converse is not true. That is, any apps developed for the Windows Phone 8 platform will not run at all on devices running Windows Phone 7.

At the time of this writing, millions of Windows Phone 7 devices has been sold over the last couple of years, but Windows Phone 8 devices are just starting to be sold now. Indeed, Windows Phone 7 has a greater market share, and thus more audience, than does Windows Phone 8. Given that apps developed for Windows Phone 7 can run on both versions of the Windows Phone OS, it only makes sense for developers to code for the lowest common denominator to reach the broadest audience, right? Or does it?

With the launch of Windows Phone 8, many big name developers have committed to developing on the platform, most of which did not appear to have any plans to mingle with Windows Phone 7. We have popular mobile game engine companies, like Havok, Unity, Audiokinetic, Autodesk, etc. developing their engine for Windows Phone 8. We also have big name developers, like Rovio, releasing apps for Windows Phone 8. In fact, Rovio went as far as releasing their latest, and hottest, product, Angry Birds Star Wars, on Windows Phone 8 at the same time as on iOS and Android. How does this make sense? Windows Phone 8 wasn’t even generally available when Rovio was developing the game. Why didn’t they make this game for Windows Phone 7? That would allow the game run just as well on Windows Phone 8 and broaden the audience. This is where it gets interesting; so, bear with me.

Windows Phone 8 has a big advantage over Windows Phone 7. While won’t directly affect consumers, the advantage means a lot for developers, which, in turn, does affect consumers in the long run. The advantage I’m referring to is native code. Native code not only allows big game engine developer, like Unity, build a platform on top of Windows Phone 8, but also gives advanced developers a way to optimize their apps for best performance and freedom. More importantly, however, the native code allows developers to port their existing Android or iOS applications with ease by reusing a lot of their code. This was simply not possible to do easily with Windows Phone 7. This meant that for developers that already had applications on iOS and/or Android, they had to put a lot of investment in rewriting code in Silverlight and make it work on Windows Phone 7. This is no longer the case. Do you see where I am going here?

The limitations of Windows Phone 7 was especially a big deal for developers who had complex apps, like Games. Rewriting code for a complex application is no easy task. Given the relatively low market share of Windows Phone 7, why would any developer go through the hassle of doing this? For developers bold enough to go this far and actually make an app for Windows Phone 7, the annoyance was not over. Any time a major update was released for iOS and Android versions, the updates would have to be redone on the Windows Phone 7 platform. Sticking with our Angry Birds example, while Rovio did release the original Angry Birds for Windows Phone 7, it wasn’t updated to be on par with the iOS and Android version. Furthermore, last spring, we had rumors of that Rovio would not be making Angry Birds Space for Windows Phone 7. At the time, people attributed this to the fact that Windows Phone 7 had too little market share. However, at the time, Rovio was developing it for Windows Phone 8, which had no market share. So it wasn’t market share, but, rather, the ease of reusing code on the new platform.

We tend to point at one cause of a particular problem. I mean why not; we like things to be simple and straightforward. However, there are usually more than one identifiable reason for something. And in the case of apps on Windows Phone 7, the lack of native code was as important, if not more, than the market share itself. With Windows Phone 8, however, even though we are still uncertain how it will do compared to Windows Phone 7, I can tell you this: we are going to have a lot more of the big names iOS and Android apps coming to the platform really quickly.

What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below or you can let me know by twitter. I am @NazmusLabs on twitter.

Angry Birds Star Wars is now available in the Store

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And finally it lands in the Windows Store. Angry Birds Star Wars is here to stay for your pleasure, whether you are from the Dark Side, or a Wookie. There was a rumor of the app dropping today in the Store, with Roxio placing links on their web, but it wasn’t visible at the time. Now you can download it a will. Following is full description of the App from the Store:

Content rating
Entertainment Software Rating Board: Everyone

Entertainment Software Rating Board: Everyone

Comic mischief

What is this?

Description
JOIN THE ANGRY BIRDS IN THEIR BIGGEST ADVENTURE YET!
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… a group of desperate rebel birds faced off against a galactic menace: the Empire’s evil Pigtroopers!
Rebel birds, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Imperial Pigs. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the PIG STAR, and are racing to deliver the plans to the rebel birds. Now they need your help!
Join an epic adventure with the Angry Birds in the legendary Star Wars universe! Use the Force, wield your lightsaber, and blast away Pigtroopers on an intergalactic journey from the deserts of Tatooine to the depths of the Pig Star — where you’ll face off against the terrifying Darth Vader! Can you become a Jedi master and restore freedom to the galaxy?
Time to grab your lightsaber and join the adventure! May the birds be with you!
HOURS AND HOURS OF ENGAGING GAMEPLAY – Explore more than 80 levels in iconic locations like Tatooine and Death Star. Can you dodge Imperial pigs, laser turrets, sand people, and the dark side the force to get all three stars?
NEW GAMEPLAY MECHANICS – Use lightsabers, Blasters and Jedi powers to wreak havoc on the Imperial Pigs!
LEVEL UP YOUR BIRDS – Keep playing and level up your birds to improve their skills!
SECRETS AND HIDDEN GOODIES – Can you unlock all the R2D2 and C3PO bonus levels?
FREE UPDATES – This is only the beginning of the epic saga!
Follow @angrybirds on Twitter
Watch the videos, read the comics and submit fan art at angrybirds.com/starwars
Like us at facebook.com/angrybirds and say hello!
Terms of Use: http://www.rovio.com/eula
Privacy Policy: http://www.rovio.com/privacy
support@rovio.com
LucasArts, the LucasArts logo, and STAR WARS are registered trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd.  © 2012 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. or Lucasfilm Ltd.  and ® or ™ as indicated.  All rights reserved.   Angry Birds and the Angry Birds logo are trademarks of Rovio Entertainment Ltd. © 2012 Rovio Entertainment Ltd.

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It is still a mystery why Roxio on the Microsoft’s platform asks for more than on the other competing platform. Is it because of numbers, that there are more users on those platforms than on Windows platform? What happens then when Windows Platform explodes too? There are more potential customers on Windows platform if you ask me. Anyway, I digress.

The app is yours for $4.99, not particularly to the cleaners if you ask me. So, what are you waiting for? Download the app via the Source Link.

Source: Windows Store

Official Seismic App for Windows MX in the Store

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Wow, Seismic also threw down the gauntlet and joined the Windows 8 bandwagon. Here is the official Seismic app in the Store. The app is the front-end to your Seismic world, allowing you to access your documents and data on Seismic. Here is the full description from the Store:

Description
The Seismic App works in conjunction with Seismic.com to provide data rich, personalized and customized PowerPoint and Word documents to your Windows 8 device. 
Your company has stuff everywhere – decks, proposals, documents – with more of it being created every day.  How can everyone keep it current, relevant to the audience, on-message and on-brand? By keeping it all living and breathing with a constant feed of live info.
Seismic – Content in Context

Features
Customized, data rich PowerPoint Presentations and Word documents
Marketing regains control of brand by controlling versions, access and creating Customizable Templates

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Download the Seismic app from the Store via the Source Link.

Source: Windows Store

Western Digital Drives App debuts in the Store

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Western Digital arrives in the Store with an app WD Drives. The app is a Multi-Media player for your content stored on any WD Drives. I wonder if thy allow the app to access other OEM Drives or your library in General. Its good to see OEMs warm up to Windows 8 like this. WD describes the app as follows:

Description
Discover, enjoy and share the photos, videos and music on your external WD drives with our new WD app for Windows 8.  Media stored on WD storage products is automatically discovered, organized and presented in our easy to navigate application.  Browse photos, enjoy slideshows, watch videos and play music all within the WD app for Windows 8.
List of supported WD devices:
         • My Passport
         • My Passport Edge
         • WD Elements
         • My Book
Supported photos formats:
.jpg, .jpeg, .tiff, .tif, .png, . .jfif, .jpe, .bmp
Supported video formats:
.avi, .wmv, .wm, .asf, .mp4, .m4v, .3gp, .3gpp, .3g2, .3gp2, .mov
Supported audio formats:
.acc, .mp3, .m4a, .wma, .wav

Features
Discover, enjoy and share files on your external WD hard drives
Browse and enjoy your photos, videos and music files
Automatic discovery of all media files stored on your external WD hard drives

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Download the app now in the Store via the Source link.

Source: Windows Store

Telerik Releases a Killer Task App into the Store!

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Wow, Telerik just blew every Task apps in the Store to bits with this App! So what happens when the leading MX App Controls Vendor decides  to create an app for themselves, you get this kind of gorgeous app. I am just so sorry for those Devs in the Store with a “Not too bad” kind of Task Apps in the Store, they have no chance against this piece of work. I tell you, this app has got the Kitchen and Sink for a Task App. Just see this impressive list:

Description
Put an end to the chaos in your personal affairs with the Tasks app. It will become your best friend for planning, organizing and monitoring the progress of all your projects.
Please let us know what you’d like to see in Tasks and we’ll plan accordingly. (We are looking for your feedback to create the next version).
Here’s what Tasks does for you:
- Custom categories
- Tasks parameters
    o Assign to project and category
    o Due date
    o Task priority
    o Task recurrence
        – Every day
        – Every Weekday
        – Weekly
        – Monthly
        – Yearly
    o Use Email and Phone from contacts
    o Insert URL
    o Attach photo to task
    o Attach voice memo
    o Share tasks by email
- Fast and fluid modern motion interface
- Application settings allow custom functionality adjustments

Features
Task reminders/notifications
Live Tiles
Recurrent Tasks
Voice notes
Photo notes
Snap view support
Filtering and sorting
“Search” and “Share” charm support
Option to synchronize with Microsoft Exchange Server and Office365

Then see these awesome screenshots:

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For now the app is listed as free in the Store, so you might want to get it while you can. Download via the Source link.

Source: Windows Store.

Want To See Every Microsoft Device Ever Made? Here You Go

It’s not everyday that a multi-billion dollar company goes and lists every product that they ever produced. But leave it to Microsoft to be the company to do just that. Since 1975, the Redmond, Wa. based company has created hundreds of products that are used in homes and businesses all over the world. Well, the folks over at Gizmodo have compiled a thorough and complete list of all of their products thanks to Microsoft. Giz has a 2-minute video quickly showing all of the creations. If you’re not interested in that, then there is a written list for your eyes to dance on. Look for the link to the goods after the break in the source section below. Maybe you’ll see something you use in the listing. Continue reading

FirstBank – The first App from West Africa is in the Store

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Wow, I wasn’t expecting this so soon. The first app from West Africa is in the Store. Way to go people, proud of ya’all. FirstBank is as the name suggests, the first bank in Nigeria, if not in the black Africa. It is a reputed bank in the Country, and they are providing their customers information via this app. This is not a Transaction app for example. Here is the description from the Store:

Description
First Bank of Nigeria Plc app provides Branch and ATM locations nearest you and information about FirstBank products and services. First Bank Nigeria Plc is a national icon and an international player in the financial services industry. The bank is over 110 years in existence during which it pioneered the art and science of modern banking in the country, becoming Nigeria’s biggest and most prosperous financial services group

Features
This app provides Branch and ATM locations nearest you and information about FirstBank products and services

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We can only congratulate Solutaris LLC on this first debut in the Store. Keep up the good work. If you are a first bank customer please go right ahead and download this app via the Source link.

[Update 2012-11-12] I have just been informed by IronHide below in the comments that in fact this App is not the First West African App but actually the 6th! The correct sequence according to him should be: ClassicRSS, Movietimes, Infoware Finance, Diamond Bank, First Bank and Slyde. This is nothing short of a feat knowing the challenges devs out of that part of the world have to face, like bandwidth and resource challenges. Well done people, nicely done indeed. Thanks IronHide for this tip.

Source: Windows Store

Intel Software Adrenaline App is in the Store

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How did I miss this, the Third App from Intel is in the Store! The Intel Software Adrenaline app is to rally Intel Developers base, bringing them latest news and information about everything Intel. Here is the official Description from the Store:

Description
This free app from Intel® Software Adrenaline gives developers and the software industry direct access to the latest magazine and news, as well as the social conversation. Browse articles on new mobile technologies and opportunities, assess software roadmaps and strategies, hear from industry luminaries and entrepreneurs, and get insight into what’s next in this rapidly evolving industry. Engage with a broad spectrum of content—covering new mobile platforms and paradigms, entertainment, cloud, user experiences, vertical market applications, and more—from the device to the data center.

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Download the App via the Source link.

Source: Windows Store

Debunking the Chris Pirillo’s Negative Surface Review Video

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Someone sent me today a link to Chris Pirillo’s YouTube page comparing MS Surface with the iPad shown below:

Chris Pirillo’s video comparison of Surface with ‘New iPad’

Chris as usual was negative about MS product and recommends people not buy the Surface, he based his argument on the browser test he did at the Peacekeeper browser test page of Futuremark. Naturally I was curious about his comparison. I also have a tablet, a Core i5 x86 tablet that smokes an iPad in terms of performance with the following specification:

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So I went to the Peacekeeper browser test page and did a test of my system. You can imagine my surprise when it came back with the following result:

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You are telling me an ARM tablet called iPad is faster in performance than a Core i5 x86 device? Are you kidding me? Of course, there is no knowledgeable soul on earth that will believe this report. You then have to ask yourself, what this site is actually testing. For one, not all test were done in IE10 because the browser was blocking the Add-In used in the measurements. I counted at least four tests that were skipped. Note the “HTML5 Capabilities 2/7” given under my 374 score above, on Chris’ test Surface had 3 of 7 tested. So if IE10 is protecting users by blocking shitty Java add-ins, it is punished by this Peacekeeper page? And this is the problem with the internet these days. You don’t get the warning that the tests on Microsoft’s platform was incomplete, users are not warned and test results refused because it is no more a fair test. I for one don’t run anything Java. I am of the opinion Java is a gaping security hole on any system. If you don’t believe me, see Kaspersky’s IT Threat Evolution Report page. I just cleaned a Neighbor’s PC this weekend, all Java Trojans! Java should be banned on any system period.

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So I am presented with an incomplete result. Even the Surface is faster than my Core i5 Tablet! And this is the convoluted world we on the Microsoft platform live in these days. We have to deal with un-informed popular opinion. Even the so called “Experts” have no clue about the technology they are talking about. Hello Mr. Chris Pirillo, after this test on the Peacekeeper page, to be fair, you should also have done a test on Microsoft’s IE Browser Test Drive page. I am sure you would see a different performance report. Take the de-facto FishBowl test with 10 Fishes, how many FPS are you getting on both Surface and iPad? Then take the Particle Acceleration Test, what is the Score on both Surface and iPad? I am getting 25FPS for FishBowl and 15000avg for Particle Acceleration on my Tablet.

There you have it. A test based purely on HTML5! No Add-In, no extra web-kit optimized pages. Just pure HTML5 which is the future standard of Internet. What are you getting as score? Unfortunately, I am yet to receive my Surface device and I don’t have an iPad to test with. So I am calling on you normal people using both of these devices to do a test for yourselves. Please go to the Test Drive page and run the FishBowl and the Particle tests, let me know what scores you are getting on Surface and iPad. Know the truth, and the it will set you free as the saying goes. We cannot depend on the so called “Tech Press” anymore as most of them are just opinion shapers these days. They have vested interests that determine their vision. Most of these Tech journalists, if you can call them that, have Apple Stocks, and they will do everything to shape popular opinion to the advantage of their Stock Portfolio. They should now make it a law that any Blogger give a full disclosure of their affiliations and Stock Portfolio. Period.

Please do the tests if you have a Surface and an iPad and come back here to give your findings in the comments below. Thanks for helping rid the world of FUD against Microsoft.

[Update 2012-11-06]
All, please see the response of the Peacekeeper product manager here below in the Comments. He indicated that the test at the Peacekeeper page is not using any Java Add-Ins etc, but based purely on JavaScript language that IE10 also supports. So that clears a bit of the riddle at the moment. However, the question still remains, what are the influence of the Tests skipped in IE. Does this contribute to the Score? I definitely think so. If that is the case, this Test is actually testing Browser performance (also indicated by the product manager here below) and therefore is not a device performance test like Chris makes the world believe. The Story continues.

P.S. You may not be aware but Chris has made another video test with Microsoft IE FishIE Tank test in which the iPad still obviously beat the Surface. Can anyone confirm this also? Thanks All.

ICQ Messaging App is now in the Store

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For anyone doubting Devs warming up to Windows 8, here is another proof for you. Microsoft released the Skype Metro client on the World with the GA of Windows 8, and hot on the heels of Skype of course is this messaging app ICQ. Competition is good for everyone like they say. ICQ LLC is trying to stem the monopoly of Skype on Windows RT devices that doesn’t run traditional desktop ICQ clients if you ask me with this app. Here is the description and a few screenshot from the Store:

Description
Official ICQ for Windows 8 with free SMS!
One of the world’s best known instant messengers is now available for Windows 8. Free messaging around the world, cool smilies, people search and much more is a click ahead! Feel the power of new smart and simple touch interface, be online with your friends wherever you want.
ICQ. Everybody, everywhere.

Features
Messaging
Free SMS
Facebook, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki
People search
Smilies

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If you love ICQ and you’ve recently purchased a Windows 8 device you will want to get this app. Download via the Source link.

Source: Windows Store

AOL Today – The Official AOL App is in the Store

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AOL decides to join other News Sources in Windows 8 Store by releasing this official App for AOL. They already have the Engadget App in the Store, but now they have an app dedicated for the whole of AOL Enterprise. Here is how they described the App in the Store:

Description

Read today’s top stories from AOL.com, one of the Web’s most popular destinations for news, entertainment, local, video, email and more. This engaging app will allow you easy access to story after story hand-picked by the editors of AOL.com. You’ll also find AOL homepage favorites like your weather forecast and local news.

Features
Access the latest news, sports, business and entertainment headlines
Get, clean streamlined views of all of AOL’s great content right within the app
Find local new and the weather outlook for any city in the US
Browse high-quality images in our photo galleries section

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Well, there you have it, not much screenshots to go by, but if you are a customer of AOL you might as well download this app and give it a spin. You can download via the following source link.

Source: Windows Store

Build 2012 Official App from Microsoft is here

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And here it is Ladies and Gentlemen, the Official BUILD 2012 App! We know this was coming, but it is not clean when, now the wait is over. Here is Microsoft’s description of the App:

Description
Provides a way to browse and view session details for the Microsoft Build conference

Features
Browse the full agenda and session list from the conference
View the on-demand video of sessions as they are posted
View maps of the conference and the surrounding area

 

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Download the app right away via the Source link.

Source: Windows Store

PushBI – A Quality Business KPI Dashboard App in the Store

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Here is another awesome Business App. PushBI is a visualizer for disparate Data Sources like SharePoint, MSSQL, Analysis Services, Oracle and SAP. Did your manager just purchased a Windows 8 device, you can make him happy by deploying this app for your major Business Process KPIs. The app function as a Dashboard for data, whether live or stored. as you can see 5 people already rated the app with 5-Stars. This is worthy of your curiosity if you are BI professional or just a data dabbler. Full description is as follows:

Description

PushBI is a business intelligence tool that delivers key performance indicators directly your computer. Whether you are across town or half way around the world you can monitor key business metrics that are always available so you can make decisions faster and drive business performance. PushBI with its server component can connect to data sources like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPivot, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SQL and Analysis Services, Oracle and SAP. With Windows 8, you can also pin key metrics right to your start screen to monitor and launch directly into that metric with one click.

Features
Key performance metrics
Advanced data visualizations

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Download via Source below.

Source: Windows Store

My Tiles–Shell in a Shell app for Windows 8 in the Store

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You know like they say, life is full of surprises, this app is another one of those examples. Microsoft built Windows 8 with the premise of ease of use, but then some people were complaining of lack of customization of the Start Screen wallpaper except the one that came with Windows 8 that some people were finding rather boring. So here came this app My Tiles that purports to fill the gap left in Start Screen. Its an Shell in a Shell. In this shell however, you are Lord and King. You can setup your tiles the way you want, and what’s more, you tiles can have picture backgrounds etc. I don’t think I am able to aptly describe this app until you see it for yourselves, and the worst thing is the vendor himself is lazy in describing the app, he tacitly described it as follows: “Custom Tiles Make allows you to create custom tiles for your Windows 8”. That’s it, just one line nothing further. But unfortunately, it didn’t describe the vendor’s effort because this seems to be a good app for those looking for more in the Start Screen. They say a picture is worth than a thousand words, maybe these screenshots will help:

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If eye-candy is your thing, and you’re unsatisfied with current Start Screen implementation from Microsoft, then this is what you need. It’s a free App, for now at least, so you can least give it a spin and see if its for you. Download via the Source Link.

Source: Windows Source

Second Oprah’s App: Live Your Best Life in the Store

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Another OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) app just dropped in the Store, joining their first App. Yet another sign of companies warming up to Windows 8. This app is of course complementary to the first app, its an attempt to broaden Oprah’s vision on guiding people to live a good and healthy life. If you can argue that the first app is targeted towards Women fans of Oprah, well, this second one is for both Men and Women generally. Here is how OWN describes the App from the Store:

Description
Your on-the-go guide to becoming your best self: spirit, style, health, food, home and relationships. Get hand-picked advice from the most trusted experts. Plus, keep up with the latest from Oprah, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Features
Fresh inspiration updated each and every day
Exclusive videos, sneak peeks, and highlights from OWN and The Oprah Winfrey Show
Articles, recipes and photos

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I will definitely recommend this app to everyone. It’s a good resource to a balanced daily living, and what’s more, it free as Air. So, please download via the Source Link.

Source: Windows Store