Following on from AAWP's rather handy guide to the very best applications for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile, here's an updated (four months on) version of our similar crowd-sourced guide the very best one percent of games on the platform. Enjoy!
Recent Features - Software
Never mind niche or boutique applications which are missing from the world of Windows 10, there's one whopper which affects me daily and - if you stop and think about it - probably affects you too. At the very least it could make you safer when driving. Read on for my thoughts on the lack of a decent in-car mode in Windows 10 (Mobile)...
We've now got to the point where Windows 10 'Redstone 2', a.k.a. 'The Creators Update', is feature-locked, meaning that it's time to assess what's new and different from the 'Anniversary Update' (Redstone). And there's quite a bit - here's AAWP's breakdown. This OS release is due to hit production phones on Windows 10 Mobile in about two months time.
Without doubt, THE most popular category of application for Windows Phone 8.1 was 'podcatchers', i.e. applications to auto-grab and play your favourite podcasts. I did so many features and updates for these for 8.1 that I've lost track. Making this a great point to reset everything and only consider dedicated UWP applications, i.e. those expressly built for Windows 10 (Mobile/Continuum/desktop). There's still quite a choice, however, as we shall see!
It's been a long time since I revisited this topic (16 months)... Just where does Windows 10 Mobile (née Windows Phone) stand in terms of third party applications, compared to the competition? I mean, first party, in-the-box offerings are outstanding, with Outlook, Skype, Maps, Office and much more, but what about the third party 'app gap', as popularly characterised? How bad is it, compared to iOS and Android? I took the current 'Top 40' from the application charts from the latter two platforms, as of January 2017, and tried to find equivalents.
With another update for mid January 2017 (20 new entries), here's our directory of the very best of the Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile world. If you or someone you know is just starting out on the platform and want to avoid the chaff, the rubbish in the Store, then look no further for suggestions.
It's all very well Windows (phone) fans talking about Windows 10 Mobile being 'just part of the huge Windows 10 ecosystem' - and Windows (phone, err...) bashers talking about Windows being dead on mobile. Neither party is really telling the whole story, as you can imagine. In the interests of chipping in with helpful facts though, as AAWP is wont to do, here's the truth, shown below in chart form, a picture hopefully being worth a thousand words...
Yes, the standard Windows 10 Camera lets you take selfies with ease, but what about at night? Given that you're shooting the photo on a device with a (potentially) bright AMOLED or LED display, why not use this to illuminate yourself while the shot is taken? Here I compare two 'night selfie' UWP applications for Windows 10 Mobile.
Yesterday Microsoft's Skype team made a few announcements of new 'bots' available to anyone with Skype (Preview), i.e. the UWP app on Windows - and I was somewhat surprised by how many 'bots' were now online, effectively Microsoft partners tying into the Skype conversational and multimedia interface. Initially sceptical, I look at a few of these below and I do something of a u-turn: maybe these bots could be useful after all, 'an expert in your pocket', as it were...?
I'm being a little disingenuous in the title, I have to admit. It's true that the titles below represent my 'Top 5' VR titles, but they're also just about the only VR titles on the platform (I counted to 9 and then realised I couldn't make a 'top 10'! Contrast this to ten times that number on Android, proving that VR on Windows 10 Mobile is still in its infancy. VR is still fun to play with though - all you need is a phone with enough screen resolution (1080p is enough here) and a VR viewer (readily available for under £10 anywhere).