Recent Reviews

Review: LightSocial Pro UWP

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The story so far: Facebook had a MS-written client for WP8.1 and all was well. Then Windows 10 Mobile came along and Facebook built its official application on the OSMeta middleware, meaning that the client was slow and heavy on resources. So the canny W10M phone user just used the Facebook web site. Until last week, when this stopped working well in Edge (everyone got served the ultra 'basic' version of content). Making this the perfect time to look at third party Facebook client, LightSocial Pro UWP.

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

Review: dodocool DA150 multi-source portable speaker

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As is traditional, I save this sort of accessory review for Friday. Bluetooth speakers are very common and commoditised by now, of course, but I chose this one to review because it has a single unique selling point. It has a carrying handle. Don't laugh - it makes a huge difference and is immediately likeable - every other speaker has to be held in a vice-like grip or cradled somehow. The DA150 here can be hooked around a finger while you carry other things, to the beach, to the garden, whatever. Read on...

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Review: Fitbit Versa (part 1 - overview and hardware)

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Back in March (2018), I reported on Fitbit's UWP application for Windows 10 including support for the new 'Versa' smartwatch. Fitbit is one of the few accessory companies still believing in Windows 10 Mobile as a viable concern and their full range of trackers and smartwatches are supported by their UWP application. And the Versa is almost the perfect smartwatch, borne of five years of iteration (including the Pebble tech, which Fitbit acquired). Here are my first impressions of the hardware and of getting hooked up.

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

Review: Enpass UWP

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While uber-geeks like me might play around with (open source) KeePass secure databases, the wise user keeps things simpler and standardises on a commercial solution from day one. Enpass is one of the newer breed of properly supported secure stores - there are extensions on the desktop for password injection, but here I'm looking at Enpass on Windows 10 Mobile, the synced and backed up place for all your secret stuff. And apart from some 'fit and finish' and the usual import issues, it works pretty well.

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

Review: Realarm UWP

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It's rare to find a Windows 10 UWP application that's this slick, this polished - I guess I'm coming to Realarm quite late, since it's been out for a while, but so many people had recommended it that I couldn't ignore it any longer. The delay also means that it's had plenty of time for updates. In use, I only encountered one tiny bug - everything else one might ever want in an alarm utility is present and correct and working. With sophisticated rules, puzzles to solve to prove you're awake(!), and syncing to OneDrive, Realarm is the real deal.

# Posted by Steve in Reviews || Comments

Review: Pic Collage UWP

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Part photo compositor, part meme/card creator, Pic Collage is an interesting Windows 10 application that works on both desktop and mobile, but has a few UI quirks on the latter. Outputting at under 2MP by default, the in-app-purchase here is to enable HD exporting of your creations, which seems sensible. Let's hope enough people do this to justify updates to its developer.

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Review: dodocool DP13 45W Type C PD power bank

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Heavy, metal, yet stylish, this is a new Type C power bank that's worth a look, with a few caveats. Its headline feature is that it supports Type C 'Power Delivery' (PD), of which the Lumia 950/XL are just the lowest supported rungs on a power ladder. The main use here is to have a power bank that not only supplies Type C smartphones at full capacity, but can also charge 'PD-compliant' laptops and mobile devices. 

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Review: Neutron Music Player UWP

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This is no hacked on front end for system music playback - Neutron is a reimagining of digital sound rendering on all Windows 10 devices - including Windows 10 Mobile here. From native EQ and DSP effects to crossfeed, stereo widening and compressions, from 64 bit dithering to a virtual preamp, Neutron is like no other music player you've ever used. Does it work? On the whole, though you'd have to be a serious audiophile to really appreciate what it's doing, plus there's a UI sting in the tail for some people.

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Review: RSS Live Tiles UWP - feed headlines on your Start screen

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Getting news/feed headlines on your Start screen has always been a case of information overload. A feed reader will cycle through dozens of stories from hundreds of sites. A news app will cycle through the top stories it thinks are most important. But what if you just want the top, breaking story on just one site? What if you have specialist needs? This is where the new RSS Live Tiles UWP app steps in for all Windows 10 phones, tablets, laptops, etc.

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