Regular readers will know that I'm a big fan of the Proporta emergency chargers, from the tiny credit card sized Pocket Power to the mighty Turbocharger 7000. But, of course, there are many other brands on the market, especially at the higher capacity end of the market. Which is why I've been taking a look here at the new 'Kinkoo Infinite One 8000mAh Portable Backup Battery Charger'. In white. And yes, the colour matters, as I shall explain!
A great pool game is always a good thing on a mobile device. Pool Arena Online is decent, at least. A great online multi-player experience is also always a good thing. And, again, Pool Arena Online is... decent. Put the two together and what have you got? A somewhat disjointed pool-centric gaming system that occasionally delights and often disappoints.
Never mind manufacturers (HTC) coming up with secondary 'depth' cameras in order to provide information for creating fake 'bokeh' effects, the imperfectness of that approach has shown that, in fact, you can create such effects using nothing more than a little software wizardry. The result will still look 'fake', but at least it can be done, as proved here by new Windows Phone application 'Intelligent Lens Blur'.
Following on from its freemium success in Rule the Kingdom and My Country, Game Insight Global takes to the skies with Airport City. Can you build up an international airport with multiple destinations and aircraft? Can the app keep you interested to ensure you want to come back to play, and maybe even spend some real money to improve your building? Let's find out.
I have to take the word of BBC Sport here, but the English football season is approaching a thrilling end. Capturing that excitement in a computer game is not easy, although EA have managed to do just that every year - with FIFA 14 they have outdone themselves both in the excitement stakes, and in the ease of play. This is a mobile game conversion done correctly.
The challenge appears to be a simple one... spin the hexes around to match the colours, clear the level, and proceed through the 100 challenges offered in this 'puzzle adventure'. Is it enough to have a cute puzzle mechanic, or do you need more in a modern game than the Xbox Live branding and some primary colours?
Unbelievably, even after my exhaustive round up of podcatchers recently, it seems that there's another candidate to consider - and a potentially good one, too, with Podcast2Go both relatively new and also massively updated recently and taking it (almost) into the top flight of contenders. You'll see what I mean from the UI screenshots when I say that this is more than reminiscent of Pocket Casts (the top Android podcatcher). Emulating the best is clearly a good way to proceed, producing a top notch podcatcher, though UI purists will no doubt tut over the lack of adherence to Windows Phone UI guidelines.
The world of accessories fascinates everyone, of course, the drive to make everything smaller and smaller, yet still doing the same job. In this case, the ChargeKey microUSB, a full data and charging cable (i.e. all pins are connected through) that cuts bulk to the nth degree and fits nicely on a key ring. It's even shaped like a key and is a really neat accessory, albeit a little pricey.
SmartMusic isn't the very first attempt on Windows Phone to try and present an all purpose SkyDrive/OneDrive streaming music solution, but it does at least make the right noises: 'maintains a persistent connection so that long play times for a playlist will stay connected' and so on. Sounds about right for this sort of utility. But how well does it work and can it effectively be (Android's) Google Play Music but for Windows Phone?
Fitness and the quantified self is going to be a topic that you will hear more about from the smartphone world in 2014. Getting in on the act over the last few months has been miCoach, a branded solution by Adidas. How well does the app work to encourage you to exercise harder, faster, and stronger?