Now, I've ranted before about developers pulling greedy tricks in the Store, 'massively discounting' apps and games from unrealistic original 'RRP's to attract attention. And Yellow Elephant here is guilty in the same way, partly by offering silly discounts in the Store (though not as bad as in my original examples) but mainly by producing an application that's so ridden with 'buy-me-now' purchases that it's almost impossible to use. The core idea is to play local music and videos, plus Internet radio and other streams, but save your time (and money) and... Just. Don't. Bother.
Recent Reviews - Page 3
You'll have already browsed our NexDock 2 unboxing gallery for this new 'super' smartphone accessory, plus you'll have read part one of our review, looking at the NexDock 2's hardware and operation in detail. In this, part two, I look at more examples of the NexDock 2 in use, in both a Windows 10 Mobile and Android context - what exactly is the use case proposition? Why and when would this be a better option than a Bluetooth keyboard (on one end of the accessory spectrum) or a Windows laptop (at the other)?
Last featured in our unboxing and first impressions Gallery, the NexDock 2 is an accessory par excellence for Windows 10 Mobile Continuum-compatible smartphones. Arriving way too late in the day really, the NexDock 2 easily redeems itself by also working with a large number of Samsung and Huawei Android phones. But let's start with general operation: what's involved in plugging in (e.g.) a Lumia 950 XL and getting going?
Yes, yes, I'm English and like all Englishmen I have an obsession with when it's next going to rain. Either because I want it (dry garden) or because I don't (I'd get wet and need to remember an umbrella!) Rain Gauge is a UWP application for all Windows 10 devices (including Mobile) that claims to provide this crucial information, in addition to animated radar maps and a general forecast. For countries within striking distance of the Netherlands, anyway (UK is supported).
Apple's success with Airpods has spawned a number of 'true wireless' copies - furthermore, copies with higher quality audio, in-ear-canal operation and even (here) USB Type C charging. A couple of months ago I reviewed the waterproof SoundLiberty 53, similar but with microUSB charging. Now Apple has finally gone 'in ear' and waterproof too, with the AirPods Pro, though at a crazy £250. These 'Rimor' headphones come in at almost £90, which is also too expensive, I contend...
A Snooker/Pool multi-player online game, available for everything from Windows Phone 8.1 to UWP play on laptop, Xbox, and more, sounds pretty terrific and it's got potential, certainly. But Real Pool 3D is massively overwhelmed by [deep breath] freemium mechanics, mini-games, gift chests, virtual cash, 'treasure hunts', 'lucky cues', power ups, watch-to-earn ads, and cosmetic frippery - and the end result is all a little garish, tasteless, and offputting.
Here's a UWP game that we've not covered before - it's my favourite genre too, mimicking a real world sport. In this case lawn tennis, time shifted back to the 1920's, the idea presumably being that, apart from being a bit quaint, there's no need to model modern extravagances like Hawkeye, electronic score cards, big crowds, and so on. Instead, you get a decent game of tennis against real opponents around the world, playing on a variety of platforms, yet with the game mechanics designed to even out any UI advantages. Even the freemium is restrained and sensible!
With Apple's AirPods inventing the 'True Wireless' earbud market but at extravagant cost, there have been a number of far cheaper alternatives of gradually increasing quality. Working with Windows phones, Android and iOS, the TaoTronics 'SoundLiberty 53' are the best I've tested so far - and they come in at under £30, compared to over five times that for Apple's offering. Plus these sound far, far better. And they're waterproof. What's not to love?
There's one small issue with most Qi wireless charging pads... We all love them, charging our Lumias, Galaxies, iPhones, whatever, but the vast majority of them are horizontal, meaning that there's limited visibility of stuff arriving on the phone screen and limited interaction possible with the device. Pads are usually horizontal because then the user can align the phone's Qi coils with the pad precisely, whatever the model. Happily the new Choetech T555 is vertical and yet has multiple Qi coils so that most/all phones would still work with it, at up to 15W.
It's a fair cop, this new accessory from Xiaomi doesn't connect (anymore) with Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile. But it's a good data point as to where the wearables market is going and will be of special interest to any fans of the old Microsoft Band, since this is very similar in many ways - except that it runs for a month on a charge and only costs £30! It's something of a technological miracle, saved from perfection only by holes in the Xiaomi integration into Android's notifications system - and in my phone's battery each day.