If the Windows 10 Store was any good, it would have all the charts and filters that let users find out about great new applications and games, in an intelligently curated way. And, in truth, the Store is getting better. Very, very slowly. In the meantime, applications like AppRaisin here have risen up to take on the discoverability challenge, helped by being fed from the wide network of developers using the AdDuplex system to monetise their free apps and games. AppRaisin ends up being well coded, as you'd expect, and always interesting, though never definitive.
Recent Reviews - General - Page 16
When you encounter an application that's clearly a labour of love from the developer, it stands out immediately. London Travel is not just thrown together, it's a lovingly crafted interface around all the public API data for London travel - yes, much of this information can be gleaned from web sites and sometimes other applications, but not all in one place and so cohesively, and (with an in-app-purchase) some genuine navigation intelligence included. It's a Windows 10 universal application, mind you, so any WP 8.1 old hands reading this will need to switch to an upgraded device.
Qi chargers are pretty common these days, but Microsoft has upped the stakes with this, the DT-904, throwing in NFC and software tricks when used with a Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile device, alerting you of notifications for just about any applications you choose with a pleasant ring of white LEDs. After a few teething troubles with the Bluetooth pairing, this was almost the perfect Qi charging plate, not least because its charging coils extend over a larger area than on most competing products, so you don't have to be too fussy when positioning your phone.
This is the latest marker in the sand for Microsoft with Windows 10 Mobile, a data point around which numerous third parties are pitching their own handsets running the OS. We've not seen too many flagships competing with the 950 and 950 XL, but the 650 sits in sub-£200 territory (in the UK), already available at £140 on pay-as-you-go, so we're in a much more competitive arena here. Happily, there are lots of positives here, not least a design language and materials that should have been used on the 950 flagships, plus a balanced set of components that will appeal greatly to businesses...
A couple of months ago I managed to get hold of some sample replacement backs from Mozo, sorely needed for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, in that these flagships only really look (or smell!) premium once the plain plastic back from Microsoft is upgraded with some Mozo TLC. I fell in love with the 'Cognac' leather for the 950 XL and now I've finally got my hands on the same style for my preferred Lumia, the 950. Here's an illustrated look!
You have to hand it to the Chinese when it comes to naming things on product pages, with the aim of better Google page rank. In this case, as sold on AliExpress, it's the (deep breath) 'Qualcomm Certified Tronsmart Titan UC5F 5 Ports Quick Charge 2.0 USB Smart Desktop Charger QC2.0 90W Turbo Charge Fast Charging'. More snappily and usefully, Tronsmart itself just refers to the charger as the 'Titan' and it's not hard to see why when you look at the specifications - the key part is the 'Quick Charge 2.0' bit, across all ports, making this accessory, handling almost a tenth of a kiloWatt, rather special.
In the modern smartphone world we're somewhat shielded from the realities of computer file systems. Back in the day, computing was all about files, folders, archives, and so on - and this is largely what Total Commander gives you back. Admittedly you don't need this much on the phone in 2016, aside from perhaps fiddling with things on microSD on supported phones. But Total Commander scores by also integrating (to an extent) OneDrive, Google Drive, FTP and LAN server access. In short, copy files from anywhere to anywhere. And, for a free application, this is well worth keeping on hand for a file emergency when this could well save the day.
Miracast (screen sharing over Wi-fi) adapters have been available for ages, of course - many TVs and monitors even include the necessary electronics, stating 'Miracast-compatible'. But you can never be too sure of complete compatibility, at least when it comes to the really advanced stuff, like Continuum, in this case from the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. Which is why I wanted to look at Microsoft's own, first party, adapter. It's black, it's small, it's utterly devoid of style, yet it works flawlessly. Well... sometimes.
Smashy Road: Wanted uses similar 'retro' blocky graphics to the hit Crossy Road, but this time you're driving. And on the run. And heading wherever you like, chased by police with cars and helicopters (and more), it's up to you whether you dice it out on the roads or try your luck with rougher terrain. It's all in miniature, but is great fun, and is definitely 'casual' in duration - the average game/attempt (to escape) is about a minute!
Now six months into development, I thought it high time to give Fenice for Twitter the review treatment. The bar is set high though - by Tweetium, by Aeries, and others, so any new Twitter client is going to have to really shine in order to win a recommendation. In fact, Fenice comes off as usable but quirky and buggy - and with no real advantages over the much more mature Tweetium, in particular.