You'll remember that I recently went on a quest to find a source of the in-ear, stereo 4-pole headphones that ship with the best Lumia handsets? I came up trumps, with the replacements costing only around £6, but the quest itself made me aware of how generally unsatisfied I was with the audio quality at this end of the headset market. Hence this review, taking the next rung up the quality ladder with the new ROCK JAW Arcana v2 - with good results.
Recent Reviews - Windows Phone 7
As a (not very good, but I do try) musician myself, I tend to get a little dismissive of novelty applications that claim to help non-musicians compose tracks, but Trap Pad is sufficiently focussed on assembling and overlaying samples that it's strictly for either 'ideas' or 'fun' use - at which point it's much easier to relax and just enjoy the possibilities.
[Update: SmartMusic is now 'MusicConnect', so I've updated the name throughout.] MusicConnect 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?
Tower defense games are rather popular on smartphones. There's a lot of room to innovate new ideas, or to implement the classic ideas very well. Zero Defense focuses entirely on the latter angle, and this title shows that you can put together a great game by covering all the bases and not adding in anything stupid. This is tower defense as you would expect it, but done with enough style and passion to make it enjoyable.
Phonos offers a third party client for Sonos music systems, designed to spread your music throughout your house, but how does Phonos fare compared to the official clients on other platforms - read on to find out!
It shouldn't surprise me that the classics are usually tarted up in any mobile app store, but it means that when I do find a game intro that hooks me, I'm going to get a little surprise when I realise "I know this!". Such is the case with Boxed In, AE's latest release for Windows Phone. Ready for the spoiler? It's Sokobahn.
Let’s put aside the fantastic plot of finding a room full of an infinite supply of ‘Voyager’ probes and the rockets to launch them, and simply enjoy the game. Your goal is very altruistic, to gather as much information as possible as your Voyager spacecraft flies past the various planets of the solar system. You set the departure angle from Earth, you set the level of thrust, and celestial mechanics will take care of the rest.
At last it exists. The perfect application for recreating the Dr Who theme tune - this is Grantophone, in its version 2.0 guise, with extra effects and arpeggiator. It's tempting to call it a musical application, except that even Grantophone's own description refers to creating "all sorts of interesting sounds". So not actual tunes then. Don't be put off though - this is a free application with which you can have enormous fun. And, perhaps, find the perfect sound effects for that school drama or garage band trance track.
In the future, when the world waits for the arrival of Charlton Heston, the apes will gather in arenas across the continents to play devilish games of strategy and skill to the death. Starting as a lowly chimp, will you be able to survive the games and advance in the rankings?
Sometimes the best laid plans go astray - I'd planned a group test of the various photo-to-sketch utilities for Windows Phone, but it soon became apparent that one was head and shoulders above the rest. Ignore the naming confusion ('Sketch') and head for the one by thumbmunkeys, reviewed here. The results are somewhat... stunning, as you'll see below.