With so much focus around the camera and sharing images on your smartphone, it always surprises me that so many apps focus on adding funky filters and image twisting, as opposed to doing something that's a bit more useful. So picking up Phototastic to review is a pleasant surprise.
Recent Reviews - Applications - Page 21
While all Windows Phone devices have the ability to act as a SatNav while you're driving or walking, not all of us drive. Some of us have to take the bus. While Lumia devices have the Nokia Transport application it doesn't have a broad enough coverage. That's where Next Bus UK steps in. Covering the whole of the UK, this app shows you where to find nearby bus stops and timings.
Because of the limited way in which videos can be loaded onto Windows Phone devices, many users are looking for a way to watch their favourite files without having to use Zune transcoding and USB transfer. One option for wirelessly browsing a home media library is the Plex app, but an older way of piping video around a home network is the Video LAN Client (VLC). VLC Mirror is a new app for Windows Phone 7 that takes advantage of VLC's streaming prowess.
Windows Phone connoisseurs will tell anyone that support for podcasts, outside of the US at least, is not the best experience. This is thanks to an inability to add new podcasts without using desktop software and to download content on the fly. Developers have a tough job ahead of them with the limitations of the Windows Phone platform, mainly the limited ability to run in the background. The latest developer to tackle this issue is Johan Paul (@kypeli), who has ported his Podcatcher application, which was originally written for the MeeGo powered Nokia N9.
Book reading is something that never goes away, it just moves with the medium of the time. As such, Windows Phone has Kindle and Freda for everyone to enjoy e-books on the move, plus Lumia now has Nokia Reading too. GoodReads is a social network that allows you to keep track of all the books you've read, and want to read, as well as seeing what your friends are reading and is a channel for you to share your thoughts on the books you've read too. Here we review MetroReads, which is a free Windows Phone app for GoodReads.
Sooner or later we all need to keep an eye on our finances, and doing so requires a dependable tool. Expense tracking apps have been on mobile devices for as long as, well, for as long as there have been mobile devices! The problem is that they've been data silos that are tricky to get your data in and out of. In this age of cloud computing, we need an expense tracking app that's backed up by a cloud service so we can easily access our data from anywhere and any device. That's exactly what Toshl is, so let's take a look.
Picture a time when it took four minutes to open a game, when your games ran at a resolution of 256x192 pixels with just 15 colours, and when the religious war was "Commodore vs Speccy". Now get ready to relive it on your Windows Phone with MetroSpec. This is a full blown emulator of the first ZX Spectrum , the popular range of 8-bit computers from the 80s that started with the 16K model, and finished with the disk-drive enabled Plus 3. MetroSpec emulates the 48K and the Spectrum Plus, which is effectively the same model but had a fancier keyboard than the rubber chicklet of the 48K model.
One of the basic tenets of a modern 'smartphone' is that it should be always connected. Yet this is where Windows Phone has traditionally let itself down slightly, as I shall explain below. Happily, a new utility, Active Wifi, completely solves the problem, so this is one story that has a happy ending (albeit costing you £0.79p)!
Sometimes my mind wanders, as it has this week when I decided to look for a coffee shop application for my Windows Phone. While the major chains don't have a presence on Windows Phone just yet, independent developer Denham Software Solutions has come up with an app called Starbux Card. With all the features of the first party apps, this is a smart piece of code that's pretty helpful for the Starbucks fan.
If I was to break down what I use my smartphone for, I suspect that the media player (specifically for music and audio podcasts) would be a big part of Windows Phone and of the devices and Operating Systems I've used before. Those historical handsets all had third-party applications that would link my musical listening to the popular Last.FM music service. I've not yet found something suitable for Windows Phone... will MetroScrobbler be the app to change that?