Recent Reviews - Applications - Page 5

Review: BeFriend (emergency SMS/call)

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The concept here is pretty compelling, especially if you venture anywhere where you might come a cropper. The great outdoors or the inner city at night spring to mind. However, letting an application, especially one that's demonstrably a little 'beta', take control of your smartphone's SMS and telephony via 'silent' mechanisms does require an element of trust that the developers know what they're doing. At least BeFriend is Open Source, so maybe we can trust it after all?

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Review: Copy Space

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You may remember Microsoft's abortive OneClip project from a year or so ago? The idea of a cross-platform, cross-device clipboard is something that's perennially attractive yet seemingly fraught with showstoppers. OneClip never arrived in public, but Copy Space is a new (Windows 10) UWP app that's along the same lines and well worth the modest £1.50 in-app-purchase to enable syncing, even if Copy Space itself doesn't quite deliver everything it promises. 

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Review: Playcast

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The concept of 'casting' content from phone to TV or other media player isn't new, of course. We've had screen sharing and DLNA and so forth for a while, on all platforms and all devices, though sprinkled with rather a lot of compatibility issues. Playcast is a UWP application for Windows 10 Mobile that attempts to bring sense into the world of casting whether it's to a Miracast-capable TV or to a Google Chromecast accessory, presenting your own media to the destination player in a sensible and hopefully glitch-free fashion.

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Review: Grover Pro (podcatcher)

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Although still, technically, in beta, Grover Pro was the most recommended title in my recent call for suggestions for podcatchers which work well with Windows 10 Mobile. And the AAWP community was right - Grover Pro is a terrific solution and gets closest of any of the apps I've tried so far to being a reliable, all-in-one solution. And, happily, a true UWP, working on Continuum too. 

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Review: OneLocker: a polished sync-able password and secrets store

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The search for a really good syncable encrpyted database and password manager is one that's close to many of our hearts. And there's a new contender, OneLocker, 'built for Windows 10', meaning that it's fine on both laptop and also Windows 10 Mobile-running smartphones, syncing through to OneDrive or Dropbox. There are a few caveats, but this still seems like a viable and mature solution, at least if you're building this up for yourself from scratch.

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Review: AppRaisin

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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. 

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Review: London Travel

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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.

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Review: Total Commander

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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.

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Review: Relaxiness - Rain Sounds

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Now, don't switch off because you probably know what this application does just from the title. You'd be 100% right, of course, the idea here is to present white noise in the form of rain in order to get your brain to switch off and get to sleep. What's not obvious from the title though, is how well implemented this is, given the restrictions of running under Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. I even found myself willingly paying the pound or so for the 'pro' version within ten minutes - it's done presented that well. Not perfectly, of course - as ever, I have some suggestions for the developer!

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Review: Fenice for Twitter

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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.

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