AudioCloud isn't a new name in Windows Phone circles, it's been a very competent SoundCloud client for years - but the latest update is a rewrite and a Universal Windows Platform app, continuing the smooth flow of these, and running on anything that's 'Windows 10' or Continuum. It's flawless too, both in UI and performance, and the best and most interactive way to discover new music and new sounds.
Recent Reviews - Applications - Page 5
If there's one gadget that has always typified a geek's household, it's a weather station. A sensor that sits outside the house, wired through somehow to a base station inside the house, displaying lots of current metrics about the weather. Pressure, temperature, rainfall, and so on. You may even already own one. But if you don't then did you know that for the less than the price of a cup of tea you can have access to more or less real time data from tens of thousands of domestic weather stations around the world? There's a good chance that you have several within a mile of your house!
One of the worst kept secrets in the modern world is that almost no young people 'buy' music anymore, at least in the traditional sense. They either stream it through the likes of Spotify (or Groove, though this is less likely) or just play tracks, as needed, via the official music videos on YouTube - the latter is completely free, though rather inefficient if all that's required is the audio. But, given the latter, why not craft an application to direct the same audio stream into a local music file on the phone? Welcome to YouTunes! - it's beta-ish, but does work on the whole.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.