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.
Recent Reviews - Applications - Page 8
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.
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!
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.
Undoubtedly a very impressive piece of programming that's something of a triumph on the humble smartphone, edjing is also rather niche (as the title suggests) and also not without fault, even on the most powerful Windows 10 Mobile device, the Lumia 950 XL. Still, if you fancy producing fancy mixes for your next party then this is certainly the only game in town on this platform.
Sygic is an independent navigation product that's been around for the best part of a decade, existing in the margins while the big smartphone players like (first) Nokia, then Google, Apple and Microsoft, have made navigation an expected, free, part of every device in 2015. It's a tough market to be in and Sygic is doing its best to adapt. But on the evidence of this first 'universal' beta for Windows 10 Mobile, you'll have to really, really want some of the more niche features and be prepared to pay through the nose for the privilege.
Getting the right 'moment' on camera has always been tricky, whether it's your kid's sports day or a birthday party. It's so easy to miss the moment, especially on camera-centric devices like the Lumia 1020, which is why shooting 1080p video and worrying about extracting the perfect 2MP 'still' later on is an attractive alternative. I've previously covered Vid2Pix, but that has some serious bugs that come back, erratically, to annoy. Instead, give Frame Grabber a try, it's potentially much faster and seems more stable in doing this most difficult of jobs - deconstructing MP4 video!
If there's one category of application that really shouldn't need to exist, it's music playback, since every computing platform includes this functionality out of the box. However, time spent with music, as well as ways of indexing and accessing it, is a very personal thing and there are a number of third party music player for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile, each attempting to add their own 'spin' (pun intended) on the genre. In this case, Loco Music Player, with a wide choice of themes and lightning fast track indexing.
You may remember that one of my core 'must haves' for any computing platform is a KeePass client, with all my private data kept these days in the Cloud but mirrored on every computing device I own. From passwords to social IDs to engine numbers to bank details, it's all there, standalone and perfectly encrypted. Yet the likes of '7Pass' on Windows Phone haven't really matured, so I've switched to MetroPass, offering full upload (if not sync) back to the Cloud.
For a mobile platform 'without a YouTube client' (i.e. an official app from Google), Windows Phone sure has plenty of YouTube clients provided by third parties. And now the free Perfect Tube joins the fray, from the same developer as Perfect Music, reviewed here. And, like the music player, it's something of a triumph in terms of UI but ultimately slightly let down by real world performance and implementation in places, on my test Lumia 930.