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.
Recent Reviews - Applications - Page 9
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.
I have to confess that I’m not entirely sure why everyone’s been so hard on Microsoft’s built-in Music player over the last couple of years. OK, so there’s the bizarre Xbox branding, but hey, that’s going and, err.. getting more bizarre (‘Groove’). But, on the whole, it works pretty well now, with both local and streamed music from OneDrive. Yet there’s an aftermarket cottage industry in replacement music players. Let's have a look at the commercial Core Player.
New in the Store in the last month, ZAPYA is a (still beta) tool that's cross platform and claims cross-platform file and media transfer, all on a peer-to-peer basis over Wi-fi. So, while you'd not want to Bluetooth a video (for example) to an Android-owning friend and messing around with platform sharing support is too painful, and uploading to Dropbox might take forever, why not use the fact that both of you are on the same Wi-fi network and simply transfer peer-to-peer? Enter ZAPYA. It's not a totally new idea, but does seem popular and... it's now on Windows Phone too.
With this being exam season for many people, I'm all for learning aids. And, in this case, something rather unusual and designed to help someone learn a text off by heart. Perhaps so as to be able to quote sections in an exam paper, perhaps to deliver on stage, perhaps just trying to keep the ol' grey cells stimulated. Memorize It! is unusual and effective and I'll even forgive the Americanised spelling of the name....
Yes, yes, Pocket Casts does indeed arrive into a very crowded genre on Windows Phone, yes, it's still early days, there are some rough edges and there's no video podcast support yet, but I've been using it exclusively for the last week and have been pretty impressed overall. It may not have all the bells and whistles of Podcast Lounge, but for pure and fast, straight down the line audio podcast listening and management, Pocket Casts is hard to beat.
The lengthily titled 'My Memories Interactive Slideshow' does essentially what it says in its name but it's not just another photo browser - this one comes with optimisations that help solve a very common family use case: "Can I look through your photos?", asked by a five year old and followed by them getting very confused at family snaps interspersed by boring 'grown up' stuff.