Category: App Reviews

Review of Diorama App for Windows Phone – Tilt Shift Photos Made Easy

dTilt Shift photography is not something new to Windows Phone but many of the apps can be complicated to figure out, especially on photos you have already taken.  That is one of the reasons that the new Diorama app for Windows Phone is one try out.  The Diorama app allows you to take a photo with your camera or from your photo library and quickly apply a tilt shift effect to them.  With simple controls and a clean, simply UI, Diorama is a fast way to apply this fun photo filter to your pictures.

For those who are new to smartphone photography, tilt shifting is a photo effect where you make something look miniaturized, or as the case may be, like it is in a diorama.  It certainly isn’t new to digital or smartphone photography or photography in general for that matter.  Smartphones however have made the effect popular because apps like Diorama have made it easy.

Diorama for Windows Phone – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

Review of Microsoft Bingo – A Fun Twist On An Old Classic

There are some classic games out there that many of us grew up playing at one time or another.  Bingo is likely one of those games, be it at home with family or in a bingo parlor.  While often associated with seniors, Bingo is a fun game and can be quite competitive.  Microsoft has captured that well in their Microsoft Bingo app.  This universal app for all Windows platforms gives you both that competitive nature of the game along with giving you awards thanks to Xbox Live integration and frankly it has proven to be hours of fun as I’ve prepared this review.  Whether you like the game or not, here is my review of Microsoft Bingo, a fun classic for your Windows devices that even casual players can enjoy for free.

Microsoft Bingo for Windows Phone – Free (In-App Purchase) – Download Now

Microsoft Bingo for Windows PC & Tablets – Free (In-App Purchase) – Download Now

Age of Empires Castle Siege For Windows Phone Review

Without a doubt one of my favorite games in my twenties was Age of Empires.  I spent hours playing this game and in fact at one point, my entire startup company on Friday’s would have an AoE tournament.  When Microsoft announced that Age of Empire Castle Siege was coming to Windows and Windows Phone earlier this year, I was ecstatic but also had my concerns about it living up to my memories.  I can say now after a few weeks of playing, it lives up to expectations.

The game play in Age of Empires Castle Siege is outstanding with great graphics, smooth scrolling and a truly universal app for both Windows and Windows Phone.  Having played the game for a few weeks now I can say that you won’t be disappointed, especially if you are an old AoE player.

Age of Empires: Castle Siege – Universal App – Free – Download Now

Network Speed Test for Windows Phone Review

There are times in life were we just need to try to understand why… why!… your WiFi connection on your Windows Phone is so slow.  It’s not your fault, usually, but it happens.  This is particularly true if you are out and about slurping up free WiFi from your coffee shop, hotel or other public locations because, let’s face it, you and everyone else are doing the exact same thing.  Enter Network Speed Test for Windows Phone.

Network Speed Test is a free app from Microsoft that allows you with a single tap of your Windows Phone screen to see what your download and upload throughput are to your device along with other important, if not more technical, tidbits of network information.  It’s quick, simple and will answer the mystery of why the Interwebs are a crawl at your favorite hangout.

Network Speed Test for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

UK Monarchs App for Windows Phone Review

As an American that has transplanted to the United Kingdom, I’m reminded on a daily basis of the history that surrounds me.  I’m fortunate enough to live very near Windsor Castle, the home of Queen Elizabeth, and my house, believe it or not, was built in 1649.  If you are going to do the whole EXPAT thing, do it properly I say. Part of living in the UK is the monarchy.  Like, love it or hate it, it is very much a part of English life (I’m not here to debate its merits peeps… this is an app review).  For those who are interested in learning a bit more on the modern history of the United Kingdom monarchy, take a look at the UK Monarchs app for Windows Phone.  This simple app gives you the history of every monarch from 1707 through to today with multiple different ways to view this information – from House to timeline.  It’s a free app and well worth it for you history and monarch buffs out there.

UK Monarchs App for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Review – Amazing Weather HD for Windows Phone

Weather, especially for those of us who live in England, is a constant source of discussion for many.  In fact here in England it is jokingly considered rude if you don’t ask someone their thoughts on the current weather conditions at the beginning of a conversation.  Jokes aside, knowing what the weather is going to do later in the day, tomorrow or the coming weekend is important for planning of events.  That makes a good weather app for your Windows Phone equally as important.

Amazing Weather HD for Windows Phone is arguably one of the most complete and comprehensive weather apps in the Windows Phone Store today.  It has continually updating weather information with support for both Live Tiles and your Lock Screen, forecasts, location awareness and of course current conditions.  The app also is beautifully done with animated screens as you look at the weather location for locations literally around the world.  While there are some limitations for those who don’t live in the United States – most notably weather radar support – this app provides outstanding weather information in a beautiful presentation.  In my opinion it is well worth the $1.99 price of admission.

Amazing Weather HD for Windows Phone – $1.99 – Download Now

Vivino Wine Scanner App for Windows Phone Review

I love wine but I fully admit that I’m a bit of a neanderthal when it comes to being able to pick a good wine from a not-so-good wine.  As I have discovered, price isn’t necessarily a reflection of a wine that is good and there is certainly an element of personal tastes that come into the picture.  Compounding my problem is when I go to my local grocer or “bottle store” (AKA Liquor Store), there is a dizzying number of wines of all times and all price ranges.  Regardless of your wine selecting skills, there is a great app that can help you find that perfect wine as you stand there looking at a wall of bottles.  The Vivino Wine Scanner app allows you to scan the label of any wine and instantly get peer ratings, price ranges and reviews of that wine.  It helps eliminate the guess work so you can find wines you like at a price that is right.

The Vivino Wine Scanner app is one of those apps that just makes life easier.  It works amazingly well and I’ve yet to find a bottle of wine that it didn’t recognise.  Literally all you do is snap a photo of the label of the wine bottle and it does all the work of giving you information about that wine.  It has become my favourite app to use while I’m stood in my grocer trying to find that bottle of wine that goes with that meal.

Vivino Wine Scanner – Free – Download Now

OneFootball For Windows Phone Review

This weekend here in England will be the start of the 2014-2015 football season.  All the leagues, most notably the Premier League and the Champions League, start in earnest as do many of the European leagues across the continent.  Over the last few weeks I’ve been looking for a good app for Windows Phone to follow my favourite teams along with keeping up with news from around the various leagues.  I think I’ve found it in OneFootball for Windows Phone.

OneFootball for Windows Phone allows you to select your favourite team and follow them in detail as well as get push notifications during matches (when you can’t find your way to the pub to watch for some reason) and detailed information on each match and the season.  Further, you get a great news feed of all the information from across all the various national leagues and can even go into another league and setup notifications for a particular team.  All this in an app that is free.

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