Category: App Reviews

AC Pirates for Windows Phone Review

Earlier this week I posted on the fact that the Windows Phone Store has over 300,000 apps and continues to improve and mature.  Here is another great example of that improvement.  Ubisoft, makers of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, has just released AC Pirates for Windows Phone.  This was one of my favourite games for iOS and when it dropped into the store yesterday, without hesitation I hit the Buy button.

And I don’t regret it for a second.

AC Pirates for Windows Phone has you play the role of Alonzo Batilla, a young pirate who is trying to make his way in the pirate world of the Caribbean.  He does this by challenging the establishment, forging alliances and of course doing piratey things like steal gold and find treasure.  The story line, graphics and game play are outstanding and yes I was up until the small hours playing – again.

Fitbit for Windows Phone 8.1 Review

If you know me or have followed me here or on AlliOSNews for any amount of time you know that I’m a big fan of Fitbit.  The wearable tracker helps me keep track of my activities for the day as well an integrating into MyFitnessPal, my diet tracking app.  Back in 2009 I started a weight loss program that would see me go from 290 lbs to my current weight (as of this morning) of 191.3 lbs.  Yes there was a lot of hard work involved by Fitbit helped me without a doubt.

One of the really exciting parts aspects of Windows Phone 8.1 is Bluetooth LE which allows things, like a Fitbit, to connect to your Windows Phone and sync automatically on-the-fly.  So it only makes sense that there would now be a full fledged Fitbit for Windows Phone 8.1 app available now that takes full advantage of this update.  If you have been a Fitbit user on Android or iOS, you will feel right at home with the app on Windows Phone.  It is identical in every way and even gives you up-to-the-minute updates thanks to the Live Tile for the app.

Review of Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List for Windows Phone

As the holiday season kicks into full swing, the chances of you needing recipes for anything from cookies to making a killer smoked turkey have likely increased.  One of the best apps out there for this is Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List for Windows Phone.  The app, brought to you by, gives you not only holiday related recipes but great meal, desert and cocktail ideas throughout the year.  If you are not familiar with the website, Epicurious brings you recipes and cooking ideas from fellow “foodies”.  It is a great site and is essentially driven by users and their feedback.  If you haven’t check it out you need to do so as this app is simply an extension of the site.

To use the Epicurious app you will need to make sure you have about 6MB of storage space available on your Windows Phone.  You do not necessarily have to be running Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) to use this app.  To use the app you will also need data access via 3G or WiFi as this app is essentially a wrapper for the Epicurious website.  The app itself is free and in the Marketplace.  Once you start the app you will first be brought to the recipes type page.  Here you will see a listing of the various categories of recipes that are in the app.  Since I’m doing this review in December you will see a lot of recipes that are holiday – both Christmas and Hanukkah – related but as you scroll down this list you will see non-holiday meal types from sides to entrees.  It is a complete app in this since and given that it is continually being updated on the web, you can expect the content to change as we pass through the seasons.

AAWP Reviews the Twitter App Rowi

Let me make a statement that I’m sure many of you will agree with me on:  The official Twitter app for Windows Phone is lacking.

Even though it has been updated to support Mango, there are still a lot of things it does not do like pinning to the Start screen and Live tiles.  It feels very halfway done.

Fortunately there is a great solution that I’ve been trying out the last couple of weeks and the team over at All About Windows Phone has reviewed.  The app is Rowi from Hidden Pineapple.  It allows you to do all of the things you would expect in a Mango-ready app that the official Twitter app can’t do.  The AAWP review covers all of the aspects of Rowi and provides plenty of screenshots to guide you along on the look and feel of the app.

You can read the full review over at AAWP

If you want to give Rowi a try yourself, you can check out the free version, Rowi Lite in the Marketplace (it does not support Live tile updates) or the full version is $2.99.





Smartphonegurus Reviews Navigation Apps for Windows Phone

If you are looking at navigation apps for your Windows Phone, go over to Smartphonegurus for a great summary review of two of the leading apps.  The review covers Navigon and the new Nokia Drive (new to Windows Phone at least) and has a huge number of screen shots to give you a good idea of how each of the apps look and feel.

An important aspect of this review is that it covers the installation and performance from a task switching perspective.  It also covers how these apps perform in real world use.  As you will see, both have some strengths and weaknesses.

Check out the full review at Smartphonegurus


Review of WordPress for Windows Phone

Whether you know it or not, as you read this you are viewing it on a WordPress powered blog.  I moved to WordPress a few years ago as it brought me the power to add social media integration, easier management and much faster posting times.  I can actually thank Judie Stanford over at Gear Diary for first turning me on to WordPress.

As one who is constantly on the go, the ability to quickly edit posts here on the site is important as well as being able to monitor comments that come in as well.  Fortunately the official WordPress app for Windows Phone allows me to do that and more.  It is an amazingly powerful app, allowing me to edit posts and pages, monitor and approve comments and even view site stats.  Plus the app supports Mango so I can pin each of my blogs as a Live Tile on my Start screen.  It is by far more powerful than the iPhone version of the WordPress app and more stable.  If you have your own blog or are thinking about starting one, WordPress and the WordPress app for Windows Phone are the way to go.

Review of RunKeep for Windows Phone

Over the course of the last two years I have on a non-stop path to health.  I’ve lost nearly 70 lbs through watching my diet, regular exercise and just generally taking better care of myself.  Part of that exercise plan has been walking.  I try to walk at least 10 miles per week along with other with other types of exercise (Dance Central on XBox anyone?).

The app I have been using to help me keep track of my walking has been RunKeeper.  I started using it when I was using an iPhone as my daily phone and now that I’ve moved back to Windows Phone, it was one of the first apps that I downloaded from Marketplace.  The app, which ties into the RunKeeper website, uses my phone’s GPS to track my walking while I’m on the go then stores the information on the RunKeeper site so I have a historical record of my walks and overall progress.  Frankly I loved this app on my iPhone and after using the app on my Windows Phone, I have to say that I like it even better.

The app, like the RunKeeper service itself, is free and provides you real time information as you walk, run, bike, hike, ski, skate, mountain bike or allows you to enter information as you work on an elliptical amongst other activities.  It is both accurate in the calorie count and distances measured, something that is a must have in this type of app.  Add that to an impressive Live Tile function and you have a winning app that will help you track your exercise and keep you motivated.

Review of The Insider App for Windows Phone

When Windows Phone 7 was release last year, along with the new Operating System and Phones came Marketplace, the on-device and now web based place for you to buy applications for your device.  At the time, the pickings in Marketplace were a bit thin but that has quickly changed.  Now there are over 35,000 apps in Marketplace and Windows Phone is quickly gaining the attention of developers worldwide.

One of the best apps, especially for those who are new to Windows Phone, is Insider, an app from Microsoft.  Insider brings a wealth of information to users as well as new and fresh content each month.  Late in October 2011 the app was updated to support Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) with better task-switching functionality and general stability improvements.  Insider provides users with five primary areas of information and content:  Tips, Apps, Games, Ringtones and Wallpapers.

Insider App Main Menu

Insider App Main Menu

To navigate to a section of the app, slide left or right in the app or tap the name of the section you want to visit.  Each of these are updated nearly on a daily basis with the notable exception being Ringtones which is updated about every month.  The best part about Insider is that it along with its content are free.

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