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Introducing Hidden Gems, our new series showcasing distinctive apps for Windows and Windows Phone!

Reporting and reviewing apps and games is part of our job at Windows Phone Central. Some of it is easy, like when a major app finally makes its way to our ecosystem, but if there's one thing we especially love, it's discovering an exceptional and unknown app. Often, it's you, our audience that brings them to our attention. Today, we're changing the tables around.

Starting tomorrow and running throughout the rest of June, we're partnering up with Microsoft to give away some great prizes and focusing on a select few apps and games that we think deserve some attention. They may for devices or services you are not aware of, they may be unique games, but they have all been handpicked.

The series is planned to run every day before noon Eastern Time, and they'll feature our cool little graphic (see below) so that you know it is part of the Hidden Gems program. We're also creating a main topic page, where you can view all the previous Hidden Gems articles in case you want to catch up. You can find that page here: www.wpcentral.com/hidden-gems, so make sure you bookmark it.

Contests

Besides bringing these apps to your attention, we figured we spice it up a bit too. So we're going to give away a prize.

Each. Day.

You read that correctly. Every day, you can enter the contest by simply leaving a comment on why you like (or don't like) the app or game we're highlighting. No need to pretend here folks, we and the respective developers, want your honest opinion. The only thing we do ask is for you to try and make your comments constructive. One-word comments are not going to cut it. If we're going to take the time to give away a phone or a tablet, the least you can do is write a sentence or two with an honest opinion, cool?

The contests are open worldwide.

At the end of the month, when everything is wrapped up, we'll do a massive winner's post, highlighting who won for each of the preceding days in one shot. That also means you can go back and enter the contest for previous Hidden Gems articles up until the end of the month, so don't fret about missing a day.

Hidden Gems is a big experiment for ourselves and Microsoft, though we're confident that we can deliver an exciting and unique campaign for you, our core audience. We're not expecting you to love everything we cover, but we're sure that you'll find something you like.

Helps us make this a fun series and join in!

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Reader comments

Introducing Hidden Gems, our new series showcasing distinctive apps for Windows and Windows Phone!

350 Comments

I saw that too. Yes I really did.
BTW, The graphics in the picture reminds me of PolyScreen... It really became too popular, specially among WPC members and editors

I'd love to see Bluestacks Mobile for Windows Phone 8.1 or maybe WP9. It would be pretty awesome and also a gem every wpuser sure will collect. Imagine emulating & running android apps just for fun (and showoff) :D 

You Mathee, with immediate effect are automatically disqualified from all of the future contests.:)

So im guessing for in regions where most phones are lock to a network we'll have a choice based on were we live/who our service provider is

Baah, if I win a phone, can I change it with a tablet? I have phones everywhere and our imports dont allow phones ;( Buuut wait. Mr Burak is on USA. Lemme think ;)

In some 3rd word countries our addresses are as follow:

Diagonally from where the old Texaco gas station used to be, down the street from the yellow house, in front of the mango tree

Sorry for popping your bubble, but México IS a 3rd world country

I live in México, I'm mexican, so don't get mad about it, but that's the truth 47.4% of the population is poor, so...

Those sound like directions i used to get when I was a Marine Corps recruiter, except that you didn't include the words "crick' "holler" and "yonder."

(I recruited in WV)

"Aight, you go down a ways, past the red painted rock, then turn left down the dirt roa'  . On the right you'll see a meat packing plant, on the left you'll see ol' man Wiggan's shack.  Go over the crick, past the windmill, and you'll come to a holler.  Make a left and a ways down the road over yonder on top of the hill, you'll see our farm.  You can't miss it."

That was an actual conversation I had with a parent so I could come interview his son for the Marine Corps.

So it's not just 3rd World countries...

I hope there's just as much focus on Windows 8 as Windows Phone, because I always find it hard to find decent apps for my tablet.

What exactly are you trying to find or do?

"decent" and "hard" are very subjective. For instance, my family has dish network. Dish has no apps for any windows platform, not even Xbox. But dish has apps for many other platforms, including ps3. Dish also has promotions with other tech firms.

Now I could switch to Comcast and get some added applications made available to the windows ecosystem, but my house's consensus is that dish is the better option.

I use that as one example of a well known Telco. But parity of conventional apps across various platforms will still be seemingly hard or difficult...

Do I find an application to supplement the completion of tasks I already do, or do I find new tasks to accomplish via an application?

That is the difficult question...

I'm looking into that issue now, if it's what I think it is and you disabled the live tile after enabling it, some users tell me clearing the app cache works. Others say a reinstall will fix the problem for you :)

Well, before we get all excited here, and since the partnership is with Microsoft (who still has NOT shipped the prizes of last October's Surface 2 launch contests), will it be US-ONLY or will it be open Worldwide?

Wow this sounds amazing. Hoping to learn about some cool apps I missed and maybe win something along the way. Looking forward to this.

I love this program. It seems like it'll be good for users, developers, WP Central, and Microsoft. Nice!!

Kudos people..... Sounds great. I don't surf the store too frequently, and 95% of my installs come via recommended apps on Central.

This is great, both the showcase for apps,  and the idea of having an opportunity to get some nice prizes. Im all IN!

For the contest.. add some kind of block on comments, so people can't comment 80 times. You said you need honest reviews, so.. at least for this series

This is a great idea; let's really hightlight the apps and work to make them better.  The contest is also really nice!

 

Also check out @wpscoops! They have a bunch of hidden gems that you guys have missed. Especially indie games such as pako, tales of the adventure company, and cube raider just to name a few.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Have a Windows Phone. 925 is my daily driver but I use my Nexus 5 when I'm around the house.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Looking forward to finding and trying out some of these hidden gems. Can imagine there being some great apps/games around!

Amazing! I knew that wpcentral was up to something, this is huge giveaway, or better say giveaways! This should also improve the brain storming for apps, since people will be required to be constructive in their comments

Not going to lie... this is simply an awesome way for Microsoft to engage with its community of devs and users and fans. Mad props to them. Great initiative!

If i get showcased, I'll give 100,000 coins to everyone. ps. Gonna update it tomorrow, it'll be legend- wait for it -dary.

Great ideia! Can't wait!

Please WP Central: If you get some contact from the developers that you'll review the games ask they to make their games available here in Brazil. I can help them.

Sign me up I'm in. I rarely ruin stuff so I'll try my best.
Ps. Please Microsoft get Cortana to the UK. I know you read this.

Awesome. I'm always looking at the little known apps as opposed to big names. Sometimes the devs tend to really put an effort into them instead instead of riding on a name and not caring.

I love this idea as well.  The prizes are a nice bonus but I'm really looking forward to seeing the apps.

Wooow! What a good idea! Live it! We get to know new apps and you're giving us the opportunity to win amazing prices! WPcentral for the win!

What countries can participate?

(We're still waiting for the "developers survey contest" that never show up results)

I'm liking this. There's always buried treasure to be uncovered in the Store.
Winning something would be icing on the cake.

Sweet !!! Looking forward to it!
Prizes-or-not I'm always looking for the good stuff & love hearing your take on it! :)

Seriously, thank you guys :)

My favorite is video, but there is one I hate an is because of it lack of features, I am talking about calculator it only has the basic, no it should be as smart as Android or IOS

Awesome!! Another contest!!! This site........................is................................................SO COOL!!! :D

Made an account just to lower everyone's chance of winning!
... Just kidding guys ;)

I had to create an account sooner or later, and this seemed like the perfect moment to do so.

Good luck and have fun everyone! :)

Constructive, hmmmm! I think this is a brilliant idea and you need to run it longer than the end of June. Keep up the great work, I read your articles every day.

not exactly original in the context of smart phone app articles but I have to praise you for finally putting a stop to the whole weather app feature. may we never see another weather app again!

The biggest reason you had so many weather apps is that was pretty much the only system API that developers had access to back in the early days.

More API access = more diverse apps.

This is awesome, I'm always looking for great apps in my WP that for some reason are not popular enough.

This is such a nice idea from you guys and the people from microsoft! I´m looking forward for some interesting stuff!

Sing:
"Summertime,
And the livin' is easy
Apps are jumpin'
And the chances are high"

That's awesome,
what a great way for prize giveaway and benefit at the same time from constructive user comments thus make the app(s) better and see what currently trends!
I'm all In!!

WPC + Microsoft = Awesomeness
Fantastic idea, really....
A win-win for all, developers, users, WP !!
Thank you very much for this opportunity.

Can't wait! This is pretty cool. Been following this site 2010. WPCentral has became a must have app for any WP. Literally the only place to get WP and even win rt app news. lol

Thank you for making the requirement more than one word and constructive. I *hate* all the "useless" talk around here. It offers nothing to the conversation.

Karaka! There's too much of us. We are really big nerds! After years complaining about MS, we look like cheerleaders. Kkkkkkk

Hi Daniel,

This is a great idea. It would help developers like me.

But my question is how do I get my latest apps to be reviewed and reported in this series? 

 

What a great comp. Just goes to show how popular this site has become that a competition of this magnitude can be run. All because of the great articles & reviews.
Keep up the great work lads. Think I'll have to make room on my 925 to install these gems. Good luck everyone.

I think this is a great idea. I am a relatively new WP user (about 3 months now) and will find information about apps very helpful since I haven't really had time to explore many of the ones I'm not already familiar with from my previous Android phones. I was an Android user for quite a few years and wanted to try something different. I'm glad I did. I like WP (Lumia 1020) a lot more than I expected.

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