Make it home for Christmas
Shoot and win!
change it up
What is it?
New feature in Windows Phone
New Windows Phone update
Edit videos on the go
It's been a busy week for Windows Phone navigation apps. First we see NAVIGON released that brings on-board maps to your Windows Phone to eliminate the need for a data connection for route calculations and maps. Now we see GPSTuner, developer of Outdoor Navigator and Turn by Turn Navigation, release a new version of Turn by Turn that also includes offline maps.
But wait, the original version of Turn by Turn had downloadable maps. True, but the process was a little cumbersome and the original version still required a data connection for routing and for the times you strayed from the map shot you downloaded.
The new version of Turn by Turn Navigation allows you to choose regional maps to eliminate the need for a data connection. This also allows you to minimize storage requirements by allowing you to choose what maps are downloaded. If you never stray from the Western US, why should you tie up storage with East Coast maps?
The app itself has changed very little (you do have a new search function) but the performance is noticeably improved with the addition of on-board, offline maps. To see how Turn by Turn Navigation US + Canada managed the open road, move on past the break.
Looking for a photo editor for your Windows Phone? CleverPhoto is a simple, yet comprehensive photo editor for your Windows Phone. The user interface is straight forward and the tools offer you plenty of options to fine tune your images.
When you first launch CleverPhoto you are given the choice of launching the camera app to capture your photo or select a picture to edit from you Pictures Library. Once you've captured or selected a photo, you're taken directly to the editing chamber.
To see what all you can do with CleverPhoto, snap on past the break.
NAVIGON hit the Windows Phone Marketplace a few days ago with mixed reactions. Some felt the navigational app was a really nice addition to the Marketplace while others were hesitant on the price. Some felt that having an option to download specific maps might help take the bite out of the hefty price tag.
Speaking of which, let me break the news to you right out of the gate in case you've missed it. The $29.99 price tag for the U.S. version of NAVIGON is an introductory price. After November 15, 2011 the price jumps up to $49.99. European introductory pricing is set at 59.49 Euros until November 15th and then the price jumps to 84.99 Euros.
With the price being amongst the highest for a Windows Phone app, it's natural to ask "Is it worth it?". Especially when lower priced alternatives are out there that can navigate you around town pretty darn well in their own right.
Over the past few days, we took NAVIGON out for a test drive and ease on past the break to see how things measured up. See if that $29.99 (soon to be $49.99) is a deal or a steal.
Minesweeper as we know it was created in 1990 and has been bundled with every new version of Windows since 1992. The mobile Xbox Live version, developed by Babaroga and published by Microsoft, is one of the first two free ad-supported games for Xbox Live and the first to be available in regions outside of North America. This game shares much in common with its fellow free game Sudoku, though the actual gameplay is completely different, with a much higher learning curve. Get past that and you’ll find an enjoyable logic puzzle game.
Step carefully over the mines and past the break for our full review.
I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing three mobile Xbox Live physics puzzlers so far: iBlast Moki, Tiki Towers, and Enigmo. Now that IUGO’s popular Implode! has come to the Windows Phone, could the genre be getting too crowded for its own good? That depends on how much you like a cerebral challenge. After braving Implode!’s vast quantity of levels, I’m pleased to report that my brain has yet to be tapped out. More importantly, Implode! is good enough and different enough to justify its place on the platform.
Put on your hard hat and head past the break for our full review.
There are many different approaches to adapting traditional genres to mobile platforms. Take platformers, for example. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 brings an Xbox 360 title to Windows Phone with touch-screen controls. I love the game, but some people either can’t or don’t want to adapt to touch-screen controls. Doodle Jump, designed purely for mobile phones, simply relies on tilt-control to steer its ever-jumping hero from platform to platform. Gravity Guy from Miniclip falls somewhere between the two extremes.
Flip past the break for our full review.
How much do Xbox Live Achievements affect your enjoyment of a game? The best Achievements enhance the gameplay experience, simultaneously rewarding progress and encouraging players to experience the game in new ways. Sometimes we see games whose Achievement difficulty doesn’t match their casual nature – Doodle Jump and Harbor Master to name only two. There are also poor games whose only redeeming value is the easiness of their Achievements (hello, Butterfly!). And then comes Collapse! from GameHouse. A good game with easy Achievements, but there is such a thing as too easy.
Head past the jump for our full review.
After the huge disappointment of 3D Brick Breaker Revolution from Digital Chocolate, I wasn’t exactly eager to play any more of their games. That title sported an awful 3D graphics engine, poor controls, and overly difficult gameplay and Achievements. Surprisingly, Digital Chocolate’s other Xbox Live title, Tower Bloxx: New York is far less offensive. It’s still nothing special, but fans of casual games may enjoy it.
Climb the stairs past the break for our full review.
For those who have never gotten used to the Bluetooth headsets and still need a hands-free solution for their Windows Phone, enter the Bluetooth Speakerphone. Jabra makes a nice assortment of speakerphones and today we turn our sights on to the Jabra Drive.
The Jabra Drive is a basic Bluetooth speakerphone that is solidly built, has just enough features to make it appealing and decent call quality. Moderately priced at $49.95, the Drive might be a good choice for those looking for a hands-free solution that doesn't have too many bells and whistles. To see how well the Drive performed, follow the break.
Here’s something I’ve been wishing Windows Phone would get for quite a while: a Roku remote control app. It’s called WPRemote for Roku and it comes from indie developer Localyf. (Note that this app was previously called ROKUbox before the Roku company asked Localyf to change its name.)
“What’s a Roku?” you might wonder. That’s what I love about you, dear reader – your inquisitive nature.
Had past the break for our full review.
We first mentioned Hyper Defence XT when it first hit the beta stages. The Windows Phone game has now hit the open Marketplace and our first impressions hold true.
Not much has changed with Hyper Defence XT since we last visited the pre-release version. The tower defense game is set in the fictional Outpost 26 where you have to defend the outpost from invading aliens. There are a wide assortment of weapons to buy and upgrade to wipe out the invading hords.
Continued after the break.
The developers of Juice Factory have a new Windows Phone game over at the Marketplace. Bobble Biker is a motorcycle race game that has you navigate through a series of jumps, bumps and hazards without crashing or losing your head.
Bobble Biker has the multi-level race game, a race track creator and access to other user-created race tracks. Along the way you can earn cash to unlock addition bikes, upgrades and get new racers.
To read more on Bobble Biker, make the jump past the break.
For those who aren't aware of Pro Evolution Soccer (PES), it's a series of football (soccer to some parts of the world) games by Konami that began back in 2001. It sports similar gameplay to the likes of Fifa by EA Games, but is put down by lack of licensing. PES2011 for Windows Phone is no exception with a handful of teams sporting unlicensed names – Man Red (Manchester United) and Man Blue (Manchester City) to name but a few.
Don't allow the above to put you off from trying PES2011 out, it really is a superb football sim for Windows Phone. There are a number of game types available including quick match, exhibition, UEFA club competition and leagues & cups with fairly challenging gameplay and intelligent AI. Head on past the break for the quick run through and video goodness.
As described over at the Windows Phone Marketplace, 8tracks is a handcrafted internet radio for your Windows Phone. The Mango app offers a simple way to discover and share music through an online mix that contains at least eight tracks of music. The eight is actually the infinity symbol ( ∞ ), representing infinite music but "eight" is easier to type.
The 8tracks concept is rather interesting. You sign up for a free membership (here's their website), upload your favorite tunes in mixes (playlist for us old timers), and add them to 8tracks collection for all to enjoy. The Windows Phone app, taps into this collection and brings the mix to your phone.
The 8tracks app lays things out rather nicely with the ability to listen to established music mixes, create your own mix, as well as search the online library by artist or genre.
To see how well 8tracks performs, hit the jump past the break.