editor's choice

Editor's Choice for best Reddit client

We’re big fans of Reddit (reddit.com). It provides hours of entertainment, knowledge and general distractions for life. So far, our favorite client for Windows Phone has been the powerful Baconit, a superb demonstration of Windows Phone coding that also makes using Reddit a breeze. We also really enjoy Baconography, another fantastic offering.

However, today, we have what is arguably the most striking Reddit client yet: Readit, from Message Across Studios. We’re not going to pull any punches here: Readit’s design is one of the top we’ve seen for any Windows Phone app, let alone one dedicated for Reddit. You can toss it up there with 627.am, Simple Calendar, Vieather and anything by Rudy Huyn. (Actually, we know why we like it, as it reminds us very much of Amazon’s Kindle app.). 

Watch our video review below and see why it’s so great.

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My Editor's Choice for third-party Twitter apps gets another fantastic update

We all have our favorite Twitter apps on Windows Phone. Mine is Tweet It!

Sure, the official Twitter app is a looker but if you need something with a little more power, you turn to third-party apps to deliver. Tweet It! is that app for me because not only does it look great, but it has some unique and clever features that no other Twitter app can boast. In fact, I’m always calling it ‘clever’ and version 7.0.2.0 is no different.

So what’s so cool about Tweet It! that has me using all of these descriptors? Head past the break to see what’s new.

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OneShot, developed by Andy Stumpp, has quickly become one of our go-to apps for snapping photos on Windows Phone 8. With each update, the app becomes more user friendly, adds new features and brings new innovation.

The last time we visited this app was back one month ago when version 2.0 landed. Today, version 3.0 has gone live and if you know anything about version numbers that’s a big one.

So what’s new in 3.0? You’ll have read on to find out, but if you like taking photos, you’ll certainly want to see what’s new.

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Every once in a while, we come across a developer who really grabs our attention, whose creations make us go ‘whoa’. Today, that developer is vivmotion, who has a small collection of very impressive, visually pleasing and highly useful apps for common everyday tasks.

Because of just how fantastic these apps are, we’re doing a triple threat post highlighting all of them as they truly show off, in our opinion, the Windows Phone design aesthetic. You can read below or just to skip to our hands on video to see them in action.

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One of our top calendar apps for Windows Phone 8 would be the aptly name Simple Calendar. The replacement scheduler app has one of the nicest looking Live Tiles that we’ve come across and the unpretentious UI makes using it a breeze to operate.

Version 2.4 just went live in the Store and it finally brings small and medium versions of the Gob and Frodo themed tiles, allowing you to customize the look even more. While version 2.4 isn’t a major overhaul, it does bring with it a lot of small but tremendously useful additions.

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Windows Phone 8 currently doesn’t suffer from a lack of high quality photography apps, but that doesn’t mean all are created equal. OneShot, which we’ve covered in the past, was one of the first indie apps to make use of Nokia’s new imaging SDK and today it received a major update.

Version 2.0 is now live in the Store and as the new milestone marker implies, there’s a lot of new features here to report. While OneShot’s earlier claim to fame was “live filters”, the new version tosses in many new tweaks and useful tools that has made it a highly recommended purchase.

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As the Windows Phone ecosystem grows, manufacturers will continually look for ways to expand and differentiate amongst themselves. One easy way for them to do so is with custom OEM Stores like the Nokia Collection or Samsung Zone.

The problem is with Windows Phone, you can’t force check for app updates, even for “system apps” like Samsung’s call blocker or Nokia’s Display + Touch. Sure you can wait the 24 hours for the Store tile to display an update, and that’s fine for most users, but let’s face it: if you’re reading this site, you want the latest and greatest now. This is especially true for Lumia owners since Nokia’s updates are known for enabling new, unannounced features making their occasional updates more like little birthday presents.

That's why SysApp Pusher is our must-have app this week.

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We’re not huge on stopwatch apps for Windows Phone if only because there are so many of them it makes it hard to pick the top ones. Often enough, it comes down to which you think is the prettiest, which let’s be honest, is slightly subjective.

However, we’re making an exception today for a special app: Avirall. For one, it’s feature packed, so much so, we’ve barely figured out all of the app’s capabilities. There’s an interesting selling point: it has so many features, it’s almost overwhelming. The other reason we’re mentioning it is the app was just launched and it is temporarily free—at least for the first 10,000 downloads. We hear that the app will fetch for $3.50 regularly, so free is a big deal here.

As you can discern from our quick video review (below), Avirall has some of the most impressive graphics we’ve seen. It’s 98% Modern UI with a splash of a super realistic stopwatch, complete with “working” buttons that click when you enable them.

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While there’s no shortage of solid photo editing apps for Windows Phone 8, for those who are about ot plunge in with the Lumia 1020 (or if you picked up a Lumia 925 this week), you’ll want to know what is the best. Certainly Nokia’s own Creative Studio is a must have but it’s also not as fully comprehensive as some may want.

Fotor, an app we’ve covered in the past, has gone to version 2.0 today and it has received quite a nice overhaul. So nice in fact that we’re calling it the top photo editing app you can get right now. Best of all? It doesn’t cost a dime. Completely free and as far as we can tell, no ads either.

The standout feature of Fotor is its design. It’s gorgeous. If you’re a fan of the Modern UI as much as we are, then you’ll be delighted with the Live Tile and when you launch the app. Upon starting her up, you’ll be greeted with two big buttons: Edit or Collage (check out these other collage apps) Edit takes you to your photo library and Collage lets you select various templates from two-photo collages up to a whopping nine.

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When it comes to the calendar app on Windows Phone, there are generally two camps: those who don’t mind it and those who yearn for a different, more configurable experience. And let’s face it, a lot of that comes down to how complicated (and scheduled) your life is.

Simple Calendar, currently available for Windows Phone 8 as a free app, is about to get a nice update to version 2.0. We’ve been using it over the weekend and you can color us impressed.

Check out our video below to see what's coming next!

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While Pandora made a big splash when it came to Windows Phone 8 earlier this year, MetroRadio had been around for much longer offering access to the same service. Back then, it would occasionally break as it used non-standard APIs to access the Pandora library. That has now been fixed, amongst other things, with the latest must-have update.

There are currently two versions of MetroRadio—one free, one paid—and the free one was updated last night with the paid receiving the same update a few weeks ago. It’s not a minor update either, as the app has been completely re-written with a new, simpler UI.

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Like shoes, Twitter clients are a personal preference where one size doesn’t fit all. We all have our favorites and Tweet It! happens to be one of mine. It’s fast, smooth, packed with features and just has a lot of personality.

Version 5.6.5.0 just landed in the Store and it brings some significant and important changes to charming Twitter client, including continued support for Windows Phone 7.x and 8 users.

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3D pinball at its finest

Last week we highlighted the new pinball game Dr. Pickaxe as one of our new favorite games for Windows Phone. Developed by Tainicom (who also made The Juggler), the game was on special for $0.99 during its first week and received our 'Editor's Choice' distinction.

Unfortunately that game had a tiny bug in it resulting in the first few games registered under ‘trial’ even after purchased. Even though it only had a limited effect the bug was quickly identified and a v1.01 was pushed out—but then Microsoft held up publication due to their own woes and so the game was hidden until fixed.

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Pinball: Just one fix...

Although we’re still waiting on that pesky Xbox LIVE game to go…well live, we have something else to keep you gamers happy: Pinball League’s Dr. Pickaxe. If that name sounds familiar it’s because there’s a previous pinball game by the same company, Tainicom, called Pinball League - The Juggler. This game just hit the Windows Phone Store and we’re in love.

First off, we should note that we’re huge pinball fans. Pinball FX2 on Xbox 360 is our illicit drug of choice and we’re dying to get it on Windows Phone (see our interview with the developer for news on that front). In the meantime, Dr. Pickaxe is fullfilling our deepest wizard desires by offering a solid sequel to their previous effort.

Check out our quick video review after the break...

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If you listened to this week's podcast, you may have heard me mention my new favorite app, remembeReel for Windows Phone.

I'm a big fan of movies and tend to watch between 3-5 a week, even while working two jobs. One of my problems though is remembering all the things I've watched, especially since I often take forays into international, independent and odd little motion pictures, hence my need for this app. (By the way, check out a film called 'PontyPool' on Netflix, really interesting). remembeReel is free, has no ads is fast and fluid and well thought out.

remembeReel simply allows you to type in the movie you're watching (or watched), it checks it against Rotten Tomatoes (site) and pulls down the info for you. With one tap, you save it to your list. A few more taps and you can add it to your 'favorites', add notes, punch in the date and share it via Twitter, Facebook, Live, etc. Not only can you share it but it'll provide the URL for the listing on Rotten Tomatoes so others can quickly read-up on what you've just watched. Brilliant. You can also sort by title or date-viewed which is convenient.

One of the coolest aspects though is the SkyDrive integration. With a simple tap you can back up your whole catalog to the cloud for safe keeping (or if like me, so you can sync it with your other phones). I'm glad to see more developers taking advantage of the SkyDrive APIs and hope to see more of this type of backup solution for other "catalog apps" in the future.

The app even has a Live Tile, flipping around to show you the last movie you entered into the database. While it wasn't necessary, we really dig these little aspects.

If I could request any improvements, it would be to have a calendar function where I can see my entries or if possible, Live calendar integration for saving. Another recommendation: instead of a single star for "favorite", maybe a rating system so we can give a more refined personal review e.g. five-stars.  Finally, perhaps add in some store links so if I just watched a film an entered it I could quickly buy the DVD on Amazon, eBay, etc.

Of course that's just icing on the cake. For a version 1.1, remembeReel is a fantastic app and my Editor's Choice for this week. Pick it up here in the Marketplace for free.

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We have a lot of Twitter apps for Windows Phones and everyone has their preference. And while we're hard pressed to name one as the end-all, be-all we're going to give a strong endorsement here for Tweet it! from the developers My Amazing Big Fork. Reasons?

  1. It has a lot of character--great animation effects, layout and a bold, unique design
  2. Lots of options and features not found on other Twitter apps

We've been using Tweet it! from its 1.0 days where it was a simple app that allowed you to just rapidly Tweet a message with a few clicks. But once it hit 2.x it received a major overhaul and a ton of features. Now sitting at v2.6, the app is really a fantastic option for those looking for something different, something that will make you smile when you use it. Some of the features of Tweet it! include:

  • Pinnable sub-sections: Drafts (offline support), Tweet direct, Timeline, Now playing (music) and photos (awesome Polaroid effect)
  • Modes - Night Mode (dimmed), Street mode (uses camera for background), Fast Tweet (pops up keyboard), Bed mode (orientation lock), Filters, etc.
  • Ringtones - yes, it even features two really good ringtones

There's even more, so take a look at the above video to get an idea. We're pretty smitten with the app and the dev seems keen on delivering regular updates (we really like the holiday/Christmas theme with the bird). We find it fast, smooth and like we said, it kind of makes us smile when we use it. The app has a free trial and can be had for a very reasonable $0.99. Highly recommend.

Pick it up here in the Marketplace and let us know in comments what you think.

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