roundup

Magma Mobile is a gaming developer that has quietly built up a rather impressive and popular portfolio of Windows Phone games. Many of the gaming titles are great time wasters with challenging game play and nice graphics.

For this weekend's Windows Central Roundup, we have plucked a few of the top rated games from Magma Mobile's collection to spotlight. You can find the full, 40 game collection through this link or simply by searching Magma Mobile in the Windows Phone Store.

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While the Microsoft Band is still somewhat limited in availability, the number of Windows Phone apps with support for the Band is growing at a decent pace. Sure, most are customization apps but being able to have the Band fit your personality and style is not a bad thing.

While we have a Windows Central page dedicated to Microsoft Band apps, we thought it was time to highlight some of the top Windows Phone apps designed for the Microsoft Band in this week's roundup. Plus, seeing that the Band is becoming available outside the U.S. as well as through Amazon.com, Best Buy and other third party retailers we expect more of our readers will be curious as to what apps are out there.

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The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament begins today and for those who partake in March Madness there are a few Windows Phone apps in the Store to help you survive all the highs and lows of the games.

March Madness, for those not familiar, is one of the most popular sporting events around. Seventy-two teams will compete over the next few weeks to ultimately crown a NCAA Men's Basketball Champion. The event will generate billions in revenue and millions will be lost in job productivity due to everyone calling in sick to watch the games.

The number of apps exclusive to the NCAA Tourney have slimmed down a bit over the years but we were able to find a few for this roundup that should only help contribute to the chaos we know as March Madness.

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The Windows Phone Store shelves are lined with a vast assortment of weather apps - some good, some bad. They come in an equally vast assortment of styles from the feature rich to those that deliver just the basics on the weather.

Spring is around the corner and in many parts of the U.S. that means it is time for severe weather. Many of these weather apps will help you keep in tune with the conditions in your area and help you prepare for what Mother Nature has in store. Severe weather aside, these apps can also help you year round with trip planning to finding a rain free day to mow the yard.

The Windows Phone Store has a Weather Collection that has a nice selection of weather apps and while we plucked a few from this Collection for this week's roundup, we are also highlighting a few weather apps outside the Collection that we have found to be useful.

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The 2015 Formula One racing season kicks off today in Australia with practice rounds for the Australian Grand Prix. While NASCAR is king in my neck of the woods, the open wheel racers have just as strong of a following globally.

In recognition of the start of the 2015 Formula One season, it was suggested by one our readers (thanks Harry) that we put together a roundup of the Windows Phone apps that will help you keep track of all the Formula One races. All of the apps listed will deliver news, standings, stats and racing schedules to your Windows Phone. The collection has a nice range of designs and some are also available for Windows 8 devices.

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One of the more popular genres of Windows Phone games are the shooter games. Whether it is a first-person shooter or an arcade styled shooter, these games can be addictive, entertaining and a fantastic way to pass the time with.

With the popularity of the movie American Sniper, we were curious if there were any long distance shooting games available in the Windows Phone Store. For this week's roundup, we will take a look at some of the top rated shooter games that focus more on your ability to reach out and smack your target from a distance. The games will test your speed, patience and ability to hold your aim steady.

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Twitch is a popular website that allows players to livestream games from their computers and Xbox One or Playstation 4 consoles. Watching someone play a game on Twitch lets you see a lot more of a game than you could from a trailer or video review. Every Twitch channel offers a live chat room, making the act of watching a stream a social experience. The host (the person playing) can even speak to viewers. It's like a live interactive podcast centered around videogames!

As regular Windows Central readers know, we do plenty of Twitch streaming ourselves through my channel Twitch.tv/Eastxtwitch – four or five nights per week, in fact! It's important to us that you be able to view and enjoy our streams. Unfortunately, Twitch does not offer an official Windows Phone app and our phones can't natively play Twitch streams. Thus we must look to unofficial Twitch apps for our phones of choice.

Not all of the unofficial Twitch apps for Windows Phone are created equal. I've put the five current best apps through their paces: 8Stream, Infinite Game Stream, LiveGaming, "Twitch TV," and Unstream. Read on to learn how they compare and which app is the best in its class.

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A few years ago, Microsoft partnered with Nokia and Aalto University to create the AppCampus. The initiative was created to help developers build new content for Windows Phone and has had tremendous success.

Some of the alumni of the AppCampus include Project Tripod, Dark Lands, Mash&Co. and Zombies got a Pogo. The collection of apps has grown so that the Windows Phone Store has an AppCampus Showcase Collection to highlight a few of the games that have darkened the campus hallways.

We have touched on this Collection before and felt it was time to revisit things and shine the spotlight on a few of these Windows Phone games for this week's Windows Central roundup.

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While we will see a few complaints here and there, for the most part the Windows Phone Store is full of quality gaming titles from independent developers and the larger software companies. One of the more popular companies is Gameloft.

Gameloft's gaming portfolio contains over forty gaming titles, most of which are rated at four stars or better. Sure, you have some flops like Captain America: TWS but for the most part Gameloft's titles are worth having in your Windows Phone gaming library.

For this week's roundup, We've plucked four of the gaming titles from Gameloft's collection that include a war game, city builder, a puzzle game and a Medieval sports game. We'll also toss out a few honorable mentions for good measure and as always, we have the comments ready and waiting for your recommendations.

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Windows Central Roundup: Top Windows 8 Games

We are taking a slight change of pace for this week's roundup. Instead of focusing on apps for Windows Phone, we are going to take a look at a few of the top rated Windows games.

An HP Stream 8 tablet was left under the tree with my name on it this past Christmas. While my Windows Phone is my primary device for gaming these days, I'm finding the 8" Windows tablet can hold its own rather well. I think in many respects a tablet is more amenable to gaming than a laptop or desktop, especially when touch screen controls are in play.

I've plucked four gaming titles from the Windows Store (plus a few honorable mentions) that I have found to be nice gaming options when you need the elbowroom a tablet offers. Many of these gaming options are available for your Windows Phone and I'll add the download links with those titles for the Windows Phone Store and make not if the version is available for low-memory Windows Phones.

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Windows Central Roundup: Top Rated Windows Phone Ninja Games

Ninjas are a popular subject for games and the Windows Phone Store has a handful of top rated games that feature these stealthy characters. Many are action oriented Windows Phone games that will test your skills at strategy, reflexes and speed.

We pulled four of the top rated ninja styled games from the Windows Phone Store to highlight for this week's roundup. We tried to offer a variety of titles that include a platformer, a fighting game and a pair of target practice games. All come across entertaining ways to pass the time with nice graphics and challenging game play.

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Windows Central Roundup: My Top Windows Phone Photography Apps

For those new to Windows Phone it will not take long to discover that there is an abundance of photography apps available in the Windows Phone Store. Some will argue that there is an overabundance of photography apps in the Store.

Luckily, most of the titles in the Windows Phone Store are capable photography apps. For those new to Windows Phone, it may be tough to figure out where to start building your photo app collection. This week's roundup highlights a small group of apps that I think any Windows Phone shutterbug should have installed on their Windows Phone. They aren't the only game in town but for me, they are at the top of the list.

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Windows Central Roundup: Windows Phone Collection - New Year's Checklist

We have touched on several of the Windows Phone Store Collections over the past year and for those not familiar, these collections are an assemblage of Windows Phone apps and games from a particular theme or genre. Such as Disney games, shopping apps and children's games.

These collections are great for those just learning their way around the Windows Phone Store and for the more seasoned Windows Phone users who might need a few friendly suggestions on an app or gaming title.

With the New Year only being a few days old, for this week's roundup we are turning our sights on the New Year's Checklist collection for this week's Windows Phone roundup. This collection contains Windows Phone apps that might help your New Year's Resolution last a little while longer. The collection has apps to help you with your fitness, finance, organization and other goals that are popular themes for resolutions.

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Some Windows Phone apps to help you say farewell to 2014 and welcome the New Year with a few drinks.

As everyone prepares to bring in the New Year, we thought a Windows Phone app roundup of mixology apps would be in order. Many are planning social gatherings where you'll need to showcase your bartending abilities or maybe there will be those who would like to impress their dates by ordering a fancy beverage while out on the town. These apps will help with both tasks.

We've got a few mixed drink apps and a few beer apps for those who prefer the brewery to the distillery.  As always, if we missed your favorite cocktail or beer app please feel free to sound off in the comments. There are plenty alternatives available in the Windows Phone Store and we picked the ones that jumped off the screen at us.

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Windows Central Roundup: Top Windows Phone Endless Runner Games

Endless runner games can be an entertaining way to pass the time and the Windows Phone Store has plenty titles to choose from. The gaming concept is simple, run your character for as long as you can while ducking, dodging, jumping and diving under a wide sundry of obstacles.

While the concept sounds simple, there are hordes of variations available and for this week's roundup I'll share my top Windows Phone endless runner games. These are some of my "go-to" titles when I'm in the mood for a quick gaming fix or need a little help passing short bits of time. These titles can also carry the weight when the urge for longer gaming spells hits.

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Windows Central Roundup: Popular Windows Phone Holiday Apps and Games

Tis the season to be jolly and there are a boatload of Windows Phone games and apps available in the Store to help bring in the Holiday Spirit. From apps that countdown the time to games that feature the jolly old elf, the Windows Phone Store is quickly seeing Holiday apps and games popping up on the shelves.

We scoured the Windows Phone Store aisles for a handful of the top rated Holiday apps and games for this week's Windows Phone roundup. We'll also toss in a few games that are popular year round but recently received an update to give the title a little Holiday spirit.

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Windows Central Roundup: Top Rated Windows Phone Action/Adventure Games

Casual gaming on your Windows Phones has its merit. Word and puzzle games can have a laid back feel that can help you pass the time and exercise your brain. While there is a certain appeal to the slower paced games, we all need a little fast-paced action from time to time. Enter the Action/Adventure aisle of the Windows Phone Store.

For this week's roundup, we combed through the Action/Adventure section of the Windows Phone Store and pulled out five of the higher rated games from the Store's shelves. Some are more action packed than others but all should appeal to our need for strategy and action gaming. For added measure, I'll add a few personal favorites that you may want to try as well.

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Windows Central Roundup: Top Disney Windows Phone Games

Over the past few years, Disney has quietly built a nice collection of games in the Windows Phone Store. They stand out in part because of the popularity the main characters that inspire these games as well as the quality of the games themselves.

We sifted through the twenty some odd Disney games currently available in the Windows Phone Store and plucked half a dozen of the top rated titles to highlight in this week's roundup. All can be entertaining titles to have in your Windows Phone gaming library to help you pass the time and cure that video game itch.

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Windows Central App Roundup: Windows Phone Shopping Apps

Even though many retailers got a jump on things this year, yesterday marked the traditional beginning of the Holiday Shopping Season. Deals will be popping up all over the place over the next few weeks and there are plenty of Windows Phone apps in the Store that can help you sort it all out.

The Windows Phone Store has a Collection of apps to help make choosing the right app a little easier. The Holiday Shopping Collection has a few dozen apps to help you shop online, keep track of those discount cards, find deals and more. We've plucked four of the top rated apps from this Collection for this week's roundup, plus a few that are outside the Collection.

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Windows Central App Roundup: Top Rated Windows Phone camera apps

This week's Windows Central roundup is going to take on a slightly different twist. We want to know what your favorite Windows Phone camera alternative is. The native Windows Phone camera app is a capable camera app but we also have several equally capable alternatives in the Windows Phone Store. We will highlight some of the more popular choices and at the end of the roundup, we have a reader's poll to see what you guys and gals think.

These are Windows Phone photography apps that are camera apps first and editors second. We aren't including apps that are focused on photo-editing (even though you can launch a camera app from within) such as Photoshop Express, Fhotoroom, Fantasia Painter, Black and others. All are fine titles in the Windows Phone Store but we are looking at apps that can replace the native Windows Phone camera app.

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