A few weeks ago we started our Hidden Gems series in conjunction with Microsoft. The goal of the series is to highlight apps and games of high quality but that slip under the radar. Sure it is easy to write about big official apps, but it is these burgeoning services and games that are the heart of mobile today.

Currently, we are on a brief hiatus as we catchup on device release news, reviews and our usual content. However, two things: one, you can still enter our contests to win a new phone or tablet, and two, the series returns in the coming weeks!

Device giveaways!

We're partnering up with Microsoft to give away some great prizes, as each Hidden Gems article is its own contest. To enter, you merely have to leave a comment about the app or game being discussed. More importantly, we like to see substantive comments posted and not just "first!" or "gud", which aren't very helpful. The comments need not be full reviews, or even positive, you are free to criticize and offer ways in which it could be better too! (We do not grade the comment per se, just making sure it is more than a few words.)

Hidden Gems

Anyone in the world can enter, and if we randomly choose your comment, you can pick either a new Windows Phone (Lumia 930, anyone?) or tablet (Dell Venue Pro 8 sound good?), and we will send it out to you.

We are putting a deadline on the contest for next Wednesday, July 16 for this current series. So if you did not leave a comment yet, head back into our Hidden Gems and get to it!

Hidden Gems you may have missed

Our Hidden Gems can always be found on our dedicated page for it at www.wpcentral.com/hidden-gems. There you can find an overview of the of the program and previous apps mentioned.

Some of the great titles that we have covered, which have since received high praise in reviews from users include:

  • Levitagram – Use this app to create amazing photos where objects appear to be floating! Simple to use, free (for now) and not yet on Android, Levitagram is a ton of fun to blow the minds of your friends.
  • How to Cook Everything – Based off of the top selling book 'How to Cook Everything', this Windows Phone app is your one-stop recipe machine
  • Trainr – It is summer time for many, so it is time to get back into shape! Let Trainr get you started by teaching you the basic exercises you should be doing, including images on how to do them, goals you should aim for and a way to log your efforts.
  • PicsArt – PicsArt arrived for Windows Phone late last year, but did you know the app recently jumped to Windows 8? Perfect for your Surface, the PicsArt photo editor and social network is a great way to improve your images in addition to seeing what others are doing for inspiration. If you like apps that are Modern, look no further!

Moreover, there is even more Hidden Gems (and contests) so make sure you read up and enter!

There is more to come!

We have a handful of other apps coming in the next few weeks, ones that require a little more preparation from us (Hint: things with hardware). Once we kick that mini-segment off, that too has its own contests with the same criteria to enter, so there are even more chances to win!

We are also planning on making this a regular series (sans prizes) on a monthly basis, where we find apps and games that meet our standards, and we want to bring to your attention. So Hidden Gems lives on, just not on a daily basis.

Remember, each Hidden Gems article is its own giveaway, so make sure to read each one and comment to increase your chances! (Note: This article does not count towards the contest!)

Stay tuned for more!