This week’s app of the week for Windows Phone is Rowi, a Twitter app by Hidden Pineapple.
Many people would just say that you don’t need a Twitter app on a Windows Phone as it is already built into the OS. I personally love the Twitter integration that was added with Windows Phone 7.5 but, for some things such as actually reading my feed, it is not that great. So, after a while of struggling to keep up to date with all of the people that I legally stalk, I decided to download an app to use instead.
I started off with the official Twitter app for Windows Phone, which was horrendously bad, before going on to Birdsong which was better but still not that great. Eventually I came across Rowi, and everything changed. This little app is great, being incredibly simple to use and designed with a perfect Metro theme. When you open the app, your feed is the first thing you see and, with one swipe of the screen, you can see both your mentions and direct messages. You can even set it so that your notifications such as mentions and messages appear on a live tile. I think that the single most annoying thing about the Twitter website is that you have to manually update tweets, but Rowi auto-updates and, although new posts will appear while you are reading, the app leaves you where you are and just stacks the tweet on top of all the previously read ones. Now when you are reading what @JustinBieber was doing a week ago and a new tweet comes through, you don’t have to scroll all the way back down to where you were before.
Rowi, Windows Phone 7, £2.29
Download from the Marketplace or visit the website
Follow me on Twitter @huntho21 for random babble and cool stuff!
I’m sorry that I haven’t done an app of the week for a while, but I’ve been busy at this thing called school. But sitting here gated to my room on a Saturday night and listening to Garden by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs inspired me to get back to the work that really matters. Without further ado, this week’s app of the week is YouTube Pro.
This fantastic app is better than any of the other YouTube apps that I have personally tried, simply because it is the only one I have tried that allowed you to log in to your YouTube account. Upon opening the app, you are faced with a Metro style start screen, you then slide along the panorama to view things such as the top rated videos and your subscriptions. However most of the interesting stuff is located on the first screen. The ‘Recorded Page’, where you can take and upload videos from within the app is a very useful addition, and this along with the uploading page makes mobile uploading a great deal easier. Also, as you would expect, there are pages for your playlists, your downloads and many other features that have in fact been missing from most other apps that I have used. The actual video playback in this app is good also. Before playing a video, you are taken to a page where you are given a choice of what quality you wish to play it in, the description of the video, and the like and dislike buttons. The only problem that I have with this app is the fact that in order to play low quality video, you need to have the standard YouTube app installed, but after having downloading it I have had no more problems.
YouTube Pro is an excellent app which I recommend to any person both with or without a YouTube account.
YouTube Pro, Windows Phone 7, Free or 79p
Download from the Marketplace
First off, Spool, an innovative new add-on available on Firefox and Chrome, as well as being an app on iOS and Android. Think Instapaper but for EVERYTHING. Any media: video, text, pictures, all collected at the touch of a button and uploaded to the Spool servers, where you can enjoy them offline, on any supported device ‘in a clear format’. Using an innovative new ‘spoolbot’, all data is captured without the ads. Although the bot sadly has to watch all video before it can be uploaded, it’s still very impressive.
Even better; fretting about whether that video you just spooled was in Flash and so can’t be watched on your iPhone? Don’t! Spool automatically converts everything to HTML5 and so can be enjoyed on any device supported. We hope for a Windows Phone version as well as quicker upload times in the future. Best of all, right now it is in free, private beta. Don’t hesitate, join up now. If your interested, that link will give both you and me a shorter time of being accepted as the more people invited, the quicker the invite.
Today’s app of the week for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is Temple Run by Imangi Studios.
The best mobile games are ones that you just cannot put down with simple controls, and Temple Run hits the nail on the head in this respect. The game starts with you being given control of an explorer who has stolen an idol from a temple hidden deep inside a jungle. You have to run away from the vicious monkeys who want the idol back and, by swiping and tilting your device, you collect coins, slide under fire, jump over gaps and try to avoid smashing your face into a tree. Coins and power-ups are scattered around the place and are used to purchase upgrades to your character. Additional coins can be purchased in-game if you want them as well.
Temple Run is fantastic and addictive and that is precisely why, despite the fact that the game itself is free, it remains the top-grossing app in the UK App Store.
Temple Run, iOS, Free
Download from the App Store or visit the website
This week’s app of the week is Crazy Survival by Techsoft Ventures.
In this game you play as a small stick figure that has to avoid a large number of bouncing balls coming from the left of the screen. At the start of every game you have ten lives, with each hit removing one life. Although this is a simple idea, I have never played anything like it before. The simple controls (an arrow to each side of the screen) make getting good at this game fairly simple but mastering it is something completely different. My personal high score is only around 250 while the world record is in excess of 800.
This game is just what you need from a mobile game – quick, simple and addictive, and that is why we are proud to call it our first cross-platform app of the week.
But no Android. Sorry.
Crazy Survival, BlackBerry/iOS/Windows Phone, Free
Download now from the App World, App Store or Zune Marketplace
For our first Android app of the week, I have chosen Launcher 7 by Timo Kujala.
This app is a perfect cure for those of us that have #droidrage and crave a Windows Phone. It replaces whatever launcher you have, in my case HTC Sense 1.0 for Android, with a smooth interface that looks just like that of Windows Phone 7. While you don’t get the full OS, you do get a live tile for your contacts and some bitmap images to use as app icons such as a smiley face for the messaging app and the IE logo for the browser. The status bar takes on a WP7 look when you are on the home screen and widgets are supported by being embedded in tiles. Most noticeably for me, however, Launcher 7 is less processor intensive than HTC Sense and other OEM skins and the phone therefore runs much faster in everything and multitasking actually works. While I struggle by with an HTC Wildfire, I assume that a slight performance improvement will be noticed on almost any Android device, be it a phone or tablet.
If you have an Android phone, download the free version of this. (You have to put up with 1 ad in the app list but it’s not obstructive or distracting.) You WILL love the Metro UI and then you will almost certainly want to get a Windows Phone at the earliest opportunity.
Launcher 7, Android, Free or £1.28
Download from the Android Market
2012’s first iOS app of the week is Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint.
This game is incredibly addictive. Based on the game of billiards, this game is pretty simple. You use your finger as a cue to connect discs of the same colour while creating shapes out of them and scoring bonus points from combos. 20 standard levels come with the game and the rest, along with 3 arcade modes and more to come in future updates, can be purchased with a ‘Skeleton Key’ at £2.49, which the developers say will soon increase in price due to the sheer amount of content that they have planned. Watch the first trailer below and hit the link to get the app if you have nothing planned for the next week as you try to get an ‘S’ in every level.
Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint, iOS, £0.69
Download here or visit the website