Friday, February 25, 2011
Posted by Steven McPherson in "Windows Phone Software" @ 08:00 AM
One of the most exciting things about the Windows Phone 7 platform and (quite frankly) keys to its success are the applications and content made available by developers for this platform. As applications continue to come in droves to the Windows Phone marketplace weekly its tough to cut through the noise and find applications that are truly worthwhile . I'm hoping to provide a weekly update on my favorites. This isn't to say that I'm going to review all the apps out there. There are far to many to review but I will highlight the ones that I see as valuable in my daily dealings.
I'm highlighting 4 new apps this week; one RSS reader, a shopping list application, a radio tuner application, and finally, for fun, a paint application. First up is an app called "TuneIn Radio".
This is an app that I've been waiting for. Already a hit on iPhone, Android and Blackberry, this app will blow your socks off if you love radio. While I think the UI on this app could use some cleanup the functionality is beyond what I expected. This app enables you to stream local and national radio. So far in testing, it appears to work with both AM and FM radio stations. You are able to select music or talk radio you would like to hear by category, so you won't be hunting for long for something to listen to. This is a really great app.
This is one of the cleanest and easy to use RSS readers that I've seen to date on Windows Phone. I'm an avid Feed Reader, Weave and Next Gen Reader user and while I love all of these apps for their unique features, Feed Me is simple and easy to use. It may not have the Twitter, etc. integration that Feed Reader has, but its clean and simple UI is not only easy to read but I find that organizing feeds in this app is by far the easiest of the four that I have used. If you read a lot of feeds daily like I do and want to be able to easily prioritize what you read this app is great. Feed Me does support emailing of feeds that you'd like to share with friends and colleagues. The app leverages the built in Windows Phone 7 email accounts so there should be a limited learning curve in use.
I find myself really wanting to like this application. Its simple clean UI it's real attraction. I used the app for a couple of days and found that it was a bit to rigid for my tastes. The "auto-fill" feature is really interesting but I think there should be away to shut it off. To me it appears to slow down the performance of the app and ultimately the ability to enter lists quickly and easily. Otherwise it seems like a great app that could actually be re-purposed for lists as a whole with some minor tweaks, not just for keeping shopping list. Organization of list is simple, clear and there's no ambiguity of which list is which. If the developer would give you a method to toggle the "auto-fill" feature on and off, I would say this one is a hit. Otherwise, this app seems a little tedious.
Paint App for Kids This is a simple and highly addictive app if you have any artistic capability at all. There's something soothing about just finger painting and this app certainly converts that thought to the digital arena. The ability to include pictures and paint mustaches on your friends is by far the best bit about this app. This app could get you into trouble depending with how you use the picture/paint feature set.