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Oppo F11 Pro Android smartphone. Announced Feb 2019. Features 6.5″ LTPS IPS LCD display, Helio P70 chipset, 4000 mAh battery,
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Quick Overview
  • This Mobile runs on Android 9.0 (Pie); ColorOS 6 powered with Octa-core (4x2.1 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A53).
  • This Mobile has 48 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.3", 0.8µm, PDAF 5 MP, f/2.4, 1/5", 1.12µm, depth sensor and has Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0, 1/3.1", 1.0µm Secondary camera
  • This Mobile has 6.5 inches, 103.2 cm2 (~84.1% screen-to-body ratio) inches display LTPS IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors.
  • This Mobile has 64/128 GB, 6 GB RAM of internal memory.
  • This Mobile has Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery
  • This Mobile has Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) sim
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GENERAL
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
4G Network LTE
Sim Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Announced 11/11/2019
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2019, Q1
BODY
Dimensions 161.3 x 76.1 x 8.8 mm (6.35 x 3.00 x 0.35 in)
Weight 190 g (6.70 oz)
DISPLAY
Display Size 6.5 inches, 103.2 cm2 (~84.1% screen-to-body ratio)
SOUND
AlertTypes Yes
LoudSpeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY
CardSlot No
Internal 64/128 GB, 6 GB RAM
DATA
GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSPA, LTE-A
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Blue Tooth 4.2, A2DP, LE
USB 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
CAMERA
Camera Primary 48 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.3", 0.8µm, PDAF 5 MP, f/2.4, 1/5", 1.12µm, depth sensor
Camera Features LED flash, HDR, panorama
CameraVideo 1080p@30fps
CameraSecondary Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0, 1/3.1", 1.0µm
FEATURES
OS Android 9.0 (Pie); ColorOS 6
CPU Octa-core (4x2.1 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Radio No
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
Colors thunder Black, Aurora Green
BATTERY
Battery Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery
MISC
Updated: 50 best iPhone games 2015

50 best iPhone games: 1-25

Gaming on iOS is so big that the platform is becoming dominant enough to threaten the likes of Nintendo and Sony, long-reigning kings of the mobile gaming hill.

Yet for all iOS's gaming prowess, there's no escaping the fact the App Store has a lot of dross. Apple's relative openness, in enabling anyone to develop for the system, means there's almost no meaningful quality control. The flip-side is that previously undiscovered indie talent can find an outlet for frequently innovative fare.

Too often, though, people focus only on the negative, mistaking stories about in-app purchases and low-quality clones for evidence that there are no good games on iOS. But there are. In fact, the best games on iOS are among the very best on any platform, mixing traditional fare with titles that could only have appeared on a capable multi-touch device. Here are our current favourites…

1. Asphalt 8 (free)

Some time long ago, the gaming gods apparently decreed that racing games should be dull and grey, on grey tracks, with grey controls. Thankfully Gameloft chose to ignore their foolish omniscient notions - along with a large chunk of real-world physics - with Asphalt 8: Airborne. Here, then, you zoom along at ludicrous speeds, drifting for miles through exciting city courses, occasionally being hurled into the air to perform stunts that absolutely aren't acceptable according to the car manufacturer's warranty.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

2. Badland ($3.99/£2.49)

This darkly humorous title at its core echoes copter-style games, in you prodding the screen to make your avatar fly. But the hazards and traps are devious and plentiful, imaginative and deadly contraptions in silhouette, ready to eliminate any passing creature. Your retaliation in Badland comes via cloning your flying monster, and figuring out how to manipulate the environment to bring as many clones home as possible.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

3. Beat Sneak Bandit ($2.99/£1.99)

One thumb is plenty when a game's so cleverly designed. Beat Sneak Bandit is part rhythm-action, part platformer and part stealth game, with the titular hero aiming to steal back the world's clocks from the nefarious Duke Clockface. You move on the beat, rebounding off walls, and avoiding guards and alarms. It's clever, charming and brilliant.

4. Bejeweled (free)

We've lost count of how many gem-swappers exist for iOS, but PopCap's Bejeweled has a long history, its maturity reflected in this iPhone release. Along with a polished standard mode, where you match three or more gems with each swap, there's Diamond Mine (dig into the ground), Butterflies (save insects from spider-ronch doom), and Poker (make 'hands' of gems).

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

5. Beyond Ynth ($1.99/£1.49)

This fantastic platform puzzler stars a bug who's oddly averse to flying. Instead, he gets about 2D levels by rolling around in boxes full of platforms. Beyond Ynth hangs on a quest, but each level forms a devious test, where you must figure out precisely how to reach the end via careful use of boxes, switches and even environmental hazards.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

6. Bit Pilot ($1.99/£1.49)

A pilot finds himself trapped inside a tiny area of space frequented by an alarming number of deadly asteroids. You must stave off death for as long as possible. Bit Pilot is the best of the iOS avoid 'em ups, with precise one- and two-thumb controls guiding your tiny ship, effortlessly dodging between rocky foes — until the inevitable collision.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

7. Blackbar ($2.99/£1.99)

As much a warning about digital surveillance as a word-based puzzler, Blackbar is a unique and compelling iOS classic. The game comprises single screens of communications, many involving your friend who's gone to work in the city, which you soon learn is part of a worryingly oppressive society. You literally fill in the blanks, while becoming immersed in a stark dystopian reality that's fortunately still peppered with warmth, humour and humanity.

8. Blek ($0.99/69p)

Blek is akin to shepherding semi-sentient calligraphy through a series of dexterity tests. Each sparse screen has one or more dots that needs collecting, which is achieved by drawing a squiggle that's then set in motion. To say the game can be opaque is putting it lightly, but as a voyage of discovery, there are few touchscreen games that come close.

Blek

9. Boson X ($2.99/£1.99)

In what we can only assume is a totally accurate representation of what boffins in Geneva get up to, Boson X finds scientists sprinting inside colliders, running over energy panels and then discovering particles by leaping into the abyss. It's equal parts Super Hexagon, Tempest and Canabalt, and it's very addictive indeed.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

10. Coolson's Pocket Pack ($0.99/69p)

This word puzzler's all about chaining. You drag tiles from the bottom of the well and make short words; do so without swapping any letters from the well's bottom row or the area you create the words and you start amassing huge points. Coolson's Pocket Pack is then a test of nerve, and your ability to not forget every single short word in the dictionary when under pressure.

11. CRUSH! ($1.99/£1.49)

CRUSH! is deceptive. At first, it appears to be little more than a collapse game, where you prod a coloured tile, only for the rest to collapse into the now empty space. But subtle changes to the formula elevate this title to greatness: the tiles wrap around, and each removal sees your pile jump towards a line of death. So even when tiles are moving at speed, you must carefully consider each tap.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

12. Dark Nebula 2 HD ($2.99/£1.99)

One of the first titles to truly make use of the iPhone gyro, Dark Nebula was a beautiful tilt-based steampunk adventure and dexterity test, with you leading a strange craft through maze-like levels. Dark Nebula 2 ramped up the beauty and complexity, and the HD reissue added iPad and Retina support. The title still feels fresh and is perfectly suited to mobile, rewarding speed-runs and careful exploration of each level alike.

13. David. ($1.99/£1.49)

David. is a game that flirts with the conventional but comes across as half art piece, half brutally difficult action game. The eponymous hero is a simple square, charged with ridding the world of evil shapes. The controls broadly align with platform games, but David. goes all slow-motion when held, whereupon you can unleash colourful blobs of death on multi-angled foes. Tricky level design tests your ability to move, leap, plan, and tackle encroaching enemies while everyone's floating about as if immersed in water.

David

14. Death Ray Manta ($0.99/69p)

Akin to what Robotron might have looked like had its developer managed to recreate a 24-hour sherbet binge on-screen, Death Ray Manta is a wonderful, eye-searing twin-stick shooter. But whereas you initially think KILL ALL THE THINGS, each level contains a collectable 'tiffin'. Death Ray Manta therefore becomes both shooter and puzzler as you attempt to score the maximum 64 — and you've only got one life.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

15. Device 6 ($3.99/£2.49)

Device 6 is first and foremost a story — a mystery into which protagonist Anna finds herself propelled. She awakes on an island, but where is she? How did she get there? Why can't she remember anything? The game fuses literature with adventuring, the very words forming corridors you travel along, integrated puzzles being dotted about for you to investigate. It's a truly inspiring experience, an imaginative, ambitious and brilliantly realised creation that showcases how iOS can be the home for something unique and wonderful.

16. Devil's Attorney ($1.99/£1.49)

A satirical take on 1980s lawyering, this turn-based strategy has you battling in court by using your legal skills on the opposition, who then fight back after you've exhausted your action points. Wins result in cash that can be spent on goods that boost your materialism, decadence and vanity, which results in new skills. Our verdict? Devil's Attorney is a very silly (or, depending on your outlook, entirely accurate) and compelling take on court-based sparring.

Devil's Attorney

17. Eliss Infinity ($2.99/£1.99)

Eliss was the first game to truly take advantage of iOS's multitouch capabilities, with you combining and tearing apart planets to fling into like-coloured and suitably sized wormholes. Eliss Infinity, a semi-sequel, brings the original's levels into glorious Retina and adds a totally bonkers endless mode. Unique, challenging and fun, this is a game that defines the platform.

18. Frisbee Forever 2 (Free)

We were big fans of the original Frisbee Forever, with its Nintendo-like fling-a-plastic-disc about larks. Frisbee Forever 2's essentially more of the same, but prettier, smoother and with wilder locations in which to fly through hoops and collect stars. It's lovely and costs precisely zero pence, so download it.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

19. Gridrunner (Free)

Jeff Minter is a shoot 'em up genius, and his Gridrunner series has a long history, starting out on the VIC-20, at the dawn of home gaming. This update riffs off classic Namco arcade machines but also shoves modern bullet-hell mechanics into a claustrophobic single screen. And in this version's survival mode, you have just one life. Argh! The 69p/99c 'Oxtended Mode' in-app purchase adds the rest of the standard game.

20. Hitman GO ($4.99/£2.99)

Square Enix would have been on a hiding to nothing converting its free-roaming 3D game to touchscreens, and so it's great to see the company do something entirely different with Hitman GO. Although still echoing the original series, this touchscreen title is presented as a board game of sorts, with turn-based actions against clockwork opposition. You must figure out your way to the prize, without getting knocked off (the board). It's an oddly adorable take on assassination, and one of the best iOS puzzlers.

Hitman GO

21. Impossible Road ($1.99/£1.49)

A roller-coaster ribbon of road winds through space, and your only aim is to stay on it and reach the highest-numbered gate. But Impossible Road is sneaky: the winding track is one you can leave and rejoin, if you've enough skill, 'cheating' your way to higher scores. It's like the distillation of Super Monkey Ball, Rainbow Road and queue-skipping, all bundled up in a stark, razor-sharp package.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

22. Leo's Fortune ($4.99/£2.99)

Leo's Fortune finds gruff hairball Leo in search of his gold, which has been dropped in a suspiciously trail-like manner across typically platform-game environments. As he scoops up coins, he finds himself whizzing round Sonic-style loops, solving puzzles by manipulating the environment, and negotiating increasingly complex and deadly pathways. It's a beautiful game, full of character, and well-suited to quick bursts on your iPhone.

Leo's Fortune

23. Letterpress (Free)

What mad fool welds Boggle to tug o' war Risk-style land-grabbing? The kind who doesn't want anyone to get any work done again, ever, that's who. Letterpress is, simply, the best word game on the App Store. You make words to win points and temporarily 'lock' letters from your opponent by surrounding them. The result is a tense asynchronous two-player game with plenty of last-move wins and general gnashing of teeth when you realise 'qin' is in fact an acceptable word.

24. Limbo ($4.99/£2.99)

A boy awakens in hell, and must work his way through a deadly forest. Gruesome deaths and trial and error gradually lead to progress, as he forces his way deeper into the gloom and greater mystery. Originating on the Xbox, Limbo fares surprisingly well on iOS, with smartly designed controls; and its eerie beauty and intriguing environments remain hypnotic.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

25. Magnetic Billiards (free)

A game that could have been called Reverse Pool For Show-Offs, Magnetic Billiards lacks pockets. Instead, the aim is to join like-coloured balls that cling together on colliding. Along the way, you get more points for trick shots and 'buzzing' other balls that must otherwise be avoided. 20 diverse tables are provided for free, and many more can be unlocked for $1.99/£1.49.

50 best iPhone games: 26-50.

26. Micro Miners ($1.99/£1.49)

Marrying the elegance of digging games like Where's My Water? with the semi-controllable critters from Lemmings, Micro Miners is a superb real-time puzzler. Initially simple, the game is soon complicated by the need to switch the colour of miners, collect objects, and avoid or utilise deadly gas and lava. It's extremely tough later on, but you'll see it through to the bitter end.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

27. Mikey Hooks ($1.99/£1.49)

If iOS is supposed to be no good for traditional 2D platform games, it's a good job no-one told the developer of Mikey Hooks. The mechanics aren't a million miles away from Nintendo titles starring a certain plumber, but Mikey's also armed with a rope that can attach to hooks dotted about the levels, enabling him to speedily swing to glory. An emphasis on time-attack racing and surprisingly solid controls round out a first-rate title.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

28. Monument Valley ($3.99/£2.49)

In Monument Valley, you journey through delightful Escher-like landscapes, manipulating the very architecture to build impossible paths along which to explore. It's not the most challenging of games (nor one with the most coherent of storylines), but each scene is a gorgeous and mesmerising bite-sized experience that showcases how important great craft is in the best iOS titles.

MV

29. Need For Speed Most Wanted ($6.99/£2.99)

Racing games are all very well, but too many aim for simulation rather than evoking the glorious feeling of speeding along like a maniac. Most Wanted absolutely nails the fun side of arcade racing, and is reminiscent of classic console title OutRun 2 in enabling you to effortlessly drift for miles. Add to that varied city streets on which to best rivals and avoid (or smash) the cops, and you've a tremendous iOS racer.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

30. New Star Soccer (Free)

Starting out as a fresh-faced teen in a lowly non-league side, your aim in New Star Soccer is to make your way to a top-flight club. Along the way, you get chances in each match to win balls and score goals. It's management-lite with fun playable highlights, and although there's a whiff of freemium in the energy model, New Star Soccer's top-of-the-table, if you're willing to put in a few bucks here and there.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

31. Osmos ($2.99/£1.99)

This superb arcade puzzler is at times microscopic and at others galactic in nature, as you use the power of physics and time to move your 'mote' about. Some levels in Osmos are primordial soup, the mote propelled by ejecting bits of itself, all the while aiming to absorb everything around it; elsewhere, motes circle sun-like 'Attractors', and your challenge becomes one of understanding the intersecting trajectories of orbital paths.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

32. Plants vs Zombies ($0.99/69p)

Yes, we know there's a Plants vs. Zombies 2, but some dolt infected that with a pointless time-travel gimmick and a freemium business model. The charming, amusing, silly and sweet original remains where it's at. For the uninitiated, you repel zombies with the power of hostile plants. Countless other defence titles exist for iOS, but PopCap's classic, Plants vs Zombies, is still the best.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

33. PUK ($1.99/£1.49)

PUK reminds us of what someone with a minimalism fetish might make of Angry Birds, before speeding everything up to manic levels. Here, each level lasts mere seconds, as you frantically fling discs at portals; and then just as you've got into the groove, deadly black levels aim to throw you off balance. There are no cartoon squawks here — just pure, adrenaline-fuelled arcade action.

34. Rayman Fiesta Run ($2.99/£1.99)

The iOS Rayman games are considered by some to be reductive, overly simplifying console-style platforming to an instant runner with bells on. We instead consider Ubisoft's games distilled: they take the essence of platforming action — running, jumping, timing — and make it truly fit for mobile. Smart, varied level and character design, along with a well-considered unlock mechanism, ensure Rayman Fiesta Run's an iOS classic.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

35. Ridiculous Fishing ($2.99/£1.99)

If Ridiculous Fishing is what fishing's really like, we've been missing out all these years. An angular fisherman casts his line into the inky gloom, where you cunningly avoid fish by tilting your device. Snag one and the hero reels the line back in, and you jerk your iPhone from side to side, aiming to catch as many fish as possible. At the surface, the catch is flung into the sky, to be blasted to pieces by powerful weaponry. Longevity's secured by an amusing in-game store and social network parody, along with several fishing spots to visit.

36. Rocket Robo ($0.99/69p)

It's not the most innovative game around, but Rocket Robo makes up for it with bags of character, smart level design, and tight controls. You guide your little floating droid about the place, collecting stars and swiping in and out of the screen. The first few levels are extremely simple, but you're soon introduced to complex, cunning layouts and plenty of gimmicks that add some real bite to the cutesy proceedings.

Rocket Robo

37. Smash Hit (free)

If you find catharsis in smashing things, Smash Hit will leave you in a totally blissed-out state. You float through the void, lobbing metal balls at glass objects, clearing a path and chaining collisions. Over time, the paths become increasingly complex, the camera begins to whirl, and the shots get very demanding, depleting your meagre resources. A single one-time 'premium' in app purchase upgrade exists should you want to start out on any sections of the journey you've managed to already reach.

Smash Hit

38. SpellTower ($1.99/£1.49)

SpellTower is a fantastic word game that starts off easy. You get a grid of letters and remove them by dragging out words. Your only foe is gravity, letters falling into empty space as completed words disappear. But then come new modes, with ferocious timers and numbered letters that won't vanish unless you craft long enough words. And there always seem to be too many Vs!

39. Super Hexagon ($2.99/£1.99)

Ah, Super Hexagon. We remember that punishing first game, which must have lasted all of three seconds. Much like the next — and the next. But then we recognised patterns in the walls that closed in on our tiny ship, and learned to react and dodge. Then you threw increasingly tough difficulty levels at us, and we've been smitten ever since.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

40. Super Monsters Ate My Condo

Logic? Pah! Sanity? Pfft! We care not for such things, yells Super Monsters Ate My Condo. It then gets on with turning the match-three genre and Jenga-style tower-building into a relentless time-attack cartoon fest of apartment-munching, explosions, giant tantrums and opera. No, really.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

41. Super Stickman Golf 2 ($0.99/69p)

If you've often thought golf would be much better if it was played on Mars, or in a giant castle, or in dank caverns with glue-like surfaces, Super Stickman Golf 2 is the game for you. Its side-on charms echo Angry Birds in its artillery core, but this is a far smarter and more polished game. It also boasts two equally brilliant but different multiplayer modes: one-on-one asynchronous play and frantic multiplayer racing.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

42. Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP ($4.99/£2.99)

Apple's mobile platform has become an unlikely home for traditional point-and-click adventures. Sword & Sworcery has long been a favourite, with its sense of mystery, palpable atmosphere, gorgeous pixel art and evocative soundtrack. Exploratory in nature, this is a true /adventure/ in the real sense of the word, and it's absolutely not to be missed.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

43. Threes! ($1.99/£1.49)

Threes! is all about matching numbered cards. 1s and 2s merge to make 3s, and then pairs of identical cards can subsequently be merged, doubling their face value. With each swipe, a new card enters the tiny grid, forcing you to carefully manage your growing collection, and think many moves ahead. The ingenious mix of risk and reward makes it hugely frustrating when you're a fraction from an elusive 1536 card, but so addictive you'll immediately want another go.

44. Tiny Wings ($0.99/69p)

This sweet endless title stars a bird who loves to fly but doesn't have the wings for it. Instead, she uses gravity, sliding down hills and then propelling herself into the air from the top of adjacent slopes. Meanwhile, in another mode, her offspring are happily racing, bounding over lakes, eager to earn the biggest fish from their mother. Whichever route you take, Tiny Wings is a vibrant, warm and friendly experience.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

45. Trainyard ($3.99/£2.49)

Trainyard is another devious puzzler that at first seems a cinch. Initially, you merely drag tracks to lead trains between stations of the same colour. But then rocks enter the fray, along with colour-mixing and train-splitting. Before you know it, you've 14 stations, seven trains, hazards aplenty and an aching brain from figuring out how to get all the trains home safely.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

46. Monument Valley ($3.99/£2.99)

It might not be the most challenging game in the world, but Monument Valley is a short, sweet platformer that everyone should play through at least once. Its beautiful style is very Escher-esque, but even he'd have a hard time making his way through some of these labyrinths. More than worth its price.

47. Walking Dead (Free)

We do like a good zombie yarn, as long as we're not the subject matter, having just had our brains eaten. Walking Dead successfully jumped from comic to TV screen, and it's just as good in its interactive incarnation. The first part of the story is free, and you can then buy new episodes; if you survive, season 2 is also available.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

48. WaveWave ($2.99/£1.99)

Wave Wave is cut from similar cloth as Super Hexagon. If anything, though, this demanding survival game is simpler and tougher than its forebear. It's a one-thumb affair, with you tapping to alter the direction of your line that zig-zags its way through a gauntlet of triangles as the screen lurches and spins. It's a mesmerising but utterly ferocious experience.

Wave Wave

49. Year Walk ($3.99/£2.49)

Year Walk preceded the same developer's iOS masterpiece Device 6, but is equally daring. It's a first-person adventure of sorts, with more than a nod towards horror literature and, frankly, the just plain weird. It's unsettling, clever, distinctive and beautifully crafted — another unmissable and original touchscreen creation.

50 best iPhone games: the greatest free and paid games around

50. Zen Bound 2 ($2.99/£1.99)

One of the most tactile puzzlers around, Zen Bound 2 doesn't sound terribly exciting, in that you're wrapping sculptures in rope. But the atmosphere and polish combine with a nagging percentage bar, urging you to perfect each level. With no time limit, it's one of the more soothing puzzlers in this round-up, but it also never drifts towards the noodly.

Best free iPhone apps: 90 to choose from!








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In Depth: How good are Windows Phone apps in 2015?

The apps

It's a common refrain: Windows Phone just doesn't have the apps to challenge iOS and Android. But how true is the cliché?

Microsoft is overhauling its mobile OS and the incorporation of the Lumia brand shows a new focus on getting the hardware right, so this is a good moment to check back in on the state of Microsoft's mobile app store and see what (if anything) has changed.

Are the top apps now all present and correct? And how good are they? Read on to discover what we found out.

The apps

Our selection of apps is based on the biggest hitters on mobile, not necessarily the newest or hottest apps out there. We've covered various areas of phone use, such as social networking, media streaming and productivity. Obviously we've had to leave a lot of apps out (check the summary at the end for some more comparisons) but our pick is an effective snapshot of the state of apps on Windows Phone.

As well as checking to see whether an app is available for Windows, we've also compared the features and interfaces to see if these apps are anywhere near level pegging with their equivalents on iOS and Android.

1. Facebook

How good are Windows Phone apps in 2015

We're (almost) all on Facebook, whether we like it or not, and the Facebook app for Windows Phone is polished and feature-rich. Messenger is here as well. It can be a little bit sluggish and there are some smaller features missing – like voice calling capabilities – but if Facebook is the only mobile app you ever use then you won't be disappointed with your Windows Phone experience.

There's even a Cover Feed feature not available on Android or iOS, if you want to use Facebook pictures on your lock screen.

2. Netflix

How good are Windows Phone apps in 2015

If only everyone had the same kind of cross-platform commitment as Netflix, which you can play from almost any device and any place. The Netflix app for Windows Phone is present and correct and works as smoothly as it does on iOS and Android.

It's not an app with an abundance of features, but then that's Netflix for you – it does include profile support and it gets regular updates too. Like Facebook, there's little to complain about when comparing Netflix on Windows Phone to the versions found elsewhere.

3. Instagram

How good are Windows Phone apps in 2015

The Instagram app for Windows Phone still has a beta tag attached to it, and it seems to be getting further behind with each passing update for iOS and Android versions. See that guy who never uses the Ludwig filter? Yeah he's still on Windows Phone.

The WP app was last updated in March 2014 – which isn't the most resounding vote of confidence – but it has at least turned up. The recently introduced direct message feature isn't here, nor is the ability to post video clips to your feed.

4. Gmail

How good are Windows Phone apps in 2015

Windows Phone notoriously struggles with Google apps, and Google has thus far refused to develop anything official for WP with the exception of its search app. That's in stark contrast to iOS, where the company's suite of apps are just as impressive as they are on Android.

If you're a keen Google user then you're going to have to find workarounds: IMAP or mobile web for email access, HERE Maps instead of Google Maps, Office instead of Drive and so on.

5. Twitter

How good are Windows Phone apps in 2015

The Windows Phone Store has an official Twitter app which covers most bases in terms of functionality even if the interface isn't quite as slick as the one you'll find on competing platforms.

You'll miss out on elements like the Activity tab, which shows what the people you follow are up to, and touches like the little World Cup flags introduced by Twitter over the summer – these are small features, but they add up to an overall sense that Windows Phone isn't quite top priority inside the Twitter engineer offices.

6. BBC iPlayer (UK only)

How good are Windows Phone apps in 2015

The BBC has a decent selection of Windows Phone apps covering sport and news and it's nice to see iPlayer here too. Some performance niggles have been reported – it would be hard to say if the situation is better or worse than the iOS or Android versions – but most of the key features are here.

One option that isn't present is the ability to download programmes for offline viewing, which you'll find in the iPlayer apps on other platforms, though you can tune into live television where available.

7. Evernote

How good are Windows Phone apps in 2015

Evernote was one of the first big name apps to make it to Windows Phone and it's now up to version 4.6.3, with the most recent update in April. The default WP style actually suits the Evernote interface very well, and as this is Windows Phone, you can of course pin notes to the tile-based home screen too.

It has its own quirks peculiar to WP but these are more to do with the interface and layout rather than any core functionality. It's one of the most fully featured apps on the platform.

8. YouTube

How good are Windows Phone apps in 2015

We've already mentioned Microsoft's problems in getting Google apps on its platform, and YouTube is another example. The "official" YouTube app for Windows Phone is developed by Microsoft and essentially just a wrapper for the mobile version of the site (after Google blocked Microsoft's attempts to build a more fully featured app).

YouTube is surely a must-have for the majority of users, but on WP you'll be stuck with a frustratingly limited interface and no option to upload clips directly. An official Vimeo app is available, though.

9. Spotify

How good are Windows Phone apps in 2015

Windows Phone has had a Spotify app since November 2011 (though the Windows 8 version took some time to appear), and by and large it offers a listening experience that matches up to the more mature clients for iOS and Android.

There are some small interface niggles between the versions if you look hard enough, but Spotify lovers won't have much to complain about if they make the switch to Windows Phone. As with Evernote, the WP design guidelines suit the Spotify interface well.

10. Adidas MiCoach

How good are Windows Phone apps in 2015

Adidas MiCoach isn't the most well-known of apps but it is an example of something that excels on Windows Phone and goes toe-to-toe with the equivalents on iOS and Android.

It's a fully featured fitness and health tracker and gives you a pile of handy tools in an interface that's straightforward to navigate, with or without a separate wearable: distance, steps, calories and activity are all monitored and you can get some virtual coaching too. One of the best apps in any category currently on Windows Phone.

Best of the rest and verdict

The best of the rest

Besides the key ones mentioned about, the list of apps you can now find on Windows Phone is pretty impressive: there's eBay, Amazon Kindle, Shazam, Deezer, WhatsApp, Skype, Rdio, BBC Sport, Fitbit, 4oD, ITV Player, Adobe Photoshop Express, PayPal and Uber, though broadly speaking they're usually not as polished as the versions available on rival platforms.

A lot of the well-known apps have now made their way to Windows Phone.

In terms of the very biggest and well-known apps, there aren't as many holes as there once were: right now the largest omissions are the likes of Snapchat, Jawbone UP, Tinder, Pocket, Instapaper, IFTTT, Sky Go, Virgin's TV Anywhere and Dropbox (though an official app is apparently imminent).

Games are another area where Windows Phone can struggle: Modern Combat 5, Temple Run 2, Angry Birds, the Microsoft-owned Minecraft, Candy Crush Saga, The Sims FreePlay, Sonic Dash and the Ultimate Team version of FIFA 15 are among the highlights. For most developers – producing titles such as Monument Valley, TwoDots, Hitman GO, the newer Final Fantasy games, Batman Arkham Origins and so on – WP is still a stretch too far.

Angry Birds

Finally, it's worth mentioning Office too. Windows Phone has always been a solid if unspectacular choice for Office users, but last year's iOS and Android apps managed to eclipse even Microsoft's efforts on its own platform – so much so that a company exec has apologised for neglecting Windows Phone users.

Significant updates for Office should appear at the same time as Windows 10, of which more in a moment.

PowerPoint

Verdict

We were surprised by how many big name apps there now are on Windows Phone since we last checked: if you can live with Nokia's excellent HERE Maps instead of the equivalents for Apple and Google, and assuming Dropbox arrives in the near future, you're pretty well covered when it comes to the big hitters.

However, this doesn't mean WP's problems are over, because these tools often lag behind their iOS and Android equivalents in terms of updates and features.

Then there's everything below the top rung of the ladder: the plethora of independent, up-and-coming apps for social networking (Snapchat), photography (Afterlight), productivity (Slack) and so on. These aren't so well known but while you're pretty much guaranteed to see most new releases appear on both iOS and Android, most of these smaller companies won't bother with Windows Phone. And that's a problem if you want to stay on the cutting edge of new apps.

There's some encouragement for Microsoft but there's plenty of work to do.

Sure, you can find Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, iPlayer and Instagram on Windows Phone now, but what happens when you want to try a new photography app? Or a hot new messaging service? Or a time management utility? Or the latest game storming up the charts?

You're spoilt with an abundance of choice on iOS and Android, whereas the selection on Windows Phone is disappointing in terms of both quality and quantity. If you're going to be sticking to the major apps we've mentioned, then fine, but otherwise the situation isn't quite as rosy.

There are areas where Microsoft is strong — Office software and Xbox gaming — and when Windows 10 finally sees the light of day, WP users will benefit more from these areas than they do today. Right now though, to buy a Windows Phone is to shut yourself out from most of the interesting, newer apps appearing on the scene as well as pretty much everything Google makes.

And, worryingly for Microsoft, the developers won't make the jump until the users do.








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UPDATED: All 38 Apple Watch designs: Every band, case and face so far

Apple Watch: watch cases and bands

Apple Watch features

This week was the Apple Watch launch day, but you can't try on the iPhone-compatible wearable yet since we're a month away from pre-orders and two weeks further from its official release date.

That's a problem for anxious early adopters who want it now. The April 24-bound smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and styles, way more than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In fact, there are 38 different Apple Watch choices (up from the original 34) and nine default watch faces with millions of customizations, according to Apple.

Here's every Apple Watch face, band and case announced so far, giving you extra time to decide which "iWatch" should be your watch before waiting in line.

Cases: Apple Watch vs Sport vs Watch Edition

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr72v7Z7m4Y

All Apple Watches boast the same rectangular design with rounded off corners, but they're divided up into three different case "collections" based on build materials.

Starting at $349 (£299) and costing as much as $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), the names Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, don't tell us a whole lot about those differences, so let's explain each watch case.

The regular Apple Watch

Apple Watch design and colors

Donning the "regular" Watch puts a highly polished stainless steel case on your wrist, one that comes in glossy metal colors of either space black or stainless steel.

Protecting the precious Retina display is sapphire crystal, which is the same glass that covers the Touch ID home button of newer iPhones.

Sapphire crystal is touted as the hardest transparent material on earth next to diamond. It'll stand up to dings every time your formerly-bare wrist forgets what it's like to wear a watch.

Watch Sport

Apple Watch design and colors

Sport is the the lightest of the three Apple Watch choices thanks to its anodized aluminum case that still manages to be 60% stronger than standard alloys.

It skips out of the expensive sapphire glass in favor of what Apple calls strengthened Ion-X or aluminosilicate glass. This further reduces the weight, making it fit for active lifestyles.

Sure, the iPhone-matching matte space gray and silver aluminum case appears less shiny vs the regular Watch, but Apple's 7000 Series aluminum and Ion-X glass makes it 30% lighter.

It's also the least expensive Apple Watch version at $349 (£299) for the 38mm size and 42mm for the $399 (£339) size.

Watch Edition

Apple Watch design and colors

Watch Edition will be the most expensive Apple Watch at $10,000 (£8,000) because of its 18-karat gold case. It may even be locked inside a safe within your local Apple Store.

It's been crafted by Apple's metallurgists to be twice as hard as standard gold, says the Cupertino company, and will come in two colors: yellow gold and rose gold.

Complementing those cases are color-matching bands made of leather or fluoroelastomer plastic.

Bands are the next step in deciding on the right Apple Watch.

Six different band styles, 18 colors

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch is all about personalization with six band types and 18 colors, all of which are easily interchangeable thanks a unique slide-out locking mechanism.

Yes, it's a proprietary watch strap - did you expect anything less? - but it looks to be a whole lot easier to switch out compared to the irksome hidden pins of the Moto 360.

I'm okay with that. I want the sport band at the gym and the Milanese loop for a night on the town without the hassle of digging into the watch case with a pair of tweezers.

Link bracelet

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch choices

Available with the regular Watch, the link bracelet is one of two stainless steel Apple Watch bands. This one matches the 316L stainless steel alloy of the case.

It has more than 100 components and the brushed metal links increase in width closer to the case. A custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet.

Best of all, you can add and remove links with a simple release button. No jeweler visits or special tools required for this stainless steel or space black-colored strap.

Milanese loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch bands

One of the classiest-looking Apple Watch bands is the Milanese loop, a stainless steel mesh strap that loops from case to clasp.

Emphasizing that woven metal design, there's hardly a clasp. Its tiny magnetic end makes the strap infinitely adjustable and tucks behind the band for a seamless look on one's wrist.

An out-of-the box option with the regular Watch, the Milanese loop is truly one of a kind in that it only comes in a stainless steel color.

Modern buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch leather

A modern buckle adorns the bottom the first of three leather options among Apple Watches, complete with top-grain leather sourced from France.

The French tannery is said to have been established in 1803, but Apple puts a tech-savvy twist on the buckle. It's a two-piece magnetic clasp that only looks ordinary when together.

This leather option comes in black, soft pink, brown or midnight blue for the regular Watch and bright black, red or rose gray for the premium Watch Edition, all meant for the smaller 38mm watch size.

Classic buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch design and colors

Apple Watch models

If the Apple Watch modern buckle is a normal-looking watch band with a magnetic twist, then the classic buckle is an ordinary-looking variant without one.

No tricks here. It's just a traditional and secure band that feeds through a stainless steel or an 18-karat gold loop and matches the watch case.

The classic buckle's leather is from the Netherlands and the color choices are as simple as can be: it comes in black for the regular Watch or either black or midnight blue for Watch Edition.

Leather loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch design

This is the leather-equivalent of the all-metal Milanese loop because it tucks magnets into the soft, quilted leather Apple Watch band.

The more pronounced pebbled texture also stands out from the subtle finishes of the modern and classic buckle. Apple says its Venezia leather sources from Italy.

Apple Watch buyers who go with the leather loop band have four colors choices: black, stone, light brown and bright blue.

Sport band

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch sport band

Despite its name, the sport band is an out-of-the-box option among all three "collections," not just the Apple Watch Sport.

The band is made of smooth fluoroelastomer, so it's resilient for all activities and fastens with a simple pin-and-tuck closure. Hopefully it's easier to buckle than the Fitbit Charge.

The sport band is available in the most colors on the Sport Watch: white, black, blue, green or pink. Regular Watch and Watch Edition buyers can choose between black or white.

Apple Watch sizes

Apple Watch sizes

Less exciting, but equally important is the choice of among Apple Watch sizes. There are two case heights: 38mm and 42mm.

This opens it up to smaller and larger wrists. The 38mm size is more compact, but having that little bit extra screen space by way of the 42mm option may go a long way.

It should be noted that a few bands appear to be exclusive to certain sizes: the modern buckle is limited to the 38mm option and leather loop the 42mm size, for example.

No right-handed and left-handed Apple Watch decisions need to be made at the Apple Store, thankfully. This smartwatch is ambidextrous because the screen can be flipped.

Apple Watch faces

Apple Watch analog watches

There are nine different default faces from Apple, according to its official website, and likely a lot more to come from third-party developers currently testing out WatchKit.

The great thing about smartwatch faces is that none of them are permanent, something we were fond of when testing out Android Wear smartwatches.

Mickey Mouse is my favorite because I never got a Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. But maybe that'll be reserved for Disneyland visits now that I'm an adult.

Analog watches like Chronograph, Color, Simple and Utility can be swapped in for a more professional look that rivals today's best smartwatch alternatives.

Customizable watch faces

Apple Watch designs

Digital watch faces all have something unique to offer. Motion adds a bit of animal-inspired movement in the background, solar lets you follow the sun's path based on your location and the time of day and astronomy lets you explore space and a rotatable 3D Earth.

Modular, the grid-like ninth watch face, really defines what Apple means when it talks about complications. Most faces can be alerted to include pressing information like stock quotes, weather reports or your next calendar event, according to the company.

Apple Watch wrap-up

Apple Watch

With two sizes for most band designs, six band types, 18 band colors and three cases with two colors each, there's a lot of choice going into this smartwatch purchase.

Apple Watch is launching with a lot of personalization, echoing a time when the Cupertino firm introduced variety among its iMac G3 computers and iPod successors.

Which case and band combination I get has ultimately been determined by the price and availability. For such a new product that's bound to be outdated in a few months to years, I'm leaning toward the cheaper Sport Edition when the Apple Watch release date rolls around.








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