REVIEW: JBL Play UP portable NFC BT Speaker

WP_000015Thanks to the Nokia Connects team we have received a trial JBL Play Up which is the first speaker incarnation from their partnership with Nokia for audio accessory design. For those of you who have been Nokia followers for a few years the JBL Play Up is a development of the Nokia 360 portable BT (Bluetooth) speaker with a modernised Lumia styling and JBL audio internals.

As a long time user of both the Nokia and JBL product catalogue. The simplest comparison is audio quality of the new JBL Play Up vs that of the older JBL On-Stage (from 2005) and JBL On-Stage micro (from c.2007).

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WordPress for Windows Phone Updated

This is a test post from the newly released version 1.7 of WordPress for Windows Phone.
The main additions in this update are support for Local Drafts, Post Formats and image posting position.
Along with these expansions on the previous version of the app, it is now compatible with Windows Phone 8, language support has been extended and the translation functionality has been improved. Finally there are a number of bug fixes and reliability improvements. Continue reading ‘WordPress for Windows Phone Updated’


HDRtzn: Imaging Issues

primaryImageAfter becoming used to the ability to create HDR Screen Capture (9)images on my Symbian based Nokia N8 I was left a little wanting when I switched to my Windows Phone based Nokia Lumia 800. As time has passed, the limiting factors seem to have been the result of restrictions imposed on developers by the Windows Phone 7 platform design.

During my latest trawl through the Windows Phone Marketplace I came across HDRtzn from CodeMigrant, which is the first self proclaimed HDR application for Windows Phone with the only options being to “Share” or “Buy”, with no option for a “Trial”. Based on it’s sub £2 price tag I was interested enough to pay the price only to find that the app didn’t live up to expectations (see example image capture below).

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Belle Extra Buttons

https://i1.wp.com/p.d.ovi.com/p/g/store/9570161/MrAlshahawy_Belle_Extra_Buttons_Nokia_Store-96x96.pngHave you ever noticed the wide spacing in the bottom button bar on your Nokia Belle device when on the home screen in the menus?

Well, Mr Alshahawy did and decided he could make use of the inter-button space to add an additional two buttons and created Belle Extra Buttons. Once installed a new app icon appears on the menu screen which provides access to the functionality selection for the two newly added button’s. Initially, the options were somewhat limited providing three alternatives for the buttons:

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mInbox: Combined E-mail, SMS & MMS Inbox

icon1-96x96 One of the capabilities I have been hoping for from Nokia for a number of years now is a combined inbox for all communications. Sadly, although this was previewed, although not perfectly,  by the competition a few years ago in the form of the Vodafone 360 it has never made it into the Nokia external roadmap.

In steps FTCN over at the Nokia Store, the developer for the well loved Facial, Facebook app with mInbox or Master Inbox to give it it’s full title.

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REVIEW: Nokia Lumia 800 @TeckRadar

TechRadar Those that follow me on twitter (@MartynBrett) will have noticed that I have recently reviewed the Nokia Lumia 800 for TechRadar.

For those that had not seen the review here’s a link:


You should note that, as discussed in the review, the Nokia Lumia 800 reviewed had pre-release software on and I will be writing an update to the review when the production software releases.

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REVIEW: CoverUp: Correct Album Covers on Device

coverup_clearWhen recently browsing around the OVI Store I noted an interesting app which looks through your on device music collection looking for tracks with missing artwork.

I’m sure I;m not the only person out there that has transferred music onto their Nokia device only to find that some tracks do not have album art associated although the PC client implied all was fine.

The good new is that teknolog, the developer of PodCatcher, has created a wonderful little app called CoverUp.

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REVIEW: GoToMenu Swipe Access to Task Manager & More

GoToMenu_ClearBored with the standard method of accessing the Task Manager or want to sue the Menu button for something else?

If you answered yes, then you need GoToMenu.

This app takes simplicity to the next level as in some ways it isn’t an app at all as it is more of a GUI tweak.

When you open the GoToMenu interface you are presented with six full screen width buttons (see left hand image below):-

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gNewsReader: Google News Reader Symbian Client


There may be a number of RSS readers available for Symbian^3/Anna devices, but for a while now I watching this development of gNewsReader from a developer project to a premium OVI Store app.



Once the purchased and installed the app conforms to the Symbian Belle GUI format and is very easy to use although there are a small number features available on the Google Reader site that cannot be achieved via the mobile client.

The first of these is mark-all-read from the posts list within a specific feeds view, although the it is possible to mark-all-read for a specific feeds from the main feeds list.

Secondly, although related, it is not possible to mark a specific post as read without either marking all posts within a feeds as read from the main screen or opening the specific post.

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Once these limitations are accepted the app layout is simple with the main window displaying a categorised feed list, although it is not possible to categorise feeds via this app (Google Reader site required for classification). Although the category headings display contained feeds the starred, broadcast and blogger-followed headings operate as buttons instead, on pressing which display a list of the posts falling within the relevant categories.

A down side about the current layout is that tapping on category headings opens a screen with all posts within this category which could be helpful, but may be aided by providing the option to open a list of contained feeds or contained posts. I accept that the user created categories have contained feeds bellow, but the starred, broadcast and blogger-followed category headings have no form of contents filtering by feed or sharer, etc.

Moving down the main screen to the bottom control bar. The buttons and resultant features accessible are (from left to right):

  • Exit
  • Refresh
  • Settings Menu
    • About Application
    • Unread Filter Global – toggle the “Load New Feeds” filter selection between main subscriptions screen and all screens.
    • Auto Image Resize – toggles between showing images resized to fit or not.
    • Full HTML Content – toggles full HTML content on and off
  • View Menu
    • Subscribe to New Feed – Enables subscription to a new thread by entering the feed URL and an optional title or by pasting the feed from the clipboard.
    • Load Starred Feeds – display feeds containing starred posts only.
    • Load New Feeds – display feeds containing new posts only
    • Load All Feeds – display all feeds.
    • Load Shared By Friends – display posts shared by friends.
    • Load Shared By You – display personally shared posts.
    • Clear Authorization Data – delete Google Reader user information.

Additional to the above menu options a long press on a user created category provides mark-all-read beneath that heading and a long press on a feed heading provides a short floating menu enabling the user to unsubscribe, mark-all-read or rename the feed.

A tap on the relevant category heading or feed heading opens a new posts screen as discussed above. Once in this view the options a very limited with the bottom (right hand) menu button only providing the option to load more posts, whilst the middle filter icons toggles between showing all posts and only new/unread posts.

Scr000013    Scr000014    scr000022    Scr000015

Once a specific post is opened the screen layout is based on some of the setting from the main screen menus, namely image size and HTML content appears differently based on the toggle location on the Settings Menu.

The bottom control bar on this screen enable (from right to left), back-up to posts list, previous and next posts navigation and a large menu detailed below:

  • Keep Unread – leave the posts tagged as unread
  • Share to twitter – post a tweet linked to the posts via your twitter account.
  • Share to Facebook – post linked to the posts via your facebook account.
  • Send to Read It Later – save the post to your Read-It-Later account to read off-line later.
  • Send to Instapaper – save the post to your Instapaper account to read off-line later.
  • Add Star/Remove Star – star or remove a star from the post on Google Reader.
  • Share/Unshare (Google Reader) – share or unshare the post on Google Reader.
  • Like/Unlike – like or unlike the post on Google Reader.
  • Edit Tags – edit the default tags associated with the posts on Google Reader.
  • Copy URL to Clipboard – copy the post URL to the global clipboard on the phone to paste into other applications.


This is a very capable app and is the only RSS app for me as over time I have found using the likes of Google Reader to manage my RSS feed subscriptions. Until the appearance of gNewsReader I used Gravity for my Google Reader needs, but gNewsReader provides the image and full HTML support that Gravity does not. I can see a very bright future for this app and it will be a staple install for my Nokia N8 from now on.

Although I have identified a small number of improvements I would like to see, this app is well worth it’s price of £1.

Finally, there is an update on it’s way at the moment, but I have not been able to get my hands on a change log yet. When it becomes available the change log should appear on the developer’s project page.


QuickOffice Pro 7: QuickPoint

QO_PRO_512x512-96x96 This Review forms part of a multi-part review:

QuickPowerPoint is a sub-app of QuickOffice Pro 7 enabling creation, editing and viewing of Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. One thing to note is that although Microsoft Word supports many different document file formats QuickWord is limited to .ppt (PowerPoint presentation), .pptx (PowerPoint 2007 presentation) and .pps (PowerPoint showe) file formats according to the user guide, although the save as menu does not offer .pptx (PowerPoint 2007 presentation).

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Twitter Updates