Father’s Day Finds

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Gift shopping can be confusing and overwhelming, especially when the person you’re shopping for is someone very special — and dads are right there on top of your very special people list.

Getting a gift that your dad will love not only means getting him something he will want to use all the time but also something novel enough that he’ll be impressed. That way, he’ll know that you actually took the time to look.

Here’s where GoWireless.com can help. We’ve picked out items with the best utility-likeability ratio on our online store and made a Father’s Day gift guide. Browse through our list of what we think your dad will want for Father’s Day.

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What Are They Saying About The Nokia Lumia Icon?

The Nokia Lumia Icon’s launch is upon us. We previously outlined the impressive specs of the upcoming Nokia Lumia Icon. Over the weekend many website posted reviews on the next generation of the Nokia Lumia family in preparation for the launch. Find out what people are saying about the new Windows Phone after the jump. Continue reading

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Instagram Beta Review: Exciting but It’s Missing Something.

Platforms: Windows Phone (also on iOS and Android)

Price: Free

On November 20th one of the Apps that Windows Phone users asked for the most to come to their platform finally arrived: Instagram. Well that is not the whole truth as the app that is listed currently is called Instagram Beta. Having spent time with the app on my Windows Phone over the weekend there was one thing that stuck out at me. That was that this was not the same Instagram that I’ve enjoyed over on other platforms. Instead, as the name of the app suggests, this was a true Beta version of Instagram because we while Windows Phone user get most of the features of Instagram, not all of the features are readily available as of yet.

What did arrive on Windows Phone with Instagram Beta were the core features that made the social media platform so popular. The user interface is a bit different than on other platforms, with the Home, Liked Posts, Explore and Profile located at the top right. One ‘major’ change is that Instagram has given the Search and Explore function dedicated buttons on the UI.

These UI differences aside, it was great to have the ability to take the pictures I’ve taken with my Nokia 928 and post them on Instagram without jumping through hoops. Even though it has been rumored that you can’t take pictures within the app that rumor is not true as I was able to take pictures directly on the app and then use the filters provided just like on other platforms.

All that said it is disappointing that Instagram Beta lacks photo tagging and video recording. This may cause some confusion for users because Instagram is advertising the video recording feature on their app listing, as of Nov. 25th, even though it is not yet available. In their blog post Instagram had the following to say:

“We wanted to make Instagram available to people with Windows Phones as quickly as possible, so we focused on creating an awesome experience with Instagram’s core features. We’re not finished, and our team will continue developing the Windows Phone app to keep releasing features and bringing you the best Instagram possible.”

Hopefully once more Windows Phone users download the app it will push Instagram to release updates that will make their app have all the features that are on other platforms

Positives

-Easy to use UI

-Photo Filters

-Great way to share pictures

Negatives

-Beta version missing features on other platforms.

The beta version is available for download from Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store, or by searching for Instagram on your phone. We haven’t heard when all the missing features will become available, but for now Windows Phone users can enjoy the core features that many Instagram users on Android and iOS have enjoyed.

Be sure you follow GoWireless on Twitter and Like GoWireless on Facebook.

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Newbies Experience with a Windows Phone 8

While making my way through the smartphone wilderness there has been one operating system that has eluded me: Windows Phone. This changed recently as I was able to spend an extensive period of time with the Nokia Lumia 928, which is powered by Windows Phone 8.

The OS:

As a new user to the Windows Phone 8 platform I was quick to test out all the features of this phone and what separated it from other operating system. Surprisingly, the Windows Phone 8 OS works very smoothly without any noticeable lag when switching between apps. Having Microsoft Office pre-installed on the phone proved to be very useful when opening up documents for work and editing them on the go.

The flexibility of the Live Tile user interface was also a welcome surprise. Having the ability to use three different tile sizes, available sizes are 1 x 1, 2 x 2, and 4 x 2, is especially helpful when organizing and highlighting key apps on the Start screen. Having these three different sizes to work with also injected some life into the phone, making it feel customized for my own experience.

The Apps:

Of course the real test of this the Windows Phone 8 was to see how the OS worked with various apps. While it’s disappointing to see that the Windows Phone Store does not feature the large catalog that is available on the Google Play and iTunes stores it was not a deal breaker thanks to the apps that I’ve been able to find so far. Here are some apps that stood out:

PHONLY – After searching for an app that’ll give me all the news I read on a daily basis in one location I came across Phonly. This Feedly-client has turned out to be my most used app to keep up with the websites and blog that I follow on Feedly.

IMPOSSIBLE SHOOTA – As soon as I started Impossible Shoota I could see how it takes its inspiration from Galaga. The aesthetic is there but what makes it stand on its own is how it raises the difficulty with each level that you reach. As you’re level gets higher the more intense the game gets with enemies coming at you at a faster rate, testing your finger reaction time in the process.

FLOW FREE – Flow Free is a fun puzzle game that opens up the idea of trial and error in order to find the correct path to connect the colors together. As with games like Unblock Me, there is an addictive quality to this type of puzzle game that creates a sense of satisfaction when you figure out the puzzle.

CASTLEMINE – Castlemine is a game that feeds into my addiction with tower defense games. In this addictive tower defense game you are faced with a horde of bad guys that approach your castle from the very soil it is built on top of. This unique take on tower defense games has you digging deeper into the in order to eradicate your opposition while simultaneously making things more chaotic with more bad guys to fight.

SHURIKEN NINJA Shuriken Ninja is an app that the farther you get into it the more it becomes a game about precision. Nothing about this game is overtly challenging. What Shuriken Ninja does well is give you a game that is a good time waster.

USA TODAY The USA Today app makes great use of the Live Tile UI of the Windows Phone 8. The navigation of the app feels exactly like the home screen of the Windows Phone 8 home screen. The transitions between news items are smooth and there isn’t a noticeable lag when switching between articles.

ALLRECIPESI may never become the Next Iron Chef but an app like Allrecipes is an invaluable friend in the kitchen. Having the ability to look up recipes or find something to cook with the ingredients I have on hand is great for cooking on the fly. You get step-by-step instructions, along with nutrition information.

Overall Impressions

The Windows Phone 8 experience I had was a pleasant one. The navigation of OS is easy to use and the Live Tile UI makes it easier to keep all the apps organized in a visually appealing way. While the Windows App Store may not have as many apps as other platforms the ones I have been able to find so far make great use of what the Nokia Lumia 928 is capable of.

Are you a Windows Phone user? If so what’s been your experience like? What are some of your favorite apps that I may have missed out on trying? Make sure you follow GoWireless on Twitter and Like GoWireless on Facebook to let us know.

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