Network Tools for Windows Phone



I’ll be honest, Windows Phone app development is stagnant. As I get more and more excited for Windows Universal Apps that will run across platforms, I don’t often enough see the little icon indicating that the app I’m using is future proof and ready for Windows 10 Mobile, or just to use it on Windows 10 desktops. But that can’t stop me from using my phone in the ways I need it.


After recently migrating to a Lumia 640, I went to reinstall an app I had previously suggested (a very simple Ping utility) which has gone missing! So now I have found a new app to help me with some day to day Network testing. Network Tools, a simply named app from TwinTaps, has proved to be a wonderful tool to carry in my pocket.




With support for everything from WHOIS, to Ping, to NSLookup, and even the ability to check the IP, both local (such as 192.168.x.x) and public (like IPChicken or similar websites!), I find that Network Tools might just be one of the most under appreciated apps available for the Windows Phone. It’s very impressive, and I certainly hope it gets updated and is available when Windows 10 Mobile launches in the coming weeks and months.

Microsoft Fastlane on future Lumias?



Microsoft Finland (in other words: formerly Nokia) filed a trademark on the name “Fastlane.” Fastlane is described as “computer software for mobile phones, smart phones and mobile tablet computers for enabling a user to customize the user interface and to quickly locate, access, retrieve, use and/or share device features, applications, information and files.” It was just recently moved in to the “published for opposition” phase to see if anyone else has a problem with Microsoft using a name that could be used by many other businesses. To me, it sounds almost like a version of Continuum that would allow you to send your current configuration to someone else’s device. I’m likely all wrong, it may just be a new version of the “share” button inside Windows Phones and Windows 10, but whatever Fastlane is, it will be interesting to see if it makes it to other products, or stays within the Lumia product line.


When I first saw the name, I speculated it would be a Windows-based “Waze” competitor based on Nokia’s HERE Maps. Unfortunately, the description means I’ll have to keep dreaming.

No, Sprint, I will not resubmit my ATIV S Neo review

A few weeks ago, I wrote a review on Sprint.com for a phone I picked up in August. The Samsung ATIV S Neo. Unfortunately, the phone has a few issues – and Sprint’s customer service isn’t going to help you fix them. I think this should be known to potential customers. Unfortunately, I received an email stating that my review would not be published until I removed my complaints about Sprint’s customer service. Customer Service is part of the problem with this phone. Not the individual agents – they care, I know they do. The problem is that they aren’t being informed of a much wider issue, and all it does is frustrate those of us with ongoing issues!

Below, I have decided to post my entire, uncensored review of Sprint’s Samsung ATIV S Neo. Enjoy.

I love Windows Phone 8. Just as I loved Windows Phone 7 before it. It gets a bad wrap for not having a lot of apps, but all of the apps that I actually use on a day-to-day basis are right here when I need them. I can do my banking, all of my email and chat programs, social networking, etc… several of the networks can be integrated directly with the phone, even without the specific app installed: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can all be updated from the “Me” tile with just a couple of taps

The downside seems to be a known issue with Windows Phone 8 that Spring and Microsoft have refused to officially acknowledge and tell us whether or not a fix is on the way. The overwhelming majority of WP8 users (both this Samsung model and the HTC model) are reporting that the voicemail indicator does not work. You have no idea that you have a voicemail until you actually force yourself to manually call in and listen – hoping “there are no new messages” is all you hear. This is a massive frustration we have brought to Sprint’s attention in the support forums, and they try to go through troubleshooting steps with you each time, as though it is a problem that can be resolved on the headset when it appears that THOUSANDS of WP8 handsets have the issue. Windows Phone 7 had no such problem, and I’ve strongly considered going back to my HTC Arrive because of this.

The phone ITSELF, though, is amazing. The hardware design is beautiful, it’s nearly identical to the Galaxy S4. The processor and memory make for one of the fastest WP8 devices you can buy, the screen supports beautiful 720p resolution, and although it’s no Lumia 1020, it takes beautiful pictures and video, although I do find the flash to be slightly off which can lead to difficulty when trying to use something like the Chase bank app’s Quick Deposit feature where you need to photograph checks. I don’t buy cases for my phones, and even riding in my pocket with change and other items, the back and screen of the phone are scratch free and still beautiful to look at. The large screen can make the phone a bit wide for some peoples hands, mine included, but I don’t mind the size when the image quality is just SO good.

Svpply for Android

Svpply.com calls itself “a curated collection of the world’s best products and stores.” A division of eBay, Inc., Svpply strives to have the same “pinterest-like” effect on its members, while specifically targetting shoppers. Want clothing? Just click and view popular items. Need something to satisfy your latest ’bout of techno-lust? Here is a selection of tablets. Looking to impress the unimpressible hipster next door? Someone on Etsy is selling their Polaroid camera collection!

The more “wants” an item gets, the faster it ranks up and shows up higher in the list of curated items, and the more you use Svpply the more it learns your tastes and preferences as well. And what better way to use it a lot than by downloading the Svpply app for Android.

It’s an attractive app and in my experience was very smooth. It has a clean interface and doesn’t throw too much at you at one time. The Svpply app for Android isn’t a normal choice for me, but I wanted to make sure others knew about it.

Official YouTube app returns to Windows Phone

Everybody seemed pretty excited about this news, so I figured, why not make it my app pick of the week? The official YouTube app is back on Windows Phone!

Now, that doesn’t make it easy to find, however, because Microsoft allows multiple apps to have the same name. To make it worse, nearly everyone who makes their own YouTube app uses the same logo. But luckily, I have the URL you need. You can get the official YouTube app from Microsoft on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

After a long, drawn out battle with Google, the app is back on Windows Phone, and allows great Windows Phone features like pinning of Channels or Videos as Live Tiles. The app also includes full channel management features, Kid’s Corner, and even the ability to upload videos directly from your phone and share them to social networks. Go download the official YouTube for Windows Phone app, and enjoy!