While sitting at the bar the other night, awaiting my Pittsburgh Steelers preseason action, a few of us were reading up on the latest and greatest in the season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bucs went more than a few extra innings – 19 in total – in their win against the Cardinals.
But we, the Pittsburgh fans in Rochester, New York, weren’t just excited to see the final score on the ESPN ScoreCenter App for Windows Phone 7, they wanted the rest of the action! And they got it. You see, what we learned with several of us sitting around with smartphones in hand, was that on the iPhone, you have the ESPN ScoreCenter app, and the ESPN GameCenter app. On Windows Phone? It’s all conveniently rolled in to one total package.
Tap on any game’s score to reveal an in-depth play-by-play of the game, including a view of the strike-zone and diamond for baseball, the hardwood for basketball, a football field and presumably an ice rink, all showing where shots take place, gains and losses on the play, strikes, balls, field goals, and three pointers, all depending on your sport de jour. No need to launch in to a different app, Windows Phone 7 has brought the GameCenter to you within the ScoreCenter app.
I don’t think there is a whole lot to say about this one, it’s pretty stragiht forward. But I have found myself watching bits and pieces of the NASA TV app lately on my iPad. There are frequent live feeds from the international space station, where you can watch the astronauts float around as they get their day-to-day work done. There are also some interesting documentaries and clips – I got to see some great information about the Morpheus lander only hours before it would fail in a fiery crash.
It’s free, and comes with that wonderful feeling of satisfaction in knowing that you are paying attention to something that more people should be watching!
It’s time for App Wednesday! We’ve covered IRC for Android, and IRC for IRC for iPad, but it is only fair to to cover Windows Phone 7 as well! A small app calling itself IRC7, or IRC Free on the Windows Phone Marketplace, is an excellent choice for accessing IRC channels from your Windows Phone 7 device.
Not only is it one of the few (maybe only?) free IRC apps for the Windows Phone, but it’s actually very good. You can save multiple channels, store your credentials for logging on, and easily flip between multiple open connections and channels using the ever-so-simple and by-now-familiar Windows Phone 7 swipe-side-to-side interface. Building on that, it has other nice features like not allowing the phone to fall asleep when it is idle (which is key to not getting disconnected from channels), and supports secure connections to chat rooms!
The app is ad-supported, but developer Adafy has done an excellent job of keeping the ad at the edges of the screen and it doesn’t bug you non-stop! Also, the phone supports portrait and landscape modes and will switch on the fly. I love the widescreen support, it looks much nicer and allows me to use the slideout keyboard of my HTC Arrive. I enjoy IRC Free, and encourage you to give it a download if you’re a WP7 user like me!
If you’re an IT Professional, or just a big geek like me, sometimes you have a need to use Remote Desktop Protocol, or RDP. It can allow you to connect remotely to your Windows desktop computer. Although the overall goal is the same, managing multiple desktops can be difficult, and the features of various RDP apps on the iPad can make a break the usability of a Remote Desktop app. Some features you just need. Although there are lots of alternative solutions, like LogMeIn and TeamViewer, which don’t actually use RDP, if you’re a purist who wants to use the protocol, then here are a few of the best I have found, specifically on iPad – although their Android counterparts are nothing to scoff at either!
PocketCloud (you can use it with a desktop companion app, bypassing regular RDP, if you really want to – but it also supports regular RDP, which is how I use it). If you are willing to spend the money, the Pro version is even nicer and can manage more connections.
My number 2 app is just called RDP, from Mocha. The free version lets you add more computers, but DOESN’T allow you to right click, drag, or have access to certain keys, unless you upgrade to the Pro version.