reference

As the weather slowly begins to warm up, more time will begin to be spent outdoors. Should you have trouble identifying Poison Ivy from Scotch Cap, the Windows Phone 8 app Plant Guide might come in handy.

Plant Guide is a pocket reference guide that provides information on thousands of species of wild plants. The app also has support for HERE Maps should you get lost on your hikes or need to mark a spot on the map for reference. While it may not tickle everyone’s fancy, Plant Guide makes a nice first impression and if you need help identify plants it is worth a try.

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While the World Premier of "The Man of Steel" was earlier this week, many will be heading to see the latest Superman installment this weekend. If you need to hone up on your Superman knowledge the Superman Almanac for your Windows Phone that might come in handy.

For those with Lumia Windows Phones you have the exclusive Man of Steel app from Nokia that not only highlights the movie but also touches on the history behind Superman.  The Superman Almanac is from the developers of the Star Wars and Star Trek Almanacs and approaches things from more of a reference point of view.

The app has a ton of information on the Superman universe from full episodes from the 1940's animated series to biographies on your favorite characters. The Superman Almanac is a very inviting Windows Phone reference app.

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Star Trek Almanac, giving it all she's got Captain!

The latest Star Trek movie, Into Darkness,  is about to hit theaters and while we have the official Star Trek app, we also have the Star Trek Almanac. The Star Trek Almanac is from the same developers of the Star Wars Almanac and contains enough Star Trek knowledge to satisfy a horde of tribbles in heat.

The Star Trek Almanac is spread out just like it's Star Wars counterpart. You have pages covering a featured subject, videos, a sections page with links to people, vehicles, races and planets, as well as pages highlighting updated, popular and seldom seen Star Trek subjects.

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Windows Phone App Review: NCIS Pocket Guide

The Windows Phone app NCIS Pocket Guide is a quick reference guide for the NCIS television series. The Pocket Guide covers character and episode details for both NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles.

The NCIS Pocket Guide has character bios, episode guides, a listing of Gibb's Rules (way of life rules created by the main character) and a listing of any re-occurring characters that appear on the series. Simply laid out, NCIS Pocket Guide is a decent app for your Windows Phone with a bit of room for improvement. It's not going to appeal to everyone but if you're a fan of the NCIS television shows, it's worth checking out.

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Wikirama - App Spotlight

Wikirama is a Wikipedia portal for your Windows Phone. Wikirama lays everything out nicely making use of the Metro style panorama.  The app was recently updated to give Wikirama a cleaner appearance and a settings page.  Having first tinkered with the previous version, the updated version is a noticeable improvement.  Here's how Wikirama breaks down.

Wikirama supports twenty-one languages and has an auto-complete search feature. Your search history appears just below the search field (eliminates the previous History page).  Wikirama allows you to open up to six concurrently open tabs for your searches and you can add topics to your favorites page.  Wikirama supports both landscape and portrait viewing.

Your search result page gives you a window view of the Wikipage that is touch scrollable.  You can also pull the Wikipage full screen to access the full version of the topic page.

Overall impression: WikiRama is a clean, simple Wikipedia client.  I liked the auto-complete feature and that the search history was moved to the search page.  It gives the app a cleaner look and hunting down your search topic a little more efficient.  If you tinker with Wikipedia often, Wikirama is worth checking into.

There are two versions available for Wikirama. There is a free version, Wikirama Free that is ad supported that you can find here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. You also have an ad-free version of Wikirama that will run you $.99 and you can find it here at the Marketplace. There is a trial version for the ad-free option.

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The Imp - App Spotlight

Jammerware is offering a League of Legends companion app for your Windows Phone. The Imp is a free app over at the Marketplace and offers a complete breakdown of all the champions, items, runes, and summoner spells in the game and the ability to create and save your own builds.

If you're a League of Legends aficionado, The Imp may help you get through the game a with fewer bumps and bruises. You can download your copy of The Imp here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.

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National Geographic World Atlas - Review

We’ve looked at dictionaries before, but the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace offers other reference applications as well. National Geographic World Atlas is one such program aimed at geography students and enthusiasts. And who doesn’t like learning about far away lands or the shape of the world?

National Geographic is one of the largest educational institutions in the existence. Does the mobile World Atlas live up to their usual high standards? Read on past the break to find out.

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Wiki Bee - Review

Hekool is offering a Wikipedia app over at the Marketplace, Wiki Bee. Wiki Bee is a straight forward, simple to use, Wikipedia portal for Windows Phone 7.

The Windows Phone app comes in two flavors; a free version (Wiki Bee Free) and a paid version (Wiki Bee). Both versions allow you to search in 35 languages, auto-complete searches, quick navigation through a table of contents, and the means to immediately return to your most recent topic searched.

The differences rest with the paid version of Wiki Bee. With the pay version you add the ability to save topics as favorites, jump to any topic in your search history, and have offline access to your history and favorites.

For more on the Wiki Bee apps, buzz on past the break.

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WikiPanda - Review

Wikipedia has grown into one of the largest reference sources on the planet. WikiPanda, on the other hand, is a Windows Phone 7 application that will make tapping into Wikipedia from your Windows Phone easy.

Developed by PandaBits, WikiPanda offers you a hub interface with Wikipedia that will let you search by topic, view featured articles and historical facts for that particular date. WikiPanda presents the information nicely with a clean looking, easily navigated layout.

To read a bit more on this reference application for your Windows Phone, slide on past the break.

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