Jack of Tools Pro, a handy Windows Phone 8 toolbox
Jack of Tools Pro is to your Windows Phone 8 device much like a Swiss Army Knife is to pocket knifes… a lot of tools rolled into one package.
Jack of Tools Pro is a collection of ten tools for your Windows Phone that range from a flashlight app to a decibel meter. The app is simply laid out with a series of tiles that launch each tool and that can be pinned to your Start Screen for easy access.
If you’re looking for a nice collection of utility oriented apps for your Windows Phone 8 device wrapped up in one package, Jack of Tools Pro is worth a look.
The main page for Jack of Tools Pro is a series of tiles that adhere to your Windows Phone theme color. Each tile launches a tool, sends you to the app’s settings or deals with developer information/feedback. Each tool tile can be pinned to your Start Screen by tapping/holding to pull up the menu option.
The tools included with Jack of Tools Pro are:
Flash Light: A simple on/off switch appears that will turn on/off your Windows Phone camera light.
Compass: The compass display offers you an overhead compass view with the degrees and general heading displayed above. An accuracy reading is displayed below along with a warning should calibration be needed. There is an option to launch a see through compass view that launches your camera and gives you a bit of an augmented reality feel to things.
Level: The level has vertical and horizontal levels along with a surface level display.
Position: This tool shows your Latitude, Longitude and position accuracy. Buttons are also present to map your position and share your location via Windows Live, Facebook or Twitter. You also have the option to choose Bing, Nokia or Google maps.
Base: Base is more or less a track back app where you can set your current location as a base and receive headings to get you back to that location. You also have the option to share your current location via Windows Live, Facebook or Twitter.
Altimeter: Your basic altimeter that displays your altitude on a dial meter and a graph that charts your current, maximum and minimum altitudes.
Geographic Camera: The Geographic Camera… as you would guess… launches your Windows Phone camera and stamps each picture with the compass heading and GPS information.
Velocity: This is a speedometer that has a few bells and whistles to it. The velocity tool will not only display a speed dial but also a digital display of your speed and heading, along with a graph that charts your current, average and maximum speed. You also have tabs that will mark your average and maximum speed on the dial. Want to share your speed? Just tap the conversation bubble button and you can share your speed via Facebook, Twitter, or Windows Live.
Sound: A basic decibel meter that has a meter reading and a audio graph display.
Caliper: Not the most accurate but will get you in the ballpark. You have to calibrate the caliper when you first launch the tool based on the diagonal measurement of your screen.
Jack of Tools Pro’s settings presents you with a wide range of options dealing with the individual tools as well as the app itself. For example you can switch between U.S. and Metric readings, toggle between bubble and ball levels and toggle between lat/long or UTM readings. You also have a setting to Continue on Idle that prevents your Windows Phone from timing out or going on idle. For example, if you want to use the velocity tool to see how fast your driving and don’t want the Windows Phone’s lockscreen to kick in, just flip the switch on the Continue to Idle setting.
Overall, Jack of Tools Pro has a nice selection of tools for your Windows Phone. I think the biggest downside to the app is stability. While sampling each tool, the app would crash with no rhyme or reason. Not enough to call the app a bust but enough where I could see it become frustrating. Hopefully this is an issue that can be easily fixed with the next update.
There is a free trial version of Jack of Tools Pro available that has advertisements and some limited functionality. The full version of Jack of Tools Pro is currently running $1.99 and you can find it all here in the Windows Phone Store. Keep in mind, it is a Windows Phone 8 app.