Windows Phone has a smaller selection of apps available to users than Android or iOS, but the average quality is exceptionally high. As the platform becomes more popular, the range of apps will increase and hopefully the quality will remain as high, or even higher, than it is now. Here are 10 apps that prove the worth of the platform.
Mobile news reading has become a boom area with solutions like Flipboard and Pulse taking many of the headlines, but Weave is up there with the very best. Lots of example content is built in to the app and you could in theory enjoy your news every day with just the sites that are pre-loaded. You can, however, add your own content and make the solution truly personal to your interests and it works as you would like it to. What sets it apart though is the presentation and the way the app works. I have not personally seen a news app that looks and feels as intuitive to use as Weave, and that is extremely impressive in a genre that includes the wonderful Flipboard. This app and the UI are breathtaking.
The tile system employed by Windows Phone has started lots of debates over its usefulness. Some say that it hides too much, others believe it to be too simplistic, but the majority seem to enjoy the zen-like nature of the interface. AppoinTile cleverly uses the tile system to offer immediate information to the user as soon as they turn on their phone. Your appointments are sensitively displayed using the tiles to their full effect and it manages to create a practical solution that does not make the home screen look too busy. This app is ideal for anyone who needs to be organised.
Like AppoinTile, Tile Memo also uses the tile format to full effect. It is, however, very easy to describe what it does- you can write a memo immediately in a tile and it will be displayed on the front screen. That’s it, but that is all you want a memo app to do right? It is all about the speed.
There are many free navigation solutions available for Windows Phone, some built in and some third party, and there are also solutions that are available at commercial prices. Navigation sits somewhere in the middle, or to be fair closer to the free titles, in that it is extremely cheap. For under £5, you get onboard maps, driving and walking directions, routes calculated using time, distance and traffic data, and an interface that fits the operating system perfectly. There are a lot of features built into this app and many are what you would only expect to see in a commercial offering so it really does represent excellent value for money.
Managing your money when mobile offers many advantages; you can enter transactions as soon as they are made and you will always have an up to date view of your current financial situation so that you can be sure that the purchases you make are viable. A good financial app will actually save you money and Bank Account Manager leverages the simplicity of the Windows Phone interface well to make money management feel much less complex than previously. It has some unusual quirks and is one of many, but as a personal preference this is the one I would go for.
Twitter and smartphones go together well and mobile tweeting is fast catching up with texting for how much it is used. rowi marries a simplistic interface with all of the Twitter functions you will need and ends up providing the kind of experience that makes Twitter feel even easier than it already is. I can’t say much about rowi because it just does everything it needs to well and is a perfectly put together solution.
Yes, including the Kindle app is incredibly obvious, but if you are serious about eReading this is a great place to start. The number of eBooks available, the pricing and the efficiency of Whispersync make it a great solution anyway, but the presentation on Windows Phone is stunning. It is as good, if not better, on Windows Phone than any other mobile platform.
Photo Crop may not sound as exciting as other photography apps that can add special effects and let you manipulate your creations in a variety of ways, but it performs a task that is often needed. The simplicity of the solution, the lack of a price and the way it works make it a solution that every Windows Phone owner should have installed for when they need it.
Podcasts are best played when you are doing something else such as driving and for this to work you need an app that can build playlists, play in the background and let you easily capture new content when you want it. BringCast does all of that and much more, within a presentation that is as easy to use as any other solution in this genre.
If you dare to let your children use your smartphone, they can keep them quiet during a long drive or even educate them in their early years. Shapes Colouring Book is not designed for education, but will most certainly keep any toddler happy thanks to the bright colours and ease of use. Just make sure your phone is in a case with a screen protector installed!