The Best Windows Phone Apps

Windows Phone is home to many beautiful apps, but which ones are the best? We got 'em all for you right here.

UPDATED DECEMBER 1, 2012


Social

Twitter: The official Twitter app for Windows Phone in all its side swiping glory. A little bare bones compared to Twitter on other platforms but it supports multiple accounts, realtime search and trending topics. Free.

Facebook: It's Facebook. You need it to do everything you use Facebook for: check out pictures, keep up to date with your wall, see notifications and peep your feed. Free.

IM+: It's expensive, but it's the best IM app on Windows Phone 7 and supports AIM, Google Talk, Facebook, Skype, ICQ, Jabber, MySpace and Yahoo. There's push notification, the app is understated in design (which I enjoy) and decently fast. $10.49.

WhatsApp: A SMS replacement of sorts. It's cross-platform messaging serve that lets you can chat with all your friends without wasting money on the ripoff that is text messages. Friends who use Whatsapp will be automatically loaded to your buddy list because WhatsApp smartly uses your phone number as your handle.

Gchat: Even if you're on Windows Phone, Google Talk is still one of the bestest IM services to use. Gchat for Windows Phone is a really great app that combines the beauty of Winpho with the utility of Google. You get push notifications, the ability to pin contacts as secondary tiles and more.

Photosynth: This is a beautiful social panorama app. Take large lovely pics of the people and places around you, and share them with your friends. Free.

Baconit: Are you an avid Redditor? This is an awesome way to check out the front page of the internet. The speedy, live-updating app lets you do all the things you can do on the regular old site, including up-voting and down-voting, commenting, posting and perusing subreddits. Free.

Metrogram: So your Windows Phone doesn't have Instagram. Bummer. But you can still look at updates from your friends on this WP client. Free.

Google+: If you're using Windows Phone and Google+, you're doubly unique. And now you have an app to do all your alternative social networking. Free.


Entertainment

Pictures Lab:Your phone isn't complete until you can take photos that look like they came out of a $5 camera from 1974. Pictures Lab offers a ton of other effects for your money too. $2.49.

Rdio: It's our favourite subscription music service and can easily replace your iPod app altogether. The baked-in social elements make it super easy to find new music your friends are digging, and the whole app just got an attractive makeover. $10.49/month.

TED: TED talks are some of the best content the internet has to offer, bar none. Catching up with them on Windows Phone, away from the "real" internet, is quite perfect. Free.

Kindle: Even if you don't have an actual Kindle, Amazon's still the king of ebooks. Their Windows Phone app lets you buy books from the vast Kindle library, and you can rest easy knowing that they're on a platform that's almost guaranteed to have some staying power. Free.

Shazam: You know that song you keep hearing everywhere but can't quite place? Shazam can place it. Like, almost every time. Unlimited tagging on Windows Phone. Free.

Movies by Flixster: The ever familiar Movies by Flixster, where you can check up showtimes in theatres around you, watch trailers of the movies coming out and check the box office to see how much money they made. There's even a live tile to see what's the biggest hit each week. Free.

GoodMovie: GoodMovie is a film buff's dream app — it taps into Rotten Tomatoes, Bing, YouTube and Wikipedia to give you all the information you'd want to learn about a movie. That means reviews, news, trailers and more all packaged in a sweet tile-y layout that's absolutely a joy to use.

Flixter: This is a must-have for movie lovers. Find showtimes, cast information, and save the flicks you want to see later. Free.


Games

Fruit Ninja: I don't know what it is about chopping fruits that pop up on the screen but slicing a sick multiple fruit combo with juicy visuals never felt so good. Simple gameplay that's ridiculously addictive. $3.49.

ilomilo: A beautifully designed 3D-puzzle game where you try to unite ilo and milo by moving them or moving cubes. It's brain exercise at its prettiest. $5.49.

The Harvest: A Sci-Fi Action RPG it looks like Dungeon Siege (or the lousier Space Siege) on your phone. And that is great times for RPG fans. $7.49.

Flight Control: I always think I'll get tired of this time management game but every time I fire up Flight Control, I still enjoy those chaotic last seconds where I have 30 planes on the screen. $3.49.

NextWar: The Quest for Earth: A great tower defence game that comes with 10 different levels. Like any other tower defence games it's going to be hours of fun and a lifetime of addiction. $3.49.

Wordament: It's an addictive word game in the lines of Boggle. You get a grid of letters and you find as many words as you can from adjacent letters. The game pits you against other players in real time so you get to see how quick your finger and vast your vocabulary is. Free.

Rocket Riot: An 8-bit styled game where you shoot stuff up and blow things up in search for the bad guy. There are heaps of levels that are each creatively designed and fun to play. You'll probably lose a few days to this game. $5.49.

Chickens Can Dream: A fun, casual game where you avoid obstacles such as circular saws, flamethrowers, boots-on-a-stick on your quest downwards. The graphics are cute and gameplay is wildly addictive, as you race to beat your score. Free.

Angry Birds: Yeah it's not exactly brand spanking new but it's still as addictive as ever. Angry Birds, launching birds to destroy pigs, is finally on Windows Phone 7 and you don't really own a smartphone until you've played through this once. $3.49.

Minesweeper: Dude, it's the minesweeper game you grew up on but ported to Windows Phone 7. Sadly, it's not as old school looking as it once was but it's still randomly strategic fun with 4 levels of difficulty and Classic and Speed modes. Xbox Live game too. Free.

Sudoku: I would much rather identify myself as a Crosswords guy but Sudoku and its numbers are so darn addicting I can't step away from it. This version ties in with Xbox Live and has a Classic/Lightning modes to wrinkle your brain. Other than that, it's sudoku like you know and love. Free.

Alchemic Phone 7: Like the '80s game Alchemy, you rebuild the universe with elements. You start with six elements and combine them to unlock 1600 more elements and 26 new realms. Addicting a game as they come by. Free.

Assassin's Creed - Altaïr's Chronicles HD: A prequel to Assasin's Creed offers six weapons for enemy-slaying action. On-screen controls replicate a controller as you battle your way through the game.


Productivity

Back Burner: It's a Read It Later app for Windows Phone 7, so you can save internet articles to, well, read later. You'll find yourself reading a lot more than before. Free.

Fuse: A gorgeous RSS reader that transforms boring ol' feeds into windows of information. It supports Google Reader, Instapaper, Read It Later, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. There's way to customise the look of the app but any way you spin it, it's probably the best-looking RSS reader on Windows Phone 7.

WikiPanda: It's the best Wikipedia app for Windows Phone 7. WikiPanda lets you easily search through the Internet's Encyclopedia and offers a featured article and an "on this day" factoid too.

Wonder Reader: The best Google Reader app on Windows Phone, Wonder Reader can be fully customised to your liking (fonts, themes, options). It can share items with your social networks and has a pretty neat Gallery view. $2.49.

Adobe Reader: A PDF reader for your Windows Phone, it supports multitouch gestures and landscape mode too. Free.

Google: I'm sorry Bing, it's not you, it's me. I'm just used to Google, so I have to have Google search on my phone.

My Trips: It ties in with TripIt, the excellent travel service, so it'll sync all your itineraries, flight information and all the other details you need when you're on the go. If you use TripIt, and it's as indispensable a travel tool there is, you'll love My Trips.

Sliding Keyboard: I personally think the Windows Phone keyboard is fantastic but for those still itching for some Swype-action on WP7, Sliding Keyboard is as close as it gets. Slide your finger around keys to write words.

Pulse: Pulse takes a bunch of news sources and transforms them into a pretty gorgeous collection of tiles. All of the stories are laid out in a grid-it's all side scrolling, swipey fun. Scroll up and down to peek at different feeds, scroll left and right to scan different stories, tap on the tile to read the full story and share the story to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Evernote: The do everything and anything note-taking app syncs with all your other Evernote apps and works just as you'd expect: write notes, keep notebooks, search notes, map notes, share notes, etc.

Nextgen Reader: Need a solution for going through Google Reader on your phone? This app lets you do it, Metro-style. Features offline caching and Mango support. $2.49.

Translator: Need an interpreter? This is a really versatile way to translate a language — it can do it through the phone's camera with text and it supports spoken word as well. Free.

Audible: Like passing the time with audiobooks? Find thousands of titles on Audible, as well as eight samples to get you started. Free.


Lifestyle

AppFlow: It's kind of backwards to need an app to find more apps but with the relative newness of Windows Phone 7, it's the sorta thing that helps a lot. AppFlow shows "new and impressive" apps along with "forgotten legends", those that were once really popular but no longer register a blip (cause everyone has it). It's a neat way to discover more apps.

Poynt: Poynt is a do-everything, location-based app which lets you find restaurants, businesses and movie theatres around you and even gives you weather reports. If you want, you can make dinner reservations and buy movie tickets too. Free.

AP Mobile: AP Mobile is the best way to keep track of what's going on in the world. With it, you get breaking news, photos, and videos from over a thousand different sources and can share stories to Twitter and Facebook. Oh, it's purty too. Free.

Weather Bug: It's the weather: a forecast, live weather cameras, and a Doppler radar will all tell you what it feels like outside. Bonus: you can add an active live tile to get the current temperature displayed on your home screen. Free.

Travelocity: If you're planning a trip, Travelocity will handle all your flight and hotel needs. It doubles as a flight status app too, giving you flight schedules and delay information. Free.

Xbox Live Extras: Customise your avatar, keep track of achievements and connect with your Xbox LIVE friends. It makes Windows Phone feel more Xboxy, and that's a good thing. Free.

eBay: Online shoppers unite! eBay for Windows Phone is an excellently designed app that gives you everything you want in eBay - bidding, watching, selling - with a great interface - text overlay on pictures, tiles, etc. Free.

IMDB: IMDB has all the movie information you could ever want, as well as trailers for upcoming movies and showtimes for what's in theatres now. All a movie buff would ever want. Free.

Flickr Manager: Manage your Flickr account from your Windows Phone. You can view your photostream, your friend's stream, and upload pictures. Free or $0.99.

gMaps: gMaps is a Google Maps app for Windows Phone that works as well as you'd expect. And as I don't actually know anyone who uses Bing Maps over Google Maps, this is the maps app you'd want. Best part is it's free. Free.

Foodspotting: The food photo-sharing app where you can see the real food people are eating at restaurants (that's why people take pictures of food!) comes in all swipey glory for Windows Phone 7. It takes advantage of WP7's Metro UI and is a lot cleaner looking than its Android and iOS counterparts.

Epicurious: A food app with over 30,000 recipes, it lets you scour through those recipes based on what's in season, create interactive shopping lists, etc. It's well designed and packed with utility. Free.

BBC News: It's the BBC! Keep up to date with the world's news with their Windows Phone apps which has been re-built for Mango. The app also has support for push notifications and live tiles.

CleverPhoto: A basic photo editor that let's you take control of the pictures you take. The normal features (like crop, rotate, flip) are all there along with brightness and contrast controls. What's even better is that you can tack on a filter and add other artistic effects to the snappies you've taken.

Easy Ring: Want a ringtone? Of course you do! EasyRing makes it incredibly easy to set up a ringtone on your snazzy Windows Phone by giving you a database of mp3 files to choose from. A few clicks and your ring ring becomes a boom ba boom. Also! The app even acts as a music player too.

Cool Tools: A digital toolbox worth of apps. Like an all-in-one sort of deal, you get a stopwatch, countdown, torch, ruler, accelrometer, soundcheck, converter, tip calculator and more. Get this app to get more out of your Windows Phone.

NPR Listener: Who doesn't love Terry Gross and her smooth voice on NPR's Fresh Air? Welp, now you can listen to Terry and the rest of the NPR crew with the NPR Listener app.

Thumba Photo Editor: Edit your photos with 70 adjustments and effects. Users can crop, add HDR effects, remove noise, and inspect or add GPS metadata to their photos.

Skyscanner: Travelling is expensive, so you want to find a bargain anytime you go somewhere. This app searches more than 1000 databases to find you the best deal, and it will send you the info if you can't book right away. Free.


Comments

    *POUT* Nextwar isn't on the Aussie marketplace. I'd like a good TD game on my WP7. Battle For Hoth just didn't cut it.

      It most certainly is, considering I have it.

      Make sure when you do a Market search to not seperate Next + War...

      And yeah, Battle for Hoth was not only a terrible game, but damn ugly too.

    I had no idea that anyone actually owned one of these.

      Oh my god Tahn, you're so witty!

      You must be the first ever person to comment on a win phone 7 article and imply that no one cares because no one owns one. Taking the 10 seconds it requires to comment on this "fact" must be an excellent use of your time.

      clearly at least one windows phone 7 has been sold, and infact a minimum of 25 apps (based solely off of this article) have been made for it.

      I get that you were trying to be funny, but it was less than mildly amusing the first time, and it certainly hasn't been any funnier ever time it gets rolled out for a win phone 7 post.

      may I point you to the statement at the bottom of the the comment box:

      "We're looking for comments that are interesting, substantial or highly amusing. If your comments are excessively self-promotional, obnoxious, or even worse, boring, you will be banned from commenting. All comments are moderated."

      I would most definitely flag your comment (and all of them like it) as obnoxious and boring, but alas, I am not a moderator.

      On a lighter note: Great to finally see a must have apps post for win phone 7 from Gizmodo! I look forward to seeing them continue in the future.

      You're obviously ignorant to the market predictions that put WP7 second to Android by 2015.

      Go read this and become a little more educated: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/03/business/03digi.html?_r=1

    Surprised you didn't put Morfo on the list. It's been the #1 paid photo app forever and it's way more unique than a 70's effect on my photos, which I can find a million apps for on any platform.

    Ja., I., go back to your Iphone and don't speak about what you don't know. We have a lot of WindowsPhone7 in our enterprice level corporation too, in Italy and it works well and better...
    Educated please.

    I think the SuperTube is the best app for wp7. It allows users to stream and download HD videos from YouTube. It is the first app can do that.

    The big guns are starting to come out - really (giving iPhone and Droid tonnes of credit), MS gives the tools and supports to do apps like none other. And they continue to do what they do best: drop the ball completely, watch others suceed, throw cash at it, and get right (eventually) - but not necessarily in that order. I'm sure between now and after the next holiday season that will be crystal clear. It would be good to see a little more style in the delivery though.

    Here's an app that just can't (and hasn't) been done on iPhone or Droid. Tiger, the disney stars, intl politicians, ... and all the others could have really used the app - from Bridge Street to hollywood, this is the type of windows phone apps floating now - www.4UrEyezOnly.com , simple, stylish, amazing, and ever so obvious

    This needs to be reviewed for Australia. e.g. The eBay app is horrible because it is not localised for us, so you get US results first. You should get rid of Shazam as Bing does a better job. A lot of the others are pretty poor, too, like IMDB - the layout is nice but it only has a fraction of the info you get on the website. I uninstalled it after a few weeks and just bookmarked the real thing,

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