Top 25 Windows Phone Apps

In case you hadn’t noticed, Microsoft is really pushing to make Windows Phones a hit. The new 7.5 operating system certainly helps—with such cool features as Groups for messaging and Local Scout for nearby recommendations. But consumers really care about apps, and Microsoft has made pretty good progress in the last year. The Windows Phone Marketplace hit 50,000 apps in December, and it continues to grow.

Whether you just bought a Windows Phone or are thinking of getting one, these are the top 25 apps to get.

Accuweather

Why waste time using apps from third-party weather services when you can get forecast info from the source? Accuweather’s application relies on a clean interface (with minimal ads) to display current weather conditions, 10-day forecasts, and severe weather alerts for your area. You can swipe through up to seven different locations, plus view animated radar and satellite maps.

Free

Allrecipes

Have no clue what to cook for dinner or what to bring to that office potluck? Not to worry, Allrecipes is here to help. The app pulls from a library of thousands of recipes rated by members to provide culinary inspiration when you need it. Daily recipes are pushed to the app, and users can view updates quickly just by pinning its corresponding Live Tile to the home screen. A handy Dinner Spinner feature turns picking your next meal into a fun game. See a daily dish you like? Just pin the recipe to the start menu for quick access.

Free

Evernote

The mother of all organization apps, Evernote tracks your ideas and reminders in the form of notes, snapshots, audio recordings, and web searches. The app then takes all these personal clips and combines them into a comprehensive notebook for easy return access. Evernote also syncs all your info between your smartphone, PC, and the web. It supports Mango functions, such as social media integration and pinning notes, notebooks, and other app shortcuts to the home screen.

Free

Facebook

An absolute necessity for a modern smartphone user, the Facebook app lets you send status updates to the popular networking site, plus read your news feed, view messages, and check your calendar for upcoming events. Users can also upload photos for sharing and check out friends’ Walls. Windows Phone gives the app a sleek, sliding interface for viewing the most-recent updates, photos, events, and notifications, all from the app’s main screen.

Free

Fly Delta

If you fly Delta regularly, you’ll appreciate that the airline offers its own app to ease the strain of travel. Not only does the app display relevant flight information, it also lets you check in, view and change seating, and create virtual boarding passes. You can also use Fly Delta to keep track of your SkyMiles balance and study airport maps to better plan how to make that connecting flight. In Windows 7.5 fashion, you can also pin boarding passes to the home screen for quick retrieval.

Free

Foursquare

Created by the founders of the original location-based mobile service Dodgeball, Foursquare allows smartphone owners to “check in” wherever they are. Prospective locations run the gamut from restaurants and bars to parks, offices, and sports stadiums. But why share your location at all? Simple: Not only does Foursquare make it easy to see what your friends are doing, checking in can sometimes unlock special offers on merchandise, as well as virtual badges for better bragging rights. Cool Mango-only features include pinning a Foursquare live tile to the home screen to display current updates from friends and a slick side-scrolling interface to showcase all major functions.

Free

Fruit Ninja

What’s more fun than slicing fruit with a virtual katana? Not much—and many others agree, judging by the popularity of Fruit Ninja. Players progress by demonstrating their skill at slashing kiwis, lemons, pineapples, watermelons, and other fruity treats. Just be sure to avoid the hidden bombs, or you’ll be caught with sticky pulp on your face.

$2.99

Google Search

Microsoft certainly has worked hard to offer a competing search tool in its Bing software, but for die-hard Google fans, only the market leader will satisfy. Luckily Google’s Search app has pushed its way into the Windows Phone Marketplace, and it offers all the power of the software giant’s search platform. Users can conduct searches based on their current location and receive suggestions before they commit to a query.

Free

GoVoice Free

Google Voice isn’t just for Android devices and iPhones; GoVoice Free brings the useful service to your Windows Phone. The app pushes Google Voice texts and voicemail to phones running GoVoice and will use your Google Voice account to make and receive calls. Keep in mind, though, that carrier minutes apply, so any calls through this app will count against your allotted minutes.

Free

gReadie

For serious news hounds, the flash and graphical polish of Pulse can be distracting—or worse, bog down handset performance. gReadie offers a simple and elegant way to stay informed, using mostly text from web articles in a clean Mango-style font. The app pulls content from Google Reader and can schedule syncing for only while the phone is charging, saving precious battery life. Articles can also be tagged for reading offline using services such as Instapaper, Pinboard, and Read It Later. In addition, readers can pin feeds and folders to the start menu, plus view the number of unread posts at a glance within the app’s Live Tile.

$1.49

Kindle

Amazon is the leader in eBook sales, with more than 750,000 books to choose from, so having access to Amazon’s Kindle app is key for Windows Phone users who enjoy a good read. The Kindle app puts purchased eBooks, along with the entire Kindle store library, at your fingertips. To tempt users to check out new titles, the app also suggests titles to buy, plus free classics to download. eBooks typically cost $10 a pop, including new releases and best sellers.

Free

Kayak

Find your next flight or hotel room fast using Kayak, which scours hundreds of travel websites for the lowest fares possible. The app presents its results in a slick, graphically engaging interface complete with 3D rotating menus, brightly colored headers, and deep-black backgrounds. Users can sort results by highly recommended, lowest price, and star rating. Travelers who need a set of wheels can also command Kayak to zero in on car rental info.

Free

Marathon

Don’t just guess how well your workout went; find out exactly how you performed with Marathon. This app uses your Windows Phone hardware to record critical metrics such as speed, distance traveled, and calories burned. Your path is logged for later review, and the software even announces time and distance at various intervals to gauge your progress.

$1.49

Flixter

Never get caught wondering when the next movie is playing. The Flixter app, created by popular movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, provides showtimes grouped by movie titles and theaters. Flixter also lets users pin shortcuts to favorite theaters on the home screen, so finding out what’s playing is just a tap away. The app also serves up movie and DVD reviews, as well as trailers for coming attractions.

Free

Netflix

If you’re a Netflix subscriber, this app puts thousands of movies and TV shows within easy reach. You can stream video within your instant queue from any location, provided your phone has access to Wi-Fi or a cellular connection. This app also makes it simple to find and add more content by sifting through genres or searching by keyword. The interface is clean, and swiping sideways flips through various views for Genres, Home, Instant Queue, and Search.

NYTimes

It’s hard to beat The New York Times in terms of sheer breadth, depth, and volume of information. Stay up to speed on practically any topic with this media outlet’s Windows Phone app, which serves up articles and blog posts, plus videos and photo slideshows about the day’s developments. News is also synced your handset to read offline and readers can share content via Facebook, Twitter, and email. While the app is free, certain sections require a subscription to open.

Free (subscription, starting at $3.50, required to access full version)

OpenTable

Sometimes snagging that reservation is a must. Or maybe you’re just looking for a new restaurant to try out. OpenTable can tackle both tasks, scanning local listings for tables for two, complete with profiles and complete descriptions provided by Zagat. Diners have the option to search specific locations for open seats. The app offers maps to help find your way to restaurants and displays Live Tiles of upcoming reservations.

Free

Pictures Lab

Don’t settle for the default camera software on your Windows handset. Download a truly impressive photo app. Pictures Lab does exactly what its name implies, providing a host of standard image-editing tools, such as cropping, rotating, and flipping. Also included are nifty photo-capture functions such as face detection, plus a hefty selection of artful filters such as Black and White, HDR, Lomo, Sepia, and Soften. In addition, the app augments camera hardware with auto focus, steady mode, and face detection. It also replicates the elegant look and feel of Windows Phone 7.

$2.99

Rdio

For $10 a month, Rdio offers users a library of more than 10 million songs for streaming over the Internet. When a network connection isn’t available, the app syncs content for offline listening. To make sure you have plenty of tunes at your disposal, you can create an unlimited number of playlists, swap them with friends using the service, or build them together collaboratively.$10 per month

Rocket Riot

Nothing destroys boredom quite like blasting everything in sight with a rocket launcher. Now picture doing that strapped to a flaming jetpack, and you’ll get an idea of how much fun it is to play Rocket Riot. The game uses an old-school 8-bit graphical motif to create completely destructible maps. Your main targets are other rocket-toting buddies, but collateral damage is unavoidable—and actually encouraged—with Easter eggs such as special power-ups hidden behind walls.

$4.99

Tripit

Take some of the sting out of travel with TripIt, a revolutionary service that creates a customized itinerary for you in seconds and stores everything on your handset. Just email all confirmation messages from airlines, hotels, and travel sites to TripIt and the service will neatly compile everything into one easy-to-navigate interface. Unfortunately, you can’t pin an itinerary to the home screen. Stepping up to the Pro app unlocks luxury features such as flight monitoring and viewing mile reward programs on the go.

Free ($49 per year for TripIt Pro)

Twitter

While not as advanced as iOS and Android versions of the app, the Windows Phone version of Twitter offers basic functions such as sending tweets and searching for trending topics in real time. Users can also share photos and view the tweets of people nearby.

Free

Vevo

Get your music video fix anywhere with Vevo, an app that offers a catalogue of more than 25,000 videos and a library of more than 7,500 artists. Taking advantage of Windows Phone Mango’s new capabilities, users can create Live Tiles for their favorite artists and pin them to the home screen for quick access. Vevo also facilitates music discovery by letting you make video playlists; share them with friends via Facebook, Twitter, and email; and see what others are watching.

Free

Yelp

Yelp gained a loyal following by building a website for savvy technorati to shower praise or air complaints about local restaurants, bars, and retail stores. The service’s app merges this deep library of reviews with real-time location data. Perform targeted searches for keywords such as “ramen” or drill down and browse by restaurants, bars, cafes, and drug stores. Or, simply see what’s hot nearby. The interface uses large, easy-to-read icons and text. There’s no way to pin a favorite place to the home screen yet, though.

Free

YouTube

This app certainly needs no introduction, but it’s still a staple that may not come installed on all Windows Phone 7 devices. YouTube integrates deeply with the OS, allowing users to view video by clicking on links in e-mails, text messages, websites, and other apps. You can also watch flicks through the Windows Phone 7 music and video hub under its recently played videos area. For fast lookup, favorite videos can be pinned to the start menu, too.

Free

This story was provided by Laptopmag.com, sister site to TechNewsDaily.

Top 25 Windows Phone Apps