Essential Windows Phone 8 Apps

With the release of numerous phones running the Windows Phone 8 operating system, Microsoft is slowly making a strong presence in the mobile platform wars. If you bought a Windows Phone 8 powered phone recently, you must be on the hunt for some good apps. A number of apps have been updated to support the features of Windows Phone 8 and there are exclusive apps too which we will cover in this post.


appswitch app for windows phone

This has to be the first app that you should install on your phone is you are using Windows Phone for the first time or migrating from another platform. AppSwitch is an app that helps you find replacements apps equivalent to your favorite Android or iPhone apps.

AppSwitch can be used to find all the apps in one place, one can even search the Windows Store from within the AppSwitch.

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Network Dashboard

network dashboard appNetwork Dashboard, a $0.99 paid app is a great buy because Windows Phone does not have a feature which toggles for everyday settings like Bluetooth, WI-Fi, Airplane Mode and other mobile network settings, this app allows one to pin them to the Start screen. The Network Dashboard saves one from the hassle of always having to go to the settings every time one wants to turn on Wi-Fi or the Bluetooth.

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A movie buff and you feel the urge to keep track of all the latest movie releases? Then Flixster is something you will enjoy. You can watch the movie trailers, keep a track of the showtimes and also read reviews. It gives updates of upcoming movies and DVD releases. A cool feature is that one gets to pin their favorite movies and theaters as live tiles on their Windows Phone 8 devices to take advantage of the “glance and go” UI in the OS.

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instant messaging in wp8

If you use a lot of instant messaging platforms to keep in touch with friends, it will be a headache to manage multiple notifications and applications. IM supports multiple IM services like Facebook, Google, AOL and ICQ to name a few. The app increases your instant messaging productivity and reduces clutter, it organizes your chats in a single application and the new IMs can be viewed in live tiles in metro view.

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With more than 26 cool filters (HDR) and 12 great frames, you can make photos look unique and fun with the Instacam app. The app comes with a built in Instagram viewer, but does not support the facility to upload photos. The Instacam app allows one to share it on many social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumbler and others.

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gMaps Pro

Google maps are an excellent service from Google but unfortunately it does not have an official Maps app on the Windows Phone 8 platform yet. Google has confirmed that it does not have any plans to bring its range of products to the Windows platform anytime soon. The gMaps Pro offers the same features as the Google Maps- the directions, search, compass support etc. The app comes in free and paid versions.

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Metro Tube

Metro Tube YouTube App WP8

This is one of the best apps on the Windows Phone for YouTube. A wonderful feature of this YouTube viewer is that the videos marked to watch later are available offline and the app has an excellent UI.

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Thumba Photo Editor

Priced at $0.99, the Thumba Photo Editor is a pretty popular app in the Windows Store with a great set of editing tools. The app is very easy to use and is fully integrated with Pictures Hub. It has more than 70 high quality adjustments and effects that can be used as many times and in photos of any size.

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The Usual Suspects

There are the usual suspects in social world that need no introduction and no app list is usually complete with them. These include Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and Spotify (which was recently launch for the Windows Phone platform). Most of these applications are built for the windows platform and they take advantage of the UI to make it different from these apps in other platforms. For example, Facebook allows Windows Phone users to set Facebook albums as lock screen image and also set cover photos.

Do you use a Windows Phone 8 device? Which are your favorite apps? Let us know in the comments.

Anand S

A techie who loves keeping track of the latest and the greatest in the industry.