I'm a loyal PC guy, so I really tried to love Microsoft's early efforts to build a phone-oriented operating system. I bought HTC's Touch (also known as the P3450). And although I was disappointed by the ecosystem, I believed it would get better. I kept the faith and followed up with HTC's Touch Diamond as friends with iPhones were enjoying their far smoother smartphone experience.
When it was time to retire my Windows Mobile phone, I grudgingly gave Apple my money. And to be honest, the Cupertino company deserves a lot of credit. Where Windows Mobile was complicated and convoluted, iOS is simple and effective. And the apps. Wonderful, low-priced (and often free) apps as far as the eye can see.
Apple's tight ecosystem kept me hanging on when Windows Phone 7 arrived. But Microsoft's previous-gen environment didn't escape my eye. The company obviously learned a lot since the Windows Mobile days. And now, with the introduction of Windows Phone 8, there's a complete phone, tablet, console, and PC ecosystem in place to compete with Apple. And that mobile operating system looks pretty good. Live Tiles are a great way to display information from a number of sources. So, it was time to give Windows another chance on my smartphone.
I had to change carriers to get access to Nokia's beautiful Lumia 920, but quickly realized that I cherish slim and light more than I knew. I exchanged the 920 for a svelte HTC Windows 8X. Since making that decision, the biggest holes in the platform's application portfolio have been filled. My Windows Phone 8 experience only gets better, and I'm not looking back.
With this in mind, I'd like to share some of my must-have apps with our readers. Picking favorites always comes down to personal taste, but if you're a Windows Phone user, you might learn about something new and useful to try out.