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Our 20 Favorite Apps For Your Windows Phone 8 Device

Shrink Storage

It's unfortunate that the otherwise solid Windows Phone 8 operating system has a storage glitch where, in some cases, the Other/Apps category can grow by itself. Fortunately, the free Shrink Storage app can take care of the problem if you're unlucky enough to experience it (like I was).


None of the ringtones bundled with Windows Phone 8 sound enough like a phone ring for me to take them seriously. A free app called Ringtones (by AnKo Software) has a huge selection of alternatives, along with a great interface for finding and bookmarking favorites. My only complaint is that many of the tones are given the same name, so a bit of searching is needed to find the perfect one. This software is supported by unobtrusive ads, though if you want to get rid of them you can pay $2.49 for Ringtones Pro.  

Battery Level

Windows Phone 8 provides a handy battery level icon. But if you want a bit more detail, the Battery Level app (by The OC) is the way to go. It adds Live Tile support, Lock Screen support, and a free-ninety-nine price tag.

Assorted Games

As a gaming platform, Windows Phone 8 started out slow, but is gaining momentum. I'll list a few of my favorites:

Asphalt 7 Heat, an excellent $0.99 racing title with online multiplayer capabilities. Asphalt launched with choppy performance, but was recently patched to offer smoother frame rates.

Next, Survivalcraft, is the best mobile Minecraft clone I've ever seen, available for $3.99.

Armed! is another great game for the phone. It's an excellent cross-platform turn-based-strategy game that sells for $2.49.

Also worth mentioning is QONQR, a geosocial Risk-like territory capture game.

For you shooter junkies, Modern Combat 4 is absolutely gorgeous. It's the best (and so far, the only) first-person-shooter that Windows Phone 8 has to offer.

Those are the apps and games that make my life a little more entertaining, and dare I say productive. I can honestly say that I don't miss the iPhone. Microsoft nailed Windows Phone 8, which continues to pick up developer support. Hopefully the company can maintain its momentum and give its customers a viable alternative to the iPhone/Android duopoly.

  • ojas
    I have a very long list of complaints about WP8. Most of includes the damned fast app switching and back button, music app, lack of a task manager, inability to control app network access like you can in android, LACK OF VISIBLE FILE SYSTEM, inability to specify static IPs for wifi, and more.
    This is despite using a lumia, with all of Nokia's apps there too.
    Oh and, can't eject apps from memory without opening them and pressing "back" all the way to the first screen.
    I have a longer list.
  • ojas
    Dropbox>>>>Skydrive. And it's not officially on Windows Phone 8.
    Also those Here Maps only show a blur in satellite view.
  • ojas
    Hmmm. You found some nice apps that were needed badly.
    But there's still too much left...and a lot of things that only MS can add.
    You know, if you want to "share" a picture, video, file or song via bluetooth, you need to turn bluetooth on first, otherwise you won't even see the option in the share menu.
    And the PDF reader sucks.
    Post PC era my butt. And Android is Windows for the mobile world. Ironical since it's reversed the Windows-Linux equation that existed in the PC space.
  • joytech22
    My favourite app was the one where I went out and replaced my Lumia 920 with a HTC One.
  • Aoyagi
    As a Lumia 920 user, I hate to say (yet again) that WP8 is a terribly closed OS that can hardly be considered "smart", very much like iOS. It's a step backwards even from Windows Mobile 5. I know that, because I use a WM5 device quite often.
    But yes, it looks pretty, shiny and smoother! Oh how smart.
  • Aoyagi
    **Edit: Sorry for the doublepost, I would think that a tech site would allow readers to refresh without fear of doubleposting. I hate script-bloated sites...
  • grantwar
    Pity you swapped out the Lumia 920 for the HTC as the Nokia Music app blows Aupeo (and if your in the US, Pandora) out of the water. In fact its the app I use the most on my windows phone as the mix radio is ad free and allows offline downloads.
  • fnh
    As a Samsung Focus owner ... we pretty much feel being left to rot in 7.5 ...
  • ojas
    Might as well tell you folks about a few good apps:
    1. Weather (by MS or Nokia, can't remember) is simple.
    2. Calculator Toolbox.
    3. Flashlight XT. No non-sense, no ads, no requiring access to privacy settings.
    4. Academic Search
    5. okay
    6. Foreca Weather
    7. Dev Center (you have to have Win 8 to develop for WP8, despite the fact that VS 2012 uses an emulator for the purpose. MS is mad, i tell you. They're tying the development of a minority OS to a minority OS).
    8. Minesweeper!
    9. HERE City Lens. Slightly off a few degrees in my experience.
    10. Panaroma is a bit difficult, but only one i know off
    11. Creative Studio, Camera360, Cinemagraph
    12. OneNote, anyone?
    13. Photosynth and Ztitch
    14. TouchMouse for Logitech TouchMouse. Unofficial.
    15. TouchDevelop. Still raw, imo, not very obvious how to use it, but there's a ton of documentation.
    16. SOUND HOUND. This should have been #1 on this list, actually.
    17. WhatsApp: not very good on WP8. Can't share files, music, videos. Only pics.
    18. PhotoBeamer
    19. Ringtone Maker.
    20. Smart Shoot
    21. Shopping list, anyone?
    That's it. Would have tried to make a file explorer on my own, if i could dev on Win 7.
  • ojas
    You know, the file system they use, Isolated File Storage...i think that's what they'll do to Windows eventually. WP is Microsoft's vision for Windows...and since all the major tech sites have said "accept it with start8" instead of outright slamming it...the depreciation of the explorer shell will continue.

    The Unix file structure makes little sense to me, so this sort of sucks.