Windows Phone

I’ve been the proud owner of a bright yellow Nokia Lumia 2010 since January 2014. In another stroke of luck I won it in the Bing #trysomethingnew photo competition. The upgrade from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8.1 is fantastic. They improved on so much and it finally feels like a competitor to everything else on the market. My old Omnia 7 (see below) has gone on to my son, which he is very pleased about!

I’m using the 8.1 Update preview OS with Lumia Cyan firmware so a few of them might require that.

Check out the Windows Phone category to see any related posts. Let me know what you think in the comments or add any recommendations of your own.


  • Cortana
    • Great “personal assistant”, used daily to set reminders! I just wish it had feature parity with the US version
  • Office Lens
    • Makes it easy to turn photos (of a whiteboard, receipts etc.) into editable OneNote, PowerPoint or Word files
  • #1 Toolkit
    • an awesome collection of utilities like Flashlight, Timer, Stopwatch, basically everything that should be standard on a smart phone! They look beautiful and there’s no ads!
  • Amazon App
    • Has a good barcode scanner that will load prices (useful when comparing prices in the supermarkets)
  • Amazon Kindle
    • Good for reading free books but I have in fact read a whole story on their quite comfortably
  • AppDeals
    • Offers you a free app each day. The quality varies but sometimes you get a real gem
  • Bing Get Me There
    • Route Planner to find the best route around London
  • Bing Translator
    • Superior language translation via voice, text or live from the camera – was essential on my recent holiday to France
  • Bookviser Reader
    • For eBooks NOT from Amazon. Can get them from OneDrive and many other places including the free Project Gutenberg eBooks
    • Nokia Reading is another alternative eBook reader that I’ve used to open eBooks from my OneDrive
  • Club Cards / FidMe
    • Both of these apps let you digitally hold any loyalty cards that have a barcode. Club Cards works with the Wallet feature of WP8 but the integration isn’t perfect. I can’t make my mind up which one I like best
  • Countdown
    • Sometimes you just want a Live Tile that counts down the days to something. This is the one I use
  • Draw Free
    • This is really a kids colouring app but it’s handy if you want to quickly draw something. Just like finger paining on a blank canvas
  • Endomondo Sports Tracker
    • They’ve really improved on the look of this app. It’s great at tracking loads of different sports but I use it for running
  • Facebook Beta
    • The better version of the official Facebook app
  • Food & Drink (MSN/Bing)
    • Loads of recipes. Syncs with my Windows 8 tablet and has good Cortana integration too
  • Here Drive+
    • Awesome sat nav, love the Surfer Dude voice. Could do with “alternative routes” option
  • Here Transit
    • Tells you what bus/train/tram to catch to get from a-b
  • Lumia Beamer
    • Shows your phones screen on any HTML5 capable browser, it even works on my smartTV (albeit a bit laggy)
  • MixRadio
    • Exclusive to Nokia phones, good free playlists that you can download for offline use too
  • MyTube
    • A decent YouTube client. I’ve tried a few of these and this is my favourite
    • YouTube HD is also good
  • NextGen Reader
    • A superb RSS reader that connects to Feedly. Worth the tiny price
  • Nokia NFC Writer
    • I bought some dirt cheap NFC stickers from amazon and can program them with this app
  • OneNote
    • I use this for a lot of different reasons, especially since the IFTTT recipes appeared. It’s pre-installed on all Windows Phones but you can also download it for free on any PC, Mac, Android or iPhone
  • Oscar Remote
    • Turns my phone into a remote control for my Samsung TV
  • PDF Reader
    • Not very exciting but at least it means you no longer need that Adobe rubbish!
  • Poki
    • Really nice (in fact, the best) Pocket Client
  • Spotify
    • It’s now free to listen! Much nicer UI than the old WP7 version
  • Swarm
    • Yes, I still check-in all the time. No reason to use Foursquare anymore
  • System View
    • Looks a bit weird but gives you lots of techy info on your phone, like IP address
  • TeamViewer
    • Control your PC from your phone!
  • Transparency Tiles
    • Gives Facebook, Twitter and more a transparent tile for your start screen
  • TVShow
    • I use this to keep track of what episodes I’ve seen of TV shows. Good when working through a box set!
  • UK Trains
    • erm … UK Train info
  • Vivino Wine Scanner
    • Instagram for Wines! Rate & share the wines that you drink
  • Weather (MSN/Bing)
    • I haven’t found anything better. I also use it for my dynamic lock screen image

Photos & Videos

  • forgotten-footballNokia Camera Beta
    • Use to get the most out of my 1020’s 41 megapixels!
  • Lumia Creative Studio
    • Good for tweaking and reframing shots. Benefits from letting you revert to the original.
  • Lumia Cinemagraph
    • Create cute little GIFs (see on the right)
  • Nokia Refocus
    • Not quite what I was hoping for (the ability to re-focus any photo) but good for some arty shots
  • Lumia Selfie
    • Helps improve your selfies (don’t deny it). Has a cool auto-selfie mode so you can use the better rear-facing camera.
  • Lumia Storyteller
    • A truly beautiful and immersive way to store your photos. I wish it was the default instead of the “Photos” app. Can make short music video slideshows from groups of photos
  • 6tag
    • My prefered Instagram client. There is an official one but it never moved out of beta. This one offers so much more and looks better too
  • Adobe Photoshop Express
    • I only really use this for it’s superior Red Eye removal tool but it has some good effects if you’re into that sort of thing
  • HDR X
    • The only free way to take live HDR (layered multi-exposure shots) photos – needs a tripod! It will be interesting to see if the 1020 gets this feature built in (Rich Capture) with the Lumia Denim update
  • Movie Maker 8.1
    • Fully featured movie editing app
  • Video Tuner
    • A “lite” video editor. Good for cropping and slo-mo


  • Spiderman Unlimited
    • My new favourite. All the endless running fun on Temple Run or Minion Rush but with an actual story to follow too
    • Gameloft make loads of great WP games, a lot are free too. However some are quite large and on the limited space of the 1020 I only have a few games installed at a time. The Asphalt series are really impressive looking car racing games
  • Fruit Ninja
    • The first ever game I bought #nostalgia
  • Jetpack Joyride
    • I play this more on my tablet but the WP version is identical
  • Microsoft Minesweeper
    • I’m the king of this, so don’t even try
  • Microsoft Solitaire Collection
    • Syncs nicely with the Windows 8 version for those lonely moments
  • Mush
    • It’s just cute ok, deal with it. A bit pricey but I got it for free during an offer period
  • Pako
    • Cool timewaster, see how long you can last trying to escape the police
  • Picnic Rumble
    • Another timewaster. Cool cartoony adventure. Free for a limited time
  • Tetris Blitz
    • As good as it ever was
  • Timberman
    • Very simple gameplay and very addictive
  • Wordament
    • A quick word-finding game that you play simultaneously with people all over the world. I’m not very good but like to try!

Other “What I Use” pages

My Old Omnia7 (Archive)

Omnia7_thumb.pngI got my Samsung Omnia 7 at the beginning of December 2010. As one of the early adopters I thought I should keep a list of the apps that I have downloaded that have lasted longer than a week. They all work in the UK on my Samsung, I can’t vouch for other hardware/locations. I let my kids play with my phone so a few of the apps are for their benefit…honest.

You can also read my reviews of the Samsung Omnia 7 hardware and the Windows Phone 7 OS.

I haven’t paid for a single app yet (excluding 1 game) so all the ones below are available from the marketplace for free :). You may also want to look at all my Windows Phone posts for other tips and reviews.

  • Adobe Reader – A necessary evil
  • Twitter – I seem to have stuck with the official app, although I have Rowi and Beez installed for when I feel like a change
  • Tesco Real Food – I’ve downloaded others but this is the only one I’ve actually used
  • DIY Calculator – Really handy at working out your materials and costs for any DIY projects, seriously considering buying this app.
  • Photo Apps
    • Photogram (Samsung Only)
    • Photo Studio (Samsung Only) – 3 nice effects but needs a bit of tweaking. Currently defaults to VGA quality instead of 5mp.
  • Send to WP7 – Pushes a link from your Desktop browser to your phone
  • Currency Convertor
  • Facebook – lovely way to get to most Facebook features
  • Foursquare – Was using 4th & Mayor but I prefer the new look official v2 app
  • Flixster – good for finding local UK cinema times and user reviews. I wish it would let you add your own review to one’s existing Flixster account.
  • IMDb – I use this practically every time I watch a film now to find actor info or other interesting facts
  • Hangover Helper – genius idea for those who wake up not knowing where they are or what they did last night
  • Music
    • Music Match Lyrics – Search for song lyrics. It also identifies the currently playing track so you can sing along
  • Level – A working spirit level for your phone (Shame Omnia doesn’t stand on it’s edges!)
  • Lunar Phase – Check what phase the moon is in or when the next full moon is
  • Maps [built-in] – Works great. Just needs turn-by-turn navigation to replace my TomTom
  • OneNote [built-in] – Take notes, add pictures, voice recordings, sync to SkyDrive
  • Shopping List – Brilliantly simple but advanced enough to cover my needs
  • Weather [by the Weather Channel] – Doesn’t look very nice but it’s accurate 
  • Where’s my Car? – Locates your car in case you forget where you parked
  • World Clock – always handy to see when that state-side broadcast is really happening
  • WordPress – Blog while on the go
  • LazyTube – Much improved YouTube client
  • Games, Timewasting
    • Magic 7 Ball
    • ElectricBeans
    • Fun Sounds
    • Fake Calling
    • Flashlight 7 – great strobe effect for raving!
    • Flowerz – not particulary great but only free XBOX Live game atm
    • Fruit Ninja (Only game I paid for)
    • Ice Ball
    • Impossible Shoota
    • Omni Jump_Free
    • Plan Bee
    • Quadra
    • SkyDiver Classic
    • Swipy Man
    • TouchMeQuick
    • Tic Tac Toe – Great 6×6 grid option
    • Unite – Tilty fun
    • Ultra Air Hockey 2
    • Word Tangle Free

6 thoughts on “Windows Phone

  1. Pingback: Review: Windows Phone 7 « Thom's HeadSpace

  2. Pingback: WP7: My favourite apps | Thom's HeadSpace

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