Essential Windows Phone 8 Apps

Windows Phone gets dinged a lot because there are “no apps.” It’s not really a fair assessment. While there are fewer apps, and not everything has an official client, there are plenty of apps to get things done. The number of apps in the store isn’t what is important. It’s if they work well and fit what you need to do.

The only thing missing in my opinion is a solid Pinterest app. There are some out there, but nothing that has come close to the official app on other devices. In this list I’ve left off some apps such as Facebook and Twitter. They’re kind of no brainers at this point. As well as some big names, such as Evernote, that I simply don’t use. I’ve also left off OneNote, because it’s on all Windows 8 Phones as it is.

6tag6Tag: You’re going to want Instagram, and 6Tag is the app I prefer. It has all the filters you love, supports multiple accounts, and basically feels like Instagram. It’s a solid replacement, and with multiple account support I prefer it to the native apps on other services.


gchatGChat: My Android based friends LOVE Google Hangout. They insist on sending me messages that way, even when my iPhone didn’t handle them well. The good news is there’s a reliable client available on Windows Phone 8. Gives me notifications, has alive tile, and I get my messages. That’s all I really need. It’s even more dependable than the the Chrome extension and the official app on iOS.

heredriveHere Drive+: I actually prefer Nokia’s Here Drive+ app over Google Maps. The interface isn’t as intuitive (still can’t figure out how to “save as favorite” while not actually at a location), but the actual navigation part is awesome. It gives me plenty of time to turn, and I always know where I’m heading.


contrejourContre Jour: This is one of the best mobile games I’ve ever played. Go at least get the free trial.



accuweatherAccuweather: This has an amazing live tile that shows current conditions. It’s a quick glance to see what you want to know at any given moment. The app itself shows the forecast, more detailed current conditions, and a radar map.


flashlightFlashlight: Every phone needs a flashlight. This one also shows how much battery life you have in it’s live tile. Two for one! Plus it’s really refreshing to have one that doesn’t need network access like ones I’ve used on iOS and Android.


milkmanMilkman: Remember the Milk is a great cross-platform task manager. Milkman is a Remember the Milk client for Windows Phone. It has alerts and a live tile that says how many tasks you have left for the current day.


Those are the apps I use on a day-to-day basis. And in reality, while I had more on my Android and iOS phones, I really never used more than what I have listed here anyway. What apps do you think are missing?

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