Late last year, Nokia released the first real Windows Phone, the Lumia 800. The device while impressive an impressive Windows Phone running handset, lacked a front-facing camera and the 3.7-inch screen was just too small. Earlier this year at MWC, Nokia announced a bigger brother of the Lumia 800, the Lumia 900, which comes with a bigger screen (4.3-inch) and a front-facing camera. The Lumia 900 is mainly targeted towards the United States, and was launched recently with a huge marketing campaign from Nokia and AT&T. In fact, this is the biggest handset launch from Nokia in the States in the last few years.
With the launch of new phones, bigger marketing campaigns and Microsoft’s money, the Windows Phone ecosystem has grown considerably in the last few months. The Windows Phone Marketplace now contains more than 70,000 apps, which is pretty decent for an OS, which is hardly 2 years old. I frankly don’t care about the number of apps an OS has. I want quality over quantity, and the WP7 marketplace is lacking in this department. Nevertheless, here is my list of the best apps currently available in the Windows Phone marketplace, which will take full advantage of your brand new Lumia 800 or 900 -:
Pulse – If you have owned an iOS or Android phone previously, chances are you already know about Pulse. Pulse is a beautiful RSS reader, with a very unique UI. Its unique UI and its price tag – free – is the main reason behind the app being a hit across all the major mobile platforms.
Skydrive – Dropbox has been my on-the-go cloud storage service for quite sometime now. However, there is no official Dropbox client available in the Windows Phone Marketplace, which is quite a bummer. Thankfully, a few months ago, Microsoft filled that gap by releasing the official Skydrive app for WP7, which allows users to access their files stored on Skydrive right from their phone. Considering that Skydrive comes with 25GB of free storage, and will be tightly integrated with Windows 8, moving to Skydrive as your primary cloud storage service does seem useful for all Windows users.
Flashlight X – What’s the use of the LED flash in your phone if you cannot use it as a Torch in those dark situations? With nearly every Windows Phone coming equipped with a LED flash, Flashlight X is a must have app.
YouTube Pro – The default YouTube client for Windows Phone is sadly just a bookmark to the official YouTube mobile homepage. Looking at the OS market share, Google does not seem to be much interested in releasing a decent YouTube client for WP7 as well. Thankfully, YouTube Pro is a decent alternative to fulfill all your YouTube-ing needs. The app allows you to view videos in HQ or HD quality over Wi-Fi or 3G along with the ability to download them as well.
Rowi – If you own a Windows Phone, and use Twitter frequently, Rowi is the MUST have app for you. It is without a doubt the best Twitter client available in the Windows Phone marketplace. The folks behind Rowi recently released v2.0 which includes tons of new features including Readability integration, performance improvements, a new context menu for easier access to frequently used options, toast notifications for messages and mentions and most importantly, Fast app switching support.
Evernote – Evernote is another must have app for me irrespective of the OS I use. Thankfully, there is an official Evernote client for WP7 and its pretty good. The app allows users to pin any specific note or a shortcut to a new note for quick access.
Skype – Back at MWC, the Skype/MS team finally released a beta version of Skype for Windows Phone. Considering that MS now owns Skype, the app was under development for quite sometime and the beta version is pretty basic as well. Anyways, chances are Windows Phone 8 will feature a very tight integration with Skype, so until then the Skype app should be capable of fulfilling all your needs.
Don’t agree with my list of the best apps for your brand new Lumia 800 or Lumia 900? Drop in a comment and let us know!