Windows Phone is a beautiful operating system that's come a long way in the two years that it's been around. Version 7.5, Mango, is particularly lovely and in some ways exceeds even iOS and Android 4. The one big thing holding the platform back is its lack of good third party apps - but now that's beginning to change.
In this article, we'll be looking at ten beautiful and functional Windows Phone apps. Let's get right into it!
Reddit is a massive content aggregator, social website and birthplace of many an internet meme. Baconit is a Reddit client that provides easy access to this time black hole, whether you want to browse a particular subreddit or just the front page.
The client nicely integrates the source content (whether website link, image or text) and the comments section and also includes a full screen image browser mode. Live tiles are also included, allowing you to see posts from a given subreddit or your unread messages and karma totals on your home screen.
Carbon is a beautiful Twitter app that was first developed on HP's almost-dead WebOS platform. It quickly made the jump to Windows Phone, where it's a damn sight better than other Twitter alternatives on the market.
The ease of swiping between timelines, mentions and more really speeds up the tweets. The Carbon app also includes other nice touches like in-line images and video previews, image uploads and live tiles. A comprehensive and slick app that really shows what Metro is capable of.
I've sang the praises of MyFitnessPal for Android before, and I'll do it again for the Windows Phone version. The calorie counting, diet and exercise app works as well as it does on Android or Windows Phone, allowing you to easily keep track of what you're eating with easy barcode lookups and a vast database of foodstuffs and exercises.
A great app, although I'd love to see some Windows Phone specific touches too.
If you don't know about Shazam, you're doing it wrong. Shazam is a clever app that allows you to use a snippet of a song in order to identify it - great for finding out what that song in the club or playing on the radio is.
It's a simple one touch operation, but Shazam also hooks into the Zune marketplace to offer easy purchase of the song you've just listened to.
SkyDrive is Microsoft's answer to Dropbox. It offers 7 GB of free storage space (if you haven't used the app before - existing users still get 25 GB free) and nice integration with Windows Phone.
The app allows you to quickly share files in your SkyDrive account, whether one by one or with more powerful batch selections. Clients are also available for Windows and Mac, so if you've got a Windows Phone it makes a lot of sense to switch to SkyDrive.
After Skype was bought out by Microsoft, it was obvious that the telephony app would soon come to Windows Phone.
That time is now, and the Skype client for Windows Phone seems as strong as it is on Android and iOS - there's free Skype-to-Skype communications (whether by IM, audio or video calling) as well as paid calls to landlines and mobiles worldwide. It's noticeably less buggy than the Android version was initially, which is comforting.
So SuperTube is a YouTube app that actually works, unlike the official YouTube app. It also costs money, but that's allowable. It has an easy-to-use tiled interface that allows you to see your subscriptions, videos you've uploaded, and what's hot across the board.
It's the Metro interface that the official YouTube app really should be and is definitely worth the price of admission if you like to watch videos on your phone.
TuneIn Radio is, as you might have guessed, an online radio music streaming app. As well as browing local radio stations (for varying degrees of 'local'), you can also easily browse through neatly categorised stations worldwide, from talk stations, sports to traditional music-focused channels.
Google Reader is a brilliant tool, an RSS aggregator that allows you to see all of your favourite website's latest articles. It's essential for a journalist like me, but is worth using for anyone that regularly visits a website - whether that be a webcomic, a news site or your favourite band's homepage.
Nextgen Reader is a Metro alternative to visiting the web version of Google Reader, and it does well to reformat everything appropriately for a smaller screen. Live tiles are also supported.
This is one Windows Phone app that I can't put down - it's a simple game, where you jump in time to clear obstacles in a line. It's always fascinating to try and beat your high score, or just hand your phone to a friend and watch them try to complete the surprisingly difficult task of staying alive for more than a few seconds.
Line Runner isn't a Windows Phone exclusive, but's it's a sweet game that runs well on basically any Windows Phone.
So that's it - my top 10 Windows Phone apps. I'm sure I've missed some of your favourites, so please let me know in the comments belows! Thanks for reading, and expect more Windows Phone content in the future!
This article was written by William Judd. Will is a freelance technology writer, with a Twitter you should follow and a website you should visit. He's also recently had a haircut.