So you bought a new Windows Phone device. Congratulations!
Windows Phones stand out; they are colorful (Lumia’s at least), they have a unique start screen, beautiful apps, and they are pretty… rare.
You are going to be unique and people will ask you questions about the phone, “how is it?”, “do you enjoy it?”, “what the hell is this thing?”, “what version of Android does it run?”, but the biggest question will remain:
Can a Windows Phone meet your growing needs and expectations from a smartphone?
Over 6 months ago I started my second Windows Phone journey.
I turned a Microsoft (Nokia) Lumia 1520 to be my primary phone.
Master SIM inside, emails, WhatsApp, productivity tools, photos, social networks, the whole pack.
It took me a decent number of weeks and a lot of time spent wandering around foreign Windows Stores (mainly US) to equip myself and my phone with the best apps and best productivity tools the platform can offer.
One thing if certain: apps are the biggest pain when you use a Windows Phone, but the search of the store makes this pain even bigger, as many great apps are simply impossible to find.
Well, luckily for you, I’m here to share my findings. The below list is based on 6 months of using Windows Phone. My bottom line? I love the phone. Can’t wait to install Windows 10 on top of it!
Best Apps for Windows Phone – Part 1: News & Readers
I’m a freak of RSS readers, and I do most of my reading activities from my mobile devices. I will start my guide with the best News Readers and other apps to stay on top of everything that is happening out there.
iNi ReaderMy number one tool for managing my feeds is Feedly. Unfortunately, Feedly doesn’t run on Windows Phone so I had to find some alternatives. I tried 10-15 different RSS readers, and ended up using iNi Reader.
iNi Reader has the worst name but it's the best Feedly compatible RSS reader for Windows Phone. It’s lightning fast, well designed, has some really good reading options (list with images, small, large, etc.) and provides pretty much an identical experience like the original Feedly app. Truly recommended.
Windows central is the number one resource in the world for anything that has to do with Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Phone. There were times I didn’t care so much about what Microsoft is up to, but ever since Satya Nadella stepped in – there is something new happening every day.
Windows Central provides a very good cover of everything that has to do with Microsoft.
2 Pocket Clients: Poki and Pouch
When you have a lot of reading to do, you often need to save articles for later. I am using Pocket for that (previously called read-it-later), but once again, when it comes to Windows Phone – there is no Pocket client. That sucks!
Here, once again, I had to find a replacement app, and instead of one, I found two great ones.
Pouch – was the first Pocket client for Windows Phone I installed – it’s a modern app, with a design that takes the best of both iOS and Windows Phone worlds; flat, clean, works smoothly, seamless integration with Pocket. I recommend it.
Poki – was the second Pocket compatible app I downloaded and I use it even more than Pouch.
Why? Because it has a killer feature: text to speech functionality that will let you listen to your saved articles.
I spend around 1 hour driving every day and the ability to listen to my “read it later” articles boosts my productivity.
Presentations are something I enjoy a lot, so naturally TED is one of my favorite apps on any phone I use.
The TED app for Windows Phone is very good. It works well and provides a fun experience.
I’m not a heavy user of Reddit, but I do use it whenever I am trying to find up-to-date information on certain topics.
Readit is a Reddit client for Windows Phone and it works better than other alternatives. If you are a heavy Reddit user – check it out.
By the way Appy Geek is designed, I think it was originally created for Windows Phone. The tile-based UI and the animated transitions between the sections make it feel like an integral part of Windows Phone.
Unlike other news readers – Appy Geek doesn’t let you control your feed sources, and instead you are required to select the topics that interest you. The thing I like with Appy Geek is that the app sends you push notifications with the titles of those topics, so you are getting updates and news headlines in a push manner, rather than having to look for them.
The updates can become annoying at times, but as a technology addict I prefer to have annoy me than to miss important announcements.
Last app in the “news” section is BestDailyApps. It is not always dynamic enough with new content, but it does list the relatively new (or raising) apps in the store. Since the search mechanism of the store is really bad – I use this app to stay updated with new apps that may interest me.
This summarizes the first part of my guide, in the next ones I will focus on productivity tools, entertainment apps and apps that will make your start screen look like the sexiest thing in the mobile world.