Some people say that the Windows Phone experience is lacking in apps, but that will likely change depending on the platform’s popularity as critically acclaimed Windows Phone 8 devices make their way into the marketplace over the coming year. What are Windows Phone users finding useful for the time being?
Some folks dig games. Some want something to help them work. Others want apps that will help them relax. It takes all kinds!
As of this writing, here’s a roundup of what’s attracting the 10 best Windows Phone app ratings according to Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store.
Flixster is a free app that lets you watch high quality movie trailers, look up local show times, and see what the critics are saying about the movies that you’re thinking about seeing. It integrates with Rotten Tomatoes; if you’re familiar with the popular movie review site’s irreverent style, then you know what you’re in for with Flixster. What are Windows Phone users saying about Flixster?
Laura: “Great info and WP UI.”
Sharmelan: “Benchmark app for Windows Phone. Amazing. This is how all apps should be — on any platform. If all apps could be this purposeful and well executed, Windows Phone has the ability to threaten the iOS market. (Forget Android — I had all the devices up until Note 2; apps are still stuttering and it feels cheap.) Recent Windows Phone fan here. HTC 8X.”
Michael: “Excellent use of Metro style to deliver solid performance and full features. Very nice live tiles, too.”
Billed as “the #1 top-rated YouTube app on the marketplace,” Metrotube isn’t free, but its 99 cent price tag is only applied if you like the “unlimited and unrestricted free trial.” What does it have to offer above and beyond the normal (and free) YouTube app? Windows Phone users chime in:
Ben: “Wish this was the official Windows Phone client. Nice for watching my subscriptions and pinning them to my home screen.”
Rich: “An incredible YouTube app; it’s better than the official app I had on my Android phones. Definitely worth buying.”
User: “Surprisingly sharp presentation and delivery. The user interface is very attractive and easy to navigate. A+ app.”
Lawson: “I don’t write reviews, so the fact that I am for this app says a lot. This is the best YouTube app I have ever used, counting the iOS and the Android apps. I strongly encourage you to try Metrotube for yourself and join me in encouraging the programmer to branch out to other online apps in the future. I’d give this app 10/10 stars if I could. Bravo on the perfect design.”
Knowledge is power, as they say (whoever the heck “they” are), and we no longer have to carry libraries of heavy tomes around on our backs to have the answers to our most pressing questions at any given time. Now our smart phones are able to bear this lofty burden, and the wisdom contained in Internet stalwart Wikipedia is made even more accessible by this handy little free app. How did Wikipedia make it into the 10 best Windows Phone app ratings? According to some of the reviews:
User: “Nothing better for ending stupid arguments or trying to remember the name of the first Chinese emperor at 2 a.m.”
Amanda: “Very fast and easy to use! Fluid layout.”
Steve: “Easier to use than the regular website.”
Yousef: “This is how a great Windows Phone app should look and function! Super like!”
Looking for a simple, free flashlight with no frills that runs under the lock screen and uses the external camera button with no fuss? Flashlight XT is just that. It doesn’t even use your data connection or phone home to send tracking info to advertisers.
Akifumi: “Simple and clean. Love it.”
Eugene: “Simple and works well. The only flashlight I’ve found that works properly on Lumia 822.”
Acting: “Very useful in the dark!”
RLHD: “Love the simplicity of this app; it loads quickly and, best of all, there are no advertising mis-touches to close and back out of.”
Nikki: “Simple, to the point, excellent. Too many apps add so many bells and whistles that the function is lost in the form. Not here.”
If you, like me, don’t always have the easiest time falling asleep, there are options to the ZzzQuil, bottle of wine, or boot to the head solutions that we’ve all tried when desperation seizes control over the part of the brain that usually makes better decisions for us. Sleep is a free Windows Phone app that aims to lull us to sleep by letting us combine 10 base sounds with accompanying accent sounds.
Sabrina: “Its just amazing. It helps relax me while I work in addition to helping me sleep. It’s very natural sounding, unlike some other apps I’ve tried. Definitely earns the five stars.”
Monique: “Very soothing. I’ve never fallen asleep so fast, and I get a good night’s rest.”
Vishal: “Not only is this app good for falling asleep quickly, it’s also quite good for calming down. I use it to calm down when the woman starts her usual pointless bickering about absolutely nothing that actually matters. If I did not have this app, I’d probably end up putting her out the house everytime she started to argue. Now if only there was an app to heal the bruises I get from the random objects that come hurling towards me. Maybe in Windows Phone 10. Anyway, very good app!”
Kyle: “Best app on the market, and it’s free. Absolutely wonderful. If you don’t have this app, then you must not like to sleep well at night.”
Clearly, Windows Phone users are united in a need for apps that help them relax and sleep, as the free Relax Melodies app comes in next in the Windows Phone app ratings. This one gives you 41 ambient sounds, including two binaural beat frequencies for brainwave stimulation. Frankly, just talking this much about sleep apps is making me more than ready for a nap.
Mike: “Great app! Love all the sounds. You can play multiple sounds at once and assign individual volumes for each to really customize the experience. The timer feature allows you to have it shut off at a designated time.”
Caitlin: “I use this all the time in the car and at home when I’m feeling overwhelmed and it’s just amazing. So many sounds to choose from.”
User: “I love this app; I fall into a nice sleep and wake up feeling good. My morning attitude is much better than it used to be!”
Lisa: “A very nice app. My four and five-year-old boys love to each pick a sound to combine into a uniquely different, soothing soundtrack each night and they pass out fast! For some reason they both ask for the cat purring, so that’s a third sound that is always gently playing in the background. Very nicely thought-out app.”
The kind folks at Bodybuilding.com have put together the free Gym PocketGuide app to serve as your own personal workout encyclopedia. It helps you put together a consistent exercise program designed for the results you seek — from weight loss to muscle building — with images and videos to ensure that you’re on the right track.
Paolini: “Best workout app I’ve used so far. Seeing results. Workouts are great. Hopefully new update with more routines soon.”
Greg: “Well-detailed instructions. The video examples are great.”
User: “I don’t work out, but I’ve been thinking about it for about a month… This app just put me over the edge. Excellent app! Designed really well and with great info/photos/videos. Great work!”
Alex: “Awesome. I used this routine back in Afghanistan as a soldier. Works well!”
It’s hard to argue with the taste of the masses when bacon gets involved. And when you’re dealing with Baconit — what WP Central calls “the best Reddit.com app on the Windows Phone Marketplace today” — you know there are definitely masses involved. There’s a free version of this app, but the one that shows up in the 10 best Windows Phone app ratings is the donation version, which is still a mere $1.99. When you love something enough, throwing a little money at the developer who made it even makes you feel good.
Tony: “I’ll be on my laptop and still be using Baconit on my phone to browse Reddit. Absolutely my favorite app on my phone. That being said, it does randomly like to crash. It’s not enough to be a major issue, but it is an annoyance.”
Reid: “Best Reddit app I’ve used on any platform. Flip view is just amazing. Definitely worth the money. Quinn deserves it!”
William: “If you like Reddit and you have a Windows Phone, get this app!”
Jonathan: “Terrific app with an abundance of features. It is constantly being improved. Props to the developer for listening to feedback.”
A paltry $1.49 will cover the cost of the Grapher Calculator app, which does way more — for way cheaper — than any dedicated graphing calculator that I could have bought when I was going to school.
Alex: “This app is honestly amazing. You can easily graph polar and rectangular equations, and it’s significantly faster than a dedicated graphing calculator. Thank you so much for this app.”
Alec: “Excellent. I was looking for and lacking this on iOS.”
Siegrespect: “Awesome, I can throw my TI 84+ away.”
Jacob: “This app helped me ace my final, so I am forever in love! It’s a good calculator — the best I’ve found on Windows Phone 8 so far.”
Unreadable: “Great calculator. It can finish implicit function drawing perfectly!”
You like Smosh? With this free app, you can watch and download a collection of Smosh videos from the official YouTube channel. Simple as that!
User: “Awesome app. I had no idea they made that many videos.”
Trish: “The videos load super fast and the quality is great. The only thing missing is a search bar.”
User [This guy leaves a lot of reviews.]: “Great for when I don’t have Interweb service.”
Obviously, out of “over 130,000″ apps currently available in the Windows Phone App Store, these 10 are just the popular tip of a very big iceberg. What would you add to these 10 best Windows Phone app ratings? Feel free to leave a comment below!
Image: To Be Neutral: an Avalanche of Windows Phones by jfingas via Flickr