Instagram and Waze are the latest top apps for Windows Phone 8

I’m happy to announce that Instagram and Waze are now available in the Store for Windows Phone 8.

Instagram

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The arrival of Instagram, which has more than 150 million users around the world, brings one of the world’s most popular social photo apps to what many critics have called the world’s best smartphone cameras. Instagram can transform everyday moments into shareable works of art. Just grab a picture from your Photos Hub, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram (or share to Facebook, Twitter,Tumblr and Foursquare). As with many other Windows Phone apps, Instagram for Windows Phone will have a Live Tile which updates with data on the Start screen as well as support for fast-resume. This helps the app feel at home on the OS.

Highlights include:

  • The full set of Instagram filters including XPro-II, Earlybird, Rise, Amaro, Hudson, Lo-fi, Sutro, Toaster, Brannan, Inkwell, Walden, Hefe, Nashville, 1977, and more
  • Linear and radial tilt-shift blur effects for extra depth of field
  • Unlimited uploads
  • Ability to like and comment on other people’s photos and videos

Download Instagram for Windows Phone 8

You can also read more on the Instagram blog.

Waze

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This isn’t your typical traffic and navigation app. Instead, Waze makes it possible to join forces with other drivers and crowd source real-time road conditions, saving time and gas money.

By simply driving around with Waze running, you can outsmart traffic and help improve everybody’s daily commute. For example, you can both report accidents and hazards and see road problems on your route. Community-shared fuel prices make it easy to pinpoint the cheapest gas station. With Waze riding shotgun, it’s also fun and simple to meet up and coordinate with friends on the road.

Download Waze for Windows Phone 8

Great time to own a Windows Phone

Instagram and Waze are just the latest in a wave of popular apps to arrive in recent weeks. Others include Vine, Asphalt 8: Airborne, and Angry Birds Star Wars II—to highlight a few of the 500 apps that pour into the Windows Phone Store each day.

So when you consider the fully stocked Store, the broad range of phone models and prices—from the affordable Lumia 520 to the 41-megapixel Lumia 1020 to the big new 6-inch Lumia 1520 (which goes on sale at AT&T this Friday after earning rave reviews)—and the slew of new holiday deals and discounts now available to buyers, I think there’s never been a better time to own a Windows Phone.

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Update: I wanted to clarify some of the early press coverage about the Instagram app’s ability to take pictures. Here’s the scoop directly from the folks at Instagram:

Windows Phone users will be directed to their camera roll instead of a camera interface initially, where they have the option to either select an existing photo or take a new photo to apply filter to before sharing.”