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January 24, 2012

30 top apps for Nokia Lumia smartphones

All the essential apps I can’t live without are available on the Nokia Windows Phone

Apps and games are one of the biggest selling points for smartphones – and there’s no shortage of them on Nokia’s new smartphones including the Nokia Lumia 710, Nokia Lumia 800 and forthcoming Nokia Lumia 900.

But which apps and games can be classed as essential? Having tried all of the major apps platforms in my time as a tech journo, I wanted to do a blind test to see if the apps I can’t live without are available on the Windows Phone platform.

So I picked out the titles I’ve grown to love across all platforms, then looked them up at the Windows Phone Marketplace. And guess what? They are all there. And the bonus is that most of them are FREE, but the ones you have to pay for can be downloaded as a free trial.

So, unlike other platforms, you don’t end up paying for apps and games that you think you want, but end up never using. I reckon moving to a Nokia Windows Phone could help you de-clutter your app life.

I took the app selection a step further by looking at the apps I couldn’t live without which are only available on the Nokia Windows Phones and added those in as well. It was tough, but I’ve managed to narrow it down to a list of 30 apps that I don’t want to live without.



You can upload your Facebook friends straight into the People Hub, but it helps to have the free app too so that you can run your account in full on the go.



Another social network that you can link to your Nokia Windows Phone People Hub, but again, this gives me full control of my Twitter account.



Everyone uses eBay at some time and whether you are buying or selling, you need to have access 24/7. Now excuse me while I keep an eye on that Brompton bike I’m bidding for.


Expensify at Windows Marketplace

I’m a bit of an Expensify newbie, but since my boss introduced me to it at CES, it has become invaluable. Doesn’t mean I’ll get all of my expenses paid, but it’s helping to keep track of my spending as never before.


Evernote at Windows Marketplace

My colleague Jason introduced me to Evernote, and it has become another recent must-have.


IMplus at Windows Marketplace

IMplus is invaluable for keeping in touch on your Windows Phone via Skype’s instant messaging. It keeps you in the loop when you are on the go. And, for those of you who use Skype as a virtual office, the boss will think you are always working.


What's App at Windows Marketplace

Another instant messaging app that you can use across platforms. Especially great for keeping in touch with anyone on Blackberry Messaging Service (BBM). Just input your number, accept the terms and conditions and the Windows Phone app will give you a list of contacts already using it.


Kayak at Windows Marketplace

Anyone who travels will find Kayak vital for checking flights and sourcing routes. Don’t leave home without it.


Pulse at the Windows Marketplace

Any news junkie will appreciate Pulse with its fully customisable news interface. You can browse by source or subject and get your fix of everything that’s in the news mix.


TripAdvisor at Windows Marketplace

If you never book a hotel room without first consulting TripAdvisor, you will almost rule out nightmare travel experiences. I have never stayed in a bad hotel since using this amazing app.


YouTube at Windows Marketplace

Who can live without YouTube? Exactly, nobody. And the Windows Phone app is up there with the best.

Social Camera

Social Camera 2.5 at Windows Marketplace

Another new one for me. But it’s looking like a must for anyone uploading video from their Nokia Lumia phones. As it says on the tin, it’s the first Windows Phone app that allows you to upload your own videos to YouTube, and the only one that lets you transfer your videos from SkyDrive to YouTube.

Xbox SmartGlass


One of the reasons for owning a Nokia Lumia phone has to be the Xbox link. For more details about the app that never stops playing, see our post.

ESPN ScoreCenter


Covering a wide range of Sports, this ESPN app could be a one-stop shop for North Americans. And as a Brit with a growing interest in NFL and Baseball, it’s fascinating to try and keep tabs on the news. Amazingly, it also has football (soccer) news.

SkySports News

Sky Sports News at Windows Marketplace

This is my home for British sport, with football, cricket, rugby, golf, tennis, Formula 1 and boxing all well covered. And check out the video section.

BBC News Mobile

BBC News Mobile at Windows Marketplace

The BBC is a world-respected source and this app is great for keeping you in touch with breaking news from a place you can trust, especially when you are abroad. Wherever you are in the world, it’s worth having this in your news mix.

Angry Birds


I still haven’t cracked every level at three stars on the best casual gamer on the planet. So I still find myself having another attempt in a quiet moment.

Flight Control

Flight Control at Windows Marketplace

Another old stand-by for me. I was totally hooked when it came out. And again, it’s there if I need it in a moment of boredom. I tend not to play it on planes though.

Plants vs. Zombies

Plants Vs Zombies at Windows Marketplace

More evidence that you can feed your addiction to the most compelling games ever invented. Who can fail to love this game and its endless challenges?

Love zombie games? Check out our latest collection of zombie games.


Tetris at Windows Marketplace

Keep your Tetris skills in shape whenever you feel like it. Perhaps THE best puzzler ever dreamed of.

Doodle Jump

Doodle Jump at Windows Marketplace

Try it and buy it. Just do it and you’ll keep coming back for more. Beautifully simple and simply the best little platformer on mobiles.

Super Monkey Ball

Super Monkey Ball at Windows Marketplace

Sega’s classic comes into its own on Nokia smartphones as you tilt the screen to get to your goal.


Bejeweled at Windows Marketplace

A gem of a game, need I say more?


Epicurious at Windows Marketplace

A constant companion in the supermarket, Epicurious enables you to find new recipes and buy the ingredients at a glance. The choice of dishes is enough to satisfy the heartiest of appetites.


Endomondo at Windows Marketplace

Comes in very handy when you’ve been overdoing the Epicurious app. With choice of activities, Endomondo produces maps of your efforts and keeps track of your achievements.



After living with Lumia for nearly four months now, the preloaded apps that come with it are part of my everyday life. They make up the last five of my 30 apps. I’m a HERE Maps convert. It’s the best mapping software I’ve seen on a mobile and I use HERE Drive to get to my destination whenever I get into the car. I’m using Nokia Music AND I have an all-you-can-eat deal with Zune, but Mix radio is a revelation, with its constantly updating playlists. Finally, the Microsoft Office app is proving really useful, especially OneNote and the SkyDrive with free cloud storage space.


Check out the best apps for the Nokia Lumia 1020 – part one, imaging and The Essentials: apps every Nokia Lumia 1020 owner should have: pt 2

Want more than 30 apps? Then check out our 50 best apps for Windows Phone.

image credit: veryuseful, RLHyde