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ESPN Hub app on white Lumia 900

The recent beta launch of the impressive and beautiful Nokia City Lens app, exclusively for Nokia Lumia phones, got us thinking. There are quite a few apps and services that we alone can access. With more exclusive partnerships announced at CITA last week, the garden is looking very rosy for owners of the Nokia Lumia 900, 800 and 710.

Add the Windows Phone family into the mix and there are plenty of unique of apps and services to show off. Here are some of our favorites, some from the Windows Marketplace and others directly from the innovators at Nokia Beta Labs that you can try today before they meet the rest of the world.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled to the Nokia Collection on the Windows Phone Marketplace app for all the latest Lumia-optimized goodness.

Let’s start with the newest addition to the exclusive Lumia club. Nokia City Lens is a location-based Augmented Reality app, which provides you with key information about your immediate vicinity. Point your camera lens up the street to see nearby restaurants, the direction in which to find them and, most importantly, whether it’s the best pizza you’ll ever eat. It’s also good for shops, museums and other points of interest.

As huge sports nuts, we adore this app. Bringing video highlights, live scores, breaking news and more, the Lumia-exclusive app debuted alongside the Lumia 900 in January. Key updates are incoming though, with glance-and-go Live Scores set to hit Live Tiles and a new Lumia-specific Fantasy Football app, to ensure you’re always prepared to beat your rivals to that last-minute trade.

Microsoft Office
Windows Phone and Symbian remain the only platforms to bring official access to the world’s favorite productivity suite. Nowhere else can you access Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote on a smartphone and with all of your documents syncing effortlessly back to SkyDrive on the Lumia 900, you’ll never be caught without them.

Nokia Transport

This essential public transport guide can be the difference between making it home for dinner and standing in the rain for an hour. Simply input your desired destination and the app will search out a multitude of means (bus, train, tram and good old-fashioned walking) from official public transport agencies in several cities and urban areas worldwide.

You are also welcome to test the next version of Nokia Transport, now available on Nokia Beta Labs.

Xbox Companion app arrives

Xbox Companion
The Xbox 360 is more of a media on-demand platform than a games console these days. Hence, the old faithful control pad isn’t always the best way to navigate through the UI. Using this Windows Phone-exclusive app, it’s easy to discover for new content and send it directly to the Xbox. You can also pull up information from the web on the music or movie you’re currently enjoying without interruption.

Nokia Drive

Nokia Drive While the Toy Story fan in us hates to think of that old satnav unit gathering dust and developing a wheezy cough, we sure do appreciate Nokia Drive. You can download street maps from over 100 countries around the world and turn-by-turn voices in over 50 languages, so you don’t incur in high data costs and you can rely on Nokia Drive also in areas with poor coverage. Personalized speed limit warnings also help you drive more safely.

Nokia Maps

With Nokia Maps you always know what’s around you so that you can feel like a local anywhere. Top nearby places are just a tap away, you can then save them among your favourites, pin them to start or share them with friends. You also get drive, walk or public transport directions to get there.

Creative Studio on white Nokia Lumia 800

Nokia Creative Studio
This photo-friendly suite combines the services of many standalone offerings into one. Want to create landscape panoramas? Check. Want to add retro-style filters? Check. Want to edit and share on the go? Check. Want to morph your own face into a Hall of Mirrors-like horror show? Erm… Check! It’s free too. Give it a spin.

Nokia Play To
Did you know your Nokia Lumia 900 was capable of playing nice with your DNLA-enabled television? Nokia Play To (originally a Symbian app) lets you send your favorite photos, videos, TV shows and movies directly to your TV, laptop or Blu-ray player instantly if they’re on the same Wi-Fi connection. As this app develops, it’ll also allow you to farm music out to your favorite speakers and link up with your Xbox 360 or PS3. Try it now.

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