As Lent begins, what better way to recover from pancake-induced sluggishness than by downloading a bunch of exciting new Windows Phone apps?
That’s right: the next forty days doesn’t have to be about abstinence at all: instead you can take it as a period to improve your smartphone experience! To that end, check out the five apps featured below – some of our favourites from the week that was…
What is it? A standalone app for the Facebook messaging service
Why we love it: We don’t know about you, but we find we’re getting as many messages via Facebook chat these days as we are via good old email. That’s fine, of course, but not everybody wants the distraction of the full Facebook app on their smartphone – it’s fun, but it’s a definite distraction from work! That’s where the stand-alone messenger app comes in: you’ll be able to pick up your messages without getting sucked into a never-ending newsfeed spiral of procrastination.
Who it’s perfect for: Hardworking people with many messages!
What is it? A building puzzle game
Why we love it: You’re a citizen of NewLandia, and your task is to build castles for nobles, but this isn’t a city-building game; rather, it’s like a medieval Tetris cartoon. Blocks drop down and you have to quickly assemble them into rudimentary castles by reaching certain targets – numbers of blocks laid in a limited time, etc. If your engineering skills are off, though, you structure will crumble under its own uneven weight, so take care!
Who it’s perfect for: Kids, mostly, but also adults looking for a fun game to pass the time.
What is it? A free messaging service
Why we love it: Just like Whatsapp, Line is a neat way of sending what are effectively free texts and – unlike Whatsapp – making free voice calls to anyone across the world without eating into your text and call allowances – providing your friends are also signed up to Line, of course. This isn’t a new app, but it’s recently been updated to significantly improve the call quality and add a load of free stickers. We love the stickers…
Who it’s perfect for: heavy texters
What is it? An unofficial Dropbox app for WP8
Why we love it: There’s no official Dropbox app for Windows Phones yet, so this very comprehensive unofficial solution is filling a much-needed gap. We love Microsoft’s OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), but there’s no harm in using more than one cloud-based storage service – at the very least it’ll allow you to increase the amount of free online storage you’ve got. CloudSix looks excellent so far: you can link multiple Dropbox accounts to the app, access all your files any time you like, and upload your photos and videos – you can even set the app to automatically upload them while your phone is charging. You can also set a PIN to prevent others (or kids!) from accessing your accounts.
Who it’s perfect for: mobile workers, students and photographers
What is it? A car racing game
Why we love it: It’s not really a racer so much as a driving obstacle course game: swipe left, right, up and down to change lanes, jump and duck so that you can avoid obstacles and collect as many golden nuts as possible. It’s quite cartoony and a little trickier than the initial tutorial would have you believe. Top Gear fans will get a kick from recognizing locations and cars from the show. It’s an infinite course, so the challenge is simply to rack up a very high score – even non-Top Gear fans will get hooked.
Who it’s perfect for: Top Gear fans and folk who like driving games