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March 16, 2014

Our favourite 5 new Windows Phone apps of the week

Who loves Windows Phones? We love Windows Phones! And not just because of the high-tech hardware and software that goes into our Lumia handsets – nope, for us it’s also about the apps.

The Windows Store is filled to bursting with fantastic applications, all of them as cheap as chips or even free. Here’s five of the best brand new and updated wonders we downloaded this week. Get your Lumias at the ready!

Rayman Fiesta Run

What is it? A platform game

Why we love it: We’ve played and loved other Rayman games (Jungle Run is pretty ace), so we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed here. If you’re not familiar with the series, they’re cute, fun platformers with lovely graphics, jaunty music and lots of different challenges: in this one, Rayman has to run, leap, swing, swim and punch his way through 75 party-themed levels. He’s the Mario of the twenty-first century… And as of now, the game’s available globally, so get downloading!

Who it’s perfect for: gamers of all ages




What is it? A music streaming service

Why we love it: We’re cheating a little here, as this one isn’t new this week, but we didn’t get around to featuring it when the last update came out a few weeks ago, and we don’t want you to miss it. Like other streaming services, it’s got a huge database of tunes, but its interface is particularly slick. It lets you sync music between devices (the desktop version is great), play stuff offline, and it’ll give you tailored recommendations about what to listen to next. Though it’s a subscription service, you can get a 15-day free trial to see what you think. Do it!

Who it’s perfect for: Mobile music fans


Music Drop

What is it? A very nifty music file transfer system

Why we love it: This lets you wirelessly upload sound files onto your WP from any PC or Mac (we’re not sure about Linux) as long as you have the app running and both machines are on the same WiFi network. There are other ways to do this, of course, but this particular app means you can get tracks onto your phone from any machine without installing special software on the computer. A neat bonus is it lets you control your phone’s music player from the computer, so you can change tracks from across the room. Nice!

Who it’s perfect for: Mobile music fans


Latte Locator

What is it? A Starbucks app that finds your nearest branch.

Why we love it: Okay, it’s a gimmick – we’ve got plenty of map services that’ll find us a decent café, including Starbuck – but it is kind of funky: it gets its data right from Starbucks’ HQ in Seattle, so you’ll be certain that you’re not being led up the garden path by outdated search engine results. The newest version of the app adds Nokia HERE support, so you can get directions the way you’re used to getting them (walking or driving), and you can always call the branch from within the app if you get confused, and you can tweet in-app too, in case you want a coffee-mate to join you.

Who it’s perfect for: thirsty caffeine lovers people


Shrek Paint

What is it? A colouring-in app

Why we love it: This kind of touch-and-paint app isn’t unusual, but parents of toddlers will agree that you can’t have too many of them. If the kids are into Shrek they’ll love it: choose from a blank canvas or a large selection of Shrek-themed pictures to colour in. We think the controls could be more responsive, and the screen’s a little cramped, but it’ll definitely keep the little ones entertained, especially if they’re fans of the big green lad.

Who it’s perfect for: Creative kids


Gaming, caffeine, top tunes and big green ogres. What more do you need for a weekend of fun and frolics? We hope you’re loving these fab five as much as us. If you’ve unearthed any other hidden app gems, as ever, we’d love to know in the comments below.