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March 23, 2014

Our favourite 5 new Windows Phone apps of the week

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Lumia lovers! Well, sure, we’re a little late to the party, but that’s because we’ve been busy downloading and trialing apps especially for you guys.

All work and no play, that’s us… No, scratch that: there’s nothing onerous about app investigation! And our investigative efforts have thrown up some sweet treats this week. If you’ve recovered from Monday’s shenanigans, then, read on and then get thee to the Windows Store. Here, in no particular order, are our top five new and updated apps of the week:

Zombie Tsunami

What is it? An infinite running platform game

Why we love it: Collect coins, eat people to turn them into zombies, flip cars over and generally cause zombie-related mayhem in this bright and funky game. It’s a side-scrolling infinite runner; touch/hold the screen to get your guy, or guys, to jump. The music is fun, the graphics are a lovely mix of really detailed, yet cartoony, and the zombies definitely err on the cute side of gruesome. We’re addicted already. Brains….

Who it’s perfect for: gamers of all ages



Nokia Refocus

What is it? A photography app

Why we love it: This is a nifty addition to the Nokia photograpy portfolio of apps. Take a picture using the app, selecting the area you want to focus on, and then either (a) leave it as it is, (b) get the whole picture in focus instead, or (c) change the in-focus area. It replicates a shallow depth of field in a really convincing way, and the results look good. Lovely for macro shots, in particular. Post-processing at its most convenient!

Who it’s perfect for: Mobile photographers



What is it? A photography app

Why we love it: We’ve featured Blink before – it’s an app that takes rapid-fire shots so that you massively increase your chances of getting a good shot of a fast moving target (think kids, sports and animals!) – but the latest update warrants a revisit. First off, the look has been revamped so the interface looks awesome. Secondly, it’s now easier to navigate between animation mode and single picture mode, the image stabilization is better, and you can select an area on which to focus. There’ve been a few other changes, too, but these are the ones that impressed us the most. It’s an excellent app and one we couldn’t do without.

Who it’s perfect for: photographers


Smash Heroes

What is it? A fighting game

Why we love it: It’s a combo of a city-building game and a combat game, really; you have to train a set of warriors and build and maintain their villages. Go through a series of training levels to get basic skills, earn coins, get stuff built, complete challenges, earn new Abilities and play mini-games to hone your skills. It’s a lot of fun once you get going; the music isn’t very intrusive and the activities are easy, yet interesting enough, that players of all abilities ought to be able to get on board.

Who it’s perfect for: gamers of all ages


Weather on a String

What is it? A weather app

Why we love it: The Windows Store is definitely not short of weather apps, but they vary a lot in what they deliver. In terms of detail, this isn’t the most comprehensive one, but it’s a nice quick glance if you want a brief summary of atmospheric conditions. Add a location and you’ll get a simple (ad-supported) screen with a self-explanatory symbol indicating rain, clouds, or sunshine, as well as the average temperature and humidity, and the projected highs and lows. Swipe to the side and you’ll get the night-time forecast. Rotate the phone into landscape mode and it’ll give you a summary: e.g., ‘Today is patchy light rain. Tomorrow’s forecast is for patchy rain nearby.’ Overall? Handy and easy to read if you want a simple outlook.

Who it’s perfect for: everyone


That’s our five of the best new and updated apps, but what about yours? If you’ve unearthed any gems, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.