As we’re sure you’ll agree, 2014 has been a brilliant year for Lumia devices on the app front. There are now over 350 000 apps available in the Windows Phone Store, and the numbers are going up by the day.
Though we’re incredibly excited about all the new developers who’ve joined the merry band of Lumia lovers this year, we’re also prouder than ever for our in-house app wizards at Microsoft. As Barry Collins wrote in PC Pro back in August, “some of the best-designed apps to hit the Windows Store have come from within Microsoft.” But which of those many apps is the best of the best? Scroll down to check out our shortlist (updates didn’t qualify this time!) and vote for your 2014 favourite down below.
The Microsoft Health app is the perfect companion for Microsoft’s new fitness wearable, Microsoft Band. It helps track your heart rate, steps, calorie burn, and sleep quality, as well as providing guided workouts, 24-hour heart rate monitoring, and automatic activity counting. We love the fact that you can set voice reminders using Cortana, too. The ideal app for those looking to start a new, healthier life in 2015.
Who doesn’t secretly want to be a filmmaker? Our inner movie directors certainly perked up with the release of Movie Creator Beta. This app lets you combine videos, photos, music and cinemagraphs (our favourite bit) into movies to share with friends anywhere. The app is super easy and quick to use, too, with the film making process divided into four simple steps.
Office Lens is a must-have app for students, office workers, or anyone that wants to be able to quickly digitize information on whiteboards, Post-its, receipts, or any type of document. In other words, it’s like having a scanner in your pocket. Digitized information is searchable, and can be saved to OneNote.
Developed in collaboration with the Royal National Institute of Blind People, this app turns your Lumia into a digital magnifying glass. The flashlight feature comes handy for dimly lit scenarios like romantic dinners.
If you want to get organized and stay that way, give Files a try. This file management app helps you to keep track of all of your files, letting you create folders, browse, search your documents quickly and efficiently.
The scrabblesque sequel to our favourite word-building app Wordament, Snap Attack challenges you battle players from around the world in a tournament with 2 1/2-minute rounds. The aim here is to put together as many seven-letter words (“Snaps”) as you can, on a board you share with other players. We bet you’ll find this one tough to turn off.
This app simply must be included because it’s nearly Christmas. Only just released, it allows you to get personalised digital gift cards for Xbox and Windows stores. Easy, ecologically sound and entertaining, what more can you ask for? The idea of these fills us with festive spirit…in fact, we have some Christmas shopping to do right now!
Don’t you hate it when you hand your Lumia to someone to look at a photo and they start swiping through your entire album? Or crowding around one device to view a friend’s pics? Xim can solve these problems by letting you choose which photos you want to share and “Xim” them to your friends’ devices, automatically syncing so that everyone views the slideshow together.
Well, here are our nine great and totally new Microsoft apps of 2014. Would you have picked the same ones or do you think we missed some crucial Microsoft-made magic? Cast your vote now and share your reasons why in the comments below. May the most awesome app win!
Image credit: Kodak Views