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February 27, 2014

My Favorite Windows & Windows Phone Apps #2

As promised, I am continuing the monthly series of my favorite Windows and Windows Phone apps. You can look back at my first post from last month here.

Bing Maps Preview (Windows):


Back in December, the Bing Team released the Bing Maps Preview that was built from the ground up for Windows 8.1. And it’s pretty awesome. You get impressive 3D renderings of landscapes including select cities (“3D cities”) thanks to Bing’s advanced geometry engine. It also has Streetside view, in-app searching, and several smart features such as traffic notifications on favorite routes (like going from home to work), Local Scout and personalized Picks for You. The 3D experience is built with the help of people who build worlds in video games, expert photogrammetrists, HD aerial cameras and a huge data pipeline that crunches petabytes of imagery. Last week, 15 new 3D cities were added to the Bing Maps Preview app including Seattle and San Francisco! Download Bing Maps Preview for Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store.

NOOK (Windows):


With NOOK, I have a library of books, magazines, and comic books. I just read the DC Comics “Knightfall” Batman graphic novel. I can also sign-in with my Microsoft Account, the same account I use to log in to my PCs, the same account used on my Windows Phone, for OneDrive, and to access my Library. The NOOK app has a great set of features for reading content like adjustable fonts, spacing and themes so that I can customize my reading experience exactly the way I want. I can even import ePub and PDF files from my PC or OneDrive and read in the NOOK app and have everything I read in one place. Download NOOK from the Windows Store.

WPCentral (Windows and Windows Phone):



Stay in the loop with all the Windows Phone (and Windows too!) news with WPCentral. WPCentral doesn’t just provide news but also reviews on the hottest new apps to hit Windows Phone and Windows. They also write tips and tricks useful for anyone with a Windows device. Not a day goes by that I don’t hit up WPCentral to see what they’ve written about. Download WPCentral from the Windows Store here and from the Windows Phone Store here.

500px (Windows and Windows Phone):



I use 500px pretty regularly to share photos I’ve taken with my Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone – you can see the set here. With the 500px app on my Windows PCs and Tablets and Windows Phone, I can see notifications when the community members interact with my photos (when they leave comments, like and or favorite my photos). I can also interact with photographers I am following and their activities using Flow and comment, like and favorite their photos. Via 500px’s Popular, Fresh, Upcoming and Editors’ Choice, I am always finding incredible photos by photographers around the world. And on Windows Phone, you can have 500px photos on your Lock Screen. On both Windows and Windows Phone you get a Live Tile that also populates with the latest amazing photos from 500px. You can download 500px from the Windows Store here and from the Windows Phone Store here.

Mint (Windows and Windows Phone):



I am using Mint quite a bit to manage my finances. With Mint, you can see all your personal finance account like checking, savings, and credit cards all in one place! With the Mint app pinned to your Start screen on your Windows PC or Tablet or Windows Phone, you can see regular updates of your accounts through the Live Tile. You can track your budget and see easy to read charts and graphs to know when you’ve spent way too much money on gadgets (yikes…). And all your accounts you have in Mint sync across your devices and Download Mint from the Windows Store here and from the Windows Phone Store here.

Honorable mentions:

A few weeks ago I did a blog post on Project Spark. With Project Spark, you will be able to you build and share your own games across Windows 8, Xbox One and Xbox 360. Right now, Project Spark is in beta for Windows 8 with the beta for Xbox One coming soon. Read my blog post here for all the awesome details on Project Spark and how to get started. I highly recommend checking Project Spark out – it is extremely fun!

Windows Phone also now has all 7 of the Bing apps seen on Windows 8: Bing News, Bing Finance, Bing Weather, Bing Sports, Bing Food & Drink, Bing Health & Fitness, and Bing Travel. Even better is that all your personalized content from all 7 of the Bing apps will now roam across all your Windows devices (Windows PCs and Tablets running Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone). See my blog post here for the details.

I’ll be continuing this series next month with post #3. And again, if you have any suggestions on apps for Windows or Windows Phone I should check out, leave a comment below!