What better way to restart blogging (more on that later) than by talking about Windows Phone? And my Windows Phone, no less. No, not as though mine is better than yours, but as in the personal guiding principle of Windows Phone (remember: Personal, Relevant, Connected) .
To that end, I thought I would share many of the third-party apps that I have on my phone that I use frequently (daily to weekly).
4th & Mayor is a foursquare client, and an excellent one at that. Highly functional, and fast (did I mention fast?) with frequent updates. I use this nine times out of ten over the official foursquare client for WP because it is faster to check in with (courtesy of the ‘check-in now’ live tile). That said, the official client is good (and has come a loooong way from its initial release), and I really like its live tile.
Birdsong is a Twitter client, and one that is significantly better than the official Twitter app. It has many nice features including live tile and push notifications, multiple accounts, threaded conversations, and smooth, fast scrolling. Why not just access Twitter via the excellent People Hub? Oh, I do. I love the People Hub, but when all I want is Twitter, I use Birdsong. Oh, and when I want to favorite a tweet, which the People Hub does not support. I have my Twitter favorites tied into a workflow with IFTTT and Instapaper, as I usually want to save these for later. For more on IFTTT, see this excellent post by Scott Hanselman.
Pinspiration is a client for browsing and posting to Pinterest from your Windows Phone. Note that there is also Pinspiration Pro for $0.99 which removes ads and refresh throttling.
It’s close race between The Weather Channel app and the Accuweather app, but I prefer TWC. Try them both.
Not as good as reading on a larger screen (like a Kindle, iPad, or other device), but works with Whispersync beautifully so can pick up where you left off and read a few more pages.
Works fantastically for streaming Netflix content. My one mistake was letting my child know this existed.
I don’t use eBay as much as I used to, but when I do, this is great for searching for items or monitoring auctions.
Evernote rocks. I have it on my desktop, laptop, iPad, and phone. The initial release of the Windows Phone version was a bit shaky, but now at v2.1, it works a treat!
Out and about and need a reservation, or want to confirm? OpenTable. And now you can add a live tile of your pending reservation.
It’s Yelp, what more to say? Search, read reviews, get directions.
Need to read a PDF? Get Reader. It allows you to open PDF files from email, the web, and on the device. It also support multi-touch gestures and orientation changes.
Watch movie trailers, find show times, and read movie reviews. Now integrates with Bing search and allows you to pin movies and theaters as live tiles.
Fantastic app for tweaking photos or applying filters. The filters are high quality (and numerous in quantity), and it’s fast. Well worth the money.
There are many RSS readers in the Marketplace, but, so far, I like Wonder Reader best. It synchronizes with Google Reader, so I can keep my read feeds in sync, and has some great integration and live tile features.
From the Coding4Fun series, a highly useful app for those of us with less than stellar memories about where we parked our car.
Yep, it’s a flashlight app. Doesn’t make your LED flicker and it runs under the lock screen. Also features brightness adjustment and a variety of other lighting styles.
DSLR Toolbox does two things: it calculates depth of field and angle of view. I don’t use it much, but quite handy when I need it.
Frequent traveler? Use Tripit? This is the app for you. I have a Tripit Pro account, and it supports the real time flight status, and gate and baggage claim information you get with that as well. And I love the live tile – it is great being able to see your next flight (and status) at a glance. There is an official TripIt app (free), but I find My Trips a better app (and the Tripit app does not support live tile).
Dictionary, thesaurus, translator – it does all with aplomb. I also really like the word of the day (which can be shown in the Live Tile).
Yes, it has ‘free’ in the name but costs $0.99. Go figure. Regardless, if you use KeePass, this is the app for you to open your KeePass database on your Windows Phone. Works with Dropbox (yay!) and allows for editing fields. Source is available on GitHub (w00t!).
Addicted to Engadget and Gizmodo? This is the app for you. See a unified feed, or each separately.
This is the Windows Phone version of the Silverlight-based OData Explorer. It lets you browse and visualize OData feeds.
Browse, and view, the entire video catalog at the Khan Academy, a great educational resource.
Keep a log of your runs and walks and sync to RunKeeper.com. You can view history as well. It works pretty well, but sometimes doesn’t initialize the GPS correctly, and sometimes it crashes when it has GPS issues.
No matter if it is for my car or a rental car, I’m always trying to minimize fuel costs. GasBuddy helps you find the cheapest gas, and directions to that location as well. Supports Live Tiles and location reporting as well.
If you rent from Avis often enough, this is a useful app to create, modify, and cancel your reservations as well as find Avis locations. You can access your My Avis account as well.
Have too many of those loyalty cards on your key ring? Scan them into this app and keep them in here instead!
Write new posts, edit content, view stats, and manage comments for your WordPress-based site.
Write scripts and programs on your phone, for your phone.
Get the score, fast!
Download eBooks and audiobooks from your library. Get on a waiting list if your item is checked out. It also allows you to download DRM-free EPUB eBooks from other sources.
Browse your entire SkyDrive, upload photos, share links, and create folders.
On the Microsoft campus often and need help getting around? Check out this app. Walking and driving directions, indoor maps, Connector route info, and more.
Sometimes, you get what you pay for. I love the capability in this app. I just wish it would work consistently. In order to save space here, I’ll save my, ahem, feedback for another post. Give it a try though.
Free, live flight tracking from FlightAware for flights world wide and private flights in the U.S. and Canada.
Add something that the platform forgot. Control network radios from settings tiles pinned to your start screen. Brilliant.
As I travel frequently, finding an ATM in a new location can be a challenge. PinPin ATM Finder handles that for you.
Browse and discover new apps in the Marketplace via this beautiful application.
A planetarium for your Windows Phone. Point your phone to the sky and see what stars, constellations, and other objects are out there.
An alternate way to read news via RSS. Select your categories and it pulls in the feeds.
Record memos or any other audio and upload them to SoundCloud.com. It also allows you to share them via social channels or email.
Not a daily driver, but great app for benchmarking. This is the closest you’ll get to having a WEI score on your Windows Phone.
Enjoy those sliding block puzzle games? Here’s one for your phone. Get the red car out of the parking lot and on its way!