Get Apps for Windows PhoneIf you have a Nokia Lumia or some other Windows Phone device, you might feel a little left out when it comes to the apps that are available for these smartphones when compared to the selection offered to the iPhones and Androids of the world. However, there are many fantastic Windows Phone 8 apps that are not only functional, but they’re awfully great-looking too.

We had previously taken a look at some must-have social media apps for Windows Phone and now we’re looking at a few more apps that every Windows Phone owner should have. With the pending acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft for $7.2 billion, you can be sure that Microsoft will be putting in an even bigger push to promote the smartphone platform and grow its market share.

Bing News

Bing Windows Phone 8 Apps

Bing Windows Phone 8 Apps

Download from Windows Phone Apps+Games Store

Yes, it’s easy enough to open up the mobile browser and surf over to the news site of your choosing, but it’s so much more convenient when you have all the news aggregated for you. The Bing News app lets you break down the content by category, selecting your favorite news sources from an expansive list. The home screen live tile can be resized and configured to show the latest news too. If you like Bing News, then you might want to add Bing Sports and Bing Weather to your list of downloads too. They’re all free and very attractive.

Instance (Instagram Client)

Instagram on Windows Phone with Instance

Instagram on Windows Phone with Instance

Download from Windows Phone Apps+Games Store

Most of the major social networks can be found on Windows Phone. You’ll have no proble getting on Twitter, Facebook, or Foursquare from your Samsung Ativ, Nokia Lumia, or whatever other device. Instagram is still notably missing, but third-party clients like Instance have come to the rescue. You get full Instagram functionality, including the ability to upload your filtered photos to the social media service. Another Instagram client for Windows Phone that you might consider is InPic, which is also a free download.

Flickr

Share Your Flickr Photos on Windows Phone

Share Your Flickr Photos on Windows Phone

Download from Windows Phone Apps+Games Store

If you’d rather load up on official Windows Phone 8 apps rather than third-party alternatives, then you can still share your pictures directly to Flickr with the official app. Just like some of the other photo-sharing apps, the Flickr app comes with some mild image editing capabilities too. You can crop, apply filters, add tags, and so on. What’s nice is that the live tile can display the most recent uploads by your contacts too, helping to keep that home screen fresh and interesting.

Network Dashboard

Wireless Settings Live Tiles

Wireless Settings Live Tiles

Download from Windows Phone Apps+Games Store

Normally, if you want to turn the Wi-Fi off on your Windows Phone 8 device, you have to swipe over to the settings and navigate through the menu to get to that option. The same can be said about airplane mode, Bluetooth, location services, and so on. This can prove very cumbersome, especially when other smartphones have such easier access to these settings. What Network Dashboard does is provide you with the option to have live tiles to quickly access each of these wireless radios, making it really easy to get out of airplane mode as soon as your steely bird touches down.

Pouch (Pocket Client)

Read It Later with Pouch for WP8

Read It Later with Pouch for WP8

Download from Windows Phone Apps+Games Store

Some official Windows Phone 8 apps are still missing from the marketplace, but that’s why there are apps like Instance to fill in the gaps. One of my absolute favorite services is Pocket (formerly Read It Later), which lets you save web content for later reading or viewing. The creatively named Pouch is an unofficial Windows Phone app for Pocket will full access to save links, browse your queue, and search your list.

Image credit: Gabriel Flores Romero / Flickr

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