While it doesn't have market share on the scale of Android and iOS, Microsoft's Windows Phone still features some quality devices and boasts neat features such as a clean visual design, Live Tile widgets and integration with Windows 10 in the new Universal Windows Platform system. With the HP's enterprise-oriented Elite X3 phone soon to arrive, we thought we'd revisit some of our favorite apps for your Windows Phone device.
Group messaging app Slack took a while to make its way to the Windows Phone platform, but now that it's here, Windows Phone users can enjoy its easy-to-use collaborative messaging system. Slack's system of topic-based channels along with easy attachments and sharing of files make it a flexible communications tool used by groups of friends, classmates and even small businesses and teams. As a result, the Windows Phone version is a welcome addition to the platform's productivity tools. Slack is in beta, so there are bugs that pop up once in a while, but it's still a solid app to have around.
Keeping track of your passwords and login credentials is a modern day digital hassle. Thankfully, password management tools like LastPass can take some of the sting out of protecting your digital identity. LastPass allows you to set up an encrypted password vault which stores your passwords and login credentials behind a single master password. Users can automatically log in to websites using a built-in browser, as well as automatically fill in shopping and billing forms. In addition, you can store secure notes and records, all of which can be synced with your passwords across devices with a LastPass premium subscription.
A Microsoft Garage project, OfficeLens turns your Windows phone's camera into a pocket scanner, capturing documents, receipts and whiteboard notes, cleaning them up and automatically transforming them into Office documents, PowerPoint files, or PDFs which you can upload to OneDrive. A Whiteboard mode automatically cuts out glare and reflections from images, while a Document mode automatically crops the image and applies color corrections.
Another Microsoft Garage project, InstaNote does its best to help make notetaking during meetings a whole lot easier. Simply leave the app running during your meeting, and if you hear something interesting or important, hit a button; InstaNote captures and transcribes the last 30 seconds of audio, and allowing you to tag and categorize each clip for easy reference later. Notes can be associated with contacts, used to create tasks, or shared through email. Spend less time scribbling away, and more time actually paying attention during meetings.
VLC arrives on Windows Phone, offering users a free, easy-to-use, multimedia player that's designed to play almost any format you can throw at it, just like its desktop sibling. No longer will you have to spend time transcoding videos or music into ubiquitous formats, as VLC is designed to take more difficult media formats such as OGG, MKV, FLAC and MPC.
Adobe Photoshop Express is a great entry level photo editing tool for basic photo cleanup and manipulation. The app includes basic tools such as cropping, straightening, rotating and red-eye removal. It also offers sliders and one-touch tools for cleaning up noise, sharpness, color and exposure. One-touch effects called "Looks" provide more aggressive filter-type effects, with the app offering a basic set, making even more available as in-app purchases.
Pocket Casts has long earned a place in our list of best mobile podcatchers, and now it's made its way to Windows Phone, a perfect fit for the app's clean, tile-based display of podcasts. Pocket Casts for Windows Phone features cross-platform synching, automatic episode downloading and configurable playback controls for setting skip durations, starting points for episode playback and variable playback speed. In addition to listening to your favorite podcasts, Pocket Casts features discovery tools including curated lists of podcasts and a library of more than 200,000 podcasts to check out.