Essential apps for Windows Phone

How-To

Do more with your Windows Phone with these top apps...
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Essential apps for Windows Phone

Mail and Calendar

Use it to: Fire off emails and stay on top of appointments with a personal assistant in your pocket

If you use Microsoft Office at work then a Windows Phone is a great choice. New Windows phones run on the Windows 10 operating system, which gives you the same familiar experience on your phone and your laptop or PC – whether using a touchscreen or a keyboard.

This means they’re designed to work with other Microsoft products like Word and Excel, Outlook and more.

Staying up-to-date with your email inbox is a breeze using Mail. The app gets the best from Windows phones – with handy touchscreen controls to sort and archive your messages.

Calendar works with Mail so adding appointments and arranging meetings is easy. See your schedule mapped out by day, week or month to stay organised.

How much? Free

How to get it? Usually built-in, but you can also download them from the Windows Phone Store

Microsoft Office

Use it to: Turn your smartphone into a mini laptop for writing and editing documents

Whether writing essays in Word, analysing spreadsheets in Excel or mastering presentations on PowerPoint – you’ve probably used Microsoft Office.

Now you can continue that relationship with Office apps for your phone. And because it’s Microsoft, which makes both Office and Windows 10, you’ll get the best experience when using them.

The Word app is perfect for editing on the go – think tweaking an essay on the bus before you hand it in. When it comes to Excel, drag columns into worksheets and add data by tapping on your screen.

The Office apps are designed for touchscreens and to be used with just one hand – simple.

We’ve saved the coolest feature until last though. By using Microsoft’s Display Dock you can connect your phone to a keyboard and monitor to create a desktop experience. It’s called Continuum and you can read more about it here.

How much? Free

How to get it?Microsoft Office apps are usually built-in, but you can also download them individually from the Windows Phone Store

OneDrive

Use it to: Get back some of your smartphone’s precious space and finally sort that chaotic mass of files

Your smartphone is a pocket-sized computer – with photos, music and work documents taking up memory.

Use OneDrive – Microsoft’s online, or cloud-based, storage service – to back up photos and documents, and free up space on your phone for apps.

The beauty of OneDrive is that your account works across your smartphone, laptop, tablet and PC – so you can save a file on your phone and open it on your computer later.

Photos are automatically tagged based on what’s in them. Use the search tool to find the shot you’re after fast – no more rooting around your folders.

How much? Free

How to get it? Download One Drive

Spotify

Use it to: Enjoy millions of songs in your pocket to soundtrack your commute

Accessing music was different before the advent of Spotify – in the days of CDs and MP3s your favourite tracks weren’t so readily available. Now you can listen to pretty much anything from anywhere with online streaming and your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Spotify puts millions of songs at your fingertips from pretty much every recognised genre. Whether you’re into The Stone Roses or Steps, the choice is incredibly diverse.

The app is super-easy to use, even offering recommendations based on what you’ve already listened to.

You can listen for free, but to get the most from the service it’s worth paying for Spotify Premium. This gives you offline listening – making you less dependent on Wi-Fi. More importantly though when you’re out and about you can listen without draining your precious mobile data.

How much? Spotify Premium, £9.99 p/month (free 30-day trial)

How to get it? Sign up for Spotify

Skype

Use it to: See faraway family and friends – wherever they are in the world.

Catch up with those who aren’t so near with Skype video calls. They’re always free to another Skype account – whether you’re calling the UK or overseas. It’s great for occasions like birthdays when you can’t all be together. Have a group video call with the whole family no matter where each person is.

Of course, you can also easily dial into work conference calls from your mobile – perfect if you’re on a train (or at home on the sofa).

Heading off abroad and want to keep your phone bill down? Use Skype to make calls to mobiles and landlines at a lower rate than normal.

How much? Free

How to get it? Download Skype

WhatsApp

Use it to: Stay in touch with friends and plan events in a single message group

Around one billion people now use WhatsApp. That’s a heck of a lot of messages being sent. For many people WhatsApp, which sends messages over the internet, is replacing the SMS text.

Because it sends and receives messages using Wi-Fi or 3G/4G you don’t have to pay for every message as you did with traditional texts. Just make sure you’ve not exceeded your data limit when using on the go.

Group chats are another great feature of WhatsApp. They let your talk to multiple people at once - perfect for keeping up to date with the whole gang at once.

How much? Free

How to get it? Download WhatsApp

Netflix

Use it to: Turn your smartphone into a pocket-sized cinema for movie nights.

Video-streaming apps and improved screen technology has turned smartphones into pocket-sized cinemas. Around a fifth of people (21%) in the UK have watched a film or TV programme on their smartphone, says Ofcom research.

And Netflix is a great place to do that. The app is easy to use, putting thousands of films and TV series at your fingertips. The wealth of content is massive, with everything from the highly acclaimed paranormal drama Stranger Things, to cult classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Remember though, if you’re not watching over Wi-Fi, you’ll be using up mobile data. As well as downloading the app, you’ll need to subscribe to Netflix to get started.

How much? Netflix subscription packages start at £5.99

How to get it? Download Netflix app

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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