17 June 2013

10 Best Nokia Lumia 620 Apps

The cheap, chunky and usually quite cheerful Nokia Lumia 620 is one of the more affordable ways to get into the Windows Phone 8 universe, with Nokia and the networks managing to get it into the hands of buyers for around £150 on PAYG SIMs.

Nokia and Microsoft have already done a pretty decent job of pre-loading the Lumia 620 with loads of awesome apps. Nokia's Maps location tool is useful, its integrated Drive satnav software helpful, plus the excellent Nokia Music and the... interesting City Lens, so new smartphone buyers can find some top drawer stuff on the 620 to amuse them for the first few days of loving exploration.

But that's still not enough. Microsoft's app shop is expanding at a massive rate as Windows Phone adoption increases among users and developers alike, with the listings featuring some great, and usually free, ways to make your MS-powered smartphone smarter still.

These are ten of the best apps that help improve your Lumia 620's existence.

UC Browser

Download from the Windows Phone Marketplace
No offence to Microsoft or its big dream of world domination, but there's still a little bit of shame attached to using Internet Explorer these days, even when it's the new mobile version that comes as part of its Windows Phone OS.

Plus, due to the Lumia 620's rather limited RAM, using IE on the 620 can be a bit of a clunky experience.

UC Browser's a little lighter and quicker and, although not flawless, may work better with some of the mobile sites you frequent.

Plus it's stacked with options to play with, like a screen-altering Night Mode, incognito browsing, offline caching of embedded videos and more.

BBC iPlayer

Download from the Windows Phone Marketplace
After much waiting and literally millions of angry internet comments demanding to know its whereabouts, the BBC has finally pushed out a version of its mobile iPlayer app for Windows Phone users.

The app's only compatible with phones that run Windows Phone 8, meaning owners of older phones are a little bit stuffed, but at least it means Nokia's cheap WP8 model has one very large selling point.

You get 3G and Wi-Fi streaming here, the full seven day archive of shows and background radio playback, but sadly no option to download stuff to watch when offline.


Download from the Windows Phone Marketplace
Windows Phone is lacking any form of official support from beloved hipster lunch-sharing photography app Instagram, but that's kind of OK as there are heaps and heaps of alternative photo editing and sharing apps available on WP8.

Lomogram's one of the cutest options, letting users choose from loads of lighting effects, filters and frame borders, then chuck the edited results up to all of today's popular social networks.

BT Wi-Fi

Download from the Windows Phone Marketplace
Make the most of your Lumia 620's Wi-Fi support by instructing your phone to always connect to an active BT Wi-Fi hotspot with this clever little app. It sits on your phone, waiting for you to walk through or sit down within the range of any BT Wi-Fi (previously known as BT Fon) hotspot, then instantly connects on your behalf.

No logging in, no web sites asking for passwords or £5.99 for an hour, just instant internet without fuss. Life = a bit better for BT internet subscribers.


Download from the Windows Phone Marketplace
One of the many data-based voice chat tools out there, Viber's popular thanks to being free to use, cross-platform so you can talk to your smug iPhone and Android using mates.

Plus, like amazingly commonplace rival WhatsApp, it reads through your Lumia's contacts list, finds anyone else who's using the service, and lets you call them direct - cutting your network's calling time limits out of the equation.

KIK Messenger

Download from the Windows Phone Marketplace
If you'd rather us a more text-based messaging tool, try KIK. It's even closer an experience to text chat darling WhatsApp, letting users share photos, set up group chats and receive visual confirmation that your target has received your message, all presented in a clean and tidy style that's right at home within WP8's slick layout.

And it's free. It's a no-lose situation.


Download from the Windows Phone Marketplace
The enormous encyclopaedia doesn't have an official Windows Phone 8 app, but that's not really an issue as this indie option is absolutely superb.

The developer has incorporated live tile support, voice searching, an offline mode, article revision history viewing and much more into this app, making it the best way to scan for possibly true facts via your Lumia. But be careful.

There are a few crappy "Wikipedia" apps on the WP8 app store and some terrible paid search tools, so check the user feedback before installing.


Download from the Windows Phone Marketplace
One of the blowing-up big names of the mobile world has been available on Windows Phone 8 for some time, offering subscribers of the streaming film service a simple way to user their mobiles as a miniature portable TV.

Obviously it's useless without a subscription, mind, although newcomers signing up today qualify for a one-month free trial, along with unlimited access to the site's archives.


Download from the Windows Phone Marketplace
As well as the high-profile, Triple-A monster apps, there are also a fair number of quirky little things to play with on WP8. Sleep describes itself as a "sound mixer" tool, playing "soothing" music to the user under the pretence that it may help him or her get to sleep.

It's more likely to remind you your phone's there on the beside cabinet at 3:45am and encourage you to wake up and check your emails and go on Twitter for a bit, but still: that's also quite useful in itself.


Download from the Windows Phone Marketplace
For music fans after something a little off piste, there this. Mixtapes is built around user-generated playlists of tracks pulled from YouTube's enormous directory of tunes, letting players stream endless mixes put together by others.

It's basically a personal radio station you compile then share online, or a great way to root out online rarities and collect them for listening yourself without the hassle of downloading/buying/uploading them individually.

Background playback and live tile support make it feel like a posh new WP8 experience, too.


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