Summer of Apps: Top 25 Windows Phone apps that launched this summer

summer apps

The summer is officially winding down. September 21st marks the official last day of Summer. Gone are the long sunny days, and coming soon are the dark and cold days of winter. Unless, of course, you live somewhere warm, in which case I hate you. This summer has brought more than just tanlines for Windows Phone users, it has brought many awesome new apps.

From Angry Birds Rio to Zinio, we have seen a remarkable amount of official apps, and awesome 3rd party apps, launch this summer. It was truly the “Summer of Apps,” and in this list we will highlight our favorites from the last few months. Sit back, hit the play button above, and enjoy the “Song of the Summer” while you check out the top 25 apps of the summer.

1. 6tag

6tagram pano

In many ways this summer was about 3rd-party developers and their quest to bring every app to WP. Rudy Huyn created 6tag, the first Instagram app for Windows Phone with photo and video upload. 6tag has a beautiful design, tons of features, and it really showcases how a WP app can be elegant and powerful at the same time.

Rudy recently quit his full-time job to make developing his primary form of income. That shows the confidence he has in this platform. We support Rudy, and all Windows Phone devs, because, as Steve Ballmer knew, they are vitally important to a platform’s success.

2. Halo: Spartan Assault

HALO. It took a long time, but Microsoft finally created a Halo game for Windows Phone. Halo is such an iconic and classic game that we had to put it high on our list. Spartan Assault is currently available for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, which in itself is a great selling point for anyone who loves mobile gaming. “Spartans! What is your profession!?”

3. Instance

Instance

The first Instagram app for Windows Phone to offer a full featured experience was an app called Itsdagram. Since then it has become Instance, and developer Daniel Gary has done a great job with this app. It lacks some of the features that 6tag has, but it is still a solid choice. This app really opened the door for other Instagram apps.

4. Hulu Plus

Some may think Hulu Plus is too high on our list, but it’s here because it was on our Top 5 Missing Apps list. Hulu is a service that many people rely on. It’s one of those apps that you need to have if you want to be taken seriously. Getting apps like Hulu Plus is what will ultimately help Windows Phone succeed. For that alone, Hulu Plus is our #4.

5. Domino’s

Domino’s Pizza App

We might be the only ones that think the Windows Phone Domino’s app is extremely awesome. Telling your phone “Domino’s, order a large pizza” and watching it open the app to the pizza toppings page is just amazing. We now expect this from every pizza ordering app. It’s great that Domino’s took the time to implement such a cool feature, and their cheesy bread is pretty great too.

6. 6sec

Before Rudy Huyn made 6tag he created a Vine app called 6sec. This was the first (and only?) app to allow uploading to Vine. Rudy used his success from this app to branch out into Instagram. 6sec would be higher on our list, but Vine just isn’t as popular as Instagram. It’s a shame, too, because using this app makes us want to use Vine more.

7. Fresh Paint

fresh paint 2

Microsoft’s popular Windows 8 app, Fresh Paint, finally made the transition over to Windows Phone this summer. FreshPaint is one of the most realistic painting apps we’ve ever used. Paint acts like actual paint, and the brushes work like actual brushes. There is even a paint mixing station and a button to dry the paint.

8. Where’s My Mickey?

Where’s My Mickey? follows the same type of gameplay as the previous Disney Water games. The scenarios in this version include needing water to make lemonade, for growing flowers, and to put out fire. We especially love this game because Disney launched it on Windows Phone right along with other platforms, and Disney is a big supporter of the platform in general.

9. Jetpack Joyride

jetpack

In Jetpack Joyride you control a character named Barry Steakfries. He has a machine gun jetpack that you control to help him dodge obstacles and grab coins and power-ups to get as far as you can. This game continues to be one that we pick up and play from time to time. It has great replay value, and it’s super addictive.

11. Bright Weather

We have no shortage of beautiful weather apps, and Bright Weather is yet another. This app is visually stunning, and it provides useful weather information. It’s a very clean app, with a pretty live tile to boot. We don’t see many new weather apps these days, but they are always a favorite of ours.

12. Voxer

voxer screens

The easiest way to explain Voxer is a walkie-talkie with voicemail. You can record short snippets of audio and send them to your friends that use Voxer. Your friends can listen as you are talking, or play it back later. The Windows Phone app is exceptionally fast at doing this. Since it is a messaging app you can also send text and photos.

13. Tapatalk

If you are an avid forum dweller Tapatalk is an essential app to have. Finally, this summer Tapatalk released their Windows Phone app. Now you can follow and participate in all your favorite threads from across the web, including the WinSource forums. We’re really glad Windows Phone got this app.

14. Hipstamatic Oggl

hipstamatic oggle

The long-awaited arrival of Hipstamatic Oggl finally happened this summer. The big deal about this app is the partnership Hipstamatic has that allows users to upload photos to Instagram officially. This is a big deal to anyone who is leery of using the 3rd-party apps listed above. The app itself can be a little buggy, which is why it’s not higher on the list.

15. Fitbit Tracker

Windows Phone does not have an official Fitbit app, or the ability to pair with a Fitbit, but Fitbit Tracker gives you access to the data synced to your account. You will need to use the PC Sync to get the data into your account. The app itself is colorful and beautiful.

16. Temple Run: Oz

Temple Run Oz

It took a long time for Windows Phone users to get their first Temple Run game, but now we have three to choose from. The latest is another collaboration with Disney for the movie Oz The Great and Powerful. We like it because they didn’t take forever to get the game on Windows Phone. Thanks.

16. Rayman Jungle Run

Rayman Jungle Run is another endless runner game. Rayman is the character that you control. He starts out with the ability to jump, but as you play he gets more abilities. The game uses simple finger tapping gestures and on-screen buttons to operate Rayman’s abilities. Jungle Run has all the levels found in the Android and iOS versions, plus two new levels for Windows Phone.

17. Zinio

zinio-screens

Zinio is a magazine app that can be described as a digital newsstand. It allows users to browse and subscribe to a wide variety of digital magazines, and view them right on their phone. The Zinio app for Lumia phones includes a new Reading List with a curated stream of articles from trending magazines.

18. ABC News

The official ABC News app is your portal to everything that happens in the world. Award winning news coverage, video reports, live video for important events, trending stories, and breaking news alerts make for an awesome app.

19. NBC Today

Today_Screens

NBC has released ‘Today,’ an app for their morning news show. With the app you never have to wake up early to catch the show on TV. You can browse videos and news stories from the show, and even have the app read for you. NBC has been releasing nice apps, and Today is no exception.

20. Wells Fargo

If you’re unfamiliar with Wells Fargo it is another banking app, like Bank of America and Chase Mobile. As the fourth largest bank in the US we were glad to get Wells Fargo on board for all of their Windows Phone customers. Banking apps are a big deal for anyone thinking about switching platforms.

21. OnStar

OnStar

OnStar, the vehicle assistance company, finally released a Windows Phone app for their RemoteLink service. The RemoteLink app allows OnStar users to lock, unlock, honk the horn, flash the lights, and even start their vehicle all remotely via the app. It’s a remote control for you vehicle!

22. Redbox

Redbox is a popular movie renting business that you may have seen inside a Walmart. They have kiosks at many businesses across the country that rent out movies and video games. The Redbox app will help you find those locations, and even reserve copies until you pick them up.

23. Animal Planet

discovery apps

Animal Planet is a Discovery Channel station. The app offers access to full episodes of your favorite shows, plus thousands of clips. You can pin your favorite shows to the Start screen to quickly see new content. The apps even allow you to set reminders so you never miss an episode.

24. Discovery

The Discovery Channel app offers access to full episodes of your favorite shows, plus thousands of clips. You can pin your favorite shows to the Start screen to quickly see new content. The apps even allow you to set reminders so you never miss an episode.

25. Copy

copy screenshots

Copy, one of the newest cloud storage options to enter the scene, released an official Windows Phone 8 app this summer. They already have apps for Android and iOS, so we are glad to be included. Copy would be higher on our list, except that right now functionality is very limited. Hopefully they add more features soon.

That wraps up an excellent summer of app releases! What was your favorite app to come out this summer? How would you change our list? Let us know in the comments below! Now, go out an enjoy the last few days of sunshine (if you have any left)!


  • Boas Andreasen

    Great list

  • Untitled1

    This is an impressive list. A good one to bookmark and then link to every time a reviewer on any other site claims there are no mainstream apps on WP.

  • tiwahu

    My little “Live Music Access” app had a big update for WP8 recently. Great app if you enjoy live music of trade-friendly bands.