Let’s face it: the largest reason most of you have yet to dive headlong into the Windows Phone 8 realm is because of its sparser selection of apps. And we’re not blaming you – Microsoft’s mobile ecosystem isn’t catching the fire that Android and iOS are
fanning, and it’s often a long and arduous wait for popular apps to finally hit the WinPhone app stores. But don’t let it be said that Windows Phone 8 isn’t without some great exclusives. They might not win you over, but they’re undoubtedly a showcase of what Windows Phone can do and could sit proudly in any users’ device. Get ready to feel a little jealous:
This is one cool, nifty app forged in the furnaces of Microsoft Research themselves. BLINK essentially captures a burst of images before and after you take a photo. You can then leaf through these images to select and save the shots you like best, particularly nifty if you’ve somehow missed That Perfect Moment. To top it off, you can also stitch the images together to form a short animated video, which you can share to Facebook or Twitter. A must have for photography enthusiasts, especially those with their masterful Nokia devices.
Developer: Microsoft Research
There are times when you really do need to have a document scanner, but we all know how well those can fit in your pockets. While most people content themselves with crude, sometimes unintelligible photographs of said documents, Windows Phone users can
content themselves with Handyscan. Handyscan utilises the phone’s camera to let you scan any document you have, be it homework or articles or that parking receipt you keep forgetting to claim, and then store it as a proper and very readable document format. It works surprisingly well and is easy to use – something that will prove undoubtedly handy in tight situations.
Developer: JDB Pocketware
Halo: Spartan Assault
This is the one game on Windows Phone that officially gives you bragging rights above other mobile devices. Halo: Spartan Assault is the spinoff Microsoft’s immensely popular Halo series, departing from its first-person shooter roots and turning it into a top-down shooter. The game is set sometime between Halo 3 and Halo 4, with a story that is surprisingly well-received by fans. The graphics are great and the touch-screen controls work fairly well. Fans of Halo can also revel in the attention to detail and how it keeps true to the series in a whole. The micro-transactions of the game might be a drag, but you can’t deny the game’s rightful place as a solid, memorable exclusive.
Developer: Microsoft Studios
The popular Windows 8 app has been lovingly ported for the mobile screen. Fresh Paint is, quite possibly, the painting app that most closely mimics what it’s like to use real paint and painting tools on canvas. Sure, other drawing apps out there offers paintbrushes of various types, but Fresh Paint pretty much turns this into a simulator. You get a variety of tools and an infinite amount of paint colours, courtesy of a nifty ‘paint mixing’ feature that lets you combine and experiment. As you paint, tapping on a fan icon will dry what you’ve already painted – if you let it be, the painting will actually smudge or smear. How’s that for realism?
Developer: Microsoft Corporation
Now here’s an absolute first. For once, an anticipated app actually gets the Windows Phone release before the Android and iOS platforms. Disqus, the popular blog commenting platform, has somehow remained a Windows Phone exclusive. Disqus is a widely used platform that many websites across the Internet have adopted, allowing users to sign in with a variety of social accounts and participating in the conversations of these websites. The app provides you with notifications for replies and the ability to follow, star and vote on comments – all presented through a dynamic live tile that is constantly updated with the latest information.
Ever harboured that dream of being able to say: “Hey Mr. DJ, play it. Play As Time Goes By”? Well, now you darn well can with Hey DJ for Windows Phone 8. Hey DJ is essentially a hands-free music player that lets you play tour music using just your voice. All you need to do is just say the name of the song, artist, album, genre or playlist and the little DJ in your phone will do its magic (so long the actual song is in your device, of course). Works wonderfully while walking or driving, and the voice detection of the app does a fine job in selecting the songs we actually want.
Developer: Diego Carlomagno
ilomilo started life as an Xbox Live Arcade game, and is now ported over to Windows Phone devices. This puzzle game puts you in the control of two friends named ilo and milo, both who are somehow always separated from one another thanks to a surrealistic world. Your goal is to reunite them, and it’ll take the ability to think three-dimensionally to help the friends navigate themselves through the cubic stages. It’s a well made, challenging and fun game, not to mention a gorgeous one, and it’s only available for the Windows Phone device.
Developer: Microsoft Studios