Way back in March last year I posted a blog entry listing apps that I was using at the time on my Windows Phone. I thought it might be time to update that list with some of the applications I currently have installed that are proving useful to me.

Since then we’ve had the Mango update, and of course tens of thousands of new apps created.

Apps are a personal choice and some of these may not appeal to you but, as before, let me know if you know of better / other apps that you like.

All of these apps are free, although some are ad-supported. Note that all of these are currently available in the UK marketplace, some may not be available in other regions.

Ask Ziggy

Allows you to speak your English-language question and provides appropriate answers. For example, you can ask (out loud) “How old is Madonna?”, or “Why is the sky blue?”. For a list of other features see http://www.ziggybot.com/.

Definitely lots of fun to be had here, and some of the answers are surprisingly…insightful
Touch Facebook
I recently blogged about how to create an alternative to the Facebook App for the Windows Phone. Well Sergio Girado has created this nice little app that make it all a bit easier by providing a front-end to the touch.facebook.com site.

Works well and is a nice experience if you want try try a change to the Facebook app
Buses Due

If you live in London it’s likely you’re going to be catching a bus at some point. This terrific app – which admittedly is only useful if you are in London – gives you a list of buses that are due at stops near your current location.

And if you have stops that you use regularly you can pin them to your start screen for quick access. Amazingly useful and accurate too in my experience…assuming you’re in London
SkyDrive

Although SkyDrive is already built into your Windows Phone, and works exceptionally well, this free app provides you with some extended features such as creating new folders, uploading full-res pictures to a folder of your choice, seeing which documents and files have been shared with you, gives a list of recently-accessed files whether they have been accessed from the web or your phone, etc.
Can’t think of many reasons you wouldn’t want this app, it’s the perfect complement to the built-in functionality
MyTextTwister

If you’re a serious kind of person who doesn’t do trivial stuff then this app probably isn’t for you, but I find it lots of fun :-)

Just being able to send text messages that are upside down appeals to me in some strange way. Sending it to someone across the room and seeing them turn their phone upside down to read it is oddly rewarding. There are plenty of built-in text “pictures” too, along with some other weird font text styles.

Maybe it’s totally pointless but then sometimes fun things are.
PhotoFunia

One of my favourite photo apps, PhotoFunia contains hundreds (literally) of filters and tricks that allow you to turn your photos into something really interesting. Many of the effects have face recognition that scan the face from your photo and put it into an interesting scenario – such as making someone in your photo into a zombie.

The downside is that it needs internet or wifi access to work, but that’s a small issue to my mind. Incredibly powerful and fun for a free app, definitely highly recommended.
Wiki Talking Tours

Wiki Talking Tours takes advantage of the huge number of geo-tagged entries in Wikipedia to turn your phone into an instant tour guide. It shows points of interest near your current location and, optionally, reads the entries out to you meaning that it acts a bit like those audio tours you can hire from tourist attractions.

You can optionally turn on the augmented reality view that allows you to sweep your phone around your field of view and see points of interest within 500m overlaid on the camera view
Voucher Cloud
If you’re price-sensitive in these restricted times then Voucher Cloud might prove useful. It lists special offers and discounts from retailers close to your current location and provides you with a voucher to redeem.

Nicely executed and works well. The pinned tile alerts you to new vouchers close to the location use last used.
Music Wallpaper

If you’re a music lover and have some of your favourite albums or tracks on your phone then Music Wallpaper can use the cover art to create a wallpaper picture of the album art. The wallpaper looks cool and reminds me of the stuff I have on my phone.

You can choose to omit certain albums from the wallpaper if you wish – perfect for hiding those embarrassing songs that might be lurking on your phone ;-)

Simple little app but works nicely
Lync 2010

“Must have” app is a somewhat overused expression but if you’re a user of Microsoft’s Lync 2010 on your desktop then this is … forgive me … a must-have app. With push notifications and address book search it really does extend the Lync experience to your phone. For me, it’s one of those apps that I would really hate to do without
Where Did I Take That?
Taking advantage of the GPS coordinates of the photos you take this app plots your photos on a map allowing them to see where they were taken.

It integrates into the picture hub so you can use it on-the-fly while you’re looking at your photos.