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The best apps every Windows Phone user should have

Microsoft is definitely known for its productivity suite of apps. If you own a Windows Phone, then you know most of these apps come bundled with your device. The Windows Store has certainly improved over the years, so there is a lot more to choose from besides Microsoft’s offerings. We compiled a list of some of the most popular apps, and grouped them in categories such as Utilities, Productivity, Travel, Music, and Games, to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

More: Best Windows Phone apps for keeping your New Year’s resolution

Most apps will work with phones that are on Windows Phone v.8 or above. If an app requires Windows 10 to run, click here to find out if your Windows Phone can be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile. What are your favorite Windows Phone apps? Please, feel free to share them with us in the comment section below.

Social

Whatsapp

Whatsapp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. It’s very easy to set up, as it uses your phone number to verify your account, and it reads your address book to auto populate the contacts you already have that are on Whatsapp. You can chat, and call your family and friends for free. You can also share photos, voice messages, videos, and more.

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Windows Phone

Skype

Skype is very popular with those who need to have video conversations with a lot of people at the same time. It’s very useful for business, or just for personal use. Not only that, but group chats with up to 300 people are possible. You can also share documents and other files that are up to 300MB in size. This app is available for devices using Windows 10.

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Windows Phone

Facebook Messenger

Once upon a time, Facebook and Messenger used to be one. As we all know, they are now two separate apps. With this app, you will be able to continue your conversations, send pictures, and have group chats with your family and friends.

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Windows Phone

Facebook

The official Facebook app is available for Windows, including Windows Phone. It has all of the features we’ve come to expect, so this isn’t a “lite” or “web” app. The official app will give you the full Facebook experience on your Windows Phone.

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Windows Phone

Instagram

For a while, a lot of users were lamenting the fact that Instagram wasn’t available on Windows phone, but if you were waiting for it, the wait is over. Share your pictures, edit them, explore, follow, and chat with your friends. Post your stories, and watch other people’s videos, with Instagram’s new Stories feature.

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Windows Phone

Twitter

Twitter’s massive popularity makes this app a must have on any platform. Connect with the latest stories from all around the world, your favorite celebrities, connect with friends, and share your vines, photos, send GIFs, and much more. Nowadays, if anything important happens, one of the first places it’ll be is on Twitter.

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Windows Phone

Viber

Viber is a very popular messaging app. It has some very interesting features, such as the option to delete a message after it was sent! It supports audio and video calls (available on Windows 10 Mobile), all with HD sound quality. You can share photos and videos to any other app, but you can also save them to a Viber folder. Group chat is available, with groups of up to 200 participants!

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Windows Phone

Telegram

Telegram is a messaging app that focuses on privacy. It has secret chats, which support end-to-end encryption for users seeking a chat app with good security features. It also has group chat support for up to 200 participants, and you can send video files that are up to 1GB in size. Your secret messages aren’t logged on their servers, and you can set messages to self-destruct on the sender and the receiver’s device. If you’re concerned about your privacy, then this may be the way to go.

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Windows Phone

Vine

This is a great app to create and share Vine videos. If you just want to browse and check out the videos, then you don’t have to create an account. You can share your or other Vines on Facebook or Twitter. We’ve all seen Vines go viral, well here is your chance to discover them first.

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Windows Phone

Line

Line is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. It features what all the other messaging apps offer. With Line you can send stickers, pictures, voice messages, make voice or video calls, and have group chats. It also features a Timeline that is similar to Facebook, so your friends can like and comment on your posts.

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Windows Phone

Food and cooking

Yummly

With Yummly you can search recipes, but they are personalized to you based on diet, allergies, and your digital recipe box. With over 1 million recipes, we’re pretty certain you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

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Windows Phone

Open Table

Open Table will help you book a table in restaurants all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico. You can search for restaurants near you, by cuisine, and you can browse restaurants based on reviews and ratings. You can even see available tables in real time!

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Windows Phone

Starbucks

The official Starbucks app is on Windows Phone for Starbucks lovers. You’ll be able to collect stars, so you can start earning free drinks and food. The app allows you to pay, leave a tip, check, and reload your Starbucks card, and even send Starbucks eGifts to a friend.

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Windows Phone

How to Cook Everything ($7)

This app is based on the best-selling book “How To Cook Everything” written by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. It has 2,000 recipes, illustrations, and the app doesn’t require a network connection, so you can use it, and cook, even if you’re offline. There are even built-in timers within the recipes. It’s a great app for those looking to improve their skills in the kitchen.

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Windows Phone

Cooking Timer

A great app for those looking for something more than your typical built-in timer. This timer app allows you to set a timer for four different burners and you can set a different tone for each burner. It also enables you to register times for dishes that you always cook, so if you know your rice will take 15 minutes, then you can set it once, and use it when you need to.

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Windows Phone

BigOven

BigOven is truly big. It has a collection of more than 300,000 recipes. It makes the search easy by allowing you to search by rating and also displaying recent recipes with high star ratings.

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Windows Phone

Games

Asphalt 8: Airborne

This is one of the most popular games around, with over 200 million players. The graphics and gameplay are intense, so watch for battery life here, as this can drain your battery. Some of the latest additions include the McLaren Championship, new cars including the Aston Martin Vulcan and Mosler Land Shark, and for the holidays you can get the BMW M2 for free if you race in the Christmas Cup every day.

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Windows Phone

Modern Combat 5: Blackout

If you like first person shooters, then you’ll love Modern Combat 5. If you like to play alone, this game has a great solo mode where you go through missions that take you all over the world. You can choose your play style between Assault, Heavy, Recon, Sniper, Support, Bounty Hunter, or Sapper. So, grab your Windows Phone and save the world from certain destruction.

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Windows Phone

Minecraft: Pocket Edition ($7)

Build your world, craft weapons and armor, and survive in one of the most popular games of all time. You will create your own world, with access to skins and all sorts of add-ons. Start creating, building, and defending your land with Minecraft.

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Windows Phone

Angry Birds

Angry Birds is so beloved it spawned a movie. Space brings a new twist to Angry Birds. The game has over 300 levels across ten different planets. Because you’re in space things are a little different. Things like low gravity and light speed, give you a new way of playing this game, and give the birds brand new abilities they never had before.

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Windows Phone

Star Wars: Commander

Are you with the rebellion, or with the empire? The Star Wars phenomenon never dies down, and here is a game to satisfy your Star Wars hunger until the next movie. You will battle with all your favorite characters like Darth Vader, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker. You gather and train your troops, so that you can defend your base against attacks to move on to the next level.

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Windows Phone

Cut the Rope 2

Cut the Rope 2 is one of our favorite games with brand new puzzles and challenges. Get through the puzzles and all the new environments in pursuit of candy, but now you do it with the help of your new friends, the Nommies!

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Windows Phone

Temple Run 2

The sequel to Temple Run, it brings new levels, new graphics, and more action. Unlock new achievements, and test your reflexes.  The game takes place in a temple floating in the clouds. Because the game takes place in the sky, you have aerial gameplay, with zip lines used to swing across large gaps. This gives players a new way of interacting by tilting the device to perform a swing.

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Windows Phone

Candy Crush Saga

With more candy and new puzzles, the aim here remains to get the highest score possible by matching candy. Candy Crush Saga is free to play, but some in-game items, such as extra moves and lives, require you to pay extra. If this is a game that you plan on giving to a child, then we recommend that you open the Windows Store, go to Settings, Pin, and set a Wallet Pin.

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Windows Phone

Tetris Blitz

A great take on classic Tetris, Tetris Blitz allows you to set head-to-head Blitz battles, or you can race the clock and see who wins. You can compete on the Xbox Live leaderboards and see if you can be the champ. This is another app that offers in-app purchases, and they range from $0.99 to $9.99, so if this is something that a child may be playing, we recommend that you open the Windows Store, go to Settings, Pin, and set a Wallet Pin.

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Windows Phone

Crossy Road

Remember Frogger? Crossy Road is a modern take on that classic game. It has become very popular on all platforms with over 100 million downloads. This game is free, but characters and some other in-game items require purchase. As with every game that may require purchase, if this is something that a child may be playing, we recommend that you open the Windows Store, go to Settings, Pin, and set a Wallet Pin.

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Windows Phone

Music and streaming

Pocket Casts

With Pocketcasts, you can sync all your podcasts across platforms, be it iOS or Android. If you’re listening to a series of podcasts that have the same intro, you can control this and set a start time to skip it. You can search through more than 200,000 podcasts. It is a straightforward app, but if you need help, there is an in-app user guide.

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Windows Phone

VLC

VLC is the ultimate free video media player, especially if you’re trying to play a difficult to read format that the built-in media player can’t read. It has a very easy to use interface where you can keep and organize your videos, movies, and music.

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Windows Phone

Spotify

Spotify allows you to browse and listen to virtually any song that you want to play. The app is able to make a personalized playlist and recommend music that suits your taste. Premium features enable you to download music to playback offline with no ads and you can cancel service at any time.

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Windows Phone

Pandora

Pandora is the intelligent music app that learns what you like and offers you personalized music. You can browse through literally hundreds of stations to find the music you like. This app also works with Cortana and if you create an account, all your stations will be available on your desktop, TV, home devices, and even in your car. It’s also compatible with Xbox One to play your favorite music while you play your games.

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Windows Phone

TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio is a very popular app that brings real radio to your smartphone. From music and sport, to talk radio and news, you can choose radio stations from all over the world and listen to them on your Windows Phone.

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Windows Phone

Shazam

Have you ever been in a place where a song is playing, and you’re wondering what it is so you can download it later? Shazam offers you a way to identify music playing around you. It will recognize songs anywhere you are, even if you’re offline. It also works with Cortana by saying “Shazam This,” and it will start listening and identifying the music around you.

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Windows Phone

Netflix

Watching TV on your mobile device is great and Netflix offers the best content, layout, and features. This free app can be had as part of your Netflix membership. With a low monthly fee, you can watch any TV program, anytime, and as many times as you like.

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Windows Phone

Hulu

Hulu is another very popular TV streaming app that allows you to search through many series and TV shows, whether they are current, or classic series. You can try this service and get a 1-week free trial.

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Windows Phone

News and weather

WeatherBug

The WeatherBug shows you real-time weather information and allows you to get information about any local weather threats, forecasts, or alerts. You also have a 10-day forecast, and National Weather Service warnings to stay informed in case of emergencies. It also offers access to over 2,000 live weather cameras across the U.S.

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Windows Phone

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel gives you hourly and 15-day forecasts. Radar maps show you currents and past weather maps, with layers showing rainfall and snowfall. It also allows you to see the map with road or satellite views. It has severe alerts and breaking news, with GPS location, so that you can get local weather reports.

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Windows Phone

Accuweather

Accuweather has a MinuteCast, which offers minute-by-minute rain forecasts localized to your exact street address or GPS location. You can also have it push severe weather alerts to your phone. One of the best features here is that forecasts can update in 33 languages and dialects.

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Windows Phone

Bloomberg

If you love financial news, then you’ll want to take Bloomberg with you everywhere you go. With the official Bloomberg app from Bloomberg Financial, you can do just that. You’ll have access to all business, finance news, and market data, so you can track your portfolio. It also has other features like a currency calculator and a customizable scrolling ticker.

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Windows Phone

AP Mobile

For up-to-date news from all over the world, The Associated Press official app has you covered. You’ll have the latest news from all over the world, from more than 1,200 sources.

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Windows Phone

Flipboard

Flipboard is one of the most popular news apps. You can choose from all your favorite news sources, and never have to worry about setting it up again. Once you set it up, you can also install the Windows 10 Flipboard app for your Windows PC, and continue reading your stories in a beautiful distraction-free full screen mode.

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Windows Phone

The Wall Street Journal

Expert commentary and articles from The Wall Street Journal is what you’ll find here. It’s a beautifully built app that brings the simplicity of Windows Phone flat design to your news. This app also has a companion app for your Windows PC, so you can have a truly uninterrupted reading experience.

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Windows Phone

Drudge Report Plus

Drudge Report Plus is basically a feed that gets its information directly from drudgereport.com. This is mainly stories and reports from the United States, but there are also international politics, entertainment, and other current events.

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Windows Phone

The Economist on Windows

The Economist for Windows brings you selected weekly articles from The Economist. You can register for an account at economist.com to read the free editor’s picks.

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Windows Phone

Fuse

Fuse is a newsreader that’s exclusive to Windows Phone users. It features live tiles, you can download articles to read offline, it has Google Reader integration, and you can also add your RSS feeds or YouTube channels.

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Windows Phone

Photography

Adobe Photoshop Express

This is one of the best photo editing apps available. You can choose from simple edits, like crop and straighten a photo, to adding filters, auto quick fix, adding frames, and more.

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Windows Phone

OneShot

OneShot is a professional camera app that allows you to have a lot of control over your camera. You have access to adjust your white balance, filters, manual focus for precision, and adjust your ISO. If you need more control while taking pictures, this app may be something you’ll want.

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Windows Phone

Camera365

Camera365 allows you to have more fun with your pictures via a refreshingly simple interface. You can enhance your pictures, remove blemishes, add effects, and frames, and also do some simple edits such as cropping, and straightening a picture.

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Windows Phone

Blink

Blink brings a different approach to photo-taking. It takes a burst of photos, and that way you can choose the best of the bunch. It offers great features like video stabilization, focus lock, and you can turn that burst of photos into an animation that you can share with your friends.

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Windows Phone

LazyLens

LazyLens takes the work out of editing your pictures. It has 23 customizable effects that you can add to your pictures allowing you to put some textures on, add frames, crop, and edit quickly and easily. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time with edits and prefer to just swipe and tap, then this is the app for you.

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Windows Phone

Dual Shot

Would you like to use both the front and the back camera at the same time? DualShot allows you to do just that. You can then export your photos to any app on your smartphone, and share them to Facebook and Twitter.

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Windows Phone

Utilities

Lastpass

LastPass allows you to store all your passwords and logins. Once you store all your passwords in the app, all you have to do to autofill any password is remember your LastPass password. LastPass will automatically fill in the passwords for you in your browser or other apps.

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Windows Phone

8 Zip

8Zip will let you unzip various formats like 7z, RAR, and Zip. This app also supports Continuum, Cortana, and Windows Hello. Once you unpack your files, you will be able to display pictures, read text files, and play music, or video, within 8Zip.

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Windows Phone

Wolfram Alpha ($2)

Wolfram Alpha can calculate and display information throughout a large number of disciplines, including Mathematics, Statistics, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Computational Science, and help you with conversions, comparisons, and even the weather.

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Windows Phone

Flashlight

We all need to access the flashlight quickly, and this app allows you to do just that. The flashlight tile provides quick access, and it features more things like a compass, SOS mode, and shake to turn on or off.

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Windows Phone

PC Remote Pro ($3)

With PC Remote, you can control your PC and use your phone as a keyboard, or mouse. You can also connect and interact with your PC remotely and even copy text from your phone and then paste it on your PC.

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Windows Phone

QR Code Reader

This scanner not only scans the QR code, but will save it in your phone for later viewing.  It will also save all your scans in its history and that way, you can access the links whenever you want.

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Windows Phone

Storage Cleaner Pro

If you need to free up some storage or improve your phone’s performance, then give Storage Cleaner Pro a try. It will scan for duplicate photos, clean your phone’s cache, and scan your phone for any large files that may be eating up your storage.

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Windows Phone

Battery

This Battery app gives you three types of live tiles. It will give you information about your usage, charts, time remaining, and even different types of notifications including, low battery, fully charged, and more.

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Windows Phone

Travel

Uber

The Uber app allows you to get a ride right from your smartphone. You can add a credit card or use Paypal. You can set a pickup and drop off location, and you can even share a ride.

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Windows Phone

Yelp

Yelp is great for those who are new to a city and want to find out where the best restaurants, shopping, or bars are located. It allows you to browse reviews and check out the place before you go. It can also locate places nearby based on your location.

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Windows Phone

Foursquare

With Foursquare you can build a profile of the things you like. The app will tell you about places nearby, or you can use it to plan your visit ahead of time. You can also connect with others and see what they have to say. If you’re planning to travel, Foursquare is definitely an app you’ll want to have.

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Windows Phone

Avis

If you need to rent a car, the Avis app will let you manage your car rental right from your smartphone, no matter where you are. It will show the nearest Avis car rental locations, you can make, cancel, or modify your reservation, and even receive roadside assistance.

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Windows Phone

ATM Finder

This is a great app if you’re out and about and you’re not familiar with the place. ATM Finder will point you at the nearest ATM machine.

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Windows Phone

GasBuddy

This app will let you see the latest gas prices in real time and find the cheapest prices where you live. You can also report gas prices through the app and have a chance to win free gas.

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Windows Phone

Trip Advisor

TripAdvisor is where you need to go to plan your next trip. There are over 250 million reviews for hotels, restaurants, and airfare from all around the world. You can book and make your reservations right from within the app.

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Windows Phone

Translator

If you’re going abroad and you don’t speak the language, Translator may be a really indispensible app. The app will translate from text you enter. You can also use the camera and point it at a sign, use voice translation, and the app will let you do offline translation by downloading a translation pack.

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Windows Phone

Productivity

Slack

Slack is a great app for businesses to stay connected. Because Windows is loved by users who are looking for productivity first, Slack has released this app for Windows Phone on Beta. While it may not be perfect, it has a very good rating of 4 stars, so while using this app to connect with your teams, share your feedback with Slack so they can make it even better.

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Windows Phone

Files & Folders

Files & Folders will let you fully manage all the files on your smartphone. It allows you not only to manage your files, but also to extract archives, play music, and play videos. It supports Xbox One, and comic book archive .cbz, and .cbr.

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Windows Phone

Gmaps

The Google Maps client for Windows Phone. It has all the features we like about Google Maps, such as finding your locations, maps in satellite, traffic, street view, and more. It also supports street view with the ability to move and it has driver mode with auto-reroute. It’s a must have if you use Google Maps.

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Windows Phone

UC BrowserHD

If you want more than the bundled internet browser, then take a look at UC BrowserHD. UC Browser lets you download directly to your device, or your SD card. It has all the features we expect from a browser like incognito mode, night mode, share files via Bluetooth, and the ability to switch to desktop mode.

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Windows Phone

Office Remote

Working with Power Point just got a lot easier with Office Remote. This app will let you use your smartphone as a remote control for Power Point, but also Excel and Word. You can walk around the room and control a presentation, or move around a document in Word or Excel.

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Windows Phone

Office Lens

Office Lens is a smart document scanner. You can scan documents, whiteboards, and then convert them into images or a PDF. As you move your camera, the app will find what you want to scan and straighten it out for you, like magic. This app is a must-have to add to your productivity office applications.

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Windows Phone

Wunderlist: To Do List & Tasks

Wunderlist is one of the most popular To-Do apps. You can create all your lists, share them, and collaborate with friends and family. You can also set reminders, attach files, and pictures to your lists, and organize it all in folders. A great companion to Microsoft’s OneNote.

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Windows Phone

TeamViewer: Remote Control

If you need to access a computer remotely using your smartphone, then TeamViewer is what you need. It supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can wake up the computer remotely and perform reboots on computers, or servers, from anywhere.

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Windows Phone