Facebook for Windows Phone is lacking in features compared to Facebook itself, but a recent update added Inbox support, finally allowing its users to communicate in almost real time. The app is fast and stable, with a simplicity that reminds you of the old days when using Facebook used to be bearable.
4th & Mayor
The official Foursquare app lets you pin live tiles for "places" and "specials" and it supports multitasking so it's faster to switch back from other apps, but we prefer 4th and Mayor which has much nicer live-tile options. As well as pinning CHECK-IN NOW to your Start screen, you can pin tiles for your favorite places and friends you want to keep track of - and you can choose the title and image to use for them.
As well as supporting Flickr uploading, this app also lets you capture photos from within the app and comes complete with a set of filters, so you can "hipsterize" your life with ease. It supports sharing with Twitter and Facebook as well, so your other, non-photo-nerd friends can enjoy the results of today's snapping session.
A new way to look at the pleading face of Jimmy Wales. The official Wikipedia Windows Phone app is very nice to use, presenting a simplified version of the desktop site's content, plus an ever-useful offline saving option if you need access to pages when out of reception range. You also get location aware features, making it easy to randomly browse for interesting things in your vicinity.
Every sports fan has to have the ESPN ScoreCenter app for Windows Phone 8. Not the flashiest app in the world, it's pretty much all about information. From up-to-date news and scores to highlight videos, ESPN ScoreCenter for Windows Phone 8 can be configured to only give you information about sports and teams that you care about.
Another app that's been out there for a while, the eBay tool has also been updated so much that it's now a credible alternative to the desktop site. A recent update brought the ability to list items direct from the app, while there's a simple PIN system that makes paying for your winnings via PayPal much simpler and less convoluted than it is on the full blown web site.
Endomondo Sports Tracker
This free version of Endomodo is essential if you're sporty, or even if you just like using a GPS tool to stalk yourself walking around. You select an activity, initiate GPS mode and it'll keep track of you, time you and even whisper robotic words of encouragement at you, before generating a stylish map charting your achievements. A map which you can spam out to social networks to show off the fact that you can ride a bike.
The Netflix app does it all, offering access to the full catalogue of digital film and TV rentals, presented in a clean and simple layout. The only fancy features are PC syncing so you can pick up where you left off on mobile if it's getting near bedtime, plus Facebook sharing so everyone can keep up on how your Secret Diary of a Call Girl marathon is going.
Feature-packed, with the latest version offering full integration with other apps, letting you spin content and send it directly to the app for easy updating. This version of Wordpress could do with more image insertion tools, though.
After the Windows Phone version of SkyDrive, the next best solution for keeping all your "business" in one place is Evernote - it lets you stash and sync all your text notes, voice memos and files on your phone and access them through a desktop computer. You can pin templates which can include tasks like taking a photo and saving it as a note with some boilerplate text - ideal for recording receipts, business cards, wine labels or anything similar. And when you search on Bing, you can swipe across for a list of matching notes in Evernote.
Living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area the TechRadar crew is obsessed with the real estate market. Whether you're a current homeowner, you're looking to buy a house, or you're just a real estate voyeur, the Zillow app for Windows Phone 8 is actually a lot of fun to use. You can add filters to view homes that are for sale, homes that are for rent, and homes that have recently sold. Of course, our favorite "game" to play is driving around different neighborhoods and seeing how much the houses we pass are worth.
While your iOS and Android friends, as well as Maxwell the pig and Alec Baldwin, can't get enough of Words with Friends, the fact remains that there's more to life than playing a Scrabble clone over the course, God knows how many minutes or hours. Enter Wordament. Free in the Windows store, Wordament is a great way to kill two minutes. Based on Boggle, where you have a limited amount of time (two minutes) to form as many words as you can from the garbled letters on the screen, the cool thing about Wordament is that you don't just play against your friends. You play against everyone in the World who happens to be playing on whatever Windows device they happen to be playing on. The only downside is that your data connection has to be active.