The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Windows Phone 7 is home to many beautiful apps but which ones are the best? We got 'em all for you right here.

Social

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Facebook: It's Facebook. You need it to do everything you use Facebook for: check out pictures, keep up to date with your wall, see notifications and peep your feed. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

4th & Mayor: The ultimate foursquare app for Windows Phone 7. It utilizes the 'metro' styling for a great layout and does everything you want a Foursquare app to do: check-in, peep photos and comment.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Google+: If you're using Windows Phone and Google+, you're doubly unique. And now you have an app to do all your alternative social networking. Free

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

IM+: It's expensive, but it's the best IM app on Windows Phone 7 and supports AIM, Google Talk, Facebook, Skype, ICQ, Jabber, MySpace, and Yahoo. There's push notification, the app is understated in design (which I enjoy) and decently fast. $10

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Gchat: Even if you're on Windows Phone, Google Talk is still one of the bestest IM services to use. Gchat for Windows Phone is a really great app that combines the beauty of Winpho with the utility of Google. You get push notifications, the ability to pin contacts as secondary tiles and more.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

GroupMe: A godsend of a group messaging app, GroupMe killed for us at CES. The idea is simple: your friends are grouped together via a phone number and when you text that number it sends the message to everyone (with your name in front). Like a SMS chat room. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

WhatsApp: A SMS replacement of sorts. It's cross-platform messaging serve that lets you can chat with all your friends without wasting money on the ripoff that is text messages. Friends who use Whatsapp will be automatically loaded to your buddy list because WhatsApp smartly uses your phone number as your handle.

Entertainment

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Flixter: This is a must-have for movie lovers. Find showtimes, cast information, and save the flicks you want to see later. Free

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Crackle: Want to catch the newest movies on your phone? Choose from Crackle's vast selection to stream full length flicks whereever you are. Free

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Netflix: I've gotta say, when you're curled up in bed streaming some old TV show to your phone, the future starts looking like a pretty alright place. With great new Instant Watch offerings popping up all the time, a Netflix subscription is essentially mandatory. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Pictures Lab:Your phone isn't complete until you can take photos that look like they came out of a $5 camera from 1974. Pictures Lab offers a ton of other effects for your money too. $2.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Apict: One of those simple 'instant' camera apps that inject your smartphone pics with a little bit of character and a whole lot of style. You can even caption the pictures with marker text. $1

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Thumba Photo Editor : A super solid photo editor for your pictures. There's more than 60 adjustments and effects, along with the basic crop, rotate, flip, and resize. Basically, it can transform your crappy pics into amateur photag status. $1

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

CleverPhoto: A basic photo editor that let's you take control of the pictures you take. The normal features (like crop, rotate, flip) are all there along with brightness and contrast controls. What's even better is that you can tack on a filter and add other artistic effects to the snappies you've taken.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Fantasia Painter: An awesome painting app that comes with 12 brushes and a ton of effects. You can start from a blank slate or add some artsy effects to your photos. You'll be surprised at how well you can paint. $1

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Rdio: It's our favorite subscription music service and can easily replace your music app altogether. The baked-in social elements make it super easy to find new music your friends are digging, and the whole app just got an attractive makeover. $10/month.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

TED: TED talks are some of the best content the internet has to offer, bar none. Catching up with them on Windows Phone, away from the "real" internet, is quite perfect. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Kindle: Even if you don't have an actual Kindle, Amazon's still the king of ebooks. Their Windows Phone app lets you buy books from the vast Kindle library, and you can rest easy knowing that they're on a platform that's almost guaranteed to have some staying power. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Shazam: You know that song you keep hearing everywhere but can't quite place? Shazam can place it. Like, almost every time. Unlimited tagging on Windows Phone. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Movies by Flixster: The ever familiar Movies by Flixster, where you can check up showtimes in theaters around you, watch trailers of the movies coming out and check the box office to see how much money they made. There's even a live tile to see what's the biggest hit each week. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

TuneIn Radio: Lets your Windows Phone device tap into thousands of FM & AM stations. For me, it's a great way to listen to KROQ and miss home a little less. For you maybe it's NPR. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

MLB At Bat 2011: Hands down, the best sports application for mobile device. You'll be able to keep up with your favorite team in a snazzy new customizable homescreen and stream audio of live games. For any self respecting baseball fan, it's an absolute must have. Sadly, WP7 doesn't get live video streams. $15

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Vevo: The new MTV! Or something like that. Vevo is an app that lets you watch a ton of new music videos you never see on MTV anymore. There's push notifications to alert you of a premiere and some trivia questions to keep you in the know. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Spotify for Windows Phone: Spotify lets you stream music from its massive library of available songs and albums, and create and share playlists with friends via Facebook integration. The Windows Phone version of the app is beautiful and hopefully other developers are paying attention.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

NPR Listener: Who doesn't love Terry Gross and her smooth voice on NPR's Fresh Air? Welp, now you can listen to Terry and the rest of the NPR crew with the NPR Listener app.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Fandango: Browse and purchase movies tickets from your phone. You really don't need more information than that.

Games

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Fruit Ninja: I don't know what it is about chopping fruits that pop up on the screen but slicing a sick multiple fruit combo with juicy visuals never felt so good. Simple gameplay that's ridiculously addictive. $3.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

ilomilo: A beautifully designed 3D-puzzle game where you try to unite ilo and milo by moving them or moving cubes. It's brain exercise at its prettiest. $5.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

The Harvest: A Sci-Fi Action RPG it looks like Dungeon Siege (or the lousier Space Siege) on your phone. And that is great times for RPG fans. $7

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Flight Control: I always think I'll get tired of this time management game but every time I fire up Flight Control, I still enjoy those chaotic last seconds where I have 30 planes on the screen. $3.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

NextWar: The Quest for Earth: A great tower defense game that comes with 10 different levels. Like any other tower defense games it's going to be hours of fun and a lifetime of addiction. $3

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Krashlander: A simple but fun game where you control a skier to knock down robots. A little Angry Birds-ish, but that's a total compliment. The app's graphics and animation are great too. Free, with ads or $1.29.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Satalaunch: The goal of the game is to create the perfect trajectory to make a satellite hit its destination. Loads of fun trying to collect as many stars as you can while avoiding the obstacles. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

AlphaJax: One of those Scrabble-clones that are insanely fun to play to prove how well versed you are in vocabulary and strategic you can be with your tile placement. It even tracks your stats and see who's the top player. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Wordament: It's an addictive word game in the lines of Boggle. You get a grid of letters and you find as many words as you can from adjacent letters. The game pits you against other players in real time so you get to see how quick your finger and vast your vocabulary is. Free

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Rocket Riot: An 8-bit styled game where you shoot stuff up and blow things up in search for the bad guy. There's a ton of levels, that are each creatively designed and fun to play. You'll probably lose a few days to this game. $5

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Chickens Can Dream: A fun, casual game where you avoid obstacles such as circular saws, flame throwers, boots-on-a-stick on your quest downwards. The graphics are cute and gameplay is wildly addictive, as you race to beat your score. Free

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Angry Birds: Yeah it's not exactly brand spanking new but it's still as addictive as ever. Angry Birds, launching birds to destroy pigs, is finally on Windows Phone 7 and you don't really own a smartphone until you've played through this once. $3

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Minesweeper: Dude, it's the minesweeper game you grew up on but ported to Windows Phone 7. Sadly, it's not as old school looking as it once was but it's still randomly strategic fun with 4 levels of difficulty and Classic and Speed modes. Xbox Live game too. Free

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Sudoku: I would much rather identify myself as a Crosswords guy but Sudoku and its numbers are so darn addicting I can't step away from it. This version ties in with Xbox Live and has a Classic/Lightning modes to wrinkle your brain. Other than that, it's sudoku like you know and love. Free

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Alchemic Phone 7: Like the 80's game Alchemy, you rebuild the universe with elements. You start with 6 elements and combine them to unlock 1600 more elements and 26 new realms. Addicting a game as they come by. Free

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Assassin's Creed - Altaïr's Chronicles HD: A prequel to Assasin's Creed offers six weapon for enemy slaying action. On-screen controls replicate a controller as you battle your way through the game.

Productivity

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

PayPal: The PayPal app finally made its way to Windows Phone recently. Manage your payments, monitor your accounts, and keep a tighter fist around your funds with the new WP-compatible app. Free

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Box: Are you a Box user? Now you can manage the stuff you store in the cloud from your Windows phone with this new app. Free

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Stacks: The best Instapaper app for Windows Phone 7, you'll be able to see your Unread, Liked and Archive folders. If you haven't been using Instapaper—it's the lifechanging service that saves articles for offline reading—you need to start now. You do, however, need a paid Instapaper acount.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Back Burner: It's a Read It Later app for Windows Phone 7, so you can save Internet articles to, well, read later. You'll find yourself reading a lot more than before. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

GoVoice: The best Google Voice app on Windows Phone. You can make phone calls, send free texts and receive push notifications for incoming texts and voicemails. $3.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Evernote: The do everything and anything note-taking app syncs with all your other Evernote apps and works just as you'd expect: write notes, keep notebooks, search notes, map notes, share notes, etc.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Wonder Reader: The best Google Reader app on Windows Phone, Wonder Reader can be fully customized to your liking (fonts, themes, options). It can share items with your social networks and has a pretty neat Gallery view. $2.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Pulse: Pulse takes a bunch of news sources and transforms them into a pretty gorgeous collection of tiles. All of the stories are laid out in a grid-it's all side scrolling, swipey fun. Scroll up and down to peek at different feeds, scroll left and right to scan different stories, tap on the tile to read the full story and share the story to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Adobe Reader: A PDF reader for your Windows Phone, it supports multitouch gestures and landscape mode too. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Google: I'm sorry Bing, it's not you, it's me. I'm just used to Google, so I have to have Google search on my phone.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

gMaps: gMaps is a Google Maps app for Windows Phone that works as well as you'd expect. And as I don't actually know anyone who uses Bing Maps over Google Maps, this is the maps app you'd want. Best part is it's free. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Sliding Keyboard: I personally think the Windows Phone keyboard is fantastic but for those still itching for some Swype-action on WP7, Sliding Keyboard is as close as it gets. Slide your finger around keys to write words.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Fuse: A gorgeous RSS reader that transforms boring ol' feeds into windows of information. It supports Google Reader, Instapaper, Read It Later, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. There's way to customize the look of the app but any way you spin it, it's probably the best looking RSS reader on Windows Phone 7.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

App Flow: If you need help finding apps for Windows Phone, App Flow organizes all WP7 apps in a very digestible way. You can browse through unique lists like Indie Games and Rising Stars or peep at Stats to see which apps are most popular or even poke around randomly with Discovery.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Cool Tools: A digital toolbox worth of apps. Like an all-in-one sort of deal, you get a stopwatch, countdown, flashlight, ruler, accelrometer, soundcheck, converter, tip calculator and more. Get this app to get more out of your Windows Phone.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Thumba Photo Editor: Edit your photos with 70-adjustments and effects. Users can crop, add HDR effects, remove noise, and inspect or add GPS metadata to their photos.

Lifestyle

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Poynt: Poynt is a do-everything, location based app which lets you find restaurants, businesses and movie theaters around you and even gives you weather reports. If you want, you can make dinner reservations and buy movie tickets too. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

NY Times: All the news that's fit to print. No matter how much we joke about print dying, the Times is still a must read. Like the NY Times apps on other platforms, you can read through Top News for free and save articles for offline reading. With a paid subscription, all the content is unlocked.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

BBC News: It's the BBC! Keep up to date with the world's news with their Windows Phone apps which has been re-built for Mango. The app also has support for push notifications and live tiles.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

AP Mobile: AP Mobile is the best way to keep track of what's going on in the world. With it, you get breaking news, photos, and videos from over a thousand different sources and can share stories to Twitter and Facebook. Oh, it's purty too. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Weather Bug: It's the weather: a forecast, live weather cameras, and a Doppler radar will all tell you what it feels like outside. Bonus: you can add an active live tile to get the current temperature displayed on your home screen. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Epicurious: A food app with over 30,000 recipes, it lets you scour through those recipes based on what's in season, create interactive shopping lists, etc. It's well designed and packed with utility. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Yelp: The preeminent food-finding service is as useful as it's ever been. You use it to find restaurants! Unfortunately, it doesn't sync with your Yelp account for bookmarks and such. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

WikiPanda: It's the best Wikipedia app for Windows Phone 7. WikiPanda lets you easily search through the Internet's Encyclopedia and offers a featured article and an "on this day" factoid too.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Cocktail Flow: A beautifully visual app that helps you fix yourself a drink. You can load your virtual bar with the types of alcohol you have on hand and watch it spit out a list of cocktails you can make right away or you can go to the 'Shopping' section to get a rough estimate of what you need for more recipes. Lovely for any drinker. $3

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Easy Ring: Want a ringtone? Of course you do! EasyRing makes it incredibly easy to set up a ringtone on your snazzy Windows Phone by giving you a database of mp3 files to choose from. A few clicks and your ring ring becomes a boom ba boom. Also! The app even acts as a music player too.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Travelocity: If you're planning a trip, Travelocity will handle all your flight and hotel needs. It doubles as a flight status app too, giving you flight schedules and delay information. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Xbox Live Extras: Customize your avatar, keep track of achievements and connect with your Xbox LIVE friends. It makes Windows Phone feel more Xboxy, and that's a good thing. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

eBay: Online shoppers unite! eBay for Windows Phone is an excellently designed app that gives you everything you want in eBay—bidding, watching, selling—with a great interface—text overlay on pictures, tiles, etc. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

ESPN Scorecenter: Scorecenter is a really easy way to keep track of games in all sports. See stats, recaps and game previews of any game and pick your favorite teams so they'll have their own panel. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

IMDB: IMDB has all the movie information you could ever want, as well as trailers for upcoming movies and showtimes for what's in theaters now. All a movie buff would ever want. Free.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

GoodMovie: GoodMovie is a film buff's dream app—it taps into Rotten Tomatoes, Bing, YouTube and Wikipedia to give you all the information you'd want to learn about a movie. That means reviews, news, trailers and more all packaged in a sweet tile-y layout that's absolutely a joy to use.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Flickr Manager: Manage your Flickr account from your Windows Phone. You can view your photostream, your friend's stream, and upload pictures. Free or $1

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

My Trips: It ties in with TripIt, the excellent travel service, so it'll sync all your itineraries, flight information and all the other details you need when you're on the go. If you use TripIt, and it's as indispensable a travel tool there is, you'll love My Trips.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Foodspotting: The food photo sharing app where you can see the real food people are eating at restaurants (that's why people take pictures of food!) comes in all swipey glory for Windows Phone 7. It takes advantage of WP7's Metro UI and is a lot cleaner looking than its Android and iOS counterparts.

The Best Windows Phone 7 Apps

Kayak:Sometimes it seems like the internet can make traveling more of a hassle, what with all the different rates to sort through and confirmation numbers to manage. Kayak actually makes the process easier-from booking your flights and hotels to organizing your itinerary. Free.

Change Log:

November 2012:
Added: Audible
Added: Flixter
Added: PayPal
Added: Box
Added: Crackle
Added: Google+

November 2011:
Added: Spotify for Windows Phone
Added: NPR Listener
Added: Fandango
Added: Assassin's Creed - Altaïr's Chronicles HD
Added: Thumba Photo Editor

October 2011:
Added: Gchat
Added: GoodMovie
Added: BBC News
Added: CleverPhoto
Added: easyRing
Added: Cool Tools

September 2011:
Added: Pulse
Added: Evernote
Added: WhatsApp
Added: Minesweeper
Added: Sudoku
Added: Alchemic Phone 7

August 2011:
Added: Fuse
Added: WikiPanda
Added: AppFlow

July 2011:
Added: Stacks
Added: NY Times
Added: GroupMe
Added: Vevo
Added: Kayak

June 2011:
Added: Epicurious
Added: MLB At Bat 2011
Added: Angry Birds
Added: IM+
Added: Sliding Keyboard
Added: Foodspotting

May 2011:
Added: gMaps
Added: My Trips
Added: Wordament
Added: Rocket Riot
Added: Chickens Can Dream

April 2011:
Added: Apict
Added: Thumba Photo Editor
Added: Fantasia Painter
Added: Alphajax
Added: Cocktail Flow
Added: TuneIn Radio
Added: 4th & Mayor
Added: KrashLander
Added: Satalaunch