The wrapping paper is strewn across the floor, the shrink-wrap is but a memory, the packaging has been burst open, and your new Christmas smartphone is finally in your hand. Once the SIM card is in, you’ve logged onto the internet, and tested all the built-in apps, what happens next? It’s time to get your smartphone really flying, and head off to the App Store for some applications! But which ones?
There’s a huge amount of choice in the various stores, no matter the smartphone platform you’ve picked up. If you need a little bit of advice, here are some App Store picks for iOS, Windows Phone, and Android, to get you started on your merry way. Even though each platforms has a different focus, the third-party app scene has many common releases over the ecosystems, and there are some titles that are almost ‘must-haves’.
Consider these recommendations a starter pack before you set out to explore the stores on your own.
First up, lets check that you’ve got your social media tools either installed or up to date. While some of the built-in apps on your smartphone integrate with the social networks (and in the case of Windows Phone, integrate especially well), to make the most of your online activity you’ll want to grab the official clients for Facebook (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), Twitter (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), Instagram (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), and Tumblr (iOS, Android, Windows Phone). That should cover the majority of your online interactions on Christmas Day. Other social networks are available, and a quick search in the App Stores for Linked In, 500px, Flickr, WordPress, and Foursquare should round out your online world.
Gaming is a major part of the modern smartphone, and it’s here that Windows phone has the daddy of them all. Halo: Spartan Assault is a Windows Phone exclusive that take the sprawling and expansive world of Halo from the first person perspective on the home consoles into an isometric-like top down twin stick shooter for Windows Phone. It’s graphically impressive, fast, challenging, and shows Microsoft’s mobile platform at its best.