Microsoft Windows Phone has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. As the software has become better so too have the phones and as a result more apps than ever are available on the platform.

If you're new to Windows Phone or just aren't sure you've got all the aps you should have this guide will help. We've collected the must-have apps for Windows Phone with links ready for you to download now.

FREE

While HERE Maps is not longer an exclusive for Windows Phone, since Microsoft bought Nokia and HERE became a separate company, the apps are worth having. This unique service, HERE Drive+, offers offline maps and turn-by-turn navigation meaning it's great for directing you wherever you go in the world.

You will need to download the country's maps first, for free, but then you're good to go anywhere without paying for data or getting lost. It'll even guide you to where your car is parked when on foot. Not bad for a free app then.

FREE

MX Player has been ported across from Android to offer you a way of playing all your video files in one place.

While the Windows Phone platform might struggle to play all file types the MX Player has historically done very well. We're hearing mixed reviews on this release but expect updates to fix any issues since that is the bread-and-butter of this software.

FREE

This is a cool app to help customise your Windows Phone home screen by modifying the tiles. Change colours, types and even transparency on your tiles.

This could be helpful for making using your phone even faster as well as adding a personal touch to the screen that best suits you.

FREE with contract

If you have a Netflix account you'll be pleased to hear you can enjoy all your TV shows and movies right on your Windows Phone device.

So if you've got a device with a decent screen size and a good data plan there's nothing to stop you from watching whatever you want wherever you are.

FREE

The Amazon app was pulled from Android recently in a bid to make people install the Amazon app store. So in a rarity Windows Phone users have easier access to the app than Android users.

The app is simply a shopping portal, much like the Amazon site with easy 1-click ordering and saving of items you may want to buy later.

FREE

Every mobile these days needs to have a flashlight app installed. This free app will leave your flash on so as to act as a torch.

Most phones now have LED flashes so even with it left on in torch mode the battery isn't drained too fast. This free app maximises the power of your flash so you have a one-touch light should you ever need it.

The app also features a compass for glow in the dark guidance and an SOS button that will flash the light as an SOS should you need it.

FREE

Instagram took a while to make it onto Windows Phone but now its finally here even the Beta version is worth having.

The app is cross compatible with all other platforms as always meaning sharing and socialising with the 150 million member of Instagram. With the power of Windows Phone cameras you should be able to get a headstart on some great shots especially those at night.

FREE

If you don't have WhatsApp, get it. This is a truly great messaging app that looks set to replace traditional SMS altogether. It's on all the platforms and works simply by sending messages over data, from words to audio to photos to video.

The app is free to download and works perfectly, alerting you to messages and once Microsoft releases a smartphone it will no doubt work on there immediately.

FREE

One of the best pieces of image editing software available and it's totally free and works on a mobile. Hard to believe it's free too right?

Basic offerings like cropping, straightening and rotating are here as well as auto one-touch fixing, colour slider controls, filters and sharing are all options with more on offer too. Some extras like a Looks Pack and Noise Reduction Pack can be downloaded as in app purchases should you need a little more.

£5

We added this is as a pay-for option as it's such a treat. Minecraft Pocket Edition is as you'd imagine it would be, a mobile version of the world's most addictive game. It lets you build worlds using blocks and socialise in multiplayer mode.

Pocket Edition includes both Survival and Creative modes as well as multiplayer over local Wi-Fi. There are infinite worlds, caves, biomes, mobs, villages and more.

The game is £5 to download but should give you enough addictive hours to get your money's worth.

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