Windows phones have had a hard time competing with iOS and Android devices, but the Microsoft platform is beginning to pick up momentum.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the release of new and exciting apps, with a number of exclusive offerings that should help Microsoft play catch-up.
Let's face it, Windows' reputation on the app front has been less than stellar in recent years. In fact, try typing 'Lack of apps' into Google and you'll find the autocomplete function lists 'Lack of apps on Windows phone' as the top suggestion.
Seeing as Google developed Android, some conspiracy theorists may not be surprised at this – but the fact remains that ramping up the number of apps is a good move from Windows.
So without further ado, here's our list of five top apps for Windows phones, including a couple that are exclusive to Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8.
1. Halo: Spartan Assault
No discussion of a Windows phone would be complete without reference to Halo, Microsoft's flagship gaming franchise.
First released on the original Xbox, the iconic game has spanned various next-generation platforms, and has even expanded into comics, movies, anime and books.
Halo: Spartan Assault now allows phone users to enjoy the franchise's action-packed gameplay through a top-down third-person shooter that boasts superb graphics and an immersive experience.
Exclusive to Windows 8 phones, this Halo instalment is a great way to pass the time on your lunch break or during the commute to work. Costing just £3.49 at time of writing, this is an excellent addition to your app collection.
2. Nextgen Reader
If, like us, you want to keep up to date with the latest developments, then Nextgen Reader may just be the perfect app.
This Windows 8 RSS reader is quick, simple to use and has an array of nifty features for those who need to know what's going on in the world as soon as it happens.
Offering a slick grid-based layout that is ideal for touchscreen browsing, the app is resplendent with personalisation options and customised reading views.
Moving between articles, summaries and web pages has been made as easy as possible, often only requiring a swipe of the finger.
Add in sophisticated security, a range of shortcuts and roaming options, and Nextgen Reader certainly gives competitors such as Feedly a run for their money.
Another Microsoft exclusive, Ilomilo+ is a colourful 3D puzzler for those who prefer a more casual gaming affair than is offered by explosive-laden alternatives like Halo.
The premise of the game is fairly simple; the player must reunite Ilo and Milo, who start at opposite ends of each level.
Only one character can be controlled at a time, requiring players to exercise a little brain power as they gradually edge across each beautifully rendered landscape by moving cubes, picking up items and earning bonuses.
A funky multiplayer mode allows two friends to separately control Ilo and Milo, with only one character 'active' at any one time.
At £3.49, the game offers hours of fun and can be easily picked up and played whenever you have a spare moment.
4. Great British Chefs
The popularity of modern cooking programmes seems never-ending, with shows such as the Great British Bake Off capturing the imaginations of thousands of wannabe chefs.
Sound like you? Well, Great British Chefs should prove to be an app-etising addition to your collection. Ahem.
Bringing together more than 300 recipes from some of the country's best culinary experts, the app also includes sumptuous photographs of the dishes it describes.
There are over 100 instructional videos, and once a recipe is selected the ingredients can be sent to your shopping list or exported to email or Evernote.
What more could you ask for from a free app?
Once you've had your fill of games and hobbies, it may be time to crank up productivity – and Windows phones now have Toolbox to help do just that.
The app aims to boost multitasking by offering a number of different small utilities in one program. A calculator, unit converter, world clock and weather forecaster are just a few of the 15 tools included (with more on the way).
There is even a basic web browser and social media functions, allowing you to check Facebook in between all that hard work.
Where the free app really shines is the layout, which enables six different tools to be displayed at any one time or, if you want, the same tool six times.
You can even save your favourite layouts and easily customise the workspace for maximum efficiency.