23 must-have apps for the Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL, & Windows 10 Mobile

Tis the season for new Lumias as the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL are finally getting into people's hands. Some are previous Windows Phone users while others are new to the fold. Still, there are a few who are just not familiar with Windows 10 Mobile and some of those new universal apps (Universal Windows Platform or UWP).

To get you started, I'm sharing with you some of my top apps for Windows 10 Mobile that are worth checking out. These are just main apps that I use every day, but I have omitted for now apps for photography and games as we'll feature those in another article. To be fair, not all of these apps are "true" Windows 10 Mobile apps as some are using some legacy coding from Windows Phone 8.1, but they work just fine due to backward support.

Think I missed something? There's a real good chance I did so let us know in comments what you would recommend people try out!

1. AppRaisin

AppRaisin is an app for apps. Keep tabs of some of the latest and trending apps through this free software. If you optionally create an account, you can up and down vote. It is also available for Windows 10 PCs.

2. Baconit

Nothing is more fun than wasting time on Reddit. Baconit was recently redesign for Windows 10 Mobile and desktop as a universal app. With it comes a gorgeous design and basic features for casual users (further updates will deliver more features in the coming months).

Runner up: Readit, which is also a Universal Windows app.

3. Chronos Calendar+

Chronos Calendar+ is not a true Windows 10 app, but it is still the go-to third-party calendar for those who need a little more power than the native one. The app is famous for its vast design layout options and high configurability. Chronos has a free trial and will otherwise cost you $2.49.

4. Cozy

If you have a Nest learning thermostat, then you will want to grab Cozy. The app uses the Nest APIs to let you remotely control your thermostats on the go. It's also a universal app for your PC, Surface or phone. The Live Tile can be finicky but it's still easy to use to warm up the place before you come home.

5. FanBand

If you own a Microsoft Band (1 or 2) then you need FanBand. The app lets you configure the Band with hundreds of premade themes and you can even request some to be made.

Runner up: Pimp My Band, although it should be getting an update soon for Windows 10 Mobile. - Download FanBand for Windows 10 and Windows Phone

6. Fedora Reader

One of the nicest 'minimalist' RSS readers Fedora lets you track all of your favorite sites with well formatted articles right to your phone, PC or Surface. It is easily one of the best designed apps around.

Runner up: Nextgen Reader is another fantastic RSS app!

7. Files&Folders

Windows 10 Mobile ships with a native File Explorer app, but maybe you prefer something a little more powerful? Files&Folders is now a universal Windows 10 app, and it can do a lot of cool things including mapping to OneDrive and Dropbox. There is a free lite version and the $7.99 Pro option as well (you can upgrade Lite to Pro within the app).

8. Fitbit

When it comes to exercise and keeping fit FitBit is the category leader. They also have a killer universal app for Windows 10 that is updated regularly and is so good you may want to go out and buy a tracker today.

9. Homeboy

Need to mount a security camera? Homeboy's tether free camera mounts anywhere in your home. It also looks like something out of the game Portal. There is also now an excellent universal app for Windows 10 available. We use Homeboy for the Windows Central office. You should too.

10. Meme Generator Suite

If you like generating humorous internet memes on the go or on your Surface you need Meme Generator Suite. We featured it yesterday as the Pro version was temporarily free. You can still use the free version of the app and always upgrade through an in-app purchase. Either way, it is a very well designed and fun app!

11. Pandora

Pandora is the go-to brand for streaming music based on your tastes. The company recently released a Windows 10 Mobile app with support for Continuum and we think it is just swell.

12. Poki for Pocket

Poki is another top designed app for Windows Phone and Windows. The app is made to access your Pocket account, which is a free service that lets you basically bookmark stories on the web for later reading. Truly a fantastic design and it's available for phone or PC.

13. Slack (Beta)

Slack is a very specific app for people who do online collaboration. It is increasingly popular with tech firms and we use it here at Windows Central. The app is still in beta, but it is completely useable for everyday functions. Unfortunately, it's just using the Windows Phone 8.1 codebase so although it works on Windows 10 Mobile it is not a true universal app yet.

14. Straw

Straw is a great app for mobile polling. Send a poll to your friends on Twitter, Facebook, text message or email. Get instant results from friends, family or even random people on the Straw network. There is even an anonymous option to poll people without revealing your identity. The app is only for Windows Phone at this time, but we wouldn't be surprised if it goes universal in the future. Either way, it is a cool app available on Windows Phone, iOS, and Android.

15 & 16. Swarm + Foursquare

Swarm is the popular app for checking into places and Foursquare is for finding them. There are solid apps for both and while they are not Windows 10 apps they are great to have on hand.

17. Tapped/Untappd

I like beer. If you follow me on Twitter this is hardly a secret. Because of that I use the popular service Untappd to track the history of my malty libations. Untappd have a swell Windows Phone app that is worth using. There is also a well designed third-party app called Tapped that is more Modern looking. I also hear the developer behind Tapped may make it a Windows 10 app.

18. Trakter

Do you watch TV? Sure, most of us do. Then you will want to grab the universal Windows app Trakter that uses the trakt.tv service. Find your shows, follow them and the app reminds you when new episodes are on and which ones you missed. With push notifications and a Live Tile this app is a must-have for those who watch TV.

19. TrueCaller

TrueCaller is a popular and free service for monitoring incoming calls. Worried about marketers or just want more info about a call? Use TrueCaller to plug into the native phone app and voila you wish is granted.

20. Tubecast/myTube

When it comes to watching YouTube on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile there are two kings: Tubecast and myTube. Both are Windows 10 ready, both have excellent designs and can 'cast to your TV. We won't pick a winner as it is too hard to choose. Try 'em both.

21. Tweetium

Twitter has an official Windows 10 app, but it's not yet available for Mobile. In the meantime make sure you check out Tweetium, which is a universal app and what most of us use. It goes beyond just the basics and lets you get some real power user features, which is perfect for the super social.

22. Weather Channel

Microsoft's own MSN Weather is already installed on your phone, but if you are looking for something different grab the official Weather Channel app. It works on Windows 10 PC, Surface and phone and it has a really solid design along with notifications and even Cortana support.

23. Zomato

Popular restaurant finder and review site Zomato bought up Urban Spoon last year and now the app is much more useful for those in the US. The Yelp-like app is now a universal Windows 10 app and along with it comes a great design and usefulness when you are hungry.

Wrap up

So those are my main apps that I think represent the very best of Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. At the very least, some of those should appeal to old and new owners of the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL in addition to other Windows Phones.

I'll be following up with my favorite photo and imaging apps later this week and we'll also see about some must-have games.

As I mentioned in the beginning I likely missed some of your favorite must-have apps so share them with us in comments!

More info

Want all the latest news on these phones? Hit these topic pages for all that we got.

Support and help forums

Want to chat about the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL? Jump into our forums and ask others what they think or get help and advice on your new phone!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.