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The best apps for your Nokia Lumia 520

Did you a get a new Windows Phone in your stocking above the fireplace or in a box under the Christmas tree? If you did, odds are it might have been a Nokia Lumia 520. Why’s that? It’s only the most popular Windows Phone ever. Last we checked, over one in four Windows Phone devices around the world are the Lumia 520. Which isn’t all that surprising. You have a smartphone that can easily be had for under $100 off-contract around the world, it’s selling like hot cakes.

Which is why we’re going to look at the 10 best apps for the Lumia 520. We’ll be focusing on apps (and games tomorrow) that run well on devices with 512MB of RAM. Which means this list also apples to devices like the Lumia 521, Lumia 620, Lumia 720 and others with just 512MB of RAM.

Facebook Beta – Best app for connecting with family and friends

Yeah, I’m putting Facebook Beta ahead of the legit version of Facebook. Live life on the edge and use the beta version of Facebook for newer features and faster updates. Whether you like it or not, Facebook is a juggernaut of a social network. It has over one billion users, which means something like one in seven people on the entire planet have a Facebook account. It’s an important app and works well on the Lumia 520. Get that Facebook Beta in the Windows Phone Store (or grab the vanilla version, aka non-beta Facebook).

QR: Facebook Beta

Bing Weather –Best app for checking the weather

There are a plethora of weather apps in the Windows Phone Store. You really can’t go wrong with any of them. However, we like Bing and recommend it as a great weather app to download right away. It’s free, has no ads and a clean interface. What more could you want in a weather app? Grab it in the Windows Phone Store.

QR: Bing Weather

WhatsApp – Best app for communicating

Right now, WhatsApp has over 400 million monthly active users. Those users send 16 billion messages and 500 million images per day on WhatsApp. Those figures are astonishing, which is why WhatsApp is a must-have app for your Lumia 520. Odds are, someone you know prefers using the platform to contact you. The app for Windows Phone has had a flurry of updates in the past few weeks, adding both stability and features. Grab it in the Windows Phone Store.

QR: WhatsApp

Nokia MixRadio – Best app for your next dance party

There are a lot of music apps available for Windows Phone. We’re big fans of Xbox Music, Songza, Pandora and others. Unfortunately, because of local laws and music licensing, those apps aren’t necessarily available in all regions that the Lumia 520 is. No music service is perfect when it comes to availability around the globe, but Nokia MixRadio comes pretty close and seems to be available in most places. Availability aside, it’s just a great music platform. We’re big fans of the mixes that are created by real human beings and not some computer algorithm. The app is a mix of free features and an affordable subscription ($4.99 per month). Grab it in the Windows Phone Store.

QR: MixRadio

HERE Maps – Best app to never get lost

Smartphones are wonderful devices, mostly because they combine the features and functions of multiple devices into one. You can leave your GPS navigator at home thanks to HERE Maps on Windows Phone. Odds are you already have HERE Maps loaded up on your Lumia 520, but it’s always worth highlighting because it’s so good and it’s free. HERE Maps lets you save on data by downloading maps for offline use. You’ll never get lost as long as you’ve got HERE Maps on your Lumia 520. Grab it in the Windows Phone Store.


myTube – Best app for watching YouTube

The “official” YouTube app on Windows Phone sucks. There’s the whole tussle between Google and Microsoft on the issue, but that doesn’t matter so much since we have myTube on Windows Phone. It’s the best way to use YouTube on Windows Phone and works great on the Lumia 520. Sign in with your account and you’ll get access to your subscriptions, favorites and more. The UI is pretty snazzy and there are tons of features that make this a great YouTube app. Grab myTube from the Windows Phone Store.

QR: myTube

Wikipedia – Best app to quench your thirst for knowledge

You probably hit up Wikipedia a few times a day if you’re anything like us. Thankfully, we have a stellar Wikipedia app on Windows Phone from Rudy Huyn. It’s called, wait for it, Wikipedia and has the blessings of the Wikimedia Foundation (organization behind Wikipedia). The app by Rudy shows of the Windows Phone design language with aplomb and performance is solid. It’s the best way to get Wikipedia on your Windows Phone. Which is why you should get it for you Lumia 520 from the Windows Phone Store.

QR: Wikipedia

Weave – Best app to be the king of news

Outside of tech you probably have a few other hobbies and interests right? There’s no better way to stay on top of your favorite news sites and blogs than with Weave for Windows Phone. The app was just updated to take advantage of their in-house Weave Cloud Services that allows your feeds, favorites and more to sync across Weave on Windows Phone and Windows 8. There’s also a web version of Weave coming, so you’ll never be without your news. Weave is available for free on Windows Phone, but you can also pony up and get the ad-free version for $9.99. Grab the Weave for free in the Windows Phone Store.

QR: Weave

Nokia Camera Beta – Best app for photography

The Lumia 520 isn’t known for producing stellar photographs. Mostly because it has a relatively ho-hum sensor, it is a budget friendly phone after all. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push the limits of what is possible with it. To do that, you’ll want Nokia Camera Beta. The app is more or less like the regular version of Nokia Camera, except not limited to high-end Lumia’s with PureView technology. To get the same features and fine level of control over your camera on the Lumia 520 make sure you grab Nokia Camera beta in the Windows Phone Store.

QR: Nokia Camera Beta

6tag – Best way to Instagram

Sure, there’s finally an official Instagram client for Windows Phone, but it doesn’t come close to the performance and features found in 6tag. The app was recently updated to version 3.0 and brings support for the newest feature on the photo social network, Instagram Direct. That’s a feature you can’t even get in the official version on Windows Phone. It’s free and available in the Windows Phone Store.

QR: 6tag

(Bonus) WPCentral – Best way to get learn about more apps for your Lumia 520

OK, time for a shameless plug. You should probably get our app (WPCentral) for Windows Phone to easily learn, discover, and download new apps for your Lumia 520. We constantly highlight new apps, big updates, and more. Our app for Windows Phone is easily the best portal for staying abreast on all the news and happenings on the platform. It’s free, but you can pay to unlock some extra features. There’s also a new update out right now where Jay really outdid himself with new features and bug fixes. Pick it up in the Windows Phone Store.

QR: WPCentral

And there you have it. The best apps for your Lumia 520 (or any 512 MB device really). Of course your opinions on what apps are a must-have for your Lumia 520 might differ from ours, which is where the comments below come in. Rocking a Lumia 520? Sound off below with some of your favorite apps. Don’t worry about games, since we’ll cover those tomorrow. For now, this is all about apps. 

  • These are the best starter apps on WP in general, not only the Lumia 520.
  • Sorry for not replying to your comment's subject, but how do I get my app reviewed on wpcentral? I would like people to see my app because it really is good (at least better than competition). Here, try it for yourself:
  • Tip them on the site or through the app
  • Checking it out. Thank you for not requiring owner identity, phone identity, location, etc.
  • Typo alert:
    "this 'apples' to devices like the.."
  • Looks nice, I'll give it a try. It's got a fair number of good reviews too. :-)
  • Wow that's a pretty nice app man..keep up the good work
  • Wow.. Nice app. I'll give it a try.
  • Thanks everyone, I'll try tip them then. Happy new year!
  • Any chance you'll be make a version for RT? I don't really want it on my phone, but I would love to have this on my Surface RT!
  • I'm already trying to port it, but it causes some troubles with resolution, framework, etc.
  • Checking.... (Promote through the app itself!)
  • I've had Chalkboard for ages - it's amazing! Keep up the good work! :)
  • Dont worry, people see your app :) I got it since I own my phone 
  • Get detailed view of the best apps for windows phone->
  • I disagree with myTube, I prefer Metro tube
  • Me too.
  • What? Mytube is superb
  • I disagree with both. YouTube HD is just unbeatable u.u
  • Agreed
  • YouTube HD doesn't recognize as Youtube app if you want to open Youtube link like from WPCentral app. Personally I prefer MetroTube because somewhat not confusing to me like myTube O:
  • And neither MetroTube nor MyTube recognize private videos whereas YouTube HD does. It is the only app that allows me to see the list of my private videos. Not to mention it has the best and more complete on-screen, touch-optimized controls. It's a touch screen mobile app, not a mini PC program and its developer understands it very well.
  • Well then, isn't there beauty in the fact that you can chose what works best for you?
  • Yes, there is. But there's also beauty in the fact that anyone can make a statement regardless of other people's opinion. Although I'm aware that my statement about YouTube HD being the best YouTube app in the store is indeed just another opinion. However, I'm willing to defend my opinion since there's already too much attention on other YouTube apps. I believe YouTube HD deserves a lot more love from this website considering it's a premium free app.
  • So yeah. I agree in whatever is your opinion about. Because I do have my own personal opinion too. Let us praise all these great Youtube app in WP Store and educate people out there who still dosen't know that official Youtube app from Microsoft is being blocked by Google and tell them to use these great Youtube app. I saw them on the official Youtube app review in WP Store. There are still bunch of them.
  • +520
  • Actually myTube does recognize private videos- that was my reason for switching from Metrotube. If YouTube HD supports private videos I'll check it out, though.
  • Last time I checked MyTube it still didn't support private videos. Glad to know it does now because it makes the WP8 platform better. I'll check it out again, but I'll probably stick with YouTube HD because I like supporting free apps :)
  • No one talks about supertube and its really good
  • I'm the opposite, myTube seems nicer to me
  • Mytube ftw! :3
  • I like metrotube too
  • MyTube is f'n killer!!!
  • I'm giving MyTube a go now, MetroTUbe keeps missing some of my subscription updates.
  • Shut Up! RedTube is The Best!!! Lol
  • Would say these are the best apps for your WP8. Every tingletangle you need.
  • Youjizz is good too
  • I have Fb beta, Instagram beta, and Nokia cam beta, Line and wechat
  • My girlfriend's spawn got a 520 for Xmas. He's 9 but already masters windows phone better than his mom
  • Is your girlfriend a demon? Lmao
  • Exactly my thoughts!
  • Hahahahahah!!! I was thinking the same thing!! :)
  • Why does a 9 year old need a smartphone?
  • I have all of the aforementioned apps on my 521 except for Weave, mytube & 6tag. I use MetroTube as I carried that over when I upgraded from my HTC HD7. All my friends who have WP8 say 6tag is the best. Is it possible to review the best protective cases available for the 520/521?
  • Agreed for the review. Althought I think the Nillkin case is possibly one of the best cases around.
  • But beware, it is too small for the 521
  • Mytube is amazing.
  • Has anyone tried my tube beta, it's so awesome :D
  • Hi what is better in beta than in normal version?
  • Is Bing weather working properly now? For a while the live tile and lock screen stopped working.
  • Yeah, I had the same problem, but it's fixed for me :)
  • Cool ill reinstall.
  • That is not Bing weather, that is Windows Phone itself.
  • In terms of functionality wise, whatsapp is no match for wechat. Wechat can do much more than whatsapp can. And they have roughly same number of users,making them equally popular.
    If talking about eBook reader, I'll pick Mohoo reader
  • Everyone I know uses whatsapp, not a single wechat user, so for me whatsapp is the most popular
  • My 521 actually takes great photos.
  • Agreed, takes really great low light photos. I was surprised that because of the lack if flash, the photos would be subpar but the 521 takes better photos than all WP7.x phones I've used.
  • I miss a few good ones in the list, goal live and shazam for example
  • MetroTalk, MetroMail, Evernote
  • I ordered a Lumia 925 on ATT to check out.  Should have it next week.  Had a Lumia 1020 a few months ago but it was just too heavy for the pocket and I went back to my androids.  Looking forward to trying the 925 out and will use it as a camera if the WP phone etc does not work out.   Thanks for the app recommendations!
  • Honestly, I picked up a 520 just to have as a "toy" device and demo all sorts of apps on. It's a fantastic little smartphone, and while it costs only a fraction of the iPhone, it provides vastly more worth!
  • ^^THIS!!!! I thought I would miss out because not having a 92x series phone. It would make my dreams come true if the L1520 could be released to all carriers. If it was available on T-Mobile, I would buy it right now.
  • I gave my sister a Nokia L620 and got her back on Nokia after she fled to Samsung a few years ago.
    Glad to see we agree on the basic apps as I installed her almost all of the ones on this list. I however installed MetroTube instead as I think it's better.
      Now all the family is back on Nokia (and, therefore, WP). They don't change phones as quickly as I do so I guess they'll stay with the phones for a few years still. Hopefully in 2016 Nokia will be back to phones in time for them to change their then old phones. Otherwise I guess I'll have to spend some extra bucks to take them to Sony with me. Oh well.
  • Well, I already planning to move on Sony, or may be Moto or LG
  • I'll remain with NOKIA until the end. But if I have to move to another OEM it mill be Sony for sure. Let's see the 7 new devices they're preparing and see if NOKIA's Goldfinger will still be properly branded.
  • I'll also check out these phone and WP 8.1.(atlest we know features till then) Then I'll decide between Sony 2014 phone series and Nokia.(I"ll also include Moto and LG) and Yeah! my family already move on from Nokia. I am only the Nokia user in my family.
  • If your in to card games, check out our game, Card Arcade.. /shameless plug
  • We got a 520 for my Dad. His 900 is on the fritz. I'm really impressed wi