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A closer look at #1 ToolKit: A neat set of tools for Windows Phone

Features are extremely important in mobile apps as they give users the ability to do all sorts of interesting things with their smartphones and tablets. But, a great design matters as well (just as much, probably, if not more), as it builds up the enjoyment of using those kind of offerings. And yes, we can have both.

Apps that do not place an emphasis on design, relying on dull-looking interfaces, put me off, plain and simple. It is an unfortunate situation that plagues many capable offerings, especially on Android, but on Windows Phone too. My toolkit app of choice is mighty-powerful, but looks like it was designed by robots, which is why I find #1 ToolKit to be a refreshing alternative.

The app feels much like a Windows Phone app, revealing all its tools through horizontal scrolling. It employs some lovely animations (which are, however, a tad overdone) and colours throughout, all in a simple to use package. A tool can be pinned on the homescreen in either the system-wide accent colour or its own colour, the latter of which I prefer as it looks more interesting.

As far as tools go, #1 ToolKit offers a flashlight, mirror, magnifier, quick control of various Windows Phone features and options (including reboot, lock, message compose and others), unit converter, NFC tag writer, sound meter, audio recorder, timer, stopwatch, world clock, hardware information, ruler, compass, protractor and level.

It works well on Windows Phone 8.1, as well as the old Windows Phone 8. It comes with support for transparent live tiles, showing part of a custom live tile background if the option is turned on.

#1 ToolKit is available to download from Windows Phone Store.