Top Ten Apps For Windows Phone 7
For some odd reason when people ask why they should buy a smartphone the first thing I feel the need to tell them is that “you can buy apps”. Sure, we’ve used cameras, video recording and web browsers on previous occasions, before all smartphones offered a shiny, large touch screen. But the best part about smartphones nowadays is that their makers have built up app stores that offer a wide variety of entertainment apps, productivity tools and games for mobile.
Apple’s App Store has gathered up over 300,000 applications for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices so far. Android isn’t doing exceptionally bad either and they managed to pass the 100,000 apps mark. Microsoft’s Windows Phone Market Place looks a bit pale by comparison. The Redmond-based giant has gathered 15,000 developers but so far has only about 3000 apps to offer its users. We’ll have to admit that Windows Phone 7 has only been on the market for a very short while (it was released at the beginning of November in the US) and handsets running the operating system are just starting to sell in stores.
If when it comes to computer operating systems Microsoft is clearly in the lead with Windows, followed by Apple’s Mac OS X, when talking about mobiles things are quite different. Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS are the most interesting for consumers while Microsoft is just starting to make the transition between business users and consumers. Windows Mobile used to cater to the needs of corporate mobile phone users. As you may have noticed, things didn’t go too well for the OS or Microsoft. Windows Phone 7 now aims to bring something different for regular users. It’s meant to be simple, to the point and offer anything people might need in the main user interface. While the Windows Phone 7 store keeps gathering apps, there are already some nice things you can download assuming you already went ahead and purchased a WP7 handset. We’ve made a list of apps that are nice to have right now. Some are free to download whereas some others you’ll have to pay for. We’ll as usual start with number 10.
Let’s face it, most of us check what the weather will be like from time to time and a weather app is quite important on a mobile phone. Some operating systems offer this kind of functionality from the start. Windows Phone 7 does not so you’ll just have to download an app to get to see whether it will rain, snow or be sunny where you’re currently living. The Weather Channel for Windows Phone 7 is an ad-supported app that’s available for free download.
According to TWC, this app will offer the most reliable, accurate weather forecasts available on mobile. You’ll get a ton of features as well such as interactive weather maps, a panoramic view screen, a snapshot of weather conditions for the locations you save and metro traffic cameras.
Upon the launch of this app, Cameron Clayton, the senior VP of mobile from the Weather Channel mentioned that the company’s goal was to provide WP7 users with the most accurate weather forecasts available on the go and the best way to do it was to offer an ad-supported model which basically allows for more features to be included even if the app is available for download for free. Clayton believes this app is a must-have for all WP7 users. I’ll have to agree because it’s the best weather app you can find for Microsoft’s mobile operating system up to this date.
The features don’t end with what I’ve mentioned above. Users will also get traffic cameras for local roads and highways (in supported markets), they’ll be able to share information through e-mail and let friends know what the weather will be like, a video center with local and regional forecasts and a severe weather center with updates on tropical systems, winter weather and more.
A large, large number of people love this micro-blogging website which will allow them to keep in touch with what’s new in the world, what their friends are doing and more. Twitter is actually available for nearly all mobile platforms that were released so far. That’s because people love to tweet on the go and check out what their friends have tweeted. Since a tweet is only 140 long, it’s definitely not hard for you to even tweet something while you’re walking.
The app for Windows Phone 7 was released on October 28 this year. It will work on all WP7 devices and let users get tweets quickly and easily. Just like the apps for other platforms, Twitter for Windows Phone will offer all the features you’d get from the main website including : timeline, suggested users, messages, lists and a nice way to explore Twitter even if you don’t log in. If you don’t have an account, you can even sign up for one straight from the app. The platform’s design and UI, called Metro, is great for Twitter users because it’s quite simple. It also delivers Pivots, which can be called pages I guess. If you swipe left or right you can view different information within the same app. In Twitter for WP7 if you swipe left or right you can move from your timeline to mentions or direct messages.
This app will convert your phone into a virtual remote for Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, iTunes, Media Player Classic and/or VLC Player. It will work over your Wifi network and let you control typical media functions like play, pause, stop, next, previous, rewind, forward, the volume and mute. So let’s say you’re on your couch, aren’t really willing to get up from there for whatever reason but would like to listen to some music. You can then launch Windows Media Center from where you are and put any media player in full screen. You can turn the volume up or down and you can select another song.
By using the D-pad arrows and the OK button you can browse your media files in any of the supporting media players. This is just one of those apps that are simple, to the point and get the job done. You won’t be confused on how to use it and your comfort will definitely be improved. To make this app work you’ll also have to download the virtual remote desktop software which can be downloaded from here.
This is clearly one of the most entertaining simple games for every type of mobile phone on the planet which can support it. While most people won’t need any instruction to play this game, the main idea is that you swap pairs of gems and your aim is to line up three or more gems of the same color. When three gems of the same color are aligned they will disappear and a new set of gems will take their place. Bigger sets of matching gems will disappear and result in the appearance of special gems with “super-powers”. Some will clear all gems around them while others will release lighting strikes to the side, up and down when matched.
There are several game modes in the game. You’ll get the standard Classic mode, an Endless mode which will let you match jewels for as long as you can handle it and an Action mode where you’ll get to achieve combos and fill a dropping meter. When the meter is on zero, the game is over. No matter what you do, you might want to consider downloading this game because it’s somewhat addictive and exceptionally fun, perhaps more fun than other games that offer impressive graphics.
The Netflix app was offered on the Windows Marketplace as a free download since the beginning of November. I guess Netflix will really be available on every single platform on this planet but we really don’t mind. While you’ll need a Netflix membership to get anything out of this application, if you have a membership already you’ll be able to instantly watch TV shows and movies on your WP7 handsets.
It’s actually recommended that you download this app because it’s free and you definitely have nothing to lose. You’ll get the satisfaction of poking fun at people with Android-running smartphones who don’t yet have a Netflix app available to them through the Android Market.