Even though the platform is relatively new, Windows Phone 7 has taken the world by storm. It’s a clean break from WinMo 6.5 (the previous flagship), with a solid operating system, top of the line hardware and a very slick user interface. As expected, the ecosystem is already quite busy and teeming with interesting apps.
Today, we’ve gathered some of the best applications available for the platform, ranging from well known heavy hitters to obscure gems. Since I’m limited to only a handful here, I could only include apps that I use, and love, on a daily basis. More importantly, keeping with the AppStorm way, I only chose applications that have slick, usable interfaces.
There are plenty of other apps, entire categories even, that I’m missing. I’d really love to hear about them in the comments below!
A Quick Disclaimer
Unlike our Android roundup, where we used QR codes that you could quickly scan to take you to the app’s website, there won’t be any codes today since such functionality hasn’t been well executed on the platoform. Yet. If and when it happens, we’ll be sure to update this article.
Until then, our apologies. A quick search on the app marketplace should take you straight to the application in question!
If you’re like me and you need to know which song is playing on the radio, you’re going to love this app. Shazam is a popular music identification app that is now available for the Windows platform.
All you need to ID the current song you’re listening to is to hold your phone up to the music and the app does the rest. The song is identified and displayed along with a link to the Zune marketplace for added convenience.
Last.fm is a multi-platform service that now graces the Windows platform. It is a wildly popular music streaming and recommendation service.
It creates and maintains a profile of your musical taste by logging details of the songs you listen to which is then used by the system to list songs that match your recommendation profile. A must have for music buffs.
Earning badges, becoming a spot’s mayor and unlocking rewards can be quite addictive. Foursquare, a social application that pairs location based services with gaming elements, takes full advantage of this.
The mobile application is pretty full fledged, letting you check in to places, sharing your location and seeing which places your friends are frequenting.
Yelp is a social review and local search service that lets you find and review restaurants, shops, bars and other enterprises in your vicinity.
The current version is a little lacking when compared to other offerings but things are expected to be revamped and retooled in the near future.
If you’re going to travel a bit and have a smartphone, chances are, you’re going to stock up on travel apps, just to be sure. One of your picks should be this: Travelocity. The popular online travel service is now available in the Windows Phone marketplace for your consumption and lets you check travel and hotel information from the road.
It’s fully featured and lets you check your flight’s status, delay information, if any, airline schedules, find hotels, read their reviews and check their rates. It even lets you make reservations right from your mobile phone.
In this age of seemingly infinite social networks, managing more than one can be an exercise in frustration. Tools such as Seesmic are quite the godsend in these scenarios. It’s a popular tool that lets you manage multiple social networks through a slick, easily accessible interface. The list of supported social networks include most heavy weights, including Twitter and Facebook.
The application displays your accounts, topics, lists and whatnots in its dashboard. You can share photos through a photo sharing service, post updates to multiple accounts and even see inline previews.
Photo sharing services are here to stay and Photobucket is amongst the veterans. The app provides a straight forward interface to uploading your media to your Photobucket account.
You can browse through your favorite images, public albums, download images and share photos through the app. You can also access public photos on Photobucket through the find stuff category.
The Facebook phenomenon is one of the most profound of the current decade. It seems to be all pervading. The Facebook app on Windows Phone 7 makes it incredibly easy for you to facebook as you go.
The client is extremely full featured and lets you do most things you’d do on a desktop including updating your status, checking your feeds, reviewing invitations, uploading and commenting on photos, checking your personal inbox and everything else.
As a technophile, I make full of the flexibility apps like these have afforded me. No more thumbing around magazines looking for movies to watch, asking people for their opinions or standing in endless queues to get a ticket. Flixster takes care of all that!
It is an app that caters to movie-goers. You can watch trailers, read movie reviews, find local listings and also purchase tickets in a cohesive, slick package. A must have for every movie-goer.
Loopt, the location based social network, lets you connect with your friends through sharing updates, photos and locations with your friends.
You can check out your friends’ photos, where they’ve been to, locate then on a map and more.
Once the strong suit of consoles and dedicated boxen, streaming is now all pervasive, right down to your mobile phones. Netflix, one of the most popular services out there, is available for the Windows Phone 7 platform as well.
The app lets you browse movies, read up on them and stream movies directly to your device. Quite a life saver when you’re on the go. Just make sure you have enough bandwidth!
AP Mobile is an exceptionally slick application that provides you access to trending stories, photos and videos. The news is pulled in from well in excess of 1,000 trusted news sources. Some nifty features includine using your GPS to retrieve relevant news stories as well as decent sharing capabilities.
It’s IMDB on your phone: you can browse cast and crew information of almost every movie out there along with checking out facts, trivia, showtimes, listings and trailers through a eye pleasing, usable interface. A must have for every movie or television buff.
GoVoice, developed by a third party, is one of the first Google Voice applications to hit the marketplace. It displays your Google Voice inbox, voicemails and call history among others. While it lacks some essentials features like notifications or a Live Tile implementation, it more than makes up for it with its sleek presentation.
Fandango is another movie oriented application that lets you find movies in your vicinity using the location from the GPS. It lets you purchase tickets directly from your mobile through your Fandango account.
You can also read reviews and trailers of movies along with information about upcoming movies.
Graphic.ly is a great addition for comic book readers. Previously limited to desktops and iPads, it’s now available for your Windows Phone as well.
While extremely good looking and feature filled, the current version is a little buggy with scaling and performance issues. With a fix on the horizon, this app is a great addition to your collection.
Amazon’s app gives you access to 700,000+ books across a myriad genres. You can also sync your device across multiple platforms including the the PC, Mac, iOS devices, Android and Blackberry.
The feature list includes book recommentation on the dashboard which are personalized, suggesting books to your friends and the ability to completely customize your reading experience through tweaking orientation, font sizes and backgrounds.
The Weather Channel has all the functionality you’d expect of a weather oriented app. You get local weather conditions, forecast, interactive maps and location based alerts. You even get active live tile support letting you get uptodate information directly through your home screen.
If you’re amongst the throves of Halo fanatics, like me, then you’ll definitely dig this app. It is the official hub of all things Halo.
You get direct access to official news, announcements, Twitter updates and discussions. For the truly fanatic, you can access your friends on XBL, read about Firefight strategies or listen to the offical podcast, all from your phone.
Polyglot is an advanced translater that supports 30+ languages. Powered by Microsoft translator, it has a gorgeous user interface along with the ability to playback the audio of the text you’re translating. A great tool for travellers.
Envision is possibly the best BaseCamp mobile client you’ll ever use. You can do pretty much everything you can do through the main application: create and manage todos, lists, messages, milestones, projects and more.
Do note that you’ll need a Basecamp account and will need to enable API access for this app to function. The free trial is very functional and lets you view all your information.
Price: $9.99 (free trial available)
Using a streamlined, usable interface that is both elegant and practical, the official eBay app lands on the Windows Phone platform with aplomb. It caters to both buyers and sellers: sellers can check their listings and respond to messages while the buyers can search, bid and buy items.
Handyscan is a document scanner with which you can use the device’s camera to scan physical documents and mail them over to any email address. Preliminary editing can be made to the resulting images like aligning, rotating or cropping.
You can also fill out any forms you’ve scanned in throuch adding text to it. You can also create collages of the images as well as choose their size and quality before sending them.
Price: $4.99 (trial available)
Getting up and changing media on your HTPC is a chore. You can buy a media center remote to handle all this tediousness for you or you can be a bit more clever and just get XBMC remote.
XBMC remote has been built ground up to control your XBMC enabled machine through your phone. You can take complete control over your machine, doing everything you’d be able to do with a mouse, including being able to browse, sort and play your media. You can also connect with multiple servers if needed.
Flickr is among the pioneers of the social photo revolution, and for good reason. It provides great features with a great usable interface and this app duplicates much of the usabilitiy.
This app lets you access your account directly from your phone. The icing on the cake is how much of the core activities you’re able to do through the app: managing photostreams, favorites, sets is a cinch along with managing your groups, commenting on photos and uploading to the service itself. A must have app for Flickr users.
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