A choice selection of games, maps, office productivity and media apps for Microsoft's smartphone platform
With Wednesday's announcement that Angry Birds has finally launched for Windows Phone 7, it seems Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace has finally arrived.
Windows Phone 7 is adding apps at a breakneck pace, according to WP7applist.com. On May 29, the platform reached 20,000 apps and a month later it now boasts nearly 23,000 apps. Three thousand new apps in a month isn't bad, even though it pales in comparison to, say, Android Market, which is now adding 30,000 new apps per month.
We wondered what other hot apps we would find among Microsoft's most popular apps list. So we sifted through them to showcase the most interesting ones. Most of these apps are available on other smartphone platforms as well.
1. Meon Lite by Manbolo
This touchscreen game has become a super popular favourite for Windows phone users. According to the makers of Meon, "In 1997, Professor Tagishaki, from Tokyo Quantum Mechanics institute, found new elementary particles that he called Meons. In this puzzle game, you must solve tons of levels to free Meons. Use Prism, Splitter and other various tools to light all the Meons and solve the Light Quest!" Meon Lite is the free version of Meon, which contains more than 120 levels to solve.
2. Shazam by Shazam Entertainment
So, you're listening to the radio and love a song, but don't know anything about it. With Shazam, you hold your phone up to the song to identify the track. The application also lets you buy it, find related YouTube videos, get the lyrics and share it with friends. Shazam is the free version with limited song tagging. Encore is the paid app, with unlimited song tagging and a recommendation engine to help you find more songs.
3. SPB Mobile Shell by SPB Software
SPB Mobile Shell gives you a stylish, highly customisable user interface for your Windows Phone 7. If you're not a fan of the standard Windows Phone 7 interface, you can swap it out for Mobile Shell's multi-page home screen, widgets, 3D carousel, widget-based photo contacts with Facebook integration, 3D email and SMS viewer. The demo version is free and if you like it, the full version will set you back £26.19.
4. WMWifiRouter by Morose Media
WMWifiRouter turns your Windows smartphone into a hotspot and can share that Internet connection to several devices over Wi-Fi and in some cases over Bluetooth. It supports multiple simultaneous client connections and even collects stats and reports them to you. The trial version is free and Morose recommends you try before you buy. The full version costs £15.69.
An app which is available only to North American Windows Phone owners, Netflix allows members to watch movies and TV on their Windows phones. You can watch as often as you want and resume watching where you left off on your TV or other Netflix capable device. This app also lets you manage your queue.
6. Guitar Hero 5 by Glu Games
Indulge your inner rock star and step onto the imaginary stage on your phone. You can rock out to up to 20 hot tracks from iconic musicians like Blink 182, No Doubt, Nirvana, Vampire Weekend, Sublime, Bush, David Bowie and others. Play guitar, drums and bass and when you've mastered those, you can download additional tracks. The app costs £4.69.
7. Google Maps by Google
Yes, WP7 comes with Bing Maps (just like Android phones come with Google Maps). But if you want to use some of the fancy features of Google Maps, like Latitude, which publishes your location to your friends and shows you theirs, you can with this app. Google Maps includes features like My Location, in which you can see your location on a map, even if you don't have GPS. It's also got the usual business listings, directions and street view.
8. Shopping Lists Manager by valuephone
Shopping lists are truly one of the most useful things you can do on your phone. And when you can integrate them with multiple devices and your PC, that's even more productive. This free app creates lists and lets you edit and organise them. Check one off the list and it can be hidden. If you also use the free portal at valuephone.com you can create the lists on your PC and then synchronise them with two or more mobile phones. So you can add that forgotten item to the list while your spouse is at the store.
9. Mobiletag Barcodes Reader
Every phone needs a barcode reader and Mobiletag fits the bill for WP7 users. It reads any type of standard barcode: datamatrix, flashcode, fotokody, QR Codes, 1D UPC, EAN 13. Like most apps of this sort, it scans and compares product prices for DVDs, books, video games and high tech products. It also lets you create an alert on your favourite items.
10. Skyfire Mobile Browser