Great free stuff from the Windows Phone Marketplace
Microsoft recently announced that the Windows Phone Marketplace app store now has 6,000 apps and counting. Here are 10 free apps that benefit from the Windows Phone 7 aesthetic.
1. The Weather Channel
The free Weather Channel app uses the sleek WP7 interface to its advantage. Even with its larger text, The Weather Channel app still packs in frequently-updated information on different screens that can be swiped through smoothly. With scenic photos as a backdrop, the app provides current temperatures, forecasts and more. Swipe to another screen and there's a five day forecast with graphics and more details. Another screen lands on a radar map, and a final screen provides video forecasts and traffic cams.
Windows Phone 7 has the advantage of running the official Netflix app before the market-leading Android phones. The free Netflix app on WP7 covers the bases: support for streaming, management of DVD and Instant Queues, excellent video quality over 3G and Wi-Fi, and playback sync so users can pick up a movie where they left off via phone, PC or television. This app is free, but a Netflix subscription is required.
Windows Phone 7 offers Facebook integration right out of the box with its People Hub. But that is merely Facebook information being pulled into the WP7 interface. The official Facebook app on WP7 offers the true Facebook experience. It's a simple-to-navigate app with a main screen that lists all the familiar Facebook pages such as messages, news feed, profile, photos, places, friends, etc. Additional screens have "top news" (equivalent of news feed), recently posted photos, events like parties and friends' birthdays, and notifications.
4. Office Mobile 2010
One app that you'll exclusively get on Windows Phone 7 is Office Mobile 2010. Office Mobile is a free app (requires a sign-in) that comes with the phone undefined you don't have to go download it from Marketplace. You can view and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote docs with all the essential tools at your disposal. Office Mobile also includes SharePoint Workspace, which allows you to view, edit and download documents stored on your company's SharePoint server.
The official Twitter app for Windows Phone 7 uses the WP7 interface to its full advantage to improve the user experience. It includes all the same features as Twitter apps from other mobile platforms undefined Timeline, Mentions, Messages, Retweets, Search, Top Tweets, Trending Topics, Lists, Real-Time Search undefined but is more intuitively laid out with a more immediate, side swipe-happy interface. Example: key features like Timeline, Mention, Messages and Lists scroll across the top, whereas with the Android Twitter app you must first menu out, then tap a Home button to get to a screen of options.
The location-based social network that lets users check in to various places, earn badges, share their locations and see which places their friends are frequenting, has a simple and elegant mobile app for Windows Phone 7. The app incorporates additional features not included in other mobile platforms such as directions within the app, Bing maps and a "society" area that displays on a map the most checked-in areas of a given town or city.
Seesmic is an increasingly popular tool that helps manage multiple social networks such as Twitter and Facebook through one interface. Again the straightforward elegance of the Windows Phone 7 interface is a bonus when using Seesmic to share photos, post updates to different accounts at the same time, attach your location to your tweets and see your friends updates on a map.
Flixster is gaining more recognition everyday as the ultimate mobile app for movie-goers. The one-stop shop for getting movie times, buying tickets, watching trailers and reading reviews (through a partnership with Rotten Tomatoes) has a slick and intuitive Windows Phone 7 app. Fandango better watch its back.
Travelocity's Windows Phone 7 app has been touted as the best online travel service app in the Windows Phone Marketplace. It lets users easily check flight and hotel information, flight status, airline schedules and Airport delay information from the FAA. Another handy feature: The app uses the phone's GPS to find local hotels and let you read reviews, check room rates and make a reservation from your phone.
With the Last.fm app, you can listen to streaming music on your WP7 phone and the app archives your listening choices. It then gathers this information to recommend new songs as well as concert recommendations in your area. Last.fm is arguably as good as Pandora and the WP7 app is smooth and easy, like any great song.