The Missing Apps we want in the Windows Phone Marketplace
NOTE: This article will be updated over time. Please let us know in the comments below what else you would like to see on the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Also note that all images below have been created by Techin5 for Techin5.
We love the Windows Phone OS. We don’t think it’s perfect, but it’s on it’s way there especially with the release of Mango around the corner. However, there is just one pressing issue that is holding it back – Apps. There are some big App names missing in the Marketplace, and until Microsoft urges developers to get these out on the Zune (WP) Marketplace, then I’m afraid people are going to start to look towards other Operating Systems. Anytime I show my Windows Phone 7 to other people, they are always impressed by it until they start asking me about which Apps they use on their iPhone or Android device, and I have to tell them it’s coming.. just not yet. Frankly it’s embarrassing to keep having to repeat myself, but luckily with Mango app submissions starting on August 22, we can expect plenty more apps making their way across to the Windows Phone Marketplace. But just in case, we made a small list of the App’s we would most like to see on our Windows Phones before the end of the year.
The image you see above is our ideal visualization with future apps. As you might not understand what some of their apps, we feel we should go through them and explain why we want it on our phones. The list is as follows:
Update: WhatsApp is now live in the Marketplace
Not only is this one of the most popular cross-platform messaging apps out there, it is also one of the most requested apps for Windows Phone 7 (if not the most). What’s app is currently available for Apple devices, Android devices, BlackBerry Devices, and Nokia (Symbian) devices. Whatsapp allows users to message each other for free (as long as they have whatsapp) to any device that has whatsapp installed on it.
It’s quick, its free, and it’s very popular. So why hasn’t it come to WP7 devices yet? When we last contacted them, they replied with “Sorry, we do not have a Windows Phone client right now and we are not able to comment further on future developments”, however a recent job listing on the Whatsapp website indicated that it might finally be making it’s way down to the Marketplace (due to Mango being on it’s way).
Why do we want it? Because almost everyone we know has it, and it’s great for contacting people overseas, and it’s one of the Apps we used the most when we used our Android Phones.
Update: Beta in Marketplace, should be out soon. See here for more information.
We all know what Skype is, and chances are most of us either currently use Skype or have used it in the past. It’s a great alternative for making cheap calls to any mobile device or home phone, and it’s absolutely free when calling another device which has Skype on it. With Microsoft having recently purchased Skype, we expect to see it in the Marketplace very soon, especially as it has already been announced officially. We expect Skype to be more integrated into our Windows Phone devices in the near future, even more so than what Android currently has.
While we know it’s coming, this is another app people have told us they want to see in their devices, and soon. Once again, the near imminent release of Mango has opened the door for plenty more apps to be either ported or created from scratch for WP7. We would expect Video Calling via Skype to be integrated in the future as well. For now we’d be happy with a simple Skype app that can make calls and chat.
Why do we want it? We’re big Skype users, and we’re sure there are plenty of WP7 users out there who tend to reply on Skype on their computers as well. We’re waiting MicroSkype!
Words With Friends
Our only game on this list, is also one of the most popular games in the world right now thanks to it’s ability to allow players to play Words With Friends games from anywhere in the world, to any device (cross-platform) with the game installed. Furthermore, it links into Facebook so you can find your friends and start playing with them instantly. We play it all the time, and it helps that over 200 of my friends on Facebook out of 600 have this game on their phones.
Words With Friends is basically Scrabble, with a new clean and fresh look. It’s incredibly fun (unless the other user uses a word descrambler…), and it’s a mind game so it causes us to actually use our minds rather than sitting mindlessly playing FIFA or something. While I do play this on my iPad, it’s Wi-fi only, so it does mean that I have to wait to get into a Wi-fi zone to be able to play it.
Why do we want it? It’s incredibly fun (better believe it), and mentally stimulating. On top of that, if they turned this into an Xbox Live Game, we’d be incredibly happy. Get 10 Xbox Live points for getting a 100 point word? Couple it in with live tiles and push notifications and we’ve got a winner! Done and Done.
You’re probably wondering why we added a YouTube app to this list, when there already is one in the Marketplace? Well the answer is simple – It sucks. It was so terrible that we uninstalled it off our phones within a week of using it. It was basically the mobile web version of YouTube. So we want Microsoft to step it up, and get Google to open up their API’s, and create a good YouTube app. That’s not too hard to ask is it?
Currently, there are great alternatives such as Lazy Worm, which is a great YouTube app, but it’s not official. Meaning when there’s an app with a link to a YouTube video, it won’t open up in Lazy Worm and it’ll ask you to install the official YouTube App. No thank you.
Why do we want it? Obvious reasons! It shouldn’t be this hard to create a good (doesn’t even have to be great) YouTube App! Make it happen.
We need a good Speed Test to test our Network Speeds on our mobile phones, and SpeedTest.Net currently has the best one on both Android and Apple devices. We would know, we use it on both devices. Windows Phone’s on the other hand are lacking a well built, thorough, and reliable speed tester. A quick Google search gives you a few apps which we tested, but we were neither impressed with, nor were we sure as to their speed results reliability.
Why do we want it? Because it’s a fantastic app, and our Windows Phone’s are yearning for a decent speed tester. We hope this app isn’t too far away from launching on Windows Phone 7’s.
We’ll admit straight from the start – The chances of this App ever making it to the Marketplace are very close to zero. Microsoft has made it clear that they want Internet Explorer to be their main browser of choice. It’s not that the IE browser is bad, quite the opposite in fact – Internet Explorer 9 found in Mango is actually really good! It’s just that we would like more choices, should we ever want to use Firefox as opposed to Internet Explorer. Firefox on Android is actually our preferred choice of browsers, over the standard Google Browser and having an option on our Windows Phone devices would be great.
Why do we want it? Choice. And we’d actually be very curious as to how an external company such as Mozilla would make an internet browser incorporating the Metro UI. That and competition is always healthy for us.
Update: If you have a Windows Phone, feel free to download our Official App here!
Ok we’ll confess, we added this to the list for fun. We would really LOVE to see a Techin5 app on the Marketplace soon, although there are currently no plans to bring this to the Marketplace this year at least. Mind you, we have been on contact with a brilliant App developer about creating a Techin5 app, and eventually there is a plan in place to create a Techin5 app, but for now you’ll just have to wish and hope. And dream. You know we’ll be dreaming.
Update: View this link for more information
Google+ is clearly the next big social network, although we doubt it’ll ever dethrone Facebook, or at least anytime soon. Both Android devices and Apple devices have got a designated app for Google+, so the question is where is Windows Phone 7’s App? Just being Microsoft and Google are squabbling with each other, doesn’t mean that we should be left out of the loop because if it. We’re not the losers, Google is.
Why do we want it? While Google+ get’s more popular (25 million users at last count), it’s bound to get more and more attractive to use. Yet we’re forced to wait to get home to use it, or use the rubbish mobile site which frankly is slow and ugly to look at. And app would be great!
If anything, we want more Banking Apps, especially in Australia. Currently, the only banking App’s available are The Commonwealth Bank App (which is terrible, since it uses no Metro UI in it, and is a glorified Mobile site), Bank of Melbourne, St. George Bank, and BankSA (all of which are made the Westpac Banking Corporation). The question is – Where is the official Westpac App? Furthermore we’re looking for ANZ Bank and National Australia Bank apps to make their way here because using the Bank’s Web Page is terrible (especially since Westpac doesn’t have a mobile site). We’re not asking for too much, just a banking App that uses Metro UI!
Why do we want it? Two Words – Online Banking. It’s a necessity around the world, and while this post is Australia focused, it goes for all the big banks around the world that have yet to find their way to the Marketplace.
Official Support in Australia for transportation apps is frankly, disgraceful. The Official Metlink app has been in the Apple App Store for some time, but it was just this month that the Metlink App made it to Android. The time it took to release the App was terrible, so we want Metlink to please get a move on and create a quality app for us Windows Phone Users. It’s in Microsoft to push for developers to create official Apps for WP7. People don’t want to move to Windows Phones because of the lack of apps, and Developers don’t want to create Apps for the Windows Phone Marketplace until the number of people using a certain platform goes up. A simple nudge from Microsoft might convince Dev’s otherwise.
Why do we want it? It’s not that hard to assume that Public Transportation in any country is critical to the local residents. Simple Apps like this might help save time, and people will be grateful to the local operators for trains, trams, buses, ferries, and whatever else they use. Let’s get this happening, and soon!