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Where's my App? A Guide to Windows Phone

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Where's my App?
A Guide to Windows Phone

I see a lot of recommendations for phones saying to skip the Windows Phones. Windows Phone is a great platform for some people and most of the devices are well equipped. Microsoft has returned to the mobile phone market in a big way with WP7 and WP8.

Outside of the US the Lumia lineup has some of the best selling phones, even overtaking iPhone sales in India and parts of Eastern Europe. Why? Well let's look back a bit and it is easy to see. Microsoft had mobile smartphones on the market a full 5 years before iOS and Android were available. Windows Mobile 5 and 6 were the most powerful and highest selling smartphones trading blows with Blackberry (Symbian was outselling both by a long shot in all fairness though). Microsoft knows what they are doing in the mobile market despite their 3 year hiatus. Add in the Nokia brand name, trusted to be well designed, equipped, and durable, and you have a great device that will sell very well.

Microsoft is providing an end to end ecosystem for users that is easy to implement with WP8, Xbox, Windows 8 PCs and tablets, and various 2012 based servers. The ecosystem may not be for everyone but that does not take away from WP8. It is a solid platform that won't be going anywhere anytime soon, considering Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's phone division.

None of this is to take away from the iOS or Android platforms though, as they all have strengths and weaknesses. So why are potential users told to skip Windows Phone? The most common reason is the lack of apps excuse usually made by people who don't own a Windows Phone device. It would seem to be true if you compare the millions of apps in the Android market or iOS app store to just over 180,000 apps for Windows Phone. The Windows Phone app store isn't the easiest to browse and search unless you are on a Windows Phone Device.

So how can you decide if a Windows Phone will work for you giving you the choice to switch from Android, iOS, Symbian, or RIM? Well you can search for and read dozens of articles or you can ask here. I'll find what you need app or feature wise that would let you know if you can switch. If I can't find a solution that works there are several other members who I'm sure can help. I will be keeping a running list of apps, their alternatives, and features as people request them.

I have been an avid Windows mobile/phone user since 2003 and have owned several Android and iOS devices. I am willing to test apps on all of the platforms. Check my list of phones I have owned if you would like a more direct comparison between the phones. I'm also willing to share my experiences with moving to the Microsoft ecosystem and how I use Windows Phone within it.

Do you still have a question about Windows Phone? Security, privacy, or capabilities; ask them here. Want a how-to? Such as how to sync media and files, even your iTunes library. It can all be done.

So what app or feature do you need?


My Phone List: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
WinMo 2003: Motorola MPx
WinMo 5: HTC Wizard, Cingular Blackjack
WinMo 6: HTC TyTN, HTC TyTN 2, HTC Touch Pro 2
WP7: Samsing Focus
WP8: Nokia 920
*Keep in mind WP7 and WP8 are different as WP7 was built on CE while WP8 is built on NT.

iOS: First Gen iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4s

Android: HTC Dream, Motorola Droid, Samsung Galaxy 3, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Note 2

RIM: Blackberry Pearl, Curve 8300

My Favorite/Must Have Apps on WP8: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Academic Search (Microsoft Research App)
Amazon Kindle
Battery Performance
Can I Stream It
Cocktail Flow
Dynamics
Emergency Kit
ESPN Hub
Flashlight-X
Fresh Paint
Grin
Groupon
Any Here Service (Drive+, Maps, City Lens, Transit)
Hulu Plus
Indigo
Last.fm
Lync 2013
Maluuba
Mouse Without Borders
My Home Server
My Server
My Media Center
Netflix
NFC Launchit
NFC Interactor
Nokia Device Hub
Nokia NFC Writer
Office (Powerpoint, Word, Excel, and Onenote)
Outdoor Navigation
PDF Reader
Photobeamer
PhotoSynth
PlayTo
Plex
Sharepoint Newsfeed
Skydrive
Skype
Splashtop Personal
TeamViewer
Tether-X Pro
Toggle
Translator
Weather Flow
Wolfram Alpha
Youtube
Yammer!

Want even more? Check out these sites: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
www.windowsphone.com
www.wpcentral.com
www.windowsphonehacker.com
blogs.windows.com
conversations.nokia.com
betalabs.nokia.com


*Coming Soon: WP7 and WP8 device lists with specs and features. Windows Phone system update announcements.

If you decide to go with a Windows Phone, then you should check out the Windows Phone Club. Ask for tips and tricks there and get your app recommendations here. If there is anything else you would like to see here post it or PM me.

Lets keep this thread dedicated to apps and features between platforms and leave out opinions about which is "better". A smartphone is a tool and is only as powerful or capable as the person using it.
Edited by Kylepdalton - 10/12/13 at 2:28am
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post #2 of 6
I'd like to you to also add a list of major smartphones running WP software and maybe links to reviews. I'd get some for you to help people choose which phone actually meets their needs. Also, I do own a 920 and love it to death. The integration is what i like the most about the phone than anything else.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by huzzug View Post

I'd like to you to also add a list of major smartphones running WP software and maybe links to reviews. I'd get some for you to help people choose which phone actually meets their needs. Also, I do own a 920 and love it to death. The integration is what i like the most about the phone than anything else.

I should be able to do that. Good idea. We have a Windows Phone club as well that has a lot of the first WP8s in it. Probably needs updating with some of that information as well. Microsoft has some guidelines on what the devices need so there isn't a lot of variation between devices as far capabilities go. Screen size, cameras, battery, and storage are the only things that vary. FM radio varies as well but as far as I know all of them have it but have software blocks in place.

As soon as I figure out a good way to embed a spreadsheet I'll start posting the requested apps, official WP8 apps, and alternatives with links back to the Windows Phone store. I'm thinking about a favorite/must have app list as well but it would just be based off my opinion.
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post #4 of 6
Here's my short list:
1. Proshot
2. Cinemagraph
3. Bing Finance


These are not the only one's but the on'e that i have till now tried and they're awesome. I'll add more after i explore further apps.
post #5 of 6
Good start! Repped.

We need more of this kind of information. People need to know there's a good third choice out there. Let the Android and Apple fanboys argue about which mobile platform is better.
     
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsc1973 View Post

Good start! Repped.

We need more of this kind of information. People need to know there's a good third choice out there. Let the Android and Apple fanboys argue about which mobile platform is better.

Thanks. I have to stare at my screen cross-eyed every time WP is dismissed as a choice due to the app and feature excuse. Unfortunately there isn't a good way to test drive phones with contract renewals. A lot of people are afraid it won't do what their old phones do and they will be stuck with one. Understandable but I think 90% of people could switch and not miss a thing.

My 920 is easily the second best phone I have ever owned or used. Only reason it isn't number one is because I bought my HTC Wizard my freshman year of college. It has some memories attached to it. That thing was also one helluva shock and awe phone at the time. The first Motorola razrs were the phones most people thought were incredible. Comparing the Razr and the original iPhone when it came out was laughable (note I did own the original iPhone so I'm giving a fair comparison).

Now back to the thread. I'm thinking about adding another list for apps that are current users favorites. We could just post up new finds of great apps. If the thread gets a lot of activity I could do a featured app of the week or similar based on user favorites.
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