Review: Windows Phone 7, part 3

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq0P5HUSX6A[/youtube]

In my FIRST REVIEW of the Windows Phone 7, I described how I came to own the new WP7 and discover that it was a satisfactory experience. In the SECOND REVIEW I shared some of the features and reasons that the WP7 is excellent in so many ways. I noted a few things that might pose a problem for a few folks, but I think that this phone is a great iPhone alternative in many ways. Comparing this phone to the iPhone 4 is inevitable, but it holds its own. However, if one is changing from one phone to the other (as I did), there is an adjustment to be made in the apps available. There are just over 8,500 apps currently in the Windows Marketplace. That is a small number compared to iTune’s app store. But how many apps are we going to use? Below is a review of the apps I have thus far found to be excellent … and if they fall short, I’ll note that as well.

FACEBOOK works great and has an excellent interface. SEESMIC is the Twitter client I’m using currently. There are some other choices, including the official Twitter client. Seesmic has done a fine job with the client. FOURSQUARE is very good, but it sometimes does not locate very well. I usually have to refresh the locations, and often there are many locations in the list except the one where I am actually present. SPEEDIER DIAL has your top 8 numbers in a live tile that makes it easy to call your fav peeps quickly! WEATHER CHANNEL has an excellent live tile that keeps the weather and current conditions on top so all you have to do is glance at to know what’s going on outside! AP MOBILE is the Associated Press’ live tile which has a current photo from a news story on display. NEWS RACK gives front page stories from the NY Daily News, NT Times, NY Post, The Guardian, Time, USA Today, Time, and the Washington Post. YOU VERSION is not as good as it is for iPhone, but they constantly update and I look for it to improve. SPELL IT is my Words With Friends replacement. Same game, works better. As you form your word you can see the points accumulated (in WWF you have to actually submit the word to see the points, and to determine if it’s a real word or not!). GOOGLE CALENDAR is also pinned to my home screen. I can glance at most of these tiles and see what is new and up to date. The ones that do not update live, are one click away from use.

Beyond the tiles on the home page is a long list of apps, but a few deserve honorable mention! AMAZON KINDLE works wonderfully on WP7. FANDANGO provides movie information and I think it works better than the one on my old iPhone. GREADER has access to my Google Reader subscriptions.NETFLIX lets me watch movies on my phone, which I do not really desire to do. RAD NOW is local weather radar. YOU TUBE of course works well.

I list all of that not to suggest that these are unavailable on other phones – they are.

Yes, I do miss Angry Birds, Words with Friends, Lose it! and Plants Vs Zombies. I hope those will be coming soon. If they do not, it’s not a dealbreaker for me though. New apps being developed will go to iPhone first, Android second, then to WP7. That’s just a current reality. But it may not always be this way.

All of the things we want to do on a smart phone can be done on WP7, and due to the functionality of the phone they work in a beautiful and easy manner. The range and number of apps is growing on a daily basis and I expect for there to be no lag in apps in the future. We have to remember this is a relatively new phone and system, and the developers will certainly be working to take advantage of it. Sales seem to be brisk and I look for the phone to grow in popularity due to functionality and price.

~John

Another recent review of Windows Phone 7.

Revised 2/23/2011.