Something I have experienced and enjoyed on iOS, Android, and Symbian devices over the past couple of years is the initial launch of official app stores. I am experiencing that joy of discovery and thrill of the hunt daily on the couple of Windows Phone 7 devices I am testing out with daily revelations. According to the folks at WPCentral Microsoft has now passed the 1,000 app mark and we are still two weeks away from the US launch of actual smartphones.
I now have just over 30 apps loaded on the HTC Surround and wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on the ones I have been using the most and consider my top 5. This list will obviously change over the next couple of weeks when devices hit the street here, but it will be interesting to see how the number of apps and usage of them change over time.
Shazam: I am horrible at remembering songs I hear on the radio and have come to rely on Shazam on my devices. The version for Windows Phone 7 is even more useful to me since it has a Zune button so you can quickly conduct a Marketplace search and get the song from the Zune Marketplace.
Netflix: The Netflix app was one of the first I installed and I used it to watch a couple of movies via WiFi and 3G. The performance is quite good and it is handy to be able to watch videos on long commutes.
Weatherbug: The Weatherbug app is fairly new and is one of the first we see that has support for a custom live tile. With the Weatherbug app loaded and the option for the tile selected you will see you local weather location, condition, and temperature appear on the tile on your Start screen.
Twitter: There is no Twitter integration included in Windows Phone 7, but there are a couple of apps. The official Twitter app is easily the better performing one at this time and works as well as it does on Android. Unfortunately, it does not work in the background so every time you leave and come back or have the display off and turn it on again you will see your Twitter stream refresh.
Flowerz: There are several games available now, but one of my favorite is Flowerz. This game is also what has my wife stealing the Samsung Focus from me daily and is one reason she is seriously considering a move to the T-Mobile HTC HD7 device. Flowerz is an enjoyable matching game that lets you earn Xbox LIVE achievements.
Other apps I have loaded include HTC Calculator, AcroBible, eBay, Facebook, Foursquare, GoVoice, IMBb, Last.fm, Level, HTC Notes, HTC Photo Enhancer, Slacker, SmartRunner, Translator, Yelp, Star Wars Battle for Hoth, Frogger, and Bejeweled LIVE.
I am looking forward to apps such as Evernote and Angry Birds. What apps do you want to see on Windows Phone 7?