What’s On Your Windows Phone 7? 8th Edition
Hello everyone and welcome to the end of another week which brings us the next installment of our What’s on Your Windows Phone 7? feature.
This week I welcome Jason Coombes, aka @databasejase on Twitter, to the site. I am going to let him tell us about his Windows Phone experience and all the apps he has installed at the moment since he does such a good job of it.All the way from the United Kingdom – here is Jason:
I’m a Microsoft SQL Server Administrator which is a job I really enjoy but when I’m not doing that I love technology, gadgets, with a particular interest in Microsoft who I believe are still capable of great innovation with Windows Media Center, Windows Home Server and Windows Phone 7. Sadly they are even more capable of being short sighted with examples being failures in areas they pioneered (smartphones and tablets/slates where they try to squeeze a desktop operating system onto a handheld device).
The first experience with Windows Mobile was on a PDA which was an HP device (hx4700 (4" VGA display) which was mainly used for TomTom navigation although I also synced it with Outlook. I had always used Nokia devices for my mobile phones (so I’m very interested in the news today about Nokia and Microsoft partnering on Windows Phone) and it wasn’t until a new job in 2007 where I was issued with a T-Mobile MDA (a re-branded HTC device) that I used a Windows Mobile device as a phone. It was a love/hate relationship with Windows Mobile and I used various devices including the Tytn-II and a Touch Pro. I was lucky enough to be issued with an HTC HD2 which I loved due to the Sense UI which made using Windows Mobile bearable until you drilled into places that hadn’t been skinned.
I managed to watch the announcement of Windows Phone 7 during CES in February 2010 and was really impressed that Microsoft had decided to abandon Windows Mobile in favour of a brand new OS that had been designed to be touch-centric and went beyond ring-fenced applications in favour of a seamless integrated approach. I’d changed jobs by the time the devices launched but was lucky that my mobile contract was due for renewal so got a Samsung Omnia 7 in October 2010 (I wrote up some initial Thoughts on Windows Phone 7) and I love the Metro UI and overall experience.
Prior to Windows Phone 7 I had a small set of applications that I installed onto my Windows Mobile devices but with the introduction of the Marketplace I’ve found discovering applications so easy that I have run up quite a list. I should say that just because an application is pinned doesn’t indicate frequency of use as I’m still playing around. So here is what I currently have installed:
WP7 Pinned Tiles (I love that you can pin almost anything):
- Ars Technica Newsreader
- Birdsong – my twitter client of choice (and only non-gaming app purchased), now on v1.1 which runs under lock screen and v1.2 coming soon (I interviewed these guys for @TDLMobile)
- Flixster (Live Tile)
- Ilomilo – A really simple and addictive game
- Project Emporia – Great application, found thanks to WindowsObserver.com, allowing you to create your own news columns based on searches
- Shazam – This app showcases Windows Phone 7’s seamless integration perfectly with songs you search for jumping you straight to the Zune Marketplace so you’re not even aware of switching applications.
- WeatherBug (Live Tile) – I keep switching between this and The Weather Channel but they both lack the ability to change the live tile based on current location (you have to do that manually)
- Contacts entry for my wife
- Internet Explorer
- 2 x Internet Explorer Web Pages (takes me to travel updates for two areas)
- OneNote (document)
- Music & Videos
- Xbox Live
- Adobe Reader
- Amazon Kindle
- BBC News
- Beezz (Live Tile & Push Notifications)
- Big Screen byRemote (I reviewed this here)
- Deluxe Moon Lite
- Digital Media Zone (supports over-the-air podcasts which is currently lacking from Zune)
- G-Alarm [Trial]
- Messenger by Miyowa
- Now [Samsung OEM Application] (Shame this doesn’t have a live tile as weather supports current location dynamically)
- Rowi (lite)
- Tag Reader
- Twitter (annoys me that this application hides the status bar which should be a certification check)
- UkSnow (Aggregates tweets with the tag #uksnow to plot snowfall using Bing Maps)
- The Weather Channel (Live Tile)
I hadn’t even appreciated just how many applications I’d installed until I composed this list!
- Xbox Live Extras (annoys me that this doesn’t use the predictive text keyboard for messaging which again should be part of the certification process)
- Impossible Shoota
Great info Jason and I appreciate your honesty about limitations on some of the apps as well as pointing out the positive side of them.
I just want to comment on something Jason points out in his write up about the Windows Phone 7 and pinning tiles to the main screen. It is the fact that you can pin most any type of info such as contacts, multiple instances of Internet Explorer that are set to go to specific web pages for quick reference, settings, etc. and have them available for quick access.
The customization options on Windows Phone 7 is definitely one of the big draws of the mobile OS.