Windows Phone 7, Day 4: Apps and the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace
One thing that I am not a fan of is that the listing of the Genres on the left of the display scrolls away as I go down the list looking at the apps. I think that the list of genres should be static so I can switch genres easily without having to scroll all the way back up. For that matter, there should also be a way for me to jump back to the top without having to scroll all the way back up.
On my HTC HD7S, the Marketplace app is one of the default apps on the start screen. I have moved it down lower on the start screen view, but I haven't removed it.
When I tap it, the initial load of the Marketplace seems to take a while. But, eventually the app is live. From here, I can choose between the AT&T AppCenter, the HTC Apps store, or apps, games, or music from Microsoft.
I tapped on the Microsoft apps and the app gives me access to the same list of genres as the Marketplace site within Zune, but this one also includes links for the AT&T AppCenter and the HTC Apps. I can swipe left and right on the display to go to Top, New, or Featured apps.
As I drill down, the apps for the specific category are displayed along with the price and star rating just as they are in Zune. With a few taps, I can buy and download the app to my phone. The default payment method is to simply tack the amount for the app onto my AT&T wireless bill, but there is also a link that lets me charge it directly to my credit card on file with AT&T, or add a new credit card if I choose.
I have to admit that I have already found a few apps that I like and use on my iPhone that simply don't exist on Windows Phone 7. Things like Google+, my bank's mobile banking app, Madden Football, etc. So, I can't honestly say that Windows Phone 7 is in the same league as the iPhone at all when it comes to apps.
Yes, 30,000 is a fair number, and I am sure I can find equivalents for most of the important apps I really use, but until or unless Windows Phone 7 gains some market share, it will continue to be an afterthought for companies and developers and it will get apps later or last if it gets them at all.
But, for the new kid on the block it seems to be progressing nicely, and it offers an app shopping and buying experience that is at least equal to its rivals, and in some ways it's a little better.