Windows Phone 7, Day 10: Outfitting My "Mango" with Apps

30 Days With Windows Phone 7: Day 10

I have already devoted some time to exploring Windows Phone 7 apps in general, and I have praised the fact that this mobile platform offers an option to try an app before you buy it in many cases, but today I am going through my iPhone app by app to outfit my Windows Phone 7 "Mango" smartphone as closely as possible with the apps I am already used to.

I am not replacing everything. Switching platforms is a great excuse to clean house and eliminate some app clutter. I have about 120 apps on my iPhone, but I really only use 10 or so on a regular basis--maybe 20 of them on a weekly basis. Some apps have rarely, if ever, been used since I installed them on my iPhone.

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace
The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace has only a fraction of the apps available for iOS.
Some of the tools I use regularly are just core apps that come pre-installed in Windows Phone 7. Things like Alarms, Calculator, Calendar, and Camera are already there, so I don't need to find replacements. I frequently use my smartphone to look things up on the Web, and Windows Phone 7 has the Internet Explorer browser pre-installed, so I am all set there.

Next on my list of common smartphone tasks are social networking, and entertainment. Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare all have official apps for Windows Phone 7. Google+ and LinkedIn do not. There are some third-party apps for LinkedIn, and maybe even for Google+, but I will just use the browser for those until an official app is launched. As I noted on Day 7 and Day 9, though, the integration with the Messaging app and the "Me" tile make separate apps for the social networks redundant and uneccessary.

When it comes to entertainment, I rely on apps like the Kindle app from Amazon, the Netflix app, the YouTube app, and other tools like Fandango and IMDB. All five have Windows Phone 7 apps, and all five are free. So far, I am doing pretty good and haven't spent a penny.

For productivity on the iPhone I have the Apple iWorks apps--Pages, Numbers, and Keynote--as well as Documents To Go. With Windows Phone 7, I have Office Mobile apps installed with the OS, and integrated with cloud-based file storage on my SkyDrive, so I don't need to replace those apps.

I struggled with navigation. I deleted the pre-installed AT&T turn-by-turn navigation app because I'll be damned if I am paying AT&T $10 a month for that service. The Maps app in Windows Phone 7 is pretty slick, and it does directions, but it requires me to tap after each step rather than monitoring my location and automatically telling me where to go, or recalculating if I miss a turn, or diverting me around traffic backups.

I really like my Garmin StreetPilot app on my iPhone, so I searched the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace and found that Garmin has the same app available here as well. The problem is, I had to spend another $35 on it.

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