Windows Phone Killer Apps

Steve Balmer himself recently said that windows Phone now has over 4 50,000 mobile apps in its mobile app store. As someone who has now worked on a few mobile operator, handset manufacturer and other app stores, I am used to the numbers game being important, however, finally times are changing and senior management are starting to realise its more about the quality of the apps than the quantity.

Which is good, as the Windows Mobile platform is finally attracting some great mobile apps. Are they in "killer mobile apps" territory, well, in short, some of them yes, while others are getting there.

The key to the killer apps arriving is the Metro UI, not just the metro UI per se, but the documentation, thought, assets and other elements that come together to create an ecosystem that developers buy into are there, as I have said in the iPhone killer apps section and the Android Killer app sections of this blog, as well as finally the great devices are arriving: Nokia Lumias, HTC Titan to name just a few. This key ecosystem for developers was missing for the recently closed windows phone 6.5 app store and the quality and availability of the apps reflected that. In short, there is no point trying to attract developers with cash or other incentives or even the world's biggest store, if the basics are not there to help them on the way to creating apps that are not only useful and functional, but that reflect your ecosystem's unique features, or even just the clever UI and APIs you spent to much time and money developing.

So what killer mobile apps are there for windows phone:

Facebook

So, I hear you say, Facebook, so what? well as you will know from other sections of this blog and my other blogs, such as the mobile app store blog that the quality of key mobile apps like Facebook, as well as the availability of the key social network apps, which represent up to 90% of an app catalogue demand, are present and correct, but also deliver on functionality. The Windows Phone 7.5 Facebook app is not only a great killer app, but it also shows off the metro UI and all the work that has gone into the new Microsoft phone 7.5.
Killer app & great showcase for the Metro UI

The use of the panoramic scrolling, the picture backgrounds that mimic timeline within the panoramic view, and the ext overlays are all very cutting edge and emerging great app UI and UX.

Twitter

again, I cannot emphasise how important a twitter app is, if you do not believe me, then this great animation of female social media usage in the US may give you a feel for its importance. The problem used to be getting a good 3rd party developer, now Twitter have repossessed the app market somewhat, the problem is getting an app that is more than "me too".
Another Windows Phone Mobile app oozing Metro UI goodness
Its clean, simple, but has Metro UI personality written all over it, again the panoramic scrolling used, my preference, however in a future version some bigger images and maybe text overlay would lift the app further still.

New York Times

After social networking is covered, news is the way forward, and the NYT is a key source for the MS phone home market, and indeed any market: so, again, I hear you cry, we have seen this before, what's so "killer" does it read the news to you siri-esque style? does it schedule your toaster and coffee machine around articles? Well, sadly not, but it's text does "wobble" Metro Style, is scrolling is great and moreover, from what I can see they have used their own font: using another non-specified font is a big no-no as far as I can see from the Metro UI, but I think that is a big mistake, its seems the NYT thought similar and good on them for doing so.
NYT Windows Phone - Wot no standard font :)

Let's be clear, a clear ecosystem UI is great, like a solid legal system is for a country, however, it should never be at the expense of personality. You have to remember mobile apps are about enjoyment, a little flexibility goes a long way. This app uses the pivot scrolling which I personally don't like as much as the panoramic one from a UI and UX point of view: panorama teases you, like a front door which is slightly ajar, Pivot just tells you there is something there.

Pin(invent rest of name to mimic pinterest)


Pintalicious, pinterama, pintoid, how many more will there be... well this one is called... oh, something or other and its OK, it get's to the world's fastest growing social network better than a browser, but let's hope we see some Metro UI goodness soon: this app is crying out for text overlay, panoramic scroll, a menu bar at the bottom, the top 1/3 of the screen estate no longer wasted ... but is should get there
pint-something for windows, when it's worth I will put its real name ;)
I shall be updating this article as more mobile apps as they progress,if you want to be notified of when this happens or just found this article useful or interesting then please follow, +1, like or whatever you have to do on my Google+ and my company, Virtuser's Google+ or like Virtuser on Facebook for updates 

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