App Attack #015: Mango Appetizers

App Attack #015: Mango Appetizers

App Attack #015: Mango Appetizers

Some apps are worth waiting for. And with the 'Mango' update coming right up, developers are also doing their own app updates to harness the features of Windows Phone 7.5. Now, you can either painstakingly look through over 30,000 apps in the Windows Marketplace, either through the Zune software or the recently launched Windows Phone 7.5 Web Marketplace, or rely on our App attack series. In this episode of App Attack, we revisit some essential apps for new Windows Phone adopters, as well as apps that have been updated to take advantage of capabilities present in the highly anticipated Mango update.


1. AppFlow

Price: Free
Category: Productivity + Tools
Developer: Gergely Orosz
Admittedly, the Windows Phone Marketplace might not be the best place to search for apps. And that’s where AppFlow comes in nicely. Apps are reorganized neatly according to categories that matter, such as New & Impressive, Apps Gone Free and Best Live Tile Apps. Unlike Windows Phone Marketplace, AppFlow breaks down the category even further, such as Top Indie Games and Top Xbox Games.

One thing to note: certain apps that are featured on AppFlow might not be available on your Marketplace. We’ve hit quite a few snags when we explored some interesting apps, only to be told that it’s not available for our region.

  


2. YouTube

Price: Free
Category: Music + Video
Developer: Lazyworm Applications

Early adopters of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS will realize this: the stock YouTube app essentially serves to direct you back to the mobile YouTube website. Fortunately, this is where developer innovation comes in handy.

Another YouTube app, developed by Lazyworms Applications, gives you access to YouTube videos and the option to Like or Dislike the videos within the app. What’s more, if the app is pinned to the Start page as a Live Tile, notifications on your latest video subscriptions (after you’ve logged into your YouTube account within the app) will be displayed on the Live Tile.

  


3. Minesweeper

Price: Free
Category: Games
Developer: Microsoft Game Studios

The next recommended app is a game that will strike a chord of familiarity with Windows users out there: Minesweeper. Unlike the preloaded game found on its desktop and notebook counterparts, Minesweeper for Windows Phone 7 is integrated with Xbox Live, allowing you to score achievements and compare your latest scores with fellow gamers.

Besides the Classic game mode, a new Speed mode keeps you at the edge of your seat, as you try to clear the mines before the timer hits zero. And if you’re stuck on a particular game, there’s a variety of Power-ups, such as Verify to check if the flags are placed on mines or a Shield to prevent detonation from one mine, to aid you.

  


4. TuneIn Radio

Price: Free
Category: Music + Video
Developer: RadioTime

Your Windows Phone will come with a built-in radio receiver, but what if your taste goes beyond borders? TuneIn Radio is an internet radio app that has an extensive listing of internet radios, both local and overseas.

Thanks to the Mango update and the App Connect feature, you'll find TuneIn Radio as a shortcut within the Music+Videos hub. Or, you can take the usual method of finding the app within the menu, and pinning it to the Start page.

  


5. Foursquare

Price: Free
Category: Social
Developer: Foursquare Labs, Inc.

While Windows Phone 7.5 Mango’s Facebook integration allows you to check-in to Facebook Places via the People hub, there are others who are still hooked onto Foursquare. Fortunately, the Foursquare app also receives a few updates with the Mango firmware, such as the ability to pin multiple check-in locations to the Start page for fast and easy check-ins.

Unfortunately, without Local Scout appearing on our test unit, we didn’t manage to see the App Connect feature demonstrated with Foursquare. Had it been available, you can use Bing Maps to search for a location and bounce straight into Foursquare to check in.

  


6. WhatsApp

Price: Free
Category: Social
Developer: WhatsApp Inc.
If you’re an iOS, Android, BlackBerry and even Symbian user, then you should be quite familiar with WhatsApp. The cross-platform messaging app is now finally on Windows Phone. To be specific, only Windows Phone 7.5 users will be able to find this app. Nonetheless, earlier Windows Phone 7 devices should be receiving the update in the coming days (or weeks).

For those who aren’t familiar with how WhatsApp functions, here’s the gist of it. The app utilizes your mobile number somewhat like a user ID for an instant messenger. Once you’ve installed WhatsApp, a verification code is sent to your mobile number. Enter the code, and WhatsApp will be linked to your mobile number. What this means is that you can now send or receive messages to other WhatsApp users using a data connection. Take heed, you’ll probably be in need of a data plan in lieu of a high volume text messaging plan.

  


7. Evernote

Price: Free
Category: Productivity + Tools
Developer: Evernote

Not a fan of Microsoft’s own OneNote note-taking cloud service and prefer Evernote to collect your meeting memos? Fortunately, you’ll also find it on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

With the Windows Phone 7.5 update, Evernote comes with a list of improved features, such as background synchronization, pinning of multiple notes onto your Start page, and even sharing of notes on social networks via the People hub.

  


7.5. Zune

Price: Free
Developer: Microsoft

As easy as it is to download apps straight onto your phone, you don’t have to limit your app shopping on the smaller screen. Zune is more than just a music player, it’s also the connector to sync your Windows Phone with your PC. You can use it to update your phone software, sync photos and videos, and more.

Of course, app shopping can also done via the Zune software; here, you’ll find the latest recommendations and top selling apps on the Marketplace. If you’ve been using Zune for your Windows Phone device, ensure that you have the latest version ready for the Mango update. To do so, go to Settings > Software > General, and click Check for Updates.