Mobile Download Guide to 25 Windows Mobile Marketplace Apps
Did you know there’s an online app store for Microsoft Windows Mobile phones? You’d be forgiven if you didn’t, since Microsoft‘s Windows Mobile Marketplace is still nascent (it launched in October 2009). With a bit more than a thousand apps to choose from, Windows Mobile Marketplace doesn’t currently offer anything like the selection iPhone, Android or BlackBerry users get in their app stores. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of worthwhile apps to be found, including the 25 handy ones we outline here—many are free, and most of the rest quite inexpensive (under $10).
Before we get into our list, some quick background about the Marketplace-- apps may be compatible with either Windows Mobile Professional (i.e. with a touch screen), Windows Mobile Standard (sans touch) and in some cases, both versions. Our 25 apps consist of a baker’s dozen that require Professional, while the remaining dozen will work with either Standard or Professional.
Also, it pays to keep in mind that due to variations across Windows Mobile phones from different manufacturers and carriers, compatibility problems can sometimes occur, so if you buy a Marketplace app that doesn’t work (or even if it simply doesn’t work as expected) you can get your money back provided you initiate a refund request within 24 hours of purchase (refunds are limited to one per user per calendar month.)
How do you access the Windows Mobile Marketplace from your phone? If it’s a WM 6.5 device, it’s already on your phone. On WM 6.0 or 6.1-based devices, you can download the Marketplace software directly to your phone from mp.windowsphone.com, or enter your mobile number here to get a link sent to your phone via SMS. (If you’ve got WM 5.x, sorry, but you’re out of luck.)
Now without further ado, onto the apps.
Windows Mobile 6.x Professional Only
File Explorer Pro - $2.99
File Explorer Pro provides some features the standard File Explorer doesn’t, including a Recycle Bin to recover deleted files and the ability to map shared network folders from a PC.
Handy Clock - $14.99
To help keep you in sync with colleagues across multiple time zones (or when traveling, stay mindful of the time back home) , Handy Clock can simultaneously display the time in five world cities, plus it includes a day/night map and customizable alarms.
HP iPrint Photo – Free
If you have a HP printer connected to a Wi-Fi network (even if the printer itself isn’t Wi-Fi-capable) HP iPrint Photo will find it and let you wirelessly print 4x6 snapshots directly from your phone.
MileageManager - $6.99
MileageManager tracks the details of business and personal trips, calculates reimbursement amounts, and can export information in Excel, CSV, or HTML formats.
MXCalc 10B Business Calculator - $9.99
The standard calculator is fine for basic calculations, but for more complicated financial math, the MXCalc 10B Business Calculator may be the next best thing to a dedicated calc.
Netflix Mobile Manager – FREE
You can’t stream full movies to your phone with Netflix Mobile Manager, but you can search the movie library, watch movie trailers, and add to or reorder your queues (both DVD and Instant).
Scrub - $0.99
If your phone’s contact database has more holes than Swiss cheese, Scrub can help you fill the gaps—or at least find them. It will scan your address book to and tell you how many entries are missing different types of information, such as company names or e-mail addresses.
SlingPlayer Mobile - $29.99
SlingPlayer Mobile is pricey by mobile app standards, but if you have a SlingPlayer Solo, Pro, or Pro-HD it will let you view and control your connected AV equipment without having to lug a laptop around.
SMSCleaner - $4.99
Cleaning up SMS text messages can be a chore, particularly for heavy users, but SMSCleaner can automatically purge old messages from your phone periodically according to a schedule you set, and can be configured to keep only a fixed number of messages per contact. It can also archive messages before deleting them, as well as export them to a CSV file.
SPB Language Flash Cards - $9.99
Boost your proficiency in a foreign tongue with SPB Language Cards, which are available in fifteen languages ranging from Czech to Japanese to Russian. Each includes over 1000 words accompanied by photos as well as recorded pronunciation by native speakers.
SPB Mobile Shell - $29.99
Windows Mobile’s standard Home screen can be pretty ho-hum, but SPB Mobile Shell gives you lots of more attractive and functional replacements to choose from, and lets you switch among them via a cool 3-D carousel interface. (NOTE: A free demo version is also available, so you can check it out before buying.)
Wallpapers – FREE
Tired of looking at the same Home screen background day in and day out? Wallpapers gives you thousands more images to choose from, spread across about fifty different categories.
Weatherbug – FREE
Like the desktop version, Weatherbug provides detailed weather info, including current conditions, extended forecasts, severe weather alerts, animated radar and satellite maps, and live local cameras.
Windows Mobile 6.x Standard or Professional
AP Mobile – FREE
AP Mobile lets you keep up with local, national, and international news as well as browse articles by topic (Sports, Business, Politics, Tech, etc.). You can also e-mail articles, post them to Facebook or Twitter, or download them for offline viewing.
Bing – FREE
Prefer to Bing your searches rather than Google them? This Bing app does Web and local searches, mapping and directions, and includes a useful voice input feature.
Facebook for Windows Mobile – FREE
If you need a Facebook fix away from a PC, Facebook for Windows Mobile is an alternative to connecting via mobile Web browser. You can use it to post updates, upload photos and video from your phone, and place calls directly from your Friends list.
Google Maps –FREE
This pint-size version of Google Maps works much like its full-size counterpart. It can provide travel directions (and display traffic info), plot search results on a map, and identify your current location (even sans GPS).
Microsoft My Phone – FREE
On a nightly basis, My Phone will backup your phone’s content (up to 200 MB) to a password-protected Web site where you can access it from any Web browser, and in the event of a lost or stolen phone, copy it down to a replacement device. MyPhone software also syncs info two ways, so any changes made from the Web site are replicated to the phone.
Proximity - $3.99
If you have a GPS-equipped phone, Proximity can perform tasks—such as ring an alarm, send a text or e-mail, or place a call—that are triggered by your physical location, which can be a handy way to send out automated messages while travelling (like letting someone know you’re en route to them).
Reboot - $0.99
Most Windows Phone users find themselves having to restart their device every so often, which typically involves initiating a shut down, waiting for the phone to turn off, and then powering it back up again. Reboot save some hassle by automatically restarting the phone for you.
Skyfire Mobile Browser – FREE
Accessing standard (i.e. non-mobile versions) Web sites with IE Mobile often leaves much to be desired. SkyifreMobile Browser gets around this by rendering pages on a remote server before displaying them on the mobile device, resulting in better performance and compatibility (particularly with Flash content).
Trines DuplicateFix - $0.99
An errant sync (or copying contacts from a SIM card) can sometimes leave you with duplicate calendar, task, or address book entries; Trines DuplicateFix automatically remove these redundancies, which sure beats doing it by hand.
White Noise - $2.99
For times when you want to drown out environmental noise (like if you’re trying to catch a snooze on a plane or train), White Noise gives you looped sounds from waves, a ticking clock, crickets, rain, and more.
WikiPock Plus Edition - $14.99
You’ll need a hefty (4GB) storage card to use it, but WikiPock Plus Edition will fill that card with the entirely of Wikipedia (complete with hotlinks, but without images or sound), giving you a handy offline reference tool when an Internet connection isn’t available. A year’s worth of updates are included. (A Basic Edition is five bucks cheaper, but doesn’t include updates.)
WMWiFiRouter - $22.99
When Wi-Fi isn’t available for your laptop, WMWiFi Router can share your phone’s 3G data connection with one or more devices over Wi-Fi (and with a single device over Bluetooth and USB in many cases as well. (NOTE: As of this writing, the Marketplace only offers the Windows Mobile Professional-compatible version).