When the Windows Phone 7 operating systems was first launched, the app store that came with it was not particularly well-populated. This was likely due to the fact that many developers simply hadn’t had the opportunity to alter their existing apps so that they would work on the new operating system, plus it would naturally take time for a development community to spring up around the operating system that would be able to create apps in the same volume as those created for iOS and Android.
Furthermore, when Windows Phone 7 was released, it was difficult to predict whether Microsoft would be experience any real success in the smartphone market. At the time, they were relatively new and the few phones that sported previous Microsoft operating systems had not make the same sort of impact as the likes of the iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy models.
Still, over time the company has managed to carve a definite niche out for itself in the market place, helped via partnerships with the likes of Nokia and other manufacturers along the way. This means that the Windows App store is now more densely populated than it has ever been before, allowing users to find a number of different apps depending on their requirements.
Social media is an enormous part of modern society, so it is unsurprising that most of the big social media sites of the current era have made an app available for Windows Phone 7 devices. While many of these sites can be accessed using the browser that comes with the device, the apps are intended to streamline the whole process and offer a more user-friendly experience as they do.
The likes of Facebook and Twitter have maintained apps on the Windows store for a number of years, so it is a good idea to download both if you use their services. This is not only because the apps run much more quickly than the browser, in most cases, but also because having the app gives you access to mobile features that may not be available via the browser. Furthermore, the developers of the app are more able to create updates and ensure that you receive them when you have the app installed, whereas they do not have the same level of freedom when it comes to people who access their services via mobile browsers.
Zune and Xbox Live
Before other developers really started to adopt Windows Phone 7 and recognize it as a legitimate platform on which they could ply their trade, Microsoft had to offer something for early adopters so that they would be encouraged by the functionality of the phone and thus be willing to wait for more apps to be developed over time.
They did this by integrating Zune and Xbox Live into the package, making them immediately accessible for any user of a device that runs Windows Phone 7.
The Zune service provides users with access to a wide range of music and video content, some of which is exclusive to the service. It also comes pre-packaged with a number of pieces of content, though these often end up getting replaced in short order. The service was vital for people who wanted to use their Windows Phone 7 devices to play various types of multimedia, but it has since become less essential now that the likes of Spotify and other music streaming services have become available.
Xbox Live, on the other hand, allows the user to link their phone to their Xbox console, opening up a number of different functionalities. In recent years, many games developers have offered mobile games alongside their main products, allowing players to take the experiences they have enjoyed on their Xbox on the go thanks to their Windows Phone 7 devices. As such, the integration with Xbox Live has been a major selling point for Microsoft ever since they announced the development of the operating system.
We’re going to get into more in-depth gaming apps later on, but it seems as though mobile casinos have really taken the world by storm as of late. While not all Windows Phones have mobile casino apps available, there are plenty of other ways to play slot machines online on your phone. Online casinos like Vera and John and 32Red have made their casinos accessible on mobile and tablet devices, meaning people can now spin and win on the go.
This early integration with Xbox Live was very useful for avid gamers who owned a Microsoft console, but it took a little while for mobile developers to truly embrace the platform. Games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja have been downloaded by millions of people using the Android and iOS platforms and it took a while for such titles to find their way onto Windows Phone 7 devices.
However, as the popularity of the operating system continued to grow, so too did the potential for development of gaming apps. As such, it is now a requirement for many mobile gaming studios to create a version of their game that will run on the Windows platform if they are going to be able to reach the highest possible audience.
Furthermore, because Microsoft have stringent controls in place in terms of the hardware requirements that devices must meet to run their operating systems, users can usually be certain that any games, or other apps that they download for that matter, will run exceptionally smoothly on their device.
The Current Landscape
After a little bit of a shaky start, which was to be expected given the fact that Microsoft were trying to gain a foothold in a market that was dominated by two other operating systems, Windows Phone 7 has now established itself as a viable alternative to Android and iOS. As such, developers have responded by ensuring that the Windows app store is well-stocked and most major companies now have a defined presence on the store.
This means that people no longer need to worry about a lack of mobile apps affecting their purchasing decision when choosing which operating system is right for them. Though it is true that both the Android and iOS stores both have more apps available on them, this is now mostly due to the fact that they have been around for much longer and have thus had a few years head start on Microsoft. Generally speaking, if a major app is in development for one platform it will usually be in development for all three, so Windows Phone 7 users will be able to get their hands on practically anything they need in the current landscape.