Paid-Apps On Windows Phone Microsoft Journalists Recommend & Use

When Microsoft announced the apps worth $25 free with new Windows Phone 7 devices I wondered what apps I would’ve bought. I looked at my list of installed apps and there weren’t many that I bought. I searched the marketplace for apps I might want to buy, I surprisingly didn’t find many. I then decided to ask some of my peers from the Microsoft beat as to what apps they use. Here’s a list of apps (both paid and free) suggested by those who follow Microsoft everyday.

Adam Lein at PocketNow (  @adamzea)

Daniel Rubino at WPCentral (  @malatesta77)

He’s behind my favorite Windows Phone blog and he sent me a long list of apps he likes. Here are the paid ones:

  • BoxFiles for Dropbox ($1.29) — A Dropbox (and SkyDrive) client; there’s a free version  (ad supported without SkyDrive support)  too.
  • Fuse ($1.29) — News reader
  • Weave ($3) — RSS reader that has a free version as well.
  • Thumba Photo Editor ($1) — the best $1 you’d ever spend on an app. It’s like Photoshop on mobile.
  • WeatherLive  ($1.50) — I personally use AccuWeather, it has ads, is free and the live tile works.
  • Garmin StreetPilot  ($35, no kidding!) — expensive navigation but if you’re a fan of Garmin’s devices it might be worth it .
  • Handyscan ($2.5) — the app acts as a scanner and document manager. Scanned documents can be uploaded to Dropbox, SkyDrive or saved as a PDF and emailed. There’s a free version too.
  • IM+ Pro ($5) — Multi protocol chat client that has a free version too. Gtalk, Skype and a bunch of others. I’d still prefer Mango’s native Facebook integration for Facebook chat.
  • NextGen Reader  ($2) — a Google Reader client
  • Ffffound  ($1) — a WP7 app for the blog, brings you inspirational and creative images.

Tom Warren of WinRumors  (  @TomWarren)

Techie Buzz has learnt that Tom Warren would have you pay for only two apps:

  • Network Dashboard  ($0.99) —  Network Dashboard is a very handy utility. It’s on my useful apps list as well. The app now costs $0.99 but was initially free. A simple app that creates live tiled shortcuts for WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth and Airplane mode. The live tiles have multiple templates and the app will even remind you to turn the WiFi or 3G ON/OFF.  (Toggle is a free alternative.)
  • Pictures Lab  ($3) —  Pictures Lab is a photo manipulation app. It lets you apply filters, frames etc., the usual stuff.

Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet (ZDNet @maryjofoley), Scott Lovegrove (@scottisafool) and Kip (@kipkniskern) from LiveSide (

When I asked MJF, she had an interesting answer, she said was a person of few apps and she’d be willing to pay for apps local to her city. The one example she had was museum guides. For her, games aren’t very exciting either. Now if I look at Adam’s list, he has 2 apps and 3 games. Scott and Kip both said they didn’t buy a of lot apps (Scott bought 1). When I looked at my list, I bought only two apps—Thumba Photo Editor and Thumba Cam. I did however buy a few games (NFS, Assassin’s Creed, Angry Birds, Flight Control, Fruit Ninja, PES and Revolution).

I decided to look at the iTunes top 10 paid apps list and I wasn’t surprised to see 8 games and just 2 apps. Android however, had 7 apps and just 3 games. The thing about Android’s list is that, of the 7 apps, 1 was a music player (probably the default player sucks?), a ROM manager (for those who love root access), an alternate keyboard (maybe like the music player, the keyboard sucked too), a File Manager (yea, well, it’s Android…) and a widget manager (I don’t even want to start on that). The thing is, the default Android setup (UI/UX) till ICS looked pretty bad to me compared to Windows Phone & even the iOS. All this in addition to Android not being a great gaming device, perhaps, would explain the list.

I wonder whether mobile applications actually are great revenue generators when there is no subscription involved.

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Manan Kakkar

Manan is a technology enthusiast keenly following the consumer products from Microsoft, Google & Apple.