Been bouncing in and out of Marketplace the past several days looking for app replacements that I used regularly on my WinMo device. I have found most everything I need, some better & some not so good, but have run into a few dead ends. Thought it was time to start compiling a list so the bored developers out there can get cracking and build up the WP app inventory. I realize that Windows Phone has some restrictions and limitations (like no place to save a PDF file) so I won’t bother suggesting applications that are not yet possible.
Sports Scores – Was watching college football yesterday and realized that I didn’t have any easy way to check game scores. I know I can go to ESPN, wait for the page to load, pinch out and then navigate to the right link, tap the link, wait for another page to load, pinch out, scroll through the list, etc. etc, but wouldn’t it be easier to have an app that compiles schedules and scores for all the major sports leagues, at least here in the US. Open the app, tap college football and read the scores. It can update upon open (you can choose which leagues to display/update) or when you tap refresh. Lots of apps in the Marketplace for sports “news” but nothing for scores. Come on, ESPN. Get with the program.
Shopping App – I know, there are a bunch of shopping apps available but have you tried any. I have tried every one and have even purchased two so far. They are all lacking some basic functionality. Actually the “free” Microsoft app is leading the pack which is not saying much.
Here are a few hints for developers. My weekly grocery shopping trip takes about 35 minutes in store. I don’t want to spend 45 minutes on my phone building a list for each trip so please keep it simple. Because of sales, coupons, product availability, etc., I “must” shop at more than one store, even in the same week, so I need a way to save a list and retrieve it. I average about 20-30 unique items in my cart each week of which half or more are items I purchase every week or other week, so I need a way to select a previously-defined items to simplify my list building. Categorizing by aisle/category is a good thing, but if you are going to use it, keep the aisle/category syntax throughout the app, so I don’t see a list of favorites or history sorted in some strange order because the aisle/category field is hidden. Give me one optional field that I can use for whatever, so if an item is on sale, or I have a coupon, I can flag it with an S or C. Oh, and please check your code or whatever. Several of the apps I tried popped right open initially, but after I added 15-20 items to a list I am seeing lags of 2 to 4 seconds which seems really unusual to me. No graphics, just a few words.
Don’t think I am asking for anything special here, just a pinch of common sense.
Traffic Cameras – Used an app on my Tilt2 called Traffic Edge and it worked well, providing screen shots of traffic cameras on all the US highways. There are a few apps in the Market but they are all for European countries. Can’t think of anything in the OS that would not allow this kind of app.
Screen Shot – Would sure like to have an app to create screen shots of my device. Don’t think it would be that hard to create, saving a screen image to the photos hub. Then I could sync them with my PC or email to myself. Looking forward to writing some app reviews and screen shots would sure be helpful. My guess is a desktop emulator like My Mobiler is not on the “possible” list right now so I won’t go there.
Mute the Phone – I used Mute4, a simple tool created by developer ‘thx1200”, on my Tilt2 and it worked beautifully. You open the app and selected a pre-set time to change your device to vibrate or silent. At the end of the time period, your ringer turns back up. Couldn’t be simpler and it worked great for going into a meeting, movie or doctor’s office. I know all the stopwatch apps available in the Marketplace can run in the background and there are a couple apps that have scheduled alerts, so aside from finding a way to change the value in settings it seems like it should be possible with the WP OS.
Instant Messaging – DavidK’s previous post already made it clear that the WL Messenger app in the Market sucks, so not going to bother with that. And I know I can use the provided web based workaround. But there are a few good Instant Messaging apps available for WinMo so I am hopeful that one or more pop up soon. Are you listening IM+. Don’t use IM often but I like to have it around.
So that’s my list. What about you? Anything you have been hankering to load onto your spanking new Windows Phone but can’t find. Time to let the developers know.