Windows Phone, as a platform, was always intended to be a universal experience regardless of device and manufacturer. Of course, you could make it your own with hardware, so long as the minimums were met, and software, with each manufacturer given the right to have their own app store within the Marketplace. If you look at Samsung, the Focus excels in form factor and it’s beautiful screen. The HD7 also great looking. Then the LG Quantum is mostly hideous. Yes, it has a slide out keyboard but the package looks cheap overall. So turning to software, Samsung has almost nothing to offer. The Samsung Zone (as they call it) has 4 apps in it, none above 2 stars and none which I have installed on my phone. HTC has a better selection, but nothing that’s a selling point. LG on the other hands has a freaking ecosystem worthy of envy. Unwired View took a look at the offerings in the LG Marketplace (for the Quantum and Optimus 7) and here are some of the apps they have…each of which makes me sick to my stomach in their own way:
First up is Voice to Text which lets you speak and the phone converts it to text for email, texts, Twitter, etc. And there’s a Twitter feed within the app as well and it’s all very well put together. Every Windows Phone should have this app and I hope that MS is giving them a short term (60 day type) exclusive on this because this is a platform app:
Next is Panorama Shot that lets you take panoramic (180 degree) photos by stitching pics together. Yup, my HD2 could do this but my Focus can’t. Ztitch is a 3D image and currently nothing in the Marketplace does this for non-LG phones. Again, this should be on every phone.
We showed you Look and Type once before. It’s the app that replaces the background of your email/text screen with the camera. Developers cannot make this app because it requires non-public APIs so only MS or the device manufacturer can bring this.
Play To is a DLNA service that lets you stream media to any other DLNA device so you can stream music or videos from your phone to your TV or PC. There’s an HTC dongle that I hear works for other devices, but really, why is this an exclusive? Make this a damn platform feature!
Photo Stylist is a photo editor that lets you change the color, brightness, contrast and change effects on the phone. I have alternatives to this that I paid for, but why? Step up MS.
Then there’s Tool Box which is an all-in-one toolbox with a unit converter, date calculator, sales prices, level meter, etc. I don’t need this one actually.
Oh and then there’s ScanSearch – the augmented reality app that lets you use your camera, point at things and get real time info about them. Again, a third party cannot reproduce this and this one makes me really jealous even though I think it uses Goog Goggles API.
OK so apparently only LG got the software memo and apparently MS forgot to circulate it to the rest of the team or they’re perfectly content with their platform lacking key features that are software based and obviously available. I’ve made it this far without cursing so I’m signing off…feel free to go to town in the comments though.