Matt Gemmell

Windows Phone

A guide for iPhone users

Tech 31 min read

App Store

No self-respecting mobile platform lacks an app store, and Windows Phone is no exception. An iPhone has the App Store, and Windows Phone has the Windows Store.

Store featured

Windows Store

Apps are categorised in various ways, including the usual featured and top-selling collections. You can see a selection below.

Store sections

Store sections

Store categories

Store categories

Store Top Free

Top free

Store Top Paid

Top paid

The store tries to suggest apps based on what you’ve already downloaded too.

Store suggestions

Suggestions

One interesting thing is that some big-name apps are listed as being by Microsoft; this is because Microsoft is trying to boot-strap the Windows Store by creating apps for third-party services itself, until official versions exist.

Store overview

App overview

Ratings are displayed prominently, before even the details view for an app.

Store Reviews

App reviews

App details include download size, change notes, and publisher information.

Store details

App details

There’s also a list of all apps you’ve previous downloaded, and a tab of active downloads.

Store history

Store history

The Windows Store has a complete web interface, too, which knows about your devices via your Microsoft account. You can browse apps on the web, check compatibility, and even remotely install an app on your phone via the web.

Store Web Direct Install

Web Store app installation

Unlike on iOS, there are also trial versions of apps, which can be similarly installed on your phone from the device itself or from the web. Trial limitations are up to the developer. A common style is a time limit of 14 days.

Store Web Trial Install

Web Store trial installation

I’ve download various apps, including social media, Amazon shopping and Kindle, PDF readers, PayPal and eBay, Instagram, and such. Here are a few more.

There’s a Files app which lets you access the device’s entire filesystem, organising and making folders as you like. Many iPhone users have hoped for something like this in a future iOS version.

Apps Files

Files app

The official Twitter app is simplistic, but many third-party options exist.

Apps Twitter

Twitter app

Last but certainly not least, there’s an up-to-date Dropbox client app, which is essential for me.

Apps Dropbox

Dropbox app

The Windows Store certainly has far fewer apps and games than either the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store on Android, but in terms of the apps I use every day, I actually didn’t find many notable omissions.