The much awaited successor to the hopelessly outdated Windows Mobile operating system has finally been released to the general public with the launch of over a dozen smartphones worldwide, and by the looks of it, Microsoft’s new mobile operating system will be a great success.
One of the key things that Microsoft has set high on the priority list for improvements is support for multimedia. The new Windows Phone 7 can easily outrank the iPhone and Android in the media department, as it has integrated codecs and hardware acceleration for most of the formats, support for DirectX 9 and Shader Model 3, which means much higher graphics quality and excellent acceleration of most audio/video/graphics, games running on a stripped down Xbox core and being able to connect to Xbox Live and play with other players, and much more.
Even the interface of the OS is smooth and beautiful, despite looking quite plain at first sight. The app marketplace is still in its infancy, but you can already find a ton of useful apps for all areas of your life. Below you can find a list of the best multimedia apps you can download and install on your new Windows Phone 7 device right now:
Shazam. Shazam is a great app that allows you to find new music to listen to. It does that by searching a database of over 15 million songs and matching their reviews, titles, descriptions, genres, bitrates and many other factors with the ones specified by you. You can also use Shazam to identify songs that are currently playing on YouTube, radio or your TV, using the phone’s microphone. This is one of the most popular Android and iPhone apps, and it’s a great thing to also have it on Windows Phone 7.
Last.fm. Last.fm is the leading online music streaming site and its iPhone and Android apps are always among the Top 10 in the entertainment category. The new Windows Phone 7 app allows you to stream music using your personalized account on Last.fm and the list of your specified albums and artists. You can also search for lyrics, find new music you might like, see reviews from other people, share your lists with your friends and much more.
Netflix. You might already know or even use Netflix to stream TV shows, movies or order them on DVD. Well, now you can do all of that on the go, whenever you want, using your new Windows Phone 7-based smartphone! You’ll need a Netflix account, of course, but the app itself is free. It allows you to stream anything that Netflix has in their database, and you can also place orders for DVDs, so you can start watching them as soon as you arrive home.
Box Remote. If you’re using the popular XBMC software on your computer a your home media center to watch movies, pictures and play music, you’ll definitely like their official remote app for Windows Phone 7. Now you can use your phone as a remote for XBMC, and while it’s not as comfortable as a real, big remote with hardware keys, it’s pretty damn useful as a second remote or as an all in one device (for when you suddenly want to know something about a character in the movie, but don’t want to stop XBMC and start the desktop browser, or even get off the couch :-).
Flickr Manager. Flickr Manager is an irreplaceable app if you use Flickr to manage and store your photos and you just bought a WP7 smartphone. With it, you can manage your photo stream, upload and download photos from your and other people’s accounts, view your groups, favorites, tags and use almost any other feature that Flickr has to offer.
There are tons of other great multimedia apps for your new Windows Phone 7 smartphone, and you can find them on the marketplace using the phone’s app or installing Zune on your PC and browsing them there (yes, it’s a bit inconvenient that you have to do that, but then again, it’s no harder than searching for apps on the Android marketplace on your desktop computer).