There are thousands of apps available for Windows Phone 7, but I believe that a truly great app is one you use often and that makes your life easier. With that in mind, here are five Windows Phone 7 apps I find myself using frequently in day-to-day life.
1: Flashlight 7
I realize that it might seem like a copout to include Flashlight 7 on this list, but I have found that I use this app every bit as often as any other app on my phone. For example, just this morning I was trying to plug some cables into the back of a PC, but it was too dark under my desk for me to see them. Rather than going to get a flashlight, I just reached for my phone.
Shopping isn't exactly my favorite pastime. I try to avoid going to the store if I possibly can, and if I can make a purchase online instead of going to the store, I usually will. That's why I like the Amazon app for Windows Phone 7 so much. It provides the same basic functionality as the Amazon Web site, but with an interface that is designed specifically for Windows Phone 7 devices.
I have found it to work exceptionally well. A few weeks ago, my wife and I were having lunch at a restaurant and realized we had forgotten to get something at the store. I pulled out my phone and within a couple of minutes, I had ordered the item through Amazon. Shopping just doesn't get any easier than that.
3: RAD Now
Lots of apps are designed to tell you the weather, but I especially like one called RAD Now. It's a simple utility that shows you weather radar imagery. What makes this app so great? Two things, really. First, it's easy to use. It just shows the weather radar for your current location (although you can scroll the map to other locations). The app has a clean interface that makes it easy to quickly access radar data. The other thing I like about this app is that there are no ads.
4: Tools for Phone 7
Another great app is Tools for Phone 7. This app uses a Swiss Army knife for its logo, appropriately enough. Tools for Phone 7 is a collection of handy tools that are useful for daily life. There are far too many to list here, but among the more useful ones are a tip calculator, a ruler, a level, a hand warmer, and even something to keep you awake on long drives.
5: Perfect Scan
One last app I want to talk about is Perfect Scan. It's like a light version of Neat Receipts, designed to run on Windows Phone 7 devices. It can scan various types of documents (including multi-page documents) and convert them to PDF files. Perfect Scan can also crop and rotate images, as well as fix contrast issues. Probably the best thing about Perfect Scan is that you can ause it to scan a form, fill out the form, append a scanned signature, and then send the form to someone. In addition, the utility has a fully searchable document library.
Brien Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP. He has written thousands of articles and written or contributed to dozens of books on a variety of IT subjects.