To round our series on the most popular apps used by Windows Phone users, we would like to present the top 7 most downloaded paid apps for Windows Phone 7.5. When an app is free, it's rather easy to garner a high tally of downloads, but what kind of apps will people actually spend their money on? That’s an even more interesting and revealing question.
NOTE: As in the previous articles, Appflow App discovery was used to compile the results. You can find our coverage of Appflow in this article: Stay Up-to-Date on Windows Phone Apps with AppFlow App Discovery.
The Most Downloaded Paid App - Turbo Camera
A Photo app costing $1.99, Turbo Camera is a rapid-firing shutter application for camera built into your Windows Phone 7 device. It can fire the shutter continuously at up to 30fps (frames per second); which is actually video speed.
Photos can be saved to directly to your device's Camera Roll and uploaded to Skydrive or sent to friends and family via email. You can pick and choose the images you want to keep in order to save on drive space, and photos can be Grouped by whatever criteria you choose. In addition, you can create animated GIFs from the burst images.
There is a trial of Turbo Camera. The trial is not time-limited, but you cannot save the images to your Camera Roll, and animated GIFs are limited to three frames.
While user reviews are mostly positive, few lack any actual comments. One of the more useful states not to expect camera resolution with burst captures.
While my HTC HD7 is not capable of shooting in burst mode, camera features may vary from one Windows Phone device to another; and the ability to create animated GIFs is a nice novelty.
2. Phone 8
Phone 8 is a $.99 Lifestyle/Community app designed to "turn your phone into a phone of the next generation". I'm not exactly sure what that is supposed to mean. This app will only simulate a Windows Phone Home screen, allowing you to change the background colors and Live tiles.
Phone 8 does not actually change the theme of your device, based on your selection. It merely creates a screenshot showing what your device would look like with the theme that you create. This is very little in terms of functionality and it doesn’t bring any value to its users, even if the purchase price is small.
User reviews vary between positive and negative. Those with comments state it is either a waste of money, or should allow you to actually change the theme of your Home screen. In either case, it seems to me to be a rather frivolous use of money in that it actually doesn't do anything useful.
SuperTube is a Music & Video app for playing YouTube videos on your Windows Phone 7 device. Retailing for $1.29, it lets you connect to YouTube and play, as well as download, videos from the site. A client app you can download from the developer will allow you to save videos downloaded to your phone and transfer them to your PC.
SuperTube also allows you to create your own videos on your device, and then upload them to your YouTube account. It supports Fast App Switching, and background operation. A trial mode has all functions, but features advertisements.
User reviews are mostly positive, and state that SuperTube performs as expected.
Clearer is a $.99 Tools & Productivity for creating ToDo lists. It is a metro-style ToDo app that allows you to create task lists and pin them to the Home screen as a Live tile. Lists can be expanded via Pinch & Zoom, and you can even add reminders.
Clearer also features two-way sync with Google Tasks.
User reviews and comments on Clearer are very positive. Users seem to like its features, finding it to be quite useful and well worth the $.99.
5. FlashVideo For WP7
At cost of $4.99, FlashVideo For WP7 is a Music & Video app for playing videos from various online sites. It is not a true Flash player, but merely designed to work with some online sites.
Flashvideo for WP7 will bookmark favorite videos and sites, download videos for later viewing, and integrates with Windows Phone 7's Music & Video Hub. There is a trial mode that pops up the app's Windows Marketplace page every three minutes, but is otherwise full-featured.
Other than lamenting that Flashvideo for WP7 doesn't work with every site, or certain desired sites, most user comments and reviews are positive. Personally, I feel that five dollars is a bit steep for an app that essentially streams videos.
6. People search
People search, a $.99 Tools & Productivity app lets you search for contacts using a variety of search criteria through the use of a T9 keyboard. You can use the search results to call, text, or email, forward contact info, forward address via map link, see addresses and your own position on a map using GPS, and even use Bing's navigation feature.
User comments and reviews seem to be almost universally happy with People Search. But as one reviewer pointed out, a lot of its features mimic those already available in Windows Phone 7.5; and Windows Phone's voice feature and People Hub are basically just as fast.
SuperMusic, a Music & Video costing $1.29, lets you download free and legal music from legitimate music sites, directly to your Windows Phone device. You can download, play, and shuffle music in the background. SuperMusic supports custom backgrounds, and downloaded songs can be synced to your PC.
User reviews and comments on this app are split about evenly, with some praising it, others condemning it as not working.
NOTE: According to Appflow App discovery, the sixth most downloaded paid app is iKamasutra and not People search. However, this is an adult oriented app and, to be on the safe side, we chose not to feature it, even though it seems to be a very tasteful and positively reviewed app.
Do Paid Apps Mean Better Apps?
Unfortunately some of the paid apps that are also some of the most downloaded are not necessarily better apps. As we noticed in this roundup, some apps don’t offer much in terms of functionality while others just mimic features that already exist in Windows Phone. This goes to show that, before you spend money on a new app, it is best to try it out and also check what others have said about it. This doesn’t mean that they are all bad though. If you read through this roundup, I’m sure you will find apps that are useful to you.
Before you close this article, don’t hesitate to share you favorite paid apps for Windows Phone? Is there at least one you would recommend to others?