The Windows Phone 7 section of the Zune Marketplace looks a bit like a barren wasteland at the moment, but there'll be worthy apps aplenty ready for next month's launch. Here are your first priority downloads.
There are still more apps to be announced before launch, and obviously the huge ramp-up will continue as the devices gain popularity. But as of right now, this is your must list. Not surprisingly—given the Xbox Live connection—it's relatively game-heavy.
Bye Bye Brain:
You might be tired of tower defense games by this point. Don't be. Because as you can see, this one's 3D animations and perspective-shifting use of accelerometer make it a must-try.
Fruit Ninja: One of our favorites for the iPhone and iPad will be on WP7 at launch, so limber up those fingers for some pineapple-slicing action.
It's a cool-looking, graphics intensive RPG Microsoft's got on its hands. But more importantly, it's an exclusive cool-looking, graphics intensive RPG. Meaning your only chance to slay this particular alien horde is on WP7.
Sims 3: EA played coy for a while when it came to WP7 development, but thank goodness they're along for the ride—and bringing the venerable Sims franchise with them.
Three Zombie Games: What can I say? I'm a sucker for all things BRAAAIIIIIINNNNNNNSSSSSSS. And between Zombie Attack!, Zombies!!!!, and Age of Zombies it looks like I should be getting my fill.
Netflix: Netflix will be there from the start, along with Watch Instantly functionality—which is going to look pretty sweet on those WP7 displays. Even more ways to clear out my queue!
Slacker: Don't worry; Pandora's on its way. But in the meantime, it's worth giving Slacker a try—especially if you don't want to bother with a Zune Pass.
AT&T U-Verse Mobile:
Here's a neat trick: even if you're not a U-Verse customer, you'll have full access to U-Verse TV content for $10 a month. And if you are a U-Verse customer, you get all the same viewing options along with the ability to manage your DVR.
We were a little worried about Twitter when it didn't show up on our WP7 in-depth look in July, but it'll be there on November 8th, complete with the ability to locate nearby tweets with GPS and the ability to poke around without signing in to a Twitter account.
Windows Phone 7 doesn't have an official Google Voice app, but third-party enabler GoVoice is already in the Zune Marketplace. In any incarnation—even for three bucks, as in this case—Google Voice is downright crucial.
Want to know why Windows Phone 7 has a real shot? Look no further than the WP7 IMDb treatment. Matt's assessment—that it's "holy crap nice lookin'"—gets a strong second from me.
Microsoft's been stressing that what they lack in quantity of apps they'll make up for in quality. That's good news for auction fanatics, who are going to be treated to a very slick-looking interface that lets you search, bid, and buy from your device.
Fandango: Fandango feels like one of those apps that's table stakes at this point, so it's good to see it here—although the clock's still ticking on Foursquare, Pandora, Amazon, and other essentials.