The apps I’m about to talk about are not actually Windows 8 apps, but they give us a wonderful sneak peak at the functionality and look and feel we might expect when Windows 8 applications do arrive. For the most part they take their design cues from the Metro UI which Media Center, Zune software and Windows Phone OS were created from while fully integrating a finger friendly full screen user experience that slides, taps, and clicks its way into our collective hearts.
The Fandango app, which is actually a Windows 7 application is just as much at home on the PC and laptop using a mouse and keyboard as it is on a mobile slate or tablet device using your fingers . And if the Windows 8 demos that Microsoft has already shown off at the All Things Digital D9 conference in July are any indication, then this type of look and feel is what you can expect to see in the OS during Microsoft’s Build conference which appears to be taking over for the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) next month.
So today Fandango.com released their first Windows slate application . They also announced August 1, 2011 that film fans can also enter for a chance to win a Dell Inspiron Duo convertible tablet in Fandango’s Windows Slate App sweepstakes. Click on this link for details: www.fandango.com/sweepstakes/WindowsSlate. If you have downloaded their Windows Phone app you are already familiar with the way this app functions and the features it provides. However, the Windows 7 slate app looks, feels and functions so much better with all that new found real estate. It also automatically updates with new movies and theater times and resides in your system tray ready to provide movie trailers, ticket pricing/purchasing while routing you to the theater with Bing map integration.
The USA Today app for Windows Touch or slate/tablet apps is also available providing a similiarly created application albiet without much in the way of a Metro design philosophy. Instead it works in landscape and portrait mode and is styled to feel like you are actually reading a newspaper including special touches like zigazg cut at the top similiar to what you get with pinking shears. I have included it just to inform you of it’s availability since it is free and have also provided a very short video by it’s creator Cynergy to give you a sense of what to expect below.
Long Zheng has co-developed two Twitter clients called MetroTwit (.Net application) and a newer app called MetroTwit Show (silverlight application). Neither of these are designed specifically for slate or tablet machines but both offer a default full screen mode that provides the same kind of zero chrome UI experience that you can expect from Windows 8 applications. I include them in this discusion as the complete Windows 8 experience has not been revealed yet and having more apps to ponder allows us to formulate better opinions.
Finally, I give you another free app to download Mishra Reader, another Twitter client. However it lacks the chromeless full screen look and feel but brings forth a very nice Metro designed app. What also sets this app apart is that when minimized it does not reside in your taskbar but rather shows up in your systems tray where notifications when new feeds arrive.
Windows tablets marketshare has been reported to be at 4.6% and growing and is pretty good considering that it’s share last year was zero. Once Windows 8 releases and starts showing up on PC’s tablets and slates, I expect this percentage to climb very rapidly. This is why I”m covering Windows 7 and 8 applications on a Windows Phone enthusiast site. It’s worthy to note that as these apps begin to invade the consumer psyche they will begin to have a direct impact on the future sales success of Windows Phones. And at this stage of the game Windows Phone can use all the help it can get in that department!