A few days ago Microsoft released an interesting and very welcome upgrade for Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
In the past Windows Marketplace for Mobile has been covered in a sequence of articles (for example Windows Markeplace for Mobile coming to Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.0 and Windows Marketplace for Mobile – Payments and Operators) that help you to understand the basic concepts and underlying mechanisms of the application store for Windows Phones.
However in this article the focus will be on the new features in the recent upgrade, which supports installation of applications on your storage card and the so called world view, which is a region switcher for all the localized versions of Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
When you open Windows Marketplace for Mobile from the Start Menu on your Windows Phone it automatically checks if there are upgrades for Windows Marketplace for Mobile available for download. Like a few days ago the upgrade is automatically downloaded and installed on your Windows Phone.
If the automatic upgrade mechnism is broken, like it seemed the case past weekend, you simply uninstall Windows Marketplace forMobile and reinstall it from the start menu !
Installing applications from Windows Marketplace for Mobile on your Storage Card
Before this upgrade it was nly possible to install applications from Windows Marketplace for Mobile in the main memory of your Windows Phone. And while the HTC HD2 has an incredible amount of 181 MB of Storage Memory and 337 MB of Program Memory, it are still limited numbers compared to the 8, 16 and even 32 GB storage cards available today.
Furthermore I noticed in the review of OpnMarket 1.0 – A FreewarePocketPC.net Marketplace for Mobile:
“That major difference between OpnMarket and Windows Marketplace for Mobile is that you can choose the location of installation in case of OpnMarket. In other words I can choose, which is very familiar when you run a cab-installer, to install the application in the main memory or on the storage card. Unfortunately Windows Marketplace for Mobile doesn’t support installation on the Storage Card, which could result in a clogged main memory.”
In the left screenshot above you can see that the menu item “settings” is added to the menu (which wasn’t there previously). In the settings menu you can easily select the default install location for Windows Marketplace for Mobile from a pull down menu. This option really turned a smile on my face, and with the location set to storage card your device main memory can’t get clogged anymore !!
World View in Windows Marketplace for Mobile
You might remember the article: “Windows Marketplace for Mobile now accessible on the PC“, which emphasized the great power of the three-screens-and-a-cloud-strategy of Microsoft.
“On the bottom of the screen there is another remarkable detail “select catalog“. This is nothing more than a quick menu in which you can easily browse through the Windows Marketplace for Mobile in its localized version. In my case I could visit Windows Marketplace for Mobile Netherlands – Dutch.”
Unfortunately this select catalog option wasn’t available yet on your Windows Phone, until the last upgrade. In the left screenshot above you can see the heading World View in the settings menu. From a pull down menu, similar as setting the default install location, you can select the default catalog to open on the launch of Windows Marketplace for Mobile. In the right screenshot you can see that I select “United States – English (home)” as the default catalog.
This functionality makes it much easier to explore local applications, or international application which aren’t available in you localized Windows Marketplace for Mobile.
Concluding thoughts and wrap-up
With the recent upgrade of Windows Marketplace for Mobile to version 1.2.1417.0001 Microsoft has raised the bar, and addressed some critical “limitations” in the mobile scenario.
While there are still other options to install an application on your Windows Phone (downloading a cab-file, copying it to your Windows Phone and running the cab-file on your device), installation via Windows Marketplace for Mobile is by far the most user-friendly method.
This upgrade of Windows Marketplace for Mobile cleary shows that even a very large company like Microsoft carefully listenes to the end-users of their mobile products. My compliments for that great mindset, and I hope we can see a lot more end-user driven innovations in the upcoming future !!
What are your thoughts do you like the upgrade or not ? Is there still room for improvement ?