Windows Phone 7 “pin to start” app limit

I find it a bit cumbersome to navigate through all the apps I have on my WP7 Samsung Omnia 7. Once you move from the start screen to the app list all you get is a long alphabetical list of apps. There is no way to group or rearrange them so sometimes the quickest way to open them is use a voice command.

I wondered if I could just use my Start screen for all of my apps. I presumed there would be a limit but this doesn’t seem to be the case. So far I have pinned over 75 apps to Start plus 10 games, as well as several maps, artists, albums and a radio station. All of this has made no difference to the speedy responsiveness of the phone but I can now achieve some amount of organization and grouping by moving the tiles to the relevant position. You also get the added benefit of seeing the icons in their full size glory and expose any “live tile” functionality.

I imagine Microsoft will do something about the never-ending app list in a future update but for now this seems like a workable alternative. It’s far from a perfect solution, I have a niggling feeling it may affect battery life.

If you know of a limit or have a better idea on sorting your apps then please leave a comment. Stay tuned for my full review of the device coming in 2011. Happy New Year everyone!

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

WP7: My favourite apps

This is a back-dated post due to me having a shuffle around on my blog. I’ll still have the main What I Use » WP7 page but I wanted away of updating that without loosing my app history

I got my Samsung Omnia 7 at the begining of December 2010. As one of the early adopters I thought I should keep a list of the apps that I have downloaded that have lasted longer than a week. They all work in the UK on my Samsung, I can’t vouch for other hardware/locations. I let my kids play with my phone so a few of the apps are for their benefit…honest.

I haven’t paid for a single app yet so all the ones below are available from the marketplace for free 🙂

You may also want to look at all my WP7 posts on my blog for other tips and reviews.

  • Adobe Reader
  • Beezz – awesome twitter client
  • Big Oven/Tesco Real Food – Recipe Finders
  • Break.com Videos – Some funny photos & videos delivered daily, saves me hunting around YouTube 😉
  • CardStar – Keep all your store loyalty cards (e.g. Nectar, Boots, Tesco) on your phone as readable barcodes. UPDATE, this app doesn’t seem to work at Tesco or Sainsbury’s self-service checkouts. I’ve been to embarrassed to show it a real checkout. Still it’s a glossy way to keep a backup.
  • DIY Calculator – Really handy at working out your materials and costs for any DIY projects, seriously considering buying this app.
  • Photo Apps
    • Photogram (Samsung Only)
    • Photo Studio (Samsung Only) – 3 nice effects but needs a bit of tweaking. Currently defaults to VGA quality instead of 5mp.
    • Colorizer
    • FotoChop – add captions to pictures
    • PicFX – Great Tilt-Shift option
    • Pic-o-Twit – Upload directly to Twitter
    • PictureFrame – Provides Slideshow ability
    • Touchnote – send a photo as a real physical postcard
  • Send to WP7 – Pushes a link from your Desktop browser to your phone
  • Currency Convertor
  • Facebook – lovely way to get to most Facebook features
  • Foursquare – not used much but seems good so far
  • Flixster – good for finding local UK cinema times and user reviews. I wish it would let you add your own review to one’s existing Flixster account.
  • Fuels – track your fuel consumption
  • IMDb – I use this practically every time I watch a film now to find actor info or other interesting facts
  • Hangover Helper – genius idea for those who wake up not knowing where they are or what they did last night
  • Music
    • Last.fm – good for an instant hit of decent music
    • Shazam – Identifies tracks playing on a radio/TV and lets you download it staright to your phone. Magic.
    • Lyrics – Search for song lyrics. It also identifies the currently playing track so you can sing along
  • Level – A working spirit level for your phone (Shame Omnia doesn’t stand on it’s edges!)
  • Lunar Phase – Check what phase the moon is in or when the next full moon is
  • Maps [built-in] – Works great. Just needs turn-by-turn navigation to replace my TomTom
  • OneNote [built-in] – Take notes, add pictures, voice recordings, sync to SkyDrive
  • Shopping List – Brilliantly simple but advanced enough to cover my needs
  • Springboard Series for Windows – Technical articles & videos from Microsoft for IT Pros
  • Weather [by the Weather Channel] – Doesn’t look very nice but it’s accurate WeatherBug – Much nicer representation of the weather, good live tile and the RADAR maps work to.
  • Where’s my Car? – Locates your car in case you forget where you parked
  • World Clock – always handy to see when that state-side broadcast is really happening
  • WordPress – Blog while on the go
  • YouTube – A necessary evil 😉
  • Games, Timewasting
    • Magic 7 Ball
    • ElectricBeans
    • Fun Sounds
    • Fake Calling
    • Flashlight 7 – great strobe effect for raving!
    • Flowerz – not particulary great but only free XBOX Live game atm
    • Fruit Ninja (demo)
    • iBlast Moki (demo)
    • Fast Food
    • Ice Ball
    • Impossible Shoota
    • KillTheDuck
    • Omni Jump_Free
    • Plan Bee
    • Pirates Ahoy (Fruit Ninja rip-off)
    • Quadra
    • SkyDiver Classic
    • Swipy Man
    • TouchMeQuick
    • Tic Tac Toe – Great 6×6 grid option
    • Unite – Tilty fun
    • Ultra Air Hockey 2
    • Word Tangle Free

Let me know what you think in the comments or add any recommendations of your own.

You can also read my reviews of the Samsung Omnia 7 hardware and the Windows Phone 7 OS.

Other “What I Use” pages

How to add a Path to the System Variables in Windows 2008 R2

One of our tech bods was asking how to find the System Variables in Server 2008 R2. They had previously been using Server 2003 and, although the location hasn’t really changed, it can be a bit tricky to find it. So to help others here is an elaborate diagram Winking smile

set path

i.e. Control Panel>System Properties>Advanced System Settings link>Advanced tab>Environment Variables button>Scroll down the System Variables section to find Path

I’m glad to say, R2 also lets you simply type in “Path” to the Start Menu to bring up the same end target. Now that’s progress!