While Book My Show has had a Windows Phone app for a while, it sadly did not work with Windows Phone 8. Fortunately a brand new version of the app has just been rolled out and it takes advantage of all the new WP8 features – better multitasking, wallet, speech and lock-screen integration.
The app launch/resume times are very fast and it feels even more responsive. The app’s updated description says that you can even search for movies from the homescreen using speech. For e.g.: You can just search for a movie / play / event simply pressing the windows button and saying “BookMyShow movie Special 26” without opening the app. Or “BookMyShow movies near me” to see a list of movies playing near you. I couldn’t get this to work, perhaps because of the way I say ‘Book My Show’. However, searching for movies by speech inside the app worked well.
The app can also update your wallpaper with posters of the latest movies playing around you. Finally, it integrates with the Windows Phone 8 wallet and all your ticket info and transaction details will be automatically be stored in it.
All in all a very solid update, that makes Book My Show a must have app. Along with PVR Cinemas (which also has an excellent WP 8 app) you’re completely covered when it comes to watching movies in India.
Download BookMyShow from the Windows Phone Store for free.
With the launch of Nokia’s Lumia devices in India, the Windows Phone ecosystem is just about setting started in India and there is some very good news already. The Windows Phone Marketplace has just hit 50,000 apps, but numbers don’t say much when apps you use daily aren’t available on the platform.
Thankfully, all of that is about to change. A bunch of free locally relevant apps for users in India has just hit the Marketplace and all of them are well designed and must haves.
- NDTV: The app does what you would expect, news, live tiles, live streams from NDTV 24×7, NDTV India, NDTV Profit and NDTV GoodTimes. Also present are photo galleries, cricket scorecards and market watch sections. You can also choose to live stream just the audio.
- NDTV Good Times: The app from India’s leading lifestyle channel. Lets you watch latest featured videos on varied topics like food, cuisine, travel, fashion. Also lets you catch up on previous episodes of your favorite shows like Highway on My Plate, Yogasutra, Bollywood Confidential, Chakhle India, Band Baja Barat and many more. Also present are sections on sections on travel, luxury, gadgets, fashion and wellness.
- Times Of India: I had already demoed this app when it was in development and I’m glad to say its finally available. It brings breaking news and coverage of national, international, city, sports, entertainment, lifestyle, business, health, science and technology topics. Also present are live cricket scores and a complete scorecard; local news from more than 30 cities; latest movie reviews by critics as well as readers; photo galleries; and top videos from news, business, sports, entertainment and lifestyle categories.
- Economic Times: The sister app for TOI, the business paper of the Times group.
- IBN Live: News, streamed content, live tiles, playback of popular shows like Face The Nation, Devil’s Advocate and The Week That Wasn’t.
- Book My Show: One app I was waiting for, makes looking up movie & cinema listings, synopsis & reviews a breeze. You can also carry out bookings from the phone using secure mobile payments options. Even lets you pick your seat and redeem offers.
- timesPoynt: A free application powered by data from timescity.com, provides users with the unique ability to search their local area for events, movies, restaurants and nightlife. timesPoynt provides users with the ability to move beyond discovery of their local area to click-to-call businesses, get directions, browse listing websites, send details to a friend or add listings to their calendar or address book. timesPoynt also features a fully integrated weather homescreen and the ability to search for long-term forecasts.
- yapf: It builds on the Google or Bing POI database to find places nearby by by searching a set of predefined categories or by manual search. Features augmented reality to view your results through your phone camera. You can also pin the search tile to the home screen for quick access, or pin a single place and the live tile will update with the distance to it.
- India Today: The India Today application allows users to view up-to-date news articles, images, videos and live TV served through the India Today Network. The application is powered by India Today, a popular news magazine. The app consists of latest & breaking news, sports news, political news, cricket updates, entertainment news, Bollywood & Hollywood news, movie reviews, celebrity interviews, images and videos.
- Business Today: India Today’s sister app, the Business Today application allows users to view up-to-date news articles, images, videos and Stock updates served through the India Today Network. The application is powered by Business Today, India’s no. 1 business magazine. The app consists of business news & articles, stock updates, business analysis and videos.
- Snapdeal: India’s Groupon equivalent, the website brings upto 90% discounts on dining, health and beauty services, branded products, travel and more.
- Flipkart: Fairly basic, but a good start. Flipkart is India’s Amazon when it comes to online retail, includes movies, music, games, mobiles, cameras, computers and electronics.
So there you go, those are 13 excellent Windows Phone apps that are completely free. If we keep getting locally relevant apps at this pace for Windows phone, I dare say we’ll have a credible fight for marketshare come 2012.
The only thing the developers need to guard against is making apps and forgetting them, regular updates are just as important!
Windows Phone has been getting some decent traction when it comes to mainstream apps, with the Marketplace hitting 40,000 apps recently. However, the real challenge is getting locally relevant apps for the users and I’m glad to see Windows Phone is doing well here as well.
At the Nokia Strategy Summit we were given a sneak peak at some of the India centric apps that are coming for Windows Phone and the chief among those that caught my eye were official apps for online retailer Flipkart, the ticket booking portal Book My Show and the very popular newspaper Times of India.
Fortunately I was able to get some hands on time with the Book My Show app (which I was really looking forward to) and Times of India (another favourite) and both of them nicely imbibe the Metro UI. I must stress that the versions that you see here are early alphas/betas and it may be some time before we see them in the Marketplace.
What are the other locally relevant apps you are looking forward to?