While it may not be as big as the Windows Phone Marketplace, the App Marketplace for Zune HD features a great collection of high quality apps and games. Microsoft has continued to add new apps to the catalog on a regular basis.
On the latest episode of the Zune Insider podcast, Dave McLauchlan, senior business development manager for Zune, revealed that Microsoft is looking into porting these apps to Windows Phone.
“The apps that we have built internally for Zune, we’re actually looking at porting those over to Windows Phone. I can’t tell you when or what the exact dates are. But that’s something we’re definitely looking at.”
The Zune HD App Marketplace, unlike its counterpart on the Windows Phone side, is not open. Every app in the catalog was made by the Zune team, a Microsoft employee, or a designated third-party developer. Ten of the 15 entertainment, social, and utility apps and 19 of the 29 games were developed in-house by Microsoft. The majority of the remaining apps were developed in partnership with other companies.
If Microsoft does port the Zune HD apps over to Windows Phone, it will only be those developed internally. While they can’t port third-party apps themselves, Microsoft encourages the developers to consider doing so on their own.
A few Zune HD apps have already made their way to Windows Phone. Drum Machine, developed by Dino Games, made the jump early on, as did Hexic, a Microsoft staple. Facebook, Twitter, and MSN Money are also available on both platforms.
In some cases, porting an app wouldn’t make sense. Alarm Clock, Calculator, Email, and Windows Live Messenger are all built into the phone’s core operating system. Others, like Chess, Solitaire, Sudoku, are already included in Microsoft’s Game Chest games.
If given the choice of which three apps to port to Windows Phone, I’d have to pick Audiosurf Tilt, Dr. Optics Light Lab, and Music Quiz. All three are fun, high quality games. Audiosurf Tilt, like the PC version, lets players ride the audio waves of whatever track is currently playing. Dr. Optics Light Lab is a fun physics game. Music Quiz, my personal favorite, quizzes players on their music collection. How well do you know yours? If Microsoft only ported these three apps, I’d be satisfied.
For now, Microsoft is focused on delivering more apps to Zune HD users. Porting existing ones to Windows Phone, while nice, comes second.