Buying Apps with the WP7 Marketplace

April 8, 2011, By Christian Cawley

In order to add new apps and games to your Windows Phone 7 device, you will need to use the Zune Marketplace. A vast repository of software that you can add to your phone – indeed, it is the quickest growing mobile app market yet and this doesn’t include apps borrowed from other platforms (such as BlackBerry’s new Android apps compatibility) or wallpapers (hello, iPhone) – the Zune Marketplace on Windows Phone will get you the game or app that you are looking for in just a few seconds.

The recent Windows Phone NoDo update has seen the Marketplace get an extra shot in the arm in the shape of an improved search feature, which makes using the Windows Phone Marketplace a much more enjoyable experience!

The Marketplace Hub

You can open the Windows Phone Marketplace Hub on your device from either the Start screen or the Apps list. Once open you will be presented with a menu offering Applications, Games and Music, and by panning left you will see any featured titles, a combination of all three categories.

Prior to the NoDo update all content was delivered into the same search results, but you can narrow the type of search you perform by opening the Applications section of the Marketplace and tapping the Search button on your phone.

A search for “football” immediately brings PES 2011 – Pro Evolution Soccer as the top result. Meanwhile if you want to search music only select the Music option in the menu and tap Search.

Once you have found the app or game you are looking for, check the item description for a price as well as a star rating based on feedback from other users. In fact it is vital that you check this feedback to get an idea of just what results other users have got from the app, and whether you’re going to take the chance on your own device. Happily most apps have trial versions (Microsoft figures indicate sales are better on apps with trial versions than on those without) and all Xbox LIVE-compatible titles have trials.

Buying Apps on Windows Phone 7

When you are satisfied that the app you’re looking at is the one you want, tap on Buy (or Try for the trial version). This will take you to the confirm purchase screen, and if you have a credit card setup on your Windows Live account then you will be able to buy the app there and then.

If you don’t have a card setup with your account don’t worry – simply choose the Add payment method option to open a secure browser window into which you can add your preferred credit card details. These will be added straightaway, enabling you to start purchasing games and apps right there and then!

Once an app is chosen and purchased, it will download and install over the air if you have a good mobile Internet connection or over Wi-Fi if you’re connected in this way. Note that some apps and games require your phone to be connected to Wi-Fi or via USB to your PC for the data to download.

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