When Third Party WP8 Apps Are Better than Native: 4th & Mayor, Rowi

Much of the discussion about the potential of Windows Phone 8 (and Windows 8) revolves around the number of apps available for users in the Microsoft App Store.  As the lament goes, Windows Phone 8 has about 150,000 apps in the store, while Apple and Google have over 700,000 apps i their respective app stores.

The other issue is the unwillingness of some big names, notably Facebook, to develop native apps for the Windows Phone 8 platform.  However, many 3rd party app developers have taken the bull by the horns and set out to develop fantastic apps for Windows Phone 8.  Here are just a couple that are arguably better than the originals:

4th and Mayor (Foursquare)
Lots of folks use Foursquare to find restaurants, venues, and night spots. The original Foursquare app has been available on prior versions of Windows Phone, but has not found a lot of love for its bugginess.

The free third-party app, 4th & Mayor has taken on the job of substitute admirably. It has a clean and responsive interface with all the functionality, such as earning badges, GPS integration, photo uploading and push notification. The app has 4.5 stars (6730 reviews) to Foursquare’s 3.5 (912 reviews). It clearly does it better.

Rowi (Twitter)
Rowi is enjoyed by Windows Phone users, who have given it better accolades than the Twitter app. It has a clean interface that integrates nicely into Windows Phone 8. It can also edit photos, translate tweets (via Bing), and save articles for later via apps like Instapaper and Readability.

It costs $1.49 vs. the free Twitter app, but garners 4.5 stars (1808 reviews) to Foursquare’s 3 start (5020 reviews).


The takeaway here is that while many native apps may be absent from the Microsoft Phone 8 app store, in some cases, the 3rd party app does an arguably better job than the original. (Google ought to take note..)

Also, if users get really desperate, they can also use the app on a web browser.

What other Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 apps do you use that are better than the original?

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