I’ve recently really taken off on trying out a vast variety of different apps that are out there in the market. I previously had said statements in the past that I felt Microsoft could have done a better job in picking out more ‘key’ apps than they did for the launch. Honestly, I already feel like it is time to eat my own words.
First off, I think I was looking at it completely as ‘they don’t have enough good apps I care about’. Well the Windows 8 Consumer Preview wasn’t made for me, it was made for many different types of users out there and so Microsoft wanted a broad range of unique apps to showcase what Metro could do.
All the apps I’ve tried, whether they have direct appeal to me or not, have one thing in common – they are well polished and fit in great with the overall Metro theme that is in place. So Microsoft was actually quite right in its choices by giving of a diverse enough range so that we can piece together the ‘bigger picture’ of what we’ll see down the road when it is a full commercial release.
With the goal of trying out many different apps – even kinds I normally wouldn’t try myself – I tested out “The Tower – For American Airlines,” which is created by the app maker, BlackDot. This unique app gives you a look at American Airline flights in six major US airports, and includes information like how far along (through a %) a flight is from finishing.
It also provides information on the layout of the terminals, if flights are currently on schedule, and other information that could not only be helpful if you are awaiting someone’s arrival but just in general for those who are aviation enthusiasts, this is pretty cool.
The only thing that could make a good app even better would be the ability to take the longitude and latitudes given for each flight as the progress (which is shown), and have them connect to Metro’s map feature to let us know exactly where these locations are. This probably wouldn’t have practical applications for everyone, but for aviation enthusiasts this could be a welcome feature.
While I question how truly useful this app is for flight management at this stage, I don’t think that was really the point, it was instead a showcase item to show off the Metro UI and create a fun little app. In this area they succeeded. As a test bed it shows what a well-designed flight management tool could look like with Metro, even if it doesn’t quite hit the mark in its current test form.
Overall, I was glad I tried it out.