Bazaar and DS Marketplace have shown in the past that there is room in the Windows Phone ecosystem for alternatives to the official Microsoft Store for apps. Both the aforementioned tools, however, focus mainly on homebrew developments and other similar tweaks rather than proper apps. Lack of quality apps has plagued Windows Phone for a long time now, but WebApps is an app that takes a novel approach towards solving this serious issue. WebApps is basically a WP Store-like collection of web apps that are compatible with WP8. Not only is WebApps a great place to discover some great services, it can also be used to bookmark and maintain a list of your favorite web apps. WebApps comes with a complete list of categories, which can help you with browsing through the collection easily. You can also easily pin any app you find to your device’s Start screen.
If you know the name of the web app you want, simply use the small looking-glass icon at the bottom of the screen to find it. For those who are just looking around and want to explore the full potential of WebApps, there is the Spotlight section that shows some of the best web apps that you might never have even heard of. Other sections of the app are pretty similar to the ones available in the official WP Store client for WP8. Apps are listed based on their popularity, date of release and genres. Of course, there are hardly more than a dozen entries in each category, but that can only be expected since very few web apps are designed with the intent of making them WP8-optimized.
A great thing about WebApps is that it doesn’t show any intermediate interface when you try to pin an app to your Start screen. Some might even forget that they are not in the official WP Store, but there are some obvious differences between the two. You don’t have to download a web app before using it, so simply tapping an entry in WebApps launches the app. For future use, you can add the discovered apps to your personal collection. The app even has a review and rating system of its own, like the app repositories of all major platforms.
If there is a WP8-compatible web app that you can’t find in WebApps, there is the option of contacting the developer to get it added. From the settings menu, users can change the location of their store with a single tap. The ‘App Store’ in this app gets updated pretty regularly, and new web apps are added to it on frequent basis. There is no reason why you shouldn’t give WebApps a try, since it is based on a pretty great concept and can be downloaded for free. The app works only with Windows Phone 8 devices, and not with older versions of the OS.