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Welcome Home to Windows Phone offers app recommendations to switchers

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Welcome Home to Windows Phone wants to help you ditch your Apple, Android, or Blackberry device, by recommending new apps.

Welcome Home 3
Welcome Home 3

Welcome Home to Windows Phone wants to help you ditch your Apple, Android, or Blackberry device in favor a Nokia Lumia (and presumably any other Windows Phone). Its purpose is two-fold: backing up your data to make the transition to the Windows Live ecosystem a bit easier, and helping you find new apps to replace the ones tied to the walled gardens you're leaving behind. Developed by Mark/Space and powered by Quixey's app discovery service, the app is a free download for Windows and OSX.

Welcome Home is a fairly simple app, and doesn't actually require you to own a Windows Phone device. Install it, plug your phone or tablet into your PC, and Welcome Home will scan your device to aggregate all of your data. Any retrieved contacts and calendars are synced to your Windows Live account, while photos and videos are transferred to iPhoto and iTunes (if you're using an Apple device). Apps aren't transferred at all — instead, Welcome Home scours your device and builds a list of recommendations for similar apps on the Windows Phone marketplace. The app also serves up QR codes with download links on the Windows Phone store, and makes the entire list available as a PDF.

There were a few notable exceptions — like recommending Monopoly as a replacement for the first-person shooter Dead Space — but Welcome Home generally did a fair job of parsing titles and categories, and surfacing a number of highly-rated apps that fit. We did encounter some hiccups running through the process: Welcome Home lacks support for iCloud synchronization so our calendars and contacts were left behind, and we were unable to get devices running Android 4.1 to work with the software. That said, Welcome Home's ultimate flaw lies in the dearth of applications for the Windows Phone marketplace. The recommended apps could be stellar, but glancing at a comprehensive list and seeing so few of your favorite apps may actually dissuade many from leaving a tried and true platform behind. If you're interested in seeing what Windows Phone might have to offer you, head on over to Mark/Space to give the app a shot.