One thing I miss about Windows Mobile is the ability to reinstall apps from a central location. Either from ActiveSync, a backup file or the Windows Mobile Marketplace reinstalling apps after a hard reset or setting up a new phone seemed to be easier back in the day. That is until now.
Reinstaller is a new utility app for your Windows Phone that creates a list of all the apps associated with your Live account and helps you to install all or just some of them. It's not the perfect system to reinstall your apps but it's a step in the right direction.
The main menu for Reinstaller has links to connect to your Windows Live account, choose the apps you want to reinstall, rate/review the app, and share/recommend the app to friend.
Your first step is to connect with the Marketplace and your Windows Live account. Once you log in, Reinstaller will scan your account for all the apps associated with your Live ID. This process can take some time depending on how many apps you've purchased.
Once all your apps have been identified you can go straight to reinstalling things or back out to the main menu. Once the list is created you can tap the Install bar to view the list, refresh it or begin the installation process.
The Install list view is touch scrollable as well as alpha tagged (just like your Launch Screen). At the bottom of your app list screen are three button controls to check all, uncheck all, and install. Just check the apps you want reinstalled and then tap the install button.
Now here is where the process begins to lose a little of its appeal and by no means is this the fault of the developer. It is just the nature of the beast so to speak.
Once you hit install you'll confirm installation and then you will be sent to the Marketplace to perform the actual installation. Once you're done with one app, you hit the back button to return to Reinstaller to confirm and launch the installation of the next app via the Marketplace. Reinstaller essentially places all the app installations in a queue and then it's an issue of going back and forth between Reinstaller and the Marketplace to reload your apps. Reinstaller does make it a little easier than finding the app in the Marketplace one item at a time.
The developer does note that Reinstaller doesn't:
- Restore saved app and game stats
- Access any information beyond the list of apps
- Access/collect/or send any personal information to anyone
- Keep you logged into Windowsphone.com after you've exited the app
- Transfer apps/games to another Live Account
All in all, I liked the concept of Reinstaller and while it would be nice to have a one step solution to install your apps back to your Windows Phone, Reinstaller is a step in the right direction. While the app still relies on the Marketplace to install things, the app does make it easier to install multiple apps back on to your Windows Phone.
Reinstaller is a free Windows Phone app and you can grab it here at the Marketplace.