The thing that drives us mad about Windows Phone 7 is that the launch handsets are all identical. Literally exactly the same, save for a Qwerty keyboard here or a few megapixels there. Acknowledging this tedious state of affairs, LG has made a move to make its Optimus 7 stand out by offering a bunch of free apps.
LG will make ten free applications with a value of more than $30 (£18) available every two months. LG Windows Phone 7 owners can download the apps from the LG application store, accessible directly from the Optimus 7.
The first ten apps are already available for download, and some of them look pretty useful, if utterly derivative of iPhone and Android apps. The first is called Look n Type, which allows you to text while you look where you're going through the camera. For the sporty among you there's Workout Tracker, which tracks your runs with GPS, and Caddy Buddy, an app that keeps score during a round of golf.
Photo Stylist allows you to, er, style your photographs, while the Tool Box gives you a selection of bits and bobs such as a unit converter and a torch. Metro Scanner provides info from the Tube. There are apps to practice playing the guitar and piano, a voice to text app, and a strange augmented-reality app where you pick coins from the air. More details are available on LG's Facebook page.
These sound like fun little apps, and LG is right to try something different, but none of them sound like they're actually worth any money. You can certainly find free versions of all of the above on iPhone and Android.
If you want the Optimus 7 in the UK though, you'll have to sign a contract with Vodafone. That's obviously all well and good if you're on Vodafone already, but a few free apps are unlikely to persuade you to sign up for the phone if you're not.