How close is Windows Phone to closing the "app gap"?
0. phoneArena 31 Dec 2013, 15:24 posted on
It has been a while since I have been able to really dig into the Windows Phone platform and see how things are going. Early last year, I decided to live with Windows Phone for a couple months in order to really get a feel for the platform, but I ultimately came back to Android. A couple weeks ago, I picked up a Nokia Lumia 1520 to freshen up, and the first thing I wanted to look into are Microsoft's recent claims that the platform is quickly closing the "app gap"...
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2. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
Im not fanboy but when it comes to app my choise is ios... and for usefull features and gestures android. wp needs to work hard to close that app gap. It will be great to see competition between 3 giant (google, apple,microsoft)
19. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
I agree.. Competition is best for the consumer.. But, these three need to further differentiate themselves from one another... I actually always hoped that BB would do good.. What's wrong with 4 strong options❔
40. cezarepc (Posts: 610; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)
True. Main selling point of WP these days are the camera and entry level phones with LTE - and both of these are done by Nokia not MS.
3. cripton805 (Posts: 997; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
My choice is google. Tons of free apps, trial versions, and usually they are cheaper. That is without counting the apps that have tons of different options of the same app, but the minor differences between the apps can make a difference. Id rather have options, than one app available.
5. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Sounds like you should stick with Android, buddy.. Good for you.
Isn't the word great❔
21. PBXtech (Posts: 983; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)
Article is about WP closing the app gap. App gap with what? iOS and Android. Sounds like a multi-OS conversation to me.
22. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Who are you❔ Are you new here❔I'm sorry, did you say something❔
4. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
As far as WP is concerned,, IMO it isn't about WP lacking major apps anymore.. WP needs those apps that the individual needs, like personal credit union apps, municipality apps, local store apps, and so on... This will take time.
9. Dastrix (Posts: 620; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)
That's true. Even if they're unofficial, as mentioned, in WP's case, they'll most likely be the better option (like Rudy Huyn's apps), so the more devs on board the merrier!
6. muneshyne21 (Posts: 16; Member since: 09 Apr 2013)
I've had the Lumia 928 since June and the growth of the platform and the Windows market has been insane. I remember borrowing a Windows 7 phone for a few months last year and the platform and the market were really basic and sparse. Now there are several Beer Brewing apps that are comparable to the android ones I used. Beer Brewing apps! Now all the little specialty apps are starting to pop up here and there. I love it. This is basically the exciting period of time like when Android and Apple really started picking up steam. The only difference is that the phone Hardware is good enough nowadays to keep up with updates. Phones 6 months old wont get left behind with any new update by Microkia. Thats what pissed me off about Androids growing pains. Every (pre-icecream sandwich) android phone I bought was worthless 6 months down the line
7. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1291; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
I'm just not sure if WP can catch Apple and Android. It could take years and I don't feel like waiting. I've been tied to the Google ecosystem for 4 years and it was tough for me to even use an iPhone 5s. After using the Nokia 521 I changed my opinion but only because it was a $60 phone. I wouldn't lock myself into a 2 year contract or pay over $300 for a flagship WP phone.
I think in order for WP to gain ground and entice App developers their going to have to sale phones (flagship phones) well below the competition. I would have never got the Nokia 521 if it wasn't for the price.
14. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Catch iDroid for what❔
WP is for people who want to be different.. It's nice this way.. More exclusive.. IMO.
15. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I don't think it needs to catch the others, just provide a viable alternative.
28. apple4never (Posts: 974; Member since: 08 May 2013)
wp has many features that i would like to see in android however its the little things that id like to see
10. Dastrix (Posts: 620; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)
Random fact: Frozen Free Fall is my favourite game right now. Works flawlessly on my L920, lags like crazy and freezes (Frozen?) on GS3. WP FTW!
11. jellmoo (Posts: 704; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
A lot of it has to do with having a different mindset. Yes, you lose out on a lot of Google goodies, but there are very strong Microsoft options available. Skydrive, Outlook and HERE Maps/Drive are great alternatives to Google apps.
Pure power users will likely never get the same mileage out of a Windows Phone than they will out of an Android device, but there is an elegant simplicity to Windows Phone that is very appealing. They've managed to attract most of the big third party apps, they just need to convince smaller app makers and non mobile companies to bring their banking, tv, and convenience apps over to their platform.
13. orielwindow (Posts: 101; Member since: 23 Sep 2010)
Cool. Besides the apps it might help if they stopped all these network exclusive releases. I'd jump at the chance to switch to Windows if the 1020 or the 1520 was available on Verizon but looks like I'll keep buying Android phones.... Not like that's a bad thing ;-)
17. indiebandit (Posts: 7; Member since: 28 Dec 2013)
Windows phone 8 is smoother and faster than android even kitkat (android 4.4) to you na sayers. btw there is really no app gap because microsoft has 99% all of the top main apps anyone would use on a daily basis. windows is getting new apps everyday check out the apps section on wpcentral.com wpusers.com
20. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Yeah, but WP is lacking all of the personal apps, the mom, and pop shop apps, that the other platforms have.. That's the old, new, gap..
18. muneshyne21 (Posts: 16; Member since: 09 Apr 2013)
BTW, this writer is awesome. He should be a real journalist (no sarcasm at all). I mean, you'd think common sense would be more prolific but I rarely read a blog where the writer points out the obvious like "If you're fully committed to Google, why would would you buy a Windows Phone?" Nope instead, these hack writers would go on to judge the OS from a Google perspective. Michael H. I applaud you. You hit upon the strengths and weakness of the Os without being a total biased douche.
23. noteseries (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Oct 2013)
i need Chrome, opera mobile, and Google drive... are there available on wp ecosystem?
30. pookiewood (Posts: 626; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)
If you need Chrome and Google drive stick with Android like you are going to anyway.
43. -box- (Posts: 3879; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
You "need" them? Really? Why?
IE, Nokia Xpress, and UC Browser are all excellent web browsers, the latter two are more for folks wanting to minimize data usage and have more options. For cloud storage you get 7GB of SkyDrive free (and the phone automatically syncs darn near everything to it automatically, so, say you lose your phone after taking a night of photos, the photos are on your drive, and you can use the web page to find the phone, also free and initiated during initial setup), plus options for Box, Copy, DropBox, and others.
24. N-fanboy (Posts: 538; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)
WP only needs like a thousand apps to catch up with ios and android. Seriosly.
29. pookiewood (Posts: 626; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)
I'm sorry but the word "Google" does not belong in an article about Windows Phones "app gap". MS has its own ecosystem and Here Maps >>> than my wife's Google Maps on her Android Device. We actually compare the two.
Also we already know that no matter which or how many apps WP gets the bar will continue to be moved and moved and moved. There will always be an "app gap" that MS can't reach. Do we need more of these articles?
I like you PA and think you are usually fair but I just don't see the need for this article.
32. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
Well, that may be true - but if I did own a Windows phone, I would not be using a Windows browser or search engine as they are horrific...but, I agree, Windows should develop their own and its users should stop whining about why Google does not have enough apps for their phones.
44. elitewolverine (Posts: 2068; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
horrific? really? I know right...when i search for theaters in my area, bing things im in mexico, and puts all my search results in spanish...
When in reality, i type movies in the search, i get movies near me, their times etc. The browser is fast, supports 99% of desktop mode, google is the only one that it doesnt like..i wonder why.
I can go into desktop mode and even create pdf, excel, word docs from the online version of Skydrive
31. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
I love how P.A. gets fixated on the so called apps gapps - remember when APPLE had a gazillion apps, then we found out and that quite a few them were never used by anyone. All this will take is more time, and Windows will be fine, just like Android was back when it was new.
33. mikelemon (Posts: 93; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)
Its not about the amount of apps. It is the quality of the apps. There are millions of apps in the iOS and android store but how many do you actually use?
34. tigermcm (Posts: 752; Member since: 02 Sep 2009)
thank you very much sick of this app war on quantity seems like NO ONE cares about quality
45. elitewolverine (Posts: 2068; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
On average i would guess 50 apps on a standard consumer, 25 on a low consumer and 90-110 on a power type user. Heck PA used 102 on theirs. I have 96 on my htc 8x.
37. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 665; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
---many "apps" were really nothing more than HTML wrappers that pointed to mobile websites---.. I agree.. actually I also tested WP app store to check this app-gap.. My finding were similar to what author has concluded..
There was a gap of around 5 months between my tests and I noticed that it i growing. 5 months ago I was not able to find any good/suitable games and apps..
But now I have seen Games like Subway surfer, temple run 2, Tom Cat, Wheres my water, plant vs zombies, etc are now available which were missing 5 months ago.... I hope WP grows..
46. cdgoin (Posts: 370; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)
A lot of Apps arent NEEDED on WP.. as they are part of the phones base OS.. thats gets missed a lot by non-WP users writing articles.
47. DKJnr (Posts: 24; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)
If you still think there's an app gap between Android and WP then you probaly fall into one of the 3 categories: 1, never really used WP long enough to know the OS well and what it offers or 2, you love Android so stick with it (if you love it that much don't change) or 3, get over it and learn or adopt to the WP ecosystem. With outlook - which btw connects very well with gmail, Skydrive, office, Skype and a host of popular apps like whatsapp, the gap closed. Games, WP is still struggling, but not by much. If games ain't your thing then WP is actually quite good, fast and buttery smooth especially with the Lumia enhancements on both hardware and software.