- 11-29-2012, 08:48 AM #1
So the phrase you frequently hear or read when Windows Phone comes up is that there's an "app gap" between this platform and Android and iOS. As a heavy user of all three platforms, I wonder if these reviewers have really taken the time to look at WHAT apps they're talking about.
Android : A good portion of Android apps involve one type of Android specific feature - customization. Since WP8 and iOS don't customize interfaces as much, these apps should NOT count. Think about how many "battery widget" apps and "launcher" apps there are on Android. Should it really count against Windows Phone that it doesn't have apps that change the UI in some significant way?
iOS : The one thing that seems to be plaguing iOS right now, and thankfully isn't as much present in Windows Phone, is "pay to play" apps. These aren't just games I'm talking about either. A LOT of iOS developers are giving away apps for free, yet severely limiting their usability until you do some sort of in app purchase. It's almost a "scam" in a way - they count on people having iTunes credit or a credit card on file and accidentally hitting a button to pay for something they may not want. If THOSE are the apps iOS gets that Windows Phone doesn't, that's fine by me.
Yes, Windows Phone IS missing some good apps available on other platforms - personally, as a fantasy football player I'm frustrated there's no official Yahoo fantasy app - though alternatives do exist. However, I don't think there's nearly as big a divide in the app quality or quantity as the "tech media" wants there to be.
- 11-29-2012, 09:15 AM #2
There's 'only' about a 600,000 app difference between iOS and WP8. You have to be one heck of an optimist to put a positive spin on that. A realist? It's a major issue no matter what way you look at it. Now I know some anti-iOS guy is going to quote me on how all his fav apps are on WP8, but there are millions of people out there who haven't switched for this same reason.
- 11-29-2012, 09:25 AM #4There's 'only' about a 600,000 app difference between iOS and WP8. You have to be one heck of an optimist to put a positive spin on that. A realist? It's a major issue no matter what way you look at it. Now I know some anti-iOS guy is going to quote me on how all his fav apps are on WP8, but there are millions of people out there who haven't switched for this same reason.
11-29-2012, 09:26 AM #5
- 87 Posts
Allot of the apps for Android and iPhone are repetitious. For instance, there may be hundreds of Facebook apps in either of the stores. How many do you need? Don't get me wrong, I like a little variety, but it's hard to compare numbers since most of the apps in those stores do the same thing. I think that WP will close the gap between the 2 stores.
11-29-2012, 09:29 AM #7
- 309 Posts
I made the switch from Android to WP8 recently and there are literally dozens of apps that I used on a regular basis that I have not found a comparable replacement for on Windows Phone. Its not even close. I am hopeful that WP will start improving in this area through the steps they have taken with the platform and hopefully providing strong incentives for developers to write for WP, but that remains to be seen.
However, only someone who had not used Android or iOS would make the claims that the gap is not really that large. Combine the current difference with the fact that both iOS and Android are still gaining apps at a faster rate than WP, and this premise becomes even more incorrect.My smartphone history.
11-29-2012, 09:38 AM #8
- 57 Posts
But that said, there are a few major ones missing, but I'd expect to see many of those big ones coming soon. An example I missed from my iPhone and Blackberry days was UrbanSpoon, which was missing for WP7, but now exists for WP8. (of course there were alternatives like Yelp, but Yelp isn't that popular in Canada)
- 11-29-2012, 09:39 AM #9
According to one dev that posted here, he said that at least on Android, the landscape is littered with junk apps and he likened it to the wild west. Remember that WP8 is a brand new o/s which is a month old.
You didn't expect the same apps as iOS right off the hop, did you? Most developers took a wait and see approach to working with the platform and now that is really gaining steam, developers with finally pull the trigger.
I have to laugh at people that are wringing their hands at the lack of apps on an essentially newborn ecosystem.My next phone...
- 11-29-2012, 09:50 AM #10I made the switch from Android to WP8 recently and there are literally dozens of apps that I used on a regular basis that I have not found a comparable replacement for on Windows Phone. Its not even close. I am hopeful that WP will start improving in this area through the steps they have taken with the platform and hopefully providing strong incentives for developers to write for WP, but that remains to be seen.
However, only someone who had not used Android or iOS would make the claims that the gap is not really that large. Combine the current difference with the fact that both iOS and Android are still gaining apps at a faster rate than WP, and this premise becomes even more incorrect.
I guess it depends on what you do with your phone. However, like I said when I started the thread, I'm a heavy user of all three platforms.
Phones I've owned : iPhone 3GS, Samsung Focus, Samsung Focus Flash, Samsung Focus S, HTC Titan II, Lumia 900, Lumia 920, HTC Inspire, Dell Streak, Pantech Burst, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S3.
Wife owns an iPhone 4S, in-laws own two iPhone 5s. Our family tablet is an iPad 2.
So yeah, I've used the **** out of all three platforms, and there's an app gap, but its NOT huge. If anything, its that people get so used to the interface and the functionality of something like their favorite Twitter client on iOS and they get upset when they don't find that EXACT same client on Windows Phone, even though WP has plenty of ways to post to Twitter. That's then called an "app gap", which is unfair.
11-29-2012, 09:54 AM #11
- 87 Posts
That is true, WP8 is only a month out, so I would say they are doing rather well with their app selection. It will be interesting to see what's to come in the days ahead. I had Android devices since Android first came out and it got to the point that allot of the apps I installed had to be uninstalled due to it wreaking havoc on the phone. Allot of their apps are very buggy. Every app that I used on Android they have for WP8 except for the Google Navigation. I can always purchase a Nav app, but I want to see if Nokia Drive actually does come out with for the HTC.
On another subject, since WP8 just came out a month ago, I really don't see allot if any real bugs with it. I would say that is pretty good for the initial release. There are some changes that could be made, but those will come in time. I couldn't be happier with the WP8.
Good thread OP.
- 11-29-2012, 10:28 AM #12
How many popular Twitter apps does Windows Phone have? I'm guessing well over 10. How many Twitter apps do you possibly need?
11-29-2012, 11:09 AM #15
- 3,933 Posts
I just want to comment on "freemium" games.
Unfortunately, because games are priced so cheap nowadays, it's really really really hard for devs to turn a profit on games they make. The freemium model helps devs show people their games and have the people who like it pay money.
Most of the good freemium games don't require purchases, they just let you advance faster or get cool goodies. Jet Pack Joyride is one good one. (not available on WP)
11-29-2012, 11:40 AM #16
- 184 Posts
It's not just about the raw number of apps, it's about the apps that matter. Instagram is just one example but it's easy to think of others like Dropbox, Flipboard, BBC iPlayer (and all the TV catchup apps) or a large amount of banking apps. And that's without even mentioning games where the difference is abyssimal. I think the best way to deal with the frustration of apps is to use an android tablet or iPad along your WP8 so you get the best of both worlds
11-29-2012, 11:44 AM #17
- 150 Posts
The app gap is pretty huge IMO and I hope it gets smaller over time. Granted some of the numbers are inflated due to 100 flashlight apps, but that's not all of it. On my Nexus 7 I can search for almost any "whimsical" application and I can probably find something - same was true when I had my iPhone. WP8? Different story..
11-29-2012, 11:45 AM #18
- 325 Posts
I like the Windows Phone OS and have been using it since the day it initially launched, but saying "it's only a month old" as an excuse for the current selection of apps really isn't terribly accurate.
11-29-2012, 11:46 AM #19
- 118 Posts
The primary manifestation of the "app gap" is in "niche" apps. By and large all of the "major" apps or their clones exist on all platforms. The issue becomes when you need an app for a more specific function or area, such as something you may need for work or school; that's when the difference becomes really noticeable
11-29-2012, 12:07 PM #20
- 35 Posts
The app "gap" becomes a heck of a lot smaller when you realize that iOS has over 400,000 (four. hundred. thousand.) apps that have never been downloaded. Not one time.
11-29-2012, 12:13 PM #24
- 131 Posts
It's not about quantity, it's about quality. Things will likely get better, but right now, the app ecosystem is a big downside to this platform. Take a look at the "top free" lists for each platform:
Windows Phone 8
Which one has the most fluff and garbage on those lists? Many apps show up on each list, but plenty are missing from WP8, and instead there are 3rd party knockoffs and lots of free wallpaper/ringtone fluff.
Where are the official apps from major sports leagues? MLS has one, but no NFL, MLB, or NHL?
Where are the streaming video apps? Crackle, Netflix, and Crunchyroll are all good, but where's Hulu, HBO Go, ABC/CBS/Fox/NBC, Xfinity, BBC iPlayer, WatchESPN, MLB.tv, or NHL Gamecenter?
Official banking apps, only a few so far. Official airline apps, ditto.
Also, how many of the apps are just placeholders? I still consider Yelp to be a missing app, because even though it is in the store, it has almost no features.
So this is a problem, and it does need to improve.
Last edited by mpelti; 11-29-2012 at 12:29 PM.This will be my first and last Windows Phone unless Microsoft fixes the completely broken live tile / notification system.
- 11-29-2012, 12:32 PM #25
I'd like to speak to the freemium comments above... When a developer puts his time and effort into an app, he needs to get something out of it. There isn't as much money in this as you might think. Yes, there are the occasional hits where someone makes tens of thousands or more, but those aren't common. Myself, I made less than $20 last month on my apps. Granted, I don't have a lot of time to put toward development, as I do it on the side, in my spare time (what spare time?), but whatever is the best way to make the money, that's the way to go. As for me, the way I'm doing it is in ads, simply because that's the most effortless for the time that I have to spend right now, but don't knock the guys who use freemium. If you don't want to play their games, don't. But don't knock them for wanting to make something for their hard work.
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