Windows Phone Apps--critical mass?

Microsoft says Windows Phone has hit ‘critical mass’ with latest app push

Has Windows Phone finally come of age? Microsoft emphatically says 'yes'

With today’s announcement that Instagram has arrived for Windows Phone along with Waze (Mint and Xbox Video are still “coming soon”), Windows Phone as an operating system has finally reached a significant turning point. At least according to Microsoft.

We recently sat down with Todd Brix, General Manager, Windows Apps and Store at Microsoft, who walked us through some of the recent accomplishments. Brix and Microsoft are claiming that with the recent spate of app releases, a “critical mass” has finally pushed Windows Phone into the big leagues. Windows Phone now has parity on most of the top download apps found on iOS and Android with an “85% overlap” in top-25 titles, according to the company.

Microsoft always knew that when they launched Windows Phone three years ago that they were behind the competition. However, they sought to compete on quality and not just quantity, knowing that someday, they would reach that goal. That achievement, according to them, has been reached this month, culminating with today’s release of Instagram—the number one searched for app on Windows Phone.  Brix claims not only is Instagram a real achievement, but symbolic one for the platform too. Same goes for Vine, which launched just last week.

Is Instagram the turning point?

Brix and his team were excited to share numerous stats about the Store, including how Windows Phone apps, on average, are rated higher than their iOS top-50 app counterparts. Indeed, the average Windows Phone app rating overall has increased from 3.6 to 3.8 over the last year, signifying the renewed focus on design and quality. Some of that success is due to partners like Nokia, who have been not only aggressive in courting developers, but have lent assistance in terms of design and promotion for those apps with their DVLUP program. While other hit apps and games come from the successful AppCampus, a joint venture between Microsoft, Nokia and Aalto University.

As an ecosystem, Windows Phone has been a sore spot for many, especially critics and would-be customers. The Windows Phone Store though seems to be riding through the storm, accumulating nearly 10 million app downloads a day, with users sporting an average of 65 apps on their phones (up from 42 a year ago). Combined with consistent design principals and exclusive features like Lens support and multiple Live Tiles, Microsoft have made some significant strides for their app offering. In fact, Microsoft claims that if developers add a double-wide Tile to their app, they see an average of 0.7 rating increase from that one, little change. That not may seem like much, but in reality it’s a noteworthy increase for such a simple, minor code change.

The Windows Phone platform does have some significant advantages over its competitors, including overlapping libraries for coding between Windows 8 and Windows Phone, making coding easier for both platforms. That’s becoming more and more common these days, something that will increase as both platforms merge in the future. Likewise, Microsoft has embraced carrier billing, allowing those without credit cards to purchase apps, notching 2x as many carrier billing deals over Android and surpassing Apple. That’s not a big deal for those in the West, but in emerging markets, it’s massive. And it’s in those markets that we see the most growth for Windows Phone these days.

Slide & figures courtesy of Microsoft

Official apps launching on Windows Phone first is also becoming more common, especially in high growth markets like India. Recently, the official Indian Railways company (IRCTC) launched their first ever mobile app on Windows Phone first, beating out iOS and Android. Likewise for the movie-tie in game Dhoom 3. The IRCTC app was the second most popular app for Windows Phone for the second half of 2013—it’s nothing inconsequential for the platform.

Ultimately, Brix sees Windows Phone finally turning the corner with a renewed vigor this holiday season. Microsoft has their new Gift Card program, where they’ve invested $100 million to increase apps sales, new headline grabbing hardware like the Lumia 1520, and nearly all the top apps users demand these days. Will it be enough? Perhaps not, but Microsoft has always said this was a marathon and not a sprint. Today, they inched up just a big closer to the competition. 



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Jas00555 says:

When Xbox video comes, then I'll say yes, its at critical mass. It just seems so basic to an ecosystem.

JHunsaker says:

XBox Video will be huge for me.  Still can't believe it wasn't included when WP8 was first released. 

blackhawk556 says:

What's even crazier is that its been over a year since WP 8 release and it's still not available. They could have left it out in the beginning and released it a few weeks after, but a year already and nothing! That's crazy.

schlubadub says:

It's typical Microsoft. Non-US users had to wait a year after WP7 released just to buy music, videos, and passes on Zune.

So you will be happy very very very soon!! :)

tbkern466 says:

Xbox video will be awesome. I actually have a decent amount invested in the platform, and this app will finally link one of the main things I use my Xbox for to my phone

rodan01 says:

Very nice, the only problem for Windows Phone now is the Moto G, the weapon that Google designed to kill It.

Jas00555 says:

Huh? Its $70 more than the 520 which will soon to be upgraded to the 525 which runs smoother than most android phones including the Moto g.

MelCali82 says:

sorry. but the 520 is no comparison to the moto g. 

the only thing budget about the moto g is the price.

OMG55 says:

But the 1320 is

rodan01 says:

The Moto G has comparable specs to the Lumia 925 or the Galaxy S4 mini at a fraction of the price. I don't understand how google could reach that price point.

waiko loo says:

Maybe they are selling at cost.

svenkka63 says:

Maybe they are selling below cost.

bbqrooster says:

According to some people, selling something really cheap is a sign of desperation. Does that apply to Google?

kullkid92x says:

Yeah man, I too was curious about the story behind the Moto G. It is a great phone on paper and I am sure Jellybean runs pretty smooth on it. I can only imagine Nokias' next 620 gen will be directly aiming at this device, and Nokia too will have to take a lost for each sold.

It is the only way I see that device so low lol I was like damnnn they got almost everything, they left out the SD Card support and I don't think Nokia will follow they know SD card is a must with 8GB storage

Doctor Pork says:

By not having comparable specs perhaps? Seriosly, it does not have comparable specs because it will have a worse camera and you don't know about the actual quality of the screen. Resolution is not the same thing as quality, it's good with resolution but there can then be signficant differences even the resolution is the same. The GPU in the Moto G is the exact same one that is used in the current Lumia 520 and is in all likelyhood slower than the one in the Lumia 925. The CPU is equivalent to the low power part of Samsungs octa chip, as it uses 4 low power A7 cores which are very likely to be slower in reality than the higher clocked dual core in the 920 series. The iPhone CPU clearly shows that a good dual core is competetive and the higher end Moto X also uses a higher clocked dual core CPU. This is at best a mid range device from last generation and not at all comparable to last years flagships.  

That's how they reach the price together with Google likely accepting a very slim profit marigin.

schlubadub says:

It could never kill WP unless it was running something other than Android. A LOT of people are scarred from using the OS and vow never to use another Android mobile or tablet again, no matter how cheap it is.

Carchathoth says:

Anyone who is talking about Google devices and trying to compare prices to others is sooo wrong.


Google is making its money with ads, while others are making its money with devices.


Buying Google device, means you will continue paying it with your tracked life, that will be sold to ad companies.


Buying non-Google device will mean, that you payd your device already. Thats why prices are different.

saiber says:

So true ! Thanks for This comment

liammatho says:

Stuff Xbox video, they need to fix this filthy music player first

Follow me on instagram! @kaaspparas :D

specmania says:

I did. :) . @specospec

I've never tried Xbox video. How would you guys rate it? Is there a monthly subscription, or pay per film? Thanks for the feedback.

txDrum says:

Yeah... Moto G outspecs anything WP at the price point. It is a nice phone, but it is being sold at cost. Its possible a Lumia 630 could address it though.

weaverly says:

Well, I've never used it on a phone, obviously. But I've used it on my Windows 8/8.1 laptop and my XBOX 360. Here's how I break it down...

No subscription (kinda wish they would, though, as an option)

You can purchase or rent TV shows and movies

Purchases and rentals can be streamed or downloaded for offline viewing (rentals expire)

Streaming is phenominal on lower bandwidth connections; I can stream video on less than 500kbps (this is better than Netflix, which is saying something because Netflix does good at streaming connectivity)

Every once in a while, I've had issues with downloading a file. I typically credit that to a low bandwidth connection, but their support is great if you connect with them through the chat. Got refunded so much once, that I went and purchased an album on XBOX Music with the amount of points they had refunded me. They're using a pretty solid model, and I've been satisfied or dealt with nicely when I was disappointed. Since it's a pay-for-view style model, you may as well give it a shot and decide for yourself.

If I've mislead with anything here, somebody feel free to chime in.

Thanks for the detailed information. I'll give them a try.

mobilejk says:

Ya that but wait a min, critical mass and they only have a pathetic 3.6% marketshare - is the dude high?

WinFan1 says:

critical mass from the perspective of apps and app parity on other platform he didnt mention marketshare at all..

falconeight says:

Exactly, without a video service or working youtube app then its still behind.

topleya says:

For me it still needs an official release of Starbucks (outside of Mexico, preferably a UK app)

There will also be *that* app that is missing, but the app-gap is rapidly closing. To the point that most of those apps that you really want *are* in the works right now.

HarkAtYou says:

Grindr is still missing, (and not even in the works) there are alternatives, but with tiny amounts of users in comparison.

There is actually an unofficial app at the moment, but dont tell them that as theyll block it like they did the last one. Its no secret that the pink pound is a powerful currency, but theyll be a hard sell to leave their iphones without Grindr...

Perhaps a twitter campain could help? ;)

Candide yams says:

You speak the truth. Funnily enough, the majority of the folks that I know who use WP are gay. Sure there's Scruff and the like, but if you think instagram is a killer app, wait until Grindr comes out. The gays can make a platform and as we're already seeing iPhone weho boys migrated to Galaxy S4s, I could see the same for WP.


Also, an aside: on Fire Island I spoke with some guys about the Lumia 1020 and they all liked it (especially the camera) but the app selection, like Grindr and Instagram did actually come up, partially in drunken jest but still it's noticable. 

coip says:

So start a Twitter campaign then! We've already started one to prod Microsoft executives to dedicate more effort to Xbox gaming on Windows Phone (#SaveXboxWP). Start a hashtag for getting Grindr, let us know on WPcentral, and we'll help you nag them on Twitter. The social movement is in your hands! Lead us.

HarkAtYou says:

I would... but if I'm honest I don't really know a lot about twitter, I only follow Jeremy Clarkson and Lisa Vanderpump, and don't have any followers myself :-) But if someone else wants to do whatever it is that needs to be done, I'll be happy to copy whatever it is to my thing :-) He he

coip says:

Okay, I'll help you get started. I created a new hashtag movement called #MobileEquality. Twitter users can use it to petition any company that has an app on iOS and Android but not Windows Phone. I created the first tweet lobbying Grindr to support Windows Phone. You should retweet it, have your friends retweet it, and write your own tweets to @Grindr with the #MobileEquality hashtag:

tapehead says:

I'm not holding out for Grindr or Manhunt for WP8. :( Both seem perfectly content in ignoring us.

HarkAtYou says:

Grindr even supports Blackberry... BLACKBERRY!!! That really is a kick in the face for the WP platform!

robdaemon says:

We do have Scruff. :)

tapehead says:

What pisses me off is that they blocked a Grindr app with the promise we would be getting an official client. That was over a year ago. And yes, at least there's Scruff. The new version is in beta right now.

HarkAtYou says:

There is another third party app called Meet'm, which works better than normal grindr. Although it did have some quirks at first, it used to send you a message to say if someone blocked you, but if you replied to it, you were unblocked... Which was quite funny. Doesn't do that now, i guess some people were getting blocked a lot and didn't like it.

dorelse says:

Lisa & Clarkson?  That's an interesting choice for 2 people to follow!

I really only need an Amazon MP3 app and I'll be pretty content.

blackhawk556 says:

The problem will not be the big apps that are missing but the apps that complete the experience. (mint, DirecTV, HBO, dish, Comcast, plants vs. Zombies 2, ShowTime) These apps are not the ones people are screaming about like Instagram, but they really do help personalize the phone. I'm sure there's other apps people miss when they pick up a Windows Phone.

Yeah hbogo and DirecTV would pretty much wrap up my phone as an all in one entertainment device hopefully soon. Outside that I still have zero interest leaving WP anytime soon.

MikeSo says:

All the little apps for banks, stores, etc. That's when we've got critical mass. Target's apps, for example, only iOS or Android. Seeing WP as an equal third option there would give legitimacy to the OS. It's not a flashy app, and most people wouldn't even use it, but it's that little unquantifiable extra.

I was wondering for a long time why US banks (except Bank of America and Chase) are under-represented in Windows Phone Store. It's because companies like MitekSystems, that handle the backend support for bank websites, and hence their bank apps, don't support Windows Phone.

dalydose says:

Makes sense because the app they quoted on REPEAT was Instagram, Instagram, Instagram.  I don't know what little snipe they'll add to EVERY review now.  


Would you put an official fitbit app that syncs in the category of "are" in the works?  Even a wink, nudge response would be appreciated if you're bound by some type of NDA.

Danny..When will be VLC coming to windows that the kickstarters still kicking on it

leo74 says:

I use Starbux to manage my Starbucks cards... If this is what you want to do, you're covered

Verkunder says:

I would love an official version, I won't deny that.

NIST says:

Where is the Sirius-XM app? a working WWE app?

Chef316 says:

People still watch WWE? Interesting....

NIST says:

Most popular longest running show on tv

Witness says:

The thing about the Starbucks app isn't a big deal for me. I just wanted to pay by phone like those other guys, so I didn't need to carry that card around. That was an easy fix for me:

Use an iOS/Android device to bring up the QR Code, then take a screenshot. I send it over to my L920, and set it as a favorite image for easy access. Done.

Sure, I don't get to see my points balance, but I would only do that occasionally.

I love my windows phone more and more as time goes. I'm so glad I chose ATIV S instead of Android phone. :)

Talbot690 says:

ATIV S is a great phone. I got to use one in store and really liked it. I have a Lumia 1020 which I think is absolutely amazing but I think more people should buy Samsungs ATIV line as well as HTC's 8 series. If only to encourage those companies to continue building Windows Phones.

keagohopper says:

Yes, I couldn't agree more. I have the Samsung Ativ S and it really is a beautiful phone. And the recent app push has been great, loving it! Now I'm just waiting for Temple Run 2 and Fifa 14, and my app-wish list should just about be complete.

schlubadub says:

I would've bought the 8X but HTC dropped the ball on the specs, and haven't bothered to release anything else. As much as I like HTC for their years of supporting WM, their WP efforts need drastic improvement.

Not to be greedy, but if we had HBOGo and Flipboard (I know it's on its way), my experience will be pretty much complete. Oh yeah, and a Sonos app.

patiua says:

Would be nice with official Sonos app, but for me, phonos does the job just fine. Even the wife knows how to use it!

L2nak says:

What's funny is there's an HBOgo app in Romania that's been available for over a year lol. And fuck yeah, Sonos is soooo needed.

tbkern466 says:

I've played with the HBO GO app. Its actually well done. Is there anyway we can convince HBO to expand support?

jfmanzo says:

HBOGO will never be mission critical for the same reason Pandora wasn't (and was oversold as such) because it's US ONLY. No app limited to the US will every be of the same stature as something like Instagram.

This is true. Instagram was literally the top-searched app in the Store. Not saying HBOGo isn't important, but it will come in due time. The point is, with today's announcements (and others coming), WP is finally at a turning point. It doesn't mean we're 1:1 with Android or iOS, but rather it's now the definitive "third way".

tbkern466 says:

Daniel, do you know of anyway we can directly request for HBO to expand that app to us?

Mafiatounes says:

I'm not Daniel but you can use Twitter to let them know you want it, if people ask for it they will know there is a userbase that want's it.

The same goes for all apps contact them and let them know you need/want it.

Sean D. says:

I'd like to have HBOGO, and ESPNGO (or whatever it's called).

Flipboard would/will be stellar!

CJ Thunder says:

Xbox music needs an update. I really want to be able to manage my cloud collection from my phone and not just the desktop app or the web.
I can't wait for Xbox video and I might get back into mint too.

cannon#WP says:

I don't know about critical mass, but it's getting very very close. Now sales associates can't say "It doesn't have Instagram" and whether we want to believe it or not, that's huge.

Jas00555 says:

They'll still probably say it for a couple of months, just because they don't check.

Xaphoon148 says:

Probably gonna take a full year for them to find out "oh, WP got instagram" ;)

So true as much as us fans of WP may not want to acknowledge but that was a barrier for the younger buyers who spends the majority of time on Instagram. I have a teenage daughter and her friends live on Instagram with their Android and iPhones. 

So I'm glad that WP now has Instagram; as you said hopefully sales associates will be knowledgeable and state it to potential buyers.

Way to go Nokia and Microsoft for getting this done!! Pround owner of HTC 8XT on Sprint.Now if only Sprint can get Lumias but that's another topic for another day.

Chef316 says:

They will probably still say WP doesn't have Instagram...and maybe even some will say " WP can't post to Facebook"

I hope that doesn't impact sales of WP7 devices going forward...oh wait.

RawrrSavior says:

+ 4 score & 7 years ago.

pitosan says:

Might not impact sales of WP7 devices going forward, but it may prevent some of us current WP7 users from moving to WP8 when we need new devices. 

My wife & I have been on WP7 for 2+ years, but I'm not sure I want to hitch my wagon to WP going forward because of the app situation.  Apps not available, or becoming available WAY after Apple / Android doesn't help.  The situation may be better for those with WP8 right now, but it doesn't feel any better for those of us who have been left behind with WP7 and haven't had access to those updates.

Nik Rolls says:

If you understand the technical limitations here then this becomes a non-issue. The apps simply aren't compatible, and a lot of extra work is required to support WP7. There is no need for that kind of hard break to happen again.

qhendricks says:

Wait.. what? I don't get this. Why would Instagram on WP8 prevent you from moving to WP8 when you need a new device? Wouldn't that be a motivation to upgrade? Unless you're just doing it out of spite for reasons like "damn, they didn't put it on WP7 (which is an almost 4 year OS and ending support in 2014) so I'm out of here and switching to android!"  Honestly, you rarely see apps even on other platforms being made that far backwards compatible. 2 years is a stretch, let alone 4. 


I'd say stick with it. This is a good sign, and meant to show that the app ecosystem is growing. It's not a reason to be a stick in the mud and leave just as soon as the system hit's a good pace (or as this article calls it, a "critical mass")

Apps coming out for a newer platform in no way impedes your ability to upgrade and get those apps. It's like complaining that no one makes applications for Windows XP these days, and then saying "well screw it, I'm switching to MacOS"

Xaphoon148 says:

And what about my wm 6.5
Think they completely forgotten about it :(

NIST says:

You need to upgrade to wm6.7

Xsled says:

6.8 is the shit..

txDrum says:

WP7 isn't supported because while they look the same, the underlying architecture is COMPLETELY different. This won't and can't happen again because windows phone is on the same architecture as windows 8 now.

wolferpac says:

Sure, but let's be honest, MSFT technically could've supported upgrades from WP7 devices to WP8 (minus NFC).  If the HD2 was hacked to run WP8 (which it was), then it is/was technically possible, however, they chose not to do it for reasons other than those publicly stated.  Was such a small installed user base at the time that, presumably, they thought the risk was warranted.

Xaphoon148 says:

Is it out yet❔ shit, I've missed it...

wapoz says:

They need to aim for the top 50 titles on Android and iOS now that they've accomplished the top 25, and work at speeding up development and distribution of their own products (xbox video, updated office, etc.)

aemehran says:

You mean marathon, sprint is a type of race too! :D

I thought a marathon is a race as well? lol I mean there's a winner, no? Still, marathon does sound better, duly noted.

aemehran says:

Hey, you guys are doing an awesome job. So awesome that I'm addicted to reading your articles, first thing I do every morning! ;)

QilleRz says:

And the last thing I do before I get to sleep. Reading article through WPCentral app on my sweet Lumia 720 :)

I so love that phone.

mikosoft says:

I would so be over 720 was it not for that stupid Drive without plus limitation. So now I have the 620 and I actually bought a second shell and am enjoying it.

HarkAtYou says:

I'm pretty sure marathons are called snickers these days.

JPDVM2014 says:

I laughed harder than I should have at this.

ayejay0601 says:

We have at last reach The Tipping Point!  (Malcolm Gladwell would be so proud...)  Now watch its marketshare double in the next 18 months.

Xsled says:

Outstanding read! I recommend highly!

iGeorge23 says:

Love my Lumia 925. Such a great experience. Can't wait for Mint, and hopefully my bank app (PSECU). Only two apps I miss. I'm excited for the future. Plus, I love being that "cool" guy because no one else has wp8 phones.

I have to agree with you there. I feel unique riding on the NYC train with my Lumia 928. It's an iPhone world down there. At least 70% of the riders use the fruit phone. The rest are at the mercy of Android. Passengers sitting next to me are always captured by the difference they see on my WP. Many have made inquiries about the platform.

jailman says:

I only want a bullshit free official youtube app and flipboard then am happy

jason8957 says:

Well, Google's jerkishness level may be softening a bit as they just updated their app and don't they own Waze?

Nik Rolls says:

I don't think they control Waze enough yet to stop the launch of the WP app. And they update Search because they know it's an easy switch for users to Bing on their Windows Phones, and not something that would make someone leave the platform. They also know that YouTube is not something most people can give up, so having no official app on WP is a way encourage potential customers to steer clear.

rd_nest says:

Have you seen this?

Do you think google is feeling the MS love now? I am sure google is not even bothered to make any apps for WP. Why should they?

dalydose says:

Why do you care if it's "official"? MetroTube is better than the "official" YouTube on Android or iOS.

musarator says:

not gonna happen anytime soon.. they only make wp apps for wich MS has good enough alternatives.. they will be doing this (not making apps that people want the most) for as long as it slows down wp sales.. or for as long as it stays at the point of MS losing profits and not google

JHunsaker says:

I am very happy with the release of some of the latest apps and the news that some big time apps are coming, but I am becoming more and more concerned with XBox Live branded games.  MS really needs to figure something out with there certification process.

Nik Rolls says:

Agreed. As someone who'd like to publish games in the near future I'm also concerned by this.
Here's what they need to do:
A: Reduce the prices a little. That markup is criminal. Maybe just have a higher percentage cut rather than enforce a price, eg MS takes 40% of the earnings rather than 30%.
B: Allow indie apps to be Live certified.
C: Reduce the certification requirements to something as simple as 1) achievements are all possible and difficulty must be relative to gamerscore reward (no gamerscore farms), 2) correctly age-rate the app's content, 3) usual Store requirements, 4) games must be polished and professional, and 5) absolutely nothing else.

ChMar says:

I don't think reducing certifications is a good ideea. Those are there to ensure a quality standard. This is also the reason for your B point. And considering that the Live tag increases sales I say the 40% rather than 30% is fair since the certification require additional men to test the game

Nik Rolls says:

I agree with you on the quality. I updated my comment with a couple of extras, like the polish and professionalism.

The issue here is all the red tape around certification. It should be that there are a few extra steps on top of the usual app process, not that it's a whole different process in itself. Microsoft have every right to set an arbitrary quality level for Live games (and I encourage them to), but they don't need to take 6 months to test your app only to fail it. Sure, they need time to play through the entire game, but you could even have functionality here where they can put your game into 'testing' mode which unlocks all levels rather than requiring them earn everything along the way.

There has to be a faster method that will get your game certified in weeks rather than months, and allow them to come back with a comprehensive list of issues that you can fix in one go rather than quitting testing on the first issue every time. I don't understand how this is so hard, and hopefully with the merge of the stores and the staff involved we will see a shake up of the Live certification process as well.

ChMar says:

I agree with you. But I think the best solution is to increase the staff size. The problem with hacks like 'testing' switches is that there could still be a show stopper bug if you don't use the 'testing' switch. It they unite the windows store and most esentially with the xbox testing division then we should see some faster times. But the excuse that they test too long and then fail you it's not a good excuse. When you submit there should be no reason for failure. I mean it's cheaper for everyone to outsource the final game testing or create your own method

Nik Rolls says:

They should, however, give you all the reasons your game fails rather than taking 6 months for every item. Sure, some issues may not be visible if there's a blocking issue somewhere else, but you shouldn't have a fail the second time for something that was in the first submission but not mentioned. The Store certification process already gives you an exhaustive list of fail criteria, so you know that if you fix all these issues (and any new sections of the app enabled by fixing these issues pass cert), then your app *will* get in.

WinFan1 says:

Congrats Microsoft really looking forward to Xbox video on my phone.

benners76 says:

You guys/gals catch Daniel's tweet from about an hr. ago... Fantastic! =) @Daniel_Rubino: I just took an energy pill and now I'm having a beer...I declared war on my kidneys

NIST says:

I was shocked by that tweet and his reckless abandonment for his physical health. Not the role model my children were hoping for.

According to the latest stats, your children are probably overweight anyway :P

Meanwhile I workout 6 days a week (flexes in mirror) and maintain a 13% BF comp.

NIST says:

My probably fat children are impressed.

bilzkh says:

There are some problems.

Come down to Canada and you'll find that vendor support entirely non-existent: no apps for the major banks (RBC, TD, BMO, Scotia, CIBC), no apps for the grocery chains (Loblaws, Metro, Longos, etc), no apps for airlines (Air Canada, WestJet), no apps for staples (Tim Hortons, Cineplex, Goodlife Fitness), etc.

Sure, Canada isn't that big of a market, but there are smaller markets out there with more local support (e.g. Australia). Microsoft needs to ensure local support is consistent (in a good way) across markets. Sure, it can't get all local vendors, but essentials such as banks and airlines should be factored in. If not, you won't get retention. That Lumia 520 user will jump to the iPhone or Galaxy instead of a Lumia 1020, that's not good.

borasar says:

I'm issing the TD app, the airlines and cinepelx app would be nice too, out of curiosity why would you need a goodlife app? to book classes?

bilzkh says:

I guess to see which branches are nearby or open late night, especially if you're travelling to another city for work. It's a perception thing as well, when people walk into a Goodlife and see them advertise mobile, it sucks that Windows Phone is no where to be seen or mentioned.

borasar says:

fair enough, i never get a chance to work out when i'm travelling for work so never thought about it that way

bilzkh says:

Yep, but still, $60 a month, I want my app.

borasar says:

i think those guys have their work cut out with absorbing extreme and renovating some of their gyms

jfmanzo says:

Agreed agreed agreed. I need my TD, Air Canada and Cineplex apps. FWIW Cineplex does have a W8 app so maybe it's on its way- so does RBC. TD has said it has no plans. No idea about Air Canada. Frustrating as hell- we live in this weird market where BB still has something like 25% of share (not of sales but exisiting marketshare) and all of these companies support BB. Infuriating. At least Rogers has a WP app!

Agreed. Not having a TD app is my single largest grievance with windows phone. Aside from that a solid transit app is necessary. HERE Transit is useless in ottawa. Would also appreciate an app to access my schools LMS.

Also US only contests really piss me off.

BaritoneGuy says:

I would lobby my transit provider to make the schedule information available the the format that most use. it is a standard, but the name escapes me. i am in mississauga and get good results for GO, Mississauga and Brampton systems.

Well Canada is Blackberry's home base, and we all know far too well which platform participated in their push to the backburner. "Bittersweet?"

rockstarzzz says:

What are the missing 4 apps out of that top 25 most popular apps? Any guesses?

borasar says:

google maps? not that i need it on my wp

Sulslim says:

I need Autodesk 360 and Flipboard   !!!  And all of those apps should be converted to Windows 8.1

keats871 says:

I've got flipboard on my Surface now... not sure about WP..

aafa says:

if WP8 didn't have WhatsApp, I can tell you that I woud NOT have gotten a WP8 yet.


loving where WP8 is at now.

Kristijan87 says:

No. The turning point will be reached when Google and Microsoft bury the hatchet. Google is a big player, one of the biggest, like it or not. Official apps from Google will finally mean Windows Phone is a competitor. I don't like it, you probably don't like it, but it's the truth.

rockstarzzz says:

Google isn't making apps as WP IS already a competition. They do not want users to have same Google experience outside of Android.

toph36 says:

From what I read, the Google experience is better on iOS than it is on Android....   Google was playing catch-up to iOS when Android came out, so they had to support iOS.  Google just doesn't want Microsoft to succeed with Windows Phone, that is the only reason they won't support it at this point.  If Windows Phone can get to 10% in the US, then they might need to reconsider.

Well, Waze is here and many thought it was or would be cancelled by Google. Google Search also got a nice update. Maybe things are turning around?

afnan_mc says:

I doubt that especially after this
They just set the site up. Thought I'd tip you guys too.

afnan_mc says:

I think its better this way. Not give a fuck about Google. They couldn't cooperate for this long, fuck them. Microsoft services are improving very well these days (Bing is even more better now. The interface is very much in par with the One Windows UI). Except for Youtube, of course. Its sad, but I so want to see Google come crawling back on their own will. They couldn't support WP but want close integration with Windows 8.1.? Nope, Google had its chance, its time for MSFT to go strong on marketing now.

rd_nest says:

Bing is a rotten pile of $hit -- that's the best possible description I can think of. 

dalydose says:

That's your opinion, but I love Bing and its future plans sound like it will be even more killer.

afnan_mc says:

Exactly. People are welcome to have their opinions about Bing, but I absolutely love it now. :D

Jas00555 says:

I wouldn't count on it, Daniel. Not a single f*ck has been given by Microsoft when it comes to getting along with Google.

I think you're confusing competition with business. I mean, Xbox One just got an official YouTube app. So how does that play into this if they don't do business together?

Remember, in the business world there's jabbing your competition but they also can work together.

Jas00555 says:

The Xbox doesn't compete against anything that Google provides, so there's no competition. WP competes with Android, so that's why there's only 1 google app... And its search (ok, 2 if you count waze, but there's still like 8 that aren't). I'm sure that if Google made the PS4, then the Xbox wouldn't get YouTube.

Edit: and before you say "that's because its business" keep in mind that android, ios, and even BB all have Skype, so keeping your apps from platforms that compete with you isn't that great of a smart business decision.

Sean D. says:

And this is the basic reason google makes stuff for ios... ultimately they want that user base that they can't get any other way,

bilzkh says:

Exactly, hence why Google likely won't support Windows Phone or Windows 8 (Metro). It's sad that they're so insecure about their own platforms, but it's the truth. It's irrational that Google would ignore some tens of millions of users (and increasing) for this long. This is a deliberate attempt on Google's part to smother WP in the cradle.

mrdeezus says:

This is why I firmly believe MS should not release Office for Android when the modern version comes out.At least not for awhile.

bilzkh says:

No, that's what Google wants MS to do... No Office on Android means stronger adoption of Google Docs. What Microsoft should do is offer each of its services on Android, but update them last, prioritize BB10 before Android apps if need be.

kbilly70 says:

Exactly. Keep people using Office that is tied to the Windows ecosystems.

Sean D. says:

A better alternaive would be to get Skype running as perfectly as possible on WP, and then kill it on android.
MS would catch bloody hell for it, but so what? I had a youtube "app" on my Windows MOBILE 6.x device, and they pulled the plug. So why not return the favor?

Fritzly says:

Why? Because MS is unsecure as well about its platform?
Business is business: you do not give advantages to your competitors... unless your gain is greater. Simple as that..

rockstarzzz says:

Google Chrome has Metro app on Windows 8.

bilzkh says:

Partly true, but it isn't an ARM app from what I see.

toph36 says:

Um...  no they don't.  It doesn't appear they have any Windows 8 apps.

walter1832 says:

Agreed.  The official YouTube should be the next big app they need to get.

Sean D. says:

Why? It wasn't that big of a deal when it was released the last two times...

kleider1 says:

If only they'd get snapchat and oovoo.

NikosNx says:

most top apps? yes, but not good apps..

jlzimmerman says:

It will reach critical mass when WP gets:



Candy Crush


And then someone would amend it with their top apps. The point is, WP platform is now at a turning point where developers are finally seriously paying attention to it. It won't be 1:1 with the competition, but going forward, it will be taken more seriously.

Microsoft is adamant about this message, hence the media push. Also, there are other apps coming...this wasn't the end of it, but just the beginning.

Don't forget, Android is way bigger than iOS, but iOS still gets app first many times. Has that impacted Android? Has it ever?

hacer619 says:

Daniel, It seems your energy pill is acting faassst!

bradbamford says:

I hope your right.
But, I also hope Microsoft doesn't "rest" on their pursuit of courting app developers by concluding: "We've reached critical mass".

On a similar note, I was happy to see Amazon Instant Video launching on XBox One, I'm taking that as hope for a Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 app sometime in the near future.

Sean D. says:

Once again, you're speaking logic... and that doesn't work with a lot of people. :-/

Dizzydeeds says:

Costco, so I don't have to carry the ad through the store or to another store to price match.

Don't forget square payment and/or intuit go payment

mrdeezus says:

Try Cube CC payment, It has a reader too.

walter1832 says:

+ YouTube
+ PvsZ 2

shmuntz says:

PvZ 2 FTW!!! And Dead Trigger 2 too please! Until these two are ported over to WP8 I'm staying with Android.

mrdeezus says:

+1020 Candy Crush.

squid729 says:

Love my Lumia 925 also. I know Mint is coming soon. Filebox seems to cover Dropbox. Looking forward to Nokia Beamer. But i do miss:

1) Amazon Cloud Player

2) Remote Desktop and LogMeIn

3) Banks and Credit Cards - PNCBank, Citizens, Fifth Third, Capital One, Chase, AmEx, etc

4) Travel - Airlines, hotels, etc

Recently asked the National MS Society for a WP app. their response was that web stats say that no one using a WP ever looks at their website. iOS is most used. thus iOS and Android will get apps from them, WP won't. Seems it will be a long time for this kind of thing to change  :(

mikosoft says:

2. you can use teamviewer for remote desktop operation, if anything. Also Mouse remote/PC remote are good solutions (paid). I would still appreciate native RDP support though.

JPDVM2014 says:

Also, splashtop

Rick Smits says:

Almost there. WP8 is missing many major games and that needs to pick up.

kbilly70 says:

Agreed. I fired up my Android phone over the weekend and was browsing the Play Store and was shocked at how many games there are now(it's been a while since I've been on it). WP is way behind on the games front.

Still need Xbox video and snapchat but this is awesome!

MDak280 says:

We still need banking apps, Snapchat, and Google apps. Microsoft needs to keep pushing :)

bpmurr says:

Snapchat won't happen until Microsoft allows for screenshot blocking at the app level.

Sean D. says:

Why are google apps necessary there is an equal, if not flat out better Windows/Bing app???

(Except for youtube)

DonnaxNL says:

There are still a lot of stupid and useless apps in the Windows Phone Store, but Android had the same. And we all know now Android is kinda on the same height with iOS. Hope for Windows Phone it will also get better support.

Credo93 says:

So does this mean that there are currently 175000 apps in developement in the last two months?? Please correct me if i'm wrong but if that would be true it would be just amazing ... Windows Phone WTF f*** those haters...

cybermoose89 says:

Still need a official YouTube app despite metro tube and mytube are fantastic of course

Sean D. says:

Why, when MetroTube was better than the official app?

cybermoose89 says:

So true couldn't agree more i guess its just for the sake of it to be fair but of course google is not fair

mrdeezus says:

Until we see Candy Crush the answer is no.

Thats absolutely true LOL. Follow me on instagram! @kaaspparas :D

Hahaha... Take your time to write something funnier! :D

Sean D. says:

Same garbage that was said about instagram.

dalydose says:

Yup. No matter what news comes out, people will add a new app name that THEY want and claim ecosystem failure if they don't their toy immediately. That being said, hurry up with Flipboard! :)