1. cohoman's Avatar
    I have a questions for Android (or iOS) developers who have decided to port their apps to the WP8 platform.

    I've been writing mobile apps for over 10 years, starting with the Pocket PC devices, going to Windows Mobile, Palm WebOS, and now Android OS. I've made some pretty good money doing so, but I'm at a crossroads now. I have what I consider a very polished app for Android, but my sales are virtually non-existent. There could be lots of reasons for this, but I'm concluding that the majority of Android users want free apps and won't buy paid apps.

    I did dabble in WP7 app development early on, but at that time it seemed very few people owned WP7 phones. So, I didn't pursue it further. However, with the release of WP8.1 and the positive reviews I think WPs may be catching on, especially in the enterprise business community. As such, I'm guessing that WP owners are more likely to spend $1-4 for a good app over what Android users might spend.

    So, I'm asking all Android developers who have gone down this path their opinions based on what they have personally experienced. Are you seeing more sales for Windows Phone over Android? Is it really worth my time and expense to port my apps over to the WP8 platform?

    Thanks for your comments.

    cohoman
    10-20-2013 12:46 PM
  2. luk3ja's Avatar
    What is the app you are considering to port?
    10-20-2013 12:51 PM
  3. unstoppablekem's Avatar
    I thought it's difficult to port an android app as it is Java, and that ios apps are easier, but I'm sure there is a way. If you let us know what your app is, it might be worth to port it.
    10-20-2013 12:58 PM
  4. cohoman's Avatar
    What is the app you are considering to port?
    It's a password manager app that I originally developed for the Palm WebOS. When I switched from a Palm phone to Android, I couldn't find a similar Android app to meet my needs to I ported the WebOS version over.
    10-20-2013 01:01 PM
  5. cohoman's Avatar
    I thought it's difficult to port an android app as it is Java, and that ios apps are easier, but I'm sure there is a way. If you let us know what your app is, it might be worth to port it.
    From my experience, Java is very similar to C# (in fact, I taught myself C# first before learning Java!). In the end I'll have to rewrite my code to port it, but I'll have my existing code base to work with.
    10-20-2013 01:07 PM
  6. eugie's Avatar
    "You can earn more on windows phone than Android)
    there is plenty of competition on Android apps and games aside of thousands free apps to downloads compare to windows phone. So developers are lucky to write their popular games to windows phone since there are only few competitors on windows phone store.
    10-20-2013 01:35 PM
  7. unstoppablekem's Avatar
    Windows Phone 8 has Native Code as well, btw.
    10-20-2013 02:11 PM
  8. cohoman's Avatar
    FYI, When I left the WebOS environment (because HP killed it for smartphones), I did a quick check of writing apps for iOS, Android, and WP7. In my assessment, iOS was the most difficult to create apps for, since using the Objective-C programming language seemed too low-level for me. I tried (and bought several "iOS programming for dummies"-type books), but I didn't want to write code at that low-level.

    Android app programming was nice since you can develop on any platform (OSX, Windows, Linux) and all necessary tools are free. Also, there's lots of documentation and examples to be found on in the cloud. The Android emulator worked well, and I personally own a Android smartphone and tablet to do my testing.

    But, I have to say that programming for WP7 was the easiest of the three environment, in my opinion. During my testing, I was able to create a few test apps in a very short period of time. The Visual Studio Express IDE worked great, as well as the Expression Blend UI tool. But, the only roadblock at that time was the very little traction WP7 had with the general public.

    There are a few reasons to why I'm hesitating now and asking current developers for their feedback and comments. Mainly:

    1. My main computer is an iMac running OSX, and I would need a Windows PC to do WP8 app development.
    2. In addition, I would need purchase the Windows 8 Pro 64-bit OS and have a machine capable of Hyper-V to use the device emulator.
    3. To test on actual hardware, I would need to purchase a WP8 device.

    At a minimum, I could probably buy Win Pro 8 64-bit for around $85 on Amazon, and load it on my previous Desktop PC (which hopefully has Hyper-V capability). I could also get a Lumia smartphone off Amazon for $99 off-contract.

    But the last component (and not least), is my time. Will it be worth my time to develop WP8 apps? Will I get a reasonable revenue stream from the sales of my app to continue development and provide adequate support? That is probably my biggest concern, as I don't want to waste my time and not get rewarded. Unfortunately, I'm not a big game developer or social app developer, but rather a productivity app developer. I'm curious to learn if WP8 owners are more business-minded and have a need for such productivity apps, and are willing to pay for them.

    cohoman
    10-20-2013 02:36 PM
  9. unstoppablekem's Avatar
    I don't believe you need the Pro version of windows 8 to run the windows phone visual studio? And yes, many people who buy windows phones are for productivity, so if you make some nice apps, I'm sure they can shell out some of their money.
    10-20-2013 05:36 PM
  10. cohoman's Avatar
    I don't believe you need the Pro version of windows 8 to run the windows phone visual studio? And yes, many people who buy windows phones are for productivity, so if you make some nice apps, I'm sure they can shell out some of their money.
    From what I've read, if I want to use the WP8 emulator I need to be running on Windows 8 Pro (since that has Hyper-V functionality). Otherwise, I believe you can use Win 8 but you can't run the emulator.
    10-20-2013 06:41 PM
  11. etphoto's Avatar
    I use to love the WebOS apps.

    I would assume (for developers) that Android / IOS apps would be harder to sell do to apps getting lost in the mere number of available apps. On the other hand, with the lower number of wp8 apps your app would get noticed more.

    On another note, I never understood the "OMG, that app is way too much" when it cost under $5. I mean, what is $5? Lol
    10-20-2013 06:56 PM
  12. JoelBennett's Avatar
    Something else that I just noticed today in the dev forums: If you aren't quite ready to make the jump to Windows 8 (or 8.1), and still want to do WP8 dev, you might be able to run a VM with an instance of Windows 8 in it. You'd still have to pick up a copy of Windows 8, but it would prevent you from being forced to use Windows 8 as your primary OS.
    10-28-2013 05:36 PM
  13. cohoman's Avatar
    Thanks for the reply. I'm actually doing that right now on my iMac, using a trial version of VMWare Fusion and a 90-day trial copy of Windows 8.1 Enterprise. Everything works, even the Emulator (which requires Hyper-V virtualization). It is slow, though, but usable for testing.

    Eventually, I'll probably get a lightweight 11" touchscreen laptop to help with the dev work, but I'm having trouble finding such a laptop that has both the Intel i3/i5/i7 and/or AMD chip required for Hyper-V and a BIOS with Virtualization enabled. But, that's another story...
    10-28-2013 07:50 PM
  14. Juro's Avatar
    I publish Android and WP apps, and have had a lot of success with WP. There is a definite benefit to being a 'big fish in a small pond'. In particular, I find that you can build app types that there might be a glut off on other platforms, and still get a lot of users & good search placement in the store. I also get the sense that there is at least a slightly higher sell rate with WP apps than you find on Android. This is purely based on my anecdotal experience and not any solid 'scientific data'.

    But, really.....what I like most about WP are the dev tools. I can be a lot more productive with Visual Studio/C# than I can with IntelliJ or Eclipse & Java.

    You should check out the incentive programs that Microsoft and Nokia put out for developing apps. You can easily get a dev phone or two by publishing a few apps through the Nokia one alone (goto: DVLUP - Signin)
    cohoman likes this.
    10-29-2013 01:53 AM
  15. JoelBennett's Avatar
    I'd be interested to see if the new low-end Dell Inspiron 11 3000 series would support Hyper-V. It starts at $400, and has a touch screen. It doesn't have much in the way of grunt, but from the little bit of reading I did, the celeron in it is Haswell based, and it's supposed to have stupidly good battery life. It does only have 2 GB of ram, which is definitely a downer, but it does seem like a potentially interesting little machine.
    10-29-2013 10:41 AM
  16. JoelBennett's Avatar
    I publish Android and WP apps, and have had a lot of success with WP. There is a definite benefit to being a 'big fish in a small pond'. In particular, I find that you can build app types that there might be a glut off on other platforms, and still get a lot of users & good search placement in the store. I also get the sense that there is at least a slightly higher sell rate with WP apps than you find on Android. This is purely based on my anecdotal experience and not any solid 'scientific data'.

    But, really.....what I like most about WP are the dev tools. I can be a lot more productive with Visual Studio/C# than I can with IntelliJ or Eclipse & Java.

    You should check out the incentive programs that Microsoft and Nokia put out for developing apps. You can easily get a dev phone or two by publishing a few apps through the Nokia one alone (goto: DVLUP - Signin)
    Dang! I wasn't aware of the program at all! I'm definitely going to look into that. Thanks for the link!

    I am planning on participating in the Microsoft Imagine Cup, which has a $50,000 prize (there are a few other potential prizes along the way as well), as well as a local business contest that has another $20,000 in prizes divided among the top three winners. It's pretty amazing the sort of funding that is out there for starting a small business (at least in Canada).
    10-29-2013 10:45 AM
  17. ag1986's Avatar
    I'm interested in knowing where you see that WP is gaining traction for business. The lack of VPN at present pretty much kills it for us (40k+ seats), not to mention that we cannot disable Skydrive (we don't touch other people's clouds, only our private one).

    Also, if your app is like Lastpass et al, (i.e. fills out forms and/or chooses high-entropy password strings) I do not think this is possible on WP8.
    10-29-2013 11:59 AM
  18. cohoman's Avatar
    For WP8 development you need Win 8 Pro 64-bit. To run the emulator you also need a CPU that can do virtualization and the machine BIOS must also support virtualization. From what I've read, Celeron processors won't do the job. You need certain AMD cpus or the Intel i3/i5/i7 cpus. The biggest challenge is to find a laptop that has a BIOS that supports virtualization. If you can live without using the emulator and just use a device, then you can forego the virtualization requirement. Just my 2 cents...

    Sent from my HTC One using WPCentral Forums mobile app
    10-29-2013 01:02 PM
  19. Bee Mon's Avatar
    You can still test your app on real WP8 devices without purchasing them.

    Nokia Developer - Remote device access
    10-31-2013 12:41 PM

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