03-21-2015 11:35 AM
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  1. Jazmac's Avatar
    Windows Phone has an apps problem, only it's not the one most people think it is.

    One of the more commonly cited arguments made against switching to the third-place phone OS is the lack of apps available in the Windows Phone app store. That argument appears reasonable. However, when you look at the numbers, the argument falls apart under closer scrutiny.

    Yes, according to BGR.com, there were "only" 300,000 plus apps in the Windows Phone store when Microsoft made the number public last August. That's only a fraction of the one million plus offered for Apple iPhones and phones running Google'sOS.

    That looks bad for Microsoft and it makes for good headlines, but you have to consider whether the difference between over 300,000 and 1 million apps actually matters when the average person uses, according to research from Nielsen, fewer than 30 apps per month.
    That simple fact makes the gap between the size of the app stores less relevant if Microsoft has most of the most popular apps, which it does (as can be seen below).


    All of this being said, Microsoft does have a different kind of app problem. Only instead of it being the number of apps in its store, it's the infrequency with which its apps are updated. The problem for the Windows Phone is not its lack of having 7,000 flashlight apps and a few hundred Flappy Bird knockoffs (it has plenty of each). It's that the company had the muscle to get a lot of top app providers to launch Windows Phone 8 apps but not the muscle to keep them there when the relatively tiny audience for the phones gave them little return on their investment.


    The tops apps are (mostly) here
    Of the top 10 apps in Apple's app store as of March 10, the Windows Phone store has Facebook Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pandora, Trivia Crack, Spring Ninja, and Google Maps. The only things missing are Apple's own iTunes U app (for obvious reasons), and Snapchat. Moving down the free list and it becomes clear that Windows Phone has nearly all the top titles. The same is generally true on the paid side where Microsoft's store has nearly all the big name apps and approximations or alternatives for the less-famous big sellers.

    So, what's the problem?
    Microsofthas a good selection of apps on the surface, but when you dig a little deeper you see that many companies launch a Windows app then don't update it at all. For the apps that are eventually updated, the actual update lags far behind the versions in Apple and Google's stores. Read the rest here:
    03-15-2015 05:51 PM
  2. Guytronic's Avatar
    I wonder what the top board shareholders talk about at the closed door meetings with the Microsoft top end?
    ven07, snowmutt and gpobernardo like this.
    03-15-2015 06:21 PM
  3. Jazmac's Avatar
    I wonder what the top board shareholders talk about at the closed door meetings with the Microsoft top end?
    I don't know but MS is doing a bang up job assuring shareholders that their investments are safe. If they ever get to floating around the net and happen to end up here, it might make them a bit weak in the knees.
    03-15-2015 08:40 PM
  4. fatclue_98's Avatar
    People won't buy what they can't see. If they don't know it exists, how can they even think there are associated apps? Walk into a Best Buy and count how many WPs are on display. A prepaid 521 from T-Mobile hanging on the peg hooks, that's how many. Look just about anywhere and see the signs for their app (Home Depot, Dunkin Donuts, you name it) and all you see is iTunes or Play Store. Put yourselves in John Q. Public's shoes and tell me you'd buy a WP. Tell me you'd even know it exists.
    03-15-2015 08:50 PM
  5. Ma Rio's Avatar
    I love it when people open a thread with a well written post.

    But yeah, it's not the numbers. I find myself lacking only a few apps (nothing I can't live without), and they're mostly local apps.
    But the thing that hurst me the most is how crappy those apps are. If you compare almost any app that exist on all 3 (or heck, even 2 platforms), you'll find that the WP one is way more crappier, (rarely they're equaly crappy).
    Updating is also a problem. While we have some good guys like Rudy who posts regular updates and keeps the changelogs detailed, we have apps that haven't seen an update in years.
    It's sad.
    03-15-2015 09:39 PM
  6. vish2801's Avatar
    App-quality gap is there. MS needs to aggressively advertise its devices but without any flagship, you can't do in that department, too. e.g. MS is advertising Lumia 535 here in India very aggressively but the ads are very confusing and they have very little to show what exactly WP can do. I hope that changes with Windows 10 with a flagship. Just look at the awesome Samsung ads. Even that curved glass thing has been advertised like very good addition.
    caesar500 and prasath1234 like this.
    03-15-2015 09:57 PM
  7. MikeSo's Avatar
    People won't buy what they can't see. If they don't know it exists, how can they even think there are associated apps? Walk into a Best Buy and count how many WPs are on display. A prepaid 521 from T-Mobile hanging on the peg hooks, that's how many. Look just about anywhere and see the signs for their app (Home Depot, Dunkin Donuts, you name it) and all you see is iTunes or Play Store. Put yourselves in John Q. Public's shoes and tell me you'd buy a WP. Tell me you'd even know it exists.
    Hit the nail on the head. The considerable amount of money Microsoft spends on TV advertising is a complete waste, as when people see phones in the stores, WP might as well not exist.
    The app gap and the app features gap is very real. But there's a chicken and egg situation here, and as long as there are no attractive phones in stores to actually buy, well, there won't be any reason to make apps for them.
    snowmutt likes this.
    03-15-2015 10:05 PM
  8. MikeSo's Avatar
    By the way, my favorite is still this:

    http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=...e-00237de2db9e

    Match.com is still the heavyweight in dating sites. Their WP app is still active in the store. It is still version 1.0.0.0, from 10/25/2010.

    WP is a dying operating system as far as app development goes. Anything good happening is just the death rattles. Wish it wasn't so, but it is. I guarantee that Microsoft and their leadership knows this, which is why they spend more resources on integrating their services in the competing OSs instead, and removing them from the core OS functions in WP and made them into apps instead (presumably to streamline multi-OS development on their part).

    There will probably be a halfhearted attempt at hardware parity when W10 is released, but I can't imagine even Microsoft thinks that W10 will entice mobile developers (there is zero reason for it to do so if the excellent WP8.1 OS didn't).
    Byrese and zkyevolved like this.
    03-15-2015 10:07 PM
  9. Motor_Mouth's Avatar
    Hit the nail on the head. The considerable amount of money Microsoft spends on TV advertising is a complete waste, as when people see phones in the stores, WP might as well not exist.
    The app gap and the app features gap is very real. But there's a chicken and egg situation here, and as long as there are no attractive phones in stores to actually buy, well, there won't be any reason to make apps for them.
    It's actually even worse that that because if you go into a store and ask about Windows Phone, you will almost certainly be talked out of it and into whatever phone will give the sales guy the biggest commission. It happened to someone I work with. He does a lot of photography for his own stock website and he was dead-set keen on a Lumia 1020 but came out with a Galaxy Note 3 because the sales guy told him that the camera in the 1020 wasn't as good as Nokia made out it was.
    03-15-2015 10:16 PM
  10. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    There claims to be a Windows Phone app for 7-Eleven, supposedly updated this month. However, I sat in my car in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven store, and the app just kept doing nothing and could not find the location of the nearest store, even though I was at the store!

    When I went inside the store, they had a sign mentioning using the app to buy 6 cups of coffee and getting the next one free. However, that's a different app called 7-Rewards, that is only for iOS/Android.

    The Windows Phone app is completely broken and doesn't have the feature I'd use it for anyway.
    03-15-2015 10:20 PM
  11. Grimlock's Avatar
    I think the article brings up a very good point and its a huge problem.

    Although I agree I take issue with these types of articles (seems like there's a new one everyday) because they narrowly focus on one issue that is the root of all WP's problems. There are many reasons for low adoption, you all know them as well as I do, and no single factor doomed WP.
    MikeSo and snowmutt like this.
    03-15-2015 10:24 PM
  12. MikeSo's Avatar
    Also as I've argued elsewhere, it's not even the top apps that eventually make people leave WP if they even come to it, it's the niche ones. You can only keep saying "sorry, I have WP, it doesn't have that app" so many times before you decide you gave Microsoft plenty of chances and move on. Last time for me was today at my golf lesson, when the coach showed a really cool putting app from Ping, which measures all the putting data when you attach the phone to the putter. My Icon has all the sensors needed, but WP will never have apps like that due to market share.
    A few years ago this wasn't as important to me, because the app market overall was less developed. Now, with some truly awesome apps and more and more coming all the time on other OS's, a person would have to be incredibly generous towards Microsoft in order to stay with WP.
    Last edited by MikeSo; 03-16-2015 at 12:23 AM.
    steve_w_7, MikeX74 and prasath1234 like this.
    03-15-2015 10:29 PM
  13. wpn00b's Avatar
    Good points and an excellent example. However, I'd suggest that you ask Ping about their app. Maybe send a suggestion that you're a potential user and would like the app.

    We shouldn't have to do this but before you go, just put it out there and see what they say.

    Thanks
    03-15-2015 10:45 PM
  14. vEEP pEEP's Avatar
    W10 will be the saviour? Let's see what happens. MS is still a tech giant - I think they want to stay in the mobile market. Phone manufacturers are everywhere. Blackberry is going after the business market with their reputation of security. I am sure MS can hawk more phones because of their business apps. They can do better marketing.
    03-15-2015 10:58 PM
  15. MikeSo's Avatar
    Good points and an excellent example. However, I'd suggest that you ask Ping about their app. Maybe send a suggestion that you're a potential user and would like the app.

    We shouldn't have to do this but before you go, just put it out there and see what they say.

    Thanks
    I've done that many, many times to different companies. I'm tired of "Thanks for your feedback! We have no plans for a Windows Mobile app at this point, but blah blah blah" responses.

    I'm not leaving WP for the foreseeable future, but with the issues mentioned in the article as well as the lack of niche apps, I understand people who do.
    wpn00b and snowmutt like this.
    03-15-2015 10:58 PM
  16. wpn00b's Avatar
    I've done that many, many times to different companies. I'm tired of "Thanks for your feedback! We have no plans for a Windows Mobile app at this point, but blah blah blah" responses.

    I'm not leaving WP for the foreseeable future, but with the issues mentioned in the article as well as the lack of niche apps, I understand people who do.
    Yes its definitely understandable. The more of us that leave, the more likely we don't get the app and because we don't get the app, the more of us that leave...

    It's troubling. I still feel that MS will gain share mainly through enterprise, then trickle down to consumers. When they win those business accounts the user base will grow to make it attractive to developers. Then because more apps are available it becomes a viable alternative and consumers check it out. Starts the spiral in the other direction.

    Wishful thinking at the moment though.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    03-15-2015 11:21 PM
  17. NeerajMakeBelieve's Avatar
    its about the quality of apps not quantity
    03-16-2015 11:28 AM
  18. Mike Majeski's Avatar
    Can someone tell me how there is a tile for Starbucks on the Microsoft Band, which is shipped with a $5 gift card to Starbucks. But you go to download the Starbucks app and it's for Android, Amazon, and iOS only.
    03-16-2015 11:34 AM
  19. Jas00555's Avatar
    Can someone tell me how there is a tile for Starbucks on the Microsoft Band, which is shipped with a $5 gift card to Starbucks. But you go to download the Starbucks app and it's for Android, Amazon, and iOS only.
    Because Starbucks app on the Band isn't a Windows Phone app....
    paulxxwall likes this.
    03-16-2015 11:36 AM
  20. Mike Majeski's Avatar
    Because Starbucks app on the Band isn't a Windows Phone app....
    I know that. What I mean is, Microsoft forges this relationship with a company, but doesn't bother to ask that they also make their app available on their phones?
    03-16-2015 11:44 AM
  21. Jas00555's Avatar
    I know that. What I mean is, Microsoft forges this relationship with a company, but doesn't bother to ask that they also make their app available on their phones?
    It doesn't really work that way. Just because a company makes an app for one platform, doesn't mean that Microsoft can convince them to build another app. Starbucks obviously believes (and rightly so) that they'll get a better ROI from early adopters who spend $200 on a band as opposed to people who buy low end phones.
    03-16-2015 12:54 PM
  22. jlzimmerman's Avatar
    People won't buy what they can't see. If they don't know it exists, how can they even think there are associated apps? Walk into a Best Buy and count how many WPs are on display.
    It's the same with the carrier stores. And better yet, walk in the carrier stores and tell one of the reps you are interested in WP. Count how many seconds it takes for the rep to tell you you don't want WP and you want something else. It will not take that long.......
    Tom Snyder likes this.
    03-16-2015 12:58 PM
  23. Eustis99's Avatar
    I was actually in my best buy the other day and they finally have a display up. Not a large one but it does the job. They had the 830 and the 635 out and it was farely lit up. Better than nothing at least.

    People won't buy what they can't see. If they don't know it exists, how can they even think there are associated apps? Walk into a Best Buy and count how many WPs are on display. A prepaid 521 from T-Mobile hanging on the peg hooks, that's how many. Look just about anywhere and see the signs for their app (Home Depot, Dunkin Donuts, you name it) and all you see is iTunes or Play Store. Put yourselves in John Q. Public's shoes and tell me you'd buy a WP. Tell me you'd even know it exists.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    03-16-2015 01:12 PM
  24. MikeSo's Avatar
    I was actually in my best buy the other day and they finally have a display up. Not a large one but it does the job. They had the 830 and the 635 out and it was farely lit up. Better than nothing at least.
    Yep, I saw this last month as well. 3 phones at the end of an aisle. First time that Best Buy has had a WP display (AT&T phones only, but still). It is still tiny compared to the sea of Androids and the prominent iPhone placements, but it's better than nothing.
    03-16-2015 01:40 PM
  25. Eustis99's Avatar
    What they should do is exactly what Samsung is. They should partner with bestbuy and have a section dedicated to windows. Have their surface line, windows phones, and even the band I hear is going to best buy all on display and advertised really well. They should even add the blu devices Microsoft stores sell. Microsoft stores are hard to come by and I'm sure folk that know nothing about windows phone have never even heard of blu's devices. I feel best buy would sell them like hotcakes at their price points.

    Yep, I saw this last month as well. 3 phones at the end of an aisle. First time that Best Buy has had a WP display (AT&T phones only, but still). It is still tiny compared to the sea of Androids and the prominent iPhone placements, but it's better than nothing.
    Laura Knotek and Tom Snyder like this.
    03-16-2015 01:45 PM
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