06-09-2014 07:05 PM
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  1. Christopher Lindsay's Avatar
    One thing that doesn't make sense to me about the app gap is that a lot of apps that are not available for WP are available for Windows as programs. It would seem second nature to me as a programmer to make a Windows app if I make a program as they both can run on the same system so why isn't this the case?
    05-28-2014 06:07 PM
  2. k0de's Avatar
    It will soon dissolve. Dev's now a days can write once and deploy everywhere. Remarkable done by MSFT. What app gap?
    05-28-2014 06:09 PM
  3. HAMEDACC's Avatar
    DEV do not have any Enthusiasm for WP OS, It is a Truth.
    05-28-2014 06:15 PM
  4. k0de's Avatar
    DEV do not have any Enthusiasm for WP OS, It is a Truth.
    True for now. But soon, with the tools available and OS restrictions removed things will change. You will soon see better apps. Unlike the other two platforms WP dev's come as they are, "That is remarkable". Soon dev's from all computing languages will rain on WP leaving the competition in the dust. Hold on to your hats and enjoy the show.
    05-28-2014 06:35 PM
  5. manicottiK's Avatar
    One thing that doesn't make sense to me about the app gap is that a lot of apps that are not available for WP are available for Windows as programs. It would seem second nature to me as a programmer to make a Windows app if I make a program as they both can run on the same system so why isn't this the case?
    The vast majority of good app design is user interface work. Right now, that code is unique for WP, meaning that supporting WP means lots of development work without a lot of customers since the market share is still low (particularly in the U.S.).

    With Windows Phone 8.1 and Universal Apps, there's an opportunity for greater sharing between the two platforms, lowering the barrier to getting in to both and offering a larger potential market. This should interest more developers.
    05-28-2014 08:35 PM
  6. ScottGeek's Avatar
    One thing that doesn't make sense to me about the app gap is that a lot of apps that are not available for WP are available for Windows as programs. It would seem second nature to me as a programmer to make a Windows app if I make a program as they both can run on the same system so why isn't this the case?
    As a long term Windows Developer, gaps like these happen over time as each platform PC, Windows RT -Tablet, and now Windows Phone (WP) are still very different (you can add xBox to that list too). Apps you write for Windows RT cannot run on Windows 7 PC's.... Legacy Windows 7 Apps cannot run on Windows RT or WP. And everyone talks about the Fragmentation in the Android Sphere It boils down to there being a different product groups at MS doing their own thing. While these systems (OS's) all come from MS, they are anything but the same.

    There's hope... MS has created this new idea of Universal Apps... One App to rule them all... which is basically code sharing within a solution with the UI parts being subsections that can be customized to certain device to take advantage or to deal with limitations of the device. The WP screen does not equal that of the PC which is different than a tablet...

    But Universal Apps are in the beginning stages. I think the biggest advance with Universal Apps is the common windows API layer...that is significant... very significant. Because it is this layer that holds back taking code made for a PC and just re-compiling for say WP. Even if you deal with the UI differences, the OS API layer is not the same across these platforms which usually means re-creating code. Even before Universal Apps, you started to see merge of the API to help simply creating cross compatible code... Universal is the next logic step to help manage UI differences.

    Now the GAP with WP... it's about having a market... and for WP it's not very large at the moment... when compared to Windows PC...or more to the point... the Android or Fruit Phone markets. IMHO, I think this will change... you look at the differences between Windows Phone 7 as compared to WP 8.1... yeah Huge. It seems to me this difference is just a big as say the difference between Windows CE and Windows Phone 7... anyone remember creating Windows CE apps? I mean we're talking about the days before Windows XP when Windows CE was being the MS mobile platform. Ah, those were the days.

    Personally, I never really cared about investing time in the deep dive with Windows Phone 7 development... I didn't care for what the platform offered when compared to Android... but I started to look more into WP 8... and I saw hope because it looked a lot like what was happening with Windows 8 and Windows RT... and now Windows 8.1... the platforms are coming together... It's finally worth the time to create a WP version of my apps.

    Anyway, that's just my perspective....

    ~ScottGeek.
    05-28-2014 09:57 PM
  7. ohgood's Avatar
    As a long term Windows Developer, gaps like these happen over time as each platform PC, Windows RT -Tablet, and now Windows Phone (WP) are still very different (you can add xBox to that list too). Apps you write for Windows RT cannot run on Windows 7 PC's.... Legacy Windows 7 Apps cannot run on Windows RT or WP. And everyone talks about the Fragmentation in the Android Sphere It boils down to there being a different product groups at MS doing their own thing. While these systems (OS's) all come from MS, they are anything but the same.

    There's hope... MS has created this new idea of Universal Apps... One App to rule them all... which is basically code sharing within a solution with the UI parts being subsections that can be customized to certain device to take advantage or to deal with limitations of the device. The WP screen does not equal that of the PC which is different than a tablet...

    But Universal Apps are in the beginning stages. I think the biggest advance with Universal Apps is the common windows API layer...that is significant... very significant. Because it is this layer that holds back taking code made for a PC and just re-compiling for say WP. Even if you deal with the UI differences, the OS API layer is not the same across these platforms which usually means re-creating code. Even before Universal Apps, you started to see merge of the API to help simply creating cross compatible code... Universal is the next logic step to help manage UI differences.

    Now the GAP with WP... it's about having a market... and for WP it's not very large at the moment... when compared to Windows PC...or more to the point... the Android or Fruit Phone markets. IMHO, I think this will change... you look at the differences between Windows Phone 7 as compared to WP 8.1... yeah Huge. It seems to me this difference is just a big as say the difference between Windows CE and Windows Phone 7... anyone remember creating Windows CE apps? I mean we're talking about the days before Windows XP when Windows CE was being the MS mobile platform. Ah, those were the days.

    Personally, I never really cared about investing time in the deep dive with Windows Phone 7 development... I didn't care for what the platform offered when compared to Android... but I started to look more into WP 8... and I saw hope because it looked a lot like what was happening with Windows 8 and Windows RT... and now Windows 8.1... the platforms are coming together... It's finally worth the time to create a WP version of my apps.

    Anyway, that's just my perspective....

    ~ScottGeek.
    What application do you work on ?
    05-28-2014 10:11 PM
  8. ScottGeek's Avatar
    What application do you work on ?
    I work in the Enterprise Integration space... My apps touch Integration systems like BizTalk... I do custom apps for large commercial things like SAP, BizTalk, etc. At some point I'll get off my back side and actually get something in the App store... goodness knows I've done enough training on how.... I've done lots of helping others with their apps stuff (almost 30 years of writing code for all kinds of systems/devices comes in handy with helping folks).

    I want to transition a Windows PC app I have for soap making to Windows Universal App... that's my current off to the side project I have for myself.

    ~ScottGeek.
    05-28-2014 10:30 PM
  9. psychotron's Avatar
    Sometimes I think it's just outright ignorance and politics. Microsoft approaches a lot of companies and developers of popular apps and offer all the help in the world to get them up and running with Windows Phone, often doing much of the heavy lifting of development of the initial app themselves. In some cases the company just flat out declines (Dunkin Donuts is a perfect example of this quoted by Dan) because they either a) don't think WP is worth their time or b) don't want to go to the trouble of hiring someone to maintain it after MS has helped them with initial deployment. In the case of the latter its better off having them say "No thanks" to begin with because nothing is more sad than seeing an official app languish in the store and eventually fade from compatibility simply because it was never updated.
    05-28-2014 10:39 PM
  10. ScottGeek's Avatar
    Sometimes I think it's just outright ignorance and politics. Microsoft approaches a lot of companies and developers of popular apps and offer all the help in the world to get them up and running with Windows Phone, often doing much of the heavy lifting of development of the initial app themselves. In some cases the company just flat out declines (Dunkin Donuts is a perfect example of this quoted by Dan) because they either a) don't think WP is worth their time or b) don't want to go to the trouble of hiring someone to maintain it after MS has helped them with initial deployment. In the case of the latter its better off having them say "No thanks" to begin with because nothing is more sad than seeing an official app languish in the store and eventually fade from compatibility simply because it was never updated.
    Indeed yes... you saw this back when the Android market first started... even the really popular social apps got few updates... and all of the variant apps that tried to fill in the gaps. What a mess... especially in the open wide range of the Android market (it still suffers at times from that).... but word of mouth gets about and the quality stuff starts to show up and take over.

    We can only hope that the WP market won't take too long to mature... I think a lot of big businesses still have a lot of unknowns when it comes to social and mobile. They measure stuff by the ROI (return on investment) quarter to quarter. There's no willingness to take a leap of faith... they worry about the "if you build it....and no one shows up" epic fail. Of course, if they never try...then they never fail.

    It's a good thing that nothing stays the same... if your tech is solid it will catch on and move in the direction that people want it to.... how many PC's run MS Windows? Now if MS can finally get that Mobil Story right... yeah, that will be something to see happen... the next major step for them.

    ~ScottGeek.
    05-28-2014 11:11 PM
  11. mparker's Avatar
    One thing that doesn't make sense to me about the app gap is that a lot of apps that are not available for WP are available for Windows as programs.
    Do you mean as traditional .EXE style programs? Those are very different from app store apps, and even more different from phone store apps. Most desktop apps need a substantial rewrite to become a WinRT tablet app. Most Windows applications use an API called Win32 - very few use the newer WPF API. The API for Windows Store apps is loosely related to WPF but there are a lot of apparently gratuitous differences and gaping holes (compared with Win32 and the .Net BCL) that I think are due to fact that the Windows Store API was done by the OS group instead of the development tools group. The incompatibilities are aggravating; the insistence on async/await everywhere makes development and debugging more time-consuming, and the missing API capabilities (many of which are missing on purpose) means that comparable store apps simply cannot be written, or doing so will require huge amounts of workarounds. If the market were huge then this might be worth the effort, but it's not, and what market there is doesn't appear to be purchasing store apps (There are theoretically nearly a hundred million Win8 machines out there, but you don't hear of anybody getting rich off of store apps the way you did in the early iPhone days).

    It would seem second nature to me as a programmer to make a Windows app if I make a program as they both can run on the same system so why isn't this the case?
    Because this isn't really the case, and where it is the case it isn't economically useful.

    Windows store apps can only run on Windows 8 or 8.1, x86 or ARM; phone store apps that will only run on windows phone 8 or 8.1 (WP7 only if you're really willing to gimp your app). Windows store apps cannot run on Windows XP, Vista, or 7. On the other hand traditional Windows applications can run on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 on x86. Notice the near complete overlap between the two - the only platforms traditional applications are missing relative to store apps are Windows RT ARM devices; and this wouldn't be so much the case had Microsoft not locked down Windows RT. It's actually a full-blown windows complete with the Win32 API's, its just that the OS has a registry setting that prevents traditional applications from being installed. An ARM version of the application would have to be generated with a cross-compiler but that's old technology - I was doing Windows development on a DEC Alpha Windows NT machine in the mid 90's.

    Anyway, as a developer I can write a store app which is likely to be a complete rewrite in order to gain access to the small market for Windows RT tablets (remember, all x86 machines that can run Store apps can also run my existing traditional application), or I can do that complete rewrite to build an iOS app that gets me access to the iPhone or iPad market. This is really a no-brainer for a developer with bills to pay.

    Unifying the Phone and RT API's and stores is a good step; there are a lot more windows phones out there than there are RT tablets, so this makes the incremental market for an RT app much larger. They also really need to figure out a way to let Windows Store apps run on the desktop, and run on older OS's (at least Win7, and preferably Vista as well). This makes it more viable to write (and support) one app for all windows devices, both traditional desktop, tablets, and phones.
    05-29-2014 09:32 AM
  12. jomarr's Avatar
    The 'App gap' doesn't exist in my opinion. The problem is major devs are too lazy to update their WP apps
    05-29-2014 09:36 AM
  13. mparker's Avatar
    The 'App gap' doesn't exist in my opinion. The problem is major devs are too lazy to update their WP apps
    Or alternatively, the market just isn't big enough to justify the expenditure. They have bills to pay.
    b23h likes this.
    05-29-2014 09:43 AM
  14. manicottiK's Avatar
    The 'App gap' doesn't exist in my opinion. The problem is major devs are too lazy to update their WP apps
    That's unfair. Here's why:

    Start off with the assumption that it costs the same amount to develop an app for each platform. Be generous to Microsoft and say that Windows Phone is so easy to develop for that projects take half the effort of iOS or Android. Now assume that a developer can halve that again because of a lot of the underlying infrastructure or common code needed for an app has already been developed for the iOS and Android versions. Now, let's looks at costs and potential revenue.

    Without Windows Phone:
    1 iOS developer + 1 Android developer = 2 developers for access to 95% of the market

    With Windows Phone:
    1 iOS developer + 1 Android developer + 0.25 Windows Phone developers = 2.25 developers for access to 100% of the market

    To add Windows Phone to the mix, they app publisher has increased development costs by 12.5% (i.e., 2.25 developers / 2 developers - 1), but they've only increased potential revenue by 5.26% (i.e., 100% market access / 95% market access - 1).

    For hobbyists and small developers, this math isn't important because they aren't developing to maximize sales or they're be on other platforms. For some large firms, the desire to be on every platform is more important that the small difference in margins.

    One can argue that iOS+Android is far less than 95% of the market, but if you want to make that claim, don't re-do my math without using realistic effort estimations -- Windows Phone IS easier to develop for than iOS is, but it's not 4x easier.
    b23h likes this.
    05-29-2014 07:02 PM
  15. andyqkw's Avatar
    One thing that doesn't make sense to me about the app gap is that a lot of apps that are not available for WP are available for Windows as programs. It would seem second nature to me as a programmer to make a Windows app if I make a program as they both can run on the same system so why isn't this the case?
    Because there are some developers who simply doesn't care.

    - Tango have app for Windows desktop and Windows Phone 7.x but not Windows Phone 8.x but have not updated them for years.
    - Rebtel have app for Windows desktop but discontinued it and Windows Phone 7.x & 8.x but no longer updating them.

    They give the same **** saying nobody uses it on Windows Phone to warrant their commitment/support.
    05-30-2014 04:05 AM
  16. ohgood's Avatar
    Because there are some developers who simply doesn't care.

    - Tango have app for Windows desktop and Windows Phone 7.x but not Windows Phone 8.x but have not updated them for years.
    - Rebtel have app for Windows desktop but discontinued it and Windows Phone 7.x & 8.x but no longer updating them.

    They give the same **** saying nobody uses it on Windows Phone to warrant their commitment/support.
    Maybe they're telling the truth ? $10,000 invested to return $500 from sales doesn't really make sense to most people.

    Every app isn't going to attract droves of buyers, and if the initial user base is 4% market share....
    05-30-2014 06:36 AM
  17. fardream's Avatar
    Even MSFT themselves sometimes ignore windows phone users - OneNote app cannot craft create new while even iPhone users can.
    05-30-2014 06:38 AM
  18. ScottGeek's Avatar
    Interesting.. one can almost sense from those that are commenting on this thread which ones develop and support software for a living and which ones don't Don't get me wrong... I'm not bashing anyone (as in the non-software developers), but it often does come down to trying to answer the question... "where do I spend my time?" - Those that equate the 3 major MS devices/platforms... Windows PC's- Windows Tablets- Windows Phones- as being the same? Well... Nope. They are getting closer... the OS has the same number now 8.1

    So here are the real world points to consider:

    I've got a very long list of App/Programs I wish were on WP that are just wonderful on other devices... and yes I do indeed know how to create Programs/Apps for those devices... so why don't I just get off my lazy non-caring back side and do it? Well... I have a family to feed... and a life outside of looking at miles and miles of code...and if it's other people's code, don't even get me started on what a life draining task that is

    The simple fact about WP... it's has changed a lot in last few years and while it is getting better... lots of change over short periods of time with an OS (operating system) does not help get people on board with creating Apps... things you spend hours on getting to work say in WP 7.0- well, guess what, it does not work on 8.1. -Now the "die hard hobby" developers have less problems with that than say people such as myself who have to convince management to invest my time to create software for the moving target that has been WP. Yeah... sad but true. WP needs to mature.

    Then there's the popularity... sorry but like the Math above... Mobile software comes down to the numbers. There's a popularity/usage edge that exist... On one side you see small market share with a lack of apps, but as you increase "popularity/usage market share" apps start to show up... people talk... pop culture starts to come into effect... more and more developers notice. Easier to show management that they need to invest. It doesn't take long once the edge is crossed for the explosion to happen. You see that 3rd app icon on Web sites to install "the mobile app"! WP... is not there yet.

    Like it or not... that is the reality.... Lazy? Yeah sometimes... don't care? Always! ...cause that's why I've stuck with doing this crap for the last 30 years... it must be the long hours and all that hate from business people that just keeps my lazy non-caring a** going

    Oh, sorry... did I say that out loud?

    My long term hope is that WP does get past the "EDGE", but that's unknown. In tech that has a large pop-culture tie in, it's difficult for Three Big players to exist... not sure why that is... but there always seems to be one (or a group of one) that stays behind the two leaders.

    It would make my life complete to see WP move up into the slot where the fruit phones live to today... that would put a smile on my face because as MS tech has been my life's work.... it's good to know that one has touched and affected the culture

    ~ScottGeek.
    Last edited by ScottGeek; 05-30-2014 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Spelling Grammer corrections
    tgp, b23h and ohgood like this.
    05-30-2014 07:30 AM
  19. anon(6038817)'s Avatar
    From the perspective of this BlackBerry owner, I think Windows Phone is poised to explode as far as app development.

    This is an issue BlackBerry has struggled with so much that they have stopped focusing on trying to attract native app developers and have put their time and resources into improving the Android runtime so that BlackBerry devices can better run Android apps.

    This feature was originally intended mainly for developers to be able to easily test their Android apps before porting them to BlackBerry World (the BlackBerry App store).

    But the dismal lack of apps prompted so many BlackBerry die-hards to side-load Android apps that BlackBerry decided to make it easier to install Android APKs with just a couple of taps.

    Indeed, I am composing this post on the Tapatalk app from the Amazon Appstore!

    I see this as more of a stopgap than an innovation. BlackBerry has no native app and media ecosystem to drive adoption of its platform, and will therefore remain an enterprise and niche product.

    What excites me about Windows Phone and Microsoft is the convergence about to happen between the desktop, tablet, and mobile platforms - something that no major tech player has done yet.

    If Microsoft is first to the market with this - and it looks like they will be - I think developers will see the opportunities this presents them to get their apps deployed to a huge number of devices with minimal hassle in making them compatible with the three form factors.

    This potential is why I'm considering a WP for my next smartphone.



    Posted from my BlackBerry Z30
    05-30-2014 08:10 AM
  20. ScottGeek's Avatar
    If Microsoft is first to the market with this - and it looks like they will be - I think developers will see the opportunities this presents them to get their apps deployed to a huge number of devices with minimal hassle in making them compatible with the three form factors.

    This potential is why I'm considering a WP for my next smartphone.

    Posted from my BlackBerry Z30
    Absolutely... there is a huge un-tapped potential for Microsoft in the Enterprise space... even tho most on the pop-culture side of things really only see "Enterprise" as a niche market... it's a market with lots of money and large numbers of developers (I think that's Microsoft's ACE in the long term). The Enterprise is what put Blackberries in the world.

    ~ScottGeek.
    05-30-2014 08:27 AM
  21. andyqkw's Avatar
    Maybe they're telling the truth ? $10,000 invested to return $500 from sales doesn't really make sense to most people.

    Every app isn't going to attract droves of buyers, and if the initial user base is 4% market share....
    It could be true, but they are just not putting in enough effort to support Windows Phone and give excuses like nobody is using them.

    How do you expect people to use/keep using and promote your product when what you've release is crappy and never updated?

    I do not care about messages and games on Tango, I am using it primarily for call/video call. Since they already have a working app for Windows Phone 7.x, why can't they modify the code a bit to make it work on Windows Phone 8.x?

    As for Rebtel, calls can only be made thru using the carriers monthly local outgoing call minutes and not thru VoIP. I might as well go for those calling card which allows my to call overseas via call-back service at a same or cheaper rate with that little bit of inconvenience added.

    It all boils down to the chicken and egg issue...
    - No quality app, no users
    - Quality app, user base will pick up gradually (words of mouth)
    Last edited by andyqkw; 05-30-2014 at 10:30 AM.
    05-30-2014 10:11 AM
  22. Christopher Lindsay's Avatar
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm not a developer so I'm not familiar with the technical stuff. I was under the impression that universal apps have been around for a while. Do you guys think universal apps will be what Microsoft really needs to get a big push? Or maybe to make universal apps work on more Microsoft products like more apps available for Xbox and adding the app experience to Windows 7 users? Pretty much what I'm getting at is what type of I incentive or mindset does a company have to get in to think to themselves, "well if we have this program (.EXE) that runs on Windows then it's only right we make the app version as well to compliment".
    05-30-2014 10:48 AM
  23. foxbat121's Avatar
    Universal apps just showed up in WP8.1 preview, not a long time. Even a simplest app takes months to develop to the quality you'd expect.

    It is certainly a step towards the right direction but it is not as universal as you expect. You still have to write some portion of code separately on each platform. You have to publish separate app packages for each platform. And you still have small portions of features only available on one platform vs another. And in order to do universal app, the UI controls need to be narrowed down to a few controls that works in both platforms.

    In other words, it has not greatly reduced amount of time to develop apps for both platforms.
    05-30-2014 11:08 AM
  24. Christopher Lindsay's Avatar
    Universal apps just showed up in WP8.1 preview, not a long time. Even a simplest app takes months to develop to the quality you'd expect.

    It is certainly a step towards the right direction but it is not as universal as you expect. You still have to write some portion of code separately on each platform. You have to publish separate app packages for each platform. And you still have small portions of features only available on one platform vs another. And in order to do universal app, the UI controls need to be narrowed down to a few controls that works in both platforms.

    In other words, it has not greatly reduced amount of time to develop apps for both platforms.
    Is this the same case for apple with the iPhone and iPad?
    Games Goblin likes this.
    05-30-2014 02:08 PM
  25. trivor's Avatar
    The "app gap" is not the problem with the popular apps. It is with commercial applications - Credit Unions, Banks, Financial Apps (Mastercard, Visa, Amex, etc), Sports teams (team specific apps like NHL, Baseball, Football). These are all areas where I have "must have" apps as I use them most days (or at least weekly) and eliminate Windows Phone as a competitor for Android or iOS. I bought a Lumia 521 to check out Windows Phone and it's a nice OS. The problem is that Windows Phone doesn't have a killer feature or app that will motivate people to take the time to switch OSes. I have an investment of $100s of dollars in Android Apps that I'm not willing to give up (or the day to day apps that are not available). MS is caught in the chicken and egg paradox with respect to apps - many commercial endeavors are not willing to spend IT resources on a small percentage of their customers and people won't buy Windows Phone unless some of their must have apps are available. I believe this is why Windows Phone may be stuck at a plateau of 3-4% in the US. JMHO.
    05-30-2014 03:42 PM
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