Windows Phone is often criticized for it’s app store. It is not only said that is has not enough apps to compete against iOS and Android but also the apps’ quality isn’t good enough.
But is this still true?
In the last few months since Windows Phone 8 was released the Windows Phone store changed rapidly. Many on iOS and Android popular apps were released, the quality improved dramatically (at least on most apps).
Because Windows Phone has gained new market share it became more attractive to developers. Also the new possibilities developers have when programming their apps make it so much more interesting, and especially easier to code. Both are significant points for developers to switch over to Windows Phone.
Remember the time where we were like 2nd class smartphone users and almost all popular apps have been just cheap ports from other systems? I believe this time is now over.
There are so many new, beautifully designed apps available now. McDonald’s Germany released its official app a few weeks ago, with full Windows Phone 8 compatibly, means wallet integration, lock screen updates and a live tile. Wetter.com, a German weather service, released a new app some time ago, again with full Windows Phone 8 compatibly. Not to mention the new YouTube app, which unfortunately was removed from the store soon after but should be available again soon. Hungry Now, which is an amazing app which seems to be WP only, was released for Windows Phone 8. DB Navigator was updated.
Then there is also a bunch of new high-quality games. Modern Combat, Asphalt 7, Jetpack Joyride, Dalton 2, N.O.V.A, Real Football and of course Halo.
Of course the named apps and games are just a few examples but saying “Windows Phone has only bad apps” is not true (anymore). The quality has improved very much. Sure, in comparison to iOS or Android the store still lacks some apps, and not all are as great as the new McDonald’s app (e.g. Whatsapp and Temple Run), but the situation is clearly better than a year ago, and even those are improving.
According to www.infragistics.com Windows Phone is sporting 64% of all top 100 apps available on iOS. Android is at 96% and Windows at 54. At the first look that doesn’t sound very good but considering the market share and the time Windows Phone is on the market it’s actually very good; Android had a much bigger market share when developer started to code apps for the platform. Windows, which is not even one year on the market, is also doing very nicely with 54%. I am not saying there’s not much left to do, but it could look much worse!
What I also experienced is that apps which are available on Windows Phone are finally promoted as such. Not everywhere, though, but in Germany I have already seen three TV commercials and one poster of apps, which claimed they are not only available on Apple’s and Google’s system, but also on Microsoft’s. This is not only good for the developer but also for Microsoft since this is like free advertising. Then there are also the developer’s websites.
Of course the few ads where Windows Phone is named are not comparable to iOS and Android, but it’s a good start and remember Android when it started to gain market share late 2008? It was kind of the same.
What do you think? Has the situation improved, or do you believe there’s still too much to do?