Windows Phone Store vs iPhone App Store

Time to check in on how the Windows Phone Store is doing against competitors. While the app marketplaces for Android and iOS are larger than Windows Phone, the gap between high-quality apps gets smaller and smaller each week.

Today we're going to check out the top 25 free apps in the iOS App Store and see if they're available for Windows Phone. If an app isn't available, we'll try and offer an alternative for Windows Phone fans. Let's go.

The data

The following data comes from App Annie (appannie.com), an analytics and business intelligence company with co-headquarters in San Francisco and Beijing. They offer store stats for iOS, Mac, Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Windows Phone Store and Windows Store.

The data from their store stats is available as a free online service. In their store stats you get daily rankings, ratings, featured placements, historical rankings for apps and games that you can separate by country and categories.

The data below was taken on July 1st and represents the top charts for the iOS App Store in the United States. (If you go into the rankings now, the apps might have moved position)

iOS Top Charts 25

1. Guess The Emoji: Emoji Pops

  • Publisher: Conversion
  • What it is: A guessing game where emoji are paired together. Your job is to figure what word the emoji represent.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: Some third-party knock-offs exist in the Windows Phone Store, but nothing official.

2. True Skate

  • Publisher: True Axis
  • What it is: Another game, this time an 'authentic' skateboarding game. Reminds me of those Fingerboards in elementary school.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: None. There are some skateboarding games on Windows Phone, but none that appear to be similar to True Skate on iOS.

3. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

  • Publisher: Glu Games
  • What it is: An 'official' game about Kim Kardashian…
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: Hahaha. I would hope not.

4. Paperama

  • Publisher: FDG Entertainment
  • What it is: Another game, this time a puzzler with an Origami theme.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: Nope. Sadly couldn't find any similar games.

5. Fit the Fat

  • Publisher: FIVE BITS
  • What it is: Another game, this one with a fitness focus. You help your character lose weight by going to the gym.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: None like it.

6. Two Fingers, but only one brain

  • Publisher: Jake Zachman
  • What it is: A collection of over 20 mini puzzles. This is a game that requires you to beat two games at once.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: Nada.

7. WatchESPN

  • Publisher: ESPN
  • What it is: The best, and only, way to watch ESPN live on your phone, tablet or PC.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: No, to the dismay of everyone watching the World Cup

8. Facebook Messenger

  • Publisher: Facebook
  • What it is: An app to message your Facebook friends with stickers, photos and more.
  • Available for Windows Phone: Yes! [Download]

9. FIFA Official App

  • Publisher: FIFA
  • What it is: The official app of the 2014 World Cup Brazil. You use it to get exclusive coverage of the massive sporting event.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: Bing Sports is probably your best bet to stay up to date with the World Cup. [Download]

10. World of Tanks Blitz

  • Publisher: Wargaming.net
  • What it is: A free-to-play MMO action game. You get to play with tanks!
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: Nothing. Though you'll find a shady game from a shady dev trying to front as the real thing.

11. TwoDots

  • Publisher: Betaworks One
  • What it is: A minimalist puzzler. It's a beautiful game.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: None. This game has polish like no other. You might find an imitator here or there in the Windows Phone Store, but they aren't close at all.

12. YouTube

  • Publisher: Google
  • What it is: The official YouTube app for iOS. YouTube is the largest streaming site on the internet.
  • Available for Windows Phone: HAHA
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: myTube [Download] and MetroTube [Download] are the community favorites for third-party YouTube apps on Windows Phone.

13. Instagram

  • Publisher: Instagram
  • What it is: A free photo-centric social network.
  • Available for Windows Phone: Yes, but beta + missing features [Download]

14. Snapchat

  • Publisher: Snapchat
  • What it is: A messaging app where users send photos and videos that get deleted after a few moments.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: 6snap is the best third-party client for staying in touch with your Snapchat friends. [Download]

15. Facebook

  • Publisher: Facebook
  • What it is: The world's largest social network
  • Available for Windows Phone: Yes [Download]

16. Piano Tiles (Don't Tap The White Tile)

  • Publisher: HU WEN ZENG
  • What it is: An addictive game where you play on a virtual piano and tap as many black keys as possible.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: A few in the Windows Phone Store, but they're clear knock-offs and we won't link to them. You can find them if you'd like.

17. Google Maps

  • Publisher: Google
  • What it is: Google Maps for mobile. GPS navigation, street view, search and more all in one app.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: Some third-party apps do exist if you want Google Maps on your Windows Phone. Try GMaps+ [Download], Gmaps [Download] and gMaps [Download].

18. Real Boxing

  • Publisher: Vivid Games
  • What it is: A well-received boxing game.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: Try Real Steel World Robot Boxing to get a similar game. [Download]

19. Pandora Radio

  • Publisher: Pandora Media
  • What it is: Streaming radio service, one of the oldest and most popular.
  • Available for Windows Phone: Yes [Download]

20. Spotify Music

  • Publisher: Spotify
  • What it is: A music streaming service with over 40 million users.
  • Available for Windows Phone: Yes, but missing free streaming option [Download]

21. WhatsApp Messenger

  • Publisher: WhatsApp
  • What it is: A very popular messaging application with over half a billion monthly active users.
  • Available for Windows Phone: Yes [Download]

22. Univision Deportes

  • Publisher: Univision Interactive Media
  • What it is: The sports channel for Spanish language broadcaster Univision. To be honest it's probably in the top 25 because of the World Cup going on at the moment. The app allows users to watch games live.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: None at the moment. There's an official Univision app, but you can't watch sports live.

23. Bubble Witch 2

  • Publisher: King.com
  • What it is: A knock-off of 1994's Puzzle Bobble. This version comes from King.com, the makers behind Candy Crush.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: Tons, but the best game that's similar would probably be Zuma's Revenge with Xbox Live Achievements [Download]

24. White Tiles 4 - Don't Touch The White Tile 4 ( with Piano music and Guitar music just Tap it and watch your Step and it has 17 Awesome Game Modes better than Flappy Bird)

  • Publisher: WANG BOXUN
  • What it is: Besides an app with probably the longest title ever? It's an addictive game with over 16 modes and looks to 'borrow' from many popular games like Flappy Bird and the piano game above.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: lol no.

25. HexSweep

  • Publisher: SplitCell
  • What it is: An endless-runner type of racing game, but with some sweet graphics.
  • Available for Windows Phone: No
  • Alternatives for Windows Phone: Try taking Hypernaut for a spin to get a similar feel. [Download]

Takeaways

WatchESPN Not available

  • Games are very popular on mobile platforms.
  • On iOS, 13 of the top 25 free apps are currently games.
  • None of those chart topping iOS games are available on Windows Phone
  • Of the 12 free apps on iOS, only 6 are available on Windows Phone

Microsoft still has a lot of work to do in order to get developers creating apps and games for Windows Phone. The data above helps show what's currently popular among users on one of the most popular mobile operating systems. Right now a lot of those games might be fads, but they're fads that Windows Phone owners are going to miss out on. While you may never want to play Kim Kardashian: Hollywood on Windows Phone, a potential customer might and will chose the platform that has it now. Windows Phone then loses out on the sale because a game that's popular today isn't on the platform.

That's been a struggle for Microsoft and isn't an easy problem to solve. You need more users to get more developers interested in devoting resources to Windows Phone today and not a few months later when the gaming fad has sailed.

Games are one thing; they're transient and don't last long. While it'd be really nice to get the hottest game today, a healthier ecosystem needs more apps with substance. Windows Phone is doing a lot better today than it was a year ago, but it has more work to do.

Of the 12 apps in the top 25 that weren't games, only 6 are available on Windows Phone. We have Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, Pandora, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, but we're missing out on some really great apps like:

  • WatchESPN
  • FIFA Official App
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat
  • Google Maps
  • Univision Deportes

Three of those apps are super popular right now because of the World Cup. Anyone walking into a store to buy a new phone will turn down Windows Phone because they can't watch the World Cup live on their new smartphone. Instead, they'll turn to iOS.

Now it's a little unfair to look at just the top 25 apps AND games on iOS and compare it to Windows Phone, but it's a good way to get a quick snapshot of the difference in the two ecosystems. So what's missing on Windows Phone when we look at the top 100 chart for iOS? We'll ignore games, because they're pretty temporary in popularity, but here are the apps missing on Windows Phone:

  • WatchESPN
  • FIFA Official App
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat
  • Google Maps
  • Univision Deportes
  • SoundCloud
  • Gmail
  • CloudDownload for SoundCloud
  • Free Music Download Manager for SoundCloud
  • Tinder
  • Fly – A fast new video editor
  • Uber
  • Yahoo Mail
  • Flipagram
  • RetailMeNot Coupons
  • Dropbox
  • Google Translate
  • Music Download for SoundCloud
  • Fitbit
  • Chrome
  • Cartwheel by Target

Those are just the apps in the top 100 missing on Windows Phone. Hit up the iOS Top Charts on App Annie, and you'll find dozens of games missing from Windows Phone like Clash of Clans, Plants vs. Zombies 2 and others.

It's also sad to see apps like ESPN Radio, Kik, Pinterest and Expedia in the top 100. But wait, we have those on Windows Phone? Yes, ESPN Radio and Kik haven't been updated in years while Pinterest and Expedia are nothing more than web-wrappers posing as apps.

Is all hope lost? No, not at all. We wouldn't be running a site dedicated to Windows Phone if we didn't believe in the future of the platform. We just wanted to paint a picture of the current app landscape compared to iOS. There's still a lot of work to be done by Microsoft to help get these publisher onboard with Windows Phone.

There's also a huge opportunity still for indie developers on Windows Phone. Look for apps that don't exist on Windows Phone by browsing the top charts for iOS and Android. Don't build a generic knock-off, but take the time to study what that app does and built an alternative worthy of Windows Phone. Find a MySpace in those iOS charts and build a Facebook on Windows Phone.

Did you move to Windows Phone from iOS? What apps are you still hurting for? Sound off below. Windows Phone faithful? What do you think needs to happen for developers to take Windows Phone a little more seriously?

More to come!

In our follow up article we turn the tables: What are the top apps + games for Windows Phone and are they on iOS?