The untold "app gap" story, Part I: Human behavior, the overlooked variable

The app gap, as we know, is the issue most blamed for Windows Phone's market woes. We often read articles and comments that assert and reassert the advantages the vast repository of apps available for the iPhone and Android phones provide those platforms. The fact that Windows phone has a comparatively much smaller app catalog, of approximately 500,000 apps compared to its competitors 1.5 million, leads many to presume that this disparity invariably leads to a subpar smartphone experience for the average smartphone user who chooses Windows phone.

What is often overlooked is the human behavior factor that drives the smartphone-app-experience story.

Despite the undeniable quantity and limited quality app disparity between Windows Phone apps and those of the leading platforms, however, the app gap story is much bigger than the abridged tale that is usually presented by other writers and commenters. Most of the dialog on this subject focuses solely on the empirical data of the size of competing app stores. What is often overlooked is the human behavior factor that drives the smartphone-app-experience story.

Ignoring this critical human behavior factor is like trying to tell a story without including the characters that drive the plot. Sure you have the setting but how is the environment engaged? And at what points are different aspects of the environment interacted with and how frequently? How does the environment drive character development? Though the setting is an important and vital part of a story, its role is to help the reader better understand the characters. The character is the focus.

Many who have narrated the "app gap story" have placed the focus on the setting: the size (or lack thereof) of the mobile platform's app stores. However, it is we, the smartphone users, who are the characters and therefore the legitimate focus of the story. In this series, we will look at the 2015 US Mobile App Report to present an analysis of the human behavior variable of the app gap story. This first piece is an introduction of that analysis and a prelude to a much deeper dive into the data that will follow in parts II and III.

I realize that the demographic focused on in this report excludes a global audience. So it cannot be definitively asserted by the data that this analysis applies to all smartphone users. That said it is reasonable to conclude many aspects of human behavior in relation to app engagement are consistent across varying demographics.

Putting all of our ducks in a row

Microsoft's struggling mobile platform is in a precarious position. After five years of going head to head with Apple and Google the platform has never received wide-spread consumer adoption. To rectify its mobile platform's less than stellar market position, Microsoft has embarked upon a comprehensive ecosystem-building strategy. In "Windows Phone isn't dead" we talked about Microsoft's plans to maintain and grow its mobile platform during a period of retrenchment. Through nourishing the ecosystem, building partnerships and developing tools and a platform for app porting and development Microsoft is proving a dedication to the full breadth of Windows including "phone."

In the words of Microsoft's Windows Chief Terry Meyerson, "We're going to do some cool things with phone."

Despite strategically expected shrinking market share and the waning faith of some of the Windows Phone faithful and others in the industry, Myerson's words indeed sound promising. In fact, Myerson's allusion to the future of Windows "phone" presented a great segue between the conclusion of the "Windows Phone isn't dead series" and the "Smartphone is dead series".

By the end of "Windows Phone isn't dead", we were positioned to view the broader smartphone industry and the transition that is challenging its phone-focused paradigm. We posited in "Smartphones are dead" that Microsoft's mobile strategy arguably positions Redmond to take advantage of that shift in a way competitors cannot.

The ultra-mobile PC analysis is often challenged with, "But Windows Phone has no apps."

As users and developers demand more PC-like power and capabilities from their smartphones Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform and context conforming OS and device strategy, culminating in an ultra-mobile PC seems to be the natural evolution of the smartphone and natural solution to the declining PC market. Of course all of the ultra-mobile PC, smartphone evolution talk is often challenged with the classic and almost knee-jerk response, "But Windows Phone has no apps".

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The presumed logical conclusion of that succinct surmising is that the persistence of that particular shortcoming will result in the continuance of Microsoft's failing attempts with "phone" despite any shifts in the industry or innovation Redmond brings to market.

Whether the app Bridges and Windows as a platform for mobile development will succeed is yet to be seen.

As we've shared in Windows Phone isn't dead part VI: App Gap? Microsoft has a platform for that, Redmond has a plan to shift its app misfortunes to its favor. Whether the app Bridges and courting developers by making Windows a platform for mobile development with the integration of Xamarin will succeed or fail is yet to be seen. The ambitious AI and bot framework (opens in new tab) strategy that complements those "more established" efforts also presents a light at the end of the "app gap" tunnel. Microsoft is without a doubt pulling out all of the stops to ensure developer support for Windows of which "phone" is a part. Satya Nadella said it this way{.nofollow}:

"I am committed to our first-party devices including phones. However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention. We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family."

We've spoken in depth about Microsoft's Window Phone retrenchment strategy. We've also talked about the firm's ambitious strategy to resolve the "app gap" problem. In this series, we will take the road less traveled and consider human behavior in relation to apps and challenge the very "existence" of the app gap. Or to be more precise, the presumed impact it has on Windows Phone as a viable consumer platform. Uh oh. I'm in for it now. Well, the dye is cast. Let's go.

Is there an app for that?

Of course, there's an app gap, right? Apple and Google both tout more than 1.5 million apps in their respective app stores after all. Microsoft's Windows Store is about one-third that size. Of course, we know this because the media constantly reminds readers and viewers of the disparity between the market leaders and Microsoft. Admittedly it would be foolish to ignore the adverse effects of missing popular apps and the low quality of some others. It would also be foolish to ignore the negative effects of the consistently partial reporting of the tech media who tell only a part of the "app gap" story.

The size of the app stores doesn't tell the all-important human-app interaction/engagement part of the story.

The focus on the size of the app stores and the less than ideal developer support for Windows does not tell the all-important human-app interaction/engagement part of the story. Apps are designed to help humans get things done. Therefore, ignoring how we as humans use apps, what apps we are using to get things done and even how we engage app stores (or not) to find apps to get things done ignores a critical measure of the app story: human behavior in relation to apps. This human behavior aspect is arguably the story that needs to be told, or at least consistently incorporated in the oft-echoed "app gap" story.

Since most conclude that the app gap, which has both a numeric and quality component, is a critical deficit to the Windows ecosystem, a reasonable conclusion is that iPhone and Android users frequently avail themselves of their platforms much praised and exceedingly abundant resource.

Surely the average user must be devoting copious amounts of time perusing the rich content of their respective app stores. They surely must be downloading a myriad assortment of apps every month from the hundreds of thousands of apps available to them. And it is certain that the average user spends the overwhelming percentage of their app time engaging with a presumed vast and diverse portfolio of apps they've downloaded to their smartphones.

If you are an average U.S. smartphone user (if you're reading this you're likely a tech enthusiast and not an average user), and this doesn't sound like you, you are not alone. The data from the 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report reveals that most US smartphone users spend 50% of their smartphone app time in just one app.

The same report also reveals that the average user does not spend a lot of time searching the app stores or downloading a multitude of apps. Thus, the app gap though real in a numeric and quality sense is less impactful to the average user when we incorporate the data of human behavior in relation to apps into the equation. Yes, I know many of you may be ready to rip off into the comments to share your anecdotal experiences. Before you do that, keep reading.

We're such social creatures

Let's get this out of the way first. It is true that there are indeed apps missing from the Windows Mobile platform that are present on iOS and Android. Furthermore, relative to their iOS and Android counterparts, some apps that are on Windows Mobile are of lesser quality. Anecdotally, both missing and poor quality apps have negatively affected the smartphone experiences of some users. To deny these facts would be both unrealistic and dishonest.

Some of the apps users miss on Windows are social apps like Snapchat, some banking apps like the soon to return Bank of America app, and habitual behavior apps like the Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks apps that some smartphone users use daily. Handy deal finding shopping apps like Walmart or Kohls are also among the missing. As stated earlier, it is a fact that the absence of some of these apps from Windows adversely affects the experience of some users. However, the impact of the effect of these missing apps on those who find their absence problematic varies.

Users like myself who lamented the loss of my very useful banking app finds the void it left both a disappointment and a very real inconvenience. However, though I used the app regularly, most of the activity I spend on my device was not on my banking app. Like most users, based on the information from the 2015 US Mobile App Report, most app-based smartphone usage is spent in social apps, particularly Facebook. And, of course, Facebook is available on Windows Mobile. Furthermore, Facebook dominates not only the social networking category of mobile phone app usage, but all mobile app usage as we will delve into further in Part II.

Users like myself find the void both a disappointment and an inconvenience.

So though it is an inconvenience when I'd like to use the banking app rather than the website I'm now forced to use, its absence has little effect on my most frequent smartphone app usage. In fact, the "app gaps" effect, though a real and a definite inconvenience at times, has little real effect on my dominant smartphone app usage.

Though my experience has no bearing on that of others, my personal app usage experience seems consistent with the majority of US smartphone users. That being that our dominant smartphone app usage conflicts with the sense that the "app gap" dramatically impairs or can impair the average smartphone user's general smartphone experience. That notion is simply not borne out in the data of this 2015 US smartphone app report.

As we will see in further detail in Part II virtually all of the most used smartphone apps such as Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Spotify, Pandora and others are available on Windows Phone. Simply put, the manner in which the average smartphone users uses apps does not necessarily greatly benefit from hugely robust app stores.

Remember, 50% of the average users smartphone app time is spent in their top app, which statistically speaking is Facebook. And believe it or not less than 10 apps dominate the average users smartphone app usage time.

My personal app usage experience seems consistent with the majority of US smartphone users.

Now I am sure that the comment section will be populated with anecdotal experiences of how the app gap has hampered some reader's personal experiences. Again, before you type angrily away, please note my acknowledgment of negative experiences due to missing apps in particular categories including my own experience with a missing banking app. However, according to Comscore's 2015 US Mobile App Report 50% of all app time spent on a smartphone occurs in an individual's single most used app. Quite, literally one app on a US smartphone user's phone dominates half of their smartphone app time.

1.5 million available apps does not tell us how most users, are using what apps, most of the time.

Hearing about the 1.5 million apps in Apple's and Google's app stores contrasted with Microsoft's nearly 500,000 is a valid data point that reflects developer support or lack thereof for the platforms. It also conveys the assurance that if there is an app a user wants on the iPhone or an Android smartphone it will likely be available. The opposite is sometimes the case for Windows Mobile. This data does not, however, tell us how most users are using what apps, most of the time. It is the answers to those questions that give a broader view of the true impact of, or even based on practical application, the existence of, "the app gap."

We're just getting started

It has become almost customary to end an assessment of Microsoft's mobile efforts with an indictment against the platform by mentioning the notorious "app gap". Posts in article's comment sections, and tweets are also popular forums to share one's concerns, complaints or sometimes ill-intended criticisms about the "app gap" and its effect's on the fate of Windows Phone.

The app gap as a numeric disparity between the app stores of Apple and Google and Windows is indeed real and quantifiable. The quality disparity of some apps is also measurable and observable. Both of these issues are being addressed. That said, human behavior indeed affects which apps we use and how we use them. This fact challenges the assertion that the quantity and quality app disparity that exists between Windows Mobile and its rivals invariably leads to a subpar or, as many have advocated, better avoided smartphone experience on Windows Phone. Of course, there are other concerns many have voiced about the user experience on Windows Phone that are related to the OS or other factors. Here we are focused on the presumed disastrous effects of the "app gap."

That said, the data have revealed that the average US smartphone user spends 50% of their "app time" in just one app. We've also seen that the average users time is devoted primarily to using social media.

In this piece, we touched on some of the data from the 2015 US Mobile App Report, but we've merely scratched the surface of this important topic. This piece was simply the prelude for a much deeper dive into the data that supports the analysis that human behavior in relation to apps, in essence, precludes the existence of an "app gap"; or at least negates the assumption that its impact makes Windows Phone a non-viable consumer platform.

In part two we will see how most users, are using what apps, most of the time and how Windows Phone fits in that picture.

Jason Ward

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • Thanks for reading once again folks! Sorry for the hiatus. I had multiple deaths in my family within a few weeks time. Anyway this series will continue to look at the "App Gap" that has so plagued Windows Phone! Naturally missing apps and lesser quality apps has an undeniable affect on some users as well as a broader general perception issue of the platform. But as we we continue to see in this series the real practical effects on the average smartphone user based upon human behavior and what apps are used most of the time and what apps are available on Windows Phone challenges the assertions that many make about the impact of the app gap for the average smartphone user. Well you know the drill, LET'S TALK!!!
  • Jason, Thanks for the well written articles. You are one of my favorite editors! Now, I am an avid Android user who hasn't used any other mobile platform. I will readily admit that the "app gap" is a big issue for me. But, what I see Microsoft doing with W10M, it has my attention. In fact, as soon as W10M plays nicely with my SP3 (much like iPhones and Macs do) that is when I will purchase a Windows phone and try it out. I think features like this will help lessen the blow of the "app gap" problem because it will make the platform more attractive as a whole. Just my 2 cents... Posted with the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, or Surface Pro 3
  • Thanks for the input and the support. I'm just a contributer by the way not one of the editors. :-) Glad you enjoyed this piece. Hope you do try do try WP, and when you do please share your experience! -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • I love your articles, not because of the articles but because I can enjoy doom and gloom kids spamming the comments section. I mean, you write good balanced articles with a lot of reasoning in them, that's what makes the childish comments that follow everytime so funny. Grabbing popcorns, 3,2,1....go!
  • Haha same here Paolo :D
  • @Paolo and Sumair thanks for the support guys! -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Jason... Let's revisit WP, and a General poor marketing strategy, from the beginning in 2010, in a future article..
    For years I've been saying that that has been a severe issue holding WP back, and I know you believe so as well.. Just please do it for me. Lol.
    But, Seriously.
  • Agreed @rodneyej..  The marketing strategy was never a priority on Microsoft's top shelf for things to do. But I believe this is because of the crazy hurdles that kept WP from becoming a real player to date. From the agressive push Nokia took with making their phones become not only a Microsoft Partner but (IMO), to the shegrin of Microsoft and its other Partners, becoming 'The Partner' for phone devices, which isn't what Microsoft really wanted. Then there was the OS shift from 7 to 8, a major change at the time (to start the path to what we have now and that is UWA), changes in CEO of Microsoft and the paradigm shift that came with that, and then the purchase of Nokia's phone division, another huge hurdle (again IMO) to control and reduce the significance of Nokia to make way for other partners to come onboard. Now we have Windows 10, its ecosystem that is a massive undertaking and something that needs its foundation sound before building on top of it. And I believe MS want to get the Anniversary Redstone out for the benefit of all the devices it runs on with Core to then push this ecosystem right. This is where I see Microsoft gearing up its marketing and start to really promote its long term strategies with all the pieces finally aligning for them. For us consumers we rarely get to see the big picture when it comes the 5 or 10 yr plan for a company and if we do see anything of it it will be just a glimpse. But it is clear Microsoft is moving toward a goal.    
  • Good points!
  • Even a Mimi editorial covering marketing would be nice.. It really is a big issue, and needs to be addressed.
  • Hi Rodney I hear you! I haven't written a piece on that yet though my wife and I have talked about it quite a bit.
    We do know at this point they won't market anything until all thier ducks are in a row.
    In the past there was some marketing like the ATT 920, ATT 1020, and Verizon 928 Ads, but nothing on the caliber of what we see from Apple and Samsung who are on every major carrier. One if the things Chris Capossela, MS Chief Marketing Officer pointed out is the marketing built into the products, which is very important. Check out(which I'm sure you have) part 3 of my "Highs and Lows Microsoft's Smartphone Strategy: Rules of Engagement; Business Unusual": Apple and Google(Samsung) are great at that AS WELL the in the "consumers face, touch our emotions and senses" ads. MS can't really do that with phone right now. I think they could have done better in the past. Maybe I'll do a lil' something. :-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • While the article is great, goes into the root of the problem, and approaches it the way it should, I have to say it's useless (read on, I'll explain).
    ​The only people who will read the whole article, and think about it, and who have the brainpower to understand it, are the people who actually understand what the app gap is, and they shouldn't even read the article, they already know most of the stuff.
    While the other people who SHOULD read the article, they
    -will not even be on this site
    -will not bother reading an article of this length
    -will not understand it
    As a proof of this, just look at the comment bellow. 'Screw you and your well written article, I know the best what's going on - WP IS DEAD AND SUCKS AND HAS NO APPS!!11! Android-powah!'
    Why even bother trying to educate mindless fanboys or some "tech-writers" who barely know how to hold a phone, let alone something else? The moment I realised what the app-gap is, is when people started crying about Snapchat. At that moment, you realise that those "people" are actually 15 year old kids who just want the newest (*cough* dumbest *cough*) trend. And I'm sorry to be the guy, but Windows is not the platform for that, nor will it ever be.             
  • Yeah, but I "read" to support the work (mainly just skimmed this one or used the Summary Bot in Skype) it's cool to know exactly what Jason thinks v. what the peanut gallery has to say, but he wants a peanut gallery because at least its an audience lol =p I do what I want... =p
    Windows 10 RULZZ yer FACE!!!
  • But trends are what the MAJORITY of people follow. Whether it be music, fashion, apps. So unless Windows mobile can get apps released at the same time as the other OS's, it will never gain market share. By the time Windows gets an app often the trend has died and the company is trying to make some extra cash off the little guy it ignored in the first place.
  • Correct. MS can't be successful if they think like this guy, and accept the fact that it's ok to ignore a demographic.
    WINDOWS 10 is for EVERYONE EVERYWHERE ON EVERY TYPE OF DEVICE, so it must have software for all kinds of taste, and situations... Even popular, and fad, apps.
  • While I agree with a lot you say I highly DISAGREE with your fact that Windows SHOULD NOT have app parity with the other platforms. That's the biggest copout for Windows not having apps that I ever heard.
    Actually, while you where in the process of trying to explain how others don't perceive the app gap properly you just proved how unaware, and out of touch, of the situation you yourself actually are. The end of you comment went south.
  • I'm not saying Windows shouldn't have apps. I'm just saying it's not a priority (especially when thosee "apps" are useless passing trends). Remember Vine? We cried for a vine app, and now that thing is nearly dead. I mean, I still love Vine, but it didn't save WP, nor will Snapchat, nor any other app. Windows is good as a system, and it's not trying to get audience with some colorful apps. That's what I meant to say. Windows is so much more. The only apps that I really see as missing are bank apps (and PayPal since a few days ago). And even without them it's not the end of the world.
    ​I'm not out of touch, I'm just happy with what I have.
  • It's not a priority? No, it is most definitely a priority, and applications is what has driven Windows since day one.. The fact is that the idea of an application has changed, but the application, or program, is still critical.. Build is one of MS's BIGGEST and most important events of the year... You have the story backwards. Gaining app parity is MOST DEFINITELY MS'S IMMEDIATE PRIORITY! That is the ENTIRE reason for the way W10 has been executed for every device, and with UA's.. At this point it's all about apps, and this article is in no way trying to detour from that fact..
  • And, wait.. You only think we're missing banking apps, and the like?.. Wow! You really are oblivious the the REAL APP GAP, and I'm not talking about JUST numbers.. First of all your age might have something to do with it. No offense BTW, just an assessment. How old are you? And, I ask that because I could be wrong.. Millions of people need thousands of different work, school, community, consumer product related, and municipal apps alone (just to name a few)... All those airline employees, city employees, teachers, engineers, (the list goes on), have specific apps that their organizations require them to have. Yes, require! You have to enter the real world to understand just how many important apps windows is missing. I once meet a flight attendant that had to hit rid of her 1520 because it didn't have the critical to her job check-in app that is required for her to have.. That's just one of thousands of examples that keep people (some who are sad to give up on WP) going to other platforms... What about all those consumer product apps? Thousands! Do you have a later model Harley? A Mercedes? Do you own your own home? If you do own your own home does your community have a HOA?... Well, me, and millions do, and there's an app for all that! I've been missing out! Lol. Popular apps?? Those aren't anything in numbers. They are super critical, but don't even make up 5% of what people really want, and need. Most users here have no idea of what's available out there. Like I said, this article isn't here to explain how apps aren't critical, rather a lighter perspective on where WP actually sits... It's not the fact that a user needs 200 different apps, but the "app gap", in my eyes, is that with WP when you need that one app that's important it's virtually NEVER there.. But, you don't think it's a big deal, and you're satisfied. That's why I think you might not be into the real world yet, and possibly younger. No offense, because as the article states, everyone has different needs. But, it's not logical to ignore the fact that MS has spent billions, and apps have held them back.. That is a HUGE problem. That's their weakest link! Can you name anything else they struggle so much with?
  • I agree with you on that it's not the popular apps where windows phone is lacking its the niche apps that serve a specific purpose but are important to everyday life. Apps are meant to make life easier and more productive but if it's not available for your phone its not beneficial.
  • Yes, and I agree with Ma Rio's point about one app not making, or breaking the platform. Well, Facebook could, but that's besides the point... He's right that popular apps (by themselves) aren't critical in the long run.. That's true. It's those not so popular apps that make up the majority of iDroids catalog, and what makes their stores so helpful, compared to Windows.... But,, BUT!! Where not having popular apps can hurt you, especially in the long run, is never having them... I mean, so one specific app won't hurt this month, but not having next months app, and the one popular the month after that, and next, and next, for years hurts!.... We can't just claim to not have one popular app (like Snapchat).. The negative perception about the store, which MS struggles with, is the perpetual mental accumulation of not having popular apps at the given time.. So, actually we can say that it is important to have every popular app, when it's popular, along with the other platforms, and consistently....
  • People need apps for their local stores, parks, pharmacies, public transportation, coffee shops, banks, their DVR and home security systems and automobiles. And yes like Jason said, people spend most of their time on 1 or 3 apps, but not having the apps I listed above is a frustrating experience, and can make anyone regret their mobile phone choice if they can't get them. 
  • Correct.
  • Want not need. On a trip to USA earlier this month I installed around 8 apps for parks,  transportation, stores, attractions. Every single one of them was a waste of time. They didn't give me useful information or presented it in a way that made no sense, with illogical menus  such that I couldn't access that information on demand. I seriously regretted spending time trying to get useful information out of them. Mostly their Web sites were better,  but some of those were not mobile friendly. Yes there are some apps missing which is why I'm on Android. Could I use a windows phone and do without them? Yes,  they aren't needs. I tried it for a fortnight and didn't die. But I liked reading my RSS feeds on newsblur, having access to my bank,  setting programmes to record on my PVR, submitting my utilities readings. All but the PVR I could have done equally as well on a well designed Web page.
  • THIS! You nailed it down!
  • I agree. Missing Snapchat does not bother me as I do not use it. It would be a issue to my daughter's though who use it daily.
    However my Epson printer has an iOS app and an android app, but no Windows app. This does bother me. I can print office docs by sending to my printers email, but cannot print a web page or a photo, and cannot scan to my phone. It is the same for many other devices, they support iOS and android but not Windows. This is where Microsoft to step up their game, getting hardware manufacturers on-board. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I concur Rodney
  • MS have lost the younger generation, this is their biggest problem now, the mind set of the current youth.
    My kids love apple and android, nothing I can say will change their minds, I'm an old fart apparently and MS is for old farts.
    They need to reinvent cool, and fast. Surface is a major step in the right direction, they need more of that style product, yesterday....... Not that my daughter would touch it any way, peer pressure to be cool is paramount
  • Lol. True.
  • I am a memeber of younger generation and apperantly the most of my generation does not understand how much do they pay just for the Apple brand name when they purchase their products. I own Windows Phone and I convinced my family to use them because they don't really need many apps, but the ones they need are there for them to use.  The problem is in advertising, the problem is that it doesn't have snapchat because I see that pretty much everyone arround me has snapchat though i don't see why is it so popular, however this is all just from the point of view of my generation. Most of them don't really know what hardware do their phones have, they just see either Samsung or iPhone name on it and they are all for it. 
  • OMG dude...really sorry to hear that. =( I had a few rough years some time ago that I lost some people, I feel ya...honestly, its also about the same time I started to hitch my banner with MS by playing Xbox and it was all downhill from there! ;p I do what I want... =p
    Windows 10 RULZZ yer FACE!!!
  • I am very appreciative of the broad scope of your articles.  I think too much tech writing lacks the Big Picture, and I find it very refreshing when I find it.  I have sometimes thought this is a reflection of the development of shortened attention spans in this age of 140-character publications.  Whatever the reason, please don't fall into that trap yourself.  My sympathies for your losses.  
  • Im glad you made it clear you acknowledge the frustration concerning certain apps. Sign of an objective writer true to the reality. You're a natural for journalism. The only apps I don't have and notice (because everyone I know has them) are snapchat and periscope. But because I don't use them, I don't particularly miss them or care. Admittedly snapchat is a big app to not have, which is why people are put off getting windows phones. Official apps too are "needed" for the majority of people. Which is why the majority don't own a windows phone. IMO.
  • Sorry to hear about your recent losses Jason. Thanks for the article. I'm now following you on twitter btw :)
  • I've never been an app fan, don't use Facebook, so for me it's nothing I have missed.
    That was until I download the Windows Central app, I'm seriously impressed with it, I now wonder what else I'm missing out on.
    For me now, quality far outweighs quantity, that maybe is a WP fans biggest issue, lots of apps I'm now looking at are rubbish.
  • You're impressed with the windows central app??!! LOL troll alert. Crashes so much!
  • Maybe it's your siht hardware?
  • Lumia 950 so no
  • Actually, lets not fool ourselves... Quantity is a good thing.. Quantity is very important when you look at the situation literally. The reason why quantity is actually valid is because quantity drives probability... So, the higher quantity the higher probability that you will find what you need. And, that concept applies to other situations in life besides apps... The fact that MS needs to have a broad selection of apps, that appeal to everyone's needs, is directly related to quantity. The reality is that looking at the store as a whole, and not on an individual basis (which we should do because that's how MS has to view it) if Windows had two million apps in their store today the probability that you would find every app you need would be very much higher than with 500k apps in the store. That's just simple math that can't be argued with.
  • Condolences to you and your family. God bless. Welcome back, I love reading your articles. Keep it up 
  • Thanks for another well written article Jason. Without knowing your angle for the next articles the following:  I am a Microsoft fan. Until my 950XL fell and was destroyed a couple of weeks ago I loved my phone. I've experienced 7, 8 , 8.1 and 10 on phone. I also use a Galaxy 7" tablet. And an iPad. And my work issued phone is also Android. My dislike of both Android and iOS grows most days and some days I cannot fathom why people would prefered the layered UI Andoid or the limited iOS. But, and this is a BIG but, when you start using them and the platform fades and the richness of the app experience comes to the fore I, at times, feel embarrassed with my lack of apps on the Lumia. Contrary to your "50% of the time one app is used" angle, this is not where it is won or lost. In a quick poll between 12 friends (all Android and iOS) we found about 30 apps where the usage wasn't common between them but where the users of those apps rated them as essential to their mobile experience. And guess what...almost all of those apps were NOT available for my 950XL. That kills a platform. And that is why the "app gap" will be Microsoft's biggest challenge even if W10M after Redstone turns out to be the best ever mobile OS the world has seen.    
  • Very sorry to hear about the deathes in your family. My deepest sympathy with you and you family. Thank you for another very interesting article. :)
  • Sorry to hear about your loss.
  • Jason, great article as always! I agree with many of the comments who have said in various ways that the % time spent in the top apps is not the determining factor in selecting a platform. It's a combination of the quality of apps (if something a person uses a lot is even a little bit better on another platform, that's a compelling reason to use that other platform) or the fact that a rarely used app is nevertheless important to that user. I only use the toilet in my bathroom a few minutes per day, but I'd be pretty bummed out if my house did not offer a toilet feature. Think back to the early days of the market share fight between Apple and PC. One of the main reasons people didn't use Macs was because there were a few programs (apps) they wanted that had more features on PC or were only available on PC, even though the big main programs were on both. (Another was cost, so I don't mean to overplay this point, but it was certainly a factor.) Having said that, I do think Microsoft's strategy is almost perfect for rectifying this problem. It appears that even as Windows Phone market share is falling between devices, the rate of new apps that will run on Windows 10 Mobile is accelerating, thanks to UWP. If the new XBox stick devices also runs phone-formatted and Continuum-supporting UWP apps, that could be even more compelling. Further, I think their plan to use enterprise as the beachead marketplace for the return of Windows Phone with the Surface Phone in 2017 is exactly right -- that group of customers won't care nearly as much about the missing consumer apps, but will help beild the user base (along with Windows 10 desktop and the Store for growth in UWP apps). I am optimistic for the long-term success of Windows Phone/Mobile. By the way, "the dye is cast" should be the "die is cast" :-)
  • Let's agree to disagree, Jason.  Since you write for this site, and since this portion of the site's very presence relies on the existence of Windows Mobile, you have a clear conflict of interest, and so you spin the sad truth of the app gap as best you can.  It's not about a count of the number of apps in each store, it's not about social media apps, and it's not about the amount of time that one spends in their apps.  You mention the BOA app.  Exactly how much time each day do you spend doing your banking with your phone?  Yet, the absense of an app as useful as a banking app induces the frustration felt by so many WinMo fans.  It has nothing to do with how much time they spend in that app.  Also, I don't think social media apps are the issue.  In general, viable app options exist there.  No, it's more about the consistent lack of a WinMo app when you're presented with a site offering a cool product or service.  One need only mozy on over to KickStarter or IndieGogo and look at the products being funded.  Perhaps 99 out of 100 of them will have a smartphone app that works with their product, and there you'll see the AppStore and GooglePlay links, but no WinMo offering.  In fact, forget the likes of KickStarter and IndieGoGo.  Just go to most any website that offers an app, and you'll see the same thing - the iOS and Android links but no Windows link.  That, my friend is exemplary of the app gap.  It's real, it's frustrating, and it seems to continue endlessly.  Unless and until this phenomenon changes, WinMo will continue to be hopelessly mired in the pittance of customers selecting it as their smartphone platform of choice.  You can try to put a positive spin on it by cherry picking stats about app usage behavior, but this is simply the hard truth of it, IMO.  And I continue to be an avid, yet very frustrated, user of the WinMo platform.
  • I can't believe how much time you waste with these articles for a dead platform. Even the owner didn't talk much about it early on the year (BUILD) AND WILL TAKE ANOTHER YEAR TO TALK ABOUT IT. This is not fun anymore. Even The Verge comments section on the WP is dead articles are more funny.
  • Why do you even care then? Go hang out at The Verge.
  • Don't point your frustration at the verge.
  • Huh?
  • EVERY frustration @TheVerge aka "La V*rga" lol ;p I do what I want... =p
    Windows 10 RULZZ yer FACE!!!
  • There wasn't much time in the BUILD. Lumia 640XL LTE DS
  • I can't believe how much time you spend reading these articles for a platform you consider dead. Move on then. I'm not a baseball I'd be an idiot if I went to and bitched about how much baseball talk there was.... You can finish the other half of the statement.
  • Read? What? The same delusional nonsense? Microsoft actions in regard to their mobile endeavour speaks LOUDER than the words he uses in every and each one of his articles.
  • Yeah, don't you have anything better to do? I mean, I don't ;p I do what I want... =p
    Windows 10 RULZZ yer FACE!!!
  • I can't believe the time you spend reading an article about a "dead" OS!
  • I can't believe the time you spend reading an article about a "dead" OS!
  • Right. If you've given up on WP, don't see any future in sight, and have no plans to return, then why waste your time posting that here?
    Seriously. I'm not telling you what, or what not to, post, rather I'm just asking a serious question. Do you still have hope? What are you hoping to accomplish?
  • @Ricardo, I upvoted you. Don't mind the downvotes.
  • The upvote is already a sign of appreciation, no need to spam the comments. Do we need to declare every vote? :P
  • C'mon, it's maktaba. Together with Andy620, vhyr and Ricardo Dawkins, they form the Troll group "Pot, meet kettle". Posted from Bikini Bottom via my Pineapple PineBook XPS 13"
  • Sorry, I must have missed an update on trolls 101, DJCBS was my favorite and he's missing. Rodney is not funny anymore. Theefman is the only one resisting. I guess I should update my list to this new generation of trolls.
  • W10M is not dead!! Just because they stoped making hardware does not mean they will stop W10M software!! W10M is at its best and its getting better! The owner just let OEMs make amazing devices for us instead of them wasting time on hardware when they can focus more on software!
  • Okay im glad you are a supporter but Microsoft has not stopped making smartphone hardware. Don't spread that rumor
  • Yeah, just because they've killed off the last vestiges of the ill-fated Nokia acquisition and sacked all the remaining staff, sold off what was left of the phone manufacturing business, have been desperately trying to ditch all existing Lumia inventory with that buy one get one free 950xl deal and have been seemingly happy to let major apps and their developers leave the ecosystem (paypal being the latest) doesn't mean the platform and MS making phone hardware is dead buried and cremated.  Doesn't mean that at all!  Fingers in ears la la la la la
  • Gotta admit, that did make me laugh! But alone or otherwise, I will be here until the bitter, twisted end. They can prise a barren, app-less Windows phone from my cold, lifeless hands before I'll sell my soul to Apple or gift a byte of my data to google. I'm fully aware that to the general populous, that probably seems like a bizarre opinion to have; but it's mine, and I'll exercise it as much as I like! ;)
  • Amen to that brother, I'm with you.
  • LOL
  • Ummmmmm, how can it be 'at it's best and getting better' ?
  • The verge is very anti wp/wm. It always was about apple there. Just have fun over there and when you want to stay at least everyone knows that you are just a hater without other hobbies... It really is interesting to see how much time you waste on that "dead platform"... If it is that bad, why bother? Seems to me like you yourself does not consider it dead internally... Very interesting from a psychological point of view.
  • Just to confirm your comment, you need to watch the verge review on the htc 10.
  • Good article, lots to take in. What can be said, lets see if Xbox can carry the UWP and W10m can thrive in a year or so without the stigma of "App Gap"
  • Hello Jason,
    Firstly, sorry to hear you've been having a hard time on a personal level.
    Secondly, thank you for the considered and detailed review of the situation. For my mind you summarise the situation perfectly.
    My concern is that Microsoft have lost there nerve (if they ever truly had it) in the mobile space. I must confess that for the first time in about 12 years (I had an Orange SPV e200 in 2004) my next phone might not be a Microsoft phone. I think many people are in the same boat. We can all see the potential in the platform but frustrated/disillusioned with Microsoft failure to make progress without starting from scratch every few years.
    Just my opinion...
  • Its BECAUSE they restarted so many times that the platform failed.  Why on earth would anyone develop for a system that was going to be reset every 18 months and your app would become non-functional?
  • They always provided easy migration paths for app developers. But I agree that screwing over their small-but-loyal fanbase was the worst thing they ever did. I understand the reasons why, but people left in droves when they couldn't upgrade from wp7 to 8, and again for 8 to 10. Even if we know and understand the reasons, it still stings and made so many wonder why they're bothering, when they can go to Android for the same abuse - but at least they have more apps to make themselves feel better about it. It's a shame more can't or won't experience W10M, which delights me more every day.
  • A very interesting article
    For me there is an app gap that I work round, it's mainly missing key apps , my bank (worked on 8.1 doesn't work on wm10) my travel currency card app, sky+ app ,some but not all proper Google apps.
    I find the biggest chore tho is the apps that are there but are underdeveloped compared with android and iOS I'm looking at you Words With Friends and Fotmob and Wunderlist -come on no proper live tiles? To name a few I'm running an android and L950 side by side and these differences are painful
  • One is "new" and one has been around forever now...yeah, real painful. Who can keep up? =\ I do what I want... =p
    Windows 10 RULZZ yer FACE!!!
  • While it may be true that 50% of the time is used in a single app (which the Windows Mobile store may indeed have) it is those other instances that become a nuissance. You acknowledge that but you seem to downplay it too much. For that app (apps) that I want to use 1% of the time it is a tough pill to swallow that I just can't use them and there's nothing I can do about it.   Also, new apps always come first in other platforms. To make it worse when things get very speficic it's highly unlikely there will ever be a Windows Mobile app (my company deployed an HR solution and they have an app for iOS and Android, as usual I am out of luck. My building uses a system with an app that let's you see who's at the door, once again, as usual no Windows app). Reallistically how often would I use the app to see who is at my door? Probably not very often. However because it doesn't exist for Windows Mobile I literally can't check who is at the door. Ever.   Most users (even average users) will not care if the one app that they use 50% of the time is available. They will not go, well, I can't use x, y, z but I have Facebook so it's OK. They care that all the apps they want to use are available even if such usage is for a few seconds a day. They will see it's not available in one platform but available in others. The deicision where to go becomes really easy.     As you mention quality is another issue. For the apps we do have we get new features months (if ever) after other platforms get the same features.
  • This is exactly what I've been saying on the other articles too regarding the app gap. It is a very personal experience, and Jason acknowledges that there will be the one-offs that WP8.1 or W10M just don't have, but those one-offs all build up and over time get very frustrating to work around. I have Facebook, great! But can I buy any home automation equipment I want to use an app with? How about order a coffee from an app? Maybe make a purchase with some NFC tech? Those answers are of course: limited in scope, nope and nope. Yet I'm okay because I have Facebook. Riiiight. Maybe I wouldn't spend 50% of my time in the Facebook app if I had these other apps that I want??
  • Thank you for this. I see Jason's argument as taking a very interesting data point to infer things that don't necessarily follow. Time spent does not necessarily correlate with user reliance or importance. In fact, highly specialized functions may be harder to find alternatives for.
    I've said it before (today, in fact): MS should invest in making the mobile web way more app-like. Mozilla had a similar idea with their phones, but it wasn't a true push with the resources of someone like MS behind it.
  • Project Westminster is way ahead of you. :)
  • Our company is developing apps for out internal processes as well, but since Xamarin was made available we are using that tool chan to develop the apps.  We'll hit the top 3 mobile OSes (and desktop Windows 10 employees) all with the same app.  It's the only way to go.
  • Probably should take into account the quality of the app on the W10M.  Apps on W10M often don't give you the same experience comparing to the same on iOS or Android.  It's also about having options. I can go for Android for the different hardware and Apple for iOS and apps.  There may be an app that I want to try and dump a day later, and the thing is they are available for me to try and uninstall.
  • I know, I hate that Windows and iOS are so different, as if they were made with two different architectures and they have been since FOREVER. I mean just because android clones iOS doesn't mean that Windows was ever going to do the same thing, where do you even come from?! Windows (NT) ≠ Android (Linux) ≠ iOS (Unix) I do what I want... =p
    Windows 10 RULZZ yer FACE!!!
  • It's not really about the number of apps but about new tech products always being shipped for or supported by iOS and Android devices. Rarely Windows is in the first wave.
  • Great article and a good read, I have always been attracted to Windows Phone because it's personal start screen as opposed to iOS and Androids "app collection" start screens.
    To add to your human behaviour theories, we are all social creatures, yet the two most dominant aforementioned mobile platforms, are the least social in terms of their start screens. Nothing about an iPhone 6 or a Samsung S7 have anything on their start screens to actually really be social about, yet if I am checking my 950XL start screen via it's live tiles and a colleague notices a particular photo or calendar notification, it can spark a conversation out of nothing, ie being actually social! Also as creatures of habit both individually and collectively, it's natural for us to follow trends to try to be more socially acceptable to our peers, hence the global dominance of the big two!
  • Bias.  It's a big part of the app gap.  It's still cool to not like Microsoft products.  For instance, don't you love how an given commercial for a product ends with displaying only app offerings for the App Store and Google Play?...when you know they have an official app on WP?  Yeah, I love that too.....
  • I'm with you, the hate for MS is so strong that it even bleeds into "fans" and anybody who made their "bones" writing about them passive aggressively... *cough*paulthurrott*cough* but then again, people expect things a certain way and when they don't get them they revolt. "So revolting and yet so interesting" lol =p I do what I want... =p
    Windows 10 RULZZ yer FACE!!!
  • WP is irrelevant, put a fork in it, it's DEAD, time to move on, Microsoft has, so should you. Stop selling yourselves short, life is short it's time to join the rest of the heard, animals that separate themselves from the heard have a short life span. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I LIKE TO HEAR MY OWN VOICE! I CAN COPY AND PASTE! Yep, life is short. I'm not wasting my time on my phone. I make calls, I text, I play games on the toilet. There are better things to do with my time. BTW, if W10M is dead, how come they released a build within the past 24 hours?
  • WP ≠ W10 "mobile" I do what I want... =p
    Windows 10 RULZZ yer FACE!!!
  • Most builds have nothing new or exciting. Fix one, breaks another. My opinion, these builds are just too keep the herds coming back for more or keep them occupied until the release of the the killer of all phones, the surface phone.
  • I thought the whole reason for removing features from the OS was to be able to have a separate app for each feature so that they can update it without updating the entire OS. This was done to get around carriers not allowing to send out updates. So adding new features to the builds would be counter productive. I think Android (maybe it was Samsung) that started doing this as well.
  • Every single one of your comments is the same old stupidity. "Put a fork in it", "windows phone is dead", "the sky is falling", "i prefer lagdroid because I can't think for myself", blah blah blah. Get a life, troll.
  • Great article. Even if Windows Mobile had every app that is on IOS and Android, I do not think as many users will flock to Windows Mobile. Call me cynical, but consumers have this fear of Windows Mobile. That and Windows Mobile devices just don't LOOK premium. It's perception. MS needs to change how consumers perceive their hardware. Had they came out running with a Surface Phone with top end specs with every available feature when Windows 10 Mobile was released, it'd be a totally different story. Imagine a Surface Pro, Surface Book, and Surface Phone released all at the same time. Surface Desktop and an All-in-One would be a welcomed addition also.
  • I dont understand why people think Surface Phone -SP- will do something great to this platform. Even if MS makes it it will be just another phone with ± some features that average people won't even care (for example Continuum). And it will be overpriced as 950s [which I wouldn't buy even for $250]. People want it but it's expensive, the same will be with SP
  •   I totally understand your point of view. That's why I said peeps still won't flock to them. Just another devices. Features are totally subjective. But I'd rather have them and not need/use them than to need/want them and not have them. $250 is a steep hill for a phone for a lot of peeps and I can understand that. Thus there are other more budget friendly phones out there. Flagship devices are not for everyone. The general consumer sees absolutely no value in them. MS has been trying to make it a point that the computer in your pocket can become your only computer. Continuum. Don't take this the wrong way, but you sound like a person with the "sour grapes syndrome". Can't have it? It sux anyways. I cannot afford the 98 inch 8K television. Well, it sux anyways since there's no content and no devices to support it and no way to stream it. 8K  resolution and 98 inch TV sux. No one has bought it and never will in the foreseeable future. I wouldn't pay more than $100 for it. It's just too damn expensive and no support. Who in their right minds would use it? Dont't get me wrong, I'm not a fanboy. I use Android daily and IOS also. I just like trying out new things. and MS looks to be willing to try new intresting things, especially Continuum and hand off features, which has been available for IOS and Android somewhat.  
  • Surface Phone is like a messiah for them to destroy Apple and Android tyranny. Maybe, if Microsoft make W10M open source and let fans and community to build their own W10M, it would make development of W10M much faster than right now. See android, it's a new player back then. Fans and community has contribute so many things that makes android dominate smartphone along with apple.
  •'re cynical. ;p I do what I want... =p
    Windows 10 RULZZ yer FACE!!!
  • I agree with this 100%. Perception is everything. ~~Just a flat-out high speed burn through Baker and Barstow and Berdoo.~~
  • lol the app gap is not even relevant now that the OS itself is widely hated, for me my phone is just an accessory and even then it manages to fail me regularly, having to use the web uber app for example, its so inconvenient that only me and this niche market would accept that instead of just getting a functional phone
  • Web uber app?? Uber has had a UWP for some time now and it's quite good
  • Right.. Um.. ya..
    I use the UBER app on my 950XL weekly and its working great.
      I agree with another commenter, though, who says its not the amount of time a person spend in the less used apps, it is actually the fact that its there.
    I wish my bank app was there.
    I wish SuperCell games were on Windows.
    I wish Mint were a UWP app And it does hurt when you constantly see places with signs that says "Get our mobile app now... on Apples App Store and Google Play"
    I'm looking at you, Whole foods. And you, security cameras and doorbells.
  • Awesome article with some really good points! I think that the app-gap isn't really as dreadfull as it seems, it's more about app quality. Personally I'd rather like to have fewer apps in the Store than millions that don't work as they should. Unfortuatelly, Store is overcrowded with dead apps, thousands of flashlight apps, fake and scam apps, pirated and malicious ones. That combined with smaller app pool compared to other stores becomes really big issue, leading to customer distrust and ultimately, leaving the platform.                                                                                                                         On 8.1 some major apps like Twitter, Xbox Music, Skype and lots of others, were really bad: slow, crash occasionally, live tiles(main feature of Windows phones) not working, inconsistent UI and sometimes lousy UX, apps not displaying notifications, etc, etc. Over time some of those apps got really good, expecially Twitter and Groove, while lots of other apps still need lots of work and updates to deliver same experience as offered on competing platforms. Average user doesn't want to wait for the app to work as it should after a year, and to leave beta stage, instead, other options would be considered. On Windows 10m some apps are really great, like Windows Central as best example, while lots of other Store apps still leave impression of work in progress, constant beta, and are developed in their creators spare time on a yearly(at best) basis.        
  • I find that what you are saying is indeed true. In most cases, I don't even know the apps that leave the store. The recent announcement regarding PayPal doesn't affect me either. I sometimes use PayPal website on a PC but never had the need to use the app.
  • But if you did use it, you'd be royally peed off.  And thats the problem.  Having most of the apps you need is simply not good enough!
  • Sorry, but if I'm spending $500 on a phone, I'm going to buy the phone that has 100% of the apps and services I use, not 80%. Also, a screenshot of your own tweet promoting another poorly written article is one of the most asinine thing I've seen online.  
  • This ^ Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Actually it wasn't a screenshot of a poorly written article, but an "embedded" Tweet of what I believe to be a well written piece. :-) I think there are others that may agree with me. And admittedly there are those that will agree with you. At the end of the day I'm blessed with the privilege of sharing some of my thoughts and analysis with an audience who more or less of enjoy the thought-provoking nature of the content and presentation. I don't expect, and frankly I don't even think I want everyone to agree with me. I want to encourage people to think more deeply about things. And for the most part I think I have been blessed to accomplish that most of the time. Thanks for your time Tom and if you'd like to articulate more deeply on your thoughts please do. A good discussion is always a good thing. -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Actually it wasn't a screenshot of a poorly written article, but an "embedded" Tweet of what I believe to be a well written piece. :-) I think there are others that may agree with me. And admittedly there are those that will agree with you. At the end of the day I'm blessed with the privilege of sharing some of my thoughts and analysis with an audience who more or less of enjoy the thought-provoking nature of the content and presentation. I don't expect, and frankly I don't even think I want everyone to agree with me. I want to encourage people to think more deeply about things. And for the most part I think I have been blessed to accomplish that most of the time. Thanks for your time Tom and if you'd like to articulate more deeply on your thoughts please do. A good discussion is always a good thing. -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Negative, thoughtless BS. I'm sorry, but I can do without Snapchat. I'm not in High School.
    Nobody needs, wants, or uses 100% of the apps and services in any given app store.
  • No one's claiming they have 1.5 million apps on their device. But that large amount of apps represents choice, and he good likelihood that the services you use will be supported on the device. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I almost thought snapchat for windows 10 mobile is here,then I remembered that Evan Spiegel is still the CEO ...
    Lemme go back to my sweet nightmares
  • Ridiculous article, just because you don't spend much time using an app doesn't mean the app is not important. Jason himself says what an inconvenience it is to lose the banking app but just because he doesn't use it for long periods of time he concludes it's not important and is not really an app gap. A banking app will obviously be used for a short period of time, you get your work done and exit the app, what else would you do with it. 
  • I think Microsoft need to look at their demographic, when I was looking at reviews for my phone (650), I noticed that a lot were left by people over 40. The only complaints I found about the 'app gap' were from younger people ( many of them didn't actually have a win phone). I moved from an android phone and have all the apps I had on that. What apps are people missing? I don't see it myself.
  • Its true. I use wp and i like this OS. I have almost all the apps I need except one.  Windows phone has app gap but it is not huge I believe, but the problem is every little counts.  Let me explain:  For kids: many learnig apps are missing  Teen: snapchat, no voice call for FB messenger (these are top apps in android and iOS, they cannot be of less feature), popular games are missing such as Clash of Clan Young: Again FB, missing banking apps, missing many local apps, and almost no apps of their univeristy , bus companies..., missing many popular games (CoC) Middle age: again banking app, company apps Older age: they don't use app but they heard complain from all and they think it is good idea to stick to basic phone or iOS (not exactly to iPhone) Every segments have app gap, many apps have lack of features, for example no video call in viber, there is no app for IMO, Viber has 500m download worldwide it should not have lack of feature every little hurts plus MSFT openly declares they don't care about wp , why should other then?   
  • The other crucial missing apps are tap to pay, connected car apps, and connected home apps. All of these are things that adults would want. Now that I've used Android Pay, I couldn't move back to a platform that lacks any equivalent. Posted via my Moto X Pure Edition using the Windows Central App for Android
  • "plus MSFT openly declares they don't care about wp"
      Um... are you ignorant or is that a blatant lie? First of all, saying it isn't your priority at this minute isn't the same as saying you don't care about something. I am at work now, so my kids are not my priority until later. Oh crap, does that means I don't care about them?
    This is one of the dumbest quotes I have ever pulled from a comments section.
    Congrats, because you really had to dive nose-first into a steaming pile to get there.
  • Probably the most ridiculous rationalization of MS's obvious retreat from consumer smartphones.
  • What I see is not so much of an app gap, but a huge game gap. I think the lack of recreation apps like games, and then social apps is doing the harm to windows phone.
  • WM10 is a perfectly usable OS.  OK, yes, it has a ways to go for sure however, I think the app gap is over stated.  What isn't over stated is app parity...feature for feature, release for release parity.  FB, Twitter, Instagram (really FB) are doing right by us...not sure there are many others. Sorry for the rough couple of weeks Jason...keep writing!
  • Don't forget that MS is leading the charge with making way better and more featured apps for android and iOS BEFORE their own platform. When the creator of the platform seemingly has no faith in it, its time to ditch it and move to somehting who has a creator that gives a damn.
  • I think one of the biggest things that held Microsoft's phone business back from the start is the fact they called it "Windows". The unfortunate reputation of Windows back then was that it was slow and prone to getting viruses all the time. A lot of this was likely not really Microsoft's fault, but they should have called it something other than Windows and avoided this association. Should have called it Microsoft Metro or some such, and then played up the Windows integration later when it became more relevant. The other issue that affected Microsoft's overall reputation was the massive change in desktop Windows that they tried to force onto everyone with Windows 8. Again, the public's perception of Microsoft was negative, in that they tried to force a way of working on to people that they just didn't want. Granted Windows phone at this time with a similar interface worked very well.  But this general negativity only adds to the aforementioned perception of Windows in general and therefore anything with Windows in the name. And worse they still keep shooting themsleves in the foot at every opportunity, the slightly shady upgading of older Windows versions to Windows 10 just got even worse with what can only be described as underhand tactics. Again, this negativity will (already has) filter through the media to potential customers and the general public at large. I'm by no means super intelligent and probably only rate myself as slightly above average, but even I can see how ludicrous this has become. It's almost as if they are deliberately trying to put people off. I deliberatly didn't mention the changes in the underlying platform as although techies would have an opinion on this, it likely didn't affect end users all that much. Most apps continued as before. I actually like my Lumia 950 very much, I had the grumps a bit lately due to some issues with the Redstone builds, but overall I still like it and can't see myself going to Android or IOS any time soon, I just can't stand the interface on those platforms.
  • Agree, they should have used a name other than Windows.
  • I honestly believe they should build 'Continuum' up into a fully fledged brand in it's own right. Continuum mobile, Continuum TV, Continuum Auto, Continuum Tablets etc etc, with Windows / Xbox becoming secondary add-on features e.g. "New Continuum TV hub - streams Xbox games and runs universal Windows apps". To the educated it's essentially just another Windows 10 PC, but 'Continuum' is the package that sells the experience.
  • App gapp or not, users are not interested in the "Windows" brand for their mobile experience. Proof: market share ​Also most users have already invested time, learning an OS and put money in applications in an ecosystem. I don't think many people want to leave that behind for a platform that has nothing but doom and gloom attached to it. Even the most simple user has to Google "Windows Mobile" and can read thousands of reasons and comments to not buy it. ​In the consumer market it's over. Maybe the post-smartphone era. But competitors are on the move as well...
    ​But it is always nice to read "it is only the beginning. You wait! It's gonna happen!!!....soon! ^^
  • I liked some parts of the article, but let me ask you people; If you were to spend 500 dollars on a smartphone, would you get a phone that has all the apps you need/like to use and a stable OS or spend that money on windows phone and not only use the buggy windows 10 mobile experience(app crashes, random screen freeze etc.), but use the poorly maded apps it has as well? I love windows phones(I like the start screen) and I use a windows phone daily, but if I didn't have an android tablet with me all the time, things would be ugly, why? Because, the apps I work with aren't there and the ones that are there on windows phone either stop getting updates or go away(just look at PayPal).
  • For me, the app gap problem was one of quality and support. The web browser was pitiful, slow, and did not properly support mobile site. Windows store alternatives still didn't come close to the superior browser options on Android. My most-used third-party apps (Spotify, Audible, Kindle), were literally years behind their Android counterparts. Facebook finally got usable right before I gave up Windows Mobile. It's not that the apps aren't there. It's that the experience they provide is mostly inferior, often by a whole lot.
  • You know, the app gap I can care less about! What you people do not realize is that Windows phones are MORE secure then any other phone probably with the exception of the blackberry. Android is so easy to hack in with all them open sources where Windows have all close sources. How I know cause my future brother -in law used to be professor from school he graduated from. You do not have to have a virus protection like the android
    Posted from Windows10 mobile 950
  • Not with Blackberry now using android.  The ONLY benefit of BB is now gone.
  • The lack of convenience you site in your (well written) article is the crux of the problem. The "smart" aspect of smart phones is all about the convenience of and access to services or products away from a computer. What is happening is the Windows Mobile platform is lacking that convenience severely reducing the "smart" aspect of our phones. Having to use the webpage of a service versus a well written app can be a real pain and this device is supposed to make my life easier, not more challenging. Given the choice of phone 'A' that can do something faster or more easily, either through higher quality hardware or software, or through maybe a greater number of users, or phone 'B' that suffers in any of those aspects, most people will choose phone 'A'. The app gap is real, not for who has more or fewer apps but which platform can offer the greatest level of convenience to its users. W10M is suffering for that lack of convenience.
  • That's absolutely true. I got used to the convenience of pre-ordering from Starbucks, and I wouldn't want to give up that convenience and be forced to wait in line due to having a phone without a Starbucks app. Posted via my Moto X Pure Edition using the Windows Central App for Android
  • There are so many layers to the failure of Windows Phone and thank you for staring one of the most glaring right in the eye. I have often pointed out the idiocy of device reviews that literally said a particular Windows Phone was remarkable but that people should not consider it solely based upon the app gap. But those of us on the WP side have also been guilty of making excuses. Take for example the "hardware" gap of the early days. WP used to be highly under powered. But our argument was that the OS ran so well that we didn't need the best processor. Another is lining up behind one killer feature despite other shortcomings. Take the 1020. Sure. It had the best camera on the market. But it was also saddled with not enough memory, inadequate battery, no storage and slow performance. I have read some here who have lamented that it will never get Windows 10 Mobile. But it could barely run 8.x. Feature for feature, the 950s hold up well or better then most the flagships out there. But we cried that the case was uninspired despite the fact it is one of the only to phones to sport removable battery and can be classed up with custom cases. And while I am actively looking for an Android alternative, the only one I am remotely considering is the new Xperia, largely because of the camera and dedicated camera button. But the one thing holding me back? Windows 10 integration. It is nearly there, but if it doesn't keep up with Cortana and Band, it will not be worth it despite the other value. And to prove none are perfect, it doesn't have USB C. And Apple doesn't have expandable storage. Etc. So the app gap is simply as I have always stated: An excuse. And look at that list of apps above. Of course it is filled with Google apps. With 80% of the market why wouldn't it? If we were in a different position, iTunes would be at the top. And for the Windows user, OneDrive, Outlook, and others would dominate. Despite the fact Dominos apps in Japan are only android and ios, I won't toss this phone aside just yet.
  • Sorry out of topic..but I need help..Did any one had this problem..plz tell me the phone got locked...i said" the phone is locked for security reasons.please connect to a power source for two hours and try restart"... But following the above steps does not solve the Lumia 950 is locked...sent from Lumia 720
  • I faced your problem two days ago .. I just let my phone in charger for nearly 10 hours before restarting it .. It now works well .. Try it ..
  • For the app gap, I can ignore the missing of bank app since I can keep use tranditional way; I can ignore the missing of social apps since I don't do social with anyone; I can ignore the missing of travel apps (air / hotel) since I don't travel at all; I can ignoe the missing of any games since I'm a tranditional game console player; I don't have kids so there is no such issue that the school ask every parents to install certain app; I only watch video on big screen so it's ok some video service doesn't have phone app; I drive a such old style car that the most morden part of the car is a CD player, so no need to find app for my car. Ok I think I'm already so isolated from the world, my life is only about work or stay at home, so old style, but I still have app gap: I can't find official app for my heating / AC and my home security system. It's not because I haven't tried, but there's just no such system that supports WP. Maybe it's possible to find a 3rd-party app for HVAC, but for home security system, I can't trust any 3rd-party app for obvious reason (and even if I wrote one myself, I will not put it on the store for the obvious reason that I don't want to get myself in trouble, from both the company and users if anything goes wrong). I choose ringbell since it's the only home intellegece device that support W10, but it seldom can start the app in time (when the notification comes, click to open the app, either take too long, or crush). I just hope you know that I don't care any number, I don't care what others say, but I will not simply say there's no gap for me at all just to show that I'm a fan.
  • Windows Central should write an article telling that Windows 10 Mobile is not dead! MS has just stop making hardware, now they can only focus on W10M software!
  • Okay, Facebook is sucking more and more. Plus, Facebook on Windows mobile is even worse. There is STILL no real YouTube app. By the time we got candy crush saga all of our friends on Android and iOS were over it. Where the heck is Snapchat? That app is exploding and there is still no real talk about it. I personally don't need 1.5 million apps but, at least give me the very popular ones! Why is it like pulling teeth to get apps on this system? We want actual, useful, full featured apps that everyone else in the world is using! If anything amazing in home security and automation comes out, you can rest assured that Windows mobile doesn't support it. We are inherently social, and our friends are having a blast on Snapchat. Where is it! If it's all the rage and your friends are all enjoying it then we don't have it. We spend 50% of our time on Facebook because it's the only app we have! I'm on Instagram a lot! I'm on twitter every day. Give me the popular apps and I will use them. That is the app gap, we don't need 100,000 more pocket vibrators or fart soundboards, we want real YouTube and Snapchat! It's not that hard!
  • Jason, sorry to hear about your family members. I don't know where you're going with part 2... But, as some have said above, the functionality of a smart phone today is highly dependent on EVERY app one needs being available. There is really no reason to compromise on this in today's device market. (e.g. I mostly drive on city streets, but that doesn't change the fact that I absolutely must have a car that is capable of highway driving for my family and work commitments.) If only MS had spent the billions on massively subsidizing apps and writing more of their own vs the billions wasted on Nokia. They could have subsidized Nokia, HTC and others to make phones too. Still would have been cheaper, or at least a wash vs the Nokia purchase. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Nice write up, but man, you repeat yourself quite a lot.
  • ^this. I thought I was the only one who read Jason's point four times in the article. Make a point, support it, move on to the next point - don't just restate it over and over again
  • I feel no app gap whatsoever. It's highly subjective, according to personal use. Of course it's undeniably there, but IMHO not as critical as it seems.
    I doubt that having Snapchat and every other trendy app of the moment people would start considering WP.
  • No it might not BUT again it might garner interest to people that hey theres another operating system apart from Android and iOS and it has all major apps. Why not give it a try. They're inexpensive, fluid, great cameras. #TeamLumia 950 XL
  •  existence of an "app gap"; or at least negates the assumption that its impact makes Windows Phone a non-viable consumer platform.
    Maybe I'm taking crazy pills, but I could've sworn that I just read a quote directly from Microsoft that they're exiting consumer smartphones.
  • Microsoft is no longer making consumer smartphone devices, true. We're talking about hardware.
    With respect to software, not even Microsoft can tell the future. W10M will obviously continue being developed, but it's consumer-based traction won't be a factor. Posted from Bikini Bottom via my Pineapple PineBook XPS 13"
  • Despite the fact they constantly contradict this statement: "People ain't dub." ;) They tend to do what works, use the tools that work. There's simply some stuff that works best, & some that's just OK on a smaller screen &/or using touch. The kind folks at Google & Apple didn't hire genius level devs to fill their app stores -- the market did that via demand. Microsoft's problem with app, as well as with mobile & PCs/laptops. seems to be a lack of common sense understanding re: device form factors, touch, CR, & the market. When it comes to CR, they've ticked off maybe millions with their force-feeding 10, & stuff like turning Windows into adware. Doesn't matter so much with Windows for the desktop -- what are the alternatives -- but these same customers aren't going to consider MS in their living rooms when there are already loads of quality alternatives. When it comes to the market, MS needed/needs to figure out Why devs write & have written for the Google & Apple stores, & not just meet but exceed whatever motivates them. Apps stores are a Market business people invest in, buy into with their own resources. MS has to figure out why their store isn't selling, & fix that. When it comes to understanding form factors, MS perhaps needs to hire some non-tech firms to research device use & present MS with that data. Software designed for a touchscreen sucks on a desktop PC, & has limited appeal on a laptop. If you can use an app with a cell or tablet touchscreen, chances are it's too rudimentary to need a PC/laptop. And if you put desktop software on a tablet or cell, *if* it can run it, you can't navigate all the options designed for a mouse. When people use something like Office on a cell, it's not because they have an easy choice -- they don't have a desktop PC in front of them at the moment. MS seems to be finally catching on, at least a little, but time will tell if they've built up too much distrust & ill will to get real desktop software in their store.
  • Off topic. I can't download the windows central app on my windows pc. store says "upgrade to latest version of windows". why is that?
  • Jason, very sorry for your losses. I hope you're doing well and keeping the good memories alive.
    For me personally I never knew what I was missing until 3 mos. Ago when I went to a flagship android. The app gap is real, apps have made my life far easier. I live in rural America, no more 30min. Trips to deposit checks, keeping up with family through social apps/video calls is far easier, and when I'm in the city no more figuring it what and where to go, google now/on tap gives me all the info I need. I still use a Lumia periodically but mostly for nostalgia. When Win10 mobile has the apps I'll be back in a heart beat, for now android plays nice enough with my win10 computers.
  • off topic, can't download windows central app for pc. store says update to latest version of windows. help?
  • I had multiple friends that moved to WP based on my comments and they retuned to iPhone ou Android after couples weeks because they didn't find the apps but they liked the OS. I posted it here and people was protecting MS saying the 3parts are good. People needs to leave the fan boy and be more realistic and complain
  • A great read. Thanks Jason.
  • Another delusional article by Jason Ward. Sure, you might have Facebook and Twitter but they are YEARS away from having the quality they have on iOS and Android. Wake up, Windows 10 on PHONES is DEAD. 
  • Sorry for your loss Jason. Lets sum this article up with this quote:
    "It is true that there are indeed apps missing from the Windows Mobile platform that are present on iOS and Android. Furthermore, relative to their iOS and Android counterparts, some apps that are on Windows Mobile are of lesser quality. Anecdotally, both missing and poor quality apps have negatively affected the smartphone experiences of some users. To deny these facts would be both unrealistic and dishonest." Your argument or use of data to suggest that using a smartphone is really about one or two apps is ridiculous. It takes one time to need a parking app, a ride sharing app, an app for a conference, etc etc. Using WP is making a conscious choice to use an inferior platform with inferior quality apps. The top 6 apps are vastly inferior on WP. It isn't a viable platform right now.
  • Another chance for the trolls, naysayers and doom mongers to give it large in their attempts to prove they are bigger (read louder) than anyone else. Honestly, it's like watching kids in the park playing football, and if they lose they take their ball home! If these articles are delusional, then where are your 'clear as day' facts. You don't really have a leg to stand on when the cry of "it's dead" goes up, because those of that persuasion rarely have the hard facts to back it up. This article does have the facts, and it does show, that the store choice is limited. But then again, when you look in the iStore and play store, a huge percentage of the titles in there are blatant copies. Something like 2048 has the original plus 20 odd others. The endless runners have temple run, then a myriad of blatant copies. I'm sure if you extrapolated the true, original app, from the chaff, there wouldn be an alleged 1.5 million apps! Just because the store doesn't have such masterpieces as COC, doesn't mean it is poor. For a business person like me, the store has more than enough, and I get to use stuff on my iPad and 950xl from MS. Anyway, great article Jason, putting the facts behind the perceived fiction.    
  • My top used apps on Windows Mobile:   1) Edge 2) Windows Central 3) WMPoweruser 4) Tubecast 5) 9gag I guess.
  • Mine: 1) Mail 2) Messaging 3) Podcast 4) Edge 5) Xbox One Smart Glass (don't always have a controller near by when feeding a baby)
  • I think a point that would be worth mentioning is how big companies are shunning the platform as well. UWP is an interesting concept, but when it comes to phone, is it going to encourage the likes of google making a native youtube app? Highly doubtful, I think they'll leave youtube in the browser for the desktop, and ignore mobile as a result. There's more examples that can be given. There's also a lot of apps which don't care and have never cared for attracting desktop users, so leveraging desktop users won't have any influence in helping a mobile app come if they're shunning the platform. You can dwell on things such as social media and make a case how it's only important to the kiddies, but this overlooks a really significant point; the kiddies grow up. Five years ago, young adults were teenagers, what's the chances that all of a sudden they wake up and realise that a windows phone is what's missing in their life? They'll probably stick with what they know and have gotten used to, which will most probably remain either an iphone or android phone. So similarly, MS needs to give its users every reason to stick with the platform, even if it starts off for mundane and vain reasons at the beginning. Next, MS needs to address the issue of support of existing apps. Clearly low quality apps means that the developers don't care about releasing an inferior product. The solution most probably will only be that it needs to cost developers money, in the sense that windows must become a profitable platform for them, to encourage the investment. This will only come with more users.
  • Great article.
  • These articles are great. Just wish there was a summary version with bullet points. Thanks.
  • Bullet holes would be more appropriate.
  • WP is irrelevant, it's DEAD, put a fork in it. And there is A HUGE app gap, ignorance is bliss I guess. And the apps that WP has, the few and crappy second hand ones are a joke, not even build by the actual developers themselves, just a second hand hack, and they never get updated, people there is a reason WP has less than 3% market share, time to take off the blinders.
    For the longest I wanted to try out a WP, but sorry, Microsoft screwed it up royally, without the apps a smartphone in today's day and age might as well be dead, look at BB, the only saving grace they had left was to go the Android route, same is the case for the new Nokia smartphone lineup.
    If many of you don't remember, before Android first came to market, Google knew that without the apps they would have been dead in the water, every Android commercial emphasized the App store, because they knew they had no chance against Apple and it's app store, and to get developers to develop for their mobile platform, if it's a losing proposition for the developer they will not develop for your platform, Microsoft might have billions to "burn, and they did burn billions" play with, but developers don't.
    Even Samsung is trying their own thing with Tizen, but are having a tough time without a robust app ecosystem.
    All smartphones can make calls, send and receive texts, and emails and browse the www.
    Just to give you an idea, for all the Uber, Lyft and every other FHV black car companies, they all have an app for their drivers, and they only are available via Android and Apple. Also no Google services is another death knell for WP, even Apple knew better and paid it's royalties. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I LIKE TO HEAR MY OWN VOICE! I CAN COPY AND PASTE! No Google services is Google's fault, not Microsoft's. You clearly don't keep up with MS and phones. WP is dead, they have started over and now call it Windows 10 Mobile. How hard is that to understand?
  • Time to get out more, WP or W10 mobile whatever you want to call it, is DEAD, put a fork in it. The rest of the world is using Apple, Android and BB. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Then by all means track my IP and hire a hitman to murder me, because I don't want to use iOS or Android. Despite the app gap, I WILL continue using Windows 10 mobile. Got a problem with that, get a hitman to murder me IRL. It's the only way you'll stop me using W10m.
  • I got to say this, there's no place like home. Microsoft, i believe, hold the majority of pc's os platform. Then bringing the experience of pc to phone or tablet as soon as possible will be dramatically change the situation. How many apps or programs or softwares that says "for windows"?.
    Nail them right in the heart.
    Ps: You are working with pc, make a call with phone and have a social life with anything fancy you.
  • Still in denial. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • MS's consumer mobile space is literally dead.
  • This ^ Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • This is a chicken and egg situation. Did the app gap make Windows phone fail or did its failure create the app gap? I would argue the later. Android and iOS didn't have apps initially, but people enjoyed them and bought the phones. These sales made it worthwhile for developers to support them with apps. Windows Phone never compelled consumers. It has always been sub-par and this has caused sales issues. The issue is with Windows itself. The app gap is just a symptom. Until Microsoft has a compelling platform, the app gap will continue. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • For f-s sake.. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • @Loise, you make $27h thats great going girl good for you! My story is that I quit working at shoprite to work online, seriously I couldn't be happier I work when I want and where I want. And with a little effort I easily bring in $35h and sometimes even as much as $85h…heres a good example of what i'm doing,    -------------------------->>>>>
  • I myself don't use many apps and happy with my Lumia 930... Only apps that I miss are bank apps and parking payment apps that we don't have here in Israel... Anyone knows if using the phone in developers mode and installing apk apps works? And if they are, can it harm the phone?
  • You can write a college entrance 5000 word article but the bottom line is, its still about the app gap.
  • Heart break... How my brothers with "App Gap" & " Windows phone is dead" will live. Brilliantly done Jason. Well thought out article, love the point where you stated the negative impact logically.... "Again, before you type angrily away, please note my acknowledgment of negative experiences due to missing apps in particular categories including my own experience with a missing banking app."
  • I was on a business trip to Barcelona last week. One of people I met was a sales guy (Chemical business) and he had a Lumia 830! As it’s so seldom you see people with a Lumia I asked him about it. It turned out it was a company decision to use Windows phones but at the same time he said this he picked up an iPhone from his jacket. He had two phones! One “work phone” which was the (not loved) Lumia and an iPhone. I asked him WHY two phones? He said he needed the iPhone for airlines, tickets, hotels, bank, keep track of traveling expenses (he could sync the iPhone with their work system but not the Lumia...) etc. It turned out his “work phone” was the "work PHONE" and his iPhone was everything else (he could see mails, schedule etc in both). I.e. the app gap made him wear two phones to be able to DO his work (travel and meet customers). I asked him if this was OK (having two phones) according to their IT policys and he said “no, it is not OK but everyone is so fed up with their Lumias that no one will say anything about it". He was even putting the cost of data usage on his expenses paid by the company. I've heard similar stories from people working at “THE chemical company” (German, 4 letters) that tried WP after BB had sunk. So, the app gap is real even for people using it for work. I do not think companies do like their employees walk around with two phones and having the risk that the work phone is the one left home.
  • I'll tell you what the problem is. Suppose I want to order from Swiggy, for example, I will spend a couple of minutes, order a sandwich, and get back to facebook, whatsapp, etc. However, this analysis simply forgets how much time I saved using Swiggy for 1% of my smartphone usage time. Therein lies the problem.
  • It is the apps.  My bank does not have a Windows app.  It does have an Android app.  With this app I can do mobile deposits in the app by taking pictures of the check.  I can't do that from their website.  The drugstore I deal with has an app for Android.  I go in to pickup a prescription, they scan the barcode, I sign for it on my phone, then I pay for using Samsung pay.  There is no Windows app for this drugstore and I can't pickup a prescription from their website let alone pay for it using a Windows phone.   Apps are becoming more powerful and are needed. Windows apps are basic.  For example the Insteon app for home automation. The Windows app does not support their HD cameras, only the SD cameras.  Some of the other devices are not even supported in the app though they and MS had a big parter announcement a couple years ago. Oh, and their app does no even work on Win 10 mobile!  It is the apps.  I guess I'm in the minority since I don't need time wasting social apps.  I need apps that are actually productive and work.
  • hi Jason what you think the app gap of Windows phone can fill or not ? as most of the good apps are still not available and many people are moving to android and iOS what you say ? do reply ? thanks  
  • It's not if a store has 1.5 billion, or 500K apps, It;s if each one carries the top 250 apps, then it should be fine. Even if Windows Phone could get a SOLID 250 of the top apps, NOT one store or reviewer would complain about it.  The problem is Windows Phone might have a spotty selection of the top 25 apps but, those apps that it does have are never updated and missing features of other OSs. A phone is only as good as it will surve your need. When even the Facebook app on Windows Phone is YEARS behind other phones, just like MANY other apps, the market share will stay the way it is. And the Marketing of Windows Phone ? LOL, no wonder why it's like this...another screw up by Microsoft...
  • Sup bro! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • So many billions on Nokia. Can't Microsoft consider spending some money on an internal team/think tank that would create some cool unique apps that can only work on windows phones?
    Or run a promo to pay finders fees to some app devs to get them to build for wp? Or some combination.
  • So here’s a gimmick they can use to generate buzz or even attract users. They need something. Xbox specific games - you know Halo, Forza - Special content that’s only provided through a redeemable code that you can only receive on a Windows Phone. That Windows Phone has to be the same one tied to the Xbox account. Special content could be stuff like special skins/uniforms or special maps just for Windows Phone people. Nothing that gives a tactical advantage but just something other players might see and say "I want that!"
  • Newsflash, Earth calling, WP is irrelevant, it's DEAD, put a fork in it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Ah, see? Threatening idea to to a non WP user. Thanks.
  • What threatening idea, seriously, have you been outside lately, how many people on the streets do you see with WP's, exactly, zero. WP is irrelevant, it's DEAD, put a fork in it, with 1% market share it might as well not exist, even third world countries have moved away from WP. Even Microsoft has figured this out, they will stick to their software, that's where their bread and butter is, they make more money in licensing agreements from Android and iOs alone then their WP experiment "they have been selling and writing everything off in regards to WP", the ship has sailed for WP. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Since the launch of WP7 in 2010 I've seen 4.  Four people using a Windows phone.  
  • Lol blind loyalty
  • Great theme, great take on it!
  • One of the issue with trying to explain away the app gap is that there is no inherant advantage to the platform to compensate for an obvious disadvantage. Sure, Windows mobile get's (arbitrarily) 80% of the way to delivering a comparable user experience through their app ecosystem. As a consumer, however, if I can get 100% of the app experience I want - and other advantages from joining a competing platform that others actually use (facetiming your mom) - for the same (or less) cost, with no compromises, then why would I ever select Windows mobile? Just to be different? Makes no sense no matter how you slice it.