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The untold "app gap" story Part II: App gap? What app gap?

However, as I mentioned in "Part I of this series: Human behavior, the overlooked variable" , the term "app gap", has evolved to also include a "quality of app" factor. Thus "app gap" now carries the additional connotation that there is a quality gap between some of the apps of the dominant platforms and Microsoft's.

There has, however, been an even more dramatic evolution of the term. Due to how it is presented in most reporting without the context of how the average smartphone user (at least in the US) behaves in relation to apps, "app gap" has further evolved to mean a dramatically inferior or nearly unusable smartphone experience if a consumer chooses Windows Phone.

Though not explicitly stated this way clear recommendations away from Windows Phone and other inferences strongly imply this. This logic, however, is not necessarily valid. Human behavior is a critical factor to incorporate when we consider the empirical data of the app quantity and sometimes the quality disparity between Windows phone and iPhone and Android apps.

In Part I, we gave a broad view of the effect of human behavior on app usage and the general smartphone experience of the average US smartphone user. We surmised that the impact of certain missing apps from the Windows Store would not dramatically affect the average smartphone user's experience. This conclusion was reached based on an analysis of the 2015 US Mobile App Report which presented data reflecting human behavior in relation to apps.

In this piece we will look more closely at that data and talk in greater detail about what apps are most used, by most users, most of the time; and why that information effectively precludes an "app gap", in the sense of a dramatically inferior or unusable smartphone experience, for the average US smartphone user who chooses Windows Mobile.

As I proceed with this analysis, please note, I will be speaking from the perspective of the demographic reflected in this data: US smartphone users. It may, however, be reasonable to conclude that human behavior in other regions may yield a similar concentration of app usage on a small core assortment of apps.

Six apps or less

As I mentioned in Part I, most US smartphone users spend an astounding 50% of their smartphone app time in their top used app. After reading this information, the logical question would be what are users doing with the other 50% of their time. According to the data, 78% of a user's time is spent within his top three apps. A whopping 91% of his time is spent in the top six apps. So just to wrap a bow around that information nearly 100% of a US smartphone users time is spent in a mere six apps. Put another way, of the 1.5 million apps available to iPhone and Android users six apps dominate the time the average user spends on his smartphone. Six. You can almost count that on one hand.

Six apps dominant the time the average user spends on his smartphone.

At this point, the inquisitive reader may be asking, "What six apps are garnering the attention of most smartphone users?" Surely with the variety of tastes and habits among users, there would be variation in what apps are most important to different individuals. This is true. However, given various trends in communication, entertainment, utility, the activities best served from a smartphone and the integration of native apps in particular operating systems certain apps emerge from the data as top apps consumers use on their smartphones.

I concede that individual experiences will vary, however, the following data reflects that of the typical US user. Thus, the average US smartphone user will find that what Comscore's Mobile App Report reflects as the most used apps will also reflect their personal app usage.

The top 25 apps of 2015

The data above reveals the top 25 apps used by US smartphone users and covers the categories of utilities, social, entertainment and retail. Even a cursory glance at the table reveals that social activity on Facebook dominates all other smartphone app usage. This may come as a surprise to many of us who consistently hear of the importance of apps such as Snapchat in the social category, particularly among millennial's. Yet, it seems that Zuckerburg and company are still garnering not only the lion's share of social app activity, but all app activity of smartphone users including the "all-important" trend-setting millennial's. More on that in a bit.

Two of the three most used apps, Facebook and Messenger, have first-party apps on Windows Phone.

Furthermore, as reflected in the chart, of the top three most frequently used apps, two, Facebook and Facebook Messenger, have first-party apps on Windows Phone. Thus of the top three most used apps that, statistically speaking, would garner 78% of the app usage time of the average smartphone user, two have first-party apps on Windows Phone. Don't fret, we will talk about that second ranked YouTube app shortly. But first…

Comscore's data from the previous years report provides further insights into the variations of how iPhone and Android phone users interact with their apps. iPhone users spent most of their app time consuming media. Social networking, radio, general news, and weather ranked high for those in the Apple camp.

Conversely, Android smartphone users' app time was dominated by search and email categories. This data, of course, is a reflection of the native integration of Google's services on the platform. It is worth noting that the categories most served by both iOS and Android being social networking, radio, general news, weather, search and email are all areas also available on Windows Phone either as first-party apps or native apps/services.

Window Mobile and the top 25

In reviewing the table above which highlights which of the top 25 apps are available on Windows Mobile, again, it is clear that the leading app, Facebook, which garners most user's app time most of the time, is represented on the platform. Further review of the chart reveals that the social networking category is represented on Windows Mobile with four of the leading seven social networking apps. Pinterest, which ranks fifth among the social apps, is absent from the platform but of course has third-party options that fill the gap.

Windows Mobile has four of the leading social apps including Facebook which dominates all smartphone app usage.

Rounding out the list of social apps missing from Windows Mobile which are among the top 25 most used smartphone apps are the notoriously absent Snapchat and Google+. Most of us are aware that to date both the CEO of Snapchat and Google's leadership have shown an unwavering commitment not to bring Snapchat and most Google apps to Windows Mobile. There are many, of course, that are hoping that this will change, and it may. One day.

In the meantime, given that most users spend 50% of their app time in their top app and Facebook is the top app used on mobile, Facebook and as we've seen Facebook Messenger, for most users would dominate smartphone app usage. Thus, the absence of Pinterest, Snapchat and Google+ from Window Mobile, which certainly has an effect on some users, for most users, statistically speaking, it would have little effect on their dominant smartphone app usage experience.

Grappling with Google

Speaking of Google, when reviewing the utility category it is clear that Google's apps, in comparison to other publishers, dominate that category. Of course, the representation of Google Search, Gmail, Google Drive and Google Maps (which are core apps on Google's Android smartphones) among the top 25 most used apps is due to Android's 84% dominance in the smartphone space. Said another way, most smartphones in use are Android phones which, like other platforms, have integrated apps or services that are the platforms defaults.

Of course, users of most platforms whether Windows, iOS or Android, defer to the platform's default services. Thus, Google's basic utility apps of Google Search, Gmail, Google Drive and Google Maps are so widely used by smartphone users in part because Google's mobile platform is the most widely used smartphone platform. Of course, Google has made some of its first-party apps available on iOS thus broadening their reach.

Google's most used utility app Google Search is available on Windows Mobile.

That said despite Google's resistance to bringing its popular apps to Windows Mobile, the most used utility app, Google Search, is indeed available on the platform as the only first-party Google app. This point brings us to mail. Gmail is Google's third most used utility app. As an integrated Android utility it rose to widespread usage as a mail service with the rise of Android-based smartphones just as Hotmail/Live/Outlook grew in popularity with the proliferation of Windows PCs. As a basic utility, most users defer to these mail services because they're intrinsic to a system and easily set up on a device. Of course, Windows Mobile handily incorporates multiple mail services making a Gmail (or Yahoo) account with contact and calendar sync options readily available on Windows Mobile.

Silver Lining

Moreover, Google Drive, Google's cloud storage solution, though among the top 25 most used mobile apps (again due to Android's dominance in the space) is actually 21st in the list. Of course as an integrated utility app, human behavior being what it is likely makes this app popular, again due to its position as a default option on a pervasive platform.

The function it performs as a default cloud storage service for the average smartphone user is not unique in that the operation is rendered equally as well with Microsoft's OneDrive as the default cloud storage service for a Window Mobile user.

In regards to human behavior, where storing media, music and documents and accessing them from various devices is the expectation from the app, the average smartphone user would find that OneDrive on Windows Mobile comfortably accommodates that expectation.

Finding our way

Google Maps is number six in the top 25 most used apps. As the market leader in maps, Google has a clear advantage over the competition. That said the default Microsoft Map app, which draws its data from Here maps has been continually improving. And though it may not yet glean the level of accolades that are heaped upon Google Maps, the service has proven a to be a reliable and desired support to many in getting users from point A to point B. Just look at the consortium of businesses such as Uber, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, among others, who either wanted the business or vied to purchase a stake in it.

Again, even with the sixth-place ranking of Google Maps, more than 80% of a user's smartphone app time is spent in his top five apps. Even if Maps ranks within the top five for some users the overwhelming majority of the average user's app usage is spent in social media.

Thus though Google (and Apple) Maps ranks high for many users, daily app usage for the average smartphone user would not be dramatically impacted by its absence. Especially since, in the event mapping services are needed, Windows Mobile has a viable option with Microsoft's Map app with data provided by industry-respected Here.

Finally, the popular Weather Channel Widget, a utility app that ranks among the Top 25 most used apps of 2015 is an exclusive feature of Android and therefore is not replicated on the iPhone or Windows. However, the widgets function of providing dynamic weather information which serves the human-app-interaction of displaying glance-able information is provided by the Weather Channels Live Tile on Windows Phone.

Thus, when we incorporate the human behavior factor in relation to app usage we see that the behavior of glancing at dynamically updated information via the representation of an app on a home screen is supported by both Windows Phone's live tile as well as Android's widget.

Defaults at "fault"

Clearly there is dominance of Google utility services such as mail and cloud among the top 25 apps of 2015 due to Android's market dominance. It's reasonable to conclude that for the average US smartphone user (not enthusiasts), however, that those default services are used because they are indeed the default options. Human behavior being what it is, causes us first to seek a desired function (i.e. email) and then look for the path of least resistance. Thus, default options dominate.

If the average smartphone user were to use Window Mobile the same pattern of desired function (i.e. email), and the path of least resistance, default options, would also follow. Though there are indeed many users who have bought into services such as Gmail and Google Drive, the average smartphone user (particularly users of the prolifically available Android smartphones) use what the device provides. And as we've seen Windows Mobile's default utility options fulfill the desired functions of the average smartphone user.

For entertainment purposes only

When it comes to entertainment on our smartphones listening to music and watching videos dominate our app usage. The music services of Pandora and Spotify which are among the top 25 most used music streaming apps are both on Windows Mobile. The popular streaming video service, Netflix, which is also among the top 25 most used apps, is also on Windows Mobile. First-party apps Google Play and Apple Music, as many first-party services, again are represented among the top 25 because of their "native" affiliation on the popular iPhone and Android phones. Groove music as a first-party music service on Windows Phone offers a similar first-party music experience as Google Play and Apple Music provide for their respective platforms.

Then there's YouTube. Youtube is the second most used app among the top 25 most used smartphone apps. Of course, Google bringing a first-party YouTube app to Windows Mobile has proven problematic. Moreover, writers have shared time and again that Windows Mobile doesn't have a Google published YouTube app, leaving many uninformed readers with the notion that Windows Mobile doesn't have a YouTube app. As the theme of this series has been that's simply not the full story.

What is the human behavior in relation to the YouTube smartphone app?

The conclusion many readers who read what some writers have written is that if they choose Windows Mobile, they will be unable to search for and watch YouTube videos via an app. Of course, this is not true. The question to consider, particularly with an app such as YouTube, is what is the app's primary function for the average smartphone user. Or what is the human behavior in relation to the app? The answer to that question would be searching for and viewing videos. This usage is the human behavior component that is often overlooked when the app gap story is told.

Given that searching for and viewing videos is the primary function of the smartphone YouTube app the question that follows would then be is there a YouTube app on Window Mobile that allows that human behavior. The answer, of course, is yes. As a matter of fact check out our two year old review of MyTube, which since the recording of the video in 2014, has exited beta.

Third-party alternatives MyTube (opens in new tab), Tube HD and Tube Pro, which all have excellent ratings in the Windows Store provide the basic functions of searching for and viewing YouTube videos. They also allow the broader range of features of uploading and downloading videos, downloading audio, managing subscriptions and much more.

Windows Mobile has all three of the most used entertainment apps Spotify, Netflix and Pandora.

So even here in the entertainment category, Windows Mobile has all three of the most used entertainment apps Spotify, Netflix and Pandora. Furthermore, in the absence of an official YouTube app the human behavior of searching for and viewing videos is seamlessly facilitated by high-quality third-party YouTube apps on Windows Mobile. Thus, the way in which users actually use smartphone apps combined with the availability of popular apps on Windows Mobile, effectively precludes in this additional area, the practical existence of an "app gap." That is to say, a smartphone experience that is dramatically inferior or a device that is nearly unusable as a smartphone if a consumer chooses Windows Phone due to missing apps or some apps that are of comparatively lower quality.

Finally, in the retail category, two of the three most used retail apps Amazon Mobile and eBay are present on Windows Mobile. The Walmart app which ranks 24th among the top 25 most used apps, though missing from Windows, statistically does not garner much of a user's app usage time in that 91% of an average users time is spent in their top six apps. That said, though it's absence may be an inconvenience for some users some of the time, it would have little effect on the average smartphone users most frequent smartphone usage most of the time.

Facing Facebook

As stated earlier, Facebook dominates smartphone app usage. This stat is even true for millennials, the 18-34 age group, who are often hailed as trendsetters in technology. Yet, despite the growing popularity of social media platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook still rules.

Grabbing more than 25 monthly usage hours per user, Facebook receives more than three times the time commitment than the second most engaged app, Instagram, which claims only seven monthly usage hours. At a mere 5.9 monthly user hours, the often lauded Snapchat receives a little less than a quarter of the time the more established Facebook receives. Tumbler and Twitter clock in at 5.7 and 3.5 monthly hours, respectively.

Facebook's 25.7 monthly usage hours vs Snapchat's 5.9 suggests less than expected impact of Snapchat's absence.

Given the dramatically high usage of Facebook by millennials and the relatively low usage of Snapchat by comparison, the impact of the absence of Snapchat from Window Mobile, though problematic, may not be as impactful as many surmise.

Does Windows Mobile need Snapchat (and the popular apps it represents)? Sure. However, 32.7 of the 38.6 monthly usage hours millennials commit to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat occur in Facebook and Instagram, both of which are available on Windows Mobile. Being that Snapchat is clearly more widely used by millennials than older demographics, its usage among the broader smartphone consumer market would be even less than reflected here. Consequently, Snapchat's, absence would likely not as dramatically affect the average smartphone user who chooses Windows Mobile to the degree most writers and anecdotal comments often conveys.

The presence of these popular apps on WM challenges the "practical existence" of the app gap.

Finally, in relation to millennials, a review of the above chart reflects the group's app usage time across social, video, music and communication apps. We see that of the eleven identified apps that dominate a millennials app usage time, only two of those, Snapchat (2.6% usage time) and Soundcloud (1.6% usage time), are not represented on Windows Mobile. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube (third party), Spotify, Facebook Messenger, Netflix and Google Search garner a whopping 54.3% of a millennial's app usage time.

Clearly the strong representation on Windows Mobile of these apps that this trend-setting group spends most of their time using on the more popular platforms is a powerful indication that, again, the practical existence of an "app gap" (a dramatically inferior or unusable smartphone experience) for the average smartphone user is simply not the case.

Wrapping Up

As we've seen in part one of this series, human behavior is a critical and often overlooked factor when discussing the app gap. When we consider the app gap as meaning missing or some less polished apps on a platform, there are indeed missing and some less polished apps on Windows Mobile. This reality does indeed affect some users, like myself when I want to use my cancelled banking app, some of the time. Just being honest folks.

However, according to the data from the 2015 Mobile App Report, 50% of the average US user's app usage time is devoted to their top used app. Furthermore, 91% of a user's time is committed to his top six apps. Moreover, social apps dominate mobile app usage with Facebook being not only the most used social app but the most used app altogether.

This human behavior in relation to apps adds a broader scope to how the term "app gap" should be defined. Considering that according to the data that we've analyzed most apps, that most users use most of the time(including the trend-setting millennials) are available on Windows Mobile; the often stated or implied drastically inferior app experience for the average smartphone user using Windows Mobile is likely a conclusion reached in error.

By omitting the human behavior factor and focusing only on the empirical quantity and limited quality variables of the app gap equation a critical piece of the app gap story is never told. Well, that is, until now.

Part I: Human behavior, the overlooked variable

Stay tuned for part three to see where we go from here. Until then sound off in comments and given it's popularity, give this a share on Facebook!

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!

403 Comments
  • Thanks again for reading folks! There is definitely an numeric and quality app gap that cannot be denied. As I shared I experience it myself with my mission banking app and periodically when there is an advertised app I'd like to use (for a business for example) that just isn't yet available for Windows Mobile. The argument here is that for the dominant way in which we, the average user, uses smartphone apps, the data reveals that the "gap" between Windows Mobile and competitors is not as wide as many surmise. For what most people are doing, most of the time, a Windows Phone is still a good option. Of course needs and desires vary and for those who may not be the average user and need apps that simply are not available (as well as for the necessary health of the ecosystem), lets hope the app Bridges, turning Windows into a Mobile Development platform (Xamarin) and the Bot Framework does the trick (in time). Well, LET'S TALK!!!
  • Another great article! Props to you my good sir! Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10 Mobile
  • Yeah, great  you love drooling, fanboy drivel. All this garbage article does is make a long list of excuses why MS's failure to get developers onboard is somehow not their fault. ​The problem? It IS their fault. 99% of Windows Phone/Mobile's problems are caused by Microsoft, and at that, most of them AFTER Satya Nadella took over. When he ascended the throne of Microsoft, Windows Phone was at its brightest spot: trending upward and more popular than it ever was before. After he took over, it's only gone downhill. TROLLS like this guy do nothing to help the situation.      
  • Clearly you can't understand english. His article actually just states a simple truth: there is some gap in quality and number but it is not as big as one may think for the avarage user. As simple as that, just numbers. Is my recap easy enough for you to understand? You may feel that the article is useless but there is no trace of excuses, just numbers. Basic english comprehension and 5 minutes to read the article could help you avoid making yourself ridiculous next time.
  • The problem is, before someone is a user, he is a customer. And as a customer he in general considers future and marginal options as equally important as his 5-6 really important apps. Having those 5-6 apps is the bare minimum.
  • And I think neither I nor the author said otherwise. As a customer I will switch to android as soon as I can't stand the app gap anymore. Just today I was looking at s7 and htc10 considering switching to one of them and buying a 640 for app development. Then I asked myself "is there anything that my friends can do that I can't? No. Am I thinking about switching just because in each commercial I see GooglePlay and AppleStore? Yes. Would I actually use those apps or I would download them and trash them after an hour? Trash them." In other words I am the perfect example of this whole article, I really like windows mobile but I'm not defending it as a religion and as soon as the app gap will hinder my everyday life in any way I will switch to android without even thinking about it twice, till then there is no real app gap for me, this article is just stating a simple fact "for many users the app selection is enough". Obviously if you like google services and andorid UI there is no reason to buy a windows phone, on that I agree.
  • I've tried switching to Android, and its UI sucks so horrifically I'll never want to use it as my daily driver. I feel the same about iOS, though at least iOS is a well made, polished OS, whereas Android is a cheap **** of an OS. Now, yes, it's true that for some users the app selection is enough. That's never been a question, and if you need to write an article this huge in order to say just that, it only underscores what an insecure troll the author is. But whether it's enough is not the point at all. The point is that the app problem that exists is one of both quality and perception, neither of which are deniable. The sole advantage I can think of is that 6Tag is superior to the official Instagram app on ANY platform, but that's one lousy app. But the perception problem WAS slowly eroding until that fucktard Satya Nadella took over and pretty much abandoned Windows Phone. Microsoft was better off under Ballmer. I guess you never really know how good you have it until it's gone, though.
  • Try telling that to Microsoft shareholders. They fired Balmer because he was digging a hole in their pockets. After the writedown Nadella is making money for Microsoft.
  • False. Microsoft was profitable CONSISTENTLY under Ballmer. He was slow at recognizing certain trends, but let's face it: Nadella is a COMPLETE dunce when it comes to mobile and to the consumer space. He has no idea what he's doing.
  • Oh I understand English just fine. I read the article BEFORE commenting, and it's a waste of time now just as it was a waste of time then. This IDIOT is nothing but a drooling fanboy, as evidenced by the fact that he needed to waste so many words to say something so obvious every retard on the block understood it years ago.   This is a **** article written by an idiot who can't get Microsoft's balls deep enough into his mouth to make him happy. Waste. Of. Space.
  • Same can be stated about your long rants, you could summarize them in "this article is an useless long explanation of something we already know". Being rude usually makes your argument weak and childish.
  • Really? At what point did I waste 3,000+ words describing something that could be said in one to two sentences? Show me. And as for rude? I don't give a flying ****. Microsoft has screwed over fans and users alike on mobile for YEARS now, with an endless string of "It'll be great when it gets here!" promises that never materialize. Their PC efforts are generally pretty great. Surface Pro is brilliant. Windows Phone/Mobile 10 is a cesspool, the gutter of smartphones.
  • Lol since you don't like any of the three OS out there I think you have no solution other than ranting, sorry.
  • No OS will meet every need, that's undeniable. WP had a great UI (until 10 ruined half of it), but it's behind on almost everything else. And honestly, I'd rather rant than felate Microsoft despite its failures.
  • Something tells me you didn't read the article, whatever anyway your opinion is garbage. Posted from my Lumia 950
  • Unfortunately, I did read this cheap troll's sorry article. And the only garbage I see here is your complete inability to see the truth. Windows Phone is DEAD, and Microsoft killed it.
  • Wow Jasongw. It's ok. This is an article about a company neither of us work for, about a mobile platform, a mobile platform! that has very little relevance in the BIG picture of LIFE. As I'm typing this I'm looking at my beautiful one year old daughter walk around the living room while my wife is sizzling up something good in the kitchen. :-) For you to take such offence over my analysis of the plight of a mobile platforms position in the industry to the point that you personally attack me, a person you've never met, with such vehemence, just begs the question - why so hostile? It's an article. You don't have to read it. I honestly suggest that you do something you enjoy instead. I pray the best for you.
    -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • 1. It does not "Beg the question". Begging the question is a logical fallacy in which one attempts to use the premise of an argument as all or part of its conclusion. You can't even use that term correctly for chrissakes. 2. Your articles on this site are consistently nothing more than Microsoft ******** in which you simply make excuses for their failures or reach idiotic conclusions like "It's not that bad!" But you know what? It IS that ******* bad, and no one but Microsoft is to blame. 3. Save your prayers for some god-worshiping fool. I'm not interested.
  • Also jasingw to the point of me being insecure, my record shows that I have taken the clearly UNPOPULAR position, in relation to many other writers out there, millions of readers of many other sites and an industry that has very much looked the other way when it comes to Windows "phone", in the bulk of what I have written. Insecurity would dictate that I take the more popular stance(contrary of what I believe) simply to be accepted by the masses, not create waves, to be viewed in a favorable light to the majority of the world out there that disagrees with me, and not present what I feel is a unique perspective on things to an audience that I feel deserves to read more than me repeating what's popular. You're a faithful Windows Central reader, you know my position by now. If it really does bother you that much to you read my stuff we have a host of authors here which offer a variety of content you may very much enjoy. Please avail yourself of all of the rich content we provide. -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Actually, no. Your insecurity suggests you'll bend over backwards to justify your insane, biased position, which includes writing excessively verbose articles making excuses for why MS's failures are either okay or not really a big deal, as you do over and over again. I can always count on your gargling Microsoft's balls, no matter how stupid their choices, how destructive their stance when it comes to Windows Phone/Mobile.  All you do is make excuses, ad infinitum. But whether you like it or not, Microsoft's policies, in particular since Nadella took over, have failed fans and customers all across the spectrum. More than any other factor, it is MICROSOFT and its terrible choices that destroyed Windows Phone/Mobile. Get it through your head.
  • While I mostly agree with you about microsoft, you should try and behave like in real life, you wouldn't last long discussing face to face with this attitude, so stop being a coward behind that screen and be decent. He can have his opinions, you can skip them, easy.
  • No, sorry. I'm done playing nice with Microsoft and its sycophant worshipers. They're no ******* better than Apple or Google fans: blindly swallowing whatever **** they're given, and I'm sick of it.
  • You are sick of people because they can enjoy their product of CHOICE while you can't like any of them, I can't recall the term for this mental illness... This was fun :D Good night!
  • No you twatknuckle sandwich. I'm sick of idiots defending terrible customer support, service and product design, development and promotion. Idiot.
  • Jasongw bad you DEAD stop talking about for MICROSOFT good best
  • Umm, okay.
  • What(s)app ?
  • What(s)app gap? Posted from my Lumia 950
  • Well done on the article. Well researched and balanced. I already foresee the usual crop of always-offended commenters and their "wm is dead so shut up" tormenters, but just know this kind of reporting is hardly seen elsewhere. Looking at you Verge. 
  • This isn't reporting, this is stating the one-sentence obvious in 3,000 words. A complete and total waste of space.
  • The only waste of space around here is you, a truly miserable POS troll, the sad thing is you are not one of a kind, you're a dime a dozen. Posted from my Lumia 950
  • No trolling about it. It's called "Facing reality". You should try it sometime, if you can pry Microsoft's balls out of your mouth.
  • Who can resist some chocolate salty balls every now and then? But seriously, why all the fuss? I don't care about your experience or anyone else's, my Lumia 950 gets the job done perfectly at everything I want it to do except for the Pluralsight app which is a prime example of where you see a huge difference in quality apps between the platforms but even then just like Jason's example, I can just use the website if I need it. Say what you want about people sucking Microsoft's balls but maybe you should just realise that not everyone has had such a bad experience that you obviously have, and not everyone cares enough to let a bad experience ruin their life that much that they feel the need to call everyone and their mother an *******. Windows phone is dead, windows mobile is dead... Who gives a ****? I still get updates and I still use my phone today the same as I did yesterday and the day before, if it ever does truly die and I can no longer use it then I'll switch to whatever platform is best at the time, which ever platform gives me what I want, and right now that's Windows 10 Mobile. So quit acting like you're a load that should have been swallowed, chill the **** out and move on with your life. Posted from my Lumia 950
  • Again I feel this is just blind faith. Unfortunately, i switched to iOS a few months ago after being with windows for 5 years.    And to answer the question in the title, yes there is an app gap. The availability of apps on iOS is amazing. Anything you.can think of you get. Second point on quality, apps on iOS is great. With developers releasing updates and fixes quite often that it sometimes becomes annoying that apps needs updating all the times. Having been with windows so long I did not realize how big the app gap is actually. Misleading article... Well written though   
  • Yes, Mr Jason has mastered the art of clickbait. Posted from my Note5/950XL
  • Really? How is it clickbait? And how can you post from two different phones, yet send one reply? I see an internet troll here, sir. Begone.
  • Such a shame that your English teacher failed you. The "/" stands for "or". That implies that I own both phones and post from either one. Yes my brother - I use two mobile OSs because Windows Mobile is still deficient in many ways. Posted from my 950XL/Note5
  • Man, you're directly accepting that you don't have a life. What kind of apps do you want to have your life moving? or does the apps move your life!?
  • @Raytiger. Where did I say I don't have a life? I'm talking about the smartphone experience. Even though I am a windows fan its annoying to see you butthurt windows fan boys shoot down or insult everybody that says anything negative (and honest) about the situation of Windows mobile 
  • the simple iPhone launcher reminds me of a cheap Asha.
    I prefer the Android Widgets or Microsoft Live Tiles
    Also they cost A LOT LESS - so I can afford both - instead of one inferiorPhone
  • Most of us tend to go the other way. Instead of having several crappy products we sell those and buy one that does the job. Nobody I know is lugging around "several devices" for any period of time.... On a iPhone, you don't miss a thing. On WP-devices well, No bank, no Payment via Swish (extremely popular in Sweden), no following planes or boats. You will NEVER be taken into consideration at websites etc - some times they render horribly on W10 devices. Endomondo to track my cycling/running etc - nope. For every part of my life I have to invent a way around all quirks with WP.   So, I gave up on them. Using a iPhone 6s+ - works like a dream....
  • Swish is available on Windos Phone​ and BankID and Handelsbanken. Endomondo is available​. I have no interest in following plane and boats.
  • The iPhone has Widgets in the Notification tray which can be pulled down anywhere this being able to interact or see a widget from any app and not having to leave the application to do so like on Android #TeamLumia 950 XL
  • The unfortunate truth is that iPhone is superior to Windows Phone or Android. Its UI sucks, I agree, but what it's capable of and how well it's made FAR outshines any Lumia and most Android devices, both in terms of app and accessory availability and in terms of CPU/GPU horsepower.  Didn't used to be that way, but Microsoft under that idiot Nadella dropped the ball, kicked it, stabbed themselves in the eye and completely lost sight of the ball.
  • That's almost the same thing I did six weeks ago...after 3-4 years with windows phone I switched to iOS and man...the "app gap" is everywhere...and if we want to extend even more this term...the whole "OS experience gap" together with app gap is a killer. I am a huge windows phone fan too...and I really hope to see windows phone back with an amazing OS ad great unique features in the future, but right now iOS (I never had an Android) is on another planet. Quality and reliability everywhere, that's what more important to me. Just counting the apps that windows phone can have, cannot give the right perspective. speed, richness and quality of iOS apps aren't achieved even by the best windows phone apps (except youtube apps...that's silly XD)
  • Yes. Windows Phone was a great phone OS, and it's a pity that so many innovations that people think were invented on Android/iOS actually originated with WP. I wish Microsoft hadn't mismanaged the brand. I wish they hadn't failed to deliver on their promises about cross-platform compilers and Android app compatibility. But switching to Android opened up an entire world of options that had been closed to me: art apps, music sequencers, etc. I was aware that every month brought news of new apps that I would not be able to try on WP, but I hadn't realised just how liberating it would be to hear of an app and be using it one minute later. All this talk of percentages of time, the "average user", and so on... a clever obfuscation, but a smokescreen nonetheless. It's true that I've had to do a lot of customisation with Nova Launcher to get a look that I think is nice, since almost every manufacturer's Android flavour looks awful to me out of the box. That aside, it's much better. This article bravely makes the case for lookalike apps created on WP, but I remember how frustrating it was to be at the mercy of random developers (for everything from updates to the continuing existence of the app). As a regular user of Gmail Chat, I watched my options dwindle to zero on WP. This was the case with so many alleged gap-fillers. I do not miss that.
  • You are right. There is still a large app gap, but for the average user the gap doesn't really matters in terms of numbers but I think it does in terms of quality Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yes, the title is what made me read this. Although he makes some fair points, it's safe to assume that the regular Joe won't care to look for 3rd party alternatives like myTube or Tube Pro. They will just use the browser, which, for most people, is just fine.
  • Hi Duduosf, Actually I think the average Joe who wants to use a YouTube app on his phone, will go to the Windows Store, type in YouTube in the Search field and MyTube, along with other options will surface. More than likely I presume he will download one of those options(likely the highest rated option) and begin search, viewing and sharing videos.:-) -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Actually no, the regular joe will search on store, then type "YouTube" and then asking "Where is YouTube?" and then he/she will found a YouTube apps that basically only a web shortcut (with adware/crapware potential) Prove? My father did that.
  • You are absolutely correct. For years while I was recommending Windows Phone to my clients, I saw that time and time again: "Why does the YouTube app suck so bad?" So I'd look and find what? They're using the ****** web shortcut provided by Microsoft. AVERAGE people do not sort by ratings or look at reviews, they look at the NAME OF THE APP, end of story. If it says YouTube, they download YouTube, not myTube, YourTube, or any other tube. Power users will search, test and compare; the average user never will. And that's why I'm actively migrating all of my supported clients to iPhone. Windows Phone isn't worth it anymore. It's dead.
  • It's a probability, sure. But I know this much because I have a friend who had a WP for years and always used the website. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I to have switched after using windows phone from the very beginning. The article is great and touches on the fact it is not just a gap, but also parity of the apps... Honestly, even the Microsoft apps perform better.
  • There is no denial that some eagerly expected apps on Windows eco system don't make their way in due to the fact those app owners such as Google and Snapchat are all out MS haters. If a search engine didn't get any place on a platform with billion devices there wouldn't have been such a brand today, same way if the same brand does not want to support the platform it grew up on, then the platform must know how to survive and resurrect.
     
  • 3-2-1 it was faster than I expected. Not a misleading article. It noted the numeric really and even touched on issues of quality, though that is uneven as there is little doubt many Windows Phone 3rd party apps far outshine the official apps. Noting that there are millions of apps available on any platform supposes that most will have been of any interest to users. Fact is, as pointed out in the article few of therm are. I have over the course of several years downloaded hundreds of apps, even trying out various flavors. However, while my most used app, Podcasts, is not someone else's, I find the list above to be quite accurate, though I spend less time on Facebook than on Tweetium. I use them for different purposes.
  • Hmm. This article is the ONLY place where I have encountered "poor quality' as a meaning of 'app gapp'. Why is there the assumption that what is true for US smartphone users can be extrapolated to the rest of the world? That's blazingly arrogant (but unsurprising, sadly). Just because you say it, doesn't make it so. Windows Phone for consumers IS dead, no matter what it's called. Windows Phone, Windows Mobile, Surface Phone... Microsofoft, using corporate-speak, has said as much. It's a shame because the mobile OS was (IMHO) a superior experience to either Android or iOS. Well-thought out, fast, secure, consistent design language, and superb camera. For corporate users, who knows. I suspect it'll be those larger companies with a sizeable IT department / IT budget that will entertain the idea of using Windows Phones.
  • Actually it is the app quality and functionality that is all the way behind iOS. Indeed WP have most of the popular apps but they are so crippled that sometimes miss basic functionality.
  • It will take a while. The new W10M apps will be apps that business writes themselves for their internal needs. 
    The Surface Business Companion will be an extention of the internal IT structure, with the SBC devices joining a domain.  
    (Power BI, Office, SharePoint, Skype for Business etc.) Once those SBCs have become sort of popular within corporations and businesses
    the "standard" app developers, who for consumer / fun / entertainment apps will join in. It is increasingly difficult to get noticed in Android / iOS universe.
    So expect seeing some developers coding for W10(M) first
    get noticed by business and then extend their business model to Android / iOS.   The Bot Framework also will prove to be an absolute "killer app" if I may say so.
       
  • Agree, the only area where Windows Phone beats Android and iOS is the business app framework, aka, The Android/iOS tiny App Gap
  • Um, that kindof ignores the reality of app suites like the well over 100 enterprise apps in IBM's MobileFirst Suite which is completely iOS exclusive.  Add the new SAP partnership to the list now with their 2.5 million developers coming onstream to build iOS-exclusive enterprise apps for iPhone and iPad. Then there is the fact that Apple owns the mobile Enterprise.
    Citrix reports iOS has 64% Business market share worldwide. Also, Good Technology reports that Apple captured 72% of global Mobile Enterprise device activations in Q1 2015.Likewise, Egnyte reported that Apple's worldwide iOS mobile business market share increased from 69% to 78% in 2013. Intermedia's Mobile Trends Report shows that Apple’s share of Small to Medium Business has increased from 65% in 2011 to 68% in 2014.  
  • Windows phones beats android in security, reliability and are easier to use. They beat iphones on price, personalization and even security sometimes
  • Security: Windows Phone uses a sandbox approach. So does Android. Be specific - in what way is Windows Phone more secure than Android? Reliability: again, give me solid examples. I turn my Android phones on and they work, reliably. No problems with them whatsoever, and I'm a major meddler with the software. WIndows Phone I can turn on, and similarly it works reliably. Easier to use: no, they are different to use. I'd say that W10M is less easy to use than WP8.1, whereas Android Marshmallow is easier to use than any previous version.
  • Here in Russia, we have local google-like service Yandex.ru providing search, music, maps, navigation, taxi and so on. The problem is their WP8.1 apps haven't been updated for years (I'm not kidding). To say more - as I've heard Microsoft and Yandex have some kind of partnership - yandex search is default for Russian version of windows 10 pc and mobile, some of it's apps are pre-installed on CIS versions of Lumia. And still we've waited 6 long months for them to fix their broken maps on WP - situation that's unacceptable when you "partner".
  • Yes. The FSB has you covered. Expect a visit soon.
  • Those apps will NEVER be available for WP, WP is irrelevant, it's DEAD, put a fork in it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • And you base this rant on what evidence?
  • Just like you bro...Just like you :P :D Or at least a google-zombie :D Posted with the Windows Central app for Windows 10 on HP 250 G1 notebook. It is a scary old monster, I think :D
  • Ya its dead but windows mobile is alive....
  • Did not take you long to chime in I see. Odd, my Windows Phone with Mobile 10586.318 is working great and far from irrelevant. Also, you have yet to answer my question from another article which was: Can you give me one good, valid, quantitative reason to spend $300 on another phone when what I have works very well?
  • The Queen Lumia is dead! Long live the queen Surface Phone!
  • Well for me the app-gap has never been about the large companies. They have always been available and at least for my friends, have never been the problem with windows mobile. The problem is the small companies, as you say the banking apps, the apps you use one time to order food or such. Of course MS has a plan for these (you should mention this) and it's the bot framework (ok, maybe not for banking but for all the other short-timespan apps). You should mention that in an article you do covering what MS is doing to reduce the app-gap.
  • I get what you are saying no doubt. It's why I stay with windows. But I find myself in these scenarios where a new app comes out and my friends are all using it, even if it lasts for a short period of time I'm left out of that happiness the app brings for that short period of time. Think of it like going to an amusement park and taking a short thrilling ride. It may not last long but it's fun for that short period of time. This happened just today with my friend getting EGG released by line and sending me all these vids and then asking me to send her some. I couldn't. It obviously isn't a huge impact on me but if I was able to it would be fun for a short period of time. And life is really made up of fun moments and the rest is routine.
  • These kind of article encourage me to stay on the platform. Thank you very much ! Now I now I need a Lumia 930/950 in my life instead of an HTC M8/M9.
  • SoundCloud does have clients on Windows Mobile. Audiocloud is one for sure. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Write an aericle about functionality gap.
    There's no Continuum in those stone aged old phones.
    That's the GAP right now!
  • But Continuum is its own gap. It doesn't have the function that was promised, Android phones are already being prepared that will do the phone-as-computer thing, and it won't be long until Apple unifies Macs and iPhones in the same way. You know it's coming, and by the time they launch MS will still be fumbling around trying to make Continuum fulfil its promise. Windows apps aren't taking off the way MS imagined they would, and the userbase is openly hostile to them. Look at the angry reaction from PC gamers for Quantum Break, or even the suggestion of future games being Windows apps. If Continuum is going to work, it needs to have software like Photoshop, Cubase, Ableton Live. It can't run those because it can't handle simultaneous app usage at the moment, let alone host environments containing sub-apps within them. Right now, it's a parlour trick and a laggy one at that.
  • If continuum was easy the other guys would have already done it. Lets just say this one thing MS will likely destroy the others at, you are so disingenuous about the continuum feature Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
    on My surface phone
  • Turning your phone into a computer is already something Android has done years ago. It never took off because consumers don't care about that type of functionality.
  • First thing i did was buy one of those Dockable Android Phones. I returned it the day after because it was just not working good. Icons were the size of the half screen ... Continnuum i used on my last 3 business trips and i tend to sell my Surface 3.
  • Good article for the average joe.... But the comments are full of the fans/enthusiast views, Not that they dont matter but really not on topic. ( I know there a multi-verse of millenials out there)  
  • Thanks for your assessment. I appreciate when people reply with well thought out reponses to an open article like this. Appreciated. The OS can only be dead and buried as all the iOS/ Android fanatics are going on, if WM users believe they're not getting what they bought into. In my part of the world, phones are bought for sentimental reasons, and changed when the rave of that particular flagship fades. Very few people get a phone for essential functions particular to them and their daily use. Hence the noise about an app gap is relative based on the area, country or region. The significance of this article is because of the author's attempt to extrapolate findings in US to the rest of the world. A great effort, indeed. I'm an electronics addict, but I use a 640 xl with the necessary business functions I need as well as the reliability and longevity that's expected of the brand. Those who beef MS, have issues themselves as a company or anyone could have. I don't see an app gap if I get the job done, supervise my business and make outstanding presentations. Period. Each OS to its own. I have a android phone, but I just can't live without the security I've come to depend on using the windows device.
  • I would agree with you, when I show off my phone, I get the usual, "what about the apps?" question. My response is to ask them what apps do they use the most. Usually they are ones the MS has or there is an alternative to. Granted alternatives are frowned upon but again, I look at it as something is better than nothing...
  • Hi Jason,
    Any stats yet on how the app bridges, Xamarin, Bots are working out yet?
    Everyone hanging their hats on these, me included, so is there any data yet?
    These are the graphs and stats that will paint the true picture, the rest a superfluous.
  • Excellent article, and I really wish I could do a bullet point summary of this article anytime somebody wonders why the hell I'm using a Windows phone.
  • I mostly go with "Because it's working like i want it to do."
  • For real...PERIOD!!
  • Even without reading article i can tell that there is a real gap and a quality gap. I had my LG L9 couple of years back and despite that with the time phone got laggy,because obviously it wasn't spec monster,the whole experience still was better than the one i had and still do on WP. Plus now with W10 you have all these OS bugs which makes you think "why the **** i'm still using WP?" No matter how much i loved and enthusiastic i were about WP,W10 bug experience and this app gap and quality gap is just killing it. I'm thinkung of switching back to Android or iOS.
  • One of the biggest things/apps/services you left out which may be due to oversight, are the Google Hangouts / Apple iMessaging. Currently MS has nothing to even come close to competing with these services that have been in place for years. Many people I know will not switch because of there not being a viable alternative to such a thing natively. They are kind of trying by tying Skype messaging and messaging apps together, but Skype still lacks the ability to send video at all, while the sms messenger degrades the crap out of photos and videos, and has huge limitations on size and length of videos. It's one of the biggest downfalls I've experienced personally, and it really needs to change. Also, as for the native apps on WM, the whole platform itself, including those apps, are all so less functional than their counterparts, sometimes they boarder on being unusable. Take MS Maps, Netflix, hell, even Facebook (wether it be the current MS made version, or the future officially made version, which is likely to have the same performance downfalls as the current official Instagram app) they have huge crashing problems, lack of feature pairity, or just plain old don't get updated nearly enough. Most users of smartphones want the apps their friends/family have and use when they come out. And if they are available, they expect them to freaking work! Most users are not insiders who are willing to put up with that many bugs. Even as I type this, the keyboard itself has been slowed down and degraded since my use on WP8.1 (I'm currently using a 950 with 10586.318) I have to be so patient, and fix so many typos that wouldn't happen on other platforms due to performance imperfections that it becomes too frustrating for the average user. This is bush league ****!!! I just hope these things eventually get resolved, or else WM will certainly die. And I mean these things need to ALL be hammered out before the eventual "surface phone" release. Personally, I don't see it happening, looking at the current state of even the desktop Windows 10. MS is just too damn slow to move.
  • You sir, have left me thinking.
  • Well... Nice article. While some of it's aspect are true, deciding quality apps with mostly by usage time alone is not entirely acurate. In my country, there are apps that used for ordering something, you could say it's Uber-like app (there are GoJek, GrabBike, etc), or for managing purchase on online store, eBay-like app (there are Tokopedia, BukaLapak, Lazada, etc) which are widely used, but very less frequent compared social media and enternainment apps like Facebook, Pandora, Spotify, etc. Sadly, most of apps I mentioned above (local apps for order and online store) are nonexistent at all at Windows realm. While I do like Windows as smartphone OS, I have to admit that I also must own either Android or iOS device just to access those apps. And it's pain in the a** to cary more than one phone.
  • Why not just use the Website (if they have one)? Anyways i would hate to have to use my mobile while sitting on a 27" Screen with real keyboard.  
  • I basically use Mail, Onenote, the Facebook App Family, Skype, Translator and Maps as App. And LinkedIn / Xing to sync contacts. For everything else, i just use the web. I don'T watch hours of Netflix on the Phone, or play any games, i mostly use it as my personal assistant (Thank you, Cortana!)
  • Even though an app is used less, it is still used. Some of the apps I use infrequently I wouldn't want to miss.
  • Great article Jason, I've always felt "Windows Phone has everything I want and need, why is the app gap so important?" And now I know its really not that important in reality and I'm not such a strange user after all, its more of a bad image that is repeated all over the media amd even by fans. Looking forward to part 3! Posted from my Lumia 950
  • "For what most people are doing, most of the time, a Windows Phone is still a good option." Do you think this statement is still valid after a buggy Win10 on crappy 950s was released to consumers, I remember WC mentioning in one of the articles that indeed Ms accpets 950/xl as disaster but then what other option does a consumer have to buy a Winphone.
  • Wake me up when they'll make a 2016 version of FB and Messenger, cause right now they both suck balls.
  • so true it hurts!
  • Well, they suck balls on Android too, and by balls I mean battery xD
  • They're on their way, mate. June release ;)
  • Facebook said later this year. Microsoft twisted it to say soon. Don't hold your breath on a new app before November. Posted from my Lumia 950XL
  • There's app gap in Android and iOS, there's no XBL ;) While it's not most important feature, it's still feature that keeps me strongly on Windows Mobile.
  • Sorry, what? Last time I checked I had the Xbox apps from Microsoft on my phones. I even had one or two titles with XBL achievements on Android (some word game I can't recall the name). If you're talking about Xbox games... Well, then neither has Windows Phone lately. Because Microsoft screwed that one up massively. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • There are about 3-4 games with Xbox Achievements on Android and iOS and close to hundred WP games on my gamer tag. Yes, this is also area where mistakes have been made, lot of promise missed. But I still going wait and see, keep my delusional hope that unified store with Anniversary update brings some light.
  • You don't see XBone games on WP. You can forget that. It's not technically possible. Streaming is as far as it may get but honestly, it'll be a terrible experience. Just like it is on Xperia phones via the PS4.
  • I'm not talking about bringing games like Halo or Gow to WP, that would not make sense. There are multiple games that are on Xbox One and on Android, why wouldn't those same titles work on my SP4 or L930? For example games from 505 Games Studio.
  • Oh God, you really bring the disappointment to the world..
  • I get achievements in my iPhone playing Halo Spartan Strike and Wordament. There's a couple more. Not as many as on WP but at least I can still get some extra achievements exclusively for iPhone.
  • What actually sucks, that there are games that are on Xbox One and on Android and iOS, but not in Win10 pc/mobile, for example Gems of War and Battle of Ages. There probably many more similar examples and that tells me enough how bad situation is.
  • Windows 10 Mobile is dead
  • For you, that may be true.  ​Other than that Microsoft is continuelly releasing new  insider builds
    and HP will soon start selling their HP Elite X3. .  
  • And marketshare will continue to sink. It's dead. Move on. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • 0.7% to go.
  • I always wonder how you can move on when common sense is dead. How do you do it?
  • I just do what Windows Phone users do. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • History will prove otherwise. Everything that goes up will have to come down.
  • Yup. WP went up with Nokia and now is coming down. Couldn't agree more. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Why don't you follow your on advice and move on? If Windows is dead why do you hang around making snarky comments?
  • Mythical beliefs need to be constantly vocalised as they have no grounding in reality otherwise.
  • I don't recall saying Windows is dead. Try again. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You keep telling yourself that, buddy. Windows Mobile is not going anywhere despite it's abysmal market share. Deal with it... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • He writes when his lagdroid is down, like 50% of the time, just an optimistic guess
  • So, can you give me one good, valid, quantitative reason to run out right now and spend $300 on a new phone? Especially when what I have works very well already? It is amazing to me how people are more than willing to tell others to go spend money they do not need to.
  • If you buy 300€ phones, I'd imagine you'd have all the reasons to keep changing them as low end and low-mid-rangers are not that great overtime. And if you use a phone with WP10, even more so. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's the difference, any non-flagship windows phone is always beating it's similarly priced lagdroid equivalent
  • Where do you get the idea that a $300 US phone is low or midrange? I do not run out and buy the latest, greatest, way overpriced phone at $800. Sometimes, having patience and not buying brand new does wonders for having a high end phone. However, that did not answer the question and worse, can you give me even one good reason to run out and spend $800 US on a phone when I already have a phone that is not low end and works really well?
  • Still trolling after all this time I see
  • Take your own advice kid :p
  • Yeah, people need to face the truth.. Too many fanboysm being everything... Even this article is made by a fanboy trying to deny the truth about app gap too..
  • This ^ Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • They keep saying that.
  • Yes, may be ordinary smart phone users' point of view. I am compelled to say, Windows 10 as a whole is a beginning of great success story. Believe it or not without a strong base there was no such a great building ever existed.
  • WTF??? You make no sense.
  • Nope, works very well thank you. :) Posted from Windows Central for XL
  • speak for yourself youngblood-
  • What I am looking forward to is the advent of a good SIP-phone app
    like Bria or Zoiper that supports G.722. ​Windows Phone / Windows 10 Mobile lacks good, reliable apps that support SIP telephony. Wonder when this is coming.  
  • Isnt that the opus selections in voiper?
  • Number one for me is a comcast app that I can watch TV with. Lyft and Chase next. Other than that nothing really comes to mind.
  • The app gap for the windows store is a real fact. You don't solve the problem if you are trying to hide it.Im not referring for apps like Snapchat, Messenger,... Or some ridiculous apps from android like Big loudly Fart version 10000075 or 10.000 flashlights.When I bought the windows phone I hear in many sites,YouTube videos and forums that the phone build for business.But we don't even had Bank apps.
    I bought the phone from a retailer in Greece and they don't provide app for windows phones and they have for android and for ios.
    I love the w10 OS.But I think they have to improve many things to be their phone more than 10%.
  • It may be a fact, but for most people it's not a problem.
  • I believe BOA is on the way..
  • The problem with the view of an "average" user and the top used apps statistics is that this is the common denominator among all the users, this does not mean that most users adhere to an "average" users' use patters. This does not necesserily imply that there even exists such a user who is completely average, though as there are millions of Windows Phone/Mobile users, there probably do exist such "average" users as well as those that use strictly a subset of the "most" used apps. Case in point I still count myself as a Windows phone user, but I recently bought a vanilla android Moto phone. I had to do this because the job I'm applying for uses an app that is not available on Windows. I do hate the convoluted UI of the new phone even though it's what they call "clean" by Android standards being pretty much vanilla.  A group of people taken together do imply an average but you'd be quite hard pressed to find somebody who adheres to such a specification precisely.
  • I bought the surface pro 4 for school and love it, but i also saw the opportunity to try Windows 10 as a pure tablet OS and thought that further on I could maybe exchange my nexus 7 for a decent 8" windows tablet. But there are so many apps that don't have a worthy substitute in windows 10 x86 that the sacrifice would be too huge. You have to rely on Edge most of the time. Even the windows central app for windows x86 is inferior to the android app and using windowscentral.com in Edge in portrait with scaling set too high (~300%) is a poor experience because the ads scale badly. There is no equivalent to what I use the sp4 for in android or iOS, but on the other hand windows 10 purely as a tablet OS is a no go.
  • That's why my friend, there are alternatives. You can't always have what you think would do, there are things that awaits you to have a good experience than you had before. If not Edge, Opera should do. Why complain over your closed mindedness?
  • Thank you for a very informative article, Jason. The "app gap" was also a similar notion with BlackBerry 10. In both WP10 and BB10 it can be demonstrated as you have done so here, it's that perception of what's useful or not, that needs to be bridged. So how the manufacturer can overcome that perception and educate and point the customer to their product is the $64,000.00 question.  My take is that the consumer already understands what their particular must have apps are for daily productivity and communication, it's the extraneous stuff they want unfettered access to, when they're not on the clock.
  • Chase might not be a top 25 app, but it's one I'd really like to have back. I don't care about snapchat... though if I had it, I'd probably use it. I bought a cheap android just to use chase. Also, home security system apps, or other home systems that have apps, most don't have a windows app.    I'm not surprised that most of the top 25 apps are arcoss all plateforms... or have similar apps... but it's once you get out of the top 25 that it gets to be a problem.
  • This article makes me laugh. Basically every new app launched isn't available for windows phone, and some that I need like steam and Battlelog either need client or isn't available. "what app gap?" Just take a sincere non fan boy look at the store and you will see.
    "6 apps or less" 6 from the big ones, like tinder, snapchat, clash of clans, PayPal, and others. There are the ones from specific regions or countries, too, and if we count these too, the app gap grows to the hundreds.
  • I mean, you're a fanboy too...you're posting about phones on a Sunday in comments. Everyone here posting and commenting is literally the definition of a fanboy of technology and brands.
  • Ha ha. Good to have you around for your sharp comments...
  • 0.7% of sales last quarter, that's the real answer to all these blind faith articles.
  • I don't get people accusing someone writing an article. Backed up with numbers. What are YOU trying to accomplish?
  • You don't solve a problem hiding it, time to face the reality of the big app gap and the fact that Microsoft is doing nothing to solve it.
  • Well, really, I have all the apps I want. Or you mean the apps I need when I read about them? Anyway, at this moment for me there is NO app gap at all. Go figure ;)
  • No one cares about you or what you have, the undeniably truth is the app gap is there and a fanboy like you is trying ro hide it or even worse, he is trying to fool everyone with this **** article
  • "No One Cares". Fanboy speak for: I don't care and I claim my point of view is everyones.
     
  • Actually, Decarvalh803, no I'm not trying to fool anyone. Even if I never wrote the piece the numbers reflect the reality of the behavior of the average US user.
    Now a humble assessment of the piece would yield an acknowledgment of MY acknowledgment of the quantity and sometime quality disparity. That reality however simultaneously exists with the aforementioned behavior of the avg US users primary focus around a core set of apps. Both these realities are supported by the data and presented to you. And as I shared above and in the opening statement of Part I, MS is working to resolve the issue with the Bridges and making itself a platform for mobile development:http://www.windowscentral.com/windows-phone-isnt-dead-part-vi-app-gap
    -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Data, shmata. MS just need to fix the damn phone once and for all. How many years has it been FFS, just fix the app gap, fix the quality gap, market the fk out of it and lets get on with our lives. $7 billion dollars FCS to buy Nokia, most of which has been flushed. Why didn't they pay half of that to the devs to come and play and the other half on marketing, WP would be on fire now if they had. All this talk of graphs and app useage data, sorry that's BS. Its way more simple than that, its too many poor decisions by an inept management team for too many years, a lot of someones heads need to roll for the current mess WP is in. Too many excuses by too many people for too long. I'm a fan but WP is a diagrace, MS FIX THE DAMN MESS ONCE AND FOR ALL, WHATEVER THE COST, NOW, NOT NEXT YEAR INFINITUM, RIGHT NOW !!!
  • Microsoft and the market doesn't care about your particular needs (or lack thereof). To many people, the 3310 is still enough for their needs.
    That doesn't make the 3310's OS any less dead and without a future. And whomever says the 3310 says webOS, BB10, Symbian, etc.
    But then again, you're delusion personified so... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You just proved the "popularity" of lagdroid
  • Hi Max. Please revisit this piece as well as part one (even my opening comment in this thread) and you will see that throughout each piece I acknowledge a quantity and quality app gap. An attentive reading of the content of both pieces will show the argument that the smartphone app activity of the average smartphone user can be accommodated by the available apps on Windows phone. Also your claim that MS isn't doing anything to resolve the issue is erroneous. My opening statement in part one referenced my last piece in the Windows phone isn't dead series, "App gap? Microsoft has a platform for that" where I talked about Microsoft's work with the app Bridges and making itself a platform for mobile development, using Xamarin, in part to bring Windows on par with iOS and Android: http://www.windowscentral.com/windows-phone-isnt-dead-part-vi-app-gap
    -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • "the smartphone app activity of the average smartphone user can be accommodated by the available apps on Windows phone." Then explain to me why Windows phone has never taken off why don't you. As far as I'm concerned, people are not going to give up their Google services, local apps, and games like Hearthstone, etc. When people see a cool new game or app come out, they want to try it, and "average smartphone users" will never be happy if they have a phone that doesn't get those.   
  • Sure there are MANY reasons not just one, @Visa, why Windows phone hasnt taken off. One MS reentered the space late, 2010, 3 years after Apple the consumer market well in hand and 2 years after Android was hitting a stride in the consumer space. Limited carrier distribution, limited/poor marketing, carrier associates poor knowledge and support platform, unfamiliar interface after early rivals mae consumers accustomed to pages of static grid icons...so many factors.
  • Even the available apps suck, Facebook on Windows 10 Mobile isn't even close in quality. And MS needs to do something about loading/resuming screen, Android and iOS don't just do that annoying thing.
  • To be fair, I do see resuming screens on my mother's Moto G 3. They don't say "resuming", but some apps do have a delay until they are ready for use again when switching to them. Granted, it's a mid range phone, but still... a very very popular one. And we're talking about pure Android here, 1 week of usage and with 3 or 4 apps installed. I do agree about FB though. Hope they really release their new apps soon, and not soon™
  • But the popular apps are not the limitation. Not having something you really want, even if infrequently, is one of the major problems. Think of it like a house or apartment. You might spend the vast majority of your time in the living room, bedroom, and kitchen. Yet for many not having a laundry room kills that particular house/apartment as an option. Same thing with the apps. It might be a banking app, something for work, etc. Don't have that, and the OS is no longer an option. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • What? Does Windows 10 mobile still had those loading and resuming screens? That's totally unexpected and embarrassing...
  • I hope you are on ios because if you're using the alternative... LOL
  • This is not a fair comparisson. Comparing the time spent in an app to its importance is not the right aproach, it's like you are seeking arguments to fool yourself. Of course people don't spend much time in apps like Snapchat, cause the app was made so that you won't have to spend a lots of time in it. In the article you are basically saying that because people use more 'x' and 'y' they won't need 'z'. The app gap is also about quality. We do have the two most used Facebook apps. Are they any good? No, they are not. Messenger lacks functions, is slow, full of bugs. Facebook app isn't reliable to filter your news feed, does not have recent features like reactions and can't even display properly top comments. Is Netflix a good app? It is. But why can't it connect to any form of casting device like it does in other platforms? I could go on and on about most of the most used apps we have but most of us already know whay they lack. It was a great read, though. Thanks for the article.
  • Well said.
  • OMG.....   In truth I've having problems with Mr. Ward's articles for quite some time.   I found his earlier series "Windows Phone isn't dead" and "Smartphones are Dead" to be flawed with poor premises.  I've thought about responding to some of his work earlier but simply did not want to waste my time in the effort. Microsoft has focused on the high value high use apps for years now with SOME results.   Therefore Windows Mobile has many of the long term most used apps.  Focusing the majority of the article on the top twenty five is a waste of time and misses the point.   Whether or not someone spends hours in their Facebook app vs three minutes in their banking app is not particularly useful data and is by-in-large cherry picking your data.   If you are going to be really focusing on human behavior you have to acknowledge that we complain most about what we don't have and Windows Mobile lacks a lot. Given Windows Mobile has a dearth of financial banking apps compared to iOS and Andriod and lacks something as simple as, lets say a RedBox app; it fills me with absolute CONTEMPT to even float the idea of "what app gap". With the exception of the top twenty five apps, there is a massive app gap between Windows Mobile and iOS and Android.  I will not say otherwise because I hate lying.   I know that much of that app gap is irrelevant to me as I don't need many of the apps that people point to, such as Snapchat.  However just because I don't use some of the apps that are missing doesn't mean that I would say there is no app gap nor would I present to others some rough parity between the platforms. There is a significant app gap between the platforms.  There are often deficits in quality and features in the apps on Windows Mobile vs. Andriod and iOS.   Both quality of apps and availability of apps are appropriate metrics for determining something like an "app gap".
  • What do you want when it comes from a fanboy? Do you think he lives in a real world?
  • Sorry dude but, I tried Android which has all the apps. I suspect that most folks are like me: They download an app, try it once and then never use it again. Basically, one and done. Oh, but I need that cool app I just saw on that commercial! Every app I looked at execpt one had a mobile site eqivalent.
  • As i said previously,i had my LG L9 couple of years back,before switching to WP. Yes there were many apps that you actually don't even need and so on. So,first of all,yes,there is a gap,pretty big one actually,but that wouldn't be the biggest problem,the biggest problem is quality,despite that my LG got laggy with time,i still had better experience than i do now with my 640xl. Let's take Facebook app as an example because it's one of the most popular apps. Reabilty sucks,news feed sucks,functionality is just ok,ha,you can't even see top comments under articles! Plus W10 bugs are just killing the whole experience,i'm starting to consider moving back to Android or iOS...
  • Everything I have is Microsoft, from the 2011 Windows Home Server to an Xbox One, 360, the desktop, the HTPC, the HP Stream 7, the Nokia 2520, a laptop, my 950, and a Nexus 7.  I refuse to run Android without Nova Launcher.  However I have a number of apps on that, which I would love to see on Windows Mobile and have used multiple times.  Admittedly most of the times I visit those companies are on my PC.  Why have a tiny screen and cramped weird typing when I can use my keyboard.  Ok, format wins.  However I still don't have those apps (banking), REI and redbox apps.   Actually right now my Maps app on Windows Mobile 10 won't show streets and won't do voice navigation. Edit.  It's showing streets now.  Before, it was less map than zen meditation device.  I AM HERE, where ever the hell that is.
  • And the best part is that app had enough time to stole all your personal informations without you even noticing that, lovely
  • B23h thanks for your comment and your suggestion to me was to acknowledge what readers complain about, missing apps such as banking apps, please reread parts one and two and my opening comment in this thread and you will see that I do just that. Thanks for joining the discussion. :-)
  • I've read parts one and two; if you read my post closely I don't suggest that you acknowledge missing apps, but rather suggest that spending an entire article on most used top apps is cherry picking your data and does not support a " click bait" mischaracterizing title of "what app gap?".
  • Hi b23h: I misunderstood your statement where you said: "If you are going to be really focusing on human behavior you have to acknowledge that we complain most about WHAT WE DON'T HAVE and Windows Mobile lacks a lot." Then you proceeded to point out banking apps that we don't have: "Given Windows Mobile has a dearth of financial banking apps compared to iOS and Andriod and lacks something as simple as, lets say a RedBox app; it fills me with absolute CONTEMPT to even float the idea of "what app gap"." This is what led me to believe that you were stating that Ibshould have acknowledged the lack of such apps as banking apps which of course I clearly acknowledged I miss in parts one and two. I also talked about in part one miss apps like daily use apps like Dunkin Donuts app that some users use daily. I also mentioned Kohl's where some users find very useful for discounts. I didn't itemize a whole list of apps in either piece but in BOTH pieces I clearly acknowledged that there is a numeric and quality gap and that the absence of those apps affects some users some of the time. The focus of this series is precisely what's in the title: "The "UNTOLD" app Gap story". The data I present about the human behavior in relation to what apps, are being used by most people, most of the time is just as real as the data we get in the myriad of articles that come a dime a dozen that tell us about the apps we don't have and some of the poor quality apps we do have. The difference here is I'm acknowledging both realities in the same context because their both real and valid. Again my focus is of course on the part of the story we DON'T hear about. So I encourage readers to take a look at what I'm presenting based on the data and set it within the context of how you've perceived the app gap landscape and understand that though the reality of the quantity and quality gap exists, the behavior of the AVERAGE US users as borne out in the data is not as impacted by that disparity to the extent that many writers and commentary express, (a virtually unusable or highly degraded smartphone experience) exists as well. I also made clear my own experience in the opening comments of this thread of apps I see advertised that I'd like to try but are not available. Thanks for the discussion!
  • Yes, of course the context and background is missing apps and features; otherwise I would not be taking offense to "App gap?, What app gap?"  Simply put, your premise that a significant percentage of the current top used twenty five apps are available on Windows Mobile still does not support your title "App Gap?, What App Gap?".    I called it lying, mischaracterization, and click bait.   I don't care if click bait titles are appropos for "jounalism" this days nor do I care that you are telling " an untold story."   The fact remains, the title is misleading and I would not allow a title like that unless I supported drawing such a conclusion in the article, and you fail to support it.
  • App Gap is a problem for me. Tried sticking with Windows Phone as long as I can, but a few weeks ago had to switch to Android as daily driver and leave my Windows Phone in the draw. I made the decision because I'd gain more than I'd lose.
    Things I missed from Windows Phone: Live tiles, the very nice feeling Modern UI, Dark theme
    Thoughts on Android as a daily driver:
    After using it continually for 3 whole weeks, I don't think I'll ever switch back unless there's a good reason to.
    Here's what I like:
    While I never liked or will like material design, the fact that most of the apps and even Microsoft apps abide to the design, giving a very consistent feel, something I didn't expect.
    Reliability wise, Android Marshmallow is running along zippy and fast, with very few crashes, a HUGE relief and difference from Windows 10 Mobile. I'd say that combined with SD820, it's even snappier and faster than Windows Phone 8.
    Apps: the big reason I switched to Android was because of the app gap. Mainly Google apps and services, which increasingly is being used in the workplace. Also, the Microsoft apps. I think someone Mary Jo Foley/Paul Thurrott? said that the best Microsoft experience is on Android and it's true. Microsoft is not focusing their efforts on Android and not Windows Phone. The Skype app and the Outlook apps is miles better than on Windows Phone. Also all of the Microsoft Garage apps (1 exception) in the last two years have not been released on Windows Phone. The thing that disappoints me as a Windows Fan the many new features arrive on the Android apps 3 weeks before Windows. Also in terms of design, you could tell they put more work into it than on Windows.
    Other apps were the Here apps that disappeared from Windows Phone as I rely on them for they provide much more accurate info (especially transit).
    Another problem was app updates. My friends would always tell me and ask me to use this feature and I usually didn't expect to have it.
    The next big cause for me to switch was restaurant apps and mobile payment apps. Android Pay is starting to be available at my favorite places and I'd love to be able to use it.
    Then there's what is known as the First party App Gap, which you can read about in Adam Lein's article from PocketNow. After actually using and fiddling around I discovered that the stock apps on Android are mile superior in terms of functionality.
    Finally there's Thurrott's remark about where if you're such a big fan of Windows Phone that you're physically harming yourself by ignoring the problems, then you have a problem. It reminded of the time where I had to go to this place to do something very important, but I couldn't get in because I didn't have the app.
    Conclusion: I've never used Android phones much other than experimenting and such before I switched, but after switching, you realise the App Gap is real. It's like Android is alchohol or something and you can never switch back and just keep loving it more and more. When this article says most people focus their usage on the top 6 apps, there're just times where you don't even realize you need it until you use it.
    Anyone else switched because of the App Gap?
  • I don't know, Thurrott goes off the rails sometimes. He championed Windows Mobile for years--despite the fact that the limitations today have largely remained unchanged between then and now. Now that he's gone Android, he's become as bad as the biggest W10M critic. The tone got so bad that I quit visiting his site. I don't see how any specific phone platform is going to cause you "physical harm" (if those were indeed his words), but I can certainly see how one might inconvenience you at times. And yes, sadly I have a Nexus 5X on the way.
  • I don't think that it's exactly what he meant, he was referring to how someone he knew had to walk and extra mile everyday because the parking app wasn't available on Windows Phone.
  • I switched to Android over a year ago. Likewise, I've gotten used to having apps not available on Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile that I never realized I was missing. I can't see switching back now that I've used Starbucks, all 3 of my banks, Amazon Prime Music, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Music, YouTube Red, YouTube Music, Kindle that isn't buggy, Waze that actually works and gets updated, HERE (still available and regularly updated), Android Pay, Walmart, local grocery store apps, etc. I used to think the app gap wasn't bad, but that was before I experienced the difference first hand. Posted via my Nexus 7 2013 using the Windows Central App for Android
  • HERE (still available and regularly updated)
    And easier to use than Microsoft maps ;)
  • I'm considering,da hell,i will switch when i'll have a chance. Back to Android or i will try iOS. App gap isn't big deal,atleast for me,the quality and reability are the main reasons,add to that W10 bugs and errors and you're done with WP.
  • I've never felt the app gap. But what I've always said is that it's not the number of apps but the number of quality apps. First party apps do not function as well in most cases compared to on iOS and Android. Posted via the intertubes
  • Exactly, Facebook for example is so frustrating on WM that I simply use my Android tablet to access it. Other examples are readily available. You said it best when you underlined the importance of quality(feature filled) apps! Posted from my Note5/950XL
  • Agreed. Small things like crashing Groove Music, Agenda, Voice recording (can't without screen being on, third party apps crashed a few times) and live tiles not refreshing the moment the screen is turned on (I have to wait a good 6 second before they all refreshed) makes the experience "sluggish". It's a great OS and I'm definitly sticking with it although I'm constantly switching to my android phone when I need to get soms serious work done. It's just not reliable at the moment for my use and thats a real shame, because people really like the way it looks. But they constantly say that it feels "slow" and I have to agree with them sadly.   Then again, I didn't experience most of these issues on my 640XL with W10M so I'm not sure if its just the hardware causing problems. Sounds weird but I've seem it mentioned a few times on the forums.
  • I honestly am very happy with my windows phone. I have pretty much everything I need. The only two things I wish to see is first a stylus-enabled windows phone. I hope to see this with the rumored surface phone as I use OneNote extensively. The other thing, which is not a deal breaker for me, is an updated kindle app so that it incorporates built-in dictionary. Otherwise, the experience on windows phone is just AMAZING. I specially love how everything is available to me whether I'm on my Lumia or my surface pro 3. For example, I take a photo on one, and it's there for me on both through the magic of OneDrive. Beyond that, the interface is just so intuitive, logical, smooth, and easy-to-use. I can't see myself going to another platform.
  • WP is irrelevant, it's DEAD, put a fork in it, stylus, LMAO. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • And why you post for a dead OS? I need Turok at Xbox one.Plz.
    Posted from a T-Rex.
  • Because he is one of the usual trolls with yet another name
  • Thanks for voicing your opinion, which doesn't contribute to anything.
  • Some apps are deal breakers even though i spend about fifteen to thirty minutes a day using them. My work related medical app, finances app and banking app for example. It doesn't matter that I spend four hours on Facebook and WhatsApp when all platforms offer those two. What matters is the diverse pool of smaller footprint apps that are a necessity not a luxury. And that is where windows has failed. Posted from my Note5/950XL
  • Swedbank, last.fm, airbnb, trafi, aliexpress. This is to name the missing apps I need. FB app is NOT A FIRST PARTY, its Microsoft and it cant even add people to an existing event. Groove is a unusable monstrosity that makes me want to smash my phone. Outlook and calendar are also poorly done. Some user interface decisions taken in W10 are a step back from 8.1. In general, from Windows fan boy I turned into a person who dreads every new update, cause it will break something new. I should not have to feel that way.
  • Aliexpress is available. I have it on both my phones... Though I only use it on my Android because just like all other apps it's crap on Windows 10. I tried to use my 950XL as my main phone last week. I only made it through one day. So frustrating, so limited. The only app I enjoyed using was Readit. Everything else bad. Posted from my Note5/950XL
  • aliexpress is 3rd party and even screenshots look errible. Not even gonna try...
  • Yeap, and, by the way, when you see some reduced prices for some goods for those who used mobile app, you don't get it from the third party app that are in Windows phone, so no, there is no Aliexpress app for now Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Utter nonsense. When people talk about app gap, its almost never about the major apps. The most popular developers have the resources to dedicate a few coders to the windows platforms. What about the banks, public transportation, restaurants, food delivery, payment gateways, etc? That makes it almost unusable. This article is so desperate, it comes across as clutching at straws. Use Android or iOS for a few days and see how much more can be done with those than w10m. This platform is dead, regardless of whether you write 10,000 word, 100 part series on it.
  • The Windows Central app crashed TWICE after posting the comment. I could only helplessly laugh at the irony.
  • Android is pretty unstable at times. Correct. Bad memory management. Better use a Windows or iOS phone. Anyway, better blame the app than the user. The user does not get any updates.
  • Marshmallow runs flawlessly on most mid tier phones. W10m is a buggy mess on all the phones.
  • Runs great on my 640
  • Utter nonsense too. Look at what people actually use. It's differs a lot. Jason gives the average here. Nowhere he says there's no app gap. He makes it more understandable. A least 10 people I know, only use Email, Whatsapp, Facebook, Banking app and a browser. Which all of them are availble for them. For all 10 of them there is no app gap.
  • Seems like less than 1% of the markets needs are met by the meager offerings of apps WM is offering. People vote with their wallets and those stats are real. The poor app experience and app gap are real to more than 95% of mobile users. It's time to wake up my friend. Posted from my Note5/950XL
  • Nope man, nothing could be more bullshit than that. The average user buys what the seller wants him to buy. That's a huge hint there, more than what you deserve, now think about it
  • This ^ Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Almost unusable, LOL
  • Stage 1 of DABDA: Denial.
  • Anger will be in 2017 when no Surface phone is released. Posted from my Note5/950XL
  • You're talking to yourself?
  • Here's my answer for title question:
    1. App Quantity Gap
    2. App Quality Gap
    3. App Focus Gap
    4. App Update Gap
    5. App Availability Gap
    6. Google Apps Gap
    7. App Support Gap
    8. App Developer Experience Gap
    9. App Form Factors Gap (no Windows Auto, no. Windows Watch, no Windows Home)
    10. App Functionality Gap
  • So much for 'windows 10 fan' demanding answers for his (nonsense) '10' questions.
  • Fan not Fanboy, I think its the coolest and have bias for it, but I don't ignore the problems of it and act like an apologist.
  • Number 9 is needed indefinitely. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android (V10 or 5x)
  • The google apps gap is a technical limitation of google that can't steal users' data through windows mobile
  • The problem isn't the number of apps, or the "popular" apps. The problem is those handy everyday apps that most people use that simply aren't available on W10M. Your homebanking app: a few banks have apps for W10M, but most don't. Your airline app: few airlines have apps for W10M, but most don't Your public transit app: few public transit systems have apps for W10M, but most don't. Your parking payment app: few companies have apps for W10M, but most don't. The situation is a bit better in W10M than in WP 8.1, because of the UWP and the  iOS bridge, but it's still far away from Apple's AppStore and Google's Play Store. And Microsoft abandoning the older platform (WP 8.1), again, I might add, since they did it before with WP 7, doesn't really help things. An example: if Microsoft hasn't deemed you worthy of the upgrade to W10M, when Here finally pulls the plug on its apps, what alternative is there? Microsoft's Maps app on WP 8.1 is mostly useless because it never got updated to the new version in W10M, so what other good and free alternatives are there? So yeah, Microsoft, you had me since WP 7, but unless things change *a lot*, my next phone is going to be an Android.
  • And this was exactly my problem, which is why I've already jumped to Android. It has nothing to do (for me) with the amount of time I spend in an app, but has everything to do with the availability of apps. I spend very little time on FB as it happens, on my phone.  For me, there were some very specific apps that I required. First was the banking app, that not only allows me to access my account(s) via the phone but also acts as a secure key for home PC access.  Next was Hive app, to access heating\hot water\smart plug controls.  I know that this can be accessed via the Web, but what is a 20 second job to change the temperature becomes 1 or 2 minutes to login and navigate the Web page via a 5 inch screen. It's that convenient, definitely not.  Then I have temperature sensors for inside and outside the house, again no app for Windows mobile.  And possibly the final nail in the coffin is that Android Pay has now become available in the UK. Will WM10 ever get contactless pay,  definitely,  but when is the million dollar question.  There are other examples, but it highlights that many apps are quick use,  convenience ones,  that you may only spend seconds in, but have a big  impact on our busy lives. 
  • Even if they are available you would never know because the publisher for some odd reason only advertises it as being available on iOS and Android.
  • Groove music is even an app? Crap crashes if you have 1000+ is usless and the app lost the album cover 
  • I agree with a lot of what you have said. And recently I ordered a Lumia 950 XL, because I genuinely enjoy using Windows Mobile. There is an app gap, no matter how much you try and say so otherwise. I got a chinese android phone for £50 before ordering the 950XL, just to see what android was like. Being able to use things like snapchat with all my friends and family was huge. My band worked perfectly fine with the android which it didn't do with my Lumia 1020. Even groove works so much better on the android for offline music from OneDrive. Trying to play my music from OneDrive which I have downloaded to the device is virtually impossible. It doesn't work. Yes I agree, thereI won't use the whole 1.5m apps on Andriod, but there are some I do. Some that bring me closer to my friends and family. Some that help me at work (medical apps, I downloaded 8 of them, and not a single one is available on Windows Mobile). Some that I can use at any time. I decided to stick with a Windows Phone because I found that the tiles on Windows 10 were amazing and I missed them. I missed the simplicity of the OS. Though I must say, Android allows you to do so so much better. And it just works. Without many major issues. Without random reboots or crashes.
  • @HumanHowever I agree with you, I have a windows device as well as an android device. I however like the simplicity of windows 10 mobile live tiles. I have built muscle memory of where every tile is. I don't carry both devices so i use my android tablet for reading and consuming data but i'm happy with Windows Mobile
  • Did someone actually try to say there is no legitimate app gap? Really? It's all been in our minds this whole time? What color is the sky again?
  • The color that reflects the ocean.
  • Having an app is not the entire experience though. I like Windows 10 Mobile, but there are noticable flaws when compared to competition. One such example, you can't even take a picture and then view it without the dreaded "Adding finishing touches..." slowing down zooming or sharing--and the slower the phone, the worse it is. It also seems like I'm deleting the same pictures more than once from Photos, as they seem to come back after I delete them the first time.  While I would never say that W10M doesn't need more apps, I'd say that it needs polish first. For everything you'll like about the OS, there's something else to remind you that it is still a work in progress. I just don't know if MS can mature it fast enough as the marketshare keeps falling off. It's a darn shame, because I like the overall concepts of W10M more than iOS or Android, but those options are more reliable and presentable. I WANT to use W10M, but I can't. Even Instagram, while decently supported, isn't without issues. Sharing a picture seems to be much slower than it needs to be, even on a 950. Oh W10M, you make me sad. :(
  • Doesn't matter that my wife spends 1 hour a day of her phone time on her way to work and back on Facebook if she can't get on the bus in the first place because she needs to spend 1 minute with an iOS/Android only app to buy a ticket .... The top used apps are necessary, but not sufficient.
  • For all you app whores, let me say this......
    I can get 100% of the same data.you get from apps in a little thing called the Web. I just click edge and the data pours to me. Apps are nothing more than lazy portals to the web.....Stop crying 90% of your apps you do never get used after the 1st few days. Go ahead look in your systems and see what apps you are using the most. For the majority it's like 5. And I bet you they are as the article states the same. The only place the gap is real is in Banking. That's MS fault, they should pay the banks and make the apps. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Perhaps, but it's inconvenient to go to the web when you're on the fly. The app is like a shortcut to the web.
  • While I agree with that, funny thing is I can just pin whatever website I want. There's some apps that I think WP users are enormously missing out on... but there's a large number that are simply links to an HTML5 mobile website. You find the website, you pin it, you're done. There's even an app that finds them for you so that you have the appropriate icons rather than having to look at a link. Everything from Starbucks to my bank is a non-issue. That said, the "anti-microsoft" crowd in the app world bugs the hell outta me. I can live without snapchat, but I'd really like to have an official Pebble app, ya know? (That said, I think the indie devs tackling that latter problem will eventually bring us something very nice. Not to mention that "Pebble Core" modem thingie has it's own solution baked in.) Snapchat? My only experience with it is teenagers blowing up their data plans in 2 hours without the use of Youtube or Netflix. With other chat options available to the folks I talk to, I think I can live without it. I think it's also worth saying that I'm surprised what I *do* find that works with Windows Phone. Like a bunch of the IoT things you see at Best Buy these days. Not everything is supported by official apps, but I find a good deal of webapp and 3rd party support, sometimes in interesting ways. (Like controlling a Nest with a Band 2 or stuff like that.)  
  • It just amazes me how lots of commenters fail to understand the article. Or did those not even read the article?
  • We read the article, it's just a BS argument
  • Reading this, felt like I traveled back in time, and we were discussing both Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8.  The fact that this is still an issue, what, six or seven years later, while Microsoft retreats from consumer smartphones and sales shrink to 0.7% of the entire smartphone market, says it all.  
  • I don't agree at all, Microsoft needs to do something huge or Windows Phone will always remain isolated, i won't say it'll die, though it'll never grow over 3% of market share if they don't sort things up, and if they don't grow they don't get the Apps and the updated version of Apps. i switched from iPhone 4 to Lumia 730, then Lumia 930 and then to Lumia 950XL, i've been using Windows Phone in the last 3 years, but now i'm switching, the 950XL disappointed me with a cheap design, i hate that polycarbonate body and metallic speaker placed so badly on the back just near the camera, also Windows 10 mobile should have been ready months ago, instead even in production release it still has too many bugs and lacks many things, and then we arrive to the worst thing, the Apps, too many important, used Apps and Games are missing, and the ones that are on Windows are always the worst version, don't get updated regularly and often just don't work...and how could you disagree with developers? why would you bother bringing and working updating your App for an OS with about 1% of market share when instead you'll earn so much money on Android and IOS which are over 90% of the market? it's not even worth it. Anyway, that's why i just bought a new chinese Android phone which has design and specs of high end phones for just 200$, it's the Leeco Le 2 by the way, you should check that out, it's just insane that you can get something better than a Galaxy s6 for that price. And i guess i'll sell my Lumia 950XL, i'll wait hoping that Microsoft will somehow make the miracle, if not i'll just stick with Android or come back from where i started with smartphone on iPhone, if iPhone 7 will be any good
  • At this point 3% market share would be a huge boom for WP.  
  • of very all I'm happy
  • App gap or not the Facebook and the Messenger is far away from the android(2016) version. Also there are no snapchat. Instagram and Twitter are keeping up to date.
  • App gap isn't really about availability of that small number of Top Apps. As long as windows mobile isn't a default plattform to release apps for, there will be that app gap. For example I can't get a smartphone ticket for my local transit on my WP cause there is no app for it. They even had an app for Symbian
  • My L920 was too slow with Win10 so I switched to Android. It is funny but Windows Phone have billion times better YouTube user expirience than native Android 5.1 YouTube on Android can't background playback! (without YouTube RED crapware) Also it is overloaded by fckd ADs! Android YouTube can't remember default video quality! So I need open settings to change quality from 720p to 360p EVERY fckn DAY!  
  • Droid is a big mistake, a security issue. Ppl here only talk about market share and the number of apps in their respective OS. Windows 10 Mobile is clean, simple and efficient in many ways, a fresh start that ppl are afraid to have. I would say its a shame to discard a beautifully made OS because of something called App gap ppl made up. They just don't see the available alternatives.
  • Why should you play it in the background that's YouTube not Poweramp or vlc or any other mp3 player.... Why there should be no ads while YouTube is as is because people get paid for the vids they upload??? Otherwise people would not have a purpose to upload vids.... Mytube and co are unofficial apps
  •       The major app I miss, is the local taxi app. I use it on my ipad now. Banking apps? Never need it, not even on ipad. I have a browser. The same applies for Amazon app, which I deleted from ipad.  Still badly missed: Google maps. And soon: Here Transit, which was better than Google's version.   
  • Irrelevant now that MS has given up on having their own smartphone platform.
  • Hello friends. 2 things that I thought of while reading this awesome article: 1- I primarily used Bing because of it being the go-to search engine for my (at the time) Lumia 920, but now I heavily use it due to Bing rewards. I've gotten all kinds of gift cards and entered drawings, and am now being ambitious by earning points for an Xbox one haha. Yay Microsoft store/Amazon gift cards. On average if someone wants to earn max points in 1 day (10 points in Bing mobile, 15 points using Bing for Pc, 1-3 points for using Microsoft edge on PC and random bonus points daily) it's about 30 points and in 1 month that's a gift card. I don't know if Google has a rewards program also for searching though but it's a great free perk to have. 2- The official YouTube app on android frustrates my friends because of ads, yet MyTube plays absolutely zero ads in every video. People complain about not having official support yet in this case it's a much better experience for us as windows 10 mobile users.
  • Totally agree with you.
  • Google does have a rewards app on Android, it's called Google Opinion Rewards
  • Once again, do I want to spend $500 on a phone that has 100% of the apps and 100% of the features within those apps, or spend $500 on a phone that is missing core OS features (tap to pay, for example), and 90% of the apps I want (with varying degrees of features compared to the same apps on other platforms). And just because Microsoft has a search component and maps component, doesn't mean they are as good as Google's suite. For example, if you're about exit a highway, Google Maps will tell you exactly which lane to be in, depending on where your destination is. If our destination is an immediate right after the exit, it will tell you to be in the far right lane. If you're going straight or left, it will tell you to be in the second from the right lane.  And let's not forget that for those that DO prefer Microsoft's services, those are also on other platforms. 
  • Let's not forget Android was one of the successful attempt to lure ppl in and to grab hold of their data that is now used by them to make money from the government.
  • What?
  • Tin foil hat all this paranoia re Google.
  • I have come to the conclusion in reading many of the threads in WPC, that the people still sticking with WP is because "it's human nature" to not be told by someone else that they are right and you are wrong, the truth is it's not about who is right and who is wrong, it's about reality, when I read posts like WP is everything I need, I just have to scratch my head, why would anyone shortchange themselves only to feed their inner ego. There is a reason WP has 1% market share, 99 out of 100 people don't use WP, not because they don't want to "I myself for the longest wanted to jump to WP, but it's short comings are hard not to notice" , it's because it's half backed. Why people still stick around this dead mobile OS is beyond comprehension, heck I have all my life used windows OS, and will continue to do so, but I will not shortchange myself to spite others and use an inferior mobile OS. How many windows phones do you see any of the major carriers carry, zero, there is a reason for this, phone carriers are not in the business of fanboyism "yes I made this word up", they are in the business of catering to what the public wants, and that's a phone that got can use and communicate with the rest of the world, which includes friends, family, and business colleagues. When the first Apple phone came out, people where intrigued with the apps and the new way to connect with everything and everyone around you, back then BB was still the big dog, but after a few years even big Enterprises where leaving for the iPhone, and recently Android, not because it was made by Apple, but because it had that crazy new thing called apps, have you heard the saying "there is an app for that", heck my parents who did not start using computers until their 60's now use Android tablets and Apple phones, and they love their apps.
    When Android first came to light Google knew if their Android OS was to succeed they needed enough apps from the get go, because without the apps their Android OS would have been dead on arrival, hence making sure they had enough developers on board for their initial launch, all their commercials when they used to advertise the Droid was about "look at all the apps we have". Every smartphone today can make phone calls, texting, browsing the Web, email, what makes or breaks the mobile OS is the apps, that's why BB also went the app route or would have been dead years ago, Nokia is coming back with Android phones, there is a reason for that.
    Why people shortchange themselves just to spite others "which is laughable" considering WP is a complete joke, it just makes no sense, even Microsoft is pretty much telling you all the same, they are a software company and make more money from licensing deals and their software, they have pretty much sold everything off from the WP fiasco and are cleaning house.
    You can get a real nice Android or Apple phone for cheap nowadays, give it a try, it will be the last time you will ever use that half baked WP. If your decide to go Android I suggest a Nexus 5X which is cheap and does a fantastic job, with a great camera, great fingerprint scanner, or an iPhone 6. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • There are plenty of people who don't need more than what WP offers. Others don't realize what they're missing out on.
  • So are people who use dumb phones. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • What reality really is, contrary to your evangelizing is that we all make our own choices for whatever reason we see fit. If I like using a product, it is never my priority who else uses it or how many others use it. And if I in your words choose to "shortchange" myself, why does that seem to bother you so much?
  • You are forgetting something as well. Though we are an overwhelming minority, we are actually real human beings who make a real choice to use W10 Mobile. There is no right and there is no wrong in individual choices. It's obvious it doesn't work for you and 99% of the mobile world. Good for you... but I'm not stupid because I use a 950. I came to Windows Mobile from Android, and I used a Galaxy 5S provided by my employer. I like W10 Mobile lots better. Bottom line is it works for me. Enjoy your phone. I'll enjoy mine.
  • "... why would anyone shortchange themselves only to feed their inner ego."   It's thrill of being part of a resistance; that's where the ego gets fed. The same goes for BB10 hold-outs. "We're the ones who get it, so f off you Lagdroids and iFans!!1"   If hard-line WM fans could admit it, they'd admit that they aren't really arguing that WM is competitive or comparable (they don't believe it themselves); they're just arguing because it's their tribe against the rest. Pride and ego; that's it. Dismissing apps as useless with few exceptions is a silent admission that WM is a weak smartphone OS ... or ... is the greatest feature phone OS of all time.   There are things WM is fine at it, but $500-$800 should do way better than "just fine." I wish MS well in their next transition. 
  • Zzzzzzzzz
  • Still in denial^, looks like I got a nerve, the truth will set your free. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Zzzzzzzz...the article is boring and full of BS. The writer of the article went into full fan boy mode. Not even the surface phone will save this platform and Microsoft should be ready to become IBM 2.0
  • You should write a philosophy book on smartphones or something. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • A philosopher I am not, but I am not not blind to the world around me. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I don't know about you, but the app situation has gotten worse when it comes to my needs. The Windows Store has almost every app I need, but the quality and support are horrible. My banking app hasn't been updated since 2013. Spotify, Facebook, Messenger, IMdb, Viber, CSR Racing, etc. are all there, but they all lack features, have bad performance and the UI elements are too big on my 950 XL. I always have to hide while using the apps I mentioned because it's embarrassing. That's really sad, because I love the OS and the hardware.
  • Wow. What an article. Very nice Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Looking at the top 25 apps on iOS/Android is a mistake. It's the same mistake even Microsoft made a couple of years ago when they tried to solve the app-gap problem. Yes, Snapchat is a problem for many but in a way it's more about the top 1,000 or maybe 1,0000 apps. That is, it's about the 2-3 apps each person uses right now on Android or iOS that doesn't exist on WP.  For me it was my banking apps (including credit cards, stock brokers, etc.), Starbucks (although a UWP app is supposed to be on the way) and MoviePass. For others the missing 2-3 apps are different.  I'm assuming most of the apps different people are missing are in the top 10,000 on iOS/Android.    It's also about missing most of the new apps. When a new service or app launches, it's most likely going to be on iOS first with Android either at the same time or a few months behind. When everyone else is using that new app, WP users are left out.    Finally, it's about perception. When every app advertising you see, wether it's an ad for an app or just a mention of an official app for a TV show or store lists iOS and Android. That sends a clear message. You want these apps, get one of these two platforms.   That was the app-gap problem. Microsoft realized they can't really solve the problem and targeting enterprises makes it less relevant. 
  • I've been with Microsoft Mobile for the last 2 years but until the last month, i've had it... as much as i loved the platform, it has been a nighmare from the getgo...  The app gap is REAL, stop all the data and studies and statistics. Some apps are basic and needed for everyday functionality and they do not exist on Windows. Simple as that. WhatsApp is a nightmare to use. Viber is crap. Bing is not the best search engine and Google is a miracle to get working there. Instagram? LinkedIn? Hangouts? Insta Messenger? News apps? Messenger? Tumblr? OLX? TrueCaller? VK? Shazam? My bank app? Even an app for the movie schedules in cinemas...  None of them is comfortably functional without some missing feature as opposed to Android/iOS counterparts or some severely flawed 3rd party app... I loved Coratana and the camera, but that is not enough to keep me on that platform... Attaching a photo from within WhatsApp to send is a 40-second process... Opening camera within WhatsApp is another nightmare... And i was on Lumia 950 XL... And let's not forget the overheating and random restarts. I am sorry, Microsoft should have thrown $1 billion on paying the developers TO MAKE apps FOR Windows Mobile OS. I dont care about the cloud and all that. I care to have a mobile with an OS that gives me peace of mind. Unfortunately, i felt the vast difference with Samsung Galaxy Edge 7... And unfortunately, I will not be eager to look at WM10 until a radical change and improvement is implemented and at a reasonable price.
  • To me, the human behavior means people will usually do whatever that's easiest/free/with less effort.  This means that I will use a smartphone with apps to make things easier for me.  Just like the others mentioned, wether that's banking, buying coffee, watching movies, doing social medai stuff - I don't have to think about the availability, quality.  I know I can download and use that convienence.  This what average users do.  I don't care about numbers.  I don't care the argument that people say that I'm not a teenage so I don't use Snapchat.  I can be 80 and use Snapchat on my smartphone and you just can't.  I don't even care about if it's Microsoft, Google, or Apple.  Even if I use an app only 1 min in a month, and if that app works and makes my life easier, I'm cool with it. I would like to see Jason try to answer some of the good points people commented.  
  • It doesn't matter how you wrap it up: even though the basic service might be available on WP, the apps themselves lack features available on other platforms, this the experience isn't as good. Which is why I switched to Android. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • This ^ Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I'm a big fan if Windows mobile is and I have had five different Windows phones in the last couple of years, but after the last six day trio, I have decides to move to android. I could not stand all the crashing that occurs with the apps. It was terrible, and that crashing was the main reason I hated android and run from it in the past. I like the os, I hope it will succeed but I own no stock in Microsoft so I don't have to force myself and endure the suffering. I endured the missing apps, but when my core apps are not working correctly I call it a day. Regarding the article, I think that there is a lot of redundant stuff in it, like many sentences repeat. It's not a bad article but some editing would have helped it.
  • Whether the app gap is real or not is irrelevant. The problem is that the perception of the reality of the app gap is very, very real. The overwhelming majority of consumers perceives the Windows Mobile app gap to be real, and that is a huge hurdle to overcome.
    We need quality apps for longevity of the OS, but I personally don't need more than half of the apps found in the top 25. All I really want is the HP Elite X3 to hurry up and be released. :)
  • I recently purchased a new washer and dryer by LG, they have an app for it on Android and iOS, controlled via NFC, you can control both machines with the app, including diagnostics.
    WP is irrelevant, it's DEAD, put a fork in it, Microsoft has, so should you. Why eat pork chops when you can have sirloin. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Good point I like branzino and shrimp that's why ;) -950XL
  • Well, I think I can rely on my personal experience with WP since WM6.5 that the major apps/services which I need are covered by my phone (duh). Measuring them in time spent, great! But I think the 'app gap' is more sensible when trying to access information on infrequent places. For example: I don't go on holidays a lot, but when I do, much of the fancy cities have some specific tourist apps/guides/public transport helpers/whatever available, but only for iOS and Android. It is at those times that WM/WP is completely left out and you're standing there as the idiot. Does that make up much of my app time on a year's basis? Not at all. Does it frustrate me as a user: very much so. Those mentioned apps provide very basic (e.g. no complicated content), but very useful information. Not frequently needed, but with WM/WP you can never be sure it's there. I keep falling in love with that old hub idea that MS abandoned so easily... They provide the UI tailored to the basic info-format (perfectly tailored to the OS style), then it's just hooking up the API's of the service you would like to use (rather simply put). It's the camera app's lenses basicly. Here's the viewfinder, now drop your sauce on it. Watch beautiful data enrichen the UX. I guess most companies don't like people viewing their stuff in another one's app/hub. 
  • WP's app gap exists because the developers have access to statistics and this data shows that WPs do not sell enough to justify developing apps for the platform. The other night I was checking out random apps in the 8.1 store after reading the first article of this series. I came upon dozens and dozens of apps that have not been updated in months and others in years. The Google app has not been updated since November of 2013. That's almost 3 whole years. If MS wants to be relevant in the mobile space they need to accommodate developers and get quality phones built. This is going to be a very hard uphill battle. MS is late to the game.
  • Windows 10 Mobile, as of today, is a nice OS, with a lot of potential, but the OS only is not going to make the trick. The App Gap has, with the years, only been actively affecting the most "circunstancial" spaces (like some very specific apps, that are on both iOS and Android, with a not so big user base, but still, used actively by that small user base, and that only specific app, is a killer reason; And it's not only a very specific app, are a lot of very specific apps). Now, the other face of the "App Gap" is the quality, and that's a very important point to see. For example, we have a Facebook Messenger app, it's here, but the quality of the app it's not there. For example, the Instagram app, it's here, it's feature complete, but the overall quality is still not here. Other example, the WhatsApp app, it's feature complete, but it's not that much polished as the iOS and Android's. Twitter? It's almost there, but not right there. And we can go on and on. I believe this is now the big problem of the App Gap: Quality. And even the First Party in-house Apps, like Maps, Weather (even more, Camera, Messages, People, etc.) still have some bugs or missing some features that where there before or whatever you call it. Quality I believe now, is the main problem, just read the comments in the Store, almost all of them are about the bad quality of the app. I hope, in time, this problem (Quality) can be solved, but MS needs to hurry up and fix this on his side (even with Windows 10 Mobile itself). For now, I'm happy enough with the apps I have, I use and I can download from the store, but not everyone is happy enough, and even I'm not 100% happy with the quality of some apps (Facebook and Facebook Messenger mainly), but, what to do? I like the OS very much and outside of that part, I do everything I need with ease, but it's always good to ask or wish a little bit more quality
  • In time, what time exactly, they have had 6 plus years, and it's nothing but downhill, WP is irrelevant, it's DEAD, put a fork in it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • 6 years, and in that time, we have come from Windows Phone 7 to a soft reboot named Windows Phone 8 (with a lot of diferences in the main code, core and things like that, also, apps that where Windows Phone 8 specific developed wouldn't work in Windows Phone 7), to another reboot named Windows 10 Mobile (with the same app problem), with only half of the devices (and probably less) with WP8 updatable to W10M. It's hard, but if they don't reboot it again (let be honest, they can't afford do that again), and if the OS is showing some adoption, the OEMs starts to win some revenue in the low end market, the whole Windows 10 "One Windows" thing keeps it's momentum and Microsoft keeps pushing the development of Windows 10 Mobile as they are actually doing this time, things can come around finally.
  • There are several levels to the "app gap" as this series of articles and related comments point out (i.e. big name apps that aren't as good as on other platforms, big name apps that are missing, the myriad of smaller, lesser used apps that are MIA, etc.).  However, in a big way I think these discussions miss the bigger picture.  The app gap, while an issue, is not the problem itself.  It's just a symptom. The problem is that there's no significant organic demand for Windows Phone/Mobile in the population at large.  If there was, the apps would follow.  And if you had a particular company/CEO who was against Microsoft (Snapchat, for example), they'd lose share to a competitor who did support the platform.  So why doesn't the platform have appeal for the broader population?  One explanation might be that they hate the tile interface.  I admit to being biased in that I like the interface, but in my experience, the perception of the interface among regular iOS and Android users is usually neutral to mild interest.  The only strong dislike I've encountered has generally been among stronger enthusiasts for other platforms after finding out that it's from Microsoft. That brings up two additional points - one is the Microsoft/Windows reputation overall, and the second is lack of effective marketing.  There's probably a lot that could be argued about regardint the first point, and as to the second, let me relate the experience I had when showing off my very first Windows Phone (a Lumia 710).  This was to a friend of mine who had been both a PC and Pocket PC user back in the day but who was by that time all Apple (based in many respects on my favorable opinion of that platform in the early 2000s.)  He immediately recognized it wasn't iOS, and so he asked me if it was an Android.  When I responded that it was a Windows Phone, he asked "Microsoft makes a phone OS?  Why?" Let that sink in for a moment.  With his question he basically said Microsoft was irrelevant in this space, even though he had been using the precursor to it (Pocket PC was basically the precursor to Windows Mobile 6.X and earlier which preceeeded Win Phone 7.x).  At this point I was worried that Microsoft was already heading to the IBM phase of tech.  (And I say this as someone who had been all-in with OS/2 2.X before it was clear Microsoft was going to wipe the floor with them with Windows 95.) There's a lot more I could add, but where I'm really going with this is that Microsoft was late to the game with Windows Phone 7.  It was released late 2010 - more than three years after the iPhone, and roughly two years after Android.  Those two platforms/ecosystems were firmly established by the time the first Windows Phone came out, so it faced an immediate disadvantage.  And the question that Microsoft has never really addressed is the fundamental one.  Why should someone chose a Windows Phone over these other two platforms.  What advanatages does picking a Microsoft mobile solution offer over the competition?  Their failure to address that question is why the situation is the way it is today.    
  • I actually liked the Windows Phone interface. I originally chose Windows Phone 7 coming from BlackBerry. I expected that the app gap would improve but gave up after 3 years of no perceivable improvement. I just lost my patience with "coming soon" ™ which I already experienced with BlackBerry. Posted via my Nexus 7 2013 using the Windows Central App for Android
  • Intersting.  I came at this from a different perspective, which probably contributed to me sticking with Windows Phone a bit longer.  My first non-phone smart devices were a Newton(!) and then Palm Pilots.  I was a Mac guy and eventually moved to a 1st gen iPod Touch. I eventually tried out Android on Virgin Mobile (couldn't justify the AT&T/iPhone monthly charge at the time - first used a Samsung Android phone with a hardware keyboard, then an LG Optimus V that I really liked)  After struggling with the Virgin Mobile(US)/Sprint network, I wanted to try T-Mobile.  I was also curious about Windows Phone, and Nokia had recently made their deal with MS.  Found a Lumia 710 on eBay and had a good experience which started my journey down the Windows Phone path.
  • My smartphone history started with Nokia Symbian in 2006. Then I used BlackBerry from 2009-2012. I used Windows Phone from 2012-2015. Now I'm using Android. Posted via my Moto X Pure Edition using the Windows Central App for Android
  • I just looked up my Lumia 535's app list, and I have 167 apps xD On a Windows Phone guys... I think, I have everything I want on a phone with W10M. So just like some others also stated here, for me, the app gap doesn't exist :D Anyway, this was a good article Jason. But be aware of what you write down. I can see a Verge headline from tomorrow. "Windows Phone is Dead. Even Jason Ward says so.
    Jason Ward, a well known writer at Windows Central, and a long time supporter of Microsofts mobile OS wrote yesterday, that "information effectively precludes an "app gap", in the sense of a dramatically inferior or unusable smartphone experience, for the average US smartphone user who chooses Windows Mobile." He also says "This reality does indeed affect (...) myself when I want to use my cancelled banking app, some of the time. Just being honest folks" Maybe he will switch to Android?" This is just an example, but many writers at tech news sites just like to take words out of the actual context. Last but not least, thank you for the article. It was very well written ;)
  • Once you use one of the other two mobile platforms, only then will you see the real app gap. Ignorance is bliss I guess. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I came from android last October bro. I had droid devices for years, but got tired of the lag, slowness and buginess of the OS. So I switched to WP, and I couldn't decide better. I love the OS, my phone, the apps, and everything.
    So long story short, I know what the "other side" can offer, but I just don't want it anymore :D Posted with the Windows Central app for Windows 10 on HP 250 G1 notebook. It is a scary old monster, I think :D
  • Of course you did, and what Android phones did you exactly use, WP has less than 1% market share, what else do you need to know that tells you WP is irrelevant, it's DEAD, put a fork in it.
    I have no lag on ANY of my Android devices, be it the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 2013, or Note 4, all are smooth as butter. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Seriously. I don't give a ******* about the marketshare, or the rest of the world, and couldn't care less about you, and your beloved lagdroid, as long as my user experience is good on my Windows Phone. And it is, despite I have one of the most cheap Lumias, a 535. I used Alcatel, Sony and Samsung devices running android, and the Sony and the Samsung ones cost much more, but delivered much less. The Alcatel was a cheaper one, so it was ok for that price.
    And maybe you can afford buying one of those overpriced, "flaship" nexus s h i t s, but not everybody can. I won't pay 400, or even 800 dollars for a phone, just to not lag, when I can get a smooth, lag-free experience with an 80$ Lumia.
    It doesn't matter, that how many times you google-zombies state it, Windows on Phones is not dead (sidenote, it isn't called WP anymore, it's W10M). You're probably just here to troll, and ********** to it, like "Yeah, I told them again. And again. And again. Yeah I'm right. Yeah baby yeah" :P :D
    You don't even show us your face... Or does it really look like a strange Napster logo? :D So get out please, you faceless troll :D We don't want you to write "WP is dead, put a fork in it blah blah blah" under every second comment :D Is this really your life? Or are you a payed troll? You ******* :D Go to lagdroid central. P.S.: Improve your vocabulary sir, using the same phrase everywhere makes you seem to be a 12 year old kid :P :D But not... My little brother is 12, and he speaks even more varied, than you, my friend xDDD Posted with the Windows Central app for Windows 10 on HP 250 G1 notebook. It is a scary old monster, I think :D
  • I'm pretty sure you didn't use any Android made after 2013. You probably were using something on Gingerbread. Or you're just lying which is always quite plausible coming from WP-fanboys. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Believe it or not, I was on the droid side from gingerbread to jellybean. And given that jb is still the most widely used version of droid out there, I didn't miss anything. And to be honest, gb lagged a lot less than jb. Why would it be good for me to lie? :D Posted with the Windows Central app for Windows 10 on Lumia 535
  • Tbh the only app I really want is probably snapchat and maybe yik yak but it's nice to have the option to use the banking app that ill use like once or twice a month or the random new game *shrug*
  • I speak for myself, while its nice to have options even if it's not in the top percentile, it's no deal breaker, life goes on, and these are simply tools, if you fell it's not your tool then switch. Jason, Articulate piece however it is a bit long. Thanks
  • WP is irrelevant, it's DEAD, put a fork in it, the rest of the world has. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • What app gap?
    My daughter is so impressed with the camera on my 930 she was close to coming over from the dark side, snapchat for her tho is an absolute deal breaker so that plan now is dead in the water :-/
  • The camera really , LMAO, I guess she is a bit smarter than you are. Most of today's new smartphones have real good cameras. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • She wants to buy outright and can't afford a current gen new phone so was looking at a new 'old phone'......not that it's any of your business duoche bag.
  • She just did not want to make you feel like a total fool, she is your daughter and she loves you, so not to hurt your feelings she told your a lie, what exactly would she be telling her friends if she pulled up with a WP and they all have iPhones, I am sure none of her friends have WP's .
    By the way, when you look in that mirror, that dusche bag is staring right back at you. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You mean the last generation of WP, I hope she is smarter than her old man than to burn her money on a dead mobile OS. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • These articles are so cringey.
  • Unfortunately the older folks who might not use snapchat probably doesn't spend nearly as much on smartphones. By that I mean, eve. if they buy a flagship they probably use it for a longer period of time before trading it in. Some even use consumer cellular or even jitterbug, negating any advantage MS might have.
  • God not ANOTHER one of these over-analytical articles scrounging up excuses post-"grain of sand dissection". Is this going to be an 8-part essay of garbage too? For every one of these desperate attention-seeking articles, it only makes the reality of the situation THAT much more glaringly obvious. You have an app gap. It's APPALLING. Not bad, APPALLING. Absolutely abysmal. A smartphone with NO ECOSYSTEM that is the laughing stock of users on Android and iOS. That's as complex that you need to be about the situation after you brush aside all the fanboy excuses and stop trying to polish a you-know-what.
  • Sadly I have to agree.
    I'm an avid WP fan and will remain so, but it's just so much more simple than this novel tried to portray.
    U might only use snapchat once per month but it's there if u need it, but not on WP just like many bank apps etc.
    Gross mismanagement from MS for many years and an obvious IDGAF from Nadella means WP is haemorrhaging.
    Don't need these overly complicated articles, we just need the platform fixed, once and for all. No more excuses, no more fking around, just fix the fkn thing, no matter the cost, once and for all!
  • That's exactly right (and a more friendly version of what I was saying haha)
  • Hi Mindi, actually its simply bringing a focus on an area of data that is not normally reported on but in fact exists. One would be hard pressed to find another article that looks at this information from this angle with supporting data while STILL acknowledging both a quantity and sometimes quality gap exists. While candidly sharing my own experiences with that disparity at times. I encourage you to take a look at this information within the context of ALL of the reporting you have seen about the app gap, and acknowledge that there is a place for this information within that broad space. This information is just as real as the information that says most developers see Mobile as iOS and Android (as I shared in "App gap; Microsoft has a platform for that"), just as real as the fact that MS has 1/3 the apps of the competition, just as real as some apps on WP are of lesser quality than rivals and just as real sometimes there's an app a Windows Phone user wants to use that just isn't there. These are all points I acknowledged thus far in this series (which most writers who write about this do as well) while also incorporating information about the human behavior of the average US user (which most writers don't do). Thanks for participating in the discussion.
    -------------------------------
    Jason L Ward @JLTechWord
  • Hey guys,  I am a long time windows phone user; I use a Lumia 820 since 2013. I do consider myself a windows fan too. Now I am considering moving to Android soon. Maybe a Nexus 6p. However, I may still buy a Lumia 950xl if Microsoft’s situation changes. For the sake of this article, let me tell one thing clear on what app gap is. For years, I have been telling people that the general apps you need are already on WP and they are of better quality. No issues with that. However, an app gap doesn’t mean having FB or FB messenger, which is being developed like an IOS and not like a WP one. Instagram is also IOS port, not something that came out from scratch, although the app was in BETA for like 3 years I suppose. App gap means general apps, like a banking app, maybe a university app, let's suppose I work for a company they have an app. Many companies, businesses, banks, institutions do not invest in WP platform because Microsoft itself never takes it seriously. Like Google, they would have asked Nokia to design a Nexus for WP, LG, JTC, HP, Samsung, or Sony. Everyone would have. In addition, the rest the OEMs themselves can do the trick. Microsoft has control over software; Google doesn't apart from Nexus, but did Microsoft capitalized on it? NO. Did Microsoft work on developers interest, like investing in having quarterly events, give them free kits and phones, pay them, let them have their revenues for the whole year? Just look at our updates, W10M is still in development phase, like Google has something stable in marshmallow right, N may not be stable I get it, but then at least they come up with something good and usable, OEM destroys it, that’s a different story, but they do. People wait for the next Nexus, who waited for the next Lumia apart from we fanboys. Microsoft invests more in Android and IOS apps than in Microsoft. How is our Bing experience? How is Androids Bing experience? I hope I make a point on what an app gap is. Not having Youtube on WP is not an app gap, not having Apple Music or some other app like official Gmaps either. App gap means my institution, my organization is not supporting it. Did Microsoft invested in making Lumia a status symbol? Is there aluminum designs? Is a Lumia a jewelry? Can someone please ask Microsoft to just invest in a Mobile strategy and stop fooling us on UWP? For me, if things don’t improve, I might be happy buying a Nexus, and install an arrow launcher or Next lock screen with Outlook and Office apps on an Android. May be that’s what Microsoft wants us to do too.
  • I'll buy a WP again when they finally get Kindle fixed.  Until then, no.  Hell, it even works on BB10 better than WP.  That's pathetic.
  • One of the top two app is FB messenger but it doesn't have voice call option while other platforms have. That said enough about quality of apps.
  • I think the real "app gap" are the "local apps"..
  • Yes all major apps are available and performing well compared to other platforms
  • I truly believe WP users are hell bend in defending this lost cause of a mobile OS, even Microsoft has given up, they have lost touch with reality, or they know deep down inside the truth but have a hard time admitting it, it's human nature to be in denial, be it a drug addict, an alcoholic, a gambler, or a WP user. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Two points:
    * To the end user, app gap is not a shades of gray continuum - it's a binary yes/no determination: does my app exist. Any other consideration as to absolute need for the app or abilities of mobile web version are all dependent on the yes/no does it exist question. *Secondly - Verticals. My business utilizes 5 web hosted portals. They all have IOS/Android apps that are quite good and, of course, no WP app, UWP or otherwise. Their mobile web implementation is horrid, so that is no solution either. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • There are more alternative options i.e client apps on WM here is the list of best windows mobile apps
    1.awesome tube
    2.facebook
    3.ccplayer
    4.baconit
    5.Flipboard
    6.realarm
    7.shareit
    8.zip lite
    9.camera360 sight
    10.weather
    11.bing translate
    12.ms office apps
    13.xodo docs best pdf app on wm
    14.autocad 360
    15.WhatsApp soon it will get wm interface
    16.windows maps
    17.where is my courier
    18.outlook mail
    19.microsoft edge
    20.dictionary
    21.groove music
    22.lumia creative studio
    23.all of the apps from dev Rudy hyun
    24.tweetium
    25.messenger
    26.best regional apps in india such as justdial,freecharge,mobikwik,hike,
    Flipkart,oyo rooms,the economic times.jabong,myntra,olacab,snapdeal etc...
    Im satisfied with all of this high quality apps and i can live with them happily please download them and stop beggingfor google apps cuz Microsoft has its own productivity apps and cloud service :D bye Tc give some luv for windows mobile ..enjoy
  • Serious question: I have been using iOS for years but am thinking of trying Windows 10 mobile (HP x3 elite). Is the "app gap" really that big of a problem? I love Windows 10 and like the idea of my WP syncing everything easily with my computer. I've never used Android, but if I don't get a WP I might consider that. I would really like to try WP though...any helpful opinions?
  • I have mentioned list of best app in comments above if you are fine with it then go for windows mobile
  • Those half baked garbage apps by second hand developers, no wonder they never get any updates, WP is irrelevant, it's DEAD, put a fork in it. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Do not go to windows, your basic idea of windows mobile compatibility with windows pc is not there. Microsoft's own app works better on other OS than windows mobile. Android has one problem of being inefficient with power usage.
  • Well I've used iOS exclusively for years and I feel like I want to switch..never tried Android, yet love my Windows 10 desktop PC. So that's why I was thinking of learning towards a new windows phone.
  • Go for it, bro ;) You won't have snapchat or clash of clans, but you'll have a very good OS, that is really like the desktop one. Posted with the Windows Central app for Windows 10 on Lumia 535
  • yeah I have iPhone 6S and I only use a handful of apps...don't play phone games really except for one or two, and I have an iPad anyway which I can use to play them. I'm really considering getting the new HP x3 elite....I just hope Microsoft continues to improve the windows 10 mobile.
  • They will. And the Elite x3 will be a powerhouse. I will get it somehow too. I love my 535, but the x3 is just way more powerful and elegant. More expensive too, but that's worth it :D Posted with the Windows Central app for Windows 10 on HP 250 G1 notebook. It is a scary old monster, I think :D
  • If your want to go back to the days of the flip phone, then go ahead and try a WP. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Blah blah blah..... Fact is there is a problem with app availability on windows phone and it will not go away simply by Universal apps. It has past quite a some time after the official launch of w10m if universal app was the solution you wouldn't be writing this article. I have windows phone as well as a android and quality of app is huge, stop being oblivious.
  • Hats off to the editing board.... Btw need snapchat so badly.... Agree anyone?
  • WP is irrelevant, it's DEAD, put a fork in it, the rest of the world has, it has less than 1% market share, if that doesn't tell it to you then I don't know what will. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Windows 10 mobile is a fantastic OS but unfortunately it's already dead with MS deciding to give up on production of phones. I don't see any apps i need coming anytime in the foreseeable future. Sadly, jumping ship is the only option left and I'd probably go iOS. Apps I miss : Coursera, IDBI bank, Flickr, paypal, Upwork, Hotstar, Memrise, Quora and tens of local indian apps which debut on android first.
  • Its not dead bro they are releasing new builds every month and it will get anniversary update too.
  • Well, for me windows is perfect.