So, Windows Phone Doesn't Have Every App On iOS? Shut The App Up!

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I have been stewing in silence for a while, trying not to jump into the cage. I have been trying so hard to avoid getting into a brawl. Na; not a physical brawl. Physical brawls are for wimps. Those who know me know that I can hold my own in an argument. More than most people can. My wife once looked at me and said, “One cannot win an argument against you”. I don’t think that she meant that literally (I’m not going to ask). She has seen me hold my own in arguments – whether with her or with someone else, or even up against a whole gang. You better believe it that if my wife can say that about me, I can hold my own. I have balls. Big ones too. You can ask wifey about that too (if you dare)!


Windows Phone Apps

I was sent a link to an article in which the writer expressed the very same sentiments that I am expressing in this article. The article, Will Pundits Kill Windows Phone 8?, addressed the oft-repeated mantra by many parochial “pundits” that Windows Phone 8 is not worth recommending because it doesn’t have as many apps as obtains on iOS or Android. I have read stuff like that over and over again to the point that I think I am going to be sick.

Excuse my French, but that mindset from all these so-called “pundits” is absolute bullshit. And like the writer of that article, I am tired of it.


I read all sorts of bird poo like that here on Mobility too, and I shake my head. Just yesterday in the discussions following my article, Mister Mo’s Android Apps that are available on Windows Phone, someone tried to sell us the idea that we do not realize we are missing something until we are shown. Fortunately, that was addressed clinically.

Like the respondent said, and like the writer of the linked article has made clear, it is all media hype. End of.

It Has Never Been About The Apps

When the first iPhone was released, it did not even support any apps, yet it sold. It wasn’t about the apps.

For years, even after iOS began to support third party apps and the platform led the apps race, Android kept out-selling the iPhone and is the number one smartphone OS, though it kept trailing iOS in apps volume. It has never been about the apps.

Yes; I know that Android is finally catching up with iOS in the silly apps war, but you do get the point – the apps didn’t lead the way. They never have. Neither the iPhone’s success or Android’s success was apps-led. Facts. Some of us have been around and followed mobile history and trends long enough not to have the wool pulled over our faces.

Over 100,000 Apps on Windows Phone

Having said that, let’s see whether things are as bleak, apps wise, as these pundits claim it is for Windows Phone.


At last count, Windows Phone has over 100,000 apps, and increasing fast. Look, if anyone has a problem with a platform that has sprung over 100,000 apps in the short period that Windows Phone has been around, that person has a problem. Obviously. A perception problem.

What we are seeing with WP apps was not the trend with Symbian/Belle. This was not the trend with WebOS. Even the BlackBerry app catalogue isn’t growing at the huge rate that Windows Phone apps catalogue is. Yes; BlackBerry OS which has been around since the Jurassic Age has just over 100,000 apps. Windows Phone caught up, and with the current momentum will leave BlackBerry OS in the dust.

There is momentum. Developers are getting on Windows Phone. So, what are these guys bitching about? Bias. Unadulterated, parochial, close-minded, nauseating bias.

In this article, my aim is not to point out why Windows Phone 8 is viable. My only objective is to show how these sort of people are twisted and why they need to shut the app up! They are irritating. Like bugs and ants crawling over a mound of sweets. Or donkeys braying in an airless barn. Or wolves howling on a night that you really need your sweet sleep.

I have only had brief hands-on time with Windows Phone 8 at the Lumia 920 launch, so I am not in a position to comment yet on a lot of things about the platform, but a review unit of the Lumia 920 is heading this way next week. If I find the OS a mess, I will say so. For example, I find Windows Phone 7 limiting and frustrating, especially because of the way multitasking is implemented and the lack of mass storage, among others. It is even worse on a low end device like the Lumia 610. The 610 that I am currently reviewing has me on edge most of the time. But then, I realise that version 8 is a different beast, and I will give it the chance it deserves. But apps wise – oh dear – There are more than enough apps to take care of the majority of people’s needs.


So, dear close-minded, nagging pundits, shut the app up and give it a rest. If Windows Phone fails, it won’t be for a lack of apps.

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25 comments

  1. When reviewers are talking down Windows Phone, it’s often always based on the app store. The same was done to the BlackBerry Bold 9900 (and pretty much every other BlackBerry) when it was reviewed.

    If the main objective of a device is as a phone, everything else is nice, but secondary. If I can use it as a mobile office to read and write documents, maintain business contacts, plan my diary and find my way around, that’s great.

    If I’m looking at my phone as my multimedia music – centre gaming all-singing all dancing device, maybe a smartphone isn’t what I really require. Bearing in mind the battery life of these devices aren’t as good as those on dedicated ones.


  2. Do you think anyhthing is better than Andriod OS at the moment, you were once crazy about it. In fact, I need the Samsung galaxy S Duos since its cheaper and does most things the S3 do

  3. @Noni

    If the main objective of a device is as a phone,
    everything else is nice, but secondary. If I can use
    it as a mobile office to read and write documents,
    maintain business contacts, plan my diary and find
    my way around, that’s great.

    >

    it sounds like you believe that these devices are phones FIRST before other things?

    I tend to think that smartphones are a variety of other things FIRST.

    And you EDUCE those things principally through adequate apps.

  4. Very well said.

    So, dear close-minded, nagging pundits, shut the app up and give it a rest. If Windows Phone fails, it won’t be for a lack of apps.

    If Windows Phone fails, it may not be for lack of apps, and yet it may be for lack of it, except you don’t believe those bloggers bitching the platform matter. And I do think they matter more than the merits and the demerits of the platform itself.
    For instance, let’s take Mr. Mo as example. Early last year when Nokia’s problems where still gradually manifesting, you were solidly behind them as the platform that gets job done without making so much effort to be pretty which is a fact too, and the majority of Mobilists here agreed with you and insisted on sticking with Nokia/Symbian till the last day. A few months later you published an article that expressed your frustrations with Nokia and their lack of innovation on Symbian and again, majority of the Mobilists except perhaps Eye.Bee.Kay, joined you to air their frustrations, even castigating Nokia/Symbian and declaring that they are leaving the platform.
    Still yet again, sometime that last year you published another article in praise of Symbian wrapped up in Belle, a write that took the form of eulogy and still yet again most of them joined you in the praise, even swearing eternal allegiance to the platform.
    What I’m trying to say in effect is that bloggers have immense influence on their readers and some of them will actually invest on a platform based on what they read from blog sites. Even some will do that without visiting a couple of sites to be able to reduce the effect of individual bias and be able to make informed buys.
    Windows Phone in itself may not be sufficiently deficient in apps to warrant using to make statements that will undermine the platform on account of apps limitation, but if bloggers generally adopt that line of summary, the platform may well be doomed.
    Remember how you had always drummed it clearly to whoever cares to listen how terrible Android is in data and power consumption or resource management generally and how Eye.Bee.Kay on account of that swore never to touch an Android device as long as there’s still a Symbian/Belle device out there and most likely would still have been with Symbian if not for time and chance , and that’s giving how well informed he is.
    If bloggers keeps talking Windows Phone OS down on account of poor apps available to it, even though that’s not the true state of things, it very well might fail on account of this. Microsoft is probably aware of this ugly trend that they have to pay some developers to bring their apps to the platform.


  5. Totally agree with Harry. I’m getting a windows phone regardless tho. Will just be careful not to shell out too much for it initially. I’ll be willing to splurge after my 1st experience with it; if its worth my while.

  6. @ Harry Echemco,

    Well written piece. You hit the nail right on the issue. Bloggers are human beings and therefore swayed by emotions & bias sometimes. However, to contribute more on that train of thought, I also sense some mischievous marketing tactics by rival manufacturers like Apple. Its almost incredible to believe. It’s as if Apple has hynotized them. From Anandtech, Tom’s Hardware, Endgadget, T3 to Gizmondo etc, most of their reviews of Windows Phone 8 has been lacklustre or biased in favour of Apple. So, how do you expect Apple Isheep to say anything favourable about their new rival and threat !! Sad really coz most people believe what they say and make decisions on them.

  7. Harry,

    I am glad that you mentioned the fact that I have written various articles both in favour of, as well as, criticizing Symbian/Belle. That is testament to the fact that regardless of my preferred OS, I have the balls to see and speak out both the good and the bad about it.

    The comment by Emmanuel above also expressed the sentiment that I have written in favour of Android (and it seems he is wondering if I have now gone anti-Android). Most people seem to think only in a mono-directional way about phones and platforms. In other words, if I like it, I say only good things about it. If I don’t like it, let’s throw it to the dogs.

    What I at least attempt to do on this blog – and which sets me apart from the majority of mobile bloggers globally – is express both the good and the bad about whatever brand, phone or platform that comes my way, regardless of what. That is a strong attempt at objectivity, and I daresay that we do a good job here.

    To reinforce that, I have written articles in defence of Windows Phone, and also written scathing articles pointing out its limitations and frustrations. An attempt at objectivity is all one asks for.

    That isn’t like the fixed emotional state that these other fellows have. For them, it is one OS all the way, and the others are just not good enough. Most of these other bloggers are not even trying. They drip bias through and through.

    By the way, my comments about Android’s data and power consumption stand. I laugh at how you guys maintain that there is no such problem but spend comment after comment advising people who face such problems as to what apps they need to use to keep power and data consumption down. It is irony, you know.

    So, I will keep writing both positive and negative reviews and feature articles about everything. The important thing for me is that when someone who comes to Mobility picks a platform or phone to use, they should be well informed to know what they are signing up for. What anyone chooses to use is really no problem to me.

    Cheers, guys.


  8. @EyeBeeKay what we have nowadays are either glamourised PDAs or souped-up phones. Remember what we have today is a convergence of the two. Until the Nokia Communicator and the Palm Treo,most of us did not consider an all-in-one device.

    If back in the day you had a PDA and a phone, you would understand. They didn’t have apps back then and sold in droves.

    Bottom line, it isn’t all about apps that you want/think you need, but what you want/expect your device to do for you.

  9. ///
    Bottom line, it isn’t all about apps that you want/ think you need, but what you want/expect your device to do for you.
    ///

    Sure, ignorance is bliss. If I am ignorant about a thing, no biggie.

    Conversely, if I know what I expect my device to do for ME, how am I going to get that device to do those things?

    Apps!

    If I am unaware of what my device can do for me, via APPs, it is understandable.

    But I happen to know your lump of metal / plastic is just that, WITHOUT APPS, and lots of them, too

    Of course, it is about apps!.

  10. Eye_Bee_Kay hit the nail on the head. It is all about the apps. The most important selling point of any smartphone or any platform is the number of apps that feeds it, apart from other highly mandatory parameters like CPU, RAM, Memory and UI with UX etc!

    Wndows Phone now having over 100K+ apps is a big plus on their part. In addition, that many more apps are also coming everyday, is also a good sign. If its not about the apps, then Microsoft would not go out of its way to encourage developers! Even as far as paying some of them up front to churn out apps for its platform.

    Windows Phone and in essence, Microsoft was late in the smartphone game. They came when BB, iOS,and Android were Already established. True, Windows Mobile was there for long, but then Windows Phone is a clean break from Windows Mobile.

    With that in mind, Windows Phone started afresh and is fighting against established platforms, so it is not going to be an easy battle. WP succeeding or not would be a Herculean fit, which would be difficult to ascertain at the moment. Apps, and so many other factors like openness, restrictions, would inevitably come into play. But some may argue that iOS is closed. Yes, but then, it came before Windows Phone!

    It is not for a challenger in a competition or court case to show that he is as good as the champion that wold make him win the case or the championship belt. It is for the challenger to prove conclusively that he is better and far better than the champion. Same is true for Windows Phone. It has to prove why folks who are in love with their iPhones, BBs and Android Devices should jettison them and elop(e) {pun unintended} and choose Windows phone instead.

    Harry also made a salient point. Winning the smartphone battle also involve winning mind-shares. Bloggers are also very important community that can sway many of their followers. It is better manufacturers become aware of that and use them to their advantage. Samsung’s war of words and mind-share with Apple for instance, when it derides them all the time following their products launch with the catch statement “the next big thing is already here!” To queues of the iSheeps waiting in line to buy the shiny iGadget, must have won them a lot of “cool” factor. One of the reasons that their Galaxy S and Galaxy Note products are selling well imho.

    On a lighter note;

    You said,

    My wife once looked at me and said, “One cannot lose an argument against you”.

    Does it mean one MUST always win arguments with you? That any argument with you is yours to lose? Funny… I would have thought that she meant “one can never win an argument with you?” 😀


  11. I repeat again – it isn’t about the apps, but what the device can do for you. If it primarily was about apps, then iPhone has won the smartphone battle hands down. Otherwise why have so many people bought Android devices than iPhones? It isn’t just for the apps.

    Apps help you to do a variety of things, maybe even make you more productive, but you don’t primarily buy a device because of the app store. You buy the device for what you know/perceive/believe it can do for you. You then get apps based around what you want to do. It’s not that complicated a concept.

    Windows Phone users know what they want their device to do for them and what they want to do with their device. So those who buy don’t think primarily of the app store, they know what they want their smartphone to do. And like the rest of us, they build around that. Which is why it pays to know what you want your device to do, then have a look and see if what you need is available. Not everyone is tech savvy and wants “bells and whistles” apps.

    So to downgrade the quality of a handset in a review based on apps you haven’t even started running on it is questionable.

  12. I repeat again – it isn’t about the apps, but what
    the device can do for you.

    Reading that first paragraph told me we have diametrically opposed views on what represents a computing system.

    Lots of people fail to grasp this simple concept.

    Your device is as useful as the quality of apps available on the platform it runs on.

    Furthermore, the quantity of the app has a great bearing on the quality.

    just today, someone was asking me about a good FREE Symbian app for reading pdf docs.

    As far as I know, only Adobe Reader gets the job done fairly well.

    Well, for over to Android, and you are should for choice.

    having an overabundance of apps in all categories SURE takes productivity several octaves higher, does it not?

    The fact that a lump of metal / plastic like the original iPhone sold in droves without many apps – then- does not invalidate this concept.

    the iPhone case merely showed that most people do not use their devices optimally.

    the fact that most people are not geeks does not in any way detract from the fact that it is software that energised your phones.

    take away the quantum and quality apps, and you have a glorified objêy d`art!

    1. Your device is as useful as the quality of apps available on the platform it runs on.

      That is so, so untrue. The truth is that my device is as useful as what it can do for me. Simple. That may or may not include any third party apps, depending on what my needs are.


  13. The fallacy I see when persons make arguments on a point is that of unguarded categorization as if their personal experiences should be the ultimate measurement for the world’s standard.

    Having let out that frustration, I must say that it all boils down to our value system. I personally take into consideration, the freedom cum openness I get in an OS when choosing a smartphone. I really want to be where majority of the developers are so I won’t be left out of any actual or potential fun. Don’t get me wrong, this is me joining the winning team!

    We all have various shades of exposure and technological awareness. Some of us value out-of-the box approach to apps while others don’t even really care much about what apps are on their phones as long as it can make and recieve calls and send sms! And yes, there is great truth in the saying that a phone is as useful as the apps on it! Its a perspective. And its valid for the people whose value system agree with it.

    So here’s the point, in the final analysis it will still come down to whose is in the majority! The apps guys, the calls and sms people, the out-of-the-box people, ‘sexy-phone’ people, name it! Before you crucify me while sticking to you ‘objective’ paradigm, please be honest enough to state your value system. Then we can understand your bias howbeit little, and get along with you.

  14. @ Ebimobowei Jikenghan

    /// So here’s the point, in the
    final analysis it will still come down to whose is in the majority! The apps guys, the calls and sms people, the out-of-the-box people, ‘sexy-phone’ people, name it! ///

    Lemmings commit suicide en masse. it only takes one to start the mass suicide and others just follow!

    does that make the folow_follow lemmings wise?

    So, 30 million people CAN be wrong.

    besides, This is not about majorities! it is about apps!

    did I not tell you it is all about apps? 😉

    /// Some of us value out-of- the box approach to apps
    while others don’t even
    really care ///

    they do not really care? I suspect many MANY others don’t just KNOW.

    Sounds like you are trying to redefine for us what “usefulness” means.

    For you, the usefulness of anything is limited to the level of value you “decide” to derive from it!

    Okay!

    So, I buy a car for its decorative purpose, never put petrol in it, but park it permanently in my garage, wake up midnight to come, caress and admire it.

    A smart Alec then comes along to point out that this car can serve you much more than this decorative use, you crucify the guy?

    And you argue that the current diminished purpose is okay for you? That value is a matter of WEEKs you decide to get from the item?

    Great! No wahala!

    You are getting your value, but it does not invalidate the fact that owning the car is ALL about putting fuel in it, and putting it on the road, where it is meant to be.

    It IS all about apps!

    “Out of the box”, or not, we are still talking the same thing.

    If Quick Office came pre-installed on your phone, does it make it less of an app than any third party app I install.?

  15. ////
    The truth is that my device is
    as useful as what it can do
    for me.
    ///

    Really?

    No, it is MUCH MORE useful than “what it can do for YOU”

    So, if I have no use for something, it makes it USELESS?

    Okay!

    And what can it do for ME without software.?

    Is it a Fashion accessory?


  16. @EyeBeeKay
    /* does that make the folow_follow lemmings wise? */

    My point again! You make wisdom a universal term! It is a relative term!!!

    /*This is not about majorities!*/
    “Majority” as I used it refers to common value system driving the direction of the market. An “iSheep” might not care so much about apps- just give him an iDevice!; probably why he’s an “iSheep”. Now think of “iSheeps” in the majority and Apple rules!

    /* …but it does not invalidate the fact that owning the car is ALL about putting fuel in it, and putting it on the road, where it is meant to be.*/

    Sigh! Meaning is relative!!!
    What can we say about the Hong Kong businessman who bought Micheal Jackson’s handgloves for $350,000 just to put it there as an artifact? Now, what are hand gloves meant for?

    Before the focus of my submission is lost here it is again. Whether you get a phone for the apps, its aesthetic appeal, its hardware, just to get along etc- its a value system. Value system will ultimately drive sales.

  17. @EyeBeeKay let me ask you:

    Can a smartphone in 2012 be used straight out of the box without having to go to the OS apps store?

    What do you think are the primary criteria for purchasing a smartphone apart from apps?

  18. @Noni,
    //
    Can a smartphone in 2012
    be used straight out of the
    box without having to go
    to the OS apps store?
    //

    depends what you mean by “use”.

    ANY phone can be “used” out of the //me though, that is like that famous car in the garage whose sound system is used to listen to the 10p.m need, and nothing else!

    //
    What do you think are the
    primary criteria for
    purchasing a smartphone
    apart from apps?
    //

    Maybe you meant, “what should be” – up there.

    If you are not into apps, why purchase a smartphone to start with?

    Camera, music, video? Heck, you even need software to take proper advantage of the onboard hardware.

    That smartphone IS an awesome computing device.

    And a computational device is under_utilised without adequate software, a.k.a, apps.


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