Nokia takes on the "Windows Phone app gap" debate in new video

The "app gap" between Windows Phone and iOS-Android has been talked about for some time, including our own extensive editorial on the subject. This week, Nokia decided to go on the offensive and released a video that attempts to show consumers that their Lumia branded Windows Phone devices are not as far behind in the app race as many believe.

The video, posted on Nokia's Canadian YouTube channel, starts out by admitting that both iOS and Android have a lot of apps in their respective libraries, but then proceeds to imply that the vast majority of them are not worth your time to download and use. It points out there are over 1,000 iOS flashlight apps, which is certainly true.

It also says that the Windows Phone app store has been adding more selections in the past year and comments on how many of the major paid and free apps on iOS and Android are now available on Nokia's Lumia phones. For the few major apps that are not available for the OS, such as Google Maps, Nokia says that its own solutions like HERE Maps are a good alternative.

While we think that it's great that Nokia is trying to answer the critics of Windows Phone for its lack of apps, the video doesn't really take on the nagging issue of major apps that are released first for iOS and Android and then make their way to Windows Phone much later. That was certainly the case for Facebook Messenger, which was finally released for Windows Phone this week nearly two years after its debut on iOS and Android. The "app gap" debate will continue until major new apps are released on Windows Phone at the same time as its competition.

Source: Nokia Canada on YouTube via WPCentral

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Its the small essential apps that matters, for example banking, my bank only has an app for Android and iOS or my local transit system is only Android and iOS same thing for a major electric car share service in my city its only compatible with Android and iOS and my University services app only on iOS and Android. Theres plenty more, using WP would just be a headache in a major North American city.

Problem I have had when I've tried to switch is not the number of apps but the quality of apps, I know this isn't microsofts problem but for example the Evernote app on windows phone is really really poor against the iPhone or android app

simplezz said,
No YouTube, no GMail, No GoogleMaps, No purchase for me I'm afraid.

The only valid app you mention would be Gmail, Metrotube is far better than the native Youtube app on my iPhone and HERE Maps are just as good as Google Maps IMO. There's probably a good Gmail app as well, I just haven't searched around because the Mail app does everything I want it to.

Stokkolm said,
There's probably a good Gmail app as well
Anyone looking can try MetroMail on both Windows 8 and Phone.

simplezz said,
No YouTube, no GMail, No GoogleMaps, No purchase for me I'm afraid.

Anyone that seriously still depends on GMail or GoogleMaps deserves the phone they are using.

Security experts like myself screamed for years about the crap they were pulling.

Even Apple turning off all their connections to Google because of their data collection abuses, and people still think their 'free' stuff is wonderful.

In CIS/MIS/IS - the first rule people learn is that information has value.

All these years later and Google quietly buying companies and using their inside information based on the data they collect and the billions it has made them in selling information about people, companies and even countries, and people still don't understand how dangerous this is and how far it can go.

Did people really not read "1984"?

Ironically, it is some of these same people that will complain about the NSA, and yet support Google, a private company, that is doing more nefarious things with the collected information.

/apologize for the slightly over the top Google rant

deadonthefloor said,
Oh sure, side with the company that refuses to support the platform.
I was under the impression that they tried to work with each other but could never reach a consensus. It's a shame for users on both sides of that equation.

Facebook Messenger isn't a good example because the core functionality of that app was built into the OS since launch in 2010. The app may have come much sooner if there wasn't an alternative designed into the platform. I think the time between new app releases is shrinking too, thinking of the new Beats app as an example where WP only had to wait a week or so.

RabbitPunchies said,
...?

Just a jab, secretly they want to grow to be just as bloated as every other app store.
It's jealousy as much as promoting quality vs quantity.

RabbitPunchies said,
Do they plan on restricting the amount of apps developed for the platform to maintain quality, or is this just a jab at the competition?

It depends on what metric Apple or Google and their fans are throwing at them.

One thing the WP platform has done well is create a lot of consistency and nice looking Apps, which why you don't see Apple or Google throwing crap about the 'quality' of WP Apps. They also don't mention Performance, App/OS stability or security either. I wonder why...

I don't know about the windows phone store, but the windows 8 store is pathetic. Look at the 'new and rising' section under games. Play all the Flappy Bird you can handle, folks. Man that store is a mess. Is the Windows Phone store really all that much better in terms of 'quality' apps?

They are still playing catch up most of the time. Most new apps come first for iOS+Android and months later to WP. Where are hugely popular apps like the games by King (e.g. Candy Crush) or the apps that everyone is talking about like Snapchat. Even if they may be silly apps sometimes there is no version for WP when an app has a lot of buzz in the media.

louisnaval said,
They are still playing catch up most of the time. Most new apps come first for iOS+Android and months later to WP. Where are hugely popular apps like the games by King (e.g. Candy Crush) or the apps that everyone is talking about like Snapchat. Even if they may be silly apps sometimes there is no version for WP when an app has a lot of buzz in the media.

I've been using 6snap for the longest time and I've honestly forgotten about an official snapchat client. 6snap has pretty much all the features that I'd expect in an official app.

aviator189 said,

I've been using 6snap for the longest time and I've honestly forgotten about an official snapchat client. 6snap has pretty much all the features that I'd expect in an official app.

The apps rudy makes are sometimes better than the originals... 6snap included.

As louisnaval said, snapchat is here via 6snap (rudy huyn) and is even more functional/feature rich than the officials on ios/android.

As far as candy crush, honestly not everybody cares about gaming that much on mobile phones. There are tons of excellent games available to take care of most peoples needs, but if you are one of the 1% of mobile gamers who purchase 99% of the games/in game purchases, then iOS is the best platform for you (for now).

Of the big ones remaining, I think Nike+ is pretty big. I know several people who tried to switch to Windows Phone, but ended up going back to iPhone just because they needed/wanted this app.

Windows Phone has over 250 flashlight apps (I just searched for the term "flashlight"). Taking total app count into consideration, Windows Phone (total count (under)estimated at 200,000) is populated with a greater percentage of flashlight apps than iOS (total count (under)estimated at 1 million).

As mentioned above by someone else, I can control my Xbox One and edit PowerPoint files on my iPhone/iPad too.

Unfortunately I feel that WP is still developed for as an afterthought, even by Microsoft at first glance. The next big/popular app is still likely to be found first on the iOS App Store then followed by Android, and eventually end up on WP. While that may not be an important issue to everyone, it's the general mentality of developers that I'm trying to highlight. Also I'd still like to see more first-party apps on WP, despite the feature set of commendable third-party solutions. (I'm looking at you, Google.) I'd love to buy a Lumia to replace my iPhone when the above issues are dealt with.

Manish said,
Windows Phone has over 250 flashlight apps (I just searched for the term "flashlight"). Taking total app count into consideration, Windows Phone (total count (under)estimated at 200,000) is populated with a greater percentage of flashlight apps than iOS (total count (under)estimated at 1 million).

As mentioned above by someone else, I can control my Xbox One and edit PowerPoint files on my iPhone/iPad too.

Unfortunately I feel that WP is still developed for as an afterthought, even by Microsoft at first glance. The next big/popular app is still likely to be found first on the iOS App Store then followed by Android, and eventually end up on WP. While that may not be an important issue to everyone, it's the general mentality of developers that I'm trying to highlight. Also I'd still like to see more first-party apps on WP, despite the feature set of commendable third-party solutions. (I'm looking at you, Google.) I'd love to buy a Lumia to replace my iPhone when the above issues are dealt with.


That's generally true but I'm seeing an increasing number of apps launching on iOS, Android and WP8 on the same day such as the new Top Gear game. There's no doubt that WP is the third ecosystem now and devs are silly to ignore it.

I really am loving my windows phone at the moment.
When I switched over from ios around when wp7 launched, I wasn't entirely satisfied.

But now, it's an entirely different story. For me, the main reason why I dig windows phone so much is the fluidity, slickness, and the home start screen customization. Things can only get much better from here on out with the oncoming windows phone 8.1 update (which really should be just named windows phone 9, considering how big of an update it's packing).

On topic: Yup, that was a pretty great video.

aviator189 said,
I really am loving my windows phone at the moment.
When I switched over from ios around when wp7 launched, I wasn't entirely satisfied.

But now, it's an entirely different story. For me, the main reason why I dig windows phone so much is the fluidity, slickness, and the home start screen customization. Things can only get much better from here on out with the oncoming windows phone 8.1 update (which really should be just named windows phone 9, considering how big of an update it's packing).

On topic: Yup, that was a pretty great video.

yeah. i love my 8xt. really fast, has the apps i want except for an official youtube app but we all know that google is going to do it's best to sabotage windows phone.

seta-san said,

yeah. i love my 8xt. really fast, has the apps i want except for an official youtube app but we all know that google is going to do it's best to sabotage windows phone.

#Scroogled again!

I have to agree. Its really fast and smooth and I really like the design. =) WP8 FTW in my book.

seta-san said,

yeah. i love my 8xt. really fast, has the apps i want except for an official youtube app but we all know that google is going to do it's best to sabotage windows phone.

I stopped waiting for an official yt app from google a while back.

Download mytube and be done with it. It's the best damn youtube app I've ever used on any device. Slick animations, very, very fast, and easy on the eyes. No lag whatsoever. And has all the features you'll want and then some.
Mytube or metrotube. Either one of those will do. But I suggest mytube.

aviator189 said,
I really am loving my windows phone at the moment.
When I switched over from ios around when wp7 launched, I wasn't entirely satisfied.

But now, it's an entirely different story. For me, the main reason why I dig windows phone so much is the fluidity, slickness, and the home start screen customization. Things can only get much better from here on out with the oncoming windows phone 8.1 update (which really should be just named windows phone 9, considering how big of an update it's packing).

On topic: Yup, that was a pretty great video.


Just went back to Windows Phone. One problem I can't stand that Windows 8.1 doesn't have is apps don't resume when launched from start screen. Its inconsistent because the native Music app will, but the updated Xbox Music app won't. The Windows 8 animations are also much more snappier, apps flip to the screen in their previous state asap.

still, if they just release a dalvik VM implementation so that it runs the apk app package, it should delegate android to the badly written set of device drivers it is and just offer the app ecosystem to WP users. that would be the best win for wp fans and devs.

No, that would be like a slap to the face of existing WP developers and no one would develop for Windows Phone anymore.

umm, I can edit Powerpoint without Office. And I can remote my XBOX using XBOX SMARTGLASS. Unless i am missing something, that part of the video is wrong.

techbeck said,
umm, I can edit Powerpoint without Office. And I can remote my XBOX using XBOX SMARTGLASS. Unless i am missing something, that part of the video is wrong.

Well good then... As long as you are using their services and an Xbox. If you using Android, they probably even made more off the license.


techbeck said,
umm, I can edit Powerpoint without Office. And I can remote my XBOX using XBOX SMARTGLASS. Unless i am missing something, that part of the video is wrong.

Don't let the facts get in the way! Microsoft marketing never has!

dvb2000 said,

Don't let the facts get in the way! Microsoft marketing never has!

While sprinting to get on your soapbox, did you happen to notice this was a Nokia video, not Microsoft?

Mobius Enigma said,
did you happen to notice this was a Nokia video, not Microsoft?

In name only, Microsoft execs have run Nokia for years, and now Microsoft is bringing them "back into the fold". It makes sense for them to get a running start on their media campaign. The software (and play store/apps and their certification/availability) have always been Microsoft's the hardware will be soon.

dvb2000 said,

In name only, Microsoft execs have run Nokia for years, and now Microsoft is bringing them "back into the fold"\

Wouldnt doubt this at all. Ever since the deal with Nokia and MS/WP....MS has been the puppet master. Which is all well and good since MS and Nokia needed each other.

techbeck said,

Wouldnt doubt this at all. Ever since the deal with Nokia and MS/WP....MS has been the puppet master. Which is all well and good since MS and Nokia needed each other.

Yep, that would explain why the Nokia X came out. /s

uxo22 said,

Yep, that would explain why the Nokia X came out. /s

A phone designed to provide users with Android apps and has a user interface that mocks WP, promotes MS services heavily, and is designed to lure customers away from android. No way MS could have had a part in that.....

techbeck said,

A phone designed to provide users with Android apps and has a user interface that mocks WP, promotes MS services heavily, and is designed to lure customers away from android. No way MS could have had a part in that.....


Microsoft didn't want it. They're only doing it because Nokia originally planned on doing it before Microsoft attempted to buy them out & by law they can't change their immediate plans based on what the people buying them want to happen. At least, not until the deal is actually finalized. Frankly, it's good that Microsoft bought Nokia because if they hadn't, Nokia would have over time probably leaned more & more to the Android side of things, (since Android phones tend to make much more money than Windows Phones,) & that would be very bad for Microsoft because Nokia is the only hardware maker that has actually been slightly successful with Windows Phone. However, that won't happen because Microsoft is buying them and you should expect to never see any more Nokia Android phones once the deal is finalized. &, yes, that includes Android phones with a Windows Phone skin that are bundled with Microsoft apps but, in the end, are still Android phones.

*Equips flame shield to protect myself from the people of NeoWIN despite the fact that I am no Microsoft hater & actually like Windows tablets but I know for a fact that I'll be flamed anyway.*

techbeck said,

Wouldnt doubt this at all. Ever since the deal with Nokia and MS/WP....MS has been the puppet master. Which is all well and good since MS and Nokia needed each other.

Really?

So then this is why people at Nokia flat out quit when Microsoft announced they were going to acquire their phones.

It is also the reason behind the Asha Android project getting pushed up and even took on a stronger role after the Microsoft announced acquisition as a FU to Microsoft.


Microsoft didn't make this video, even though in many ways I wish they did. Microsoft's inability to promote their own technologies and products is something of legend.

macoman said,
I switched my Android for a 1520 and I don't complain... it is the best experience I ever have in a phone.

This is the same thing I say about my Note 3

I agree....however, there are still apps people use that are popular and missing from the store.

And it used to take a while for apps to appear on Android after iOS as well. But really a non issue now as Android is popular. Same will happen with WP.

techbeck said,
I agree....however, there are still apps people use that are popular and missing from the store.

And it used to take a while for apps to appear on Android after iOS as well. But really a non issue now as Android is popular. Same will happen with WP.


Assuming Windows Phone becomes popular. Which I doubt.

WOWWWW This ad is GREAT!!!!! EPIC job Nokia Canada! In less than 2 minutes they were able to show an excellent way why Windows and Lumia is better while explaining quality over quantity. Love it

I have to agree. It's not simply the number of apps that's available that matters, but number of apps you actually want, and the quality.

If the system you want has the apps you need, what does it matter how many other apps it has?

ACTIONpack said,
I really like the video to bad it's too long for tv commercials.

It could run as an infomercial...lol

dead.cell said,
Except they mention all those apps to just turn on a flashlight, yet show Angry Birds three times at the 1:04 mark...

Yeah, but angry bird is all over the place on all platforms. Don't really get your point.

dead.cell said,

You wouldn't.

Don't get your point of what you were saying, but I do get the point of why you said it.

dead.cell said,
Except they mention all those apps to just turn on a flashlight, yet show Angry Birds three times at the 1:04 mark...
Those are 3 different games and all 3 (and more besides) are available from Rovio on Android and iOS as well. What was your point again?

dead.cell said,
People are looking for more than just Angry Birds. :rolleyes
Of course, and I don't think they ever claimed that the app gap is no longer present. Did you expect them to show in the ad every app they have available? They obviously selected the most important and/or popular ones to showcase, which happened to include the Angry Birds games. Your comparison made no sense because the apps to turn on the flashlight do the exact same thing unlike these 3 games.

So, which apps do you use on a regular basis that aren't yet present on WP?

No, but if you're going to show me all these apps, you could at least not show me the three of what is essentially the same game...

Nitpicking. If you want to see more peruse the Store. I'd say there are lots of people who are happy to see that all 3 games are available.

I have, I sell Microsoft solutions man. I know what they have which is why I know what's keeping me from buying. I'm stuck on Android at the moment, but I'd take an iPhone or WP over Android any day of the week. Just waiting for the upgrade...