Star Windows Phone dev Rudy Huyn rightly shaming companies for not keeping up with their apps

Rudy Huyn is easily one of the best third-party Windows Phone developers, having released unofficial versions of several major apps that often exceed their official counterparts. Now instead of just making his own app, he's rightly laying the problem at the feet of the companies responsible for not promoting their Windows Phone apps.

With the hashtag #dontforgetyourownapp, Huyn is going after companies that have refused to list their Windows Phone apps on their own websites. The campaign began with a simple statement: As a Windows Phone user, Huyn is tired of companies neglecting their official apps on Microsoft's smartphone platform.

Huyn proceeded to call out Spotify for not listing its Windows Phone app on its official website as well as Facebook for not listing its Windows Phone app on its website (that app, however, is managed by Microsoft, though Facebook created and updates its own app for Windows). Since Huyn's tweets, other users have begun calling out other companies for not listing their apps on their official websites, but some have even taken the campaign further.

Several users have tweeted at companies who have released poor-quality or broken apps, ranging from Instagram to Crackle. Ironically, one app that users aren't calling out is the app for the social media service they're using for the campaign; Twitter's app for Windows Phone hasn't been updated since November, despite several updates to its Android and iOS apps.

Huyn's campaign highlights perhaps the most glaring problem with Windows Phone: While it may lack the amount of apps that Android and iOS have, it's more troubling that the apps that do get released are neglected by their companies. Almost no official Windows Phone app, save for Microsoft's own apps, match the feature sets of their iOS and Android counterparts, and as a result, companies don't promote them. This is likely why Microsoft is considering allowing Android apps to run on Windows Phone, though such an outcome may be unlikely.

Source: Rudy Huyn (Twitter) via WMPoweruser

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39 Comments

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I still think Microsoft screwed up by calling it Windows Phone. It's a stupid name for an OS and doesn't roll off the tongue.

It makes sense with their naming scheme overall. 'Windows', 'Windows Phone', 'Windows RT'..

Who knows though, they may just refer to it as Windows when they're all merged together.

68k said,
Who would want to develop for an OS with such bland UI design guidelines?

Considering Apple and Google are now "blanding" down their own phone OS's, to match Microsoft, I'd say a lot of people.

Does he also expect the companies to list every other tiny platform out there? 3% doesn't justify the effort. This sense of entitlement is astonishing.

simplezz said,
Does he also expect the companies to list every other tiny platform out there? 3% doesn't justify the effort. This sense of entitlement is astonishing.

Please tell me platforms bigger than WP aside from Android and iOS (with BB in few markets).

simrat said,

Please tell me platforms bigger than WP aside from Android and iOS (with BB in few markets).

The difference between 1-3% is neither here nor there. All those tiny platforms are treated the same. If WP had 10% then you could argue there was a case because it would be far ahead of the other small platforms like Tizen, Firefox OS, Bada, Blackberry and so forth. At 3%, it doesn't even register as competition to iOS and Android. Any claims of being the third ecosystem are laughable.

simplezz said,
Any claims of being the third ecosystem are laughable.
You might want to tell Google that. They're scared ****less of it's popularity, especially in growing markets.

simplezz said,
Does he also expect the companies to list every other tiny platform out there? 3% doesn't justify the effort. This sense of entitlement is astonishing.

You're not understanding what he's complaining about. He's talking about companies that already have Windows Phone apps; he's not asking companies that don't have apps to start making them. Additionally, if he were, Windows Phone is now solidly in the third place in the smartphone market.

Anthony Tosie said,

You're not understanding what he's complaining about. He's talking about companies that already have Windows Phone apps; he's not asking companies that don't have apps to start making them.

I understood what he meant. I was talking about companies advertising their Windows Phone apps on their sites. The logic being that because the market is so small (3%), really it's no different than asking them to also list Firefox OS, Tizen, Bada, Blackberry, and wherever else they might have apps.

It's really no different than tv advertisements for a product that have an app out there. The only platforms listed are the significant ones (iOS and Android). The rest don't even register and there's really little between them despite the moniker 'third ecosystem', which in reality is a meaningless distinction when it's in the 1-3% range. Now if WP captured 10% of the global market, I'm sure that would generate interest, but let's not kid ourselves, that's not going to happen in the near future, or perhaps ever. Even IDC, Windows Phone's most ardent proponent when it comes to prospective marketshare, has toned down its growth predictions after stagnation for over a year.

Anthony Tosie said,

Additionally, if he were, Windows Phone is now solidly in the third place in the smartphone market.

Solid? Third place doesn't mean much when you're sitting at 3% marketshare and the rest are between 1-3%. To me, there's little between them. If Microsoft likes to boast about its cosmically distant third place, then so be it, but don't pretend it has any real meaning.

AsherGZ said,
You might want to tell Google that. They're scared ****less of it's popularity, especially in growing markets.

By growing markets, you're talking about India, South America, and China I'm guessing. We'll see how it does versus the new Android One reference design. More competition is good though. It drives everyone involved to create better products. If it weren't for Google, do you think Windows Phone would even exist, or Microsoft would be giving away its OS' for free?

While this is all well and good my Rudy, and excellent WP developer, Microsoft needs to convince some celebrities to use WP and that might turn the heads of a few people. There are barely any celebrity endorsements and so it goes unnoticed by many.

Sekyal said,
While this is all well and good my Rudy, and excellent WP developer, Microsoft needs to convince some celebrities to use WP and that might turn the heads of a few people. There are barely any celebrity endorsements and so it goes unnoticed by many.

They've had plenty of celeb endorsements. It's obvious it's a reluctant one at that. It just needs to lose the stigma of not being cool. 4 years ago I got heckled a lot for having WP but today I know several with one. iPhone took off because a) America and b) iPod had a huge shared already and it was 'the next big thing'. Android is king because they've supersaturated the markets. WP is in this weird middle area. It'll be fine as I don't think i'ts going anywhere anytime soon. :)

I questioned a friend at work why he stays with iPhone, first thing that comes out of his mouth is apps. So I went down the list on his phone and found either the official app on WP or something like 6snap.... there is nothing to stop you from swapping over the WP, you got to put some effort into it, which at the moment is what people don't or cant be bothered to do, we really have spoon fed this current generation :(

Stup0t said,
I questioned a friend at work why he stays with iPhone, first thing that comes out of his mouth is apps. So I went down the list on his phone and found either the official app on WP or something like 6snap.... there is nothing to stop you from swapping over the WP, you got to put some effort into it, which at the moment is what people don't or cant be bothered to do, we really have spoon fed this current generation :(

Apps are just a convenient excuse. A lot of people just don't like the tile UI or Microsoft's OS. Windows 8 illustrates that.

simplezz said,

Apps are just a convenient excuse. .

Mostly true. Though I get it if someone has a lot of purchased apps, and doesn't want to migrate because they'd have to re-buy everything. That's fair enough

simplezz said,

Apps are just a convenient excuse. A lot of people just don't like the tile UI or Microsoft's OS. Windows 8 illustrates that.

Even Windows 8 haters admit that tiles work great on WP. People love the "Lag free" experience of WP, like the other day I heard someone saying in my office " It doesnt lag like android". Problem is lack of apps, which will take few months to years to fill.

simrat said,

Even Windows 8 haters admit that tiles work great on WP. People love the "Lag free" experience of WP, like the other day I heard someone saying in my office " It doesnt lag like android". Problem is lack of apps, which will take few months to years to fill.

Depends what you mean by lag. Try and load a big game on one, then time it compared with Android. Android hardware is almost always better, thus apps run quicker / smoother.

WP does a good job hiding delays with animations, that I will admit. Thus giving the perception that it doesn't lag. The truth is though that it's not quicker or smoother in reality. And those animations become tiresome very quickly. I know I've tried it myself.

simplezz said,

Depends what you mean by lag. Try and load a big game on one, then time it compared with Android. Android hardware is almost always better, thus apps run quicker / smoother.

WP does a good job hiding delays with animations, that I will admit. Thus giving the perception that it doesn't lag. The truth is though that it's not quicker or smoother in reality. And those animations become tiresome very quickly. I know I've tried it myself.

I've heard a lot of people who don't really understand what's really going on under the hood say things like. Thing is, they just make themselves look stupid with such statements. It has been proven time and again that Windows Phone better utilizes hardware resources than an Android phone with the same and sometimes even better specs. You wanna talk about games? Here you go: http://phablist.com/nokia-lumi...basemark-x-gaming-benchmark

As for animations, are you implying that Android doesn't use any transition animations itself? Actually I've found the way Android handles animations is quite strange. Take a simple scrolling for example. It'll let you scroll as fast as you can, until it realizes that it can't handle it and them BAM, massive framerate drop. It's quite shameful that an octa core processor is brought down to its knees just scrolling. I mean why not lock all animations to 30fps or something like on Windows Phone so that the processor is never pushed beyond it's limits? This is just bad coding on Google's part. But that's the least of problems Android has in its core framework that are responsible for it being basically synonymous with the word 'lag'.

I am constantly irritated by the stock answer - "well WP is such a small market its not worth the effort".
How many WP users are there now? Its millions and apps like Twitter and Facebook would be on a VERY high percentage, when did twitter last get a proper update?

If I thought I could get a potentially millions of new users I would think that would be motivation enough. Hell developing and supporting an app is not a massive task ( I am a dev ) and MS will even help them so really this excuse is getting pretty old.

I use a Lumia 1020, love it and im, not that worried about missing apps, I don't think there are any I am missing but then if they are not in the market place I might not even be aware of them.

Like Rudy I too have noticed ads on tv and bus stops where they say available on google and iPhone and I know there is a WP app but it doesn't even get mentioned.

I thought i read somewhere that WP had a bigger market share than blackberry if so the main app stores are ios, google and blackberry. I'd bet most devs/companies still make apps for blackberries due to most business users having them so the solution would be to try and push into the enterprise.

If IT departments use WP citing better integration with Microsoft products they may just succeed in getting into more pockets and get a greater slice of the market.

Good for him.

Now every Windows Phone user needs to do the same, use the hashtag, and tweet directly to the companies who have neglected their apps.... show them that demand exists.

Well, welcome to the party, Rudy. It's not like a lot of us haven't already been doing that for years already. But Rudy did it, so naturally it's the first time it's ever happened. ALL HAIL RUDY!

First company on his list should have been Microsoft for the abysmal Skype app they have on their own platform. No point calling out 3rd parties when the OS maker doesn't give a toss about their own apps.

efjay said,
First company on his list should have been Microsoft for the abysmal Skype app they have on their own platform. No point calling out 3rd parties when the OS maker doesn't give a toss about their own apps.

nm...retracted.

As much as I respect him (his apps are great), there's not much you can do if you have a platform with a very small market share. Sure, it's big in some countries, but overall it's nothing compared to Android and iOS.

Ambroos said,
As much as I respect him (his apps are great), there's not much you can do if you have a platform with a very small market share. Sure, it's big in some countries, but overall it's nothing compared to Android and iOS.

Windows Phone can't gain a market share until companies start supporting it, but companies won't support it until it gains a market share. Not exactly a winnable situation... but that may change with Threshold.

Anthony Tosie said,

Windows Phone can't gain a market share until companies start supporting it, but companies won't support it until it gains a market share. Not exactly a winnable situation... but that may change with Threshold.

I think it's worth seeing it from these company's perspectives - so Windows Mobile has a tiny marketshare, what good is it to them to help expand that? All it'll do is shrink the market from somewhere else and their overall customer base isn't likely to increase much. It's just not worth it and there's no real incentive.

Microsoft owns the platform, it's their responsibility to push it - as well as the many manufacturers of Windows Phone devices. That's what happened with Android - it wasn't developers pushing apps for a platform nobody used, it was Google, HTC, Samsung, Sony, etc. all pushing the platform together and highlighting the best apps you could run on those devices.

I see ads for Samsung Galaxies and HTC Ones nearly every day. I cannot recall the last Windows Phone ad I seen, in any form (TV, Billboard, etc.).

Ambroos said,
As much as I respect him (his apps are great), there's not much you can do if you have a platform with a very small market share. Sure, it's big in some countries, but overall it's nothing compared to Android and iOS.

It is still about 100 million potential users. How is that not a good enough motive? Sometimes I wish for these popular services to next-to-die and struggle for every single potential user. Then they'd be licking your butt for attention, not ignoring you like they do now.

Anthony Tosie said,

Windows Phone can't gain a market share until companies start supporting it, but companies won't support it until it gains a market share. Not exactly a winnable situation... but that may change with Threshold.
Something to keep in mind is the fact that maintaining much of the apps out there is not rocket surgery. Granted the market share is small, but the user base is worth servicing.

Kushan said,

I think it's worth seeing it from these company's perspectives - so Windows Mobile has a tiny marketshare, what good is it to them to help expand that? All it'll do is shrink the market from somewhere else and their overall customer base isn't likely to increase much. It's just not worth it and there's no real incentive.

Microsoft owns the platform, it's their responsibility to push it - as well as the many manufacturers of Windows Phone devices. That's what happened with Android - it wasn't developers pushing apps for a platform nobody used, it was Google, HTC, Samsung, Sony, etc. all pushing the platform together and highlighting the best apps you could run on those devices.

I see ads for Samsung Galaxies and HTC Ones nearly every day. I cannot recall the last Windows Phone ad I seen, in any form (TV, Billboard, etc.).


It's fine if a company doesn't want to support any platform they want, but the amount of users Windows and Windows Phone have is absolutely nothing to sneer at.

I disagree that it's not worth it and there's no real incentive. The incentive is clearly reaching a larger audience; and, no, it's not going to shrink their userbase somewhere else, unless the only reason a user hasn't picked up a Windows Phone device is for their app, which seems highly unlikely. Similarly, if we're only talking about the major app-developing companies, it's not exactly a very costly proposition, especially with the money Microsoft's been offering developers.

I see ads for Windows Phone nearly constantly, and Microsoft has provided support and tons of money to developers to create apps -- billions of dollars have been sunk into these areas.

Again, I completely understand simply saying, "No, we're not going to do a Windows Phone app," but that has nothing to do with costs for the big app-developing companies. As Microsoft moves forward with Threshold, there will be even less of an excuse in terms of user base.

Anthony Tosie said,

It's fine if a company doesn't want to support any platform they want, but the amount of users Windows and Windows Phone have is absolutely nothing to sneer at.

I disagree that it's not worth it and there's no real incentive. The incentive is clearly reaching a larger audience; and, no, it's not going to shrink their userbase somewhere else, unless the only reason a user hasn't picked up a Windows Phone device is for their app, which seems highly unlikely. Similarly, if we're only talking about the major app-developing companies, it's not exactly a very costly proposition, especially with the money Microsoft's been offering developers.

I see ads for Windows Phone nearly constantly, and Microsoft has provided support and tons of money to developers to create apps -- billions of dollars have been sunk into these areas.

Again, I completely understand simply saying, "No, we're not going to do a Windows Phone app," but that has nothing to do with costs for the big app-developing companies. As Microsoft moves forward with Threshold, there will be even less of an excuse in terms of user base.

I can tell you about the situation where I live (Italy).

I think there are three problems with WP:

- users here are not particularly tech savvy, they will smash your products/services just because they're different from Android/iOS, it's true that some apps lack functionality, but a lot of folks will tell you WhatsApp (which is huge here and it could very well be a deal breaker for a lot of people) for WP sucks because you can't change backgrounds, or because is not as fast as they expected, other times they are right, for instance with Facebook for WP, which is highly unstable, doesn't push notifications and other problems, so basically the problem here, and it isn't Microsoft's fault, is that you get bad publicity from people who have no clue about your OS but, for some reason, they expect it to mirror iOS or Android;

- services. As I said before I believe that Italy is maybe the biggest market, among "developed" countries, for Windows Phone, yet Bing services, on which WP heavily relies, are US-centric, search, maps, news, weather, ecc, italian counterparts are absolutely not on par with their US version, so when people use them they see, not only that you have fewer apps and sometimes of lower quality, but they don't find on Bing what they easily find on Google, Bing Maps are not as precise as Google's, the same goes for other services, and of course Google Now and Siri, which are both available in Italian, while we still have no idea about Cortana's availability. I've read here on Neowin that Microsoft is aware of this problem and it's addressing it, let's wait and see;

- communication. Before the smartphones came along it's safe to say that here no less than 90% of those who owned a mobile phone had a Nokia phone. Nokia is a household name in Italy, people trust Nokia, so those who buy a Windows Phone, at least most of them, are actually buying a Nokia smartphone and then end up having a Windows Phone. I haven't seen, in the past, any ad, be it commercial, billboard, magazine, internet or newspaper, for anything Microsoft, beside the Xbox and, incredibly Vista, only a couple of weeks ago they started airing Lumia 630/635 commercials, but a lot of people still haven't the faintest idea about the ecosystem, its pros and cons, ecc.

As for the quality of apps, I read on numerous websites that Microsoft is actively "lobbying" (paying) devs and other companies in order to get them to develop and support WP apps, new and better apps; now, I'm not a dev, I don't know if WP's programming language is harder than iOS' or Android's, but it seems to me that this approach isn't exactly paying off.

Kushan said,
.... it was Google, HTC, Samsung, Sony, etc. all pushing the platform together .....

Actually it was Carrier geeks who influenced purchasing decisions that led to Android's stellar rise to dominance.

Would be great if he could add information about features to unlock in his apps (if he does, then I just missed that ;p); also Microsoft should tag these with some symbol in market.