The pursuit of 'appyness: Which apps do Windows 8 + Windows Phone 8 need most?

Last week, the BBC confirmed to Neowin that it has no current plans to develop apps for Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8, dealing a harsh blow to users of the new platforms who had been hoping that apps might be on the way from the Corporation. The Beeb isn’t alone though – plenty more organisations around the world are holding off on developing apps for Windows 8 and its mobile counterpart, preferring to focus their efforts and resources on iOS and Android, where users already exist in much greater numbers.

For those considering the brave new world of the touch-first interface of Windows 8 on a new device, or for anyone thinking of jumping ship to Windows Phone 8 from another mobile platform, the absence of key apps presents a major obstacle. Despite Windows Phone gaining over 75,000 new apps last year, and the Store for Windows 8 exceeding 35,000 apps by the end of 2012, it’s still the case that the Windows ecosystems are far behind their rivals, not only in the quantity of apps that they offer, but also the pace at which apps are made available.

While iOS and Android users can confidently assume that any organisation which releases an app will quickly launch a version compatible with their device, the same cannot yet be said for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. There’s been much progress on this front, with plenty of big names and popular brands releasing apps for both operating systems in recent months, but for many existing and prospective users, there are still significant app gaps waiting to be filled.

But which apps do you feel are most important for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8? Instagram is often cited as a must-have, for example, but is it the case that there are just a handful of really crucial apps that are ‘missing’ from Microsoft’s platforms, and which would make all the difference to you? Or is it equally important to ensure that less ‘exciting’, but no less useful, apps make their appearance too?

If you made the jump to Win 8 or WP8, would you miss the app for your bank, your choice of airline, your sports team, your preferred newspaper or magazine, your favourite museum, or your nearest cinema? Would the absence of such apps put you off buying a Windows 8 or Windows RT device, or a Windows Phone?

Let us know which apps you’d like to see most on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, and just how important those apps are to you. You can share your thoughts below, or tweet the apps that you want most to me @gcaweir with the hashtag #appyness – and remember to follow @NeowinFeed to always stay up to date with the latest from Neowin.

Once we’ve heard what matters most to you, we’ll try to find out more about when (if at all) some of your favourite apps will be making their way to Win 8 and Windows Phone 8, so make sure you have your say!

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Is everyone aware that in windows 8/RT that for most of the sites that you want, you dont need apps for.. You can simply pin the website to the start screen as a live tile..

I really like my nokia 920, but I wish there was full exchange support like Huisie said with SmartCard support even if its over a bluetooth sled.

Full Exchange support, for crying in a bucket.
My Galaxy s2 is far better in this context, though it doesn't match my (sadly broken) HD2.
When competitors support your own product better than you do, you have to wonder who's driving the bus...

urgent need is HTTP web-filtering apps like "proxomitron"
which provides powerfull & flexible customization & configurablity.
http://www.proxomitron.info/index.html

why this one important?
because W8 was designed to be content consumption OS,
its better for the user to able to filter which contents they want to consumes or not.

Well I think Windows 8 is just fine and I am only using basic. Do I miss the BBC? Not really as I possess a wonderful invention called a television. Apps mostly want money off you so why the fuss? My only niggle is that my solitaire game seems to have been replaced by a ghastly OEM app.
Integrated OS for ever!

I'm happy with my lumia 920 but I'd like to choose the browser to surf the internet. It should be good to install Chrome and Firefox and compare them with IE.

Spotify, Sonos and LogMeIn.

On a want instead of need tone, because it's awesome Tiny Wings =)

I'd rather see an OS integrate services like dropbox/google drive directly than have apps to be honest, social media is integrated, why can't my file access be!

for wp8 - all my synology apps that link to my NAS, AirVideo, VPN support, spotify and runkeeper.

If I had these I would dig my HTC 8s out of the draw and use it but as it is Im sticking with my iPhone for now.

Squareup, instagram. The Facebook app for wp7/8 is fine and on my surface I use Facebook touch which is good. Oh, wells Fargo app for wp7/8.

I'm amazed by how many people need an app for things that mobile websites are perfectly capable of performing. I've only installed a Bank of America application when they allowed pictures for check deposit. However, once I ran into their restrictions (can't do the same amount more than once in 90 days, monthly limits of total) I just uninstalled it again and run by the ATM a couple times a month on my way to work.

I'm also amazed by people who think that third party applications to services are not even capable of being a substitute let alone a welcome alternative. Youtube+ on Windows 8 and MetroTube on Windows Phone are better than what is available first party on other systems. Pradio and MetroRadio both provide Pandora access with a solid metro/touch interface.

There are some applications missing. But I guess I've just not become a slave to applications. VPN is the only major thing not working properly right now on Windows 8 RT and it is not available, period, on Windows Phone 8.

WP8 - "Official" versions of Mint, Dropbox, Wells Fargo, Facebook, Nook, Pandora, Chrome, Picasa, Starbucks, SugarSync, Twitpic, United Airlines. That's all. :-)

Agreed, although Grindr kinda sucks. Scruff is working on a WP8 app, though! As soon as they release that, I'm dumping my Android backup and solely using my Lumia 920.

Since WP8 does not support enterprise, we need touchdown for Windows Phone. They are already developing one for Windows 8. It will be cool if we get one for Windows Phone 8.

most of the "missing apps" people are talking about can all be done using the browser. theres LTE now, the web sites load as soon as you hit go.

yes apps might be easier to use because they're designed for smaller screens, but most of these things can still be used and work on Windows Phone. Its not like you cant access facebook,etc..

The issue for me is not what most popular apps like Instagram or whatever, but the most important ones which wouldn't often show in a top 10 or even top 50 list, like banking apps for specific banks which are not giving a rat's *** about Windows Phone.

1. USAA - Online Banking
2. Smoothie King
3. Wallet Apps
4. Networking Tools
5. More Game Authentication Apps - like TOR.

Windows 8 - VPN providers, Google Plus (Ha!), Blue Stacks, an official Facebook app would be nice, Mint, and I'd love to see the Bible App from Youversion updated to something more feature compatible with what's on the iPad

WP8 - Ditto for Youversion, Blue Stacks would be awesome (if unlikely), VPN, Mint, more RPGs and old school Adventures for games, Google Plus (again, Ha!)

Overall, I don't find too much that's missing. We use Google+ for hangouts and it would be great to jump in from my Surface or WP device, but that's not allowed/supported by Google. The Youversion app needs some attention for both platforms. It's functional, but definitely not on par with iOS/Android. VPN providers would make it more possible to do some work directly from the tablet - have to wait to see what's coming there, though.

Lexcyn said,
None. Apps in Windows 8 is a stupid idea. Leave apps for phones.
Oh yeah, of course it is. Because an OS that's part *mobile* shouldn't have *mobile apps*.. /s

Lexcyn said,
None. Apps in Windows 8 is a stupid idea. Leave apps for phones.

What is an OS without apps? Or do you mean you just live in the web browser? (not all that uncommon actually)

Brandon Live said
What is an OS without apps? Or do you mean you just live in the web browser? (not all that uncommon actually)
He'd probably be better off using Chrome OS. Just an OS situated for internet browsing..

shmoltz said,
waze, waze and ×İgain waze !!! All my friends and I not upgrade to WP8 because there is no waze yet

but there are many waze to upgrade!
da dum! *rimshot*

The android app thing is actually not right. not all apps work with all android devices. One example is vudu. works on google's devices but not others. Even with the same android version.

I want an official facebook app from facebook themselves for windows phone 8. The other one I want is Photosynth.

I do not understand why people obsess over Facebook developing their mobile apps... Given the garbage that Facebook develops, you're far better off with Microsoft developing their Windows Phone apps for them...

My two big ones are Mint.com and Verizon Mobile. I feel it is absolutely crucial to have a financial app like MINT in the Win8/WP8 environment. Additionally, the new Verizon app on the iPad that lets you watch live TV, manage your DVR, and review TV listings would be a great addition to the windows ecosystem. Lastly, the only one I really miss from the iOS devices is the Papa Johns app to order pizza on the go.
I'm not a big fan of the mobile web sites. I feel like the usability of apps trumps mobile websites.

More Wallet apps, such as Mastercard, Visa so you can pay with the phone.
Starbucks UK card
Photosynth (I know it's coming, but I went on holiday at the weekend and really missed it!)

Not just Starbucks UK, but rather any kind of official Starbucks app! The 3rd party ones are ok, but they break quite often. I'd like to see a Starbucks app with Wallet integration. I'd also like to see banks and credit card companies that actually have Windows Phone apps include Wallet integration. Chase, for example, doesn't include Wallet integration (even though it was shown off at the Windows Phone 8 unveiling). And an American Express app would be nice.

joeqr said,
This is just for Windows 8. I'd like to see it also on Windows Phone 7.5/8.

You'll see a Citrix receiver soon I'd imagine now that they have one on Windows 8.

I tried using google chrome on Windows 8 PRO on a tablet (Dell latitude 10). You can choose Chrome to work in RT or in desktop mode. And; for the moment, the actual release is really bad in RT mode and in desktop mode on a tablet (bad virtual keybord response, press F11 to full screen (with no keyboard...)). IE 10 in RT is less boring to use, but limited. Lots of sites are not compatible with it .
But on a laptop (without touch interface) it's ok, Chrome is working as good as on Win7

Do you have a bad install or do you just not like Internet Explorer. In my opinion, it's been pretty good as far as speed and ease of use. If you're a heavy extension/add-on user, I can understand your beef.

I stopped using Chrome a couple of years or so ago. I only have Firefox and IE installed on my comp at the moment. I don't see my interaction with the www hindered at all. But, to each his own, I suppose. Again, that is if you didn't get a bad install.

Right now is a good opportunity for clever developers. Take note of any company that is avoiding WP7/8 or Windows 8 Apps, and plan on taking their market from them.

In 1990/1991 a LOT of companies were 'reluctant' and refused to produce Windows versions of their software. 99% of these companies NO LONGER exist because of their error that open up the market for other products.


Well, the mobile industry doesn't have microsoft monopoly yet! I know a lot of companies such as Omini Group, Panic, Iconfactory, etc. that have been exclusively developing for OS X/iOS for the past decade and they're doing just fine. You have to realize the mobile industry is different and windows is not always necessary to get things done with mobile phones.

It's not as simple as just making a single app and getting marketshare. You also have a lot of capital and users and also have a great webapp for e.g. maybe (dropbox, square, etc.). And most of these companies' gain a lot of users by developing for android/iOS first. Dropbox or whatever else big company will eventually develop for windows phone when they notice an increase in users.

It seems like quite a few of the most popular apps that I'd want are available on WP, but there are some important ones missing still, e.g. Dropbox, Google Maps, BBC iPlayer, Facebook and YouTube (I prefer official/1st party apps, rather than relying on a 3rd party, even if it is Microsoft). Additionally, I'd want to see an app from my bank, Epson for my printer, TomTom, my cable TV provider and O2. Also, while games aren't very important, I am slightly surprised to see a distinct lack of really high-quality games on a platform in the same ecosystem as the Xbox 360.

Mint, Dropbox, Droplr, Tweetbot(I know), GoogleDrive(I know),Bills App that doesn't suck, Banking apps that doesn't suck, Nest, Google Authenticator.

I use on a daily basis. So kinda sucks with whats on the store now, a bunch of CRAPPY,UGLY, third party alternatives that just are poop.

Why not move away from Google services and also Dropbox? Microsoft services and Skydrive are a solid alternative to both.

(some) Neowin staff have full access to Google Apps (for business) so it's kind of difficult to move over just like that. And yes we have discussed the possibility.

I've been using Bill Reminder for the last year or so. It's quite good and simple to use. Also, has a live tile. Haven't run into any issues as of yet.

Oh. And, Dropbox for Windows 8 was just released. So, maybe we'll see something for Windows Phone 8 soon enough. I was using Lindy Box on my phone.

If Spotify can get it together with WD-TV, TiVo etc, then they need a kick for missing W8 and WP8 launches by months. I'm glad lots of people are publicly quitting on their forums.

A decent touch Chrome is probably asking too much.

+10 for the extremely witty title. Literally lol'd Google maps. I know there are apps out there like Bingle but I'd really like to see Google's own take on a Metro Google maps app. I'm living in Japan so using Bing or Nokia maps is an absolute no go!

Am waiting for full Viber release with voice for WP8 as well.

Sadly, Viber is not disclosing anything except for asking people to stay tune.

Take a look at what they have done to Viber for WP7.x and BB and it's worrying...

Supposedly ain't gonna happen. Facebook directs people to Microsoft for a Windows 8 app... I guess people need to try to use the Web UI which is far from touch-friendly.

Brandon Live said,
Why funny? (especially the first one...)

Well as far as the first one:

WP8: A you seriously looking for a programming IDE for your phone? I program all day long and I certainly don't find myself walking around going "jesus I need an IDE to change that file STAT" Why would anybody waste the resources in building such a useless piece of software

W8: If you're on a device that has access to your code remotely then you use RDP/Citrix/Etc to a proper IDE. The idea that someone is going to make a useful IDE inside the Metro environment now... or that it's even something that's drastically needed is laughable.

The Steam one... Well. Gabe is the reason I laughed.

MrHumpty said,

Well as far as the first one:

WP8: A you seriously looking for a programming IDE for your phone? I program all day long and I certainly don't find myself walking around going "jesus I need an IDE to change that file STAT" Why would anybody waste the resources in building such a useless piece of software

W8: If you're on a device that has access to your code remotely then you use RDP/Citrix/Etc to a proper IDE. The idea that someone is going to make a useful IDE inside the Metro environment now... or that it's even something that's drastically needed is laughable.

The Steam one... Well. Gabe is the reason I laughed.

I was talking about Windows 8, not the phone. I never said it was "drastically needed" - but I fully expect IDEs to show up in the Store eventually.

For Windows 8/RT, I recommend YouTube RT. For Windows Phone, MetroTube. Both brilliantly designed apps, probably better than any possible official versions (AS IF Google would allow it).

YouTube+ trial on Win8 is actually much better and completely ad-supported on Windows 8. YouTube apps are perfect on both platforms. Not much room for improvement and the official app would only be a downgrade distraction for new users. The same applies to Twitter. Tweetro+ on Win8 and Rowi on WP8.

Ezekiel Carsella said,
???

Which part of that statement are you having trouble with? Maybe I can clear up any confusion for you.

Ezekiel Carsella said,
what about totally viable? makes not much sense

It makes perfect sense. He is saying it is possible to make them compatible with WP7.5

DARKFiB3R said,
Why the focus on WP8? Lots of missing apps are totally viable on 7.5

Probably the vast majority of them, in fact.

The reason is because WP7.5 development has been deprecated. Apps are no longer written the same and if you want to take advantage of the new features of WP8 and to not have to re-write anything, you should code for WP8. WP8 supports WP7.5 apps but the tools and environment is different. Who knows if WP9 will support WP7.5 apps.

WP8 already has pretty much the same marketshare as WP7 got, and WP7 is just going to drop in marketshare and raw number of users from now on. It doesn't make sense to make a new app for WP7.5