For three weeks now I’ve been using a Nokia Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8 in favor of my usual LG Nexus 4 with Android. This is the third and final post in a three part series about the experience. In the first post, I had a look at how Windows Phone is currently doing against other competitors, like iOS and Android, and how Nokia has moved closer and closer to the financial abyss during their partnership with Microsoft. In the second post, I took a closer look at Windows Phone 8 itself and how the core features and stock applications work. In this third post, I’ll take a dive into the Windows Phone Store to see if it’s capable of competing with the selection in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Why are apps important? As the smartphone world works, it really doesn’t matter how good a smartphone operating system is if the apps available for it suck. This is particularly important for converters, people moving from another smartphone OS. They usually have a set of apps they are accustomed with, and changing people’s habits is hard. Personally, I have a few good third-party apps I use on my Android phone on a regular basis, and I’d prefer to continue to use them on my Windows Phone 8 handset. Either the same app, or a replacement app with the same features that works at least as good as the Android version.
So how is the third-party app situation on Windows Phone these days? Two years ago it was so-so, but since then the number of applications available in the Windows Phone Store has increased considerably. This means that the chance of finding the apps I’m using, or at least a good replacement, should be higher than it was two years ago. I made this handy not-so-scientific reference table to get an overview. I’ve also added a few apps that I don’t use personally, but that are popular among iOS and Android users.