Windows Phone comes under fire frequently for its lack of applications, and a simple look at the marketplace on the Lumia 800 reveals an immediate problem. The very top application is the original Angry Birds from 2010 on other platforms, and the others in the top group are predominantly games that have existed since the platforms launch. A quick mosey along to the “free” applications section, and the Nokia applications are most downloaded. This includes “Adobe Reader” and “Network Setup.” Seriously, “Network Setup” is one of the most downloaded applications on the platform.
Searching for applications is difficult, and application discovery isn’t that great, especially considering games show up in the applications section as well. It’s not to say developers aren’t working hard, because The platform is alive, but it feels very stagnant. Although, at almost 80,000 applications at time of writing, you’d think differently. I was a very big backer of Windows Phone from the beginning, and was optimistic about Microsoft’s promises of big things for the platform. Despite their promises all the big applications would be here, they still aren’t.
On the opposite side of the fence, you have Android and iOS. Both platforms have been around for a long time now. They’re the big guys in town, and they’ve got the application base to match. Android is 430,000 applications strong, whereas Apple has well over 500,000 right now. Despite Android being so prominent, many new “up and coming” applications actually launch on the iPhone first.
The likes of Instagram, Pair, Path, Hilight and more have started out with iPhone only applications, eventually adding Android ones down the road. This is common. If you don’t mind not having the latest and greatest “hip” application for a few months, Android won’t bother you so much. If you do, you’ll want to get an iPhone. As a writer, I love trying out new conceptual applications, so it was a bit strange making the transition because I wasn’t able to use a lot of applications I had considered normal.