The app shortage has been a perennial problem for the Windows Phone and Microsoft, something which they frantically tried to solve with the Windows Phone 8 update a couple of years ago. Now with the flagship Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL up for sale, Microsoft has taken upon themselves to prove that Windows Phone Store has all the applications you would be using in your current Android phone and this is true, at least partially.
It comes as no surprise that the Windows Phone store has lesser number of applications as opposed to the iOS or the Android store, but the numbers can’t be the ultimate metrics. Microsoft has come up with a new app called “AppComparision” for Android [Play Store link] which will match the Android apps on your phone to the ones in Windows, and if the app is not available it will suggest the next best alternative.
Just to set the records straight, I had migrated to Windows Phone from my Android an year ago, and the experiment was running fine until one day I found the dearth of support for Google apps. I for one thing couldn’t use Google Drive and Hangout, which was the biggest blooper for me, big enough to change my phone.
After installing the AppComparison it asks you the most frequently used category of apps and once you select, it automatically computes a list of Windows apps. OneDrive was mentioned as the alternative for GDrive, fair enough, but the things started getting ugly when the app suggested GChat+ for Hangouts and UC Browser for Chrome. The GChat+ for Windows is a half-baked Hangout application which functions at its own will, in a nutshell it fails as a decent alternative for the original Hangout app. Although UC Browser is a good browser, it for once cannot replace Chrome. The good part however is to see that Windows Store has come up with new apps like MXPlayer which were previously exclusive to Android and iOS stores. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show the list of apps for which it couldn’t find a match, for which we can assume what the reason could be.
Nevertheless, if you have already made up your mind to buy the Lumia flagships, it won’t hurt to check out the app compatibility as it will help you to get it right. The Q2 Market OS Market share from IDC clearly shows that Windows Phone active user rate is still languishing at 3.1% while the Android is reigning the market with 69.3% trailed by iOS at 16.6%.