Is the Windows Phone app gap just perceived? Nielsen study shows we only use about two dozen apps

Is the Windows Phone app gap just perceived? Nielsen study shows we only use about two dozen apps

Summary: With research showing people only use about two dozen apps, it's hard to believe you can't find those on Windows Phone today.


We constantly hear the argument that there may be some missing apps on Windows Phone, so people won't give it a try and write off the platform. I have to wonder if there really is an app gap today or if it is just a perceived app gap based on one's previous experiences or reading what iOS and Android fans want you to believe.

TechCrunch posted some Nielsen study results that show consumers actually appear about tapped out on apps at just over two dozen while their usage of these selected apps continues to increase.

Is the Windows Phone app gap just perceived? Nielsen study shows we only use about two dozen apps

When you look at the breakdown of those primary apps people are using you will see that most time is spent with search, social, and entertainment apps and Windows Phone excels in those areas. Photography also saw the highest percentage of growth over the last year and we all know that Nokia Lumia devices excel in photography.

I have been using the Lumia 1520 and 1020 as my primary smartphone for a few weeks and the only apps I find lacking are those that connect with fitness trackers via Bluetooth Low Energy and that functionality is reportedly coming with the full version of Windows Phone 8.1. On the other hand, I find that Cortana amazes me daily while the keyboard can't be beat.

Before I see another article slamming Windows Phone for its perceived lack of apps, I would like people to try Windows Phone side-by-side with an Android or iOS device and report on what apps they actually are missing on Windows Phone. There are indeed some specific apps, but for most people there is no real app gap today.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, iOS, Microsoft, Windows Phone

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  • Only one I was missing

    The only one I was missing was Dropbox, and they continue to refuse to support it along with BB10, so I just ditched Dropbox for OneDrive. It cost less for more space anyway.
    Buster Friendly
    • Third Party options are very good...

      I've been using FileBox - which works quite well as a third party DropBox app.
      • Third Party - I agree

        I've been using CloudSix for Dropbox, which works well. But that's just for accessing shared storage with someone else. I also use Box, which has a WP8 app, and OneDrive. They're all great.
    • We May Only Use A Few Apps, But Only A Few People Use Windows Phone!

      MS can thank themselves for their pathetic adoption rate.

      That's what happens when you abruptly abandon users of Windows Mobile (a horrible OS), and Win Pho 7.

      Then arrogant MS insists on putting "Windows" branding on everything. MS just doesn't understand that their branding causes P.T.S.D.

      This is what happens when companies are bullied into using a monopoly that is lazy, devious and talentless, and that only spews out mediorcre software (that was copied from great minds), and one product FAILURE after another.

      Suddenly, after 30-years, MS is forced to compete in the real world. Low and behold, they are mistrusted, despised, laughed at, and utterly ignored in most cases.

      It's not over for MS.

      Much like a skydiver with a bad parachute, there's still quite a ways to drop, and even at this speed it will seem like eternity.
      • Did MS steal your kitten or something? ; )

        • No MS didn't steal Orandy's kitten

          Steve Ballmer kicked sand in his face on the beach.
          • Actually, I heard it that

            Steve Ballmer OWNED the beach, and kicked orandy off...
      • Rambling

        Do you really seen any point behind off topic fanboy rambling?
        Buster Friendly
      • daily rant alert

        you posted almost the same rant yesterday, would think you had something better to do with your time than to fill up forums with your rants
      • Really?

        Did you came out with this by yourself? I'm amazed. Tell all that to every single year for the last 30 MS had make huge profits. Year after year. You most be one of those Linux enthusiasts that hates MS because they didn't prioritized it be windows.
      • I'm sure MS is terrified.

        I've been listening to the "Microsoft is doomed" prognostications since 1998; and they have yet to come true... and it's always coming from some sad little Linux-lover or Apple Kool Aid drinker.

        Maybe Linux will break the 2% desktop adoption this year!
        Maybe Apple will re-enter the server market after its abysmal failure!
        • already has.

          Maybe you didn't get the MS notice.
          • The MS notice? Oh right the "MS" notice

            from the "Ministry of Spin" orginization you belong to, not one from Microsoft. :)
          • He did specify desktop market share.

            The last market share results I saw had it somewhere between 1 and 2%?
      • MS isn't doomed.

        Microsoft will be around long after you're gone. They make money no matter what sells. Their fingers are in every pie worth touching. They could stop selling Windows completely and would stay in business for decades on income from patent licensing, XBox, and Office. They have so much money in the bank that they could sell 5 copies of the next 4 versions of Windows and still be operating fully. They're like a hydra. Cut off one head and two will grow back.

        Regarding the article: The numbers shown in the research are too generic to support your premise. For example, they list the category "photography app." The false assumption is that if a platform has one photography app, then that app can satisfy that need. That's obviously wrong. Not all apps are created equal. Even the same app can be inferior on one platform. The problem is, people have favorite apps in each category and it is the lack of those favorites which makes WP less appealing than Android or iOS. It's lack of choices. You can choose from several thousand photography apps on Android or iOS. On WP you can choose from maybe 3?
        • You're exaggerating

          Obviously there are more than three photography apps on winphone, although I get the point you're trying to make.

          The more important question though is, of those "thousands" of photography apps on iPhone or Android, if all but the top 1% were removed from the store, would anybody care? No, they wouldn't because only the top 1% are actually popular, which means sheer numbers don't make one platform better than the other.

          Where I do see an app gap is in the fad games. Those games which are popular for six months and never make it to windows phone because by the time the developers even consider windows phone the popularity of the game has waned. Personally I don't care because I have no time for games, but clearly gaming is a big deal on smart phones.
        • You are right they ARE diversified

          I don't they are immune to self-destruction but I tend to be amused when someone indicates MS is doomed or knows exactly what and how MS needs to do or respond. Some even considert their management or programmers stupid.

          Arm chair quarterbacks that couldn't make a HS football team much less the pros.

          MS has continued to grow despite Apple, Google, FOSS, Linux, Apache, facebook etc. etc. They probably could have performed better but there are 10,000s perhaps 100,00ss of companies that can only wish to have done as well.
        • Hydra?

          Well "hydra" sounds a little pejorative. A portfolio of sound businesses is probably closer to the truth. They are in the technology investment game and it isn't an easy one. MS has bought quite a few companies for their tech and they haven't been successful. But a lot of others have had their technologies brought into the fold and greatly enhanced MS' competitiveness. The trick is to find more keepers than losers, over time.
      • Lies and Misinformation

        The responses, even the ridiculously funny ones, have more truth in them than your post.

        Well, not completely. I agree with your statement about the "Windows" branding. I think that Microsoft made a mistake in calling it Windows Phone. Even Windows CE was never really Windows. All the apps run full screen. Microsoft fails to see that Windows is the OS we use, but most of us don't love it.

        If they had broken the mold with Windows Phone 7, and called it something new and interesting...I wish they could still use Metro, but that is out. Then they might have been able to break away from the Windows moniker on Windows 8, which, in its Modern UI guise is not really Windows either.

        But I digress, because one partial truth does not change the fact that you clearly have your head up and locked where MS is concerned.
      • WOW!

        orandy: Are you EVEN 30 years old? Your clueless rant sounds more like coming from a twelve year old. Yes, at one time, Microsoft was considered a bully, but they pretty much controlled the PC world then. That's not the case anymore. It's virtually a total different company and attitude, and now also a Hardware company. Explain your MS hatred of what Microsoft had done in the past, to what Google is NOW doing. You can hardly do anything on the internet without some presence of Google shoving ads at you, selling information of everything you do on the net to advertisers and spammers, or sneakily installing Chrome on you PC at every opportunity. Get over it already!