More apps are available at launch for Microsoft Surface than seen for iOS and Android

More apps are available at launch for Microsoft Surface than seen for iOS and Android

Summary: I have been using my Surface for a couple of days and am convinced it is a keeper as it bridges the gap between my phone and a laptop while replacing my laptop for many daily needs. There are over 10,000 apps available right now, which is more than we saw from Apple or Google.

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More apps are available at launch for Microsoft Surface than seen for iOS and Android

A couple weeks ago when the Surface went online for pre-order I decided it was worth the money to take a look at one and figured I could return it if I didn't like it. I read the reviews as mine was enroute for delivery and most left me thinking the hardware was great, but there were not many apps and all I could really use it for was Office. I am very pleased to now have it in my hands and see that many of the apps I use on Windows Phone, iOS, and Android are indeed available and the hardware really does rock!

If you recall, Windows Phone 7 launched with about 1,000 apps and then was the fastest mobile phone OS to hit 10,000 in about four months. The Windows Phone Marketplace continued to grow over the next year and half when it hit the 100,000 apps level in June 2012. The apps came fairly quickly and I believe they will come for Windows RT as well. It helps that developers now have a common core with Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8 too.

I understand there are currently something like 10,000 apps in the Windows Store for Windows RT and I think that is a very healthy number given it just launched. You can't compare these numbers with what is now available for iOS, Android and even Windows Phone, but as I wrote above when you compare the number available at launch then Windows RT wins. Here are the ones that I already have installed on my Surface:

  • Netflix
  • Skype
  • MLS MatchDay (Go Sounders!)
  • Rowi: A Twitter app
  • Cut the Rope
  • Evernote
  • Slacker Radio
  • Wordament
  • YouVersion Bible
  • Lync
  • Jetpack Joyride
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Kobo
  • Soccer Coach's clipboard
  • Kayak
  • MetroTwit
  • New York Times
  • Fox News
  • ABC News

The Windows Store is enjoyable to browse with apps found in the following categories. On each category page you will find links to Top Free and New Releases.

  • Spotlight apps
  • Games
  • Social
  • Entertainment
  • Photo
  • Music & Video
  • Sports
  • Books & Reference
  • News & Weather
  • Health & Fitness
  • Food & Dining
  • Lifestyle
  • Shopping
  • Travel
  • Finance
  • Productivity
  • Tools
  • Security
  • Business
  • Education
  • Government

As you can see this is quite a list of categories, but I like when things are organized where I can find them and don't find this breakdown to be a problem. There are free and paid apps and unfortunately it looks like you have to purchase apps on both Windows RT and Windows Phone 8, but it is this way for many apps on iOS as well. Android doesn't have that many tablet apps and on my Nexus 7 I just run the phone apps I already purchased for my smartphones.

What apps are you looking for on a Microsoft Surface?

Topics: Mobility, Tablets, Windows

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37 comments
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  • Windows 8 -store search

    I love Windows 8. I have been using it from beta to full release but where is the Store search. Yes there are lots of apps available at launch, too many to search through manually so it really needs a search facility. The categorised store areas are a help but if you are looking for a specific app then a search function is a must.
    technogiant
    • search charm

      I really don't see why everyone is missing the point, the search always is by using the search in charms bar, it's indicated by design guidelines to all windows 8 apps, if people are missing this i think it's a problem for Microsoft. The store is pretty good and it's growing pretty fast, but there is a problem regarding payments from some countries or changing the store's country.
      sohayb.hassoun
      • store search

        yes, the search is a problem for some of the apps. the store automatically starts searching when you start typing, but apps like tunein really made it a pain in the butt to search for stations, you have to use the charms bar and select the application to show you relevant results.
        abpbl6
        • Search works

          Yes, both the Start screen and Store enter search mode when you begin typing. For most of the apps, you need to invoke the search charm from within the app and the app will show the search results immediately. This seems to work well for TuneIn Radio.

          To invoke search charm, type Win+Q or swipe from the left edge of the screen. Swiping from the left edge of the touch pad might work, too. If you have Surface keyboard, use the search key in the top row.

          While the search dialog is opened, you can switch to another app and get results for the same search string from another app without entering the search string again. For example you can start searching for your favorite radio station in the Start screen. You might find your station there, if you pinned it. If the Start screen shows no results, select the TuneIn Radio icon from the list of search-enabled apps below the search string to get the search results for the radio app. Or you can try web search by selecting the IE icon or yet another radio app, all without retyping the search string. Of course, if you know that you didn't pin you favorite station to the start screen yet, it may be more convenient to start the app first, because the search charm will start showing the search results for the current app immediately.
          Earthling2
          • Seems Samsung is right...

            Windows RT has a steep learning curve and needs a thorough education process for it to succeed. On Windows 8, on the other hand, people are just opting out of Metro using Start8 and RetroUI.

            Ironically, both reasons make me doubt your assertion @Matthew Miller that apps are coming, precisely because WinRT has a negligible market share and Win8's eight market share is gonna always mislead, due to the opt-out.
            cosuna
        • Wow

          Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
          .......http://goo.gl/SVEkl
          GregBob
      • Ugh

        "Charms bar".

        Could they have made it sound less like a kids' toy?

        Marketing dept needs an overhaul.
        harvey_rabbit
        • Unlike Android

          Let's not mention Ice Cream Sandwich ;-)
          Tony_McS
          • lol, and jellybean

            and other candy themed releases.

            Harvey_hypocrite_rabbit
            ackacka
      • TIP: Pin frequently searched 'places' to the sidebar

        If you initiate search from the Start Screen you get a list of apps to "search in" like Mail, Marketplace, etc. in a side bar. Well, for those apps that are searchable and that you want to appear at the top of choices, just right-click on it and pin it. It will appear fixed at the top of that side bar. Love it!

        Also, don't forget that you can deep link folks from your People hub and it puts their faces on your start screen so you can do things like jump to their twitter and facebook updates.

        I do the same thing for my mail accounts. If you have like 3 separate mail accounts which you access from the Mail App. You can actually pin each account to the Start screen so that you jump right to the appropriate Inbox.
        lmoxiel
      • there is a problem regarding payments from some countries

        if you know that -from some countries-, it means you're an insider...
        theo_durcan
    • It Already Searches Across All Mediums, Even Windows Store & SkyDrive

      The search function is right there; once you are on the Start Screen, just start typing, it will search across everything searchable while displaying search results from locally installed "Apps" with the option for you to click on the other options below the search box like the Windows Store if you are searching for an app to install. Pretty simple.
      techiegz@...
  • Lenovo Lynx

    I think you spent close to the same amount of money on a Surface RT (if you want the keyboard and more storage) as you would've had you waited to get a Lenovo Lynx with full Windows 8, but feel free to fact check it.
    D.J. 43
    • or the ASUS VivoTab Smart

      It is priced at $499 and runs full Windows 8. The Acer Iconia W510 is $499 as well.
      skyledavisbooks
      • yes, but the RT is a great learning tool while

        I wait on Haswell before buying an 8.
        primartcloud
  • try the Search Tiles App

    Its that simple. I use it every time I'm on the tablet. Great content sources and user experience... and solves many usability challenges.
    cepwiz
  • Something I wish they had...

    App store developer search.

    There is no way to show just the apps for one developer.

    In iOS, you can go to a developer page to show published apps by just that publisher. I wish the Windows Store had that. Regular searching doesn't work because it searchs all of the description content of any given app. For instance, if you type in "Microsoft", it doesn't just show Microsoft apps, but also includes any app that has Microsoft's name in the description. That's frustrating and can be somewhat misleading too.

    If someone knows if you can use some kind of fancy search syntax that will do this, it would be much appreciated.
    Joe_Raby
  • Apps at launch?

    Apps at launch? what does that have to do with anything. You assume that means it will gorw and be a ton more in a few years? maybe... not sure it matters.

    I'm always a firm believer in buying and using what is best, not who does something first, or if their "first" seems better or bigger... its always current vs current.

    currently 275,000 made for iPad apps... not even counting the iPhone designed ones that will run too... vs 10,000? Hopefully those are some really essential and good 10,000.
    doh123
    • also forgot to say...

      also I forgot to say... there were FAR MORE than 10,000 apps that could run on an iPad when it launched... yes there were only 3000 on launch that were designed specifically for the iPad only, but there were around 185,000 other apps that the iPad could still run.

      All the major players that ignored making iPad apps and told everyone to use the iPhone versions on their iPad didn't have that luxury this time.
      doh123
      • So, you are able to install all the 275000+

        apps on your iPad? I don't think so. Great. How many do you need? Did iOS echsystem (then iPhone OS ecosystem) had 10000 on the day it was launched? How many of them are just plain stupid nonsensical apps, with bloated ads from Google? Matt was just was just mentioning the fact and Microsoft has most developer friendly tools and bigger developer ecosystem. And reaching 275,000+ is matter of time once developes start building apps. WP7, even though it has 3+% of market share has already 100,000+ apps developed in just 2 years.
        Ram U