Over the weekend, I asked you what it would take for you to switch to Windows Phone 8, when it eventually arrives later this year. As I expected, while there were some hardware requirements scattered about, the majority of people wanted applications. I got the same verdict when I posed the same question on Twitter. So, I think I can safely say that as it stands right now, Windows Phone is lacking in the apps department, at least compared to the major players like Apple or Google.
I completely agree with all of you.
The argument for people currently using Windows Phone right now, from those who want to put up an argument, anyway, is that there are decent applications that fill the gap of those "other" apps. Unfortunately, that's not really the case. Or, the point. Sure, it's great that on the Windows Phone platform you're supporting a plethora of smaller, sometimes even one-person development teams, but it's pretty clear that most folks want the real deal.
Case in point, at least in my recent run-through with Windows Phone not too long ago, is an application replacement for Simplenote. I use Simplenote every day, so I need an application that can function the way I need it to, as well as want to. Right now, there's just no better Simplenote app than the one you can download from the App Store, on iOS. Why? Because it's made by Simplenote.
The Windows Phone alternatives are good, in that they exist and they work, but I had to remove them from my phone after a short period of time.
And Microsoft's mobile platform is missing other applications completely. Bigger ones, even. Like Pandora, or Pocket (formerly Read It Later), and other Browser options like Google's Chrome. These applications are important to people, and while I can make a case for Internet Explorer on Windows Phone, I can understand why people want Chrome on there.
While Microsoft has yet to really unveil any new special features for Windows Phone 8 that directly relate to the customer, I think that's just half the battle. The other half is getting application developers to start creating applications for Windows Phone. And we're talking about the major publishers, not only the incredibly intelligent folks out there making "replacement" apps in the meantime.
So I want to hear from you, Dear Reader. Whether you're on Windows Phone already and are just desperately waiting for an app to release for the platform, or you're someone who's unwilling to switch to the mobile OS simply because there are missing apps, I want to hear which apps you absolutely need on Windows Phone to complete the experience for you.