Google apps and Windows Phone 8 are like oil and water when you try to combine them right now; they just can’t seem to get along. With Google having such a huge influence over the accounts and services in many parts of the web, without it, a struggling platform like Windows Phone 8 only struggles a little bit more. However, there is good news on the horizon - it would seem like there is a real push for Chrome to make a debut on Windows Phone 8 devices.
I recently had my first experience with Windows Phone 8, and although I can’t say that I hated it, it was a little difficult to get used to. I very much depend on Google Apps to get me through the day, whether it’s Gmail, Maps, Chrome, Drive, or YouTube, all of which don’t have designated apps on Windows Phone 8 (although there are alternatives and some integration). Still, the lack of Google support in Windows Phone 8 is obvious to those who use the services, and it can making loving the platform that much harder.
Bringing Chrome to Windows Phone 8 kind of kills two birds with one stone. Aside from not having Google’s support, Windows Phone 8 also has a real lack of options when it comes to using an alternate browser. Well, I should rephrase - a lack of really decent options. I’ve tried Internet Explorer, UC Browser, and Maxthon Browser, and each one left much to be desired. There’s also the issue where Windows Phone 8 doesn’t allow you to set a different default browser, so if you prefer third-party browser from the market, Internet Explorer is going to be the first thing to pop up. Hopefully the release of Windows 8.1 will bring a fix to this as well, since we already know you’ll be able to switch default SMS applications.
Speaking of Windows Phone 8.1, that’s another reason that this news comes at a good time. There seems to be a lot coming for Windows Phone, and now that it’s picking up steam it could use the boost of official Google Apps to help boost the platform even further. Even if it just ends up being Chrome, the potential for other Google Apps to follow would be good if all goes well with Chrome. I think that a lot of people would be more inclined to check out Windows Phone 8 if they knew that Google Apps were available. I know that nobody likes to depend on a rival’s services in order to stay afloat, but realistically there are a lot of people out there that require Google Apps to be available in their devices in order to even consider the purchase.
With new Lumias, Windows Phone 8.1, possibly an HTC M8 running on Windows Phone 8.1, and possibly Google Chrome on the horizon for Windows Phone, there’s a lot to look forward to for this platform that comes in a very far third place behind both Android and iOS. I’ve always said that I see a lot of potential for Windows Phone to pick up speed, and it seems like this is the time for the operating system to shine. I am super excited to see what else we get to see go the Windows Phone way this year, because I think the competition is going to be - at least slightly- more fierce from this point on.
Readers, what are your thoughts about the upcoming changes to Windows Phone? Does 8.1, new hardware, and possibly Chrome spark your interest in the platform? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!