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Microsoft hones its plans for closing the App Gap

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
Android Apps looks so dated... worse then Win32 and navigation is so fundamentally different... it hope it doesn't go down this path.... Good Gawd people complained about the jarring experience between MUI and Desktop.... this would be thousands of times worse....
 
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GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
Id suggest that if there are already 5 apps that do roughly the same thing you cant add another one unless you can prove its significantly better than the others. Then maybe the lowest rated/used app gets booted out.

Just to elaborate on this a bit the intent is to incentivize building better apps and more variety. 5 is just a number pick any higher number but at some point there's a diminishing return on more of the same. especially when every Tom, Disk, and Student publishes their class project and then abandons it never to be updated again.

If you have to build a better app then what's already there to publish an app and continue updating to keep an app in the Store apps will keep improving and you wont have people spamming the Store with crap.

There could be some other ways to get the desired result it seems they could use some suggestions... fire away.
 
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GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
A few words on app stores: My comments earlier were not directed solely at the Windows Store but were general to all the stores. I don't think anyone has a handle on managing their apps or making them sufficiently findable, it's always hit or miss to a complete disaster.

I'm not sure how you browse half a million to millions of apps, I think you don't. Categorization and more categorization plus filtering, filtering, filtering works on most things I want to buy however, most things I buy don't have millions of choices.

I see absolutely no point in mixing games with any other type of app though, that's just stupid. If I'm looking for games I should not get anything that's not-a-game in my search and vice versa; same goes for browsing. The very first choice should be games or not-a-game. Then maybe crap or not crap :) of course one mans crap is another mans treasure... maybe simple (1-5 functions), basic, moderate, advanced, expert levels might help.

Categorization:
If I select a category and you cut off the list at 1000 the category needs subcategories not to mention I might not be shown the app I really wanted if I could only get to it. If there are 25 categories and each is limited to displaying 1000 then can I only find 25,000 apps? What about the other 450,000 or more?

If I search in a category only show results for that category.

You probably don't want more than 3-5 levels of categorization but I could be wrong about that.

Filtering options, give us lots and lots of filtering options including custom filtering and keyword filtering i.e. each filtering choice allows me to define the parameters or a keyword.

There's a lot more: TL;DW (Too Long; Didn't Write).
 
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zhenya

Active Member
I totally agree with the above assessment. On iOS searching the app store has long been pretty mediocre. I can often search for a string that is included in the title of the app and unless I get the entire name exactly right it doesn't show it to me. I've also long hoped for a way to filter out games from my search results!
 

silkrooster

Member
There are a few things keeping me from putting an app in the store.
1) Security Certificate is quite strict
2) My coding skills could use improving

However, I find it easier to learn when I know of a problem that exists and try to solve it. As the store stands now, a lot of the programmers are randomly creating apps that may or may not have a use.
If Microsoft would create an optional survey perhaps if the user could not find the apps by searching then this survey would be used by programmers to create useful apps, based on the number of users requesting some feature. The programmer could then decide if it is a quick coding process to provide it for free or if a lot of time will be required to charge.
Anyway, just a thought.
 

Arizona Willie

Active Member
We desperately need Plan B because so many companies make products that have apps but they refuse to make a Windows app.

An example is an Omron Blood Pressure Monitor.

I have one that will connect via Bluetooth to an Apple or Android phone / tablet app but --- OF COURSE --- will not connect to Windows because they did not make an app for Windows and the have no intention of making one.

Same thing with my bank ... a huge national outfit and they have a pay with your phone app but only Android and Apple --- they will not make a Windows app.

Lots of great new things that can be done with phones / tablets --- but not if you don't buy Apple or Android.
If you have a Windows tablet / phone you are screwed on most of the new great things that can be done.

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More from the source article for those that don't follow links...

Plan A
for getting more apps on Windows, and especially Windows mobile, devices remains moving to the Universal App model, which will enable developers to get closer to Microsoft's long-standing write once/run on any Windows promise.
Earlier this year, rumors began circulating that Microsoft had a Plan B, via which it would enable Android apps to run on its Windows and Windows Phone operating systems. From what sources are saying, this Plan B is still a possibility with Windows 10.

The Android Plan B has merit in moving to Productivity over Platforms and a Universal Operating Environment or Next level Open Systems Platform it is also in line with other moves such as open sourcing .net and building apps for iOS and Android. The Best Platform is the one you can run the most useful apps on.
 

Redguard

New Member
I agree with the OP.

I'm not in any way impressed by the "number" of apps that any mobile store has. But I am interested in seeing that there are a good number of the "right" apps.

It annoys me to no end when articles make reference to the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of apps that exist in either Google Play or Apples App Store. 70% of them are complete nonsense made by a random joe in his basement. ESPECIALLY in Google Play where they seem to allow just about anyone to submit an app. The visuals on some of those apps are absolutely horrendous. And it really offends me when I go in search of an app and see "alternatives" created by individuals who've noticed that the app is missing and try themselves to fill the gap. Fake Twitter and YouTube apps galore.

I made a thread earlier on the fact that OneNote was FINALLY updated to allow users to open password-protected sections. How is it that the Android and iOS versions of OneNote already had this ability before Windows Mobile users did?

There is a lot of work to be done on the App side of Microsoft's strategic direction and they have to hurry up. Apple isn't going to sit back and let Microsoft slap them around in commercials about how great the Surface Pro is in comparison to the MBA or iPad Air. There will be retaliation.

While the specs on the SP3 are great, they can be easily replicated. And if Apple is willing to cannibalize their sales of MacBooks and iPads in an effort to create a "iPad Pro", then it'll be game over for Microsoft and their Surface line. Consumers (who are already Apple worshippers) will now have an alternative with a much more robust eco-system and developers eager to support it.

I'm really trying to cheer for Microsoft here, so I'd like to see them make good on these things so that they can reclaim their market share.
 

zhenya

Active Member
I think you need to give Microsoft credit here, in regards to OneNote anyhow, for the fact that they are finally making a real push to make OneNote truly cross-platform. I had to leave it despite absolutely loving the program years ago because all of my data was siloed in desktop Windows and that was not acceptable to me. Making the program available on every platform means that at times, depending on the current priority of the team, certain things that are important to any given individual will not be addressed in the timeframe they might hope for. Can we really say that adding that feature in Modern OneNote was more important that getting a good product out for iOS, Mac and Android? Especially when it is nearly always run on machines that have regular OneNote as well which can provide the functionality?

Hopefully under the new system all platforms will receive more frequent updates and we will soon begin to see a more consistent feature-set.

I entirely agree about the general state of the Windows App store though. Microsoft needs to put a ton of money into it until it has enough momentum to live on its own and not be an after-thought to most developers.
 

ChrisPanzer

Active Member
To me, it seems as if it's lack of third party dev support. For instance, a seemlingly universal app, Wells Fargo mobile banking app, is NOT available on the Windows store.

It's like, ummmm, ok, if that isn't even available, then other major/popular apps wont be available, so the end-user ends up losing faith in the Windows store.

Get more devs on board, maybe make an easier interactive platform, and that may help.

Also, the Windows store seems garbled, between Xbawx 360 games, PC games, MetroGames, etc etc, things can get messy. Makes me not even wanna go to the WinStore.
 

zhenya

Active Member
I think they are stuck in a cycle where buyers don't spend in any money in the store so developers ignore the platform which leads back to customers not spending any money. This is why Microsoft needs to get involved and put seed money out there for developers to be willing to make apps that people want to buy.
 

silkrooster

Member
I think Microsoft needs to promote the store to more hardware vendors. I believe most of them still think most of the money is still in the IOS and Android markets. Thing is it is the lack of their support is why Microsoft is behind. That's why it is important to get their support.
I have yet to see a single security company, cable company, bank, legal service, government, and so on provide any of their apps in the Microsoft camp. We need to have day to day services listed in the store, then the Microsoft camp can promote how much better their own hardware is.
 

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