Recently, I got a chance to buy a Lumia 920 for a price I couldn’t say no to. Being a Windows Phone fan always, it was my first chance to actually try the OS out for more than just a couple of hours. After using it for a week, I’m finding that the ecosystem is criticized more than it should be (I’ll come up with an article on that later). However, coming from the Android camp (I have an Android phone and a tablet), there are a few things I wish could have been improved with Windows Phone. My list is topped by the Windows Phone Store. And why do I find that Google has a much nicer marketplace to offer? Read out below.
Among the first things I wanted to do on my new phone, was to load it up with apps. Among other apps, I wanted to try out Angry Birds Star Wars II, since I didn’t get the time to play it on Android before. So, I go into the store and type in Star Wars. What I get in the results was kind of disappointing. The top few spots were occupied by apps that have not even been rated on the store. Then there are apps like Cricket WP7 Free, which I doubt have got anything to do with Star Wars or Angry Birds. Now, when I finally find the app I was looking for, it simply reads as Angry Birds. Scrolling down a little, I find another app of the same name with a different logo. Now, I know one of them is the original and the other is the sequel, but which is which cannot be known unless you click on the icon and go through the description. Not very convenient. Here’s the result of the same query on the Play Store.
Moving on, I updated my phone with the Amber update. Now, Glance was something I was looking forward to the most. After I couldn’t find it in the settings of the phone, I looked for a solution online. I found out that the display app has to be updated first. So, I go to the App Store again and type in
Glance “display”. Again a bunch of useless apps and this time I can’t even find what I’m looking for. Tired, I go to the WPCentral page where I read about the app first, scan the QR code and finally am able to download the app. And as for the Glance Background app, here’s what you get when you search for Glance.
That’s just a part of the story. The biggest problem with Windows Phone Store isn’t the lack of apps, but the plethora of useless apps that hide the good ones. One can find dozens of Facebook apps and for a new user, it isn’t that easy to figure out which one is the official one (or the one that has been made by Microsoft in this case). The new+rising section is again occupied by some of the most mundane apps and finding good ones is really like searching for a pin in a haystack.
That’s again not all. Half of the time the updates for my apps which are already available, don’t show up and I have to manually go to the app in the Store and update it from there. Not only that, but unlike the Play Store, there’s no way to see a section where I can see all the apps that I have downloaded, or the ones for which updates are available. I’d deduct another point for the presentation. Let’s admit it, it could have been done much better.
There’s a lot of work that needs to be done with the platform’s app store, and the earlier Microsoft starts working on it, the better. I’m no hardcore Android fan trying to bash everything Windows Phone, but someone hoping that the third ecosystem can really offer a challenge.