The Top 40: 'app gap' status update for Windows 10 for 2017

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It's been a long time since I revisited this topic (16 months)... Just where does Windows 10 Mobile (née Windows Phone) stand in terms of third party applications, compared to the competition? I mean, first party, in-the-box offerings are outstanding, with Outlook, Skype, Maps, Office and much more, but what about the third party 'app gap', as popularly characterised? How bad is it, compared to iOS and Android? I took the current 'Top 40' from the application charts from the latter two platforms, as of January 2017, and tried to find equivalents.

Lumia 950 XL running Perfect Tube

Now, I should perhaps point out that I'm talking about 'applications' here, not 'games'. The latter comprising a pretty large chunk of the top charts on other platforms. Plus, each platform breaks down applications into 'Paid' and 'Free'. So, in a bid to try and stay on-topic, what I've done below is pick the top applications from both paid and free lists, on both Android and iOS, and hopefully you'll recognise just about every entry listed below. But can Windows 10 Mobile's ecosystem provide a match, aided by a few (fully compatible) WP8.1 apps, as appropriate?

For ease of reading, Where there's no match at all, I'll shade the cell in red, where there are 100% viable alternatives, I'll shade in a less obvious orange(!):

# Application (iOS/Android combined) Description Present or equivalent?
1 Bitmoji Tool for creating emojis Quite a few alternatives in the Store, but I doubt anyone reading this on AAWP has any interest whatsoever in them!
2 Who Stalks For My Instagram Works out who's been interacting with you most For uber-narcissists? Nothing similar on W10M, but again, is this really needed? Really?
3 Whatsapp Messenger The famous IM client Available and working well (last featured here)
4 Instagram  Social photo sharing  Available and working well in UWP form (last featured here)
5 Snapchat Media-centric IM  Not available under any name or version
6 Facebook Messenger  IM and sharing based on FB account Available and working well* in UWP form (last featured here)
*it's a bit of a clunky beast in terms of speed and resources 
7 House Party Instant group video chat The same functionality is available in the Skype UWP app, though you have to explicitly make a group call etc.
8 YouTube Video streaming Ahem. Nothing first party, other than a web wrapper on the (admittedly excellent YouTube mobile web site. Still, there are at least four top quality third party YouTube clients. Perfect Tube is my favourite.
9 Facebook Social network Available in UWP form, though on the large size in terms of bytes. Last covered here. See also SlimSocial, far faster.
10 Spotify Music  Streaming music Available and working well, albeit a Silverlight (WP 8.1) applicaton. No sign of an official UWP app yet? There's the third party Spoticast UWP, mind you.
11 Google Maps Maps and more Microsoft Maps for Windows 10 does a similar job, with arguably better offline capabilities but worse live traffic routing
12 Shpock boot sale  Car booting aid Not available, I'd never heard of this before, mind you!
13 Wish Online shopping Available in the Store.
14 Amazon (Shopping) Online shopping
Available in the Store as a UWP, but it's really just a web wrapper. It works, but not as elegant as a full native experience.
15 Netflix Movie streaming Available and working well, though still in WP8.1 form. 
16 Pinterest  Social 'stuff'  Nothing official, but there are several decent third party clients, including
17 Twitter  Social Available and working well in full UWP form, including a dark theme, which it acquired long before the iOS/Android official clients
18 Uber Taxi-hailing A UWP app for phones is in the works, I believe - meanwhile it only exists for the PC. Though the old 8.1 Uber application still works just fine.
19 Google Search/Now  Search  Cortana is the direct rival, of course, and arguably does just as good a job.
20 SoundCloud Music and podcasts Nothing official, but the API is so good that there are a dozen third party clients, including AudioCloud UWP.
21 Tinder  Dating Nothing official, but there are several decent third party clients, including 6tin and Timber.
22 BBC iPlayer  Video streaming  Available and works well, though without the ability to download for temporary offline watching. There's probably a DRM-related reason behind this....
23 ITV Hub  Video streaming Available and working well
24 eBay  Shopping Nothing for W10M, not even the old 8.1 app - so you have to use the (admittedly good) mobile web instead.
25 Outlook Email Built into Windows 10 Mobile, of course
26 Gumtree Shopping Nothing available officially, though the mobile web site works really well, so....
27 Super-Bright LED Torch Utility LED torch is built into the drop-down Action Center in Windows 10 Mobile 
28 Skype VoIP and more Built into Windows 10 Mobile in UWP form, as seamless as SMS, in theory
29 Fitbit Fitness utility with accessory Available in full UWP form, last covered here.
30 Google Photos Online photo backup  Microsoft Photos does the same job in this ecosystem, of course. Annoyingly, you can't get to Google's version even via the Web though
31 Hotels Hotel booking Nothing, you have to use the mobile web experience. The Expedia UWP app (last covered here) does much the same job though, in fairness.
32 Z Camera Camera alternative, with effects Windows 10 Camera is still the best in terms of quality, though a hundred alternatives with effects are in the Store.
33 Video social There's just a fake app of the same name in the Store (avoid!)
34 Shazam Music recognition  Available and working well, plus Cortana does much the same job as well
35 Deezer Music  Music streaming Available and working well in UWP form. Last covered here.
36 Dropbox Online storage  Available and working well in UWP form. Last covered here.
37 Flightradar24- Flight Tracker Flight scanning  No longer available. Have to use the good (but not perfect) web site. 
38 Microsoft Word Word processing Built into Windows 10 Mobile, obviously(!)
39 Viber Calling, VoIP Available and working well in UWP form.
40 The Official DVSA Theory Test Kit Driving education Various alternatives, but nothing official, and all a little out of date.

A slightly patchy, but not disastrous, report card for a platform widely perceived to have a yawning 'app gap', though I'd add three huge caveats:

  • Where there's not an obvious official application for a service, some of the third party replacements are downright opportunistic, merely existing to scoop up search results and serve ads or worse. Again, there's a lot more that Microsoft Store QA (if, indeed, they employ anybody - I do wonder sometimes!) could do here.
  • Although in many cases the third party replacements are very good (e.g. Perfect Tube for YouTube, 6tin for Tinder), their naming is not obvious. While the Store application correctly throws them up as valid search results for the original service or site, user confidence isn't going to be very high in terms of them having found what they're looking for....
  • A cursory look at 'top 40' applications, as here, completely misses a bigger failing for a minority platform like Windows 10 Mobile, i.e. that there's a 'long tail' of lesser used but critical applications that are missing altogether. Archetypal here are banking and store apps, though there are also niche utilities and corporate/database stuff - and it might only take one "Oh, Windows 10 doesn't have that!" moment to dismiss the entire platform.

We're still living with a platform that can suit millions of users then, but a lot depends on what someone needs a Windows 10 Mobile device for. I could personally live with Windows 10 as my only platform, with only a couple of small niggles, and we know from recent podcasts that there are others who are 'all in', but there's so much good hardware on iOS and Android now, along with an even fuller spread of software, that you really have to want to exist in an all-Microsoft ecosystem (W10M, Surface, etc.)

Comments welcome!