Good hardware only goes so far when its app ecosystem is deficient: that's the common argument...

Good hardware only goes so far when its app ecosystem is deficient: that's the common argument found in The Verge's reviews of Nokia's (NOK) flagship Lumia 920 and Google/Samsung's Nexus 10 tablet. The 920's display, design, and (with some qualifications) camera get high marks, and so do the 10's display (considered on par with the iPad), performance, and battery life. But with Windows Phone and (as far as tablets go) Android still badly trailing the competition in terms of app support, neither product gets a resounding endorsement. (WP8 review) (app efforts: I, II)

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Comments (24)
  • pagreen1966
    , contributor
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    Good point. So many reviews concentrate on hardware and completely ignore Apple's main competitive advantage: the ecosystem.
    2 Nov 2012, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • Dantes_Will
    , contributor
    Comments (410) | Send Message
    Actually, this is not a good point. Judging an OS by the number of apps is entirely an exorcise for the uninformed.


    Are you really proud that your "ecosystem" has 20,000 apps that do nothing but make fart noises, or show a 30 second cartoon?


    Even by Apples admission, something like 150,000 apps are never even downloaded once. Meanwhile, the important apps that are most used by far (maps and navigation) are subpar compared to the competition.
    2 Nov 2012, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • 215304
    , contributor
    Comments (689) | Send Message
    The IOS apps work on all models of the iPhone. Many Android apps only work with certain Android OSs. A friend of mine bought a Samsung Galaxy SIII for his wife shortly after the iPhone 5 came out. After a weekend of frustration with the apps, some of which wouldn't work, trying to sync it with iTunes, and other aggravations he took the phone back to AT&T and ordered an iPhone 5 which he received a couple of weeks later. He said the difference in setting up the iPhone 5 was like night and day. And he is a techie who has volunteered as a system administrator at a charity working on their Microsoft network. The quality of the Galaxy phone was fine, the user experience was a disaster. One of the reasons was the apps.
    2 Nov 2012, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • Financehulligan
    , contributor
    Comments (1056) | Send Message
    Do you mean the 2/3 of the Apple apps that never have been downloaded?



    I would say that the Apple eco system has turned against themselfes. That goes for the old OS also, nothing new have happend for 5 years. It´s like the time have stopped at Apple office.


    People has abandon Apple to android smartphones, and now they get another alternative also with killinghardware and the world modern OS.


    Will Apple survive more then 3 years from now? Looks like Motorola. Once in a time we had flip flops phones.... tick tack... tick.. tack... Apple godnight.
    2 Nov 2012, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • ericmeister
    , contributor
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    Sync an Android phone into iTunes? Why? Maybe it would have worked better if he used native Android apps, not Apple apps. Did your friend then try to sync iPhone 5 to Google Play Music?


    Setting up phone is a usability issue, not an app issue. Both iOS and WP8 have high usability while Android is a phone for endless configurations and customization (which nerds like)
    3 Nov 2012, 05:54 AM Reply Like
  • Rbongni
    , contributor
    Comments (34) | Send Message
    Good point, but in my experience of having both an Android and an iPhone, if an app is available on both platforms then the app is likely (far) superior on the iPhone (Yelp, Bloomberg, Lync, Facebook to name a few examples). The Android platform is too fragment so it makes it hard for developers to deliver a consistent user experience that is enjoyable.
    5 Nov 2012, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • tock172
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
    We saw this at the latest AAPL announcement, android tablets use scaled up phone apps. Who wants that?
    2 Nov 2012, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • ericmeister
    , contributor
    Comments (350) | Send Message
    Can you list 20 software you cannot live without in your daily life? Can they be found on Windows ecosystem? Yes they can.


    Can you name one app from Windows ecosystem which is not found on iPhone you absolutely cannot live without in your daily life? Easy: MAPS (2D/3D, navigation, public traffic, augmented reality).


    I have to ask a question: If there is an app in iOS which is totally useless, how many useless apps there are done by 3rd party?


    Anyway, what's the point of this conversation? With HTML5, you don't need even calculate the amount of apps, since they all are cross-platform compatible. Most apps are limited in functionality compared to websites anyway.
    2 Nov 2012, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • Imperial_Dynamics
    , contributor
    Comments (50) | Send Message
    Microsoft has promised that 46 out of 50 top apps on other platforms are on their way to the Windows Phone store. That's what matters. I don't care about thousands of crappy ifart apps
    2 Nov 2012, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (2584) | Send Message
    ^ definitely agree with eric and imperial. How many calorie counters, one-use games, and babe-o-the-day wallpapers does one need?


    When I first got a smartphone, sure I played around with a large number of apps. As time as gone on, I only use a handful on a regular basis.
    2 Nov 2012, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • Mondego
    , contributor
    Comments (421) | Send Message
    I completely disagree with the comment about inferior app ecosystem on Android. I have yet to find a single app that's exclusive to Apple's app store that I actually want. Everything that matters [to me] is found on both. This include banking apps, Netflix, Facebook, some pretty cool Gameloft games and so forth. The only game that I wouldn't mind having that's exclusive to iPhone/ios is Activision's CoD Nazi Zombies, but oh well. Not worth owning an iPhone for. However, I agree that MS' ecosystem is deficient...for the time being. For me, it's a big deal to be able to take my battery out of my phone and upgrade the memory. This is made possible by a non-fascist manufacturer known as Samsung. "...What do you mean Doc, all the best stuff is made in Japan" -Marty McFly
    P.S. I'm not an Apple hater, I just like Android better. I would switch to Apple in a heartbeat if I could upgrade the memory in their phones instead of hacking up an extra 100-200 dollars to move to the next tier. Then again, I might think twice. It's nice using my phone as a secondary hard-drive sometimes. It's literally that easy to put movies and music on my phone.


    I am Long: Galaxy S II
    2 Nov 2012, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • ericmeister
    , contributor
    Comments (350) | Send Message


    Nokia Lumia 820 has removable battery and external SD slot. And it's a couple of galaxies ahead of SGS2 anyway, and maybe one galaxy ahead of SGS3. I really doubt it's easier to listen to music on SGS2 than Lumia 820. Let's also not forget Lumia 820 is using signal processing by the one and only: Dolby.



    ps. Samsung is a South-Korean company, not Japanese
    2 Nov 2012, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Mondego
    , contributor
    Comments (421) | Send Message
    "ps. Samsung is a South-Korean company, not Japanese"
    Ohhh, yeah it is! Oops.


    Wasn't comparing my GS2 to Lumia. Being a Zune owner this is the only reason I'd consider switching from Android. It's pretty easy to listen to music on my GS2 though. I usually start by inserting the headphone connector into the headphone jack and pressing play. Moving music isn't quite as stream-lined as using my Zune/software however. ;)
    2 Nov 2012, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • lockman
    , contributor
    Comments (292) | Send Message
    That Galaxy II is/was great phone. I am thinking of putting mine back into service even with a cracked screen.
    2 Nov 2012, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • jns185
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
    apps are overrated.
    2 Nov 2012, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • sreimer77
    , contributor
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    agreed. Most companies have developed two versions of their web-sites, one for mobile and the other for PC. When using my Playbook, I always go to the traditional web-site as the Mobile lacks a lot of the content. However, Mobile versions still have superior content then an APP. CNBC app is good for looking at stock prices. The mobil version of their website has greater resources and access to articles. However, neither of these compare to
    5 Nov 2012, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • nazhaz77
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    20% of use full apps is better than 60% of nonsense apps
    When it comes to apps, it quality that counts, not quantity.
    2 Nov 2012, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • css1971
    , contributor
    Comments (871) | Send Message
    Apple apps have long passed the point where the increasing number simply makes it more difficult to find useful ones. Is it easier to find the one good app in 100 crap ones or 1 good app in 750,000 crap ones. The numbers make life harder not easier. Apple are going to need Google's search to find the good apps.


    It's the TV effect. The more channels the crapper they get.
    2 Nov 2012, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • Well I'll be Dan
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
    If The Verge checked to see the apps people actually have on their iOS and Android phones and compare those to what's available for Windows Phone I bet that almost all of them will be there. Of the top 50 iOS and Android apps, WP8 already has 46. It doesn't matter if the iOS and Android app count gets to 2 million; most people are only going to have 20 to 40 apps on their phone. Granted, there are some obscure apps that a few people will want to have but for the mainstream users the ecosystem is hardly "deficient." IMHO
    2 Nov 2012, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • tomybhoy
    , contributor
    Comments (128) | Send Message
    Apple dropping with Nokia rising must be frightening some people, there isnt room for apple to multiply by 10 in stock price while Nokia would have to go up by 15 to get back to its former glory, have people finally realised that at this price Apple isnt going to be their 5 or 10 bagger?
    2 Nov 2012, 07:03 PM Reply Like
  • Mortonk
    , contributor
    Comments (176) | Send Message
    How many people were using apps on phones before the IPhone was launched.....? It's about innovation not copy...vation....!
    3 Nov 2012, 06:30 AM Reply Like
  • ericmeister
    , contributor
    Comments (350) | Send Message


    Please don't tell Apple never copies anything, just look at the amount of lawsuits in ongoing smartphone wars.



    Just look at the amount of innovation on iPhone 5. There is practically none. Just copied ideas from others. So tell them to stop the "copyvation" and start spending money on R&D. Apple's R&D budget was only $3 billion for the last 12 months, while Microsoft and Nokia spend together over $16 billion.



    Of course you can see the innovation results in Lumia 920, people are finally waking up from the bad Apple dream and start choosing the most advanced phone on the market


    Indpendent UK ranks Lumia 920 as #1 from all available smartphones
    Europe is in love with Lumia 920 (tops preorder charts in UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Finland etc)
    5 Nov 2012, 04:55 AM Reply Like
  • gharf123
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    An mobile ecosystem is so much more than just Apps. Accessories are a big thing. How many covers can you find for your phone? How many gadgets fit neatly with your phone (headsets, speakers, cars ;-))? How does it connect to your desktop PC/laptop/tablet? Etc.


    In all this, Apple is king. Android seems fragmented and WP is just starting, but at least knows that ecosystem is so much more than apps Noticed how MS has demanded manufacturers to put the USB connector on the bottom in the middle on all new phones?
    5 Nov 2012, 03:01 AM Reply Like
  • ericmeister
    , contributor
    Comments (350) | Send Message


    "An mobile ecosystem is so much more than just Apps. Accessories are a big thing...How many gadgets fit neatly with your phone...In all this, Apple is king."


    Well not so much any more, after replacing the dock connector. And without inconvenient adapter all your gadgets you have bought earlier become useless. Also, longphone does not fit to earlier covers etc. So, you might want to spend another few hunded bucks to new gadgets or simply switch to Lumia.


    Since you are talking about connecting, how many times have you bought a new usb-connector to iPhone? Mine broke down already within a year, so did my friend's. This actually tells just about Apple's bad quality control but anyway with Lumia, you can't have similar problems, just put your phone to top of charger without cables to make it charge



    And again about connecting to devices, wouldn't it be easier to have streaming support to all devices (WP8, Android, iOS) via "Xbox SmartGlass", and not only to iOS via "Apple TV"? Feels like deja-vu, when Microsoft wanted a mouse support to all hardware manufacturers, but Apple designed it only for themselves (wrong move!).



    Oh, and since you were talking about cars, Nokia Maps automotive presence is more than 80 percent of in-dash navigation modules and after-market devices. What's the number for iOS6 Maps?

    5 Nov 2012, 04:42 AM Reply Like
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