Top 100 Apps Availability on iOS, Android, Windows Phone & Windows 8

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I don’t want to use a Windows Phone because it doesn’t have enough apps.

I’m so tired of hearing this.

Windows Phone now has over 160,000 apps in its App Store, which may sound low compared to the 1+ million Android apps in the Google Play Store and the 900,000+ iOS apps in the Apple App Store. It’s still better than the 100,000 apps in the Windows Store. Still, think of that number… 160,000! That’s a lot of apps. How many would you install on your phone? A study revealed that over two-thirds of iOS apps are never downloaded. Additionally, while Android beats iOS by 10% in app downloads, iOS beats Android by 2.3 times more revenue, you start to realize:

It’s not the number of apps that matters, it’s having the *right* apps.

What are the right apps? I decided to catalog the top 100 popular apps on iOS (excluding games), and compare that list to Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8 to see how each store fared in terms of app availability. I’m using iOS as the benchmark because, well, it is. Apple was first in the “modern app store era” and I could not really find any *must have* mainstream app on Android that iOS doesn’t have. I’m also looking at popular mainstream apps, not “Flavor of the Month” apps. I did a similar exercise last year in a blog post titled “Top 10 iOS apps missing on Windows Phone”, but this time I wanted to cast a wider net across all four major platforms, and looking at a longer list of apps.

It can be argued that my list is subjective, that some apps are missing, and others don’t deserve to be there. Your comments are welcome. Still, this should give you a good benchmark if you’re considering Microsoft’s mobile platforms. I also plan on updating this list over time as new official apps are released, so make sure to bookmark this page.

Without further ado, here is THE list… last updated on 8/8/2013.

The List – Top 100 Mobile Apps

Apps / Platforms

iOS

Android

Windows Phone

Windows 8

ABC News

yes

phone only*

yes

yes

ABC Player / Watch ABC

yes

yes

no

yes

Accuweather

yes

yes

yes

yes

Adobe Reader

yes

yes

yes

yes

Allrecipes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Amazon Mobile

yes

yes

yes

yes

Amazon Instant Video

yes

no

no

no

Associated Press

yes

yes

yes

yes

Audible

yes

yes

yes

yes

Bank of America

yes

yes

yes

yes

BBC News

yes

yes

no

no

Bing

yes

phone only*

built-in

yes

Bloomberg

yes

yes

yes

no

Box.com

yes

yes

yes

yes

Chase Mobile

yes

yes

yes

no

Citibank

yes

yes

no

no

CBS Interactive Player

yes

no

no

yes

CBS News

yes

yes

no

no

CNBC Real-Time

yes

yes

no

no

CNN

yes

yes

yes

yes

ComiXology

yes

yes

no

yes

DC Comics

yes

yes

no, dead

no

Dropbox

yes

yes

no

yes

E*trade

yes

yes

yes

no

eBay

yes

yes

yes

yes

Engadget

yes

yes

yes

yes

ESPN / Scorecenter

yes

yes

yes

yes

Evernote

yes

yes

yes

yes

Expedia

yes

yes

no

yes

Facebook

yes

yes

yes

no

Flipboard

yes

yes

no

no

Flixter

yes

yes

yes

yes

Foursquare

yes

yes

yes

no

FOX Business

yes

yes

no

yes

FOX News

yes

yes

yes

yes

Good Morning America

iPhone app*

yes

no

no

Google

yes

built-in

yes

yes

Google Maps

yes

yes

no

no

Google+

yes

yes

no

no

Groupon

yes

yes

yes

no

HBO GO

yes

yes

no

no

Hotels.com

yes

yes

yes

yes

Hulu Plus

yes

yes

yes

yes

IMDb

yes

yes

yes

no

Indeed.com Job Search

yes

yes

yes

no

Instagram

iPhone app*

yes

no

no

Instapaper

yes

yes

no

no

Kindle

yes

yes

yes

yes

Kobo Books

yes

yes

no

yes

LinkedIn

yes

yes

yes

no

Marvel Comics

yes

yes

no

no

Mashable

yes

yes

no

no

Microsoft OneNote

yes

yes

yes

yes

Mint.com

yes

yes

no

no

MLB.com At Bat

yes

yes

yes

no

NBC Player

yes

no

no

no

NBC News

yes

yes

yes

yes

Netflix

yes

yes

yes

yes

New York Times

yes

yes

yes

yes

Nook

yes

yes

no

yes

OpenTable

yes

yes

yes

yes

Pandora

yes

yes

yes

no

Paypal

yes

yes

yes

no

PGA Tour

yes

yes

yes

no

Photoshop Express

yes

yes

no

yes

Pinterest

yes

yes

no

no

PNC Bank

yes

yes

no

no

Readability

yes

yes

no

no

SharePlus

yes

yes

built-in

built-in

Shazam

yes

yes

yes

yes

SkyDrive

yes

yes

yes

yes

Skype

yes

yes

yes

yes

Spotify

yes

yes

yes

no

TBS Player

yes

yes

no

yes

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

yes

yes

yes, but paid!

yes

The Weather Channel

yes

yes

yes

yes

Today Show

yes

no

yes

no

TripAdvisor

yes

yes

yes

no

Trulia

yes

yes

no

yes

Tumblr

yes

yes

yes

yes

TuneIn Radio

yes

yes

yes

yes

Twitter

yes

yes

yes

yes

Urbanspoon

yes

yes

yes

yes

USA Today

yes

yes

yes

yes

Vimeo

yes

yes

yes

yes

Vine

yes

yes

no

no

Wall Street Journal

yes

yes

yes

yes

Watch ESPN

yes

yes

no

no

Weatherbug

yes

yes

yes

yes

WebMD

yes

yes

no

no

Wells Fargo

yes

yes

yes

no

WhatsApp

iPhone only*

phone only*

yes

no

Wikipedia

yes

yes

yes**

yes

Yahoo Messenger

yes

yes

no

no

Yahoo Weather

iPhone app*

yes

no

no

Yammer

yes

yes

yes

yes

Yelp

yes

yes

yes

no

YouTube

yes

yes

yes*

no

Zillow

yes

yes

yes

no

Zinio

yes

yes

yes

yes

 

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Some Notes About The List

I use the term “Windows 8” loosely for “Windows Store Apps” (aka Metro apps, or Modern apps, or Microsoft Design Style apps) running on Windows 8 or Windows RT. I am of course excluding Windows Desktop apps.

I’m treating Windows Phone and Windows Store as separate platforms because they each have their own stores, and frankly, they are not really compatible yet, unlike iOS and Android which use a common store for phones and tablets. As for BlackBerry, well, I’m sorry but I don’t consider them in the running anymore. The BlackBerry market share tanked below 1%, I don’t have any BlackBerry 10 device to test any of this, and BlackBerry is simply not in the tablet space anymore.

I am reporting OFFICIAL APPS ONLY. Yes, there are a LOT of equivalent apps, mobile web alternatives, RSS knockoffs, third-party apps and such to fill the gap on Windows Phone & Windows 8, but I want to properly portray the state of official apps in this post. (**) I did make an exception for the Wikipedia app by Rudy Huyn considering the awards it won and that it was sponsored by the Wikimedia Foundation.

I am using the latest versions of the operating system on each platform: iOS 6.x, Android Jelly Bean (4.2 / 4.3), Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.

I am using the US app stores for each platform. It's too hard for me to evaluate if any of those apps are available in non-US stores. The app list is also US centric, somewhat. I know that Netflix and HBO GO are mostly a US thing. Most of the News, Banks and TV network apps listed here are also specific to the US. Feel free to comment below if you feel some mainstream apps are missing, or if a US app above is not available in some countries.

I'm not evaluating the quality or feature parity of apps across platform. The quality and functionality of most apps varies wildly across platforms. For example, the CNN app doesn't stream Live TV on Windows Phone or Windows 8, and on some Android devices.

(*) Android is a weird animal to evaluate due to the sheer number of devices, and not all apps run on all Android devices. For example, the HBO GO app works on my older Asus Transformer TF101 tablet and my newer NVIDIA Shield portable Android handheld, but not on the latest Google Nexus 7 tablet. I've done my best given the few Android devices I own, in addition to input I got from other Android users here at Infragistics. Partial compatibility is marked with an asterisk (*). The Google Play Store does a great job of telling you if an app is compatible with any of your Android devices.

(*) “Phone only” indicates an app that only runs on phones, and won't run at all on tablets. “iPhone only” indicates an app that is designed for iPhones but will also run on iPads in 2x (aka blown-up) mode.

Email apps (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc.) were excluded since all devices have native email clients that can sync with these services. Native music services (iTunes, Xbox Music, Google Play Music) and their video counterparts were also excluded since each platform has its own built-in, and they don’t play well with others.

Analyzing the Results

How did Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8 fare compared to iOS?

Drumroll please…

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Android is sitting pretty at 96%, although it makes you wonder why it can’t hit 100% when it has 1,000,000+ apps (100K more than iOS) and the leading market share. Let’s look at Windows Phone and Windows 8 more closely.

Why is the Windows Phone Store Missing Apps?

First, I must say that with 64% of the top mainstream iOS apps being available on Windows Phone is not bad at all considering the global market share still hovers around 4 to 6%. Android had to reach a MUCH higher market share before official brands started developing for the platform.

It should also be said that Microsoft and Nokia are both lobbying app developers a LOT (i.e. throwing money at them) to bring their apps to Windows Phone. It was reported that Nokia is not very happy about the current state of things on Windows Phone, but we’re assured that by the end of the year most of the missing apps will be there. Looking at my Top 10 missing iOS apps blog post from last year, seven of those apps are now available on Windows Phone, and it’s been confirmed that Flipboard is coming on both Windows Phone and Windows 8 too.

So why is Windows Phone still missing so many key apps? Which apps are those?

News Outlets

Many news outlets still snub Windows Phone, such as BBC, CBS, CNBC, FOX Business and Mashable. The BBC has their iPlayer app available on Windows Phone in the UK, but yet no BBC News app. Strange. Mashable tells you which Windows Phone apps you need, but won’t bother building their own.

I’m speculating here but it’s no secret that journalists are HUGE Apple fans. They all use iPhones and Macs after all, and hating on Microsoft is the cool thing to do when you’re in the media. The sentiment internally is probably that Windows device support is a waste of time, and Android support is a necessary evil. It’s no great loss though since many other serious news apps ARE available from ABC, AP, Bloomberg, CNN, Engadget, ESPN, FOX, NBC, NY Times and WSJ. (Update 8/8/2013 MLB.com At Bat shipped today on Windows Phone)

Google Apps

Google owns several of those key apps (Google search, Maps, Google+, YouTube) and still doesn’t want to build apps for any Windows device until there are more users on those platforms.

Microsoft had to build their own YouTube app to pressure Google into a collaboration. Sadly, the awesome Microsoft app is no longer available and the current “official” app is merely a web url redirect to YouTube Mobile, as it was originally. The new YouTube app was supposed to ship “in the coming weeks”, but we are still waiting. In the meantime, MetroTube is probably the best YouTube replacement app on Windows Phone.

US Banks

There is sadly a poor representation from US Bank apps on Windows Phone, such as Citibank, PNC, and USAA. I only included the top 5 US banks in this list. Banks are conservative in nature and it took them a while to support mobile devices. They probably feel that their mobile web portals are enough for Windows Phone users in the meantime.

  • Sample of US Banks apps on Windows Phone: Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Paypal, e*Trade (update 8/8/13 Wells Fargo shipped yesterday)
  • Sample of US Banks not on Windows Phone: Capital One, Citibank, PNC, TD, US Bank (but they have a VISA card app), USAA
  • Other non-US banks apps on Windows Phone: State Bank of India, HDFC, BBVA, Banco de Brasil, Bankieren (ING), ING Bank of Canada, and others.

Many banks only publish in their own country’s app store. Many banking apps might not be visible to me in the US.

Streaming Video Apps

Few TV network apps support streaming on Windows Phone, such as ABC, CBS, ESPN, NBC, HBO, TBS, Daily Show. There must be a technical hurdle here that most don’t want to deal with (yet). Netflix and Windows Phone share a Silverlight heritage, which probably helped that integration. In fact, Windows Phone was the very first platform for which Netflix announced support, though it shipped on iOS first. It’s pretty cool that the TODAY Show recently shipped on Windows Phone even though it’s still not available on Android.

Amazon Instant Video is only available on iOS, which is ironic. Amazon’s Kindle Fire platform is based on Android and yet you can’t watch Amazon Instant Videos on any Android phone or tablet, Kindle or not.

(Update 8/7/13) It turns out the Daily Show (with Jon Stewart) official app is there, but for some weird reason, it’s a paid app on Windows Phone, whereas it’s free on all other platforms. Quite disappointing, Viacom! (thanks @mikebaz)

eBooks

There are no Kobo or Nook reader apps, but frankly, who cares? We have Amazon Kindle. Given the recent partnership between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft, I’m surprised there is no Nook app on Windows Phone yet. There is one on Windows 8 after all. Samsung made a Kobo reader exclusive app for their phones, but there’s still no word on an official Kobo app for Windows Phone 8.

The only official Comic Book app on Windows Phone for now is from DC Comics. Hopefully this will eventually put pressure on others to ship theirs, such as Marvel, Dark Horse and others. I’d love the ComiXology app too. I’m not sure why it’s not there yet. Some equivalents are available.

(Update 8/7/13) I was informed by @mikebaz that the DC Comics app is essentially dead and was pulled from the Store. I still had it on my phone and sure enough, I can start the app but no content is pulled. I can successfully sign in, but none of my comics are seen, the store says “no data available”, and the app is basically dead. Ouch. I’ve updated the table to reflect this.

And the Rest…

In the end, we’re left with a few key apps that are missing either because some of these developers (reportedly) love sticking it to Microsoft, or they just don’t feel the platform is important enough. This includes Instagram, Pinterest, Instapaper, Readability, Trulia, WebMD, and various Yahoo apps.

It should be noted that the following apps have been confirmed as coming to Windows Phone 8 soon (and some to Windows 8 too):

 

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Why is the Windows Store Missing Apps?

I don’t know about you, but for a new platform that is less than a year old, having 100,000 apps – including 54% of the top 100 apps – is not bad at all. Windows is a powerful brand that 100’s of millions of users use daily, and every day there are new apps – official and indie – being added.

Many of the apps missing on Windows Phone are also missing on Windows 8 for the same reasons as above. Windows 8 is doing better in terms of streaming video apps for some reason, with many apps that are actually not available on Windows Phone, such as streaming apps from ABC, CBS, TBS, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. My guess is this is where Microsoft’s WinJS strategy is paying off. Many of those apps are probably leveraging some of their Web Player technical assets within HTML & JavaScript Windows Store apps.

Looking at the list of apps that ARE on Windows 8 but not on Windows Phone also gives me hope. This tells me that these developers / brands are open to the idea of supporting Microsoft’s mobile platforms but they might not have gotten to it yet. Windows 8 apps not on Windows Phone include:

  • ABC Player
  • CBS Interactive Player
  • ComiXology
  • Dropbox
  • Expedia
  • FOX Business
  • Kobo Books
  • Nook
  • Photoshop Express
  • TBS Player
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  • Trulia

 

It would be logical to assume that these apps are coming to Windows Phone in the coming year. Add those apps  to the announced Flipboard, Vine, and Mint.com and you end up with at least 79 of top 100 apps on Windows Phone.

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Discuss!

The list above only looks at official apps, but any user considering another platform should look for themselves to see if the platform has the apps they want. Remember that with over 165,000 apps on Windows Phone, there are many equivalent apps as well. Banks have mobile web sites. Instagram users can use Instance, Hipstamatic Oggl or the upcoming 6tagram. Stacks is a great Instapaper equivalent (if you have a paid subscription). Explore the store and know that equivalents exist, and many of those apps will eventually come if we are to believe Nokia and Microsoft.

I created this list because I wanted to inform mobile users and start a dialogue. Let’s stop talking about the number of apps and let’s focus on having the right apps, the right features, and the right level of quality in those apps. Use the comment section below to share your own “must have apps”. I’ll probably add a second table for “Community Input” based on your feedback.

You can also contact me on Twitter at @ActiveNick.

Update History

  • August 6, 2013 – Original post.
  • August 7, 2013 – Updated to remove the DC Comics app from Windows Phone since it’s dead, and add the Daily SHow (with Jon Stewart) app, even though it’s a paid app. The chart numbers remain the same.
  • August 8, 2013 – Added Wells Fargo & MLB.com At Bat which released on Windows Phone in the last 24h, but removed Dropbox since that was an error on my part. Added Bing to Android, but it’s phone-only. I also added comments about the YouTube app since the new one by Microsoft was pulled because of Google, and the old “web redirect” app was re-published. Updated the chart numbers for Android at 96%, and Windows Phone at 64%. I also added color coding to the tablet to make it easier to see non-available apps.

 

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Comments  (16 )

Brian Noyes
on Thu, Aug 8 2013 4:37 PM

Here are a few missing from your list that are big blockers for me from dropping my iOS devices in favor of my Surface or for getting a Windows Phone:

GMail

Words with Friends

Xfinity Play / Connect

TripIt

But overall, great analysis and list.

Craig Snively
on Fri, Aug 9 2013 9:05 AM

I would like the NFL Gamepass, since I live outside of the US.

Joel Rollins
on Fri, Aug 9 2013 9:57 AM

@Brian  TripIt is on Windows Phone.  Has been since WP7 actually.

Gary Ewan Park
on Mon, Aug 12 2013 9:23 AM

Thanks for the great write up.  It is really helpful to see this laid out like this!

@Brian and @Joel,

In addition, Words with Friends has been available on Windows Phone for some time now.  Also, when you say GMail, what exactly are you referring to?  I have my GMail account added to the native Accounts section within my Windows Phone, and I can send and receive email quite happily.

Gary

Kevin Nasello
on Mon, Aug 12 2013 11:18 AM

I think you should have an asterisk for Windows 8 video/audio streaming sites that work on IE - for instance, I have Spotify, Pandora sites pinned to my start screen, they work flawlessly, same for video streaming, ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO, Showtime, Watch ESPN, PGA, etc - pretty much every live video site that i have tried works on Surface RT. Having full IE11 plus flash support really helps the Surface RT stand out when comparing to Android and Ipad tablets.  Since I got my Surface RT, the only reason i ever pick up my Ipad is to play a game.  Even the built in "Mail" app is better than the native GMAIL app on my android phone / ipad, and having Outlook on the desktop is just a bonus when i get the mouse out for some serious production.

Stefan Zutt
on Wed, Aug 14 2013 7:12 PM

Wow, I have just randomly picked 5 of the "no" entries, and could find and download apps for each one. The list needs an urgent update.

Nick Landry
on Wed, Aug 14 2013 9:13 PM

Hi Stefan,

Which 5 apps are you referring to? If there are *official* apps that I missed, please let me know and post a link. I'll update my list. However, make sure these are not unofficial third-party apps. There are tons of those and I clearly stated in my post that I'm only counting official apps.

Sienna Amelia
on Thu, Aug 15 2013 9:34 AM

I truly like the way of presentation here and I found these are the best apps to have in any on theirs own smartphones of choices and as I found that iPhone are the best choice to have that it has many useful apps to get downloaded. Its true that windows has limited apps but sooner they would reach with good numbers as the cross platform development has increased.

Mat Newport
on Thu, Aug 15 2013 1:40 PM

This list is terrible. At a glance you've got ESPN, Foursquare, Groupon, Pandora, Youtube... all listed as no for Windows Phone... There are definitely official apps for those. Facebook could be argued too. Technically it's made by msft, but I'm not sure I'd call them a "3rd party". I can probably find some more...

Nick Landry
on Thu, Aug 15 2013 2:20 PM

Mat, what column are you looking at? All these apps are listed as "YES" for Windows Phone, but "NO" for Windows 8. Read my article. The Windows 8 column refers to Windows Store apps on Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets, desktops & laptops, NOT Windows Phone 8. All versions of Windows Phone (7.x & 8.0) are under the Windows Phone column.

Imants Ozolins
on Fri, Sep 6 2013 3:13 AM

IMDb exists on Windows8 as well as Google Maps, App called gmaps.

But still it's cleverer to buy Android or iOS based phones or tablets for now.

If you have i3/i5 processor based tablet then of course Windows 8 full version wins because of vast amount desktop programs that can be used on it.

Tulai Paul
on Thu, Sep 12 2013 7:31 AM

Truly cross-platform mobile apps have become the need of the hours. It is not worthy to discuss, whether gmail or rediff mail is not working in any os. Rather, we should look at it from the holistic point of view. Even the Ad network companies like appnext or admob have been constantly striving to reach at the highest level of platform independent mobile apps. The acquisition of Nokia by MS has further fueled the demand as now windows is also expected to meet the high demands of the users along with iOS or Android

Wiggins John
on Mon, Nov 11 2013 1:11 AM
Silvester Miller
on Tue, Jan 21 2014 4:18 AM

Android apps are so cool there were any app of windows and iOS.

<a href="http://www.appshah.com/" rel="follow"> Android application development </a>

Robin Scully
on Sun, Apr 27 2014 7:56 PM

iPhone apps are increasing in huge number everyday. They become a necessity in our lives as most of the apps created helps make our work become easier, faster and more convenient.

Clement Siby
on Fri, May 23 2014 5:24 AM

I think you need to update this list.

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