howtogeek at May 14th, 2013 06:42 — #1
Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/163141/how-do-the-windows-8-store-apps-stack-up-against-android-and-ipad/
So you want to buy a tablet — you have a choice between the iPad, Android tablets, and now Windows 8 or Windows RT tablets. Windows tablets are often the most expensive. Software availability is crucial when using a tablet.
nsdcars5 at May 14th, 2013 10:03 — #2
Well, duh. MS doesn't attract many people. Maybe if they remove the desktop (or the Start Screen) entirely...
geek at May 14th, 2013 10:57 — #3
Microsoft has definitely done a lot of outreach to try and bring in developers - personally I think the issue is that their "Metro" app paradigm makes it difficult to create applications that are interesting or innovative. They want all the apps to look basically the same: sterilized, typography-driven, and pixel-wasting.
To make the matter worse, the "Metro" app design (tiles and then horizontal scrolling) is not optimized for real-world usage of actually holding a tablet. Scrolling horizontally is not natural, since you have to hold the device in one hand and swipe with the other hand. You can always scroll your iPhone or Android vertically with a single hand... it's easy.
nanogeek at May 14th, 2013 12:48 — #4
I think that Microsoft need to learn more about tablets, rather than making a big step and putting all their eggs in one basket.
iszi at May 14th, 2013 12:50 — #5
Scrolling a phone horizontally one-handed isn't all that difficult. It's maybe just slightly awkward, but fairly easy to get used to. But we're not talking about phones, here. We're talking about tablets. And how much do you really do with a tablet one-handed, unless it's sitting on a table or stand?
geek at May 14th, 2013 12:56 — #6
That's a valid point, and I definitely didn't explain that very well.
I was trying to illustrate that we naturally hold tech devices a certain way - for a phone, it's usually in one hand. For a tablet, you put your hands on either corner, and use your thumbs to scroll. The horizontal scrolling is uncomfortable when you hold it that way.
iszi at May 14th, 2013 13:06 — #7
I've never really thought to hold a tablet that way, myself. It greatly limits your ability to interact with a touch-screen of that size. You'll be constantly changing your grip to use the keyboard, or interact with any other controls that are close to the top or center of the screen.
The only time I'd see myself holding a tablet like that is when I'm playing a game or something where all the controls are limited to those corners, or doing any sort of lengthy reading. Then again, I don't use tablets often.
geek at May 14th, 2013 13:12 — #8
That's how I hold my Nexus 7 tablet, at least. I find myself preferring apps that let me easily hold the tablet that way and use it without having to move my hold position.
2noob2btrue at May 15th, 2013 02:07 — #9
Atm it looks like RTM would be the best Windows tablet to get. Being able to run standard windows programs is a big plus over other tablets.
illage2 at May 16th, 2013 04:49 — #10
Twitter and Facebook apps are not needed since there is a "People" app that works for both. The Twitter app its self isn't that great it keeps force closing for no reason and all of the Facebook apps are phishing scams, as not a single one of them is official
chitownjumper at May 16th, 2013 10:53 — #11
Overall, this is a terribly inaccurate or at least misleading article from an otherwise excellent website. It first assumes that an "app" is some holy grail piece of IP. It is, at most, a software application, just like Word. Often, it is nothing more than a stripped down browser, like IE or Firefox, with limited access to menus and options. As the move to HTML5 progresses, the later "app" as customized browser will take over. Admittedly, WinRT may present a different scenario; I don't know. But on a Windows Surface and any other tablet running the full version of Win8, you can watch, listen to, and play almost any game or other entertainment you want. HBO Go? No problem, it runs that annoying but ubiquitous Flash player none of the iPads or Androids do (at least well or without a background conversion). No Amazon Unbox app? Wrong. Just download the Windows Amazon Unbox app. By the way, the Amazon Unbox app is largely a browser skin, actually has runs poorly and the additional "functionality" over just using your browser in the first place quite limiting. Again, RT may be a different story, but the Surface and couple other Windows tablets I've seen do it all and far more than iPad or Android. And by the way, if I hear one more time from a client they can't edit a redlined Word document because they can't read it on their iPad or Android tablet, or the a complicated spreadsheet is too slow, my response will be, "It is time to grow up, put the kid's toys away, and buy 'real' computer." For all the productivity time I see everyone wasting trying to make an iPad or Android tablet a "real" computer, they could have bought 20 Surface or Acer full fledged Win8 tablets. In the end, maybe Win Tablets aren't "better" entertainment devices. But I prefer to see my kids out running around, playing tag and baseball, catching frogs and having a good time in their down-destress time, rather than worrying why they don't have a good enough HULU app. So should be your employer.
geek at May 16th, 2013 11:27 — #12
I don't think you read the article very carefully.
First, in the title of the article, we clearly stated "Windows 8 Store Apps", which means the Modern/Metro apps in the store. Much of what you just mentioned as features are regular Desktop apps.
Desktop apps have nothing to do with this conversation. What we're talking about is the mediocre offering in the store itself.
chitownjumper at May 16th, 2013 14:39 — #13
I think I did read it closely. You begin with the presumption an RT and Win8 tablet are the same, that an app store is anything more than a proprietary aggregation of browser skin or "desktop" programs and focus only on entertainment "apps" (i.e., toys). I'm not an apologist for Microsoft, but it is simply untrue there are no "apps" for Amazon Unboxed, Netflix or HULU for Win8 tablets. If the number of "apps" in a "store" is the measure, then Microsoft only need list some more links. Again, I'm not an apologist, and the Win8 tablets come up short on several fronts, including battery life. But I'll take a machine that can run the higher client side processing power apps any serious business person needs over an entertainment toy any day of the week for now. The premise of the article is simply wrong; number of "app store apps" does not correlate to quality, productivity, etc. How many "fart machines" does one need beyond 3rd grade?
geek at May 16th, 2013 14:46 — #14
Granted, mentioning numbers of apps doesn't mean an app store is any good, but what we were trying to illustrate is that even with 70,000 apps in the Windows Store, most of the good apps that you'd want to install... are just missing.
Also, the article clearly says:
Video-playing apps are actually fairly well-represented in the Windows
Store. It contains apps for Netflix and Hulu Plus — some of the most
popular streaming video services. The Videos app included with Windows
8 allows you to rent or purchase videos from Microsoft’s video
We begin with the presumption that an app store should have plenty of good quality apps. And this one does not.
And again, we are not talking about Desktop apps. This article is solely talking about the Windows Store Modern / Metro apps.
chitownjumper at May 16th, 2013 15:18 — #15
Define a Desktop app, and explain to me the difference between a Desktop app and an App store app. I posit there is no difference. The idea of an app store was an ingenious, albeit typically short term proprietary, marketing strategy employed by iTunes under the guise of offering "quality" programs in a consolidated and more convenient manner so that Apple could ultimately obtain the maximum amount of revenues from developers programing in a closed system. Got it. No problem. Apple's choice. Besides battery life and weight and maybe screen quality (although density is becoming indiscernible based upon slate tablet screen sizes) tell me three things an iPad can do better than a Surface Tablet or Acer Iconia? Shouldn't the theme have been, "Windows can actually do anything better, so why does their app store suck?"
geek at May 17th, 2013 08:45 — #16
I feel like this discussion is getting pointless, but... a Desktop app runs on the Windows 7 style desktop and cannot be installed through the Windows 8 Store. Everybody, including you, knows this. Desktop apps are also generally not very touch-friendly, so they don't work well on a tablet unless you have a pen. They also don't work on Windows RT at all.
Windows should be able to do better than their current app store, which is lousy. If they hadn't tried to be such control freaks about the apps in the store, we would have a better selection by now.
chitownjumper at May 17th, 2013 19:46 — #17
You don't take disappointment well. What's pointless is any attempt to discern any difference between any "app" based upon its availability in a "store", read aggregating web site. "Touch optimized" or "store availability", its just a matter of style or form (or revenue), not substance. You can complain about lack of touch features, the use or non-existence of a traditional Win desktop, but it is of no consequence. You can do ANYTHING AND MUCH MORE on a Surface or Iconia tablet, INCLUDING iTunes, HULU, HBO Go!, Rhapsody, Amazon Unbox, and (sadly) anything Flash. The hardware limitations are the only real negatives of Win8 tablets over any Apple or Android tablet, just be honest. By the way, the pen and its related handwriting recognition software works extremely well. I still have an ancient Motion Computing just for One Note running WinXP Tablet sitting next to my phone for taking notes when people call. Maybe its all the equivalent of a Newton or a Lisa? But try doing that on another brand tablet! You'll get giant, cartoonish lines with a passive "stylus" built like a baby's Crayola and ZERO ability to search. Again, the article wasn't fair.
vhmp01 at May 26th, 2013 23:34 — #18
Geek, you just felt for a marketing schema... Apps are Programs! We could even say Apple copied Ubuntu Software Center. Apps are striped down web pages or browsers, so they took functionality off and you glorify them! And I thought you were 'Geeks'!