Windows Phone app problem

Over the weekend, I had a twitter conversation with the Wordboxer developers, trying to get them to port their game to Windows Phone. It brought to light an important point about the Windows Phone (and for that matter, Blackberry) app problem: most cool games and apps are being built by small shops or single developers who just don’t have the time to build and maintain more than one or maybe two versions of their app/game. I really hope the Windows Phone (and Windows 8) teams realize this and create ways and means to reach these folks and help them out with the education needed to have them port their apps.

I know with the addition to C++ and support for cross-platform game engines on both Windows Phone and Windows 8, things are easier in terms of porting, but the point is most devs look at market share numbers and shy away from the platform. Of course, the market share going up and reaching some level of respectability (10% in the US?) may automatically help, but until then, Microsoft has a tough problem on their hands. They have to increase sales of devices, they have to attract the big brands and they have to make sure the indie devs also consider Windows Phone, if not at launch, at least soon after.

Fingers are crossed.

Windows Phone app problem

Small devs really don’t have time to develop and maintain code for more than one or two platforms. Even though Windows Phone dev tools are arguably better than anything else out there, and porting is easier with Windows Phone 8, it comes down to resources. Here is a great example of that.

  1. @wordboxer My friends want me to play your game with them, but you don’t have your app on Windows Phone. Please help :-(
  2. I got an invite to play this game from someone on iOS. As usual, after not finding the game in the Windows Phone Store, I ping the developer twitter account.
  3. @TheRomit Unfortunately we have no plans to develop WordBoxer for Windows Phone…
  4. As is usually the case, developer says “no plans”. :-(
  5. @WordBoxer :-( That’s terrible news. Can I make a desperate plea?
  6. Again as usual, I start begging. :-)
  7. @WordBoxer porting to Windows Phone 8 is relatively easy. Looks like you already have Android, may as well attempt WP? :-(
  8. And then prodding.
  9. @TheRomit We’re not a big game company but just three friends who build WB in their spare time, and it takes lots of spare time already ;-)
  10. Then …. reality. Devs don’t have the time.
  11. @WordBoxer Haha, ok. We need your help, that’s all. I am sure the folks at @wpdev won’t mind giving you a hand �� Cheers!
  12. More shameless begging.
  13. @TheRomit if you find us an investor down there in CA we might reconsider ;-)
  14. More reality.
  15. @WordBoxer Investor, maybe. Dev/porting help? More than likely ��
  16. My side of the story: practicality.
  17. @TheRomit Help would of course be appreciated, but a way to make a living even more ;-)
  18. Another dose of reality.
  19. @WordBoxer Windows Phone users definitely tend to pay more than Android. Hence, surprised that you ported to Android but not to WP.
  20. Hey, no harm in throwing some well-known facts to counter the harsh reality.
  21. @TheRomit 6 months ago when we started to port to Android the W8 marketshare was even less than the 5% now.
  22. At least they are aware of the 5% share. I see a slight opening :-)
  23. @WordBoxer But Android users, despite the market share, tend to appreciate “free” whereas WP users tend to spend more.
  24. “It is not all about market share”, as the word on the street goes :-)
  25. @lancewmccarthy Hey, I don’t know where these guys are located, but hope you can find help for them? See thread here twitter.com/WordBoxer/stat…
  26. Seeing the opening, I ping a good twitter friend and a prolific developer and now a Nokia Developer Ambassador. They can help and in fact, they encourage developers to port their apps.
  27. @TheRomit I guess the only chance to have make a living from an app like ours lies in high numbers of downloads.
  28. Meanwhile, back to reality.
  29. @WordBoxer of course. I am not trying to say you are missing a large market. You would have built the app already if that were the case.
  30. Countered with more practicality/realism. It’s not a bad idea to go Android after iOS, to get the volume.
  31. @WordBoxer My point is that you will see more stickiness and willingness to pay with an average WP user than an Android user.
  32. ….but, Windows Phone users are more loyal to the platform and the early adopters tend to support developers who bring their stuff over from other platforms.
  33. @WordBoxer Also, it helps that number of devices and resolutions and OS versions are way more limited than Android.
  34. My turn to throw some reality into the mix. It is easier to develop/port to Windows Phone because testing involves a finite number of resolutions and device types. Especially if they focus only on Windows Phone 8.
  35. @WordBoxer (Hence, potentially an incremental effort may give you some valuable customers. Just a thought.)
  36. Yup, continuing the reality trend – if they can re-use much of their code then the incremental effort to bring the app to Windows Phone may not be too much, but the upside is huge.
  37. @TheRomit I see your point, same goes for iOS users compared to Android users I think.
  38. Full agreement here.
  39. @WordBoxer Oh, of course. WP users definitely more like iOS in that sense. Of course iOS user count >>>>>> WP ��
  40. More agreement.
  41. @TheRomit but to create a viral effect, which obviously did not occur yet ;-), we needed the masses to play WordBoxer. Hence Android ;-)
  42. No arguments here.
  43. @WordBoxer Anyway, I have pinged @lancewmccarthy who may have some resources to help you. It would be *great* if it comes to WP
    #hope ��
  44. And now, bringing Lance into the convo.
  45. @WordBoxer Agreed. That is def a proper method, no questions. With WP, you will get so much more coverage too, since we yearn cool iOS apps.
  46. Agreement all around.
  47. @TheRomit @lancewmccarthy thanks for sharing your thoughts! We’ll look into it! Cheers
  48. Looks like these guys are open-minded developers.
  49. @WordBoxer @lancewmccarthy Thanks for listening and being open to my humble thoughts. Cheers, and all the best!
  50. Appreciation for hearing me out.
  51. @WordBoxer I can help knock down the financial barrier, the only thing you’d need to do is build it. When you’re ready, ping me. @TheRomit
  52. Here we go :-)
  53. @lancewmccarthy @theromit Hi Lance, that sounds interesting :-) Could you please drop us a mail at info@wordboxer.com to elaborate? Cheers
  54. Oh hey … could this twitter convo lead to something? Let’s hope so!

Read next page

Did you find this story interesting? Be the first to
or comment.

Liked!

Windows Phone Full-resolution SkyDrive Auto Uploads Now Available Worldwide!

Finally, Windows Phone SkyDrive auto upload now supports full-resolution photos and videos worldwide instead of just a few markets.

Windows Phone Full-resolution SkyDrive Auto Uploads Now Available Worldwide!

Windows Phone and Google Services: Is Google Lying or Just Innocent?

Some recent moves by Google seem to indicate they may be afraid of Windows/Windows Phone, for some strange reason. Or are they just innocent?

Windows Phone and Google Services: Is Google Lying or Just Innocent?

Windows Phone 8: Xbox Music and Video Issues

Windows Phone needs a lot of fixes. This post goes into some key issues with Xbox Music and Video apps that need to be addressed quickly.

Windows Phone 8: Xbox Music and Video Issues

Windows Phone 8: Internet Explorer Issues

Windows Phone needs a lot of fixes. This post goes into some key issues with Internet Explorer that need to be addressed quickly.

Windows Phone 8: Internet Explorer Issues

Windows Phone 8: Platform/OS Issues

Windows Phone needs a lot of fixes. This post goes into some key issues with the platform/OS that need to be addressed quickly.

Windows Phone 8: Platform/OS Issues

Windows Phone 8 Sync: Really Taking You to the Cloud

Microsoft has replaced the wireless sync in Zune desktop and Windows Phone 7 with the cloud in Windows Phone 8. The “devices and services” strategy coming along nicely for Microsoft.

Windows Phone 8 Sync: Really Taking You to the Cloud

Windows Phone: Going from “Very Small” to Just “Small”?

Some interesting tidbits about Windows Phone in the news recently. Things *may* be turning for the platform. Maybe.

Windows Phone: Going from “Very Small” to Just “Small”?

Why I Decided to Stick with Windows Phone

Despite being tempted by iOS and iPhone, I have decided to stick with Windows Phone. See why.

Why I Decided to Stick with Windows Phone