I totally understand healthy competition however what about user experience for Windows Phone 8 users that would like to use Google powered apps such as Google+, Google maps, YouTube and Google Hangouts.
Back in October Google decided to pull it’s access key from Microsoft’s official YouTube app leaving us with a barebones user experience. Luckily there is YouTubeHD that gives us a great YouTube experience. As far as maps go, gMaps is right on the mark for all your navigation needs, if you’re not a fan of HERE maps. Gchat is a great instant messaging app for your Google+ friends and contacts in your Gmail. As far as Google+ and Google Hangouts go, the apps I found did not work very well. All of the Google+ apps I tried were just shells or opened up in the browser and anytime I tried to upload photos using these Google+ apps it never worked. Speaking of browsers, I did download the UC Browser and if you like Google+ this is about as close as you will come to a Google+ app like experience. The UC Browser will let you upload photos to your Google+ account.
Finally Google Hangouts. I have tried some of these apps and there were pretty poorly designed. A friend of mine asked me how I felt about this seen as they know I really like using Google+ over Facebook. It’s a little disappointing that there is no official Google apps for us Windows Phone 8 users. The developers of these third party Google apps really took the time to give us a close Google experience.
Whether you have iOS, Android, or Windows Phone 8 I would think we all would be in the same boat and want a great user experience. Sure Microsoft and Google may never get along but they really should think of us consumers. We buy all our everyday items from reading reviews or past purchases. I wish these two giants would just drop the “I am better than you” buffoonery and really think of the consumers who buy their products. I have had both Android and WP8. 6 months ago Juan was kind enough to tell me about the Nokia Lumia which I now use. It was definitely different going from an Android phone to a Windows Phone. I read reviews and watched videos on the Nokia Lumia 521. It’s a great work horse of a phone.
Though I do miss the official Google apps that are available on Google Play. I was even thinking of contacting Rudy Huyn who is the developer behind the super rad 6tag Instagram app to see if he would make a Google+ and Google Hangouts app for us Windows Phone users. Maybe start a Kickstarter to raise some funds for him to develop some sweet Google apps for us. Even if Google seems intent on shutting down 3rd party app development.
So Google and Microsoft it’s a new year and both of you really should get along and collectively collaborate on apps to make a better and brighter user experience for all. Can we have official Google apps brought to the WP8 community? What do you say Google and Microsoft?
Christopher Trimble is a voice over artist, graphic designer and logistics expert currently residing in sunny Orlando Florida. He is currently producing and narrating an audiobook while exploring the boundaries of tech gear.