'Limbo' leads the best new iOS, Android apps of July 2013



Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) just can't catch a break. Just a week after the software giant moved to quiet a Windows Phone user rebellion by promising an improved user experience and new features, the snail's-pace evolution of the Windows Phone platform is once again the target of criticism--this time from Microsoft's premier smartphone manufacturing partner, Nokia (NYSE:NOK). The Finnish handset maker has joined the call for Microsoft to step on the gas in order to make Windows Phone a viable contender in the fast-moving mobile marketplace.

"We are trying to evolve the cultural thinking [at Microsoft] to say 'Time is of the essence,'" Nokia Vice President of App Development Bryan Biniak told the International Business Times. "Waiting until the end of your fiscal year when you need to close your targets doesn't do us any good when I have phones to sell today."

Biniak stressed the importance of nurturing a Windows Phone application ecosystem on par with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android. "People rely on applications for their day-to-day life and if you don't have something which I use in my day-to-day life, I'm not going to switch [operating systems] because I don't want to compromise the way I live my life just to switch to a phone," Biniak said. "It's not just about the hardware--it's about the tools that are on the hardware. You can't sell a phone without the apps. You just can't."

It's a classic chicken-or-egg conundrum: Consumers aren't buying Windows Phone apps because developers aren't building apps and games for the operating system, and developers aren't building Windows Phone apps and games because Microsoft-powered devices aren't selling. I see the phenomenon up close each month when I compile my list of the most compelling and innovative apps of the past 30 days. Rarely if ever do the developers behind those apps launch on Windows Phone: Some may port their software to Windows Phone weeks or even months after their iOS and Android apps go live, but even that is the exception rather than the rule.

If you're a Windows Phone owner, it's probably best that you don't click through to read more about the best new apps of July 2013: It will just make you angrier and more frustrated than you already are. But if you're an iOS or Android user, you'll find a host of new reasons to remind you why you selected the mobile platform you did--and why you won't be making the switch to another OS anytime soon.

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