Windows Phone has a lot of catching up to do with iOS and Android, at least in terms of popularity and market share. iOS and Android may be considered two of the more established smartphone operating systems existing today, but Microsoft has been making efforts to join the conversation. The latest of which is their recent cleaning up of their app store, which when done, should help put Microsoft in a nice position to compete with the best in the apps race.
Through its blog, Microsoft has revealed that they have gotten complaints from users regarding their apps. A good portion of the complaints touched on how they often had a difficult time browsing through the app selection. Some users even singled out the "confusing and misleading titles" they encountered when looking for apps.
To address this issue, Microsoft has modified the Windows Store app certification requirements to make sure that all apps featured are titled and described properly. The changes include the following:
Naming: to clearly and accurately reflect the app's functionality
Categories: to make sure apps are categorized according to their function and purpose
Icons: must be clearly differentiated to avoid being mistaken for another app
These changes will now be applied to all new apps that will be submitted for inclusion in the Windows Store and in the Windows Phone Store. On top of that, Microsoft is actively reviewing all its apps and trying to detect which ones do not comply with the new requirements.
Developers of the apps have responded accordingly. Some of them are already modifying their apps in order to meet the new requirements established by Microsoft.
Unfortunately, not all of them have taken heed. Because of this, Microsoft was forced to remove non-compliant apps from its app store. As of this writing, the company has already deleted more than 1,500 apps.
Misleading apps are nothing new. Every other mobile platform has them. And there will always be developers who push dubious apps in digital shelves in the hope of making a quick buck off of ads or unsuspecting buyers. And if these go unchecked, the customers will be the ones left reeling.
Microsoft's latest efforts to clean up their app store is by no means an end-all solution to the problem of misleading apps. But it is a solid step in the right direction. If it can keep it up, Microsoft might just have found a way to re-capture app users who were turned off before. Even better -- it could attract new customers open-minded enough to check out apps not sold by Apple or Google.
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