Windows Phone has slowly started to establish its position as the ‘other’ smartphone platform, for people who have had enough of Android and iOS and want something different. You have to admit that Microsoft’s mobile OS is pretty unique and comes with a neat interface. Furthermore, it got a slew of new features with the release of WP8. A fair amount of users are willing to make WP8 devices their first smartphones but in order for the platform to grow rapidly, there’s still a great need for more users to switch from competing platforms like iOS and Android. The biggest hurdle faced by Microsoft in getting these smartphone users to give WP8 a chance is the perception that WP Store lacks quality apps. This was true till a few months back, but Microsoft has lately been actively trying to dispel the notion. There are some pretty decent apps available for WP8 now, and you are likely to find an alternative for most iOS/Android apps if you are not too picky. To prove the point, Switch to Windows Phone has been released in the Google Play Store and WP Store. The app suggests Windows Phone alternatives to Android apps for people who are thinking about switching platforms.
Some might compare Switch to Windows Phone to the previously covered Welcome Home desktop app, but the two tools have inherently different purposes. The newly released app isn’t about letting you migrating your data from Android to your new WP8 device. Switch to Windows Phone just tries to make sure that you get to discover the full potential of the WP Store.
To get started, grab the Android version of the app, and use your Microsoft ID to log in. For extra convenience, make sure that you use the ID that you later intend to associate with your WP8. Once you are signed in, Switch to Windows Phone starts scanning the list of all the apps installed on your Android device. The matching process doesn’t take too long, and you are soon presented with a list of all the apps for which alternatives have been found in the WP Store. To keep the generated list in cloud, hit the ‘Save my list’ button at the bottom of the screen. Now, your work on Android is done, and everything is in place to let you switch to your new Windows Phone in a smooth manner.
On WP8, log in using your Microsoft ID and hit the ‘Next’ button. Make sure the app gets all the permissions it requests, and then let it fetch the list generated on Android. The list is sorted in alphabetical order, and displays the name and price of each app. You can head to any app’s WP Store page simply by hitting its entry on the ‘all’ page. The apps recommended by Switch to Windows Phone might not be exactly the same as your Android apps, but many can be pretty close to them in terms of features and functionality.
Switch to Windows Phone has a few crashing issues on WP8, but re-installing the app solved this for us. It’s a nice effort by Microsoft, but judging by the app’s reviews on the Play Store, Android users aren’t exactly head-over-heels for it. In any case, you can give Switch to Windows Phone a shot on your Android device even if you don’t have a WP8 device yet, since it might give you a pretty good idea regarding Windows Phone’s current app environment.