by Jim Lynch

Microsoft apps shine on the iPhone

Apr 15, 20159 mins

In today's Apple roundup: The iPhone beats Android for Microsoft's mobile apps. Plus: App revenue gap grows between Android and iOS. And how should Apple spend its $178 billion dollar cash hoard?

The iPhone vs. Android for Microsoft apps

Microsoft and Apple have never been the best of friends, and many users have taken one side or the other in the battle between the two companies. But the cloud and mobile devices have changed this forever. And it now turns out that the iPhone is a better bet than Android for those who want to use Microsoft’s mobile applications.

Paul Thurrott reports for his blog:

Just a few years ago, there was a sharp divide between fans of Microsoft and fans of the iPhone. But in this “mobile first, cloud first” world, it’s now possible to combine Apple’s iPhone hardware with Microsoft’s best-in-breed productivity apps and not feel terrible about yourself. Things really have changed, and for the better.

And if you are a Microsoft guy, there are good reasons to choose iPhone over Android … and even over Windows Phone. Microsoft mobile apps generally appear on iPhone before they do so elsewhere, and certain Microsoft mobile apps are only available on iPhone, at least for now. In several cases, you will see finished Microsoft apps appear on iPhone, whereas Android receives a rougher preview release instead. In many ways, iPhone—or iOS more generally—is the place to be if you’re interested in Microsoft’s mobile solutions.

While a complete rundown of every Microsoft app on iPhone would likely be out of date within minutes, it’s interesting to at least consider what is available. And looking at my own iPhone 6 Plus, I see the following.

Word, Excel and PowerPoint





Bing Search

More at Paul Thurrott’s Blog

Paul Thurrott’s readers had their own thoughts to share about the iPhone and Microsoft’s mobile applications:

Joe_HTH: “Microsoft has absolutely ruined Windows on touch devices with Windows 10, so you might as well use the iPhone and iPad if you want a good UI. The Windows 10 UI on phones and tablets is absolute garbage. Did Microsoft layoff all of their designers, because Windows 10 is light years behind Windows 8 when it comes to touch UI design.

My word, have you seen those disgusting Windows 10 Mobile on small tablet screenshots. Ugh!”

Mvierling: “I disagree on “things have changed for better.” Things have only changed for the better for Apple and Android. Microsoft consistently neglects their own platform in order to deliver the best experience on iOS and Android first. It is as if Microsoft is intentionally trying to kill Windows and most definitely they’re killing Windows Phone.

If I am first time computer or phone buyer and I want the best Office experience, you’re not going to find that on Windows or Windows Phone. There is not a single compelling reason for a consumer to chose Windows Phone, not one. Developers don’t support it, Microsoft neglects it. Windows 10 will not be the savior that everyone thinks it will. When we had Windows Mobile, it was “wait until version 6.5.” When we had Windows Mobile 6.5, they said wait until “Windows Phone 7, it will change everything”. Then it was wait until Windows Phone 7.5, then 8, then 8.1, now 10.

Developers are tired of Microsoft rebooting their phone OS every couple of years that forces them to re-write their apps. I’m not some Apple or Android fan boy. My daily drivers are a Lumia 1020 and a Surface Pro 2. I had a TechNet subscription before Microsoft abandoned that as well. I think Satya Nadella will be the demise of Windows Phone and Windows, but hey, at least they’ll still have Office for iOS and Android though. There is that to look forward to.”

Darwiniandude: “I have to say as an iPhone fan and user that generally the Microsoft apps are exceptionally good.

But surprised to see Office Lens mentioned. The current version is very very limited, far inferior to Readle’s Scanner Pro or PDF Pen’s Scan+. Office lens has no local storage, you can’t create multi page PDFs, it’s just very broken. Surely it’s better on Windows Phone.”

Ben Boyd: “And best of all, it’s possible to have an iPhone without a single Microsoft app. That, after all, is the real reason for the Microsoft apps, trying to retain some old-world relevance in the new paradigm.”

Andre Da Costa: “You could fill about two screens on an on iPhone with just Microsoft apps. Apple should consider merging with Microsoft. They do hardware, Microsoft does software and keep Surface around as a better alternative to the iPad.”

More at Paul Thurrott’s Blog

App revenue gap grows between Android and iOS

Apple is on a big winning streak in China, and that has had serious ramifications for app revenue. There’s a growing gap between iOS and Android in terms of app revenue, and iOS is winning.

Sarah Perez reports for TechCrunch:

Due to Android’s sizable market share, Google Play apps have historically led iOS apps in terms of the number of downloads, while iOS apps have consistently beat out Google Play apps in revenue. But according to new data out this morning from app store analytics firm App Annie, that gap is still widening – in a large part due to iOS’s growth in China. As of Q1 2015, iOS App Store worldwide revenue was about 70% higher than on Google Play, up from 60% in Q3 2014, the report notes.

China’s importance to the app industry cannot be understated. China has, for the first time since App Annie has been measuring iOS downloads by country (July 2010), surpassed the U.S. in quarterly iOS downloads in the first quarter of 2015.

The iOS surge in China is, in part, likely related to the increased sales of the bigger-screened iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices in the Chinese market, as demand for larger screens is particularly high in Asia, says App Annie. For comparison’s sake, in Q4 2104, those phones with screen sizes between 5 and 7 inches were roughly 60% of total smartphone shipments in China, versus 40% worldwide and in the U.S.

More at TechCrunch

Apple redditors sounded off on the revenue gap between iOS and Android:

Ghostalmedia: “If your store promotes more free software, you’ll get more downloads, but if your store promotes more paid software, you’ll make more money from store purchases.”

Lewlkewl: “I think it’s important to keep in mind that apple always dominates September – January in terms of sales because of their release in September. Android OEMs typically release their flagships March – September (s6 just came out, m9 just came out, g4 coming out soon)”

Rickkettner: “Market share is easily one of the most over rated metrics. It can sometimes indicate profit, but just as often it seems to have nothing to do with it.”

Guccipiggy: “As far as Google’s concerned market share is everything. To them market share is what they’re after as the more people who use their services the better.”

Galp_Nation: “That helps Google but it does nothing for the Android OEMs who struggle to make a profit every year.”

More at Reddit

Why Apple doesn’t need $178 billion dollars for its business

Apple’s cash hoard has grown tremendously, and now ranges around $178 billion dollars. But how should the company use this cash? Or is it even needed to grow Apple’s business?

Neil Cyart examined Apple’s business for iMore:

As Apple’s cash levels have continued to increase, pundits have been quick to suggest that Apple buy large companies simply because it has the cash to do so. Typically, suggestions regarding what Apple should buy relate to the topic of the month. When AT&T was struggling to keep up with iPhone usage on its network, it was suggested that Apple buy a wireless service provider. As mobile apps and new social networks took off, it was said that Apple should buy the hottest social network or messaging platform at the time. Now, with rumors swirling around Apple getting into transportation, people are saying that Apple should buy Tesla for $30-$40 billion. Most of these suggestions fail to understand basic principles on which Apple operates and instead, rely on metrics such as revenues or monthly user data.

Even though large M&A is likely off the table, Apple remains an active acquirer of smaller companies. The strategy is clear: buy technology (and people) to fill holes in the current product line and roadmap. Said another way, buy companies that strengthen the value proposition of Apple products (both announced and not announced), without jeopardizing the culture. Over the past three years, Apple has purchased more than 35 companies. All of them were small and relatively easy to assimilate into Apple — including Beats, despite its large $3 billion price. Without a need for large M&A to chase future revenue growth, Tim Cook’s comment about not needing all of Apple’s cash becomes clear.

More at iMore

iMore readers shared their thoughts about Apple’s business and cash hoard:

TechPeeve: “Maybe it’s still not enough to fix iTunes though?”

Byerspc: “I am interested to see if they use $$$ to either buy a content company or create content deals because exclusive access to content and availability of content is going help drive the ecosystem. I have always thought some kind of deal with Disney makes a lot of sense. Getting exclusive access to ABC, ESPN, DISNEY networks could be huge.”

Bigeric23: “I would really like to see Apple take some time to improve the products and services they are “currently” selling to their customers. In other words, build a solid foundation before you start erecting more walls.”

Jim Gramze: “I’d like to see Apple move more and more of it’s assembly and production to the USA. They did start that with the Mac Pro, and I’m hoping that is the starting point.”

Moodyz: “I just want them to buy Parallels or VMware and an Ad-Blocking company. That way I don’t have to pay for them every year :P”

More at iMore

Did you miss a roundup? Check the Eye On Apple home page to get caught up with the latest news about Apple.