Microsoft’s New Android App Wants You To Switch To Windows Phone


Microsoft is desperately trying to persuade Android users to switch to Windows Phone. After airing a new commercial that bashes Samsung Galaxy users earlier this week, the software giant has built a new Android app that wants to make the switch away from Google’s platform a whole lot easier.

Called Switch to Windows Phone, the app scans your Android smartphone to find all the apps you have installed, then makes it super simple to install those apps on your new Windows Phone device — if they’re available there, of course.

Once it’s taken note of all your installed apps, it saves the results with your Microsoft ID. Users then use a companion app on Windows Phone that lets you sign in and download all of the same apps to your new smartphone. If the same app isn’t available on Windows Phone, then the app finds an equivalent for you.

But according to Tom Warren over at The Verge, it doesn’t feel completely ready yet:

It’s a clever idea, getting people over the concerns that apps won’t be available on Windows Phone, but the execution isn’t quite there yet. Scanning was relatively quick and painless on Android — the apps says it matched 87 percent of my installed Android apps. However, once I logged into the companion app on Windows Phone (and had it crash a couple of times), I discovered that some of the “matched” apps weren’t quite exact.

The problem with the Switch app is that in certain cases, it could simply highlight Windows Phone’s lack of app support. If Android users who are thinking about switching find that a handful of their favorite apps aren’t yet available on Windows Phone, it may discourage them from making the move.

But Microsoft has been a bit sneaky here by not allowing you to see the Windows Phone alternatives on your Android device. It’s not until you have a Windows Phone smartphone in your hand with the companion app that you see which apps are available and which ones aren’t.