Yeah, only they aren't.
I heard about this Switch to Windows Phone app last week from wpcentral.com, so I've been expecting it to drop. Yesterday was the magic day, and I couldn't wait to actually see what my list looked like. I'm a little unique at Android Headlines in that my primary phone is a Galaxy Nexus, but my secondary phone is a Windows Phone 8 Lumia 822. Not only did I get to see the totally made up percentage of Windows Phone 8 apps that "matched" my Android apps, I get to see the actual joke play out on my Lumia when I opened the list there.
It's not a secret, unless you're listening to Microsoft or one of the few WP8 fanboys (of which there are quite a few, and they're worse than iOS fanboys by a mile) that like to blow smoke up your butt by flat out lying about app availability and quality on Microsoft's nascent, yet promising phone OS.
Without further delay, let's look at 10 of my apps on Android, then see what Microsoft claimed was a "match" in the Windows Phone 8 App Store.
10. Ski Safari is a fun, yet dumb game. I've lost hours to playing it on my Nexus. It's not available at all on WP8. Instead of Ski Safari, my "match" on WP8 is Alpine Ski, which is actually a game, but Ski Safari it ain't.
9. Marvel Comics Reader. This is an official Marvel app on Android and I use it to, you know, read my Marvel Comics. My Windows Phone 8 "match" is a shovelware app called ComicDB, which doesn't read comics at all.
8. Walgreens Pharmacy app. I have things wrong with me, and I take quite a few prescription medications. WP8 doesn't have a Walgreens app, so they "matched" me with CVS. The nearest Walgreens for me is ½ mile away. The nearest CVS? 9 miles.
7. Tapatalk is an app that I use to browse forums frequently, but isn't yet on WP8. Instead, they recommend an app called Forum Talk as my WP8 "match". This app doesn't even qualify to be shovelware.
6. Google+ might not be fair to throw in here, but this Switch to Windows Phone app picked up "matches" for it, so I'm including it here. The WP8 "matches" for the Google+ app are two paid apps, one called G+ Launcher and the other called g+ Pro. Neither is an app at all, as both simply load the Google+ mobile website in a wrapper.
5. GameStop is a part of my life. I don't love the company, but I give them money every month. As you've likely guessed, there's no GameStop app for WP8, so my "match" is the official GAME Reward app. I'm sure that our Editor Tom Dawson is familiar with retailer GAME, because he's in the UK where GAME ACTUALLY does business. Alas, I'm stuck with GameStop in the USA.
4. Gmail app might be another one that you say isn't fair to mention, but if that's the case, Microsoft should have filtered Gmail out of their results. My WP8 "match" for the Gmail app is 3rd party crapware call gmail Browser Pro, and as I'm sure you've figured out, my $2 purchase gets me a shortcut to Gmail mobile.
3. Bank America. I've really got no issues with Bank America. They nickel and dime people to death just like every other bank in the world. They were a part of the whole subprime mortgage meltdown that landed most of the world in the dumper, but aside from all that, they're OK. I don't bank there.
In fact, there isn't a Bank America branch in the county that I live in. Not even in the three counties that make up Northern Kentucky. In fact, according to the Bank America website, the only location that they have within 100 miles of my home is an ATM location in downtown Cincinnati.
2. WCPO is a local TV station in the Greater Cincinnati region, and I do use the app quite often when I'm too busy to see what the day's headlines are on the 6 o'clock news. It's on my list, so by now you've got it figured out: there's no WCPO app for WP8. Instead, I was "matched" with the official KHOU app in the WP8 Store. To be sure we're all on the same page here, let me explain something. The "W" in WCPO designates that this channel is east of the Mississippi River, while the "K" in KHOU designates that this channel is west of the Mississippi River. I can only imagine that the "HOU" part means that this is a station in Houston, TX. I love Texas, but I'm not at all interested in Houston local news headlines from Cincinnati.
1. And now, for the #1 dumbest "match" that Microsoft made for me in their stupid, lying, made up, contrived application: MyChart. MyChart is an app provided by my physician's group that allows me to view my medical records, test results, prescription information and more. I use it a LOT. Like, all the time. It's critical because when I need to immediately show test results to one doctor that were ordered by another doctor, that information is in my hand to share on demand. My WP8 "match" for this truly critical-for-me app is an app called Health Organizer. Inside this app, I can do none of what I laid out as my reasons for using MyChart. Not one thing that is important, critical for me is here. Not one.
I guess that's a match.
In addition to the unmatches that the app threw out at me, there's these gems:
I actually don't know what made this stupid switcher app think that I tie ties enough to need a knot app, but I've ever even wear one, let installed a tie tying app of any kind. Ever.
Times like this make me wish that Google allowed for negative star reviews on the Play Store. I can't do that, so I'm going to drop by and leave my 1-star review, and I'd really encourage you to do the same. It would be one thing if Microsoft could actually offer me the same 1st party apps that Android does, but they can't.
Instead of telling people up front and in the app that these "matches" aren't matches for the actual app, but keyword matches for the app type I'd have no problem with this at all.
Microsoft spends a lot of money displaying ads on my TV telling the world that you can't trust Google, and then they do this. You can't see the lie unless you fall for this and buy a Windows Phone 8 device to see your results. By then, it's too late. Even if you could return the phone, you're going to be out actual cash money if you're mad enough at Microsoft to return the device and buy a phone that has the actual apps that you want to use and not some generic "match".
I'd like to call on my millions of fans, and the millions more that hate my guts but read this website anyway to take a few minutes out of your day today, install this app and drop another 1-star review on it. I'm all for fair competition amongst rivals, but this app is an outright lie, and the only losers in this scenario are the people that might actually use this app and buy the lie that's being sold.