Windows Phones Still Don't Have Good Apps, So Nokia Had To Make An Instagram Clone For Its New Lumia

oggl for windows phoneA teaser image for Oggl.

Nokia announced another variation of its top-tier Lumia line of smartphones today called the Lumia 925. Internally, the phone is nearly identical to two other phones in the company’s Windows Phone lineup, the Lumia 920 and Lumia 928.

However, since these devices run on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system, they don’t have access to many of the popular smartphone apps Android and iPhone users enjoy –– most notably, Instagram.

That’s why along with its new phone announcement today, Nokia showed off a new social camera app called Oggl, which is made by the same company that makes Hipstamatic, an Instagram competitor. The good news is that Oggl has special permission to let you share photos on Instagram. (You can also post to Facebook or Twitter.) It’s not ideal, but it’s better than what Windows Phone users had before. Oggl will be available on other devices in future software updates.

It’s just the latest example of the lengths Microsoft’s Windows Phone partners have to go to remain competitive with the app selections on iPhone and Android. Developers tend to make their apps for iPhone and Android first because that’s where the vast majority of the users are. Even then, Android usually doesn’t get apps until after the iPhone does. For example, Twitter still hasn’t released an Android version of its hot new video-sharing app Vine, although we’re expecting it to launch soon.

A few top-tier apps have found their way to Windows Phone in the past few months though. Hulu Plus, Temple Run, and Pandora have all launched on the OS this year. But it’s taken years for Microsoft to convince developers to bring those apps to the platform, and there’s still a long way to go. Even Facebook doesn’t make its own app for Windows Phones, Microsoft does.

Bottom line: Windows Phone 8 is a great platform running on some attractive hardware like Nokia’s new Lumia 925. But if users want the guarantee that they’ll get the best apps, they’re still better off with iPhone or Android.

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