The head of a company that develops mobile apps is expecting a significant update to Windows Phone 7 in February. Among the changes: easing restrictions for third-party developers, which could increase the number of “long-tail” apps available for the phone.
The update will almost certainly add copy and paste, which has already appeared in an update pushed out to some developer-only handsets. It may also offer a better way for corporations to deploy homegrown apps–today they have to distribute them through the public marketplace.
Equally important, said this person, it will loosen some of the odd restrictions on what apps can and cannot do. For instance, applications can store data locally. But if they want to let users download files, such as music or Office documents, to local storage the applications have to do it through the Web browser. This could help spark more
This developer was glad for the changes, but slightly annoyed because they’ve already written the app to work around these restrictions, and will have to change it.
But hardly anybody has downloaded the Windows Phone 7 version of his company’s app anyway, suggesting low sales for the phones so far–a suggestion bolstered by Microsoft’s refusal to disclose sales numbers. Rather, app downloads for his company are split about 60/40 between Android and iPhone. Maybe that’s why Pandora bailed on its plans to release a Phone 7 app.
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