‘Switch to Windows Phone’ Android app is Microsoft’s latest attempt to convert users to Windows Phone 8

April 25, 2013
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Microsoft has a new app for Android device users that would help them make an easier switch to Windows Phone 8, in case they so desire.

Called “Switch to Windows Phone” and supposed to be released today, the app inventories the app contents on your phone in order to find exact matches or similar apps in Microsoft’s Windows Store.

That way, users looking to move from Android to WP8 would have an easier way to do so, by being able to somewhat recreate their app setup on a phone running a different platform.

However, things may not be as easy as it sounds, as there aren’t as many WP8 apps out there as there are Android apps. The Windows Store currently holds over 135,000 apps compared to the over 800,000 apps available in the Play Store.

As for how the process works, the Switch to Windows Phone app sends saves the app inventory of the phone to the Microsoft SkyDrive cloud. Then, when customers log back in to their SkyDrive account from the use the WP8 version of the app – presumably when moving to the new phone – the app will use that list to locate those apps in the Windows Store or find a proper replacement.

The app uses Quixey’s search engine that’s able to find apps by comparing “descriptions of apps, reviews of apps, trouble reports about apps and other metadata from the web,” according to CITE World. In addition to matching Android apps, the service can also find apps that would suit the user’s needs.

Interestingly, it appears that an iOS Switch to Windows Phone app will not be available from Apple’s App Store, which means Microsoft may be specifically interested in targeting Android users with the app and trying to convince them to move over.

Update: A previous version of this article stated that Switch to Windows Phone uses Microsoft SkyDrive in order to match apps. Now that the application is available in the Google Play Store, a Quixey representative told us the app does not use the SkyDrive cloud, as it was reported ahead of its launch, and we have edited the story accordingly.

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