Google: We Don't Plan To Build Apps For Windows Phone 8

If you've been holding out for a Gmail or Drive app on Windows Phone 8, you're all outta luck. Google has announced that it has no plans to roll out Windows Phone 8 software for the major Google apps.

Speaking to V3, Clay Bavor, product management director at Google Apps, explained:

"We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8. If that changes, we would invest there, of course."

Instead, Google plans to concentrate its efforts in iOS and Android apps:

"In 2012 we've laid some of the ground work and really improved the experience of our core apps on mobile devices, such as adding native editing of spreadsheets for both iOS and Android apps."

Like Google Maps, which is now back on iOS. So, if you have an intimate love affair with the big G, looks like Windows Phone 8 still isn't for you. [V3]

Picture: AP



    Microsoft wrote the book on how to use your platform's dominance to inhibit the growth of competitors. It's ironic seeing Google trying to do the same to them.


      Also, it's a little strange to see Google and Apple getting all buddy-buddy. I had hoped that Google would take the side of progress over profit, but now I'm starting to worry that all Google is interested in is becoming a duopoly beside Apple.

        Yeah, it's getting hard to find a white knight to support at this point.

          Install linux and grow a neck beard you'll be fine.

            I wish I could +1 this more than once!

        They're not interested in a duoploy, but iOS is currently too big, ignoreing it doesn't help them at this point. They are content to wait and let Android build its numbers and dominate iOS the way Windows dominated Mac. Monopoly is the name of the game.

      Isn't this just a bit different though? Microsoft made it difficult for competitors by using their install base to push their own software, Google has just opted not to develop for a platform at this time. It may be because they don't think it will generate enough revenue in the short term. If it was just about being anti-competitive, surely they wouldn't develop for Apple either?

      That said, it does suck. Google apps are more important than the OS as far as I'm concerned.

        It is a very similar situation. They have already leveraged their search monopoly to get everyone on Chrome, now they are making it as hard as possible for their own customers to choose a platform other than Android.

        That said, I think it is perfectly reasonable and I imagine most WinPhone users are like me anyway, and use Hotmail rather than GMail. I don't use any Google services at all, anywhere, so it makes absolutely no difference to me at all. It's just less garbage to wade through to find the stuff I want in the Store.

          The problem isn't retaining early adopters like you though, it's convincing the far larger group of G-customers to move to the new platform. WP8 needs all the help it can get to grow to rival the other two.

    Isn't that convenient, Google stop supporting Microsoft customers just as Microsoft launch Happily moved to outlook from gmail, thanks Google!

    Really does this surprise anyone? Google wont even code gmail mobile to support mobile IE! It looks the same in Mobile IE as it would on an oldschool Nokia. I don't have this problem on any websites except those owned by Google (thankfully excluding Youtube which has no issue).

    Last edited 14/12/12 8:58 am

    This kinda sucks. I was at least hoping for chrome on WP8. IE on my Lumia is a bit sucky.... The text for name and email doesn't even appear...

      I'd say your chances of Chrome on WP8 were always slim. What do you mean about email and names? Do you mean on the awful awful Gmail site google push to IE mobile? That's googles fault, not Microsofts.

    I'm not clairvoyant, but I can bet ya the minute we get more Win8 devices out there, this will change very quickly. Corporate greed & dominance is never far away.

    Microsoft needs to realize that their company has no future, they keep trying to force their way into markets where they usually end up failing.

      I believe many people including Michael Dell said that about a certain fruit-like tech company in the nineties.

        Unitl Microsoft bailed them out.

          Yes. We all know about that. And of course every single successful thing they've done since is entirely and solely attributable to Microsoft.

      "Microsoft needs to realize that their company has no future, they keep trying to force their way into markets where they usually end up failing." You mean like the gaming console market? Yeah, what a total disaster that's been for them.

      Last edited 14/12/12 10:15 am

        A hundred million sold, billions of dollars in the red? That probably qualifies as a disaster on some level.

          Red on gaming... what financial reports are you reading?

          What? The games industry is bigger than the film industry, X-Box is the dominant platform and MS owns many of the best titles, so they make money coming and going. I imagine it is one of the most profitable parts of their business.

    Wait wait... Is this WP8, or Win8, or both?

    I can understand the windows phone 8 not having the numbers, but not even thinking about Win8 apps until more people are already on it is stupid -- the out of the box search is good enough that you don't really need a reason to use google once you get used to it. And there are alternative apps that offer similar functionality as to what other things google do.

    Can't help but think this is more corporate snobbatry from a competitor over the unified Win8/WP8 environment.

      If you read the article, it says very clearly both Windows and Windows Phone apps. I'm sure it doesn't relate to desktop software for Windows, just to apps.

        Fair point, didn't think of the existing desktop apps.

    Windows Phone 8 devices all have a button that opens up Google's biggest search competitor. Combine that with the lack of users and I completely see why Google is staying away.

    Not sure why you would need Google apps on Windows 8 when you have the browser?

      You can change the default search engine to google in WP8.

        Is that new? I was sure you couldn't change the behaviour of the physical search button on WP7

          I just checked, it can be changed for IE searches, but not the search button.

            Thanks for checking. I no longer have a Windows Phone device so wasn't sure if they had changed it.

      Sorry, lack of users? Last time I looked, Windows had around 90% of the PC market. Win8 numbers might be small now but one day it will dominate that 90%. To ignore it now is just giving your competitors a leg-up.

        Perhaps you should re-read my comment. I made two different points.

        1) Windows Phone 8 has a lack of users and is integrated tightly with bing
        2) Windows 8 probably doesn't need dedicated apps

        Never said Windows has a lack of users. That would be a crazy thing to say.

    Basically, the platform doesn't have a big enough user base for Google to feel compelled to release their apps on it. I think its a ridiculous move on their part and one that will surely change. WP8 user numbers are rising, it will only take a few months for google to change their tune, but even if they don't, no big deal.

    I'm using a Lumia 920 right now and even without G-Dog's apps releasing, I'm more than capable of doing everything I need without their software. To be honest, their maps have nothing on Nokia's. I didn't expect it at all, but the native maps on this thing are ridiculously good, . Couple that with Nokia drive and downloadable maps for offline usage and you have yourself the best maps on any device, anywhere.

    So there goes the need for the maps app, so I'd be missing...... Oh right, their Gmail app, which I don't need now that I'm using outlook. Microsoft is doing a lot of thing right with this new mobile platform. A LOT of things. If you have doubts, look into using a WP8 device yourself and you'll see for yourself. It's only a matter of time for the masses to take notice.

    I am an absolutely satisfied, former iOS user. I've welcomed Windows 8 across all my devices, and I'm enthused by the results. I wasn't always a Microsoft fan, but I most certainly am now and will be for a very long time.

      I think its a ridiculous move on their part and one that will surely change.

      Well I don't disagree on the 'it will change' part, but it's not a ridiculous move if you consider the cost of developing apps for a small segment of your user base.

        Again, they are not just talking about mobile, they said both Windows and Windows Phone. THey have an opportunity to get into Win8 on the ground floor but they seem to think that it will never take off, which is ridiculous. MS are not about to back away from their new paradigm, so even if Win8 flops, Win9 will just be an 8.1, just as Win7 is 6.1 (where NT6.0 was called Vista). Once Windows users realise they can get along just fine without Google, and I've been doing it for several years now, they won't ever come back.

        Why though? Say you use yahoo apps, the chances of them releasing for Windows 8 are pretty slim to none. Now Google comes along with similar / better offerings and actually offers apps? Might consider jumping ship. Being early has its advantages.

          Yahoo launched Mail for Windows 8 just yesterday. Are you going to jump ship?


    I have Nokia Maps, Skydirve, Outlook, Xbox, Bing Translate and Bing Maps.

    I think I'll survive without Google. My Gmail address is the email address I use for junk mail and spam anyway.

      Gmail is becoming the Hotmail of 2012, lol.

        pro-tip: You can actually connect your gmail account into WP8 out-of-the-box without any 3rd party apps anyway. Don't know what the fuss is all about.

        I wouldn't use a 3rd party app, the WP8 mail program is amazing.

          My gmail is my junk email account these days. I don't want it actually set up on my phone, I'd like to be able to check it in browser but due to Google not support IE Mobile I'm caring about that less and less anyway.

          Up to point. Mine only shows a small subset of my actual Inbox. The oldest email on my phone's Inbox is from 08 Dec, whereas there are years old emails in there somewhere, but only visible from the Win8 app or from Outlook (web).

      also there are a bunch of third party google apps (which I rarely feel the need to use)

      gmaps, gdocs, and about 100 google voice clients

    It's sad that Google is doing this when Microsoft is porting their software over to other platforms (Office, Xbox etc). Microsoft is trying new things but Google is slowly dying (to me) but they will no doubt continue on

      That's a good point. If I were Microsoft I certainly would not bring Microsoft Office to Android unless an agreement was struck to offer equal services.

      hmm best Office suite available vs? what? a below average mail and map service? That's certainly not worth it.

    Gmail is the new hotmail.

    Just SOUNDS like an email address you have when you're 15, like Hotmail did

    “We... will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8. If that changes, we would invest there, of course.”

    The real danger here is that a lot of other developers are also taking this 'wait and see' strategy. Google coming out and stating it publicly will lower confidence in WP8 / Win 8 even further. WP8 could very well become just like WP7 and never break out of single digit market share. Microsoft are in for a very rough ride over the next 5 years I think. They've already had an 8% drop in revenue last quarter (compared to Q3 2011)...

      Biggest problem with Windows Phone is exactly that. Medium sized developers haven't bothered to develop for the platform because of the small install base. People aren't picking Windows Phone because of the lack of depth in the app selection. It's a classic catch 22 situation.

        Not really...People tend to forget that coming into 2010, Android held less than 5% market share. At the end of Q3 this year, they were at 75% (according to IDC:
        Compare this to Windows Phone, which also launched in 2010, but was sitting at 3% market share at the end of Q3. Now admittedly, this figure is prior to the WP8 launch, however the point is this: in the same time that Android has grown it's market share by 15 times, Windows Phone's market share has effectively stagnated.
        So it's either Microsoft are doing a really bad job of attracting developers or that consumers don't like the metro interface. Or even a combination of both...

          According to my research at the end of Q1 2010 Android already had 9.6% market share and Windows Mobile still had 6.8

          Android continued it's rapid growth in 2010 because RIM, Symbian and Windows Mobile all dramatically dropped off. Developers sided with Android because the growth was easy to predict; they were innovating while others weren't, and they had good support from manufacturers.

          By the time Windows Phone 7 launched, the developers were already heavily invested in supporting Android and iOS.

          If Microsoft launched in February instead of October they still would have been 9.6% down on Android in terms of market share. By October developers just weren't interested.

          It's kind of bizarre how much the smartphone market shifted in that 10 months.

          Judging by the vast amount of asians using android, I'd say the real reason for android taking off is purely down to the low entry cost of android. You can grab an android phone for peanuts and then proceed to hack the crap out of it. Affordable phones in over-populated poorer countries allows it to reach more users, garnering more developer interest. A Microsoft based phone on the other hand is much rarer in comparison, and generally pricier.

    Got my Lumia 920 yesterday. This news saddens me, but while I'd like native GMail/Drive/Maps (with street view!) clients, there are pretty decent alternatives pre-built into WP8.

    Anyone with a Lumia should not be worrying about what Google does or doesn't do to be honest.

    Nokia Drive/Maps/Bing Maps are more than enough to compensate, and in actual fact, are arguably better.

    My Gmail syncs with my Lumia just fine; my sister's Gmail calendar does the same; there are free apps for YouTube and GReader; and everything else I want to use Google's services for is accessible through the browser.

    *shrug* who needs apps? Just pin the web page to your Start screen.

    Nokia maps is brilliant.
    WP8 Mail app is outstanding, integrates with gmail too.

    Bing translation/image search is just as good Googles. Google search can be set as default in IE.

    I'm missing nothing.

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