Instagram comes to Windows Phone

LOS ANGELES (USA TODAY) -- When you're the No. 3 phone platform, and you don't have the world's most popular photo app, Instagram, consumers won't take you as seriously as Apple or Android phones.

That changes today, when Instagram gets added to the Windows Phone store.

There's still a huge gap in available apps -- 175,000 for Windows vs. nearly 1 million each for Apple and Android.

But Windows can now safely say that most of the top apps are available on its platform as well.

Instagram joins other recent additions -- Vine, the popular video app, social magazine Flipboard, the game Temple Run 2, online radio service TuneIn Radio and Line, the social network based in Japan.

Of the top 10 Apple most download apps of all time, all are now available for Windows. (That list includes Facebook, Pandora, Skype, Words with Friends, The Weather Channel, Twitter, YouTube, Google Search and Temple Run.)

Market researcher Canalys says that of the top 50 free apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play store, only 34% were available for Windows in May.

And while the gap is closing, there are still a number of notable omissions.

Snapchat, the hot photo app where photos can disappear within 10 seconds, is not on Windows. Neither is the smash game Candy Crush Saga or audio favorites SoundCloud and Stitcher.

But with the implosion of BlackBerry, Windows has moved up to become the de facto No. 3 to Apple and Android, although there's a big, wide gap between Windows and pple.

Android had a 79% market share in the second quarter, compared to 14.2% for Apple and just 3% for Windows, says market researcher Gartner,

To get attention of consumers, Microsoft and phone manufacturer Nokia are pushing hard to pack in features not found in other handsets. The Nokia Lumia 1020, for instance, has a 41-megapixel camera and a larger screen than iPhone and many Androids.

Readers: what are your favorite app "workarounds" to get popular apps up and running on Windows phones? Let's chat about it on Twitter, where I'm @jeffersongraham.


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