Yahoo to Windows Phone users: No new Flickr app for you!
Having quality, official apps available, and frequently improving, for popular services is a key part in increasing Windows Phone's chances of breaking into market share double digits and, therefore, getting more developers to consider releasing their offerings in the Store.
While third-party alternatives have already proved to be viable options, it is clear by looking at the Store rankings that Windows Phone users have an undeniable craving for installing the real deal. Official apps lend more credence, after all, and are less likely to be removed without prior notice, unlike their unofficial counterparts. And this brings us to the Flickr app which Yahoo has officially admitted it no longer has any plans to update.
The official Flickr app was meant to run on Windows Phone 7, with the latest update dating back to late-March 2012. Microsoft has since released Windows Phone 8, which has introduced support for better hardware (higher-resolution displays and faster processors, for example) and extra features aimed at improving the user experience. Microsoft will also (shortly) release Windows Phone 8.1, which may also feature significant improvements over its predecessor.
Clearly, the official Flickr app is unable to keep up with post-Windows Phone 7 OS and hardware features in its current iteration. The experience is unsatisfactory, judging by many of its reviews. It currently has a 2.5 star rating, which is usually shared with (other) poorly-developed apps.
The reason why Yahoo could not give a darn about its Windows Phone users is its strategy to direct "mobile development efforts on iPhone and Android apps". "If this changes, we'll let you know in the forum here", says Matthew Roth of the Flickr Community Team. Yes, that is if and not when.
Considering that Windows Phone barely got 3.6 percent market share in 2013, Yahoo's standing is somewhat understandable but, by not releasing a much-needed update, it may be turning affected users onto other services (at best, it gets to keep them via third-party apps -- there are two good ones out there, at least), like 500px and SkyDrive according to some who have responded to the announcement.
The chicken-and-egg problem is a never-ending one for Windows Phone adopters, no matter what Microsoft's Joe Belfiore may have led us to believe. Big companies like Yahoo can make or break the promise of the app-gap disappearing this year, and it looks like the odds are not in Belfiore's favor so far. And that is too bad for those of us who own a smartphone running the tiled OS.