Tezawaly from Nanapho.jp have examined the manifests of all the apps in Marketplace to determine if they used native code. To use native code the manifest needs to contain the ‘WMInteropManifest.xml’ file.
Surprisingly only 48 apps turned out to use the feature, 32 from OEMs, 9 from carriers, 7 from others.
The usual suspects are involved â€“ DLNA apps, Augmented Reality apps and even compass apps from before Mango supported these features.
Surprisingly GPS navigation apps like Telenav GPS Nav and AT&T Navigator also used native code, likely to make porting as quick as possible.
Interestingly the practice has become more common, with 55% of the apps using native code being released in the second half of 2011. This is likely due to increasing pressure on OEMs to differentiate their offerings and due to devices by more OEMs like Nokia entering the market.
Native apps provide developers access to the full capabilities of the hardware, beyond what is exposed by the Silverlight API, and makes it easier to port applications from one OS to another. On the other hand it allows applications the opportunity to bring down the whole operating system and device when they crash or cause unforeseen problems, such as the problems in the early days of the Tango video calling app.
Surprisingly the list does not appear to contain any games. I am not sure if this is a true reflection of the situation, but if it is, it means we should probably be expecting a bit more from Indie developers on Windows Phone, given how great some of the Xbox Live titles look.
See the full list at Nanapho.jp here.