Since their foray into the coin-op arcade business, Nintendo has strictly been known as a "games first" company. While they've recently jumped onto the bandwagon in supporting non-gaming apps and functions on their consoles, the name of the game has always been, well, the game. So it makes some sense as to why their Switch, whose portability would seem a perfect fit for various apps, still only comes with a few non-gaming features.
Despite its resemblance to modern tablets, Nintendo has made it clear that they wish to establish the Switch as a gaming-centric device. This certainly explains the flooding of software in its first 30 months compared to just a tiny trickle of non-gaming apps fairly recently. But while it's nice to finally be able to watch videos via the recently added Hulu and Youtube support, the Switch is still sorely lacking in the app department.
Here are 10 apps that Nintendo should put on the Switch, as they would fit the console's functionality quite well.
Sure, it may not be particularly easy to carry around a Switch and listen to your tunes on the go despite its portability. Still, the Spotify app could prove a convenient way to flip on some of your music through the console while gaming as sort of a personal gaming soundtrack.
It could also act as a something of a portable music box that you can rock out to by feeding through some higher quality speakers or soundbar by simply plopping it into the dock. If there's any gaming console where a music app would fit like a glove, the seamless, portable Switch is it.
It's a bit ridiculous that even two and a half years after its launch, the only way to access a browser on the Switch is to tinker with some sort of weird exploit in the system settings. For the rest of us who aren't software whizzes, some sort of official browser support on the Switch would be a welcome feature. It seems like a missed opportunity, given the Switch's portability and touchscreen features that are tailor-made for mobile browser apps.
As Chrome is typically the defacto browser with its usability, functionality, and seamless synchronization, this would seemingly be the browser of choice. Before the Firefox fans cry foul though - we'll settle for your browser of choice, too! Just give us something for webpage access!
Given that this widely used news aggregate and social media app is almost tailor-made for tablet-sized mobile devices, this too would be a solid choice for Switch support. Its handheld and tabletop abilities would mesh well with Reddit's emphasis of quick and easy consuming of bite-sized messages, images, and video. It could also be integrated with the console so that users could easily capture picture or video to share on the app itself.
Okay, so the Switch is no top of the line iPad- but it does have a 6+ inch screen which can display 720p and supports multi-touch. This would seem sufficient to provide the digital canvas for some decent drawing apps. A variant of the high-quality Autodesk Sketchbook mobile app could be a dream for a digital artist on the go.
Simply shell out the small investment for a Switch-supported stylus and a sturdier stand, and your console can become a mobile art studio. You could then perhaps capture your newly crafted sketch and share it with others via the square image capture button on the controller.
After many months, the most requested app, YouTube, has finally made its debut on the Switch. Could the second most requested video app be soon to follow? According to a recent Best Buy leak - in which they subtly listed the Switch as having Netflix support - this seems to be the case.
While nothing has been confirmed - not even during Nintendo's recent E3 showing - it would seem that Netflix support is just a matter of time. The question is, when? For now, we'll have to wait on our Switch movie-going, and opt for random cat videos on YouTube and Rick and Morty Hulu binges.
Yet another no-brainer - Amazon's trusty ebook reading app would be a fine addition to the Switch. Not only is the console portable, but its tabletop stand would be a terrific compliment for the Kindle. The ability to set your Switch down on its included stand without having to purchase one separately would bring some added value and appeal alone. Just kick back, set the backlight to an easy-on-the-eyes dim setting, and you're good to go!
The next time your parents scold you for playing too much Smash Bros. and implore you to read a book, appeasing them could just be a couple of quick clicks away!
Netflix certainly covers a lot of ground when it comes to movies and TV, but it doesn't hit every area. Amazon Prime Instant Video, and its emphasis on more obscure films and more robust TV selection would similarly be a great addition to the Switch app library.
It may seem like a tall order considering the Switch doesn't even have Netflix yet, but hey, if the Wii U can get this service, why not its slicker, more successful successor? This could also perhaps double as an Amazon store app, which could allow for easy Switch purchases through a means other than the Nintendo Online Store.
Not to pigeonhole, but it does seem like there is a decent overlap with gamers - particularly of the Nintendo variety - and Anime/Manga. Thus, one of the most well-received Manga viewing apps, Crunchyroll, would be a great fit for the Switch. This handy app could turn your Switch into an instant e-Manga reader.
It would almost certainly do well in Japan, where Manga is a robust and thriving industry. Outside of Netflix, Crunchyroll seems to be a frequent mention in the discussion among Switch users when it comes to most desired apps.
While Nintendo provides a few methods in which to transfer photos from gaming sessions, they border on cumbersome, especially for those who don't frequent social media. Annoyingly, even the easiest method - using physical media - still takes an extra step, and you must buy a microSD card to transfer in this manner.
Why not just integrate Google Drive functionality, and have the user "cut out the middleman" so-to-speak, by enabling transfers right from the Switch to the cloud? Not only this, but Google Drive's other features could be utilized, like the Sheets and Doc apps. This could make for quick and easy data logging as well as basic word processing - perhaps with speech recognition?
Considering Hulu and Youtube are now on the Switch, it would stand to reason that a video app that actually focuses on gaming would come to the console too. And hey, "Twitch on the Switch" certainly has a ring to it. I smell the potential for a solid advertising campaign here...
The functionality of Switch's handheld-to-TV swapping would be a neat feature for Twitch. Viewers could instantly take their esports viewing from the big screen right to the dinner table during a particularly exciting Overwatch League match. There could perhaps even be integrated support that would allow Switch gamers to stream their play directly through Twitch for viewers.