Today it was announced that PayPal has joined the Windows Phone family, its application having made it to the platform. To see such a major application released this close to the launch of Windows Phone 8 is almost surprising.

PayPal’s arrival, while a single step forward, does help to close the application gap that Windows Phone has long suffered when compared to the rival iOS and Android platforms.

Via the Microsoft Windows Phone blog the app lets you do what you expect it to: check your balances, withdraw funds from your PayPal account, and, of course, look at past transactions. You can also pay for items, provided that the store you are visiting has the PayPal Here service up and running.

Here are a few screenshots:

2012 09 17 16h17 40 520x290 PayPal comes to Windows Phone, Instagram remains out of sight

Windows Phone will soon undergo a refresh with its coming ’8′ version, long codenamed ‘Apollo.’ Moving to a new firmware core, the code will not run on all handsets sold before its release. Windows Phone 8 is based on the Windows NY kernel. In short, it will have much in common with Windows 8. That fact will lead to streamlined cross-platform development work, which could spur development for Windows Phone in aggregate.

Why did we mention Instagram in the title of this post? Because there was the tip of a hint in a Windows Phone video out last week that showed, most likely, the Instagram logo. That could be indication that the popular app is heading to the platform. Perhaps. It could be in the wings for Windows Phone 8. Let’s hope.

If you want to get your hands on the PayPal app, head hereTop Image Credit: Vernon Chan