I can’t quit Windows Phone

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With Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Windows on a phone, or whatever you want to call it dying a slow death, I’ve been tempted now more than ever to jump ship back to iOS (last iPhone was an iPhone 4) or Android (Galaxy S3).

I recently got an iPod Touch to use for work as, shockingly, there were a couple apps I needed to use via Wi-Fi that aren’t on Windows Phone. Having not regularly used iOS in some time, I was struck by a few things. Number one, iOS is a much more polished experience than Windows 10 Mobile in its current state. No great surprise there, I guess. The overall fit and finish is just better and iOS has been honed to a fine point. That being said, although the skeuomorphism is gone, the basic interface for iOS is largely unchanged since it launched. The perfectly spaced grid of squircles dominates and the (in my opinion) overly simplistic interface just begs for an update. Sure there are Apple’s version of Widgets, but overall iOS feels like a 10 year old operating system. For me, the Windows phone interface blows iOS away when it comes to utility, practicality, and user friendliness. As tempted as I am to upgrade to an iPhone 7, I just can’t imagine going back to this interface.

To be fair, I haven’t used Android in some time, basically since Jelly Bean. However, I can’t get past Android’s fragmentation and the fact that even the Galaxy S8 ships with an older version and likely will only be updated once in its life cycle and 6 or so months too late. I still am not crazy about Android’s interface either. Yes you can download launchers, skins, widgets and the like, but the more you modify it, the laggier, buggier, and more tempremental it seems to get. Maybe that has changed since I last used Android. Also, I’m not that much into the Google ecosystem and not that keen on the too many cooks in the kitchen approach with a lot of Android devices that have the wireless carrier, OEM, and Google all putting their stamp on the device and OS. For my money, Windows phone provides the perfect balance of customizability and predictability (with the following caveats, see below).

Who can guess what the future is for Windows on a phone-like device? Here’s what I’d like from Microsoft to keep me from jumping ship to iOS. First, I don’t care if they are giving up on the current version of Windows phone 10 in favor of “cellular PCs” running full Windows 10. I get it. However, at the very least, take the current version of Windows 10 Mobile and make it as rock solid stable and bug-free as possible. I still have nagging issues with Bluetooth, Live Tile updates, random re-boots, etc. If you aren’t going to add new features, at least make the OS as stable and smooth as possible. If you are working on a Surface Mobile device, micro-PC, ARM-based small screen device, whatever….drop us a hint, give us a preview, do something to entice me to hold on to my 950XL for a few more months with the knowledge that something better is coming. I find the vague responses and coy hints to be non-reassuring and weak. Are you working on something or not? I understand the need for secrecy, but throw your loyal supporters a bone.

Comments (11)

11 responses to “I can’t quit Windows Phone”

  1. Avatar

    jlv632

    I'm right beside you. Need to have my Lumia 950 last until the Windows on ARM.. however if Windows on ARM doesn't get shown or mentioned tomorrow or at build.... then Android/Google might be the next big decision in my life

    • Avatar

      skane2600

      In reply to jlv632:

      Windows on ARM made for a nice demo but if it was really ready for prime-time, we'd already see them for sale. So the key IMO isn't another demo or a mention, but rather working devices. I think there's a lot of excitement on the part of some MS enthusiasts and the tech press that is gaga on all things ARM, but it remains to be seen if an ARM based PC emulating Windows will have significant impact on the market.

  2. Avatar

    jimchamplin

    They won't do it and whatever they release will be too little and too late.

    Let's not forget that the UWP software doesn't exist and that won't change.

  3. Avatar

    JudaZuk

    Well Android is just as iOS .. a perfect grid of icons...just like Symbian did 15 years ago (even more actually) and no matter how much polish they put on it, it feels like a dated old OS , just like iOS.

    Windows Phone 8.1 was still the most beautiful and useful interface, and unfortunately they messed a lot of that up with Windows 10 mobile... but it is in my opinion still looking a lot more fresh and modern then both iOS and Android.

    It is amazing how much bashing Symbian got for its menus and grid of icons, but both iOS and Android get away with the same old look still today. People keep saying I should abandon Windows 10 mobile ....but abandon it for what? There are no good alternatives

  4. Avatar

    robincapper

    Regarding "I still have nagging issues with Bluetooth, Live Tile updates, random re-boots, etc."

    I have W10 on an old 1520 with none of those problems! I now have a S7 Android but only because dropped my 950XL and couldn't replace it (not worth repair cost). Although have 'Microsofted" my Android experience (One Drive, Outlook etc) still miss windows phone. Perhaps in part because all the apps I frequently use on droid are still available on Windows Phone, a couple that aren't actually have more elegant mobile web sites than their Android/iOS apps. Had a work iPhone for a while, worse than droid for me.

  5. Avatar

    johnh3

    I prefeer Windows Phone/Mobile to. But with no new hardware option to buy, I just could not stay in that eco system any longer. No more Lumias here in Sweden is avaible, Alcatel and Acer not selling phones here to. HP Elite X3 was to big and expensive. My solution to that problem was to get a android phone. If you go for a brand with no pre-installed apps and using "stock android" I just installed my microsoft apps and services I use on that device. And the Microsoft apps on android are very good in my personal opinion.



  6. Avatar

    Jules Wombat

    Yep same here too. I prefer the Windows Mobile User Experience to anythiong iOS or Android can offer, but then Apps are not so important to me. So the Lumia 650 is pretty well perfect for me excepting it does not run WP8.1, which remains superior to W10 Mobile UI.

    The problem is that there will be no more W10 mobile devices, certainly no choice, and UWP has failed big time to entice developers. So is rather odd why/what Microsoft is still pushing the W10 mobile platform, without any new devices running it. (And no, don't start with any stupid 'Surface Phone' nonsense'.)

    I would prefer that Microsoft hand over the W10 platform to Xamarin, or open source it, to gain some more momentum and offer cross platform Apps support.

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