As a contrarian, I’ve dabbled with a Windows Phone for the past 18 months. There’s a lot to like about Nokia’s former flagship device, but next week an iPhone 6 Plus will take its place. I’ll say goodbye with some regrets…
What I’ll Miss Most about the Windows Phone
In some important ways it’s been a more personal phone than the iPhone I use for work — that personal quality is what I’ll miss most, thanks to:
- Contextually-aware, predictive typing — relevant to me
- Live Tiles with content I care about
- A great camera
I’d rather do email or text on the Nokia because Windows’ predictive typing has been smarter about learning the words and names I use frequently, compared to what I’ve experienced with IOS devices. Over time this contextually smart, predictive typing feature has become quick to suggest unusual words, like Cotuit or Melissa — names I use a lot.
My iPhone and iPad devices seem to pay little attention to my word usage frequency; instead they suggest mass market vocabulary — and thereby totally miss what I had intended to type. I’ll really miss this personal-to-me aspect of my Windows phone.
Visually, the Windows Phone feels more personal than my iPhone, thanks to the Live Tiles that display images or data that matter to me. This display strategy ends up tugging at the heartstrings far more than the neutral grid of app icons that you see on IOS devices. I wish Apple would license the live tile concept from Microsoft…
Hardware-wise, the Nokia’s camera has been very satisfying. In many situations, it takes better photos than my current iPhone 6 (work phone). That said, it’s been a hassle to transfer photos, in my preferred size or resolution, from the Nokia to my Mac or various online locations. The Windows Phone app for Mac OS works, barely… The sharing options of the camera don’t offer the user enough control. As a result, despite the better camera, I’m more likely to use the iPhone because it’s so much easier to get those photos off the phone, to my desired destination.
Saying Goodbye, Too Soon?
My Microsoft friends will say I’m giving up on the Nokia too early, just weeks or months before Windows 10 is released for in-market devices. Unfortunately, for Microsoft it appears that key developers are fleeing the platform.
Sadly, I’ve lost patience with the generally disappointing quality of the apps and recognize that marketplace economics discourage apps developers from putting their best people on the Windows apps teams. Moreover, I don’t use Windows 10 on a regular basis so there are no “ecosystem benefits” that I will miss.
Meanwhile my Windows Facebook app crashes more than half the time when it’s launched; Evernote has never been able to update its Live Tile. Compared to their IOS equivalents, most Windows apps feel half-baked and only lightly tested…
Microsoft apps have been an exception to my quality gripes. That said, the monthly view of the Calendar app frustrates me everyday, because it does not take advantage of all the display real estate on this device. The monthly view is pretty much useless.
Despite the easy-to-love personal qualities of this Windows Phone, it’s just not reliable enough when it comes to the apps. Head wins out over heart in this case. So with some regrets, next week I’ll say:
Au revoir. Adios. Sayonara.