Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Comments on Windows Phone

I bought a Nokia Lumia 710 yesterday, my first smart-phone. I've tried the iPhone quite a bit and have an iPad. I've had a play with some Android phones. Somehow Microsoft have managed to make the best mobile OS out there.

I've completely changed the default layout to be entirely people centric rather than app or service centric. It makes people with iPhones look like geeks. This came from Microsoft! Inconceivable!

Things I like:
  • Metro UI. It's taking over the whole Microsoft design world. It's superb. It looks good and easy to use. Someone really needs to apply it to computer games (I'm not talking about GUI in games, but the games themselves. Imagine a FPS in a Metro style!)
  • Unobstrusive. I don't like how iOS interrupts my activity with irrelevant messages.
  • Linking to all my accounts was simple. Way easier than setting up my Google mail account on the iPad, for example.
  • Very responsive. It loads apps very quickly. It doesn't have the clunk of iOS (and it's not even multi-core yet).
  • It's a social OS. My phone revolves around people rather than mediums (calls, SMS, email), services (Facebook, LinkedIn) or apps (pictures, music, etc.)
  • The base apps are really good. E.g., Nokia Drive, Office, Xbox games.
  • The back button is really useful.
Things I don't like:
  • Animation on the people tiles. These tiles should not change unless I have a new message. I know who the person is by their picture, I don't need the OS to switch between their picture and their name. Bad user experience Microsoft! (But it's the only poor decision I've seen thus far.)
  • The link between a person and their e-mails doesn't work correctly. On a person's profile it will say I've received emails from them. When I click to see the list it lists all emails, not the emails coming solely from them. Surely this isn't an uncommon use case! Weird.
  • I'm not convinced that the screen-size is large enough to use the keyboard effectively. I feel like I'm getting more typing errors than I'd expect. This could be an OS issue, screen issue, general issue with smart-phones or a me issue.
  • Needs Skype integration. (Microsoft, you might not have noticed that you own Skype!)
  • Needs Google+ integration. I know few use it, but most of my geeky friends do.
  • The search button uses Bing. (Useless)
I'm glad I bought a Windows Phone over an iPhone or an Android phone. The integration is great. I really dislike the app hell (too many apps all over the place!) I get with Apple. The design is much better too. I still shudder when I bring up Notes on the iPad. Ick! But WP is still playing catch-up with Google and Apple. I want the future Apollo features today. Just imagine what people will be able to do with app to app communication.


  1. "I do not think that word means what you think it means." and I have an operating system I'd like to sell you. This one is number eight, so you know it must be good...

  2. There is a fault in my Nokia phone. I have a temporary iPhone 4 in its place. There is no back button! The keyboard is better, however. The WP7 keyboard is not suited to the screen size.

    I just added my google account. It didn’t sync in my contacts. I was expecting it to do that. How do I get my contacts into this phone? I’m only have it for a couple of days, so it would have to be a very easy solution.

    1. Had to do some crazy exhange server setup thing. Can't believe you still have to do that on an iPhone.