While I’m pretty much committed to Microsoft products both at work and at home, up until now I was using an iPhone 5. It’s a nice device for sure, but somehow I wanted to see if Microsoft finally got their act together.
It looks like they might be getting close. I picked up a Nokia Lumia 820 the other day, and so far these are my likes and dislikes:
- The UI. This was really never in doubt, back when I tried (and gave up on) a Lumia 800 the user experience was one of the things I missed a little bit on the iPhone.
- The people hub. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, I’m dealing with people who in turn have several identities/accounts online, be it email or facebook/twitter etc.
- It’s fast. This might not be true for all editions of Windows Phone, but the experience on the Lumia 820 so far is nice.
- Outlook instead of “Mail”. Better together and all that, plus little details like when forwarding a mail with an attachment this is handled on the server, where it should be. iOS will first force you to download it and then send it again from the device.
- Different form factors, which results in more choice of the features I want. The Lumia 820 for example comes with a removable battery and its memory can be extended using MicroSD cards.
- Micro-USB charger. I could probably get a replacement cable somewhere in the Australian outback.
- No screen rotation lock. Really? Kind of basic, if you ask me. But then, Microsoft didn’t ask me.
- No VPN. Come on … let me make a proposal: Bring VPN in a next release and see if you can’t integrate DirectAccess while you’re at it. That would be a huge win for business customers, as well.
- The integrated calendar sucks. Period. It has been this way since the days of Windows CE. How difficult is it to integrate a week view (7 days)? I can live with third parties providing this functionality and I’m OK with paying for such an app, if it’s really good (see WeekCal on iOS). But – still no support for 3rd party apps to EDIT calendar entries??
- Some apps don’t exactly behave the same as they do on iOS, for example push notifications in WhatsApp sometimes make it to the device, sometimes not. I’m not sure if it’s the app devs or if it’s something similar to the calendar issue (no or limited API access for 3rd party devs). If people are to stay with Windows Phone and never look back then apps they know from other systems should behave the same or even better on WinPhone. If MS can do anything to facilitate this, they should ASAP.
- Still no support for Control4, meaning I can’t control the lights and audio/video in my home from my phone. Maybe not directly an issue of MS, but in the end I suspect the choice of a mobile OS is very much driven by the App store. Anything MS can do to instill confidence in 3rd party devs would help …
So far, so good. The situation is way better than last time I tried switching (Nokia Lumia 800, running Windows Phone 7.5). I’ll see how things go and who knows, maybe in the second part of this blog post I’ll include a link to an online auction of my iPhone?
See the 2nd part here.