Windows Phone – A possible exit strategy for iphone user?
I am not a phone person. I don’t switch phone every few months or every year. That is the reason why I am still hanging onto my iPhone 3GS 16GB and did not bother to upgrade to the iPhone 4 and 4S. Android interest me (a lot) but I never see any rush to switch camp anytime soon…..but the new Nokia Lumia 800 (and Lumia 900) impresses me so much that I started to seriously look into using Windows Phone as an alternative to the iOS platform that I am familiar with. I am not the only one who feel this way. Apparently Scott Adams (The Dilbert cartoon creator) also like Windows Phone. Check out his phone challenge result.
I must confess that I am also an iPad user. I have an ipad 2 64GB that I (and wifey) used everyday. It is simply a great tablet. It has its quirks but we loved it anyway. Using iphone and ipad at the same time has its benefits. For one, some of the apps are universal apps. You buy once and you can use on both devices. The other benefit is the consistency in user interface.
I wasn’t too keen to explore windows phone at the beginning. I was a windows mobile PDA user many years ago (with my Dell AXIM x51V) and while the PDA hardware is great, windows mobile OS never really stood out so much for me. I left the platform soon after and the thought that Microsoft could ever deliver a great mobile OS casts a lot of doubts in my head….and this until I actually stood in the phone store and having a go at the Lumia 800 and Omnia W that I completely changed my mind! Short of getting flame on my own blog, these are the things I like about windows phone:
1. The user interface – Some say the tile concept is boring. Some say it is confusing. I like it. It is certainly a new concept. I like the self-updating tiles with live info. I am fine with the colour scheme. I just find the user interface refreshing to use. It has less things to customize (compared to Android) but I am okay with this. The live tiles is probably the biggest attraction for me.
2. People Hub – The ability to pin a contact into the live tiles and have dynamic live info related to that particular person. So I can pin say my wife’s contact onto the live tiles area, press that particular tile and I can select the option to call her, text her, or email her. What a time saver. I could never figure out how to do this on my iphone. On my iphone, if i want to call my wife, I would press the phone icon, select the star (favourite) icon and then select the appropriate name as listed. If I want to text her, I would press the message icon, find the appropriate message thread, enter into that particular thread and type away. Does not seem a very convenient way to do things sometimes. The ability for windows phone to associate friends/family members into groups is also a very cool feature as well. I really like that feature.
3. Threads – A consolidated messaging system in one location. So all SMS and instant messaging threads appear in one unified screen.
4. Bing search – The ability to have a consolidated information database such as map, address, telephone, etc assigned to each entity. The Appconnect feature is also particularly useful.
5. The ability to have a home screen so that I can immediately check if I have any incoming mails/text messages and any other alerts. I used to jailbreak my iphone and used Lockinfo (a $5 app) to get these kind of functionality (or similar) but can never figure out how to do this on the stock iOS. Since I upgrade to iOS5, I gave up on jailbreaking as I just lose interest and along with that, I also lost the ability to use Lockinfo.
6. The fluidity of the operating system. The phone is just so responsive to use. There is no lag and things just work. I can’t believe that the phone is a single core phone.
7. Text selection (as in selecting a word, or a row of text) is so much more easier (and accurate). I never see anyone mention this in other blogs so maybe this experience is unique to me and my wife as we both feel that selecting a word (or words) on our iphone (running iOS5) is never as easy and accurate as on the windows phone. Like I said above, windows phone just work, to our pleasant surprise.
That said, I am a little concern that I lost the kind of apps that I am accustomed to. So I listed the apps that I used on my iphone and checked to see if I can find a windows phone counterpart. I am not a apps/games person too. I only used apps that are useful for me. There are many many apps on the iOS app store but to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered with many of them.
Here are the iOS apps I currently used:
- Message/chat clients – Whatsapp, Viber, Tango, Skype
- Forum apps – Tapatalk, ClubSnap
- News reader – Flipboard, Pulse, Engadget
- Paperless tools – Genius Scan, CamCard, Evernote, ScanSnap
- PDF reader – Goodreader
- Offline reader – Instapaper
- Cloud storage – Dropbox, Box.net
- Photography – FlickStackr, Photobucket
- Entertainment – Buzz player, Shazam, Dilbert, XKCD Reader
- Devotional – Our Daily Bread
- Eating out – Urbanspoon
- Online shopping – Amazon, eBay, B&H Photo, MyGumtree, CatchoftheDay, Lasoo
- Apps – Appadvice, Appshopper, AppGoneFree
- Information – White pages, Yellow pages, 13Save, Weatherzone, Australia Post, MyCareer
There are other apps I used once in a blue moon so I won’t list them here.
Here are the possible Windows Phone alternatives I have identified for the above apps. By no means an exhaustive list and I also have no idea if the windows counterpart is as polished as the iOS version.
- Message/chat clients – Whatsapp, Tango, Skype (Beta).
- Forum apps – Tapatalk.
- News/blog reader – WordPress, Pulse.
Flipboard and Engadget. Fuse, Flux, Newsy and Zens News Reader are worthy alternatives.
- Paperless tools – Genius Scan, CamCard, Evernote.
- PDF reader –
Goodreader. This cause some major concern for me. I am not sure if Adobe reader is a worthy consideration.
- Offline reader –
Instapaper. Stacks for instapaper seem useable.
- Cloud storage –
Dropbox, Box.net. BoxFiles seem a good alternative. Skydrive is obviously available but I don’t use skydrive that much.
- Photography – FlickStackr, Photobucket
- Entertainment –
Buzz player, Dilbert, Shazam, XKCD Reader. MetroTube and YouTube Pro is a youtube player.
- Devotional – Our Daily Bread
- Eating out –
Urbanspoon. Yelp seems a good alternative.
- Online shopping – Amazon, eBay,
B&H Photo, MyGumtree, CatchoftheDay, Lasoo. Ozbargain seems to be available for windows phone as well.
- Apps –
Appadvice, Appshopper, AppGoneFree.Naturally not available for windows platform. Marketplace Search seem to be a good app.
- Information –
White pages, Yellow pages, 13Save, Weatherzone, Australia Post, MyCareer. Yellow pages app and YPMobile seem available though I am not sure if these work for the Australian market. Poynt seems to be another yellow pages alternative. Au Weather Pro seem also well liked by others.
Other notable windows phone apps liked by others:
iMDB, AskZiggy, gMaps, Pocket Recorder, TripIt, Flixster, CoolTools, googleapps, SkyNews, USAToday, WPCentral. – List to be updated…….
Some good website here:
Some good youtube videos here: