14 Days Later: Did I Keep My Windows Phone?

WindowsPhoneIt’s been two weeks since I picked up my Windows phone. It was a risky choice, one I only felt comfortable with because I have an iPad if need/want an app that Windows Phone doesn’t have and Verizon’s 14 day return policy.

 

Corrections and Clarifications

I corrected a few things in my last post, but I wanted to explain them a bit more here as well.

  • Xbox Music – Apparently you can “favorite” songs. But only in the phone app. You can’t do it on the web interface, and I couldn’t find it on the Xbox interface. Making this service even worse than I had initially thought! Have a feature, or don’t have it. Don’t sometimes have it. I really just wish Microsoft would take the Zune software and rebrand it. It was a good service with poor marketing and (in my anecdotal experience) crappy hardware. And to everyone saying “just use Spotify,” I will as I have since it came out. But it would have been nice to have a service that natively linked to my Xbox. Rhapsody unfortunately just doesn’t have the music selection for me or I’d use it.
  • SkyDrive – Several people commented to say you can set your photos and other documents to be asynchronous (think Dropbox). Which is true. My complaint however is with the Office functionality specifically. It wants to be cloud software but it isn’t. Others pointed to OneNote, which has always been fantastic software. I had it on my Tablet PC in college, and I used it a ton at meetings at my first job (that software read my handwriting better than I did). And it is asynchronous. But it doesn’t do spreadsheets.
  • Gauges – Yes, I realize I can get widgets (there was even one in the screenshot). And yes, you can pull the gages down briefly. I still want the option to see them all the time. I want to see where my battery is at a glance, before it gets low. I want to know my signal strength. I had a problem where my WiFi password wasn’t saving. I didn’t know my WiFi wasn’t on, because I couldn’t see a WiFi gage. I agree it looks cleaner, but function over form.
  • Support – Yes I realize Microsoft doesn’t officially make their own hardware like Apple (although as soon as the FCC approves it, they will own Nokia). I still think that Microsoft should work with manufacturers to allow exchanges in the store. And to those saying “well Android doesn’t have this either.” Android doesn’t have their own branded stores. They even tried explicitly not having a store with the Nexus One, remember?
  • Purchase History – I said you could only re-download paid apps from the web. Mainly because when I asked @WinPhoneSupport that’s where they pointed me. You can re-download paid apps from the store as well. It says “buy” and then says “you’ve already paid, we’ll re-download instead.” This is confusing and not user friendly. It needs to be fixed.

Some More Good

  • App Grouping – Losing folders was hard. But I really like that Windows Phone Groups certain sets of apps. Photos, Games, and Music are all grouped together within their respective app. It gives me the option of finding things by name or by type, which I really appreciate.

    Music App Grouping Windows Phone

    It’s just a nice way of handling similar apps.

  • Battery Life – Spent a day taking photos, instagramming them, and putting them on Facebook during a fundraiser for a friend of mine. Battery was still 30% at the end of the day. Love it.
  • Achievements – I grew up in the generation of gold stars. Gold stars meant I did something right, and made someone happy. Achievements feel like gold stars. With Windows Phone, they go into my Xbox collection with all of my other achievements instead of being locked into the Apple Game Center.

    Minesweeper Achievements in Windows Phone

    It just really amuses me for some reason.

Some More Annoyances

While I did find more features I loved, there were also more negatives I found.

  • No Custom Notification Sounds – While I can download and set a custom ringtone, I can’t get custom tones for any thing else. Seriously Microsoft, it’s 2013. I’ve been setting custom alerts since at least my Razr (no, not the Droid Razr, the original one). This is just embarrassing.
  • The Calendar – There is no weekly view in calendar. And the monthly view is worthless. Making your calendar essentially have three views: day, agenda, and to-do.

    Windows Phone Calendar

    Thanks, I think…

  • The Power Button is in the Wrong Place – The power button is directly below the volume button. I keep wanting to hit the volume button instead. This is a Nokia 928 issue over a Windows Phone issue, but it’s still annoying.
  • Dammit Verizon – This is not a problem with the phone. It’s a problem with Verizon. I’ve seen them do this with other phones as well. Since they’re special snowflakes and use CDMA, often they have to get a special version of any given phone. So the Nokia 928 is exclusive to them. But, instead of taking a 920 (which has plenty of accessories and cases) and changing the antenna, they made the phone just different enough none of that stuff will work. This is why I wish we had some standardization of wireless networks.

Well….

Yes. I kept it. It has it’s shortcomings, as do all devices, but for me it really fits what I want a phone to do. I want it to take good pictures, quickly. I want it to give me an overview of my social networks, emails, text messages, and to-dos at a glance. I want it to feel snappy. I don’t want to have to work at making it do these things.

I also haven’t missed the plethora of apps either. Sure, it’d be nice to have apps like Whims and Rhonna Designs on the phone. But overall, the things that I use everyday are there. The things that are missing (like Pinterest, I still can’t find a pinterest app I like) are things I tended to do on my tablet more anyway. And really, it’s been nice to simplify.

3 Responses to “14 Days Later: Did I Keep My Windows Phone?”
  1. NeuroMan42 says:
    • Nicole says:
      • NeuroMan42 says:

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