Sunday, February 17th, 2013
Mobile operating systems is probably one of the most sensitive topics in the industry. Insult one platform and you start a flame war. Let’s move on, shall we and go back to basics. In the present perspective, what does Windows Phone have to offer? What does it lack? Read on and join in the discussion.
Windows Mobile was one of the first smartphone OS to be released into the market (dating as far back as the 90s), but unfortunately, it turned into a disaster. The new Windows Phone OS tries to take a different route, and it went well with a new UI, away from styluses and the dreaded Windows 3.1-like interface. The rest, they say, is history.
Today, the OS faces a new threat and a challenger to the 3rd throne — BlackBerry 10 (that’s another story for next time). So what does Windows Phone have to offer now, backed up with strong manufacturers such as Nokia and HTC?
The Best of Windows Phone
1. Smoothness & fluidity – I remember that first time I held Windows Phone. I was amazed with its fresh and fluid UI, and that moment years ago, I was disappointed with the lag we faced with other platforms (yes, we’re talking about Android). Until now, this element continues to surprise people, especially the impatient ones.
2. Unique Design and UI – All hail the beauty of live tiles! Where else have you seen an icon functioning like a notification? Basically, Windows’ new look is for the minimalist, but will still appeal to people nonetheless. When you see a homescreen full of animated squares and rectangles, it makes you want to interact with it. Consumers always want to feel special and different with their phone, and Windows Phone is usually a more practical choice for them.
3. Straightforward – Just like Apple, it hides everything you don’t need to see. Maybe it’s all due to its closed nature, but if you want things done for you, then here is Windows Phone. If all you want to do is call and text, take away the rest of the shortcuts and make two tiles for your homescreen. The rest is black/white. It’s that straightforward.
Limitation isn’t always a bad thing. Too much customization can lead to ugly combinations, and sometimes even disastrous ones. Windows Phone gives personalization as well, but in a more controlled way. Colors, wallpapers, tile sizes – all at your disposal. Not only is it customizable, but like we said, straightforward and functional.
4. Enterprise Class – If you’re in the Microsoft ecosystem, meaning you have Live, Skype and all your files synced in Skydrive, this one is one big strength for Windows Phone. Microsoft Office will swoop in for the kill for these people, and if Microsoft really does unify the Windows platform, it’s an amazing business combo with your PC.
5. Low Hardware Requirements – As an extension of what we’ve stated in #1, Windows Phone remains fast and fluid – even on low specs. A Windows Phone running a single core 800 MHz processor can equal the real-world performance of a dual-core 1GHz Android device and that alone is impressive. You don’t need to dwell much on the specs if you’re going for a Windows Phone.
The Worst of Windows Phone
1. Notifications – While live tiles work well, we can’t help but say that we need a better notification system. If you don’t have a live tile for a specific app giving out a notification, it’s basically gone unless you open the app. Maybe a swipe to the right from the homescreen to open notifications?
2. App Ecosystem – Windows Phone needs a better app ecosystem. I’ve said this so many times and I’m always criticized for it, but Windows Phone’s app development is so slow. Also, the OS isn’t really welcoming to shifters from iOS and Android as it doesn’t have apps that Android & iOS users are accustomed to.
Microsoft is doing a lot of pushes to Windows Phone for the past few years. Its growth is quite slow, but that’s better than nothing right? Well, only time will tell since another player is trying to make a comeback and its initials are BB – aimed at the corporate world as well. What about you, what were your best and worst experiences with Windows Phone? Where do you see it in the next 5 years?