Why I got a Windows 10 phone in late 2017

I just got a Windows 10 phone and I’m very happy with my decision.

You may think it’s crazy to get a Windows 10 phone these days.

Because it surely seems that Microsoft has abandoned windows phones completely:

  • W10M has been put on a separate development branch and many are calling this being ‘put out to pasture’.
  • Microsoft says it will support W10M until the end of 2018, putting a time limit on it, in its current form.
  • Only one new W10M device has been released recently.
  • Tech media keeps talking about W10M being dead.

Knowing all this, why would I get a W10M phone at this time?

Because it’s the least bad option!

  • After a few months using android as my daily driver, I just can’t bear it anymore.
  • I was still using my old W8.1 Phone for most text heavy things, because android was almost unusable for this.
  • My W10M phone will get OS and security updates for more than 1 year. HTC will NEVER update my android phone and NEVER patch any of the many known security vulnerabilities.
  • W10M is just so nice to use, so intuitive. I can type so much faster than I would ever be able to on my android. Cursor control is easy and intuitive – on android it’s a fight.
  • I will never grow to hate my W10M and I won’t feel like I struggle with it when I use it – unlike my android phones which annoyed me so much.
  • My W10M phone was cheaper than my budget android. I chose a 650 because it has a good reputation, unlike the 950. It’s no beast, but it does what I need and the screen is amoled.
  • It’s just the many little things that make W10M so much nicer to use than android. Many little helpful things, such as cursor control, text entry experience, smooth operation, it usually works as it should and is expected to, its really stable, etc.
  • Sure windows has nice looking live tiles and all that. Totally unimportant to me – UX is where its at.

Sure, we all know android has more features and important apps. I can use my android for those few apps. There’s about 5 of them.

It’s pretty important to add, that before I first used windows phones, I thought android was ok. It was annoying, but I had no comparison. Then, a few days after getting my Windows phone, I was shocked at how much better the user experience is. I can never go back from that. And I have never wanted to.

When the end of 2018 comes around, and if I still have my W10M phone (fingers crossed!), then I can decide what to do. But I hope that I don’t have to choose from only 2 platforms – iOS and android. That would really be a tragedy.

I want W10M to continue, because I don’t hate it.

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Why I got a Windows 10 phone in late 2017

I got sick of Android. Again.

After enjoying years with windows phone, I got an Android phone in early 2017. This allowed me to use some apps I didn’t have on my windows phone. Also, my windows phone had some hardware issues, and was no longer software supported in any way.

I got a budget Android from HTC. Desire 628, with the very obsolete Lollipop. A reliable device. Nothing special. Pretty bad camera with awful over-sharpening that ruins most photos. Yet I was able to use some apps I couldn’t before, and the browsing experience is better on Android compared to Windows phone 8.1  Ive had the device a few months and have used it as my daily driver for that time. In that few months, my dislike of Android has grown back. A later version of Android doesn’t make it much better.

When I use Android, I NOTICE that I am using something that needs to be coaxed, forced, to do what I want it to do. I have to expel energy to make it do what I want. Using Android requires effort, even though I am very familiar with it.

My device always finds some little way to make my task unnecessarily difficult. So many little things have some small way that they don’t work properly. The device just doesn’t want to cooperate with me. Entering text into text boxes in Android is a genuinely annoying experience, in many apps, across the OS. I have never enjoyed using my android device.

I continued to use my windows phone quite a lot. For any photo that needed to be decent, and also for entering a lot of text. if I write more than a short note, I will use my windows phone to type it out. its just easier and faster.

When I use my windows 8.1 phone, I just use it and I don’t think about using the phone, I think about what I want to write, or photograph. I don’t notice the device being uncooperative. I just do what I want to do and then go onto whatever is next. Its just easy – except the browsing experience.

I got sick of Android. Again.

A Beautiful Android Home Screen IS Possible

People spend incredible amounts of time making their Android home screen just how they want it.2017-05-08 android home screen

Not I.

And I will share with you the secret of making a beautiful home screen.

NO ICONS.

It really is that simple. Icons are just ugly. There’s no avoiding this simple fact.

On the right is my current home screen. Nice, huh? Because its not spoiled by ugly icons.

It only has one widget, the word clock (FiveTime). Most widgets are also pretty ugly, and just cant be on my home screen.

But I still have icons. just a swipe to the left and I have all that ugly stuff. 2 screens of things that I need to access quickly. I don’t mind an extra swipe to open apps – it prevents the trauma of seeing icons when I only want to use the pull down menu.

I used to have the camera icon at the bottom right so that I could open the camera from the lock screen, but it was SO UGLY that I had to get rid of it – and let go of that easier way to open the camera.

Disclaimer:  I haven’t really sacrificed much – I have an old windows phone with a dedicated camera button and OIS, and I just use that as my camera. Even when I had the ugly camera icon on my Android home screen, it was still easier to just grab my windows phone and hold the camera button until it is ready to take a photo or video.

There’s no going back to a device without a dedicated camera button, and not forever missing it.

A Beautiful Android Home Screen IS Possible

Windows fan site recommends android phone for those leaving Windows Mobile

This really amused me. It also shows the mood of those watching the current decline of Windows Mobile.

The fan website Windows Central, has published an article to recommend a specific android phone, to windows phone users that are leaving – especially those not familiar with android.

Recently, a shift happened in the WinMo community. I mean April 2017. It felt like their hope for WinMo10 just slid off them, and they had finally stopped hoping for a recovery of the platform they love to use.

The same thing happens to me at the same time, I really noticed it.

From reading others comments and comparing my own impressions, I put this collective shift down to:

1. Lack of information about Microsoft intention for the platform. They just repeat the same line of being committed to it, without actually producing anything to convince anyone they really are committed to it. Its not enough for people, for too long. Personally, I think they are as they say, they have a strategy, but nothing concrete to announce.

2. An absence of new devices running WinMo10. It has been a while since anyone released a new device for this platform. This says to the world that manufacturers aren’t sure they can make a profit of of it.

3. The latest "creators update", wont support a few older devices (years and years old!), yet there aren’t new devices to take their place. The range of choices is shrinking. Perhaps this was the thing that triggered the recent shift.

Microsoft hasn’t much to show at the moment, but it has made its intention clear, repeatedly. It knows mobile is a huge deal and its looking for a way to get back in. It clearly wants windows running on mobile devices.

Currently MS is doing something successfully by providing its services on all the major mobile platforms. This will help future platform uptake.

What will actually cause people in large numbers to change to WinMo in this unusually poor economic climate? Maybe now is just the wrong time.

Its worth looking back at the very successful windows phone, the Lumia 520. That single device was responsible for so much platform growth. It got people started with windows mobile. Tizen is repeating this right now with budget devices that get people into their new platform, selling millions.

"Its cheap, I’ll try it. If its actually decent, I’ll tell"

Maybe Microsoft needs to return to this with mobile, and get some new fans. A great browser experience with extensions for social media would help too.

Windows fan site recommends android phone for those leaving Windows Mobile

Should I return to Android?

I have been enjoying over 2 years of having the experience of not hating my phone. I have been using 2 Windows Phone 8.1 devices. Before that, I had about 5 different Android devices and had the experience of hating all of them after a few months – except the first.

Should I return to Android?

Recently, some Windows Phone and Windows Mobile users have been lamenting about the lack of progress of their platforms. Some have moved on to Android or iPhone.

Even I have considered getting an Android device to use as my daily driver. Because Android can do a lot more than Windows Phones. Ive had Windows Phone devices for over 2 years.

What has kept me with Windows Phone is this:

I have had about 5 Android devices. My first was a HTC Wildfire running Android 2.2 and it made me feel that Android was so great. But I upgraded to Android 4.x devices to get bigger screens, better features, etc. Sony, ASUS, Chinese brands. Device after device gave me an awful experience. Nothing came close to the reliability and “it just works” of my original HTC. Until I got a Windows Phone.

Also, my WP has a dedicated camera button and a nice camera. I REALLY like having a dedicated camera button and I am REALLY reluctant to have a daily driver without one.

Except for my first phone, which was really reliable – I have hated every Android device since then. It takes a few weeks to a few months, and I just hated it. There were so many issues, so many workarounds to get things done.

Then I tried a windows phone device, and I was really surprised how easy it was to get things done. It couldn’t do as many things as an android device, but it just worked. Occasionally it would frustrate me, but …

I never began hating my Windows Phones.

As I reconsider having an Android in my life, I’m very wary, because of my past experience. Especially, the very obvious trend of Android getting progressively worse to use from ICS, to JB, to KK. All of the Android devices I have hated have been version 4.x

Its worth noting that I haven’t tried any Android devices of 5 or higher. But what I have read from others complaining about their devices, indicates to me that the trend of Android getting more issues as it gets more features is still continuing.

On the other hand, there are those who say, on Android websites, that Android is good now, its smooth and properly integrated. Issues are usually blamed on the Manufacturer of the device.

Can anyone shed any light on the state of Android 5 and 6? Are these never versions really fixed? Should I return to Android? – or will I find that I quickly hate it?

Should I return to Android?

Android O

Everyone is expecting Android O to be Oreo.

This is partly due to O not being a popular letter for starting dessert names.

But the other issue is that Oreo will be a very expensive name. Kraft, the owner of the Oreo brand, will want to make a lot of money out of Oreo being used in this way.

So there is a lot of motivation for Google to think of some other name. Using the name Oreo wont be much help to Android. And the previous attempt at corporate cooperation with KitKat was quite lame.

Using Oreo will likely be just as lame.

I advise Google to just give up on desserts. Use fish instead.

Android O

Android will remain unsafe, forever

A recent article on Ars Technica, Linux bug imperils tens of millions of PCs, servers, and Android phones, highlights – once again – the most serious problem with the Android OS.

Lack of security. Your personal data is simply not safe on Android. Ever.

Apple and Microsoft  both have an update model where bugs can be fixed with security updates – without requiring the carrier service to do the update. In reality, this is the only update model that actually updates devices to fix security bugs.

Android, however, does not do this. Most Android devices will not be updated at all, even after known bugs make it insecure. The device manufacturers (OEMs) are responsible for updating devices, with the exception of some Google Nexus devices. Yet, even the Nexus devices may have to wait weeks for a known serious bug to be fixed in an update, and older Nexus devices lose update support.

In the above article, the Linux kernel bug received an immediate update (“Major Linux distributions are expected to make fixes available as early as Tuesday”), but it just isnt being passed on to most Android devices. In an update to the article, they report that Google will release a fix in March. Google also says that they believe Android is not vulnerable to third party apps. However, this is absolutely untrue, and third party apps regularly compromise user data. Some Android apps can even use unfixed bugs to get root access. These “exploits” never get fixed.

All OSes have security bugs. And all security bugs can be fixed with an update. Its just that most Android devices dont get updates. Google themselves publicly state that it is vital to keep Android devices running the latest version of Android, yet the update model they created makes this impossible for most people – because the updated OS for their device simply doesnt exist, and the OEM isnt going to spend a lot of money to create it. In this context, Google’s recommendation is an insulting joke.

Quite simply, in its current state, most Android devices will never be secure. Knowing this, it is impossible to recommend Android as an OS. For this reason alone, I recommend avoiding Android. Forever.

 

Android will remain unsafe, forever