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.

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.

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?

Virtual Reality will replace the Computer Screen

In a few years we will see computers without screens.

Users will begin to use their mobile devices as their computer screens, using VR and AR.

Inside VR, the user can have a screen, or separate app windows. They can be resized, moved anywhere in view, placed behind each other, etc. The VR tech just needs to know where the users fingertips are. Throwing files into the trash will be like a game.

A real or virtual keyboard and mouse can be used. Either way, it will be seen in VR, or in reality with devices like the HoloLens (Augmented Reality). VR will also allow users to benefit from new ways of using their hands as input devices. New gestures will include whole hand and arm, leg and body movements. VR objects will also respond to voice commands. You wont have to get up to trash those files that missed when you threw, flicked or flung them. Just point and say, just like having superpowers. Extendable VR arms would also work.

Certainly, for safety reasons, our devices will have to tell us when we are back in the real world, and remind us that we no longer have superpowers.

Current mobile devices don’t yet have enough processing power to manage the resolution to make small text readable on a virtual screen, but this isn’t too many years away. Accessories like keyboards, and other input devices and body tracking can be linked to the device wirelessly. There is no need for any cables except for power sources – as long as we are using lithium batteries for power, this will be an issue.

So theres something new to look forward to, and remind us that human technology development moves too slowly, even these days. We want it now.

Share if you like it.

Virtual Reality will replace the Computer Screen

How is Tizen going?

Many people don’t even know what Tizen is. Its Samsung’s answer to Google’s Android OS. Tizen has a lot in common with Android, except that it doesn’t use a Java virtual machine, it runs straight on the Linux kernel.

Recently, Samsung released the third mobile handset in the Tizen line, the Galaxy Z2. Now moving into African markets, Tizen devices have already sold millions in south asia, especially India and Bangladesh.

To Use, Tizen looks a lot like Android with Samsungs Touchwiz. I think it’s a little TOO similar to Android. But that’s the marketing strategy for Tizen. Online, Tizen based devices continue to hold their value well and its not easy to find much user feedback in English. Indications are that its reliable and stable, and users seem to be as happy with Tizen devices as any other system.

For developers, a significant recent event is the release of “Tizen Studio”, a version of Eclipse setup for developing Tizen native and webapps – applied in the style of Android Studio. Tizen is rapidly expanding its API so that it matches the features available in Android. Tizen has resurrected the Eclipse IDE that used to be the go-to IDE to develop for Android. However, Tizen native apps are coded in C++ not Java. That is necessary to avoid using a problematic virtual machine.

Put simply, on Android devices, the Android system runs on a Java based Emulator. It is the emulator that runs on the Linux kernel. Tizen ditched this emulator setup to be able to match the reliability and performance of iPhones, WindowsMobile and other operating systems.

How is Tizen going?