A friend of mine, Ray Camden, has recently posted his thoughts on Windows Phone. As his impressions are quite different from mine I thought I should give it a try and explain what Windows Phone felt like to me.
I had the chance to play with it at Barcelona Mobile World Congress. Right near our booth was the Microsoft booth. There were four devices running the latest Windows mobile OS (I can’t remember all four devices but I’m pretty sure they included Nokia, HTC, and Samsung).
What I really liked was the sheer speed of the device. I couldn’t sense any lag everything was running fast and smooth. This doesn’t mean that this will be the case for anything or everything running on the device – remember I tried just the default apps.
Then, I liked the fact that they went for something different that doesn’t look like Android or iOS or anything else I played with.
Unfortunately, this is exactly why I could not say that I’d love to use it regularly. To me, the two biggest mistakes or drawbacks are:
- Using the apps tiles from the home screen to display notifications. As I was firing up the screens from sleep mode on these phones I couldn’t help feeling that all those notifications were competing for my attention. At a minimum I’d say they are distracting.I could be biased but when I unlock my Android screen I know exactly what I want to do (like checking email or send a message). Although there are notifications in the Android’s title bar they are not screaming in your face.
Compared to this, the dozens of Windows tiles were like a school of piranhas and by the time I was finished dodging them I’ve already forgotten what I wanted to do.
After my second attempt using the phone I realized that this phone doesn’t feel like a business or knowledge worker type of phone but like a device for a college kid who only cares about keeping “in synch” with all his friends.
- As I was playing with different apps on the phone I realized that something was odd. After a couple of seconds I realized that there was too much animation going on, things were flying on the screen or flipping over onto something else, and it was all a bit too much.
Note: I may be biased as I’ve been using iPhone and Android phones for the past five years.