If you are a Windows Phone users, chances are you are using either a last year flagship or this year mid-range device. Yes, Microsoft and Windows Phone are in a dark place right now, as the platform hasn’t seen a Lumia flagship for a while. Of course, there are a few options on the high-end level like the Lumia Icon or the HTC One M8 for Windows, however, both sports the specification that was so last spring, am I right? Also, the fact that there is no way to upgrade for those who are owning a Lumia 1020 right now is ridiculous. Also, as some of you might know, about two months ago, I got a Nexus 5 and started to try Android again after 2 years. And while I do like a lot (let say most) of features offers by this platform, there are still features that I still appreciate about the underdog OS.
The concept of Live Tiles is simply just brilliant. Here is a personal opinion: I hate widget. While it is one of the most helpful things ever to be featured in an OS, it is also the worst thing. Now, to be fair, I don’t like them because most of the widgets I ever experienced so far are just bad, even the Google Now widget.
And then comes Windows Phone 7. The first phone I used after quitting Android is the Lumia 900, and the first thing I instantly fell in love with the Live Tiles UI. While not perfect, the concept just makes so much sense. Why can a widget and a shortcut to apps be the same thing? The tiles allow users to control how much space you want to display that content and at the same time being a shortcut. Also, the Live Tiles arguably display the contents better (of course, depending on how developers designed it) than any widget I have ever seen on Android and iOS. They are the thing that actually differentiates Windows Phone from other two who keep sticking with the simplistic (and my I say, boring) icon.
With that being said, there are things to improve upon. While we don’t exactly know for sure if this will be featured in Windows (Phone) 10 or not, an interactive live tile is certainly welcome. And this might sound a bit whiny, but would appreciate more sizes and shapes (Yes, I want a triangle tile, don’t judge).
Man, that lady just stole my heart away (not literally, of course). I know what you’re thinking, “is he really saying that an eight-month old virtual assistant beat out Google Now and Siri? Well, it might come as a shock to you, but yes, I do think Cortana is better than the other two in a lot of ways.
Now, this might come off as a cliche, but you have to try it to know why that is the case. For one thing, while being held back in the “search and result” department due to the limitation of Bing, the rest is pretty good. Let’s think about it, Cortana lets you set reminders for almost everything: a person, place, and time. Let’s not also forget the Interests hub bellow, with one swipe to look at things to see news and updates on the topic of your interest. Again, this is going to sound familiar, but the statement that Cortana is a mix of Google Now and Siri is accurate The smartness that is similar to Google and the personality that triumphs Siri
In addition, having a virtual assistance with a personality is quite futuristic. The thing that can only exist in Iron Man (Jarvis) is now coming true to life. A human voice (and quite humorous) is always a plus for anyone that can pull it off.
While slugging in other areas, one thing that Microsoft (or Nokia) actually got it right is the ease of use. Let’s be honest here, while Android is quite awesome for being an open platform, the fact that any OEMs can do anything with it makes the OS harder to use. However, with Windows Phone, is a different story.
Here is the thing, Microsoft did quite an awful job of making Windows 8, as the user experience is quite terrible: 2 setting menu, 7 billions step to lower the brightness, etc. These confusions draw people away from their other OS with similar UI, Windows Phone 8. The menu always lays out perfectly, with straightforward information and even explicit information about what to do.
Innovation and influence that exclusive to the platform
Think about it, Microsoft started the standardization of a shutter button (which sadly, has been deregulated), the Qi charging and influences the austerity card UI that can now see across platforms (but to be fair, starts with webOS). Let’s not also forget that Nokia was one of the first to feature OIS on their PureView camera, and makes it a standard, and now is being continued by Microsoft, even to mid-range devices.
And while we are talking about Qi, Microsoft has sustained the mission to advance Qi charging, with the extension of features to low-end device. This is huge for the technology, as it’s going to find new ground to stand on, and advance to the hand of average consumers.
The company also makes the all-time low-priced device with buttery using experience. With less than $100, you have a wide range options, from Lumia 530, Lumia 520 and even Lumia 630 (on Black Friday, and will go down even more very soon). The company might as well, has created a race for mid-range device, and taking the lead.
Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of reasons to be leaving Windows Phone. After all, most of their services available to all the others, and they are very well designed (if not better than Windows Phone). But with me, there are some needs that only the platform can provide, some of which are mentioned above. I’m I here to tell why you should choose Windows Phone? No, but I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t give up on the platform just yet. However, situation may vary due to your environment. But if you hold on, you might be getting some great things that you can’t find in others.