Windows Phone has the potential, so why don’t they utilize it?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Windows Phone. The last Windows (Mobile) device I owned was a Palm Treo Pro, which had a wonderfully constructed keyboard, and it felt good in the hands. That didn’t stop me from wanting to throw it against a brick wall every few seconds when it froze up, however. Since then I’ve experienced and tinkered with Windows devices and for the most part, really enjoy the interface and what it has to offer. However, there are a few key things that keep Windows Phone from joining the ranks of Android and iOS.
I’ll start off by saying what I do like about some of the Windows Phone devices. Starting back before Windows Phone 7 came out was the HTC Touch Pro 2 for Sprint, which was a pretty chunky device but it had one really cool feature about it – the screen tilted up slightly when you slid out the keyboard. It’s probably not a huge deal to many, but it was comfortable to be able to just slide out the keyboard and start typing without having to reorient my hands to work with my line of sight. Some might also call that being lazy, but hey, isn’t that where all technology is headed anyway?
They continued that same tilt-up design on the HTC Arrive, which also features Windows Phone 7. At the time that I tinkered with the Arrive, I was carrying an EVO 4G so my mind had already been exposed to the wonderful world of Android. Looking at something such as Windows Phone wasn’t going to as mind blowing as it is to some people who are new to the smartphone world, but I did want to check it out to see what it was really like.
The interface was smooth and I hardly experienced any lag between screens and opening apps. The tile design was lackluster to say the least, but hey! At least you can change the tile colors. I did find that the minimalist design was less distracting and got straight to the point, so the design is definitely good for those looking to keep it strictly (or mostly) business. It does have a unique look of its own, which I always enjoy if only for the fact that I don’t have to hear people complain about it being somebody’s “clone”.
The real downer with Windows Phone has to be the abysmal app store selection. Yeah, you’ve got your standards like Netflix and Angry Birds, but if you’re looking for something specific or unique that your best tech buddy told you about, you’re most likely not going to find it. Basically all Windows Phone has going for it is a stock Microsoft Office mobile app, which can come in really handy if you do a lot of work on PowerPoint, Word, Excel, etc. Sometimes I wish that other mobile operating systems like iOS and Android offered Microsoft Office that easily, but then again if they did then what would Windows Phone have to offer?
I feel that if Windows Phone could just pick up the slack that their app market seems to have, they’d have a lot more interest in their phones. One of these days I’m going to give in and purchase one, just to see if a significantly smaller selection of apps is really that big of a deal, but for now I just have too much fun with some of these ridiculous apps people have developed I can’t bring myself to break away. Maybe Windows Phone 8 will have something spectacular to show us when it is released?
But for now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go autotune myself with the “I Am T-Pain” app.