You can probably pick out a phone from a few feet away. If you can see the display, and the icons, or widgets, or whatever else might be on the screen at the time (save for some apps, mind you), I imagine you'd be able to tell someone standing next to you which phone that person is using. And, if not the specific hardware, at least the mobile operating system. For me, that's part of the fun. I love being able to just tell which mobile OS is which, just from the design aesthetic.
And obviously some operating systems stand out more than others. I'd venture to say that webOS is probably one of the most visually eye-catching mobile operating systems to date, thanks to that card overlay. Plus, if you catch someone dragging up that Quick Access bar? Golden. But, webOS is no more, and so the title for "Most Obvious OS" has to go to someone else.
I'd give that crown to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. Yes, every OS stands out in its own way, but Windows Phone *really* stands out. Those Live Tiles that vary in size and color are unmistakable. When you look at a Windows Phone, you know it's a Windows Phone. (And we're just counting stock versions here. No custom "look-alike" ROMs and what not, from other platforms.)
There's plenty of innovation inside Windows Phone, and Microsoft did quite the turnaround compared to Windows Mobile of yesteryear. It helps that Microsoft is partnered with companies like Nokia, too, which can make just as noticeable pieces of hardware, that are ultimately actually worth using, too. It makes for a complete package. Or, it should, at least.
Before we dig in, let's take a moment to reflect.
Back in April, I asked all of you why you aren't using Android. The answers varied, as they tend to do when you ask a question like that, but one thing I kept seeing pop up was that Android may be too customizable. Some folks just don't want to be able to change so much about their phone. It can be overwhelming, and I understand that.
I felt it necessary to follow up in May with an article focused on why folks have decided to skip Apple's iOS. Unsurprisingly, the reasons were pretty much the exact opposite from those who don't use Android: there just aren't enough options. Some did point out that Apple's App Store is great, but most quickly pointed out that they'd never use a phone that's "so locked down." Again, makes perfect sense to me.
Last month, I moved forward in coverage of the major mobile operating system choices. Since BlackBerry 10 was pretty fresh on the market back in May, I waited until June to find out why some of you out there decided to skip the brand new operating system from the company known for its BlackBerry logo. It pretty much came down to the apps. There aren't enough. Some just weren't ready to jump onto a small boat in an uneasy sea.
And now we're caught up. As far as I'm concerned, this is the moment that we come full circle. As you have obviously gleaned from the title of the article, this is the time you get to tell me why you have decided to skip Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.
For me, I can't say that I've necessarily skipped it. I've skipped around it, maybe, but I just keep going back to it from time to time. The hardware draws me in, yes, but mostly it's because I --for whatever reason-- still just really want to use Windows Phone. I have to give some credit to Nokia, because their Lumia devices are great, but it's the software that's just so dang attractive to my eye. I genuinely want to use it. Keep using it. I just haven't been able to do it yet.
I've tried to discern the reasons each and every time, too. That moment after I put down a Windows Phone device for the last time, and switch to something else, is all about hindsight. Why did I switch to Windows Phone in the first place? And, ultimately, why didn't it work out?
The only answer that I've consistently been able to come up with is that I just don't have the apps I need, and that there are so many games I'd be losing that it's just not worth it. I think I'm still clinging to the potential that Microsoft has made perfectly obvious from the day that Windows Phone was first revealed, but Microsoft's "slow-and-steady wins the race" mentality just doesn't work for me, apparently. I want it now.
But I can't have it now. So I switch to Windows Phone, use it for a short time and realize why I love the platform as a whole, but then ultimately just want to switch to something else. While this is all doom and gloom now, I see a silver lining: When Microsoft finally achieves all that built-up potential, Windows Phone will become my favorite mobile operating system, and I'll use it exclusively.
I just have to wait for that day to arrive, I guess.
But, now it's your turn. I want you to tell me why you aren't using Windows Phone. Is it because you don't like the available hardware? Do you just not like the Live Tiles? Or maybe you don't have the applications you want, or need, to use every day. Are you just not ready to switch? Let me know!