I've started to feel like I need to supplement Windows PhoneAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Okay, so we all pretty much know by now that just after Christmas I decided to jump on board with Windows Phone by using a Nokia Lumia 928. As with most new phones, my experience just starting off with the phone was pretty good because I was spending a lot of time just learning about the phone, discovering new apps and actually taking the time to make the transition from Android/iOS user to Windows Phone user. I had every intention of making Windows Phone my sole device over the next few months. Although there were a lot of positive things to say about my first real Windows Phone experience, lately I've started to notice a lot more about what Windows Phone is lacking. The honeymoon is over.
I've noticed lately that I have no real desire to use my Windows Phone for much other than actually using it as a phone. I text with it, I make calls with it, and I still quite enjoy being able to use the phone as a legitimately decent smartphone camera. However, when it comes to most other things, I've found that for the most part I don't actually use my Lumia for much. I've migrated to checking Facebook on my computer, I generally check my e-mails via PC now, and whenever I want to visit a website I typically... make my way to my computer. I haven't used my computer for basic day-to-day tasks as much as I have lately in quite a while. With Android or iOS, I found that doing things like checking websites, e-mails and social networks a lot more convenient to do right from my smartphone. With Windows Phone, though, I don't find it as convenient.
I've mentioned this before, but not having an actual notification center is a lot bigger deal than I could have ever expected it to be. You have the notification next to the application, but I truly miss just being able to pull down a menu and having a snippet of what it was I missed. At least at that point I could decide whether it was something I wanted to check then or wait until later to worry about. With Windows Phone, if I want to know what it is I have to go through the motion of opening up the application and going through the motions that way. It wasn't that big of a deal to me at first, but lately it's something that kind of bugs me.
Another big issue I have with Windows Phone is the app store, and I'm not just talking about the lack of applications this time - that's a dead horse that I'm not going to beat today. What I mean is that the quality of the applications available for Windows Phone in general are pretty shoddy. Typically you can expect the applications to be slow or unresponsive. Not all the time, though - there are a few applications I've come across where I feel that it runs better than any application I've used on Android or iOS. It just seems like the majority of the time you're going to be using an application that seems like it was thrown together simply because the developer felt like they had to include Windows Phone in their app lineup in order to make more ad revenue. But like I said, not all applications made for Windows Phone are like that.
I also noticed that if I want to get comfortable and use my phone for web browsing, social networking or playing the occasional game, I find that I pick up an Android laying around - whether a tablet or a spare phone - rather than use my Windows Phone. Perhaps it's because I'm more used to the ecosystem, but I've adjusted to different platforms before just fine and never had as many issues as I have adjusting to Windows Phone. I could use BlackBerry without needing to use an Android tablet, and I was perfectly able to use iOS without returning to Android as well. With Windows Phone, though, I do kind of feel like I'm not getting the complete package all of the time. There are things that Windows Phone can do better than Android or iOS, but there just seems to be a lot more things that it can't do at all.
Windows Phone 8.1 is looking better and better by the day, and I really hope that the update brings a lot of good things to the platform. We already know it's going to take care of one major drawback, and that's a notification center, so there's that to look forward to. Aside from that, here's hoping that the app store gets the attention that it needs to make a positive turnaround. I know I said it's a dead horse I wasn't going to beat, but... well, I lied. Just one little tap.
Image via IGN