I get asked about Windows Phone pretty regularly. When it comes to Microsoft's mobile operating system, the questions run the gamut from, "Should I try it?" all the way to, "Why don't you love it and use it every day?" The questions are generally pretty easy to answer, because the simple truth is that Windows Phone is a great mobile OS. It's stable, quick, responsive, and there are plenty of features baked into it.
That's why when someone asks me if they should use it, my answer will always be yes. (For the record, I'll always tell everyone to try everything, so they can have a clear picture as to what works and doesn't work for their needs.)
Over the last few weeks, though, I've been making it pretty clear that while I may like Windows Phone, I'm just not interested in using it as my daily driver. While I don't have any issues with the phone parts, like text messaging or the Live Tiles; and I certainly don't have any issues with the devices themselves, I just haven't been able to use Windows Phone as my only device for a very, very long time.
In fact, I haven't used a Windows Phone-based device as my only phone, or my daily driver, since Windows Phone launched.
I've tried multiple times, especially ever since Nokia has been creating handsets as good as the Lumia series. But no matter how hard I've tried, I just can't keep the device. I've always switched back to iOS or Android.
I want to use Windows Phone, but the parts that disappoint me the most just keep me at bay. The platform's gaming situation is far less worthy than iOS, or even Android, and that's a big deal to me. My phone is more of a device to kill short periods of time, so having new and interesting games that are fun and addictive are important. Sure, Windows Phone has plenty of good games, and awesome games that are made by amazing developers. But, there are just more on iOS and Android. And since many of them don't seem to have support for Microsoft's Xbox LIVE, I just don't see a point. (Especially considering Apple's GameCenter is so prevalent. And even Google's Play Games feature is picking up steam.)
And then there is the way I listen to music: Spotify. It was great to learn that the mobile app had found its way to Microsoft's newest platform, but after I got my hands on it, I was just blown away by the vast differences between it and the iOS (and Android) app. It's not even a close race. It looks like Spotify for Windows Phone was slapped together, and most of the features you can find in those other apps were just outright omitted from the Windows Phone version.
And yet, I still want to use it. I still have this red Lumia 920, and every day I want to put my SIM card into it and take it for a spin. I want to use Windows Phone, and I want to enjoy my time with it. I don't want to be continuously disappointed or frustrated.
So that's why I'm going to give it a chance. A real chance. My iPhone 5 is out of commission, so I can't switch to it, and I don't plan on getting another one until the iPhone 5S is released. So, it's either the Lumia 920 or an HTC First. I'm going to go with the Lumia 920, and I'm going to use it just like I would any of my other devices as a daily driver. I'm going to find games that look interesting, and play them whenever I get the chance. I'm going to use Spotify, and I'm going to hope that it works as well as I need it to.
I'm going to do this for as long as I can. I'm not giving myself a time limit or anything. I want to make it until September. Probably the end of September, in fact, and I'm going to give it a real effort. Microsoft's mobile platform is fantastic, so now it's time to really, really give it a shot. No distractions, or easy temptations to switch. It's just me and Windows Phone for a while, and we're going to see if we can make it work.
Have you given Windows Phone a try yet? If so, what did you think of the platform? Did you keep it? Did it become your favorite mobile OS? Or did you discard it for something else, like Android or iOS? Do you refuse to try it for some reason? Let me know where you stand!