WP8 has the potential to be very boring (images)
All right, before I get you all red-faced with my "crap", "utter rubbish" or any other noun the tribe wants to call me hear me through. I specifically have mentioned that it has the "potential" to be boring. I haven't said it is or can be.
Why? One simple reason: apps. Now here I am not espousing the traditional argument: that there's a lack of apps. Because if you look at it absolutely, there's not. There's almost all the big name players bar few and there's substitutes to the ones that aren't there. No, the ecosystem is fine. Heck, with the introduction of Windows 8 and tablets such as the surface and skydrive, I'll say it's great: right up there to challenge Apple.
No, the quagmire for me is the quality and the design structure of the apps. There doesn't seem to be any differentiation between apps. Almost ALL the apps have floating text and then lists of pictures or even more text beneath it. Moreover, if I want to see what's in the next few panels, I won't be able to. The big typography only enables me to see only the beginning of the next screen. While it looks good, it is a disadvantage as compared to iOS where at the very bottom there's 4-5 options in a nice black bar.
For example, let's look at some weather apps in windows phone 8:
This is Weather Bug:
This is the Weather App:
Let's compare this to some iOS apps:
This is Solar:
This is weather 2x for iPhone
This is Weather Cube
Compare the 6 apps and all the windows phone apps look very similiar. There's hardly any differentiation. If you look at the iOS apps they're all completely different. Solar is very minimalist, weather cube has that unique cube-based interface, and 2x has nice gestures.
Okay so you folks will say okay the weather apps look the same but it's not spread throughout the system.
All right then let's compare different apps on the platform
This is Flud for iPhone:
This is Newsify for iPhone
This is Sparrow for iPhone
This is CNN for WP7
This is Zite for WP
This is Ebay for WP:
Compare the 3 iPhone apps to each other and the 3 WP apps to each other. For the iPhone, each one is differentiated. Some have sliding panels, the others have a news-paper like format, and the other has a screenshot like interface. WP? Scrolling text with a coloured background.
Mind you, it looks great originally but I have several friends that have used WP7 for a while now and they're fed up. It's great to have a unilateral design language folks but sometimes it gets too much.
Windows Phone needs apps that differentiate themselves. Here's an example:
Here's the 627 AM app for WP:
This app looks fresh, looks new, and brings something different to the table. Only if WP apps differentiate themselves can they succeed. There's only too much floating text and neutral backgrounds a guy can take.