Why I left Windows Phone for Android.
I was pretty excited to get onto the Windows Phone bandwagon, I loved the look of the OS and how it straddled the middle ground between iOS and Android. I had been using both devices, in phone and tablet form, and while I enjoyed both I was looking for something new.
I really love Windows Phone as an OS - it flows beautifully, the social media functions are top notch and I really like the Metro design. It's probably the most "flowing" OS in that everything pours well into the other and it's a joy to use. I love the transitions, the live tiles and how every time I pull the phone out my friends and family are staring back at me.
Unfortunately, the last 3 months haven't been a fun and kind experience.
Microsoft promised they would work on reducing the delay in updates, fixing bugs and introducing new features. Portico was 2 months late for people outside the US and even then, it barely fixed or added anything - by iOS or Android standards it was a minor update. Microsoft still havent introduced the "advanced" manual update system they promised that would bypass useless carrier restrictions - even those with non carrier linked models still had to wait.
Microsoft just don't communicate anything. Still no idea when restart issues will be completely fixed. Wifi still doesn't work properly (why does it still turn off when the phone is asleep?).
Microsoft promised a host of holiday games including Jetpack Joyride (that honestly should have been there on release) and delivered almost none of them until Skulls a few days ago. They have barely updated any of their first party apps nor introduced any new ones - instead, relying almost entirely on Nokia to do most of the software legwork. I honestly don't know what Microsoft would do without Nokia, or what the experience is like on a HTC.
Third party development has been dismal. The SDK has been out for ages but there have been barely any new additions since launch. Spotify is still nowhere to be seen. No "killer" app game ports aside from Disney's. I had to find myself checking WPCentral every day just to see if something was new or updated. I actually got excited when Kindle finally made their app for Windows 8. Eventually I just gave up on the Marketplace.
What does work well is SkyDrive and Office. Love them. Will miss them.
As much as I like Live Tiles, I miss notifications. A lot. I know they are coming, but when? Sometimes I just dont want to have a ton of fat tiles just to see if anything is changed. Also, WP handles twitter replies so damn badly - they aren't email!
Windows Phone 8 just does not collude with Windows 8 at all. Nothing. Contacts don't match. Backgrounds don't match. It doesn't recognize or communicate with the phone unless it's plugged in (Come on guys, even the iPhone has Wifi Sync). There's absolutely no benefit to running both side by side. None of the promised "easy porting" is available or done.
I just feel that Windows Phone 8 was far, far too similar to Windows 7 in that very little has actually changed on the surface. Little things like how fiddly and annoying cut and paste is. The lack of advanced options for customizing things like automatic uploads. Not being able to change default browser. The search button being so damn easy to mis-press. And so on.
I move relunctantly, and hope that WinPho will be advanced enough in a few years to keep up with the claims Microsoft have made.
I sold my Lumia 920 last night and will be picking up a Nexus 4 tomorrow.