Switching from Android to Windows Phone Part 1: initial impressions and missing features
1. android_hitman (unregistered)
honestly i wouldn't do that :)
i have too many paid apps on android and i can't live without my widgets...
20. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
that was a big concern. I've definitely invested quite a lot in Android, but so far it's pretty nice. and, as i've said, Live Tiles do the same job as many widgets, so it's not that big a transition.
24. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
Windows = no freedom and no customizability + have to stick to Zune
I will never ever shift from Android to windows
Too many features are missing in Windows Phone
but can always shift from Windows to Android :)
29. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
if your not heavily invested in one platform or another, and are not a crazed power user like some of us, there is no reason not to give it a try. Its a great OS. I rather like it, but its just missing too much that ive grown accustomed to. I dont subscribe to the pay to have less philosophy of other fruity ecosystems, so for me at least, its a hard move. But again, the OS itself is great.
38. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
I already have Samsung Omnia 7 along with other Androids and yes i agree the OS is great and has lot of potential, but sadly too many limitations.. i had more liking toward WM 6.5 then Windows Phone 7
50. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
I agree with you, but:
"I will never ever shift from Android to windows"
Never say never! :)
51. jubbing (Posts: 150; Member since: 20 Aug 2008)
What's wrong with Zune? Every Windows Phone at least has one central software like iTunes. With Android, each manufacturer has different software to install (unless you just want to use it as a hard drive).
118. tedkord (Posts: 7382; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
There's the problem. I had iTunes on my pc for my daughters iPod nano, and it was awful. It gummed up the whole computer. I don't want to have to go through some central program to do anything on my phone.
107. profperez1 (Posts: 52; Member since: 08 May 2012)
The foundation of any good phone is the OS. I have had many Android phones and after 4+ months they slow down. My understanding is that is the nature of the beast. So my advice is invest in an OS that will work for you long term. I'm going to spend $30,000 on mobile technology in the next 40 years----so who cares about the $100 in APPS I spent in Android Marketplace! I thought hard about going back to Blackberry---they will have a nice phone in 6-12 months. But the company lacks vision and the financial power to make change.
188. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
That's the nature of the beast with android. All my iPhones are buttery smooth regardless how long I've had them.
Windows or iOS is the way to go
190. wassup (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)
umm, firstly, iOS crashes more than Android.
Secondly, I'm using an international SII,and trust me, it's just as buttery smooth as the day I bought it, even with 50+ apps,
sorry, your theory is incorrect
199. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
never say never. WP just started with smartphones. Just like iOS and Android, when they started, it has a lot of improvements to do. As the phonearena said, it has lots of potentials.
209. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)
Yeah, you're right. There isn't even a Youtube app.
210. joe73112 (Posts: 3; Member since: 27 May 2012)
hunh? I have had wp7 since last summer and have had and use the YouTube app. you might actually want to touch a wp7 phone and find out for yourself!
217. krayziehustler (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 May 2012)
There are many YouTube apps in the market.
76. bigdawg23 (Posts: 414; Member since: 25 May 2011)
I just moved to a Vivid and considered the Lumia 900. First draw back for me is the available apps either free or what I have paid for. Second is customization. Third is a feature Apple or Windows doesn't have easily.... CALL BLOCKING. You shouldn't have to jail break your phone to block calls. Fourth is as the review stated "unreliable background running apps". A coworker mentioned that to me and I was shock in that an app is not naturally available in the background on any mobile device.
212. profperez1 (Posts: 52; Member since: 08 May 2012)
I went into the AT&T store on 5/26---they said it was the best seller in the store. Wow---things change fast in mobile!
2. TROLL.ISAHA (banned) (Posts: 535; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)
Its to RESTRICTED!
Freedom vs enclosure....
13. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
bring back robin hood.
uu..horrifying, it's so restricted...can't live with it (mouth, gun...bang!)
70. APPLE_R0YALLY (banned) (Posts: 73; Member since: 08 May 2012)
We shall give Windows a Try@$ee....™
187. quesoesgrande (Posts: 217; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)
iOS is jusr as closed. Whats the big deal?
3. jubbing (Posts: 150; Member since: 20 Aug 2008)
That might be because unlike Windows Phone's keyboard, Android ones generally are poor and unresponsive. Find me one Android keyboard thats as responsive as the iPhone's keyboard. I'm currently using a Galaxy Note, and the standard keyboard sucks, and Swype is awesome but isn't as responsive. The HTC One X's keyboard is slightly better, but generally you can't type as fast on it.
As for the battery meter, it literally takes 3 seconds to go into it. Settings is generally useful to pin the the start screen -> click settings -> click battery saver, and presto. In Android (asuming its a widget), if its not pinned to your 1st screen you swipe down the menu bar -> click the app then you get to it. It's not that different.
6. cybervlad81 (Posts: 84; Member since: 04 Apr 2011)
I may be holding the apple wrong, I have a horrible time typing on the iOS keyboard, though I will admit I only use my iPhone when it is required for my job. Android keyboard works better for me, just using the stock Nexus keyboard, though I use voice quite often because I am lazy. Can't wait to get my hands on a WP device, though. Don't plan on using one as a daily driver, just want to play with it, but who knows, I could like it.
33. -box- (Posts: 3973; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
I've tried the iOS keyboard. It's the worst I've ever used, even compared to some cheap touchscreen phones I've tried
43. android_sucks (Posts: 111; Member since: 28 Jul 2011)
Which iOS device? First gen ipod touch?
202. mrochester (unregistered)
I'm totally the opposite. I've found Android keyboards to be the worst, followed by the WP7 keyboard, with the iOS topping the lot. I recently purchased a Lumia 710 and I was getting incredibly frustrated at the keyboard for not auto-correcting obvious errors and for doing a pretty bad job at working out what I was trying to type. It also surprised me just how useful iOS's "Suggest" feature is as it was painful to live without it on WP7! Another odd thing with WP7 was when I was repeatedly pressing the delete key, even though I was tapping repeatedly in the same place, it would sometimes stop deleting and start typings lots of Ms instead! This necessitated yet more deleting!
14. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)
I can type fast on a small keyboard in my wildfire S. it depends on how big ur fingers are, really.
21. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
That definitely is an issue. I'm a pretty big dude, so my hands are just not designed for a 3.7" phone. That's why I loved Swype so much. It wasn't just faster, but faster using one finger.
The WP keyboard is very good though. The stock ICS keyboard is on par with it, maybe a bit better because it doesn't have the wonkiness with autocorrect.
30. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
are u using the keyboard in portrait or landscape? If your using it in landscape, i urge you to force yourself to use it in portrait. The auto correct works really well that way.
If my uncoordinated thumbs can speed type on WP7 in portrait, so can u!!! :)
47. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
mostly, i've been using it portrait, and still having the issues with autocorrect.
48. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
is it just not choosing the right words? are you adding in slang? The reason I ask is I have pretty much no complains on the HD7's autocorrect and find it to be about the best there is around. Android couldnt give it a run for its money until ICS which I think we all agree is way better than it was.
I assumed it would be the exact same on your Radar.
54. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
It's just flat out not correcting mistyped words.
63. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
wow.. then there is something odd going on. Have you gone into the settings and made sure that its all set up properly? it should pretty much just auto correct everything without you even thinking about it.
197. Archan_Pe (Posts: 74; Member since: 08 Apr 2012)
So true, if there is one thing i hate about android is its their keyboard, I hate it, kinda unresponsive, i prefer my N9's better... but out all of the keyboards ive seen the windows phone keyboard looks like its the best.. sitting side by side with the iOS
205. Synack (Posts: 672; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
Stock ICS keyboard > iPhone keyboard. Touch is better. Auto correct is MUCH better. Plus it's easier to type on a bigger screen.
12. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Live Tiles do the same job as widgets
44. android_sucks (Posts: 111; Member since: 28 Jul 2011)
They are awesome and Windows is sooooooo responsive. Love it!!!
154. Stuntman (Posts: 828; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
I found that live tiles are mentioned a lot, but I have yet to see some specific examples that are more than a number indicating how many emails you have or the contant flashing of various pictures in the contacts live tile. All example I have been able to find seem to show very little useful information and perhaps some eye candy. It's been a year and a half now and I have yet to see a live tile that is as functional as the widgets I have on my Android phone. I think the most functional live tile I have seen is the weather one.
On my Android phone, I have widgets that are full screen and show Facebook and Twitter updates as well as email and messages. I can scroll through these and reply or expand a particular item in the widget. I also have a widget that shows sports scores and I can tap on the up or down arrow to cycle through other games or select other leagues. I have a widget that allows me to cycle through 3 different screen brightnesses. I have a widget that allows me to turn the notification sounds off or turn on louder as I need.
What I would like to know is if there are apps on Windows phone that allow me to do these things. I have yet to actually see one. None of the videos I see that demo Windows Phone shows anything comparable with the use of live tiles. They're mostly dead tiles or show very limited useful information with no demonstration of functionality that exceeds or meets that of Android widgets.
Do you have any really cool and useful live tiles on your Windows Phone that you can show me that would impress me? I would really like to see some as I have not found any.
164. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
The best one I've got is one that keeps the info for a selected NBA game updated live.
The personal contact ones are good too, because they will flash between the person's picture and their latest Facebook/Twitter update. Rowi is good, Fuse, USA Today. I've heard good things about Weather Flow, but haven't tried it yet.
I'm still pretty new to all of this. Tomorrow will make one week with WP, so that's all I know. No such thing as a scrollable Live Tile, and as yet you have to have a developer unlocked WP to get WiFi toggles and things like that. Live Tiles can't completely cover the functionality of widgets, but they are pretty solid nonetheless.
The thing that Android users don't always seem to understand is that Live Tiles make up the functionality of both widgets and shortcuts. Not only can you get a Live Tile that will update data regularly, but you can use them to deep link into apps to make it easier to get to certain functions.
177. Stuntman (Posts: 828; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
Thank you, Michael for your quick response. I'm interested in this deep link into apps that you mentioned. Perhaps as an Android user, I don't quite understand what you mean by that. I would be interested in how it makes it easier to get to various functions.
As you have only used it for a week, you are likely still getting use to WP and learning its various features. I would be interested if you or someone more familiar with Windows Phone would write an article that highights Windows Live Tiles.
I have been an Android user for a year and a half now, I would be comparing any new phone or OS with my existing Android phone. I have been taking advantage of the functionality of the various widgets on my phone. The Android widgets set a pretty high standard for functionality on a mobile device or OS.
My impressions of Windows Phone widgets are that they can provide better eye candy with cool transitions. As for functionality, I question whether flipping between a person's picture and their Facebook update is really that useful. I'd rather just see the updates since what the person said is more important than the person's picture.
I think I have also only seen live tiles that were 1x1 or 2x1. Android widgets come in many sizes from 1x1 to 4x4 (whole screen). Does Windows Phone allow for larger live tiles? I feel that sometimes a very large live tile is needed for some applications.
It is possible that some cool and useful use of live tiles is yet to be created or found. I find that there are a few very good and useful Android widgets, but there are a lot of crappy ones. For many apps, I do not find the widget all that useful and just open the app instead of putting the widget on my home screen.
182. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
What I mean by deep linking is that you can pin specific notes from a notes app to your start screen. Or you can pin specific Twitter users or lists (depending on the app you have), or pin the weather from different cities. Things like that. So rather than launching an app and drilling down to what you want, many times you can pin a link straight to your destination.
Android 2.x had this in the form of "Shortcuts", but users never understood/knew about it, so in Android 4.0 it has been folded into Widgets.
207. Stuntman (Posts: 828; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
Android shortcuts are somewhat misunderstood. It took me a while to realise that shortcuts existed. I do find that the functionality of widgets can emulate that of shortcuts on Android phones. Perhaps that is why ICS merged them.
The features you mentioned seem to be more to do with the functionality of the app rather than the functionality of live tiles versus widgets/shortcuts. I have seen similar functionality in other apps where a widget or shortcut allows you to launch right into a specific entity of an app instead of having to launch the app first.
203. doubleD (Posts: 78; Member since: 13 Dec 2010)
@Stuntman - The difference in Live Tiles vs widgets was perhaps the biggest reason I returned an HTC Trophy almost a year ago.
I was curious about WP7 and upgraded from a Droid2 to the Trophy. While the Trophy was a nice looking phone, the OS is much more similiar to iOS. What I mean by that is that it's a nice, clean, interface, but doesn't seem functional until you launch an app, even with the Live Tiles.
There was nothing the Live Tiles did "live" that a widget on my Droid couldn't do much better with more functionality and customization.(i.e. the widget examples you listed above).
I really tried to like the Trophy, but I returned it after 10 days and got the Droid 3 on the day it came out.
204. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5685; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
that's funny, i was faced with the same choice when i was ready to upgrade from my Droid 2. i chose the Droid 3 over the Trophy too. the Droid 3 was one of the best phones i ever had, if not THE best.
181. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5685; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i actually prefer Live Tiles over Widgets for their cleaner look and i would imagine that with WP8 that they'll be re-sizable too which would be a big plus.
8. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
Thank you for this wonderful article Michael. I was thinking about moving to Windows Phone lately.
I e-mailed "Phone Arena Knows Best" and I'm still hoping to get a reply though. :) it's precisely about this topic and more. Keep up the good work PA.
18. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
glad to help. I'll be continuing this series soon enough. In a few days, I'll probably have a piece on finding the right apps, and transitioning services.
26. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
well, i haven't really transfered yet to the WP bandwagon since the update to Apollo isn't still confirmed, and being left behind sucks.
can i request for some information in your upcoming articles about wp devices being jailbreaked since I know nothing about that and other hacking stuff, and if zune is bothersome since it's like iTunes syncing, and Android has nothing like that. I'm not really well versed in th openness or closed ness of WP and this is a major factor for my decision on getting a Lumia ASAP. Thanks again Michael!
27. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
all of that is planned, although the hacking will probably be the very last piece, so that may be about a month away.
34. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
I was gonna ask if you were going to dive into WP7's hacking underworld for the report. Its a whole different ballgame when you get DeepShining hackers marketplace installed on the device.
if your interested in hacking, your best bet is to look through XDA for the phone of your choice, or do a general google search. I have experience hacking WP7 on my HTC HD7, and its not that hard. The DeepShining alt market gives you apps that add a lot of missing functionality to the OS.
198. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
thanks for that! will do it since I have never heard of it... but until the update to apollo is confirmed, i must not rush. :)
45. android_sucks (Posts: 111; Member since: 28 Jul 2011)
Xbox live games are fabulous! Some are a bit pricey but there alot of good free games. Enjoy!!
31. -box- (Posts: 3973; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
One concern I had was about the screen sizes.... HTC has had the HD7 and the Titan (and now TItan 2) with larger than 4" screens, so it's not a "recent" change
9. nyamo (Posts: 274; Member since: 19 Mar 2011)
jubbling, i don't know if you ever rooted an android device, but the fact that we have a battery percent right where the old icon was is awefully nice. no need for extra apps, widgets, always there at a glance.
i had a samsung focus for a few months to try it out and it just wasn't for me. i recall the only way for me to see a battery % was to go into some dev mode screen that you had to input some code on the dialar to access. not too friendly.
the one thing that keeps me from picking up another win phone is the integration with zune is too high. i understand using it to push updates to phones is a great idea, but needing zune to push or pull anything on or off the phone was a tad bit too apple like for me.
ics is somewhat killing that for me with MTP instead of UMS, perhaps with win8 will bring UMS function i'll think about trying it out again