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Switching from Android to Windows Phone Part 1: initial impressions and missing features

0. phoneArena 10 May 2012, 09:20 posted on

Making a change or choosing a new mobile platform can be a big step. Our mobile devices are more and more important in our daily lives, so the choice we make for our hardware and software dictates a lot of how we interact on a daily basis...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 10 May 2012, 09:48 2

10. bloodline (Posts: 706; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

Why does phonesarena always pick on android ?

why not IOS to Windows as the two are more similar than android.

It always seems like phonesarena hates on android when the truth is, without android phonesarena wouldnt have very much to write about.

posted on 10 May 2012, 09:56 9

16. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2700; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Please stop bringing your bias to the table. Pointing out flaws is not "hating", it's critiquing. Trying something new is not "hating", it's being open-minded. It's perfectly possible to like something, or even love it, but still admit that there are flaws, and to try something just for the sake of experiencing something new.

I chose Android, because I have been using Android for the past 3 years, before that I used iOS for a year. The point isn't to discuss a transition that may be fairly easy because of similarities, the point is to discuss a transition that may be pretty difficult because the platforms are so different. The point is also to talk about going from the dominant platform to the upstart, and iOS has no place in that discussion.

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:11 1

25. bloodline (Posts: 706; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

well seems like a windows press release to me

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:20 6

28. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2700; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Yes, I'm sure all Windows press releases go into detail about the limitations and missing features of the platform...

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:31

35. bloodline (Posts: 706; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

seems like an apple press release to me

posted on 10 May 2012, 14:54 2

134. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)

Are you dumb?

posted on 10 May 2012, 15:34

162. poojaroy (Posts: 52; Member since: 29 Apr 2012)

in my opinion ppl should migrate frm w7 to android thats a correct article bcoz this platform is big,techy,worth and interesting and above ios or other etc.we dont have to waste money in experimenting featurless os.invest ur money in a right place and android will leave all behind so think about it

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:50 2

46. android_sucks (Posts: 111; Member since: 28 Jul 2011)

Because Android sucks!!!!!

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:14

53. Whateverman (Posts: 3250; Member since: 17 May 2009)

How original...

posted on 10 May 2012, 15:23 1

158. poojaroy (Posts: 52; Member since: 29 Apr 2012)

i think u suck dum ass

posted on 10 May 2012, 15:21

156. poojaroy (Posts: 52; Member since: 29 Apr 2012)

haaaaaaaaaaaa lol very true ,i was thinking same thing.....

posted on 10 May 2012, 09:48 1

11. Phaze0085 (Posts: 112; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)

Sense Ive already had a WP7, I can say that I like it better than android. But i am currently using the Note, But if they ever make a WP7 device the size of the note ill be on that just even faster.

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:37

41. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

HTC Titan 1 and 2 are close... 4.7" screen compared to 5.d" on the Note

posted on 10 May 2012, 09:55 4

15. darktranquillity (Posts: 284; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)

Why would someone wanna switch to windows in the first place or is this a solicitation by phonearena?

posted on 10 May 2012, 09:58 4

17. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2700; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Maybe someone has been using Hotmail and Office Live a lot and they'd like to have better integration than is available with Android. Maybe someone gets sick of the wait for software updates. Maybe someone just wants to try something different.

That's the crazy thing about life. There are a lot of choices, and new things can be quite fun, even for just a short time.

posted on 10 May 2012, 12:59

78. iWallE (Posts: 48; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)

Congratulations for the experiment. It could be useful for a lot of people.
Change is a great driving force of people's lives. That's why "new" is sometimes perceived as "better", just because it brings a change to your life. Hopefully your articles will reveal how good WP 7 really is once the novelty wears off and whether it is fun just for a short time.
Last year I was thinking of buying a WP HTC as a second phone , but back then they were too expensive for experiments and by now I'm too strongly tied with Android to consider a switch.
In the comments of a recent article about Nokia's exclusive apps I tried to make a point that Android's endless choice options leave no place for a third mobile OS in the mainstream, unless it offers something revolutionary. I'm curious to know your opinion after several weeks/months with WP.

posted on 10 May 2012, 16:32

185. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5710; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

yeah, i'm actually a big Hotmail and Office user and i really appreciated it's deep integration when i was using the WP platform.

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:02 2

19. Veigald (Posts: 290; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)

Open your mind and try a Lumia, then you'll see why some people would switch. Obviously not for everyone, but for a lot of people WP will be attractive.

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:07 1

22. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2700; Member since: 26 May 2011)

I'd love to try a Lumia as I said, but I'm not switching to AT&T, and not even an unlocked international Lumia 800 can run on the T-Mo 3G. And, that was a deal killer.

Maybe I'll do a follow up on this series when the Lumia 900 hits T-Mo.

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:34 1

39. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

other than the nicer screen, the main difference with the Nokia's is the nokia maps app suite. And its a very important part of the ecosystem that only Nokia has right now. You can easily get that through hacking though.
Deja-vu with this conversation, eh? :)

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:36 3

40. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

only half of the US has a smartphone, and way less than half of the world has a smartphone, so there are tons of people that have no bias that would love WP7.

Its not always about switching to a different platform as much as its also STARTing with the platform that best suites your needs. Also, if your a light user of any OS its not a hard jump.. its only if you are heavily tied into an ecosystem that it becomes difficult to jump.

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:19

57. jimjam (Posts: 257; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

Simplicity man

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:09 2

23. gargoyle (Posts: 14; Member since: 17 Aug 2011)

i have looked at windows phone and my cousin works at a best buy mobile and got a free wp phone. between us we went over the phone and though there are nice features about it (like how quick it loads on restart or loading programs) its also very plain. My cousin already is getting ready to take his back because of it being to boring. remember most people get the phone on contract in the usa and that means ur going to have that phone for 2 years. windows phone gets really boring to look at in a months time just think of haveing it for 2 years. yes you can change the live tiles around but it still pretty much looks the same. you can't change the look or feal of the phone (personalize it, make it yours) if you have seen one windows phone you have seen them all. android you can change alot of things without doing anything like rooting or flashing. just installing launchers you can drastically change a phone so its seems new all over again. I change the way my phone looks evey couple of weeks just for the fun of it. mostly through free backgrounds from the play store, if i truelly want a change i will mess with the launcher to change other things (like the way the app draw behaves side swipe vs vertical, or four rows vs five or six rows the transition between screens can be change things like that all make the phone feel and look different). so yes android is not as fast as windows phones when loading most programs but it makes up for that in being able to keep your attention for longer and makeing the phone more enjoyable to play with (and know you don't have to be a techi to figure out how to do most things, if you can't figure it out on your own youtube has tons and tons of how to video's).

posted on 10 May 2012, 12:12

67. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

I don't disagree with the lack of personalization, but it beats iOS by a wide margin

posted on 27 May 2012, 09:37

211. joe73112 (Posts: 3; Member since: 27 May 2012)

boring? cuz lots of Americans want a toy rather than a tool?

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:28 1

32. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)

Great article Michael. H
Android 7th vs WP 2nd version

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:32 3

36. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

Just wanted to point a misnomer. The HD7 was the first WP7 handset, and it was 4.3 inches, so size hasnt been an issue. :)

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:32 3

37. demarmj (Posts: 17; Member since: 03 May 2012)

I'm on the same boat as Michael. I had the original ipod touch (not the iphone) and thought it was a bit too static and wasn't into the "lite" apps. I bought the droid eris on verizon about 3 years ago and then switched to at&t where I got the htc aria. Both were great. I rooted the aria and even managed to get 4.0 working on it. I really like Android...but I'm also feeling like I need some change. Change for the sake of change and no other reason than that. I own a mac...never use bing...and yet i'm willing to try out the Nokia Lumia because it has one thing that my aria and droid eris lacked which is a quality build. It feels strong in the hand. It doesn't feel like cheap plastic. I know it will last me 2 years (unless it doesn't get apollo :-P ). I'm glad this article is being written because I would like to know what I'm getting in to. For example, I'm sure if i'm going to miss one thing it'll be a notification bar. I know i'll catch up self swiping down from the top and saying "where is it?" But that's the fun with change. It's a whole different experience.

posted on 10 May 2012, 10:43 4

42. android_sucks (Posts: 111; Member since: 28 Jul 2011)

Awesome!!!! I switched from Android to Windows and I love it!!!!! I do agree that there are a few things missing from Windows that Android has....namely, the constant lagging, freezing and forceclosing that is Android. BTW @MichaelHeller why would you choose an HTC Radar?!! Maybe you should try a Samsung Windows device. Just a suggestion.

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:08 2

49. nyamo (Posts: 274; Member since: 19 Mar 2011)

i'll tell you the same thing that i told my mother in law when she was looking to upgrade from her focus. not all smart phones are created equal in android. where as ios and WP behave much the same way from phone to phone.

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:18 1

56. jimjam (Posts: 257; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

I love my Radar!

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:13

52. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)

Coming from Android OS, I would have given WP7 a try regardless of how much I've invested into Android. My only beef was Verizon's inability to act quickly on the Lumia 900 launch. I could go with an HTC Trophy but for the current subsidized price (compared to the Lumia 900) and no LTE I might as well be giving VZW my money for nothing.

There's no question HTC Trophy could be a valuable and decent phone, it's just there are so many alternatives (Radar 4G, Focus 2) that grab my attention from other carriers.

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:28 1

59. Whateverman (Posts: 3250; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Nokia made the 900 an exclusive for AT&T, so there wasn't anything VZW could do to get it earlier. Also considering Nokia has never been keen on the idea of making CDMA phones, there was very little chance that the 900 would have landed on VZW anyway.

But I know what you mean about having the Focus being the ONLY choice. There is no reason why VZW shouldn't have reached out to HTC or Samsung for another WP device or two.

posted on 10 May 2012, 12:47 1

75. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)

Nokia doesn't have the leisure in being picky at this time but given that Verizon's selection of Nokia phones is slim to none we won't be seeing the Lumia 900 nor a "910".

posted on 10 May 2012, 15:17 1

153. Whateverman (Posts: 3250; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Which is really sad, because I am/was a HUGE fan of Nokia's, though I am no fan of Elops nor WP. But I would at least give WP a try if it were warped in Nokia hardware.

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:17 2

55. jimjam (Posts: 257; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

A very negative review once you get past the lovely UI comment. Coming from android which the reviewer obviously likes skews this comparison. The benefits of WP7 lie in its simplicity.

I found android to be overly complicated for a new or casual user. I can't stand how notifications are handled. The ugly email app alone has made me return countless android handsets even though I've tried really hard to like it. I've hated trying countless apps that did not work properly due to different resolutions etc. Also when I installed a new browser I got tired of trying to figure out how to stop the pop up about which browser to use every time I tried to open a webpage from something else. I'm sure people will say that you can change things easily and it is down to me ... but the point is that wp7 is easy to use in 5 minutes... android takes several days or weeks to get to speed. Some people do not have the time or inclination to experiment like that.

There are also lovely features in wp7 you do not touch on which are not done well in android. EG Tap to correct works really well in wp7 ... not sure if android has that. Also the wp7 keyboard is as good as you need ... android choice of keyboards is overated imo. I never really liked any of them.

I personally like that there are not more live tiles as it can get distracting and messy otherwise. What there is is great.

I really just don't think the reviewer gets wp7. Really I think someone moving from Ios is more likely to like WP7. If you can get past fewer apps then wp7 is far nicer to use than ios.

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:26 2

58. demarmj (Posts: 17; Member since: 03 May 2012)

I think your argument can go both ways. Someone could easily say to you that you don't really get android. If simplicity and ease of use is your thing than WP7 seems perfect. If you like to change roms, customize 7 home screens and have countless notifications and different keyboards, then android is for you. The thing about this article is that it's an opinion article. It's not WP7 vs ICS...its more like "if you're an experience android user and want to switch, you may occur these feelings/maybe not." I think both OS's are great I feel like we need a bad a** hybrid of android and WP7 and android...we'll call it...Windows phandroid or Android Phone 7 :-P

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:33 1

60. jimjam (Posts: 257; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

Yes the argument can go both ways if I was intending it to be an argument. However the reviewer here clearly is skewed towards android instead of painting a balanced picture. There are great things about android and great things about wp7. I am just pointing out that there is more to wp7 than the reviewer seems to get.

Then again the article is about moving from android to wp7 which few people will do as they are really at opposite ends of the spectrum.

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:41

62. demarmj (Posts: 17; Member since: 03 May 2012)

Yes, it seems you're right, however I remember the good ol Android 1.6 days where people were saying the same thing about Blackberry and Iphone users regarding switching from their end of the spectrum to android...Just 3 or 4 years later...We are kicking butt in the market.

posted on 10 May 2012, 13:07

79. chapizzo (Posts: 116; Member since: 13 Sep 2011)

yet you still make it sound like this id an article comparing android and windows phone. It's not, it's just looking at how one may find windows phone coming from a strong android background and i think its pretty spot on.

posted on 10 May 2012, 13:15

81. jimjam (Posts: 257; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

Its hardly fair on wp7. If you were strong on WP7 and went to android you could equally berate android for all its failings. What exactly is the point of this article - to make android users feel good!?!

posted on 10 May 2012, 13:28

86. jimjam (Posts: 257; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

Okay great so then let an ios user write an article about moving to android and bash the heck out of android. What is the point of all of this?? ios user says android stinks. Android users says wp7 is pathetic. Wp7 user says android is laggy. Blah blah.

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:49 3

64. Whateverman (Posts: 3250; Member since: 17 May 2009)

He says in the article that these are first impressions and the experiment will last for 6 weeks. How could he possibly know every feature on the phone and comment on all those features on day one. Your experience with Android sounds horrible and you didnt hold anything back on how bad it was for you but It seems to me you just didn't get Android. So why can't Michael give HIS view, on HIS experience with this phone positive or negative. This isn't a review, nor was it negative. If anything it's opening a few people's minds to trying a WP7 device. Look for the positive instead of immediately jumping on the slightest hint of preceived negativity.

posted on 10 May 2012, 13:21

84. jimjam (Posts: 257; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

He can give his view. He obviously has a great fan base of android users to listen to it.

posted on 10 May 2012, 15:29

161. Whateverman (Posts: 3250; Member since: 17 May 2009)

But look at all these Android users who are saying good things about WP. What that says to me is maybe this article (even though it isn't promoted this way) is written for Android fans.

The author just said he has been using a Galaxy Nexus since December. So he probably is a fan of the Android OS as well as others, but thats what he has been using. He says he is now trying a WP7 Device. did you really expect a "WP7 is the best OS ever" type article on day one? Did you sat that on day one of your first WP7 device or did it take you a day or so to figure that out?

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:52 2

65. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

the basics of android work right out of the box, just like any OS. The standard OEM set up is more than enough for light use people..

However, your sentiments on the matter directly reflect why I think WP7 will pull more from iOS marketshare than from Android. Something nicer than a plain icon grid while still maintaining that simplistic ease of use some people like. The biggest hold up on WP7 is the lack of some big name apps that iOS and Android both see as "basics", but that will come in time.

posted on 10 May 2012, 13:24

85. jimjam (Posts: 257; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

and yet to actually get a good android experience you need to hack slash and bash it. If you like that then you get a lot out of it ... if you don't then you don't.

posted on 10 May 2012, 13:44 2

90. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

thats not true in the least. and if you want to play that route, then in order to get a good experience on any OS, you have to hack, slash, and bash it. Otherwise Cydia wouldnt exist to make iOS more like android, and DeepShine wouldnt exist on WP7 to add in missing features.

The reality is that all 3 OS's work just fine out of the box. Of the 3, Android gives you by far the most options. Everything else is preference.

posted on 10 May 2012, 14:09

102. jimjam (Posts: 257; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

you say that and yet how many people keep an out of the box android experience compared with the other OSes?
You can't really argue against it because that would be bashing android. Its main advantage is the sheer customizability, hackability etc. If you don't want to do any of that you probably won't like android or at the very least would be so much better with one of the more simple OSes out there ie IOS, WP7, blackberry, even symbian.

posted on 10 May 2012, 12:00 3

66. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2700; Member since: 26 May 2011)

It's not a matter of "getting it". The point of the article is what someone could expect coming from Android to WP. So, the issues listed are those that may pop out to an Android user who is used to certain things.

Simplicity is not a benefit. Simplicity is a feature. Sometimes, simplicity can mean something is made too simple and it becomes unclear. For a first time WP user, the icons are not all very intuitive. Where someone coming from another system may look for a compose icon, there is simply a plus sign. Simplicity can be great. Over-simplicity is a problem. Windows Phone has yet to find that balance for me.

Keep in mind, this is the first part of a series, so as I get to know Windows Phone better it is possible my feelings will change, but I'm writing as I go because I want it to reflect the complete journey one may take coming from Android to WP.

posted on 10 May 2012, 13:19

83. jimjam (Posts: 257; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

Nobody is going from android to WP7. Your article explains clearly why android users will hate wp7. Is that what the point of this is ... to buoy up android fans?

posted on 10 May 2012, 14:08

100. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2700; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Anyone going from one platform to another is going to miss certain features. If those features don't matter, then they'll certainly switch if they want.

posted on 10 May 2012, 14:36

124. jimjam (Posts: 257; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)

They are also going to really love certain things which you didn't really highlight. Other than being pretty. Were they that bad your first impressions?

posted on 10 May 2012, 15:54

167. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2700; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Nothing was bad, but as I said in the article, there were some inconsistencies, and there were features that I was surprised didn't exist. I never said that it was bad that those things weren't there. I said that it is something that users should know going in.

I never got into the daily use of WP, this is all just overall impressions. Overall, the design is great, the UI cohesion is great, Live Tiles and navigation are good, the small touches are great, it's amazing that you can uninstall carrier/manufacturer apps, and the keyboard works well.

Those are all the positives I gave. And the negatives: inconsistent autocorrect, sometimes oversimplistic design, and limitations with background tasks. That's 6 positives to 3 negatives.

Yes, the article may look lopsided, but it takes longer to explain a negative than to explain a positive. If I say the design is wonderful and show a picture, that covers it. However, when I say that there are limitations to background tasks, I have to explain it.

posted on 10 May 2012, 11:39 1

61. gborodaty (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 May 2012)

I'm curious how you're experiment goes Michael. I tried switching from a Nexus One to a Lumia 710 for 30 days in March. I thought the UI and responsiveness of the phone was great, but I couldn't get over the lack of official apps and poor integration with Gmail and Google Voice. I was losing too much productivity and decided to switch back to a Galaxy Nexus. Overall, I believe WP7 can be a viable third OS. There needs to be more official apps and better hardware choices. I predict 2013 will be the year for Windows Phone, after Windows 8 is released.
(You can see all my WP7 thoughts here -http://minilistings.com/blog/windows-phone-7-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly)

posted on 10 May 2012, 12:18 1

69. ivanko34 (Posts: 617; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)

Switching to wp from android???
Its a joke!

posted on 10 May 2012, 12:33 1

71. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

I have no problem shifting back to Windows mobile....Windows 8, that is. With my next upgrade I will have to think about it.

posted on 10 May 2012, 12:33

72. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Bravo on trying WP7 out, Michael. I look forward to reviewing your continued thoughts on its pros and cons versus Android, especially as the two OSes continue to develop.

One thing that would stop me from moving to WP right now is the fact that there is no current device that will be updated to WP8, so the buck basically stops at Mango/Tango. Slow updates are better than no updates. Just saying.

posted on 10 May 2012, 12:44 1

73. Veigald (Posts: 290; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)

No current device that will be updated to WP8? What's your source?

posted on 10 May 2012, 12:46

74. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


or Google "no windows phones will receive windows 8" if for some reason the link won't work.

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