A few people have asked this question recently so I have decided to make a blog post about why I ditched my iPhone and bought a Windows Phone 7. Many seem to think I am an Apple fanboy, I’m not. Apple does some great things such as iPad, iTunes, Mac OS X. Apple also do some average/terrible things such as Apple stores, Mac hardware and now the iPhone 4.
Why I ditched the iPhone
I’ve owned an iPhone ever since the first iPhone 2G and have watched it grow over the years, sometimes playing catchup, sometimes being revolutionary. I had the iPhone when there was no apps, no web apps, no 3G, many don’t remember those days and seem to think they need 300,000 apps at their finger tips. Owning an iPhone for this long has shown me something, Apple doesn’t want to change the UI, they like the static blocks of apps. These static app icons on a phone seems crazy, you want to know immediately whats going on when you go to the home screen. The iPad having pretty much the same set of icons doesn’t bother me as much as you don’t need to see these as much. To me staring at the same set of 16 icons and even after many updates resulting in the same UI has become boring and the more they try to add on to it the more dated it looks. Take for example the multitasking bar which now has a rotation lock, iPod controls, current music playing icon, volume controls, airplay button, it’s very messy. Folders is another example of them just adding on to the same UI and its just bland after 4 years of waiting for something exciting.
Another issue I have found with the iPhone 4 was that I quite often had no service. I’m not talking about the media made ‘antenna gate death grip’ situation, I am talking about it just sitting there with no service. Some will say well thats the network, but please explain to me why my mifi had service with the same carrier and now my Windows Phone gets signal where I had no service. A ‘helpful’ genius bar member claimed there was different pass-codes for each device, obviously Apple has a terrible pass-code with the network. Whilst also at the genius bar I was told that all 94 apps in the multitasking bar were open (fully running). My mac can’t even run 94 apps at the same time never mind a phone with 512MB RAM! Enough about that terrible service.
My final reason for ditching the iPhone was that I was always buying an iPad version of an app unless it was universal. I was using the HD versions of games, the iPad version of apps more and more over the iPhone. The iPhone became a tweeting, facebook updating and foursquare checking device. I looked over all the apps that I actually used, check they were in the Zune Marketplace and that was me sold.
What I love about Windows Phone 7
The day Windows Phone 7 launched I had the opportunity to play with one for around 30 minutes in my local O2 store, my friend even bought one there and then. I kept thinking about the OS and decided I wanted one.
As you’ve gathered the thing I really like is the UI, from screenshots it just looks like blocks but that’s not the case. The live tiles that they advertise really are good, showing Facebook statuses from friends, showing me latest photos, music played with image of the band, news and weather. I think that in the future there will be even more live tiles as this is the main advantage of Windows Phone 7, they aren’t tacky widgets or static icons they are dynamic and can change to what you need. Notifications also appear at the top, not interrupting the entire screen (iOS) which is very helpful and they also appear on the lock screen showing latest emails, messages and phone calls.
I also like the built in ‘hubs’, these panorama applications often build in different things such as people that shows my recent contacts, a contact list, what’s new on Facebook. When I bring up the contact I can see the latest Facebook picture and status. I’d love to see this integrated with twitter as well to be even more social. Another hub is the photos hub which will show the saved photos, my latest photo as a full background and the latest photos from flickr and Facebook friends. Apps can also appear here although I haven’t found any that have yet but I’m sure more integration will appear in these hubs as time goes on. I also love the integration with Bing, which is my primary search engine, just by pressing the search button it will find local information and display first if its relevant as well as web and latest news, very helpful.
There are a few minor things that need changing but overall I am very happy with this phone. I’d like to see more live tiles, better browser, twitter integration, video support, more xbox live integration and of course copy and paste.
Would I still recommend iPhone? Yes, if that is really what you want. However everyone has an iPhone now which is another reason I switched, it just isn’t as special anymore. I think that Windows Phone 7 is a very strong platform, it is up there with iOS for being the best smartphone operating system. I’d recommend that if you have an iPad get a Windows Phone instead of an iPhone, as you don’t want to buy multiple versions of the same app. One thing is still for sure, I can never recommend Android.