First (but biref) experience with Windows Phone 8

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by xraydoc, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #1
    So I'm waiting for my wife to finish what she's doing at the shopping mall, so I wander for the first time in to the Microsoft Store (it's been open for the better part of a year but I've never been in it).

    I go over to the Windows Phone display and pick up an HTC model (not sure which it was).

    The OS is remarkably fluid - very much like iOS and worlds of improvement from the jerky mess that is Android. The operation of the phone itself seemed like a cross between iOS and Android.

    I didn't get too deep in to it, but on the surface (no pun intended), I was rather impressed. If I had to give up on iOS, I'd give serious thought to the Windows Phone over Android.
     
  2. 3bs macrumors 603

    3bs

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    #2
    I recently bought an HTC 8X to test out WP8 and I think Android and iOS are both superior. WP8 looks nice and is very pleasant to use but it lacks basic features like a system wide orientation lock. One thing it's got going for it is simplicity, but that can be a bad thing. There's very little you can customize and jailbreak/Android users might not like that.

    I'm not dissing the OS because I really do like it and wish they would have put more thought into certain areas. Lack of apps is a bit disappointing but I've found alternatives to most of the apps I use.
     
  3. xraydoc thread starter macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #3
    Agreed. Even compared to iOS, it seems to be missing a lot of options (and we all know how people like to complain about iOS's "lack" of options - though IMHO it's a design decision and not lazy programming).

    But using iOS and playing with WP8 makes me realize just how clunky Android can be. Not saying it doesn't have its benefits for some people, but silky smoothness isn't one of its strong points.

    Again, not trying to make an iOS vs. Android vs. Other thread again. Just sharing my impressions of using a WP8 device for the first time. I have multiple iOS and Android devices already.
     
  4. hovscorpion12 macrumors 65816

    hovscorpion12

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    #4
    2013 Smartphone user timeline
    Avid blackberry users -----------> Windows Phone 8
    Avid Apple users -----------------> Samsung Android
    no one goes to IOS!!!!:eek::eek::eek:

    The point of this is that people who were fans and avid to those companies are leaving. Apple fans to Android, Blackberry to windows.
     
  5. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

    Liquorpuki

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    #5
    I knew iOS was getting stale but I never realized how much until I was started playing around with LiveTiles. The only caveat is you're in the beginning stages of watching the ecosystem grow. Having Nokia on board helps though because they're pushing WP8 as hard as MS is. Nokia Drive is my new Google Maps/Navigon replacement and it's better than both

    The UI and information centric approach is awesome
     
  6. scott craft macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    WP8 is a big improvement over WP7 in a lot of ways, but I'm disappointed in the amount of bugs it has. The HTC Trophy I had certainly wasn't flawless, but it was quite a bit more stable than the Lumia 822 I have now. Microsoft needed to get an update for these phones out last month. I think it really hurts a small market share platform a lot to have software issues, especially when it isn't up to par with android and ios in features.
     
  7. blairh macrumors 68030

    blairh

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    #7
    The constant tile transitions would drive me insane.
     
  8. b166er macrumors 68020

    b166er

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    #8
    I'm using a 920 and have few complaints. Battery life is literally double what I was getting with the iPhone 4S. I sold my 4S for $435 and bought the 920 off contract for $450.

    App selection is getting better by the day, but there are some obvious things missing. I am really eager for any app that will give me google video chat. But all in all I love WP8 and the 920's hardware is so good. I like solid phones, and Nokia has always been king in that regard.

    I like Android, I use it daily. But as far as it has come, I feel it just looks kinda cheap still. Performance is so much better than it used to be though and for that I applaud them, and the app selection is basically starting to mirror iOS at this point. iOS is still great on the iPad I think. I use it often, mostly for actual creation VS consumption.

    WP8 just nails it for me as a in the pocket OS. I love the live tiles. I hope it opens up a little more in time (still missing toggles) but right now it is really doing it for me.
     
  9. F123D macrumors 68040

    F123D

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    #9
    How are notifications displayed? I read that unless you have a live tile on the home screen for that specific app, you won't get a notification?
     
  10. scott craft macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Some apps give a brief notification at the top of the screen that disappears after 4 seconds. Unfortunately email doesn't give this notification. You can set up five apps to give a notification count on the lockscreen. Other than that you have to rely on the live tiles. Coming from android I wish Microsoft would incorporate some kind of notification center.
     
  11. 7thson macrumors 6502a

    7thson

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    #11
    I had a similar experience as the OP, but I came to the conclusion that I would choose Android over WP8 if I had to choose right then. I did like it, the tiles aren't bad, but in just noodling around it seemed kind of sparse, like it could have had more depth in the features. Some of this could obviously be that I am just not familiar enough with the UI. I liked it enough that I hope it survives and continues to develop. It almost seems like MS doesn't really know what they are going up against, as hard as that is to believe.
     
  12. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

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    #12
    Which ones?
     
  13. tensiondeadache macrumors regular

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    #13
    I love WP8 on my Lumia 920. So much in fact, I've accepted the trade off of apps on iOS for WP8. Every night I re-customize the home screen depending on what I'm doing the next day. Today I was driving around PCH and OC a lot, so I blew up Nokia Drive and Music tiles to the biggest size, and minimized the phone, email, text apps to the smallest size. The integration of Nokia city lens, maps, transit is as good or better than anything else you'll find.
     
  14. xraydoc thread starter macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #14
    At present I use an iPhone 5, an iPad mini and an iPad 3; I also have a Galaxy S3 (VZW, unlocked bootloader and rooted, running CleanROM JB) and a Nexus 7 (stock ROM but rooted).

    I sold a Galaxy Nexus LTE on here not too long ago. I still have a Droid Incredible sitting in a drawer somewhere.

    The Androids don't get much use at the moment.
     
  15. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

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    #15
    Crazy how different people can be....to me that would be a massive headache haha
     
  16. 7thson macrumors 6502a

    7thson

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    #16
    That sounds pretty cool. Customization is one of my biggest, but unlikely, hopes for the future of iOS
     
  17. aaronchow macrumors regular

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    #17
    Correct.

    But since you are talking about notifications, I want to give some thoughts about it.

    There is really no notification center on Wndows Phone 8. First of all, the Windows Phone design philosophy is very different when compared to iOS and Android. iOS and Android are very app-centric, meaning that the home screen are organized in a way that allows you to display as many application icons as possible. But the icons you see on the home screen are just regular shortcuts that don't give you any specific info about the programs.

    You may think of the icons as a door inside your house. Each app is a door. If an app wants your attention, they will put a sign in front of their door with a brief message of what it is. These notifications are good, but it still doesn't give you any idea on what is behind the door since you can't see through the door. If you want to see what is happening, you will still have to individually open each door to see what is going on.

    For Windows Phone, the home screen is now a bunch of Live Tiles, which is more like a window than a door. With these windows, you are able to see what's going on without opening each individual app. For example, I've pinned my wife's several social account into a single Live Tile. And whenever my wife updates something, I can always see what they are without opening up that indivisible app.

    Many people are confused on why Windows Phone doesn't offer notification center, but if you take advantage of the Live Tiles, the entire home screen becomes your notification center, except it is better
     
  18. rMBP15 macrumors member

    rMBP15

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    #18
    Played around with a HTC Windows phone in Microsoft store today, I can now confidently say that Windows phones are complete rubbish
     
  19. aaronchow macrumors regular

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    #19
    I won't even try to convince you to change your mind, but without giving a proper evaluation period to any new platform, how can you be so confident that it is a complete rubbish.

    Somehow I really miss the good old PDA era. Most of the people who I talked with were open minded and intelligent. I am not saying that you are wrong, but consider that this is the forum to discuss other platforms openly, and also consider that you didn't have a full experience with it, you shouldn't contribute your opinion as your opinion will affect other potential buyers decision.

    If you plan to say something like "complete rubbish," at least you should just spend couple more minutes to explain why you think so. This should help this forum to be intelligent and vivid.
     
  20. 3bs macrumors 603

    3bs

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    #20
    I don't think I use any apps that utilize that unfortunately. All I get is a number.
     
  21. b166er macrumors 68020

    b166er

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    #21
    The whole idea of the live tiles means I spend a lot less time needing to even open apps. Most of the time what I need to know is displayed on the tile for me. This saves time and battery. Two pig pluses for me. And arranging the screen to fit your needs is great. At first it seems weird but once you get used to the OS it's awesome. I basically have two screens worth of live tiles. Most days I don't touch it, but if there is a flyers game or if I'm going to be using school email a lot I will move a couple tiles to the top to keep me updated on what's going on for those few hours. You can do a lot more with the tiles once you learn the OS a bit and experiment.
     
  22. MuffCabbage macrumors regular

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    Nov 11, 2012
    #22
    I think Weather Flow is the best example Ive seen.
    You can set the Live Tile to show the next few days of forecast, the next few hours, the current weather, weather its going to be warmer or cooler today, the chane of rain etc.
    Calender shows upcoming appointments.
    Baconit shows when your upcoming cake day is along with comment and link karma. Maybe displays stuff for messages, I dont know.
    Email can show emails.
     

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