I've been using my new iPhone for some time now. I'm more proficient with it, and I have become spoiled by the number and quality of apps in the iOS ecosystem, but I still miss my Windows Phone. In fact, if it weren't for the apps, I'd go back to the Windows Phone in a minute.
My column last month was titled “I Made the Switch to iPhone 6--and Now I Miss My Windows Phone 8.1,” and, boy, did it cause an Internet firestorm.
My column has appeared on DevPro for years, but this particular one was also posted on one of DevPro's sister sites, SuperSite for Windows. You can read the column here, but more interesting than anything I wrote is the commentary from readers. I’m still shocked by not only the number of comments the column received, but also the thoughtfulness with which they were written. I especially appreciated the unbiased comments from readers who, at one time or another, have used most or all of the major smartphone operating systems: iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry.
I never anticipated writing a follow-up to that little article, but there was so much great commentary that it just seemed right to keep the conversation going.
By way of catching everyone up, I've been using my iPhone now for five weeks. I’m much more proficient with it now, and I’m spoiled by the richness and quality of apps in the iOS ecosystem. But, like many of the commenters who have used both iOS-based devices and Windows Phones, if it weren’t for those apps, I’d be using a Windows Phone.
To be fair, there are lots more things I love about the iPhone, but there are also lots of things I could do without:
Love: The apps--they are so good, and there are so many.
Hate: There are so many good apps, in fact, that I cannot keep up with organizing them on my iPhone. I have created folders on the iPhone. but that functionality is not as good as it is on Windows Phone devices. And now that I have so many pages of apps installed, how will I ever find the rogue one I rarely use but want now? Windows Phone has an awesome installed-app search capabilitiy native in the OS. I still haven’t found a way to do that proficiently on IOS.
Love: The camera on my iPhone. It takes much better pictures, and it does so quickly. Maybe that is a device-specific thing, but none of the Windows Phones I've used had cameras that would come close to the iPhone's.
Hate: It’s still impossible and frustrating to type (or swipe) proficiently--and you would never know how bad it is on the iPhone unless you had used a Windows Phone.
Hate: I miss live tiles on the Windows Phone. I didn’t realize how elegant and powerful they were until they were gone. I took for granted that I could glance at the screen to see the weather, news headlines, even pictures of my friends active in social networking. Live Tiles is such a good name because on iOS they are Dead Tiles.
Hate: I assumed the cloud functionality would be the same, but, as so many readers pointed out, this is just not the case. Microsoft’s OneDrive--and entire cloud functionality, for that matter--is seamless and superior to iCloud. iCloud also gives me that really beta feeling. It just seems like things are broken. (That beta feeling is so much like Google and so not like Apple.)
Hate: I still miss the back button--terribly. If you are in an app and get distracted by an email or text or other alert, you can truly go back on Windows Phone. On the iPhone, if you are distracted, you risk losing state in that app. You also risk simply remembering what you were doing before you got distracted. Windows Phone has a true back button, and it works magically. I don’t care what other iPhone users say--it is just not the same to hit the home button twice on iOS and navigate back to a somewhat tombstoned app.
Love: Did I mention how awesome the apps and the app ecosystem on iOS is?
Conclusions: I have none--just thoughts. Everyone is different in terms of their phone-love. I could feel totally different and be totally in love with my iPhone in a few months. But, I doubt it. If it weren’t such a financial nightmare to switch back to Windows Phone I probably would. But then there's that one iOS-only app--the one that works with my satellite tracking device and ensures I won’t die in the wilderness if I get hurt. When the Windows 10 Phone comes out, will it be worth it to switch back? Probably. Except for that one app ...