While the world has been caught up in the frenzy that is the IPhone vs. Android phone race, a relative newcomer has come in, stolen the show, and not many people have even been bothered to notice. This statement of course is entirely subjective, but having used an android phone and an IPod touch for some time (IPhone basically has the same interface and capabilities as an IPod touch, it just doubles as a phone.) I feel as if I have a leg to stand on when I say that Windows phone has me more hooked than any of my previous mobile devices ever have. My new phone has compelled me to explore its features and use it to its maximum potential, not just as a cellular phone, but as a mobile workstation, social networking tool and even as an entertainment centre. If you’re interested in why I’m so wild about Windows continue reading. Up until I got this new phone, I’ve always been someone who used his cell phone as a cell phone and not much else. I always did find it fascinating that they could cram all this “functionality” into such a portable device but to me it felt like just that, crammed in. Sure I could do email on my old android phone or IPhone but it didn’t feel as feature rich as sitting down at a desk and opening Microsoft Outlook 2010 to do email. Not only that, but the whole phone interface tired me out after a while and if I could avoid doing email on my phone I would. Suffice it to say that is no longer the case. Now I don’t feel like I’m compromising when I do email on my phone because I’m not, my phone has Outlook and it is just as feature rich as the desktop version without sacrificing the teensiest bit of functionality. This is one of the major areas where Windows Phone shines. It takes the Microsoft Office experience and makes it mobile in a great way. Instead of having an app on your phone that allows you to view and edit Word documents, you have Word. Instead of having an app on your phone that allows you to view and edit Excel spreadsheets, you have Excel. PowerPoint is also a great addition and being able to make presentations on the go using pictures you take with your phone is fantastic. If you subscribe to Office 365, your experience will be enhanced by mobile access to your SharePoint site. All of this is accomplished without anything feeling crammed in or forced.
Another thing that is changing the way I use my phone is how well Windows phone takes 3rd party apps and integrates them into it’s own OS in the most convenient of ways. A perfect example of this is Facebook. I have never really cared much for Facebook and have never been an avid user of the site or any of it’s mobile apps. It does have redeeming features however that I do enjoy like its usefulness for planning group events and sharing photos. This Dilemma has existed for me since I first signed up for the site: How do I make the most out of Facebook’s good features while at the same time being able to avoid the spam, the drama and most importantly, the play-by-play of every minute detail of everyone’s life, ever. Windows Phone has essentially solved this dilemma for me. It syncs with your Facebook account and uses the “people” app as a sort of storage place for all of their activity on Facebook including updates, comments they make regarding your posts, photo uploads and events. The reason this is so important to me is because now when I want to access a specific person’s information on Facebook, I don’t actually have to go to www.facebook.com or use one of the many terrible Facebook mobile apps that exist. I can avoid all of the clutter and just find the person in the “people” app on windows phone and all of their Facebook stuff is stored right in there. For anyone who is confused, the “people” app is essentially Windows Phone’s contacts folder. The messaging app on Windows phone works much the same way. It can also sync to your Facebook allowing you to Facebook chat with someone without actually being on Facebook. Windows Phone even takes this a step further and allows you to actually pin specific people right to your start menu so that with just one tap you can have instant access to all of their contact information, Facebook updates and uploaded photos. To summarize this portion of the post I would say that Windows phone does all of the hard work involved in staying connected for you so that all you have to do is enjoy the benefits.
Besides the workplace and social media benefits of the phone, the entertainment side won’t leave you wanting either. If you’re a big gamer, you can sync your Xbox live account with your phone and keep track of your friends online. There are even some compatible games between phone and Xbox where people can compete for high scores like Fruit Ninja. Windows Phone supports media sharing between Xbox consoles and phones as well. This will definitely come in handy if you have an Xbox hard drive full of music and or videos that you would like to take on the go. As far as the Windows Phone marketplace is concerned, I was a little bit skeptical at first. I had this terrifying image of Blackberry Appworld in the back of my mind but nothing could be further from the truth. The selection of apps and games isn’t quite as large as it is for Apple or Android (yet…) but there is still plenty there to keep you entertained and productive. the interface is very polished, every app I’ve looked at so far has had the option to try before you buy (great addition in my mind) and I have yet to experience any compatibility issues with any of the apps I’ve downloaded.
In summation, I am so impressed with Windows phone and how amazingly different it is from the most popular devices of the day that I think its deserves to be considered a top contender in the cell phone market. I can’t really put my experience with it into words for anyone who is reading this. If you really want to see how well the OS runs on the phone, how intuitive the layout is or if you’re interested in learning about more of what Windows Phone can do, I would suggest going down to your nearest Rogers store and taking a look at the Nokia Lumia 900. Unfortunately for anyone who isn’t with rogers, none of the other cell phone carriers really seem that interested in Windows Phone and I don’t understand why. At any rate, I’m sure once you see Windows Phone in action, you’ll think it’s as great as I do.