Returning my Windows 8 Phone


I got a HTC Windows Phone 8X just before Christmas, I’ve been wanting to switch back to a Microsoft phone since I got my iPhone 4 over two years ago. I got my iPhone in Sept 2011 and at that time Verizon only had one fairly low end Windows Phone (WP) 7 model and the mobile OS was just too new and had two few apps.

It’s now two years later and the WP8 is a great OS and I like it and the HTX 8X A LOT more than iOS, BUT the app selection is still too limited. I’ve basically come to use my phone more as a small tablet and the apps are the second most important feature, behind cellular coverage. So the OS is in third place, while this area is much better on WP8 than iOS it’s not enough to keep me. So I’ll be returning my phone before the 1/15, when all “Christmas” returns expire with Verizon, and getting an iPhone 5 for myself and Rose, whose contract is also up and has an iPhone 4. When the contract is up on Elizabeth’s phone (Rose’s 10 year old) I’ll reevaluate the Windows Phone again then.

So here’s a quick review after 14 days with my new Windows Phone 8 and maybe some of my WP8 users can provide some feedback before I go back to an iPhone. Oh and before anyone comments, iPhone and WP8 OS are much better than Android and I refuse to use any Google products. There is no privacy or ownership of your data stored on Google’s servers!

Positives

  • Interface is great
  • UI is really slick and very quick – Phone is MUCH faster than my 2+ year old iPhone 4, but that’s to be expected give how old the iPhone 4 is in technology terms
  • Tiles make getting information and contacting people or opening apps much quicker
  • Word predictions is great – Android has had this since day one I think
  • Voice to text is good, but limited to only a few apps – Android and iPhone 5 have this too
  • Jump to app\person\etc by initial is a much needed feature
  • “Local scout” – Sort of like FourSquare, Yelp, and other “what nearby” type apps
  • Microsoft OneNote is much better – I use this app all the time to take and sync notes across my phone, Rose’s, my PA’s, and desktop. But I can live without the extra formatting the WP version provides
  • “Free” MiFi mode – Nice feature, on the iPhone this was extra to activate

Negatives

  • No memory expansion support on the 8X – I thought all WP had micro SD slots and didn’t realize this till I got home, the 8X has 16GB of RAM but I was using 70% of this same space on my iPhone for music caching from Spotify so was looking forward to putting in a 32 or 64GB card to cache more music offline
  • Lack of apps – I have around 100 on my iPhone, these are just the ones on my 1st page that I use at least every week and are the reason I’m going back to an iPhone:
    • Spotify – What I use for music 90% of       the time, should have WP version out soon
    • Facebook apps sucks, I’ve been using the mobile site mostly
      • iPhone version is so much better!
      • Auto-refresh jumps you to top of Newsfeed in new posts – This is VERY annoying!
      • No management of list, can’t set which list people are on or if their post        shows in the newsfeed
      • Can’t change Newsfeed sort order
      • Can’t unlike pages
      • Can’t tag people in comments or in pictures, just in initial posts
      • Can’t check into events
    • No  Waze – Awesome free GPS app with community updating of traffic and events, they have no plans for WP support (I contacted them)
      • I tried several GPS apps, but wasn’t willing to pay more than a few        dollars and they all pale in comparison to Waze
    • SirrusXM – What I use for music the other 5% of the time
    • Remote control apps
      • Remoteless – Remote for Spotify PC player, which is what I use 95% of the time to listen to music at home
      • Remote – Remote for Media Monkey (also for iTunes, but I don’t use iTunes)
    • Music\band tracking apps: SongKick, BandMate, JamBass, Live Nation – ShowSeek was recommended as an alternative
    • Others
      • Entertainment: Flixter – Oops, this is on WP
      • Travel: Taxi Magic, Uber, B-Cycle, Orbitz
      • News  & Info apps: Pulse, Wired, Denver Post, Westword, First Aid, WebMD,       Dayta
      • Social: Voxer, GroupMe, WordPress, TweetCaster,
      • Outdoors: MotionX-GPS, Ski Tracks, Ski & Snow, iTrailMaps
  • Interface issues
  • Can’t lock screen rotation – VERY annoying when using your phone in bed!
  • Can’t view other’s calendars – They show up in the list, but don’t show on the calendar, maybe a bug
  • No pop-up notifications, like the subject of an email just received
  • No nesting of app tiles, so you have scroll over to a long list of apps
  • No jump to top function
  • No “Reader” mode in default (IE) browser – I’ve installed another browser that has this and rotation lock
  • Can’t change default browser
  • Unable to removing music playing info from vol pop-up
  • Time not shown in most apps
  • No Cut & Paste, only copy (minor I know, but it’s annoying)

About jasonsherry

I am a 20 year Exchange consultant and expert. I currently work for Commvault as a Solutions Specialist for Microsoft Infrastructure For more info see my resume at: http://jasonsherry.org
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3 Responses to Returning my Windows 8 Phone

  1. robichaux says:

    I’m sorry to see you giving up, Jason, but I get where you’re coming from. A couple of minor notes:
    – the Facebook app is, in fact, as terrible as you say.
    – there’s a WP version of Flixster (http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/flixster/7dc02baf-a7d6-df11-a844-00237de2db9e)
    – there’s a third-party Uber app that works well for me in the Bay Area. http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/uber-towncar/af20e093-a026-494d-a588-13a39c176b2b
    – there’s an app called ShowSeek that aggregates info from Songkick and several other services. I haven’t tried it because I didn’t know about it until I searched the marketplace for Songkick. Broader point: there may be other apps on your must-have list that have WP8 versions or equivalents.
    – rather than using the “reader” mode in IE, I either use the one built into NextGen Reader (for RSS) or the various Instapaper-compatible apps
    – to see the time, just tap the top left corner of the screen
    – you can’t change the default browser on iOS either

    Like

  2. jasonsherry says:

    Thanks Paul, I’ve removed Flixster & Uber from the list and added ShowSeek. I must not have searched on those I guess.

    I’m hoping people comment here or on Facebook with replacement apps.

    On the iPhone, many but not all websites, could be viewed in Reader\text only mode with a quick click. Haven’t tried any RSS readers and must have missed the reader mode in IE.

    Tapping corner of screen didn’t work in NewEgg app (only one I tried)

    Like

  3. Pingback: iPhone Apps that I use | Jason (Izzy) Sherry's Blog

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