Probably worth kicking off with a disclaimer, I own an iPad so I still have access to iOS apps that I might miss. So maybe this affects my feelings one way or another? Who knows.
I have had an iPhone since I first got an iPhone 3G, I loved it. My first smart phone and the geek inside me was as happy as could be. I had something on me all the time that could do all these things, its like a dream come true. So every couple of years I went through the motions of upgrading to the latest version, I got an iPhone 4 next (actually queued at launch day for this, less said about that the better!) and then the iPhone 5.
I loved every version, iOS got updated along the way to keep things (kinda) fresh and the phones got nicer along the way. One thing you cannot deny about Apple is their hardware is beautiful. I was content with my phone.
Then this year happened, the iPhone 6 is a few months away and my contract is up but there was a problem. I knew I wouldn’t have the money to get one due to various reasons but mostly due to having a wedding to pay for. This meant I had to look at my options, do I switch to Android or Windows Phone?
Android would of been the obvious choice I think, the geek in me would of loved tweaking that to death to get the phone I wanted. However I have seen how infected Android systems can get with ads, this was not something I ever wanted to have to bother with on my phone. The safety of iOS is something I wanted.
That left Windows Phone, and in particular Nokia devices. It seemed there was a new Lumia about to come out that ran on Windows Phone 8.1, the Lumia 930. After some research it seemed like the perfect upgrade, well in all but one way. The Windows AppStore is pretty terrible.
I did some checking and it seemed the basic apps I used everyday existed so that wasn’t so bad. So I made up my mind and took the plunge and waited for it to be released in the UK.
Release day arrived!
God it was a big phone, the 5 inch screen made this a much bigger phone than I was used to with the sleek iPhone. Also the power/lock button is on the right side rather than the top, I mean wtf?! What have I done.
It’s a nice bit of kit though, it may be ‘sturdy’ but it feels great in your hand(s) and Windows Phone it turns out is really easy to use. It also has what I think is the best home screen layout of any phone due to Live Tiles.
They just make the home screen such a lovely thing to look at as they cycle through their various screens and show you bits of information. So much nicer than the boring grid view of iOS I have stuck with so long.
Plus you only need to put your most used apps on your home screen, all the others can be tucked away in the side menu. No more pages of icons like in iOS.
Was also nice to get some freebies with the phone:
— Stu Morton (@wizzytweets) July 28, 2014
It’s not without its issues though, lock screen notifications don’t really exist like they do on iOS, the pull down action centre you get is a similar thing and is just about enough but it could be better. Web support is a bit all over the place, some apps cant open web pages internally so open it up in a separate IE window which is kinda annoying. I miss the Steam app, my banking app etc.. also a button to make the phone silent aswell as the option to set quiet times, although I hear this is coming with Cortana.
I guess ultimately as with all things there are pros and cons, but I am happy to see there is life outside of Apple when it comes to phones. Windows Phone seems to of come a long way and with a bit more support on the app front I think its a perfectly viable option for a modern smart phone. I do however know that come the iPhone 6 launch there will be a small pang of jealously as it will no doubt be a nice bit of kit but for now I am fully integrated into the Microsoft collective with everything linked, my PC, phone and Xbox One.
So for now its goodbye iOS, hello Windows Phone!