I’ve been a Windows Phone user for a long time. I love the simple, 2 Screen organization of 1.) A dashboard with live tiles feeding summary information at a glance, and 2.) An alphabetical list of everything on the phone. I recently switched to Android, because it seems like Microsoft has given up on the mobile world, and cell providers no longer even offer viable Windows devices. The ONLY Windows 10 phone TMobile offered was an Alcatel that posted half the specs of my 2-year old HTC Windows 8.1 phone and a 2 megapixel camera!?!
After a month trying to acclimate to the Android Samsung J7, I have returned to Windows by purchasing an unlocked Lumia 950 with Windows 10 from an online reseller. So 99% of readers can stop right here and go on with your day.
For the 1% with the curiosity of “What’s on the other side?” Everyone asks me why Windows? It is very difficult to explain, as so much of it is perception and inherent expectations. After some thought, I’ve realized that for me, the primary driver was Cortana, and integration with my Email and Calendar. I’ve come to realize this functionality truly saves me from hiring a part time assistant. I had taken for granted how nicely Cortana reads me texts in the car, and allows me to respond entirely by voice. After wrapping up a call, I can voice command a new appointment or reminder that is added to my Outlook calendar on all devices I use. My attempts to use Hey Google in actual work environment failed miserably with utter frustration on my part, and anyone on the road around me.
In the Android world, I attempted to customize the experience to meet my expectations using Apps, and the Gallery of Gadgets to replicate the Live Tile function inherent of Windows, and found it to be just ridiculous. Each Gadget has it’s own look and functionality, so using multiple gadgets on the same screen looks like an axe murderer had a busy day. Sizing constraints left me running out of real-estate with just a few gadgets per screen, and it was just simply ugly.
After being accustomed to a Windows phone, here is a scenario that I consider a simple expectation from a phone, and due to everybody else’s love of their iPhone or Android, I assumed everyone had:
Fade to dream sequence………
I’m driving to a client, phone connected to my stereo via Bluetooth jamming to a Spotify playlist that I created from my desktop at home. Cortana lets me know what time I need to leave to get there on time with current traffic. Along the way, the Client calls to tell me they are running late and need to push back 30 minutes. Spotify obviously politely stops playing for the call. After the call, I say Hey Cortana, call John Doe (who is also expected at the meeting). I had just added him to my contact list on my Desktop Outlook right before I left the office. Cortana pulls him from my contacts, asks me Work or Mobile? I say Mobile, and she calls him up so I can let him know about the scheduling change. The I say Hey Cortana, move my 4pm appointment to 4:30, and my calendar is updated on all devices that I use. Then I say “Hey Cortana – text my Wife I’m running a little late.” A minute later Cortana says “You have a text from Jenni, would you like to read it?” I say “Yes” and Cortana reads, Now its pizza instead of steak – Would you like to reply?” I say yes, “Very Funny”. Then I say “Hey Cortana – remind me to pick up T-Bones when I get to Cub Foods.” Spotify resumes playing. After the meeting, I’m driving right by the grocery store, and a reminder pops up – “Pick up Steak”.
Back to live..
So this has been a typical day for me ever since Cortana released with 8.1 two years ago. I just assumed that Siri and Hey Google could handle that equally, and for a month, I tried piecing together Android apps and gadgets and wizwacks and whatever to achieve this “obvious” scenario. What a cluster! So I’ve returned to the Windows Phone hippy bus, drank the Kool-Aid, and look with amazement at all these Android & iPhone users who think their phone is “So Cool” because they can play Angry Birds. LOL.