Let me start with what I love about my new Windows Phone. Then I’ll get to the rest.

I am not good at keeping up with my personal email. I don’t always have the motivation to sort through yet another online account every day. For the past week, I have been just as bad as usual at checking that account … but I haven’t missed a single message from my family or friends, thanks to my Windows Phone.

If you’re not familiar with Windows Phone, this is how the feature works: I’ve pinned tiles representing each of my closest contacts to the Windows Phone 8 Start screen. Any time any type of message comes in from one of them — phone call, text message, Facebook, etc. — Windows Phone lets me know (via a counter on that person’s tile) that there’s a message waiting from them.

When I press the tile, I can go straight to the message in the dedicated section for that person. I can see the recent history of all the messages between us, and I can also respond to them from there using any one of the ways we’re connected.

This is Windows Phone’s People Hub. It’s awesome.

So why, a week after switching to the Lumia 920, am I still walking around with my old iPhone in my other pocket? Ugh, you guessed it. It’s the apps. I’m sorry.

It started out so well. A short time after I got the new phone, a friend on Facebook suggested that I install the “Elmo Calls” app for my daughter, not knowing that I had a Windows Phone. Much to my surprise, there was the Elmo app in the Windows Phone Store. Success!

Shortly thereafter I was pleasantly surprised to also find a Windows Phone version of CanIStreamIt, a very helpful app that tells you which online services let you stream specific movies and shoes. (A past GeekWire App of the Week.)

But the streak didn’t last long. There have been just enough missing apps to keep me hanging on to my now SIM-less iPhone 4S. A big one, for me, is Stitcher, the “Internet talk radio” app. It’s not on Windows Phone 8. This app is a mainstay for me, and I have had a hard time giving it up.

Yes, I know I can download and listen to the same shows through the podcast section of the Windows Phone Store, and I know there are other streaming radio apps. But I’m a Stitcher fan, and I’ve continued to use my iPhone over WiFi mostly for this app.

At work, my colleague Emily Shahan suggested a fun new app to try, Spaceteam, and of course, it’s iPhone/iPad only.

By far my favorite mobile search experience is the latest version of the Google search app on iPhone. The real-time speech recognition is pretty amazing if you haven’t tried it out. Google’s search app for Windows Phone was last updated almost a year ago, and you can tell. Forget the lack of access to YouTube metadata, this is what Microsoft should really be complaining about when it comes to Google and Windows Phone.

This is the type of stuff that Microsoft is up against. It’s not easy.

A few more notes from Week #1 …

Bluetooth pairing with the hands-free system in my car worked well. Some people in the comments on my earlier post said they have had trouble with this on the Lumia 920, but it’s seamless for me so far.

Yes, this is a large phone, with a 4.5 inch screen, compared with the 3.5-inch iPhone 4 and the 4-inch iPhone 5. I’ve had trouble adjusting to the Lumia 920’s size — it’s almost too wide for one-handed typing. My pinky gets strained when I use it to support the phone in one hand for too long. It’s amazing how comfortable it feels to pick up the iPhone again.

Cross-platform syncing: I haven’t been able to get the Lumia 920 to work with the Windows Phone software on Mac, even after updating the desktop program. I’ve spent a good half-hour trying to make this work, and it just doesn’t. However, the SkyDrive plugin on the Mac works well, and all my pictures from my phone show up in the SkyDrive folder quickly.

Speaking of syncing, pictures transfer automatically and seamlessly from the Windows Phone to the Pictures app on my Microsoft Surface, in contrast with my failed attempt to get the iPhone synced up with the Surface in the past. Yes, this is one of the inherent advantages of owning multiple Windows devices these days, but it’s nice that Microsoft didn’t screw it up.

So why in the heck doesn’t Windows Phone 8 work with Windows 8’s Xbox Video service for PCs and tablets? For example, if you’ve purchased movies or shows on your Xbox 360, or Windows 8 PC or tablet, for some reason you can you can’t access the videos on your Windows Phone 8 device. This is a known issue, and it’s a major gap in the seam between these two Microsoft products.

Here’s a tip for any new Windows Phone users, related to the People Hub notifications feature that I described at the beginning. Make sure to spend some time linking the various data sources for all of your key contacts; there’s a link button at the bottom of each profile in the People Hub. Note that Skype contact integration with the People Hub is temporarily disabled.

That’s it. I’ll have more to share in future entries, but I’ll stop there for now.

And yes, for anyone wondering, my SIM is still in my Lumia 920. I don’t give up that easily.

PreviouslyFarewell, iPhone: A new year, with my new Windows Phone

Comments

  • Ryan Parrish

    The issue with video on the phone versus tablet and desktop is simple: there is no Xbox video store for Windows Phone. Music access between tablet, desktop, and phone works fine. I’m guessing there’s no Windows Phone Xbox video access because it might be seen as a limited market not worth extra licensing negotiation with content owners. My $.02 anyway.

  • Guest

    Thanks for this thorough, insightful post. I appreciate all the info I can find about Windows Phone 8, positive and negative points alike.

  • Guest

    Will Pundits Kill Windows Phone 8? http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2412499,00.asp

    • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

      No, but many are trying as hard as they can to do just that. Thank god the market will decide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremybschroder Jeremy Schroder

    I converted to the 920 and it took me two or three weeks to get used to the phone size. It felt huge at first, but now it’s natural. In fact, when I pick up my old iPhone, it doesn’t feel right anymore—it’s too small in my opinion. I couldn’t imagine going back to that small of a screen. You’re used to using the iPhone every day, that’s why it still feels comfortable. Give it time.

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Thanks, Jeremy, that’s encouraging.

    • m4k3m3

      Did your hands grow? Short of that I can’t see myself ever growing to like those big screen ones. Mine are too small for anything bigger than iPhone 4. I did buy iPhone 5 and I can say I don’t like the taller screen. Whenever there’s a button at the top right corner I have to move my hand to click it. So much for one handed operating, or at least I have to be very careful and slow down.

      At least in iPhone 5 the whole device is narrow enough to hold comfortably. If I could I would go back to 4S or something.

      I know people have different hand sizes. For me, this is the situation. For you, possibly something else. I know I could use the phone just fine with two hands but that’s not something I want. I had a phone like that back in the 80’s, Mobira Talkman MD50NA. I’m not eager to go back.

      • Bart C

        Android and Windows Phone 8 have most controls on the bottom of the phone. The back button, the home button, the options and search buttons are all easily accessible, even easier than the typical iOS back button (located on the top left).

        • m4k3m3

          It still doesn’t change the fact that anything wider than iPhone 4/5 feels very uncomfortable in my hands. I’ve tried. I just wish they released android/wp8 phones that actually fit in normal/small hands. Not to mention the fact that the big ones don’t fit in my jeans pocket properly. Maybe I should buy one of those loose fitting jeans that hang somewhere between my waist and my knees so that everyone could admire my underwear. Or a backpack.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derek.tonkin Derek Tonkin

    So you don’t like the Google app on the phone, have you tried the Bing app? Does it support speech recognition? How does it compare to the iPhone’s Google app?
    FWIW, I discovered this article through MyBingNews which is a Facebook/Bing joint venture and pretty slick IMO.

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      I have been using the Bing app a lot, and I do like it. In terms of real-time voice recognition, it’s good, but not nearly as good as the Google app on iPhone. http://www.geekwire.com/2012/app-week-google-search-voice-recognition-incredible/

      • http://www.facebook.com/derek.tonkin Derek Tonkin

        Not as good in what way? Does it misinterpret your speech? Is it really something you use a lot? I always feel like such a freak when I talk to my phone.
        BTW, I have the Galaxy Nexus with JB and Google Now. Does Bing do anything similar to that on WinPhone 8?

        • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

          The Google voice search on iPhone is a superior, instantaneous experience. Check out my video here: http://www.geekwire.com/2012/app-week-google-search-voice-recognition-incredible/

          • http://twitter.com/cdrobinson85 Chris Robinson

            I agree. I would love to have it on my Lumia 920. I had it on my old Galaxy Nexus and loved it to pieces.

          • Nathan O

            I find it really strange that the google search app is available on the surface and Win8 pro but not Win Phone 8, I do agree with you, the Google search app is spectacular. The real time speech recognition is vastly superior to the rest and if it wasn’t for your podcast I never would have downloaded it on my surface.

      • m4k3m3

        What I don’t like about Bing compared to Google is the results’ quality. Google gives me the relevant results much quicker, Bing buries them in a lot more crap. I’m now comparing the web searches, I haven’t tried the voice recognition version in the phone but I’d assume it gives the same results.

        Bing isn’t bad. I just isn’t as good as Google. People who have unlimited time to waste and no better things to do with it probably couldn’t care less. I don’t have the luxury so I prefer to waste as little time as possible searching and rather spend even that working. Then again, I’ve got to say I haven’t used the voice search in iPhone more than 2-3 times and all those just to test it. Probably one reason for that is that it just doesn’t work as well as it probably does for you when you don’t use English.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191390099 Devin K. N. Sinha

      yes, you can search with voice by pressing and holding the windows key

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RSK4Z4DM6PNE6K3JIDAMURONCU Arun

    I think you missed the pictures hub, that is one of the most important and interesting features

  • http://twitter.com/virtualawrence L Lam

    Do you have the Nokia hotspot enabled? Then you can continue to leverage the best of both worlds with the iPhone.

  • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

    The fact that you have the phone means there is one more person on board. And in order for the apps to come, people need to be on board. This time last year I was the only one in town that had a WinPho. Now I know at least 10 people that have one, and they are telling 2 friends, and so on and so on. All of them share one thing. They are newbies to smartphones in general, and the lack of apps means nothing to them. They are just amazed at what they can do.
    At this point in time Todd, do yourself one favor. Sshshshshs… don’t try to create music playlists on the phone. They shipped the Xbox Music team off to France and apparently they are either all morons, or they are about to release a big big update that actually fixes stuff. I’m starting to think they are all morons, but I’m crossing my fingers for the update.

  • Min

    Todd: have you used the “Rooms” feature via the “Together” in the People hub? It allows you to create rooms to communicate via the instant message (you can go to Settings/Find My Phone to check all those checkboxes such that the IM will be going through the internet not the SMS), share photos, calendars and task lists. This is one of hte killer features of the WP8 that was not surfaced very well to end customers.

  • http://twitter.com/cdrobinson85 Chris Robinson

    Right now I’m using a Surface RT, Lumia 920 and iPad mini. With this combo I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds. I’ve been really pleased with it so far. For all my heavy lifting I still have my trusty dual monitor desktop.

    • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

      I think the People hub IS WinPho’s killer app.

  • jepping

    Todd, you’ve hit on the design masterstroke and time-savings of the People hub and live tiles for each of your important contacts. The distinguishing feature of WP is making your contact the pivot, not the app or the communication method. On my old iPhone, I wasted time hunting for and opening three different apps to see what three people, or the same person, are trying to tell me. On WP8 I just tap my wife’s live tile and see the voice mail, the text message and email, and her latest FB update or photo. I can respond with one tap, and even comment directly on her latest Facebook photos or status updates.

    It is true that Windows Phone apps are slightly lacking currently. But I’ve found that it’s really about whether you are able to change your habits to get the same information, often saving you time. I’m 40 and I see some of my friends turning into their parents; same patterns, resistant to change.

    Todd. I hope you’re able to flex your mind and change, even in your old age ;) You’ll save time. I know I spend a lot less time getting the same info and not missing messages compared to my iPhone.

    And have you tried taking a video or shooting in low light without a flash? That image stabilization/floating sensor and lens really do work to an amazing degree.

    Now, that being said, there are annoyances and shockingly poor design choices in Windows Phone that I feel are even more important to whether I have to use Slacker (available on Windows Phone, and which I now prefer) instead of Pandora (not available):

    1. If you turn up the volume while listening to a voice mail message, you’re turning up the ring volume! Not the call volume. Even though you’re pretty much in a call. So when your next call comes in, the volume is now 20 instead of 5, irritating everyone at the meeting.
    2. If you’re watching a video, again, you’re turning up the ring volume.
    3. You can’t set repeat notifications; I miss texts because I’m out of the room. The iPhone is brilliant in this regard; you can define how many times the phone dings after you get a text message.
    4. That stupid Search button on the front of the phone. How many times do I hit that each day by accident with the lightest of grazes, kicking me out of that long email compose? 3 or 4 times. (Dear Microsoft: either change this to a long-tap, or mandate that Nokia and HTC move the Search and Back buttons closer to the center; Samsung has figured this out with the Ativ S.)

    • GT

      for #4, if you do a long hold on the back button it will zoom out and allow you to scroll back between open applications, picking up at your last point within that app. From there, quick taps of the back button will take you back within that app. With this method, your long email composes will be there waiting for you to finish. it’s one of the best features of WP8, not just for mail but all apps/productivity.

      • jepping

        GT, yes you are right and this is what I do, use the back button to get back. My point is that I’m looking for a design fix to a problem, not a workaround. I hand my phone to people sometimes and they usually hit a button they don’t intend and are confused as to what to do. And it’s such an easy fix for Microsoft–just provide an option to have Search activate with a long-press.

        The way WP8 and Android (to a certain degree, as 4.x now doesn’t need capacitive buttons outside the screen area) capacitive buttons are designed would never be accepted at Apple. Notice that Apple has a single concave hardware home button to avoid both accidental pushes and confusion. With iPhone it’s nearly impossible to accidentally and consistently hit a hardware button you don’t intend. With my Nokia being as big as it is, I’m having to suspend my right hand unnaturally so as not to hit the Search button, and I have small hands.

        • Mark

          Agree on this; search button is great but should be activated with a long tap. Loving my Lumia 920.

    • m4k3m3

      I do have to repeat myself: It’s not always being resistant to change. It’s that you have gathered a mountain of data in one service. You either need to be able to transfer all that data with minimal effort to a new one or forget changing.

      For some you can consider an alternative (Dropbox vs SkyDrive assuming you don’t have a lot of extra free space gathered as I do) but for others there simply isn’t a way that would make sense. I have >2k notes in Evernote. Luckily Evernote is available for WP8. If it wasn’t that’d be it. I use my Doxie Go constantly, I post notes to Evernote from email, Google Reader, Pocket (which doesn’t have a WP8 app yet) and I need all of that to work, as fluidly as possible. If it doesn’t I waste hours of my work time managing the same things. It’s not an option as long as Microsoft doesn’t compensate me for my lost time.

      I already mentioned Spotify. I’d have to find a similar service that has the same selection of songs from the genres I need, that would not cost more than the current system, that’d be supported by all the required platforms and last but not least, a way to transfer all of my dozens of playlists. I don’t see that happening. I’m sure Spotify will at some point have a WP8 client, but we’re not there yet.

      Still, that’s beside the point. I’m not here to argue whether WP8 has enough apps or not, or whether they are the right ones. My point was that for many of us the main problem is the amount of data we have. Not the apps themselves. You can do any given thing in multiple different ways, but migrating your data (and especially the metadata) from one system to another and then learning to use the new system simply isn’t worth the effort. I’m not resisting the change but I also don’t see a point in changing something if it doesn’t improve things for me.

  • http://twitter.com/bryanilee2 Bryan Lee

    Yes, we know, once again, Windows Phone doesn’t have as many apps available for it as the iPhone. Just at the Mac doesn’t have as many apps available as for Windows. It might bother some people, others won’t mind.

  • Don M

    Honestly, I don’t get this. I have been a fan of windows phone since I got a Samsung Focus two years ago. I didn’t miss my old android for a second. But I keep hearing these people writing articles that the apps are inadequate.

    Most people – normal people – use the smartphone for email, maps, a little browsing, and some social apps. I don’t care if the music app is Spotify or Pandora or Xbox. Neither does anyone else I know.

    Most adults don’t spend all day playing games. I know lots of iphone users who don’t have any. I know android users who can’t even use the market.

    Most normal people don’t have a favorite mobile search engine. They have the one on their phone, and frankly almost everything out there is more than adequate for 99% of users. In my office and circle of friends, I’m the only one who uses voice commands. People are actually uncomfortable talking to inanimate objects. It’s only among geeks in tech offices, where someone is shocked that you don’t have the latest voice search technology.

    This is a delicate way to say it: when you say “I can’t live without x app or game” you are sounding like a loser. Normal grownups don’t really care whether stitcher is better or easier than podcasts. They aren’t attached to the product – they want to get the task done. Only a mental defective would have a big problem with a phone because it has one music service but not another or think it’s some sort of serious problem that you need to press the screen three times instead of once to listen to whatever mindless garbage you listen to. Really, you have iphone for stitcher, when you can do a podcast – that’s beyond bizarre. This isn’t a reflection on the phone, but on you.

    You didn’t approach the problem like a normal person, either. Almost no one carries around two phones. They buy a new phone and use it, and leave the old behind. Every phone is different. Every phone has different apps. No one really gives a shit but a few tools writing reviews on the internet.

    • http://twitter.com/cmross Christopher Ross

      Wow. Where to start…

      If “normal people” only use some social apps and don’t care about music apps, why aren’t they buying featurephones? And who are all those folks walking around with earphones?

      Mobile apps are about much more than games, and individual apps do make a difference. I can’t function properly without: Evernote, Spotify (yes, a music app), FourSquare (so friends & colleagues can track me down), SkyDrive (files), Pulse (news), twitter(news), Amazon Kindle (reading), Facebook (social), American Airlines (flight info), Audible (reading)…you get the picture.
      Applying your rationalization of what constitutes a mental defect, why stop with smartphone apps? Why not apply it to anyone who doesn’t use a particular OS, laptop or even microwave?
      Btw, I carry 3 phones and 2 SIM cards :)
      Hope you feel better :)

      • Don M

        No, I don’t get the picture. You can “function properly” with iTunes, Pandora, or Xbox music. You can “function properly” without co-workers “tracking you down” on foursquare. I’ve personally found flight info apps fairly worthless: are your flights really that late that often, and when you are so connected that you can work anywhere, does fifteen minutes at the airport mean you “can’t function properly?” The fact that you say you can’t “function properly” without these things means you’re odd. Your perspective is bizarre. It is also bizarre to carry three phones and 2 sim cards.

        Maybe bizarre isn’t a word you are comfortable with: you’re just an extreme geek. Extreme geeks comprise a small portion of the market, but a large portion of those who write reviews of smartphones and complain about things that normal people don’t care about.

        You ask:
        “If “normal people” only use some social apps and don’t care about music apps, why aren’t they buying featurephones?” –
        If you knew normal people, you would know that smartphones are overpowered and overfeatured for many users. I show people how to use their iphones all the time, and I’ve never owned one. People do check their email, and use browsers pretty frequently. At this point, smartphones are about the same price as feature phones, and a fashion statement. That’s why they have them. Not because they need them.

        • m4k3m3

          Don, you sure you can’t communicate like a human being instead of deciding immediately everyone must be retards, bizarre or extreme geeks if they don’t act exactly as you? Perhaps they do something for a reason and you not being able to see that indicates something other than them being extreme geeks. Nah, that’s not possible… or?

          I teach dancing as a hobby. I have tens of Spotify playlists, I have general ones for different dance styles and I create specific ones for some classes. Without them I’d be lost. Were I to switch my iPhone to a Windows Phone, how would I get it to work? I CAN’T “function properly” with iTunes, Pandora, Xbox music or any other option. Or sure, I probably could if I first 1) found one that has all the music I need. (It’s not Rihanna, btw) and 2) spent hours and hours rebuilding all the work I’ve done already. Thanks, but no thanks.

          I use Evernote quite extensively in my work and also in my personal life. I have thousands of notes in there and I use them on a daily basis. What good would a phone to be to me if I suddenly lost access to all that information – or for that matter, to the data I have in Dropbox. Using another service like SkyDrive is not an option for very simple reasons: I have already shared files and folders from my Dropbox with dozens of other people. We work together with the data contained in them. Having all those convert over to another system would – even after all the convincing required – be a massive task.

          I could go on forever. The CRM solution I use has a client for iPhone, but not WP. The time tracking solution I use – same thing. My billing application – take a wild guess. There may be some apps for WP that would perform pretty much the same tasks. Would you port all my data for the last 10 years from the current systems to the new ones, take a few weeks to train me to use the new ones and then compensate me for the lost billing from those few weeks I’ve been unable to work? I doubt it.

          I did own a Lumia 920 for a week. It was enough for me. Luckily a customer wanted to buy it off me so I could keep on going the way I do. I still have a Symbian phone (PureView just because I wanted to see if the camera was any good. I’m not impressed.) and one Android one I haven’t even turned on in a few weeks. I guess that qualifies me also as an extreme geek. It must have nothing to do with my work.

          It all boils down to the same thing: Your phone must be able to provide you what you need. If you’re a pimple-faced 15yo who just wants to facebook, take some photos of your friends and listen to some music, Lumia might do it wonderfully for you. For some of the rest, why not. Not all. Not even close. Maybe one day, but that day is far away.

          So get over your fanaticism. There’s a real world out there.

          • Bart C

            I do agree with Don. Almost all essential apps are available for Windows Phone 8 and if you can’t find your specific app, there is probably a (better) counterpart for Windows Phone. Todd (the writer of this article) happened to pick just a rare one that isn’t available. You can do this trick with any platform (I’m not saying that Todd was using a trick, but it’s not fair to bash a phone based on one rare app that isn’t available).

            Take Android, how long did it take for Facebook Page Manager to be available on Android? Almost a year. It was just released this week… In an Android review I could’ve easily bashed on Android that it “doesn’t have much apps” based on the unavailability of this – for me essential – app.

            Another example, StockTouch for iOS – the best stock app in my opinion – is not available on Android.

            You could also argue the opposite. There are tons of Windows Phone 8 apps that are not available on iOS or Android. Take InTheKnow – a great looking Google Analytics app – is not available on iOS neither Android. Android actually doesn’t have a decent Google Analytics app, besides a few ugly dated ones.

            So again, saying there aren’t enough apps on the Windows Phone 8 platform is getting old. An no, this is no fanaticism, I’m a long time iPhone user and just got a Nexus 4 last week.

          • m4k3m3

            It’s not the amount of apps, it’s about WHICH apps are available. Many of the apps I listed are ones that have been around for a long time and that many people use. If you have invested in any of those you should be aware that if you go to WP8 _RIGHT NOW_ you’ll be cut out of the data you have. That’s not to say WP8 is bad or that the situation would remain the same. Spotify is working on a WP8 app. I believe Evernote will at some point support WP8.

            For me that’s still not enough since the accounting app I use is iOS only. For you that doesn’t make a licking difference since I’m not everybody. I’m not you. If you don’t need the apps I do WP8 may be for you. If you’re willing to wait a while until they become available you can either buy WP8 phone now or when those apps are released. We’re all different, and have different needs. The only idiotic claim anyone can make is to claim everyone should and could switch from any given app to another that does pretty much the same thing as long as the data contained in them cannot be transferred. A phone is not a toy for all of us. And no, I’m not saying WP8 is a toy. It just doesn’t work for me regardless of what Don thinks.

  • smarmy guy

    there is nothing more important than having my shoes streamed.

  • PEZ63

    @Don M with regards to apps… In our house we have five smart phones. We use extensively an app called Our Groceries which allows us to create and share shopping lists for Safeway, McLendon’s, Target, etc. Anyone can add to any list and when Mom or Dad are at that store we have an updated list from everyone. With the introduction of the Win8 phone to the house this system is busted because the app isn’t available on Win8 phone. In fact, I can’t find any list app that works across all three platforms: Win8, Android, iPhone. Any one know of one?

    • Mark

      Evernote?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeremybschroder Jeremy Schroder

      The “Rooms” feature in the People Hub lets you invite other users from different platforms. You can share lists just like you were doing with Our Groceries. In fact, “Groceries” is a default list that you can customize.

  • SilverSee

    Todd, I can’t comment on Google’s voice search, but I’ve been an almost daily user of speech on Windows Phone since 2010. I’ve found that when Windows Phone can clearly recognize your voice the real-time speech recognition is very good. (Be sure to enable ‘speech recognition over the network’ in Settings to obtain the best results.)

    However, I think some handsets have trouble suppressing background noise and clearly picking out your voice in noisy environments (such as a vehicle moving at highway speeds). You can see this at work by repeating the same commands in a quieter environment which can dramatically improve the results, so I think Windows is being let down by the hardware in these cases.

    Also, I presume you know that speech on Windows Phone relies on prescriptive commands: FIND ‘Starbucks coffee in Seattle'; CALL ‘Jessica mobile'; OPEN ‘Maps’, TEXT ‘bob’, etc. There is no Siri-like natural language processing, so if you expect Windows Phone to behave this way you will be disappointed.

    You do need to give Windows Phone a couple weeks of solid use to determine if the platform is right for you. The data-centric (rather than app-centric) model and UI conventions are so different from the other platforms that you need time to adjust. But often people find they love it once the whole thing clicks.

    Be sure to go exploring. The low-chrome philosophy of ‘Metro’ means that many excellent features are ‘hidden’ unless you know how to find the App Bar, and understand the use of Panoramas in apps.

    Here’s a final “new user” tip that may save you some frustration: in the Calendar you swipe *vertically* instead of horizontally to change months. (One of the few truly counter-intuitive design decisions in the whole OS to me.)
    Good luck.

  • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

    Thanks for a very real and balanced write up. It’s particularly interesting to hear what it does well (i.e. the people hub). I hope to hear how this and your Surface play well together (or not).

  • TY

    It’s sort of unfair to call the Windows phone poor based on lack of apps. iphone when it first started out had lack of apps, so did Android, but eventually it caught steam and exploded to what it is nowl Windows phone 8 is also what? Two months old? five maximum? People are locked on their contracts (like me) and will not switch over until their contracts expire (Like me) and when they switch there will be demand, and a lot more app developers will take notice and develop for all three platforms (windows phone, iphone, android). It’s unrealistic to have a three month old platform to have 100,000 apps in a month.

    • TY

      I mean have a three month old platform have 100,000 at this point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Rettzo/100000467664170 Joe Rettzo

    I am an early convert to the HTC 8x and I love it. Couldn’t be happier. As a casual Xbox gamer I love that many of the games have achievements to earn towards your gamer profile. I do think google is trying to stifle competition though. I do not miss their maps program as I downloaded the Garmin App, which works a lot better than Google Maps ever did.

  • Nathan O

    More than anything else I am pleased to see at the interest your new Winphone has garnered with the fans of this site.

  • Jeff P

    If you’re interested, there’s a new version of the Mac sync app in the Mac App store, which may resolve your syncing issues.

  • SubzeroHK

    week 1 then stopped? Where is week 2?

  • BrodieBZN

    I’m now into my 3rd month of having my WP Nokia 928. I am extremely happy with my decision. The phone battery last and last all day long. There are a number of great differences from my previous Android that really are stellar. My one and only regret is the lack of Square for my business when I’m in the field. I’m really irritated that so many developers don’t invest in this platform. I really think that over a short period of time many more will jump on board. Instagram just did. Crossing my fingers. But overall, I am very happy with this phone and no regrets.

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