1. vw412fan's Avatar
    Having gone from living in an Apple world (but no smartphone) and moving to Windows Phone and back, here are some observations.

    Years ago I moved to Mac from an old 486 DX2-50 (I think it was to a Strawberry iMac to be honest ... O_o ) Currently we have a mix of Macs, Windows laptops and a Chromebook, and mostly iPhones in our home.

    Never had a smartphone until a couple of years ago when my 1st gen iPod shuffle died. I saw the Lumia 520 and thought I'd give 'er a whirl. I gave up my flip phone and copied music onto the 520.

    The WP interface was nifty, I loved Here Maps (no data, woo hoo!) and it worked fine as a music player. I even used Endomondo to track some exercise. This is also where I started moving my online life onto MS... and now using OneDrive, OneNote, Office 365 (1TB for everyone in the family!) and now Groove (loved those Black Friday and Pi Day promotions).

    I really liked it. So much I bought another 520 for my wife, it got broken, so she moved to a Blu Windows phone, and I had a desire for a better camera so I picked up a 920 used.

    Loved that thing, took a lot of pictures, loved Live Photos, and the thing ran like a tank... until I dropped it face first on the concrete. Smashed!

    So of course I had to upgrade to a 930 (again, used) which I loved as well. I followed WP 10 closely and installed the preview. Only niggling thing about the 930 was the broken speakerphone. :( But no biggy.

    This whole time we were happily prepaying for minutes on H2O Wireless, coverage was great, and it was cool how I could just turn data on and off for the few times I needed it. (I don't commute and WiFi is almost everywhere, right?)

    Then recently I discovered RingPlus. (This is not an advert for them, but I think it is what triggered my switch...)

    See, my son and daughter both had iPhones, using FreedomPop, which, if you only need data is fine (runs on Sprint, they give you up to 1GB per month free... crazy) But the weird overcharges and oddball voice (VoIP) issues with FreedomPop got me shopping for something else for my daughter.

    I found RingPlus (after seeing a comment on Mr Money Mustache about it in a pro-Republic Wireless article) and decided to check them out Since RingPlus is another Sprint MVNO, I was able to move my daughter's phone over to it. Get this... she's getting 500 minutes / 500 text / 500MB data monthly for nothing (and it's actual cell minutes, not VoIP). I haven't figured out how these people make money. Yeah you listen to ads when you place phone calls (instead of ringtone) but how many kids call these days, anyway?

    So it's working great for her. I start thinking, hey, if this service works for her maybe I should give it a go. Except I'd need a different phone (I'm using Lumias on H2O and it didn't look like there were a ton of Sprint Windows Phones out there). So I had a weak moment and talked myself into an iPhone 5s.

    I justified it thusly: I'll be able to flip the 930 for about the same cost as the iPhone. Everyone else in the family is on iPhones now, so there is iMessage / Facetime / et al..., and the service on R+ will be free. I thought long and hard about it, and decided to give it a try.

    Fast-forward thru eBay sales and purchases and I'm on my own iPhone, all set up with the Microsoft apps and using the nifty Apple apps that go with it.

    The point of this tall tale?

    I knew I would miss some things about Windows Phone.

    The interface is still way better than iOS in my opinion. Fluid. Easier to set up my home screen. Easier to select an Alphabet letter for searching (think Apps, Contacts, Groove) vs. that crazy skinny little alphabet scrolly thing on iOS.

    Cortana kicks butt. After 2 weeks I finally figured out that I can talk into the iPhone keyboard (hit that little mic icon thingy!) and it will translate what I say into a text or Facebook message. But iOS doesn't do punctuation like Cortana does. I still prefer Cortana's search results, voice & sense of humor. iOS home screen is a mess. Live Tiles are fantastic and I do miss that.

    Oh, and Swipe keyboard. WP has got the alternative swipe keyboards on iOS beat by a long shot. Microsoft has done a great job with that on Windows Phone.

    Microsoft is really doing a great job with the software... it's a nice alternative, works well... you all know what I'm talking about, right?

    I'll stay with iOS for a while for a few reasons, mainly the integration with the rest of the family (messaging, Facetime). Apple does do a nice job with that stuff. I do like the fingerprint touch ID, and how that integrates with my banking apps (many of which were missing on WP :( And the camera, while not nearly as good as the 920 or 930, is really fast, and there is something be said for that.

    If Microsoft didn't have all of their apps available on iOS, it wouldn't have been as easy for me to make the switch. Are they shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to Windows 10 Mobile, by having their software available everywhere? Not sure. It will be interesting to see how deeply Cortana will integrate with iOS. (I'm surprised how much I miss her and the swipe keyboard. And I think I prefer WP's notification over Apple's, though I'm getting used to it.)

    I'm glad I made the switch to MS's ecosystem, which was facilitated in large part due to the tiny & cheap Lumia 520. It will be interesting to see how things develop for all the players over the next couple of years.

    But even though I made the switch to the Space Grey side, I'll still be keeping an eye on Windows 10 Mobile to see what's next...

    If you're still reading, thanks. Just thought I'd share some of these thoughts since I enjoy the discussions here on the forums.


    Muessig, Chippy757 and cdayo like this.
    10-30-2015 05:06 PM

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