06-23-2017 12:13 AM
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  1. Joe920's Avatar
    [this post started in another discussion on the future of WP that included things like apps and market share]

    We have many threads about why people would stick with WP over iOS or Android, discussing removed features, considering switching to another OS, or wondering whether WP will survive. All those threads mix arguments about apps, market share, devices, and OS features.

    I'm hoping here we can discuss Windows Phone purely as an operating system, so without debating the lack of apps. What's good about WP, and what's missing. I'll be updating this post based on the responses. Here goes:


    Features where WP either leads or at least competes:

    Security: MS is good at keeping things up to date and safe. So is Apple, and so is Google on its own devices, but other Android phones are at relatively high risk, many running unpatched old versions of Android.

    Live tiles for me are still a winner. I'm not a huge fan of widgets, I really like the clean and consistent look of the WP start screen. The transparent tiles are awesome as well, I love being able to change the whole look of the tiles by changing the background pic. leonelfunes32 mentions below that the tile animations make the phone look more 'alive' - agreed! From Xandros9's massive dump (his words), the WP start screen is more customizable than iOS.

    I love that the start screen can pan forever, as opposed to the screen-by-screen movement on iOS. Android now has the infinite app drawer which is a similar feel, but that shows all installed apps, and only with tiny icons, so not quite the same. A win for WP10 imo.

    The glance screen is fantastic, I'd miss that on iOS. I think some Android phones do this now?

    WP and Android allow mounting as an external drive, iOS does but with big limitations. iOS doesn't allow you to drag an drop media files to the phone without using iTunes, and even then I recall that certain movie files would have to be dragged 'into apps' inside iTunes if you wanted to access the file in that app later. Quite a pain! A win for WP10 and Andoid.

    Notification sync is heading in the right direction, although it's still somewhat buggy. I get the sense that this is better for iOS on a mac, not sure. Does Android have anything like that? A Windows app that can show and dismiss Android notifications? If not, this is a major plus for WP.

    I think volume and track control on WP is miles better than on iOS. I love that we can get the full play/volume control by pressing volume up, both for media and phone sounds. A tiny thing I like: I can tap and drag the volume bar anywhere I like, I don't need to carefully grab a 'handle' on the volume bar. It's the little things. :)

    I also love that we can peek at the date by partly pulling down the notification shade. On iOS I need to pull their notification page way down, and even then I might be on the wrong page.

    Not really an OS thing, but I love the hardware camera button.

    Continuum: I've started using this a bit more. Neither Android or iOS have anything like it.. yet.

    WP has native support for pinning separate (groups of) mail accounts to the start screen as separate tiles with individual counters. That's pretty nice. Personally I have grouped work related accounts and private accounts into two tiles. Very convenient.

    WP can project the screen to miracast enabled screens and receivers. iOS has AirPlay which requires an Apple TV box (yes?), and Android has ChromeCast which requires a ChromeCast receiver and compatible apps. It seems like WP is using the more open standard here.

    Hands-free operation
    , for example listening and responding to texts as they come in (based on fpena911's post here). Cortana can automatically read incoming texts aloud, offer to respond, and then read back to you what your answer will be before sending it, all hands-free. Google can read the text to you when you ask. Not sure how iOS does this.

    I prefer the WP dialer over the iOS dialer. WP supports landscape view (iOS doesn't), and dialing a number on WP shows suggested contacts with partial name or number match. iOS just shows the numbers you just dialed, and that's it.


    Features where WP lags:

    Somehow it seems like Apple and Google are willing to refine the design a lot over the various releases. Google Now looks a million times more fresh and clean than the clunky Cortana page. Page transitions and transparency effects look fancier and well-designed on iOS. In the early days the stark look of WP stood out compared to the static grid of icons on iOS and Android. Remember when the tile animations on WP felt amazingly cool? :) Those days are gone, to me the others look better taken care of by now.

    Personally I get the sense that NFC payments work better on the others (don't use it, so not sure).

    The maps app and in particular the POI database in WP is inferior to Google's, so until a Google Maps app appears on WP (which is never) or until MS vastly improves the POI database, imo WP lags on that front.

    The App Switcher on WP is a bit clumsy. It's a tad slow, tough to quickly dismiss all aps. On iOS it looks slick and works snappy, don't recall the latest Nougat app switcher.

    The Photos app is slow in detecting new pictures, and photo preview (for me at least) takes a second to show a processed / sharpened version of the picture as you swipe through them. You also cannot swipe to the next picture while zoomed in. The experience is much more intuitive on iOS, not sure about Android.

    The stability of WP is still lacking as of 14393.189, at least on a 950XL. I've had loss of audio, irrecoverably crashing camera app, loss of GPS, malfunctioning brightness settings, misbehaving panning in the photos app, you name it. I don't recall struggling this much with iOS, but admittedly it's been a while. [thanks CraigCole for bringing this up]

    Power management / battery life seem a bit hit or miss. It's been better lately, but there are still times where the phone gets hot seemingly for no reason, with a corresponding drop in battery life. Again I don't recall this from my iOS days. I wish we had a full blown Win10 task manager so we could see every single process that's misbehaving, and report it. [thanks CraigCole for mentioning battery life]

    I think brightness control on iOS is better than on WP. On iOS you get a slider in their 'controls' panel. It's annoying that the iOS sliders for volume and brightness are on different screens, but at least there's a slider.

    iOS supports official ad-blocker extensions for Safari that can be downloaded through the app store. Pretty handy for people on limited data plans. Edge mobile doesn't support extensions, and WP doesn't allow editing of the hosts file which could have been a workaround.

    iOS supports custom keyboards that can be installed from the app store, and I know Android also supports custom keyboards. WP doesn't have anything along these lines.

    iOS offers more variety in built-in text-to-speech voices. Just for the various varieties of English there are 22 possible voices to choose from, and the list of languages spans two screens. I think WP has the four voices, and that's it. Plus in iOS you can use the Siri voice for TTS, while on WP you cannot use the full Cortana voice for TTS.


    That's all I can think of for now. Are there other OS features that are better or worse on WP compared to iOS and Android? How is Cortana vs. Siri and GooGal (nameless Google lady)? Can you think of other features?

    ________

    Assorted comments from Xandros’ mega post on iOS :

    WP has more freedom in changing app notification sounds
    WP has a more advanced camera interface

    iOS doesn’t have automatic (without user interaction) Text-To-Speech of incoming text messages
    iOS puts GPS navigation info on the lock screen
    iOS has better accessibility options
    iOS doesn’t show ‘resuming’, most apps recover their state immediately


    Assorted comments from Xandros’ mega post on Android:

    WP has a more visually appealing task switcher (yes? X doesn’t like the rolodex view in Android)
    WP has better (or more?) actionable notifications

    Android offers many more ways to tweak the UI and UX
    Android gives a heads-up before ringing alarms (clever!)
    Last edited by Joe920; 02-21-2017 at 08:52 PM.
    09-21-2016 11:20 AM
  2. leonelfunes32's Avatar
    Here's my opinion on Windows (my current phone), Android (my previous phone), and iOS (lots of friends have an iPhone so I know a good deal about it).

    First of all, the lock screen. On Windows, I personally like that everything is at the bottom. The big time at the bottom left and any notifications under allow for the wallpaper to shine. I have the calendar as detailed notification and phone, texts, email, another email, and facebook as quick notifications. So I can see if anything important is waiting for me without showing information (great for privacy I guess). iOS is going the way of Android in which more and more information is being shown before unlocking the devices, great for doing things in an instant, but once the phone is in the wrong hands, well too bad. You do have options to turn off those features, but most people I know keep it on.

    Unlock the phone, and you're greeted with the Start screen, home screen or app drawer. Tiles are great, especially when they all start flipping and showing off what you want to know (looks cool if you casually leave it unlocked next to you and the screen flips!). What's best is that almost anything can be pinned, including individual people, seperate inboxes, or commonly used settings. Personally, I did prefer the animation of tapping on a tile from Windows 7-8.1, but it isn't too bad on Windows 10. Android gives the option of being greeted with widgets and app icons. While not as uniform as Tiles on Windows, the widgets seem to be more cusomizable for most apps, including full screen widgets for a single apps. Multiple home screen allow for more widgets, while the Start screen makes more room at the bottom for more tiles. Different solutions for the same problem. iOS is the simplest of all, where the icons are waiting for you to tap on them. Force touch (where available) gives you quick access to important parts of an app, and widgets live in the notification panel, but nothing will move without input except for the clock and calendar.

    Notifications are very similar on all three platforms. It shows up on top, swipe up to dismiss, swipe down for more. On Windows, quick actions are on top, 4/5 are usually shown with an option to show the rest using expand or another swipe down gesture. Some apps allow actions to be taken directly from there. iOS is somewhat similar except the action center or whatever it's called is at the bottom and widgets can be found. Android gives the most options, although it seems a lot has changed with Nougat, so I can't say what the experience is now. But overall, Android does do it best. Probably because it did it first.

    Personal assistants by default. I like Cortana the best (naturally), Google Now is mostly informational, and Siri has some fun tricks, but also has a sassy attitude and can be cheeky (can you still ask what's 0/0?). They're all catching up to each other, more features are coming, and you can't really go wrong with any. If you have a PC with Windows 10, you're probably best off using Cortana no matter what you have.

    Now time for apps. Not the app gap, just the experience for the native apps. Windows, unfortunately, hasn't figured it out yet. Each of its default apps (alarm, phone, people, music, calculator, wallet, etc) look very different from each other. You'll either see text on top, icons, small text under icons, or the hamburger menu, each with its own tweak. Inconsistent. Android looks visually atractive with Material and it's animations, and iOS looks clean and sleek with a minimalist approach. Windows so far still looks like a Frankenstein's monster of app design. The modern design language they have is great, just not implemented correctly yet.

    Some other things that come with Windows, especially on Lumias, are Glance, Continuum, hardware camera button, Windows Hello, security, and overall a good-looking piece of software. Overcome a few bugs here and there (usually barely noticeable), the list vs grid for all apps, and a few other things that get some getting used to, and you got a great alternative to Android and iOS!
    Joe920, libra89, mtf1380 and 2 others like this.
    09-21-2016 01:40 PM
  3. Joe920's Avatar
    Here's my opinion on Windows (my current phone), Android (my previous phone), and iOS (lots of friends have an iPhone so I know a good deal about it).
    Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I got a good chuckle out of your comments on app design. Fair game to comment on those since they're built in apps for the OS. Agreed that those could use major refinement and alignment.

    Sent from mTalk, a great Tapatalk alternative
    leonelfunes32 likes this.
    09-21-2016 02:45 PM
  4. leonelfunes32's Avatar
    Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I got a good chuckle out of your comments on app design. Fair game to comment on those since they're built in apps for the OS. Agreed that those could use major refinement and alignment.

    Sent from mTalk, a great Tapatalk alternative
    Glad you liked it!
    09-21-2016 02:54 PM
  5. fatclue_98's Avatar
    It's funny how UI changes are done (usually) with a fair amount of subtlety so that you barely notice. I'm all for change when it's done for the better, not just for the sake of change. I was playing around with an Ativ SE getting Windows 10 Mobile installed and made a brutal blunder causing me to have to start from scratch and bring it back to WP8. That's when it hit me. I miss the "Me" tile. I miss Local Scout and I particularly miss the People app. Now it's just a contacts app like any other. Nothing to brag about, certainly no "wow" factor. Don't get me wrong, there are more important changes that were made with 10 to avoid the temptation to stay at 8.1. File attachment on Outlook is 90% of the reason. Yes, I had File Attacher but it wasn't a long-term solution. The other 10% is the Start screen and notifications. It's the crown jewel of the OS and makes the others so green with envy that launcher apps try to imitate. How's that go about sincerest form of flattery?

    The point of this post is not meant as a comparison between the old and the new or an indictment of W10M, it's to show how much better a mobile OS Windows is as opposed to the competition and how much better it could have been if certain bits and pieces had been retained.
    Laura Knotek, libra89 and HeyCori like this.
    09-22-2016 11:53 AM
  6. vezycash's Avatar
    One of my biggest gripe with win 10 is the SMS spam blocker. It simply sucks, doesn't do a thing. The block and filter app is just crap compared to Win 8.1, much less Android.
    09-23-2016 03:30 AM
  7. abhishek singh21's Avatar
    Security was a big reason for me to switch to windows phone in 2012 with lumia 520, android being so vulnerable at the time. Also i never had to put up a lock key to protect my privacy from my cousins and close ones as none of them at that time knew how to go across a windows device and would just get effed after scrolling top to bottom and again. But they didn't knew they were on Kids corner where everything was under my control what to show and what to hide. :D

    security on android devices on OEMs like samsung has been botched up, google has also taken certain steps to counter and remove malware riddled apps from the store and after using android for a few a while now i feel its all up to the user , if you are careless with what you install and what pages you visit on the web it will be very easy for your device to get infected.

    About mounting an external drive, I loved my lumia for that purpose where all my apps used to sit on my sdcard and there used to be plenty of space for my OS and the future updates to come in the internal storage. That is not the case with android, there are two types of mounting available

    Adoptable: where your sdcard is taken in and merged as internal memory.

    Portable: where the sdcard is treated as an removable storage and you could move apps but only the installation files not the data or obb which still consumes the space on your internal memory.

    Google has provided this in its nexus device sot turn the sdcard into adoptable but other OEMs have not, they have been selective in providing that feature like the note 7 has it but other variants in j series dont.

    Bottom line is Every OS has some good and bad. Its the end user who has to decide on which to use as per there own usage and requirement.
    09-23-2016 03:46 AM
  8. Rinsun's Avatar
    Google has provided this in its nexus device sot turn the sdcard into adoptable but other OEMs have not, they have been selective in providing that feature like the note 7 has it but other variants in j series dont.
    Adoptable and portable options for sd card are there on my son's Lenovo K3 Note running Marshmallow.Also saw that 'unmount sd card' option is greyed out on Lenovo A6000 after it got the Lollipop upgrade (option to unmount was there when A6000 was on kitkat)
    09-23-2016 05:43 AM
  9. abhishek singh21's Avatar
    Adoptable and portable options for sd card are there on my son's Lenovo K3 Note running Marshmallow.Also saw that 'unmount sd card' option is greyed out on Lenovo A6000 after it got the Lollipop upgrade (option to unmount was there when A6000 was on kitkat)
    that is great if that device has both the options available. But this feature is not universal like the one with windows phone devices, where you can choose default install location and install all third party apps on sd which supports that.. Many handsets still dont have this feature on android with marshmallow and are restricted to just be portable storage by the OEMs.
    Rinsun and Laura Knotek like this.
    09-23-2016 06:10 AM
  10. Joe920's Avatar
    One of my biggest gripe with win 10 is the SMS spam blocker. It simply sucks, doesn't do a thing. The block and filter app is just crap compared to Win 8.1, much less Android.
    Is this an OS function? I can't find it on WP. I recall you can block numbers, although atm I can't even find that. How does it work on Android, and is it built in there or a non-Google app?
    09-23-2016 07:39 AM
  11. libra89's Avatar
    Is this an OS function? I can't find it on WP. I recall you can block numbers, although atm I can't even find that. How does it work on Android, and is it built in there or a non-Google app?
    Yeah, it is there as an OS function since it can get updates. You have to choose a number to block and then you go from there.

    On Android, it sadly seems to vary on the version and the OEM's UI/skin together. There is not one straight forward way, sadly. With the Nexus, blocking is very easy. When I had the Nextbit Robin, you had go through the SMS app to block a number. On my mom's older Alcatel, you can only send calls to voicemail. On my Honor 8, you can block easily too. Aside from the Alcatel, these are all phones that have Android 6.0 so what does that say?

    Personally, I like the Block + filter better on Windows 10 Mobile. Like iOS, there's only one way to block, no workarounds seem to be required.
    Joe920 and Laura Knotek like this.
    09-23-2016 08:11 AM
  12. xandros9's Avatar
    09-23-2016 12:38 PM
  13. Joe920's Avatar
    Would you mind writing an executive summary?

    j/k, I'll go through it.. again! :)
    09-23-2016 12:42 PM
  14. xandros9's Avatar
    Would you mind writing an executive summary?

    j/k, I'll go through it.. again! :)
    That actually may be an idea, I haven't updated it for iOS 10 yet.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    09-23-2016 01:17 PM
  15. libra89's Avatar
    That actually may be an idea, I haven't updated it for iOS 10 yet.
    Ooh looking forward to that adventure with iOS 10, which I still haven't updated to.
    Laura Knotek and xandros9 like this.
    09-23-2016 01:18 PM
  16. vezycash's Avatar
    In Android, it doesn't matter if the stock sms blocker app doesn't work. Because you can get from the store. You can block by name, content of the sms, patterns, block withheld (private) numbers...

    The majority of the spam sms i get don't come with phone numbers and the block and filter app does not block them. Anyone who likes the block and filter app must live in the US or doesn't receive spam sms and calls. Win 8.1 worked. The block and filter app of 10 is simply useless. It's frustrating to no end.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    09-24-2016 01:47 AM
  17. libra89's Avatar
    In Android, it doesn't matter if the stock sms blocker app doesn't work. Because you can get from the store. You can block by name, content of the sms, patterns, block withheld (private) numbers...

    The majority of the spam sms i get don't come with phone numbers and the block and filter app does not block them. Anyone who likes the block and filter app must live in the US or doesn't receive spam sms and calls. Win 8.1 worked. The block and filter app of 10 is simply useless. It's frustrating to no end.
    Fair point. I do get spam calls but spam texts are very rare.

    Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
    vezycash likes this.
    09-24-2016 10:01 AM
  18. FXi2's Avatar
    So much information at a glance in WP. New emails show me who sent them and that tells their importance to me. Schedules and meeting rooms show up large and in list of where to be for the rest of the day. Also can quickly say what hour ranges I'm free when someone asks without having to fiddle down to a calendar. Just unlock and there it is. Now the kids are playing around with Cortana and running to ask her questions such as "what do turtles do to survive in the winter" and things like that. For them, these things will always have existed.

    Btw, security on WP is head and shoulders above every other platform. Do some research on tests at the hacker conferences. USB access to the file system is very handy as well. Everything you might want for your own custom use is pinnable as a shortcut to the home screen. Favorite sites, programs, even files you might use a lot.

    Going over to IOS feels like stepping back into primitive. The reason you need apps there is because there is so much the system just won't do on its own.
    libra89, Mach_E, Timbre70 and 1 others like this.
    09-24-2016 02:26 PM
  19. Joe920's Avatar
    I minor thing I remembered today: in WP you can easily get to bluetooth and wifi settings by just long-pressing their toggles in the action center. I don't think there's a similar quick way in iOS, or is there is, I haven't found it.
    09-26-2016 11:32 AM
  20. xandros9's Avatar
    I minor thing I remembered today: in WP you can easily get to bluetooth and wifi settings by just long-pressing their toggles in the action center. I don't think there's a similar quick way in iOS, or is there is, I haven't found it.
    There isn't, they're just switches. A minor thing iOS can use.
    09-26-2016 12:34 PM
  21. princeegli's Avatar
    I've had all three....and windows is the best for ease of navigation,taking notes,....and the very best in YouTube apps.....you can download YouTube videos,and play while phone is off,on same app.....you have to jump through hoops on android and apple
    libra89 likes this.
    09-26-2016 12:38 PM
  22. Tarequl Islam's Avatar
    Windows Maps is the fatal blow i guess.
    xandros9 likes this.
    09-26-2016 12:51 PM
  23. princeegli's Avatar
    Windows Maps is the fatal blow i guess.
    Here maps is where its at.....and here drive are great
    09-26-2016 04:15 PM
  24. xandros9's Avatar
    Here maps is where its at.....and here drive are great
    Well you can't get those on W10M and frankly, I have found their POI databases vastly inferior to Google's, or even Apple Maps. The only major advantage is 100% offline maps. And you can get HERE on both iOS and Android as well.
    Joe920, libra89 and dgr_874 like this.
    09-26-2016 09:39 PM
  25. Joe920's Avatar
    So to summarize until now, unless I'm overlooking any other main features, it really doesn't seem like WP as an OS is significantly behind iOS and Android. Nice.

    How about screen projection? For Airplay on iOS, does that only work over Apple TV? I can project from my 950XL to my Roku wirelessly, and I guess to any miracast enabled device, or via a Wireless Display adapter? Does Android allow anything similar?
    09-26-2016 09:50 PM
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