Moving back to iPhone

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Chris Pidgeon

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Dec 4, 2012
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After 10 months I am returning to the world of Apple.

10 months ago, i switched to WP8 and for a few months enjoyed fresh new experience, signed up as a developer and really thought I had made a great move.

However after really getting used to the OS and living with it day to day, i have concluded is it significantly less mature than ios, buggy and has a very poor selection and general quality of app. I just want a phone that works, not one i have to work around due to lack of apps or quirky behaviour.

So in no particular order, my gripes with WP8 on the HTC 8X...

- lack of apps - i don't use that many apps on a regular basis, but not having a sonos app is a big annoyance, of course there is a 3rd party app, that 'does the job'. Then there just aren't many decent apps to explore or find in the app store, which leads me onto the next point.

- lack of quality - now this is a big one. Apps are in general very poor quality. Even the headline apps of Facebook, WhatsApp and Spotify are plagued with bugs, terrible performance and very regular crashes. And don't even get me started on Skype!
WhatsApp - the number of times i receive a notification on my live tile then either cant see it in the app or the app crashes on resume forcing me to restart is ridiculous. Improving with updates but still not good enough.

Spotify - marginally better with recent updates but i am still losing off line songs that i previously had saved and the handling of a poor internet connection is bad, with no feeback anything is wrong it will just sit there. Countless times i press play on an off line playlist and it will just display the track and leave it paused.

Facebook - slow and buggy is an understatement. Type a long message, add a picture/location and lose the text you had written. How can this app be so poor, yes it has improved, but it feels so unpolished compared to my wife's ios app.

Skype - so bad i uninstalled it. When trying to call home to have a video call (on Vodafone), the damn thing just won't connect after multiple attempts at both calling and reinstalling it just wont work properly. I borrow a friends old, aging iphone 4 and it connects and shows a good video first time (on same Vodafone network). In general my success rate at skype calls over mobile was less than 20%.

General apps - take this morning as an example. I regularly listen to a podcast on a Thursday morning. Today, for no reason podcatcher crashes on startup and i cant get it to start, why??

Internet explorer - not bad, but the lack of visibilty of you data connection is massively frustrating. If i am stood on the train platform trying to load a page and i do not see the signal icon you assume that the signal is ok. The page doesn't load, so to check what is going on I need to do the following:
1. press home
2. swipe down to view signal
3. realise the signal is poor
4. go back into IE and wait/refresh for the page.
Why cant i swipe down from within IE?

The progress bar in IE races along to 90% loaded and then sits there before eventually showing unable to load page. Minor yes, but coupled with not being able to see your signal at a glance, just another source of annoyance when doing a routine day to day task.

Another example of poorly executed general behaviour happened yesterday, with the otherwise rather nice Office apps. I am on a call and need to read out an id over the phone. I quickly load an excel document from sky drive (nice and slick) then go to read the first half of the id back to the person over the phone. When i then bring the phone away from my ear to read the second half, it has decided to switch away from excel and go back to the phone. Again not a biggy but just another little gripe.

General stability is not great, at least once a month I will have a rogue day of battery life falling off a cliff, or a crash/reboot or an inexplicable app not launching just when I need it. Even the generally good mail app the other day decided that the searching of my work emails would stop working correctly. Entering a search term would yield unrelated results in amongst occasional "unable to connect to server" messages, when signal seemed to be good.

I still have of a good chunk (4gig) of my 16gig storage being consumed by 'Other', with no obvious way to release it. I have tried various apps, upgraded to the latest software, but for whatever reason it just won't release it. Not life threatening, but annoying yet again.

I might be the only one who is annoyed by some of the above things, but I am fed up with hearing 'didn't you get that message' on facebook/whatsapp due to battery saver mode not getting updates, or just wanting to just do an every day routine task and half the time encountering an issue or a little niggle. Nothing show stopping or life threatening, but this is a device I carry with me every day and I just want it to have the apps I need and more often than not just work flawlessly without little annoyances.

So sadly despite really wanting to enjoy Windows phone, once the honeymoon period wore off, there are just too many niggles, gripes and lack of quality apps that I am moving back to the world of iPhone. Hopefully things will improve, but for the time being I am leaving the world of WP8 behind. Only time will tell if I will return!
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