Windows Phone 8.1 is it really less user friendly than iOS 8?

welsbloke

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I was recently reading a review from Which? consumer magazine in the UK which prides itself on independence. Now it heavily recommends just about anything Apple which in itself is not surprising although in my opinion short sighted however a different topic. In this latest round they provided some testing results for the latest phones including the iPhone 6 and the 930. The iOS devices all scored top marks for usability which I always find odd because I find WP so easy and intuitive but then I have been using Windows Phone devices since before the iPhone was born.

So my question is to those who regularly use both devices, is the iOS really that more user friendly than WP8.1?
 

OwenDL

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I strongly beg to differ. I honestly have never had an experience with 8.1 that could ever be considered 'user unfriendly'. It sounds to me like there's some bias going on there because I know for a fact that iOS 8 doesn't trump 8.1 in every single usability category.
 

windows94

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Pfff yeah right. Every os has its learning curve but come on. The only thing that's not user friendly on 8.1 is the absolutely deadly settings menu
 

RickyZhang

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That's right, that setting menu always make me can not understand why Microsoft designed like that and even did not do some improve on it in WP8.1...
 

SvenJ

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Ever dug through iOS settings? I don't find them particularly friendly. One big difference is most WP settings are accessible within the app. iOS all the app settings tend to be in the general phone settings app. I wouldn't mind WP settings being alphabetized, but they tend to be just overall system settings, all in one place.
 

Bobvfr

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I have to declare a disliking of Which, and although they claim independence they still have to sell their own product and if that means it's easier to sell by going with the flow they will.


Bob
 

SvenJ

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I have always found terms like user friendly and intuitive, very interesting. If you stuck a smartphone, WP, iOS or Android, in front of someone who had never seen one before, what would happen. Even that is dependent on prior understanding. If they had seen a phone before and had an idea what that was for probably they could muddle through making a call. Without some concept of what the device could do, how would you discover how to do it. Discoverable. Now that's a more interesting concept. There is even more than one aspect of that. There are those things you expect something to do, but need to figure out how. There are those things that you don't even know it can do, and should run across somehow. When you get right down to all three OSs, are basically the same. You click an icon that launches a function/task you want to do, then tap a button at the bottom to get back to the list of app icons. Outside of that basic functionality are the differences, and those things that are difficult in one, if you are used to the other. Given you feel the need to close an app, how the heck do you discover how to do that in the three OSs? How about deleting/uninstalling an app? Switching between running apps? Is any one easier once you know how? Are the others less 'intuitive', if you have been using one for a year? I might say that iOS may be easier as an out of box experience for many because it has so many fewer options. You have screens of icons, that's it. You don't have all the Widget options of Android and the Live Tiles of WP to configure. You get a new app on iOS, it's on the screen, simple as that. In my mind, that gets old fast. I want my device to do more, and it can. Actually all of them can, but all of them may need some guidance as to how.
 

Laura Knotek

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I have always found terms like user friendly and intuitive, very interesting. If you stuck a smartphone, WP, iOS or Android, in front of someone who had never seen one before, what would happen. Even that is dependent on prior understanding. If they had seen a phone before and had an idea what that was for probably they could muddle through making a call. Without some concept of what the device could do, how would you discover how to do it. Discoverable. Now that's a more interesting concept. There is even more than one aspect of that. There are those things you expect something to do, but need to figure out how. There are those things that you don't even know it can do, and should run across somehow. When you get right down to all three OSs, are basically the same. You click an icon that launches a function/task you want to do, then tap a button at the bottom to get back to the list of app icons. Outside of that basic functionality are the differences, and those things that are difficult in one, if you are used to the other. Given you feel the need to close an app, how the heck do you discover how to do that in the three OSs? How about deleting/uninstalling an app? Switching between running apps? Is any one easier once you know how? Are the others less 'intuitive', if you have been using one for a year? I might say that iOS may be easier as an out of box experience for many because it has so many fewer options. You have screens of icons, that's it. You don't have all the Widget options of Android and the Live Tiles of WP to configure. You get a new app on iOS, it's on the screen, simple as that. In my mind, that gets old fast. I want my device to do more, and it can. Actually all of them can, but all of them may need some guidance as to how.

I like your comment about "discoverable". I think that's very true. I've never owned iPhones or Androids, but I'm able to pick them up in carrier stores and use various apps/features. For example, I've posted on the forums using iPhones and Samsung Galaxy's.

Not being "discoverable" was the trouble with the BlackBerry Z10. From what I've heard, when a person turns the Z10 on for the first time, there are screens that explain the gestures. However, the one in the T-Mobile store that I tried was already set up. I couldn't figure out the gestures and spent 15 minutes just trying to figure out how to use the browser. After fumbling/stumbling swiping in various directions, I just gave up and put it down, never to touch another BB10 device again. BlackBerry lost me permanently, due to the lack of "discoverability", and I was a former legacy BBOS user.
 

welsbloke

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Thank you for your comments so far which are in line with my own pretty much. However as I am a stick in the mud WP user I would find things easy. To be fair to Which? it is not the only publication that declares the iOS to be supremely easy to use which makes me think

A. It is easy to use and I just don't know any better or
B. Like me with WP they are die hard stick in the mud iOS users either through iPods, iPhone or iPads.

My only real contact with iOS has been figuring out settings predominantly around email and that experience definitely could not be said to be intuitive.
 

Waylon Payne

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Microsoft just needs to fix the settings menu, its way more confusing than the one on IOS. It's like they just randomly took the settings out of a bag and placed them in the order they came out. Why are there so many screen related settings in the WP menu that are not under one display setting menu? It makes no sense...
 

realwarder

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Microsoft just needs to fix the settings menu, its way more confusing than the one on IOS. It's like they just randomly took the settings out of a bag and placed them in the order they came out. Why are there so many screen related settings in the WP menu that are not under one display setting menu? It makes no sense...

Remember that some screen settings are the OS level, and others are the hardware manufacturer. Not all screens can have every option possible. And by splitting them different manufacturers can upgrade their settings without an entire OS update.

But yeah, they are very muddled and settings needs a rework!
 

colinkiama

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iOS is more user friendly than windows phone. iOS is too simple. iOS is full of static icon shortcuts. WP is full of tiles of different sizes that shows useful information, that are alive. iOS is definitely more user friendly.
 

chezm

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familiarity should not be deemed 'user friendly'. Meaning iOS can only be 'more user friendly' mainly because its a more well known design since its been around longer.
 

Asskickulater

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Microsoft just needs to fix the settings menu, its way more confusing than the one on IOS. It's like they just randomly took the settings out of a bag and placed them in the order they came out. Why are there so many screen related settings in the WP menu that are not under one display setting menu? It makes no sense...

Well, originally the settings menu was set more by "frequency" they put the more frequently used settings towards the top (when you don't actually have a large settings list, it would be genuninely easier and faster to find what you want most of the time this way), and the less so on the bottom.. it worked for wp7, but the settings menu has increased in size dramatically with not just system settings, but with all the OEM settings that can be added too.
 

David Crockett3

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Think about it this way, this company, who gave the review, more than likely has stock in Apple, so it would be in their best interest to help Apple sell as many products as they can. Doing that doesn?t just help Apple, it also helps their stock value. This is a very simple game I played when I was 9, with my friends and our Z-Bots.
 

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