1. Torontonian22's Avatar
    Hi All,

    I just wanted to share my experience with moving from the windows ecosystem to Android and not the other way around. It's not a rant, I'm not here start a war but to share my first feedback after a few days of use of the Nexus 7.

    First of all, a bit of context. In late 2012, I decided to buy a 920 because WP was appealing, new and looked different. I really liked the 920 and WP in general. At the time, my only laptop was a Macbook from 2006 (that still works like a charm, 9 years later by the way). However, I bought a new Macbook pro from 2010 for a very cheap price to use for work but killed the keyboard by spilling coffee all over itGenius.

    In 2013, I was tempted by a tablet but I needed a device that could do both tablet and PC to replace my macbook pro that was sitting in a cupboard, waiting for a new keyboard. I decided to try the Surface Pro 1. I was aware of the weight, low battery life and the lack of apps but I was mostly going to use it for work and thus, use x86 programs more often. And I had a WP so they both should work perfectly together.

    2 years later, I finally replaced my macbook pro keyboard myself. I now have: my macbook pro from 2010, one desktop computer for gaming and more heavy stuff running win10, another macbook pro from work and my surface pro 1. If I need to work, I'll use my macbook pro. Even if the surface is great, the convenience is not there: the type cover is good in some cases but does not replace an actual keyboard, the balance is not great for lapability and the screen is actually a bit small if you want to work on excel spreadsheet or to edit your pictures. However, if the screen is comfortable to watch videos, its size is actually not ideal to use as a tablet: the weight and the aspect ratio is not the best to read articles and it becomes really awkward to hold really fast.

    So, despite the issues I faced with my surface (I got 3 of them because of hardware issues), it's been a great companion overall but I did not use it as much as I thought I would because of the elements listed above. I never actually carried it with me because it was simply not convenient. The only thing I'll miss the most is the kickstand.

    The surface was actually great when sitting on a desktop, plugged to a monitor and with a mouse and keyboard plugged to it. However, I already have a way better desktop computer for that matter and my macbook is my go-to machine when I'm on-the-go and need to do stuff quickly without turning on my PC.

    Therefore, I then decided to use the surface pro as a tablet only. It was more than okay with Windows 8.1 despite the lack of apps. Using x86 programs with touch is NOT the way to go as it's really not made for it. However, the touch interface of 8.1 was actually well thought and enjoyable to use. Since I upgraded to win10, I stopped using my surface pro and I'm currently selling it (hopefully the guy will buy it tonight, fingers crossed). Why? Because Win10 focuses on the desktop and the new "start screen" for tablet is different. But on top of that, gestures are gone, it's not as intuitive, Edge is kind of terrible and a pain to use as a whole, a lot of apps a really unstable and it simply doesn't work anymore for me, at least not for tablet use. And the battery life W10 killed my already terrible battery life on the surface pro. Yes, I could go back to 8.1 and start over again.. did that, been there, but it still won't solve the form factor issues, the battery is still low and, let's put it that way, it's not a tablet.

    I then bought a LNIB Nexus 7 from 2013 for a cheap price to give it a try. Used Android in the past, had mixed feelings about it, time to start over. As a tablet, it's exactly what I need today. Multitasking works way better than the last time I used an Android device, it's smooth (yeah, a few stutters here and there but nothing dramatic), the battery lasts approximately 7hours in full charge with moderate use, interface can be tweaked to your liking, it's easy to carry around, Google now is actually useful, it wakes up as soon as I press the button (not like the surface pro who used to wake a few seconds/minutes after) and cherry on the cake, I have my usual MS apps. Talking of apps, I did a quick comparison between my WP apps and the ones on the nexus People who keep saying that WP apps have nothing to be jealous about HAVE NOT used Android apps in a while. One example, my city public transport app on Android is like, years ahead of the same app for Windows phone in terms of usability and interface. Same goes with my banking app. This is where I realized how lacking some of the apps on WP were. By not using an Android device for so long, I forgot about that and actually lived with the apps I was getting on my 920 and 930. That's one example, but Facebook, Messenger or even the Windows Central widget on Android is still more useful then the live tile on WP! However, the look of the windows central app (in app) is definitely better on WP :)

    All in all, the surface pro 1 (I'm only talking of the 1st gen Surface pro not the 3 or Pro 3 that must be awesome devices and more adapted to a tablet use) was more of a desktop computer than an hybrid for me. And Windows 10 actually pushed that aspect a little further. So, when it comes to tablet, I'll stick with either Android or iPad in the future, who knows. Will I take the plunge as well for my phone? Most likely. My 930, contrary to my 920, did not give me satisfaction. I may have gotten a faulty device but between the issues I faced with my surface pro and now my 930, I'm beginning to be doubtful about MS devices (yeah, I know it's nokia but MS bought it in the meantime). Besides, I'm currently using the W10 preview on my phone. YES , IT'S A PREVIEW, once again,I know. However, it's a good way to see where MS is going with there OS. As I already said before, everything I actually liked in WP8 is long gone and the app gap is still an issue, years after. Will W10 solve that problem? I can't tell. My very personal opinion is this one: No, W10 will not narrow the app gap. Even if we can sideload, I still don't understand why I would sideload android apps instead of running native apps on an Android phone. If you want to run android apps (that apparently you all hate so much), get an android phone. I did not purchase WP for that matter in the first place. I'll keep my 930 until W10M gets released officially and will see what I will do then. Besides, the fact that I can still use MS apps on other platforms makes the transition easier.

    Funny how W8 and 8.1 actually brought me back towards Windows while W10 is driving away when it comes to mobility, it's great on a desktop computer.
    09-09-2015 05:19 AM
  2. Steve Thackery's Avatar
    Hi All,
    Funny how W8 and 8.1 actually brought me back towards Windows while W10 is driving away when it comes to mobility, it's great on a desktop computer.
    My thoughts almost exactly. Windows 10 on my desktop is a hit. I would still like an option to show the pinned applications as icons rather than small tiles, but I guess nothing's perfect. I can live with that.

    Windows 10 on a tablet? Actually, I'm fine with it. It's on my Sony hybrid and I make use of the Continuum button to switch between desktop and tablet modes (sadly it doesn't auto-switch on mine). There are some tweaks which would improve it, but on the whole it's pretty good.

    Windows 10 Mobile on my phone is a big disappointment. Yes, yes, I KNOW it's still in beta, but the radical changes to the UI and the overall design language are clearly here to stay - all part of Microsoft's attempt to homogenise the user experience across platforms. I think WP8.1 was wonderful to use, with incredibly innovative UI features and design language, graphics, animations, etc. It felt so slick, smooth and MODERN; it made iOS and Android look like clunky old carry-overs from the last century.

    Sadly, almost all of that has been ditched in W10M and we're left with something that is FAR too similar to Android. Instead of the gorgeous pivot control, we've got the pox-ridden hamburger menu. Even worse, app developers don't seem to know what to put under the hamburger, and what to put under the three dots ('...'). Very disappointing. I'm sorely tempted to switch back to my lovely Galaxy Note and embrace Android again.
    09-09-2015 07:49 AM

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