Editorial

I went to buy an Android phone and left with my first Windows Phone, this is my review

The smartphone is, without question, the biggest thing going on in the technology world right now. Before 2007, phones were unwieldy and slow. The selection was poor, with no true competition besides the biggest battery in whatever phone you had or the operating systems: Symbian or Windows Mobile. Luckily for the world, Apple executives were feeling your pain and decided to make something better, the iPhone. 

Skip forward almost six years and the story is similar, but the phones are better. You can choose an iPhone (now on version 5) or a Samsung phone. Competitors do exist, but not in a big way. Nokia has almost returned from the dead but are still losing money; HTC's profits are decreasing rapidly; LG have been out-innovated, and then crushed by Samsung and the rest - Huawei, ZTE, BlackBerry - are so small that they don't warrant counting or are dying rapidly. It's fair to say that the phones have got better, but the choice is just as limited. 

So I did something crazy. I bought a Windows Phone 8S. I had walked into the O2 store with the intent of buying something Android-based and walked out with a Windows Phone 8 device. And here's what I think of the operating system. 

Modern UI (Metro) 

Now is a good time to talk about Modern UI (née Metro). Microsoft originally called their design philosophy Metro, but then backed down when sued by Metro Group. I strongly recommend that when it's time to buy your next phone, you try out a Windows Phone, because it really is that good--and most of that is due to the Modern UI. Compared to iOS and Android, Windows Phone is new, bold and awesome. Someone inside Microsoft should be getting a raise for the ideas behind Windows Phone because it is nothing like the current crop of smartphones and lends Microsoft the individuality that they so sorely need. 

The "flat" interface is something that I love, as are the big, beautiful headers like this. While I'm not adverse to skeuomorphism, except for the perpetually hideous Game Center, the "flat" interface is just nicer and more minimal. The tile interface is also perfect for the "flat" aesthetic and is reflected around the entire operating system in a way the other two - iOS and Android - cannot claim to have achieved, despite efforts to make it so.  

When navigating between apps, you get a sense that Microsoft know exactly what they're doing. Internet Explorer slides, flips and twirls when you use it; panels slide across to show more options or new panes; every app opens and closes in a "staged flip"; and everything just feels like it's part of the same experience and was design to be integrated with everything else.

The experience on iOS and Android, while slightly more polished due to age, doesn't have the same integrated design language. Developers are encouraged to design "Modern" apps that suit Windows Phone, while iOS and Android developers can design in any way they want, leading to a juxtaposition of ideas. 

Tiles 

When Microsoft first announced Windows Phone, I was sceptical of the "tile" interface. To me, tiles seemed like a mid-way point between widgets (Android) and non-widgets (iPhone) rather than just siding with one or the other. Now, I can see the error in my position. Tiles are the best thing to happen to the homescreen since 2007 when Apple unveiled the 4x4 grid of icons, freeing the world of the tiny calendar widgets on Symbian and Windows Mobile.

On my homescreen right now, I can see the time and weather via the HTC tile, whether I have any notifications from Twitter, WhatsApp, SMS and email and can access both WiFi and flight mode. People often say that the critical advantage of Android over iOS is widgets and they're partly right. Widgets are their own separate entity and suit the look of themselves rather than the overall aesthetic; tiles, on the other hand, suit the overall aesthetic perfectly. 

When redesigning iOS 7, I hope that Apple look towards Windows Phone rather than Android, and maybe they are, because the Windows Phone experience is superior to both Android and iOS, in my opinion. 

music+video  

The 8S comes with just 4GB of internal storage (3 of which are used up by the OS) so I had to purchase an additional 16GB microSD. When I went to transfer music onto the card - via the Windows Phone Mac interface - it took an hour and a half to transfer 500 songs. I don't know if this is a common problem (tell me in the comments below if you've had the same issue) or whether it's because I have a Mac, but the time seems ridiculous. 

When you eventually get music onto your device, you'll see that Microsoft have taken cues for the music+video hub from their Zune player and it looks great. If I had to name one app that beats both Android and iOS in terms of fluidity and design, it would be the music+video player. Scrolling is fast and fluid and the UI carries the Modern style, with sliding panels to see albums, artists and songs. 

The main competitor for Microsoft on this front is the iPhone, which has the iPod pedigree behind it. Steve Jobs famously said during his Keynote that the iPhone was three things in one: an iPod, an Internet device and a phone. The music playback on Windows Phone is equal too, if not better than, that of the iPhone. The music+video section is one of the strongest and most compelling reasons to buy a Windows Phone and highlights the thought that has gone into the design of hubs by Microsoft.  

Internet Explorer 

I used to own an HTC HD2, back in the days when Windows Mobile was just about bearable. The HD2 had Internet Explorer preloaded and it was awful, I'm sure some of you can sympathise. In contrast, the bundled version of Internet Explorer is in another league. Response, while not as quick as Mobile Safari or Chrome for Android, is still good and sites load well. There are animations aplenty and the Modern UI ideas are present and correct, right down to the oversized text in the settings menu

There are still issues. The browser isn't slow, but it isn't fast either. Sites like Neowin or Techmeme take an extra second to load and create a feeling of lag, probably not something Microsoft was aiming for. Internet Explorer isn't recognised as a mobile browser on some sites, like the New York Times or Business Insider, which can be annoying on a lower power device which has difficulty handling a full-on desktop site laden with ads, and does not happen for iOS or Android. 

There is also a lack of customisability within IE10. For example, there is no way to change your default search provider and the physical search button always directs to Bing. While Bing is okay, I still like the results in Google, especially as they're customised by previous searches. Both Android and iOS allow the user to change a host of options, but the Internet Explorer settings page is rather sparse, with just a few options. 

While we're on the topic of Bing, there are several very nice features such as Bing Vision, Google Goggles-style barcode/text scanner, Local Scout and a Shazam-like music identification service. The music identifier worked with a series of six songs, including some more obscure ones, such as Chopin's Raindrop Prelude. Bing Vision worked well, identifying all the barcodes I scanned quickly and translating a variety of text effectively. While I don't think Bing search rivals Google, these additional - and free - features are welcome additions. 

Microsoft build IE10 for Windows Phone 8 alongside IE10 for Windows 8 but there are not really any advantages that I can see, only disadvantages. The competition are ahead for mobile browsing and Microsoft really need to innovate and add more options to their mobile browser. 

Apps

This is the part when Windows Phone starts to fall apart. I've used the last 1,200 words to say (mostly) nice things about Windows Phone but there are, unfortunately, things that ruin the ride.  The first of those is apps. App development takes time and effort so you want to spend those precious moments developing an app that will be downloaded by the most people, which means that developers are less likely to spend time on Windows Phone due to the small marketshare. This causes a cycle: people don't buy Windows Phone because of the lack of apps and developers don't make apps because Windows Phone has very few users. 

Of course, good apps do exist and Microsoft has worked hard to integrate Xbox functionality, meaning you can work with your console avatar to gain points, etc. And Windows Phone does have some popular games. All of the Angry Birds series are here, as well as Cut the Rope and a host of other games. However, I do miss some of the quality that iOS brings to mobile gaming. Apps like PunchQuest, Tiny Wings and Grand Theft Auto are all conspicuously absent and the apps that are there cost more. Modern Combat 4 costs £5.49 ($8.55) on Windows Phone and costs £4.99 ($7.77) on iOS. Other apps follow a similar price hike. 

Apps, or lack thereof, isn't something that Microsoft can easily solve. Sure, they offer incentives to developers, but why develop for just 4% of the overall market when you can hit 60% easily? This is not a problem that is easily solved, but Microsoft need to find a way. And fast

Multitasking and Notifications 

People who use iOS and Android often forget the early days of their platform. Up until iOS 5 there was no single place for notifications on your iPhone. Unfortunately, Windows Phone is where iOS was all those years ago, and it hurts. App notifications appear at the top of the screen, but once they're gone, they're gone. I would love a system by which I can just pull down from the top - or drag up from the bottom - and see all my notifications, rather than having to venture into each apps. Hopefully Microsoft are listening and will implement this in the next update of Windows Phone because it is a real issue. 

And now we come on to the worst feature in Windows Phone: multitasking. Up until Windows Phone 7.5, Microsoft hadn't even implemented and part of me wishes they had spent more time working on it before rushing it out. Unlike multitasking on iOS or Android, Windows Phone seems to sporadically save apps while letting others reset. If I back-out of Twitter, for instance, it will save my place or my words that I am about to tweet, but if I back-out of Internet Explorer it doesn't save the page I was on and forces me to refresh when I return. Annoying. Android employs "proper" multitasking, while Apple pauses apps that run in the background but you can be sure that apps will be where you left them when you returns. 

Added onto that, there is also no way to close apps that are running in the background, besides blocking them altogether. When you long press the ← key you are presented with WebOS-style cards, but nothing can be done to them apart from clicking. Microsoft has also opted to only show the six most recent apps, rather than the ones I chose not to close (like iOS or Android) which is annoying and some that BlackBerry was slated for with BB10

Multitasking is by far the worst feature on Windows Phone and Microsoft needed it fixed yesterday. 

Social+messaging 

One of the things that Microsoft worked really hard on was messaging, and it shows. Through the built-in messaging app, I can access both texts and Facebook (online contacts only), switching seamlessly between the two. Microsoft should be commended for building such a good messaging platform from scratch and making it look nice, continuing the Modern UI theme. 

Microsoft also has the "People" hub, which aggregates almost everything about your friends into one place. I'm not a big user of the hub, but I can see why some people would find it very useful. The design is typical of Microsoft and is incredibly well done, with neat sliding panes that show information. The What's new tab keeps you up to date with the likes of Facebook and Twitter aggregated into one feed. For those who simply follow their friends on Twitter, this is perfect. In another pane is a Recent section which shows who you recently spoke to and links to their profiles. 

 

The social experience that Windows Phone brings is excellent, and certainly beats iOS conclusively (iOS doesn't even show contact photos). There are ways to view all of your friends activity on Android, but not in the same easy-to-use way as the people hub. Windows Phone is designed to "put people first," and the social networking integration does just that - and, more importantly, it does it better than iOS and Android.  

Overall thoughts

Many of you will be surprised to read this, but I love Windows Phone. The concept is excellent, the implementation also, and with more developer support and few tweaks here and there Microsoft could be onto a winner. If you are coming to the end of your contract, I recommend checking out a Windows Phone device because the OS is just that good. 

I am often tough on Microsoft for not having any original ideas, but Windows Phone is one that I concede is excellent. Before November 2010 there was no viable third horse in the race between Apple and Samsung to get 100% of all smartphone profits. In May 2013, there is one, and it's called Windows Phone. 

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Nice review.
Re multitasking: It certainly lacks on the budget devices but you'll find it's much better on devices with more RAM.

I got my 8X on launch day (just so happened my contract came up for renewal) and loved it but something niggled away at me pulling me back to android so i was thinking of flogging it and getting an S3, Nexus 4 or similar. A few months in, the screen cracked, i sent it back for repair and borrowed an S3 with the intention of selling the 8X when it came back.

By the time my phone came back i'd completely changed my mind, the WP8 system is so much better than Android it hurts to go back to Android. I'm now certainly keeping my 8X and ass the app count (and quality) grows and reasons for me to leave are diminishing.

I saw my 1st windows phone more than a decade ago. It was from Compaq. It was excellent with CE version of MS Office built in. It was too expensive for my pocket. I would go for it even today but for the cost.

I somehow have a feeling that it was the one that inspired Jobs to come up with their own !

Multi tasking flow

Home button - puts the app in saved state. (but yes screws up for some apps but very few)
Back button till reaching the home screen - Closes the app.

it took an hour and a half to transfer 500 songs.

This is why we have USB SD Card readers... Even then if it's 500 decent quality songs it will take some time because 500 songs is a LOT of data...

An honest, well-rounded review. I agree with your pros and cons, and that their interpretation of a "flat" UI should be copied (much in the way that the Chrome browser's UI has been copied). I don't agree that it needs a notification center; if I miss the banner, I check my home screen. And yes, the music + video section is very well done; it's very un-Microsoft (actually, the whole OS is).

I'd add that the name "Windows" is another reason why WP8 is struggling. People think of lag, viruses, and crashes when they hear the word "Windows", not something that's fast, fluid, and stable.

Indeed, lots of potential with with this platform, and Nokia have really done good with their 'here' apps.....but apps are what's going to kill this the phone before it's had a chance to compete. There's not even official support for the big apps such as Facebook or youtube.

The media player is also terrible for playing your own movies, and not one single app on the market capable of doing so.

Google has brought quite a few of its apps to iOS, wonder if they plan to do the same for WP and other mobile platforms?

"Apps, or lack thereof, isn't something that Microsoft can easily solve. Sure, they offer incentives to developers, but why develop for just 4% of the overall market when you can hit 60% easily?"

Much less competition. I liken it to having a monthly living budget of $5000 and having to choose between living in New York NY or Charlotte NC. Sure, you'd be in NY, but that money would go a looooooooooot farther in Charlotte. Same with a great app on WP vs iOS or Android.

Remember Windows CE ! Microsoft's greatest new Mobile OS? They left owners of the proprietary chip devices in the cold, when they dropped Windows CE support.

Hahaha I love this. In 2011, I wanted to see about the Samsung Infuse, but the Samsung Focus caught my eye. Remember seeing an old friend who worked for AT&T using one a few months before that and decided to look into it. And that was it. I have owned four more WPs since --- BUT am using an Android (HTC One) as my main phone, with the Lumia 521 as a home device to play with (and as a back-up if my One breaks/gets stolen/misplaced).

Welcome to the club! The apps, I can see coming from other platforms where that is an issue but for me, the phone has what I need built in, especially on the Nokia side. Multi-tasking... as an early adopter I will simply say it has improved dramatically from 7 to 8 so it is not something left behind. I was rather upset going from Zune to WP7 and then XBox music but now I am enjoying it.

I bought a 920 about a month ago and it's been a treat ever since. My previous phones were a galaxyNote, iPhone 3GS and previous to that, the trusty nokia N95.

I'm really enjoying the experience (for all the reasons you listed) and I think it's a very underrated OS.

The WP sync app for Mac craps all over Samsungs Keis (I ended up using Double Twist for media sync but that had it's issues).

Yes it does take a while sync the music but I put that down to the fact that all my tracks are in DRM free m4a format (apple's lossless codec) and it's smart enough to convert those tracks to MP3 on the fly. Photo's sync to iPhoto without any config necessary.

I love the tiles. Close friends and frequent contacts I've place on the home screen (native to the OS) and it's a nice touch that a message counter appears on their portrait when they've DM'd me via FB or SMS.

I got comfortable with the OS very quickly and I'll be curious to see apple's take on flat design when it eventually comes out.

For now I'm very happy with it and for the first time in a few years I really don't care what may or may not come out in the next 6 months on any platform or hardware spec.

This ones's a keeper.

As a web developer I loathe WP's version of IE. Despite saying it's IE10, it seems to be closer to desktop IE9 when it comes to features it supports. It is completely developer unfriendly, providing no way to simply clear caches without removing all cookies and even saved passwords (why?) at the same time. Even after clearing I've had to restart the whole phone to get some things to update because WP offers no way to force apps to quit afaik.

WP IE has no debug console, you have to run Win8 with WP SDK and emulator if you want to debug javascript. On other platforms you can just connect the phone and use desktop Chrome or Safari to debug.

As for the rest of the UI, I'm not a fan of that either. I felt that it gets very cluttered as soon as you add more apps.

You force quit apps by clicking on the back arrow of the phone's hardware buttons until the app goes away. You hold down the back button to see what apps are still open.

As I recall, at least in WP7, multitasking worked in the way that the app actually closes when you leave (hence why you can't kill tasks) and the developer is required to save the state of the app in one of the callbacks which is called when the app closes. Then when the app starts again, it needs to load the state in a callback called at the start, and this is how it does multitasking.

Dunno if this changed with WP8?

Nice story on your first experiences on the platform :-) I have to mention though that you can certainly change your default search engine from Bing to google in settings->applications->internet explorer->advanced settings, other than that are some points where I slightly disagree (like the multitasking part) but anyone is entitled to to their own opinion ;-) good write-up!

Windows Phone 8 is great. It's very smooth and the UI is aesthetically-pleasing. I like what Google has done with Android ever since Android 4.0 but I prefer flatter UIs with more focus on content. Microsoft recently updated their YouTube app and Foursquare was recently updated too. There are updates for Viber and WhatsApp on the way and rumours of Instagram (the redesigned logo/icon is flat so that could be a signal).

Although WP8 is great, it still needs improvement. Things like locking the screen's orientation and having separate volumes for phone calls and media are greatly needed. I'm confident that Microsoft will add missing features like that in the future because they'd have to be blind to ignore it indefinitely.

At the moment though, the major issue is apps and that is becoming less of an issue as each day passes.

Still saving towards an iPhone 5 or 5S. I saw one in person and its just gorgeous. I have an iPod Touch, but I don't have hundreds of apps on it, just what I need.

Mr. Dee said,
Still saving towards an iPhone 5 or 5S. I saw one in person and its just gorgeous. I have an iPod Touch, but I don't have hundreds of apps on it, just what I need.

Go for the latest iPod touch and a Windows Phone with at least 1GB RAM. They should cost you combined what a single iPhone would and you could enjoy two ecosystems!

Couple things here. As far as multitasking goes, Windows Phone does it very similar to iOS. App states are saved and when you go back to them (as in from using the back button) they will be in the same state. When going back to the app from the app menu it is up to the app to decide whether or not to restart or continue where you left off. In Windows Phone 7 it was only possible to restart and it seems most apps go that route. Next, IE does save your webpage! Multitasking is fine in Windows Phone. While the recent app screen only shows the most recent 6, it seems to still save the state of all open apps. I have been working on a game and when I open the game and then every app on my device ( >> 6 apps) and then go back to the game and its state is saved.

Next, more about the notification center? Your home screen is your notification center! Tiles update with your notifications so you pin them to start and now you are set. Apparently they are adding one anyway soon but it is not needed.

illegaloperation said,
He has the HTC 8S which has less RAM so multitasking works a bit differently.

But doesn't that only allow change the number of recent apps that show up in the recent app list? According to MSDN:
"Fast Application Switching is supported on lower-memory devices. However, because keeping apps in a dormant state for Fast Application Switching is dependent on the phone's available memory, an app running on lower-memory devices is terminated and tombstoned more often and more quickly than the same app running on a phone with more memory."

It seems the only difference is that apps will be suspended to disk more than staying in memory which only means resuming may sometimes be slower rather than being different. I more believe he was reopening the app from the app list rather than clicking the back button. In this case it is up the app author to either resume the app or restart it. Most apps restart, though, while I think developers should always resume but its their choice I guess.

Nice review. I'm surprised how you didn't enjoy the multitasking on WP8. I find the web OS style cards quick and easy.

i tried windows phone, I liked it, but the model i choose had horrible battery life no matter what i tried. The apps is what made me switch back to IOS. If windows had the apps, I would be a windows phone user.

You went to buy android and bought WP.. LOL this shows you are buying products just on whim. No one cares why you bought what.

The post-purchase experience is far more significant and long-lasting than the pre-purchase decision process. He never expounded on why he chose WP over Android, just on how good an experience WP turned out to be. You wouldn't have read this article, either, if you didn't care at least a *little* bit.

I think the way WP handles open apps and memory management is brilliant. I'd say it's the best OS on the market in that one regard. The fact that I never once think about closing an app or what apps I've used and I've never once seen any impact on performance regardless of what apps I've used means they are handling resource management beautifully. I really wish that Windows 8 could be more like Windows Phone 8.

Avatar Roku said,

I really wish that Windows 8 could be more like Windows Phone 8.

How are they different? They both suspend the app when you navigate away and resume when you go back to it. As far as I could tell developing for both platforms they are nearly identical.

Avatar Roku said,
I really wish that Windows 8 could be more like Windows Phone 8.

Err Windows 8 apps work the same way. It's only desktop software that doesn't (obviously). This is why originally in the Win 8 developer preview MS never had a way to close apps as there was no need to, they only added the feature because people requested it anyway.

As a developer, I disliked managing Windows 8 device lifecycles. You need to write code to individually save each input the user has entered on every page, then reload it when the app is brought to the fore. I don't have to do that when writing an Android app. (I will admit I don't know if this is true for iOS apps).

Peter Knobloch said,
As a developer, I disliked managing Windows 8 device lifecycles. You need to write code to individually save each input the user has entered on every page, then reload it when the app is brought to the fore. I don't have to do that when writing an Android app. (I will admit I don't know if this is true for iOS apps).

Are you using Model View ViewModel designs? In my app I have a struct that all important data is kept in and then I only have to save and resume that one struct. Really isn't a lot of code to save one object.

I think you should run a spell check before posting articles. Seeing a spelling mistake on the main page on neowin.net "Plung" looks quite unprofessional.

matth3w said,
I think you should run a spell check before posting articles. Seeing a spelling mistake on the main page on neowin.net "Plung" looks quite unprofessional.

Instead of commenting about it, hit the report article link and report it.

Max Slater-Robins said,
Unlike multitasking on iOS or Android, Windows Phone seems to sporadically save apps while letting others reset. If I back-out of Twitter, for instance, it will save my place or my words that I am about to tweet, but if I back-out of Internet Explorer it doesn't save the page I was on and forces me to refresh when I return.

Actually, this has to do with your HTC 8S having less RAM.

My Nokia Lumia 920, for instance, doesn't have that problem.

Edited by illegaloperation, May 8 2013, 1:25am :

No, that's actually due to a change in multitasking behavior between Windows Phone 7.x and 8. In 7.x, apps were required to present themselves as if they were not previously running every time they are launched from the Start screen, regardless of whether they were already running before and hydrated into a paused state. In WP8, that is no longer required.

My Nokia Lumia 920 does the same thing with Twitter and Facebook, where if you press the Start button, then re-launch the app from the Start screen it does not force the app to "restart" and instead it will take me back into the last comment or post I was viewing. In other words, the multitasking behavior is the same as Windows 8/RT now. I actually prefer the old behavior much more. The new behavior is far too inconsistent.

Developers are encouraged to design "Modern" apps that suit Windows Phone, while iOS and Android developers can design in any way they want leading to a juxtaposition of ideas.

en·cour·age
/enˈkərij/
Verb
1) Give support, confidence, or hope to (someone): "encouraging results"; "I feel encouraged".
2) Give support and advice to (someone) to do or continue something: "pupils are encouraged to be creative".

Not the best choice of words you used. You are telling me that Google doesn't encourage Android developers on a certain design language? I'll take your word for that. /s

http://developer.android.com/design/index.html

Edited by DarkNet, May 8 2013, 1:01am :

I like the official apps on my Android that Third Party still can't do correctly on Windows Phone.
I like the integration of my Google services.
I like the fact I can buy an off contract unlocked phone for $350 brand new.
I like that I have choice.

dr_crabman said,

Now what does that have to do with WP?

Windows Phone doesn't have a good off contract phone. I carry two phones with me. My primary Verizon Galaxy Nexus 4G LTE and a Nexus 4 which has a prepaid SIM for $30 a month when I need it. Windows Phone doesn't offer a cheap off contract phone that is good. Get it? Got it? Good!

wingliston said,
For me most third party apps are much better on Windows Phone than on iPhone or Android. For example, Metrotube...

LOL, cute. Perhaps you should reread what I said.

Metrotube. Still laughing.

DarkNet said,

LOL, cute. Perhaps you should reread what I said.

Metrotube. Still laughing.

Metrotube is a damn good app. Stop laughing.

DarkNet said,
Windows Phone doesn't offer a cheap off contract phone that is good. Get it? Got it? Good!

I just picked up a No-Contract Lumia 521 at Walmart for $129. It's a WP8 and wasn't supposed to come out til May 11th. They had 3 hidden under the counter. Using T-Mobile's $30/mo (100 min, Unlimited Text + Unlimited Data)

I'm impressed! I wanted a cheap, good no contract Windows 8 phone. I think I found it.

rpertusio said,
.....

YOu should write a user review in the forums.
When I heard this sold out online in the first hour, I was wondering who would buy one.
I'm curious to see how our 'little brother' performs.

rpertusio said,

I just picked up a No-Contract Lumia 521 at Walmart for $129. It's a WP8 and wasn't supposed to come out til May 11th. They had 3 hidden under the counter. Using T-Mobile's $30/mo (100 min, Unlimited Text + Unlimited Data)

I'm impressed! I wanted a cheap, good no contract Windows 8 phone. I think I found it.

And how would you compare that to something higher-end that is relatively cheap. You know, like the Nexus 4?

I know you are a fandroid, but I owned all three phones, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone. Metrotube is way better than official Android YouTube app.

wingliston said,
I know you are a fandroid, but I owned all three phones, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone. Metrotube is way better than official Android YouTube app.

I own all three phones. I have an iPhone 4S, Lumia 900 and 2 Android devices. I have pictures would you like to see?

What apps do you use on GS3 that aren't on Lumia?

They seem to be catching up lately. Pandora, Hulu, YouTube, FourSquare, Facebook all just got major updates on WP8. Plus a ton of Gameloft games have released.

Mint.com
Acces D (Official app from my bank, to manage my bank accounts, pay bills, etc.)
Tasker (a powerful tool to automatize tasks by contexts)
Pocket Casts (Best podcasts manager/player, only for iOS and Android)
TomTom GPS (My favorite GPS app. Only available for iOS and Android)
Songza (My favorite music streaming app. Android and iOS)
Remote (To control iTunes remotely, with my phone. I don't think it exists on WP8)
Flipboard (Android and iOS)
Sixaxis Controller (To use a PS3 Controller with your phone. Great for emulators)
Steam (To manage my Steam account, chat with my Steam friends, buy games, etc.)
XBMC Remote (Maybe it exists on the WP platform, but Yatse for Android is awesome)
SoundCloud (Alternatives on the WP Store are as good?)
AdAway (The name says it all. It blocks ads by blocking domains, using the hosts file)
GSNES (Excellent SNES emulator for Android. 1:1 emulation, very fast, great filters, support “FX” games, and special games like Star Ocean, etc.)
etc.

I think the only thing I could personally see being nice would be emulators, although i read further up on here that there is some available, haven't looked mind.

TomTom from experience gets it's ass kicked by Nokia Drive+. It's funny as hell being out someone with my parents when their TomTom gets confused & my phone knows exactly where to go

I think TomTom and Steam are the only two names on that list that I've even heard of. As far as podcasts go, support for podcasts is integrated right into the OS. And I have to agree with ChristopherSmith, Nokia Drive+ is one of the best GPS apps I've seen on any smartphone.

Actually you can close apps that are running in the background, hold the back button, tap on the app you want to close, and then press the back button until it goes back to the home screen.

If you want to close all apps, just keep hitting the back button until it no longer goes back and you end up on the home screen.

It's a but clunky on how it works, I hope they make it work like in Windows 8 where you swipe from the top all the way to the bottom and that closes the app (no reason it couldn't work that way on the phone).

One nice thing about Windows phone though, is that you really don't need to close apps, apps that are dehydrated don't really consume any power anyway (except for music type apps).

Care to mention (maybe a full list) of the apps that are missing from iOS that are critical that Windows Phone doesn't have?

Krazzer said,
Actually you can close apps that are running in the background, hold the back button, tap on the app you want to close, and then press the back button until it goes back to the home screen.

If you want to close all apps, just keep hitting the back button until it no longer goes back and you end up on the home screen.

It's a but clunky on how it works, I hope they make it work like in Windows 8 where you swipe from the top all the way to the bottom and that closes the app (no reason it couldn't work that way on the phone).

One nice thing about Windows phone though, is that you really don't need to close apps, apps that are dehydrated don't really consume any power anyway (except for music type apps).

Care to mention (maybe a full list) of the apps that are missing from iOS that are critical that Windows Phone doesn't have?

What I mean is that Microsoft should implement a system by which you can 'flick' away apps to close them, like WebOS or Android 4.2. The current system is in place, but needs to be expanded upon. The repeated back button press is rather long-winded compared to iOS or Android.

Apps that are missing are generally games, such as Grand Theft Auto or utilities like Instapaper and Pocket. Obviously as market share increases developers will come, but its an annoyance.

maxslaterrobins said,

"but if I back-out of Internet Explorer it doesn't save the page I was on and forces me to refresh when I return."

by which you can 'flick' away apps to close them, like WebOS or Android 4.2

Apparently Apple made a change to their webkit as I have noticed the same behavior in Safari, Dolphin and Chrome where a page must be "refreshed" just by hitting the back button.. not just an IE thing.

You can't flick away apps in iOS either yet.. i say yet because if you jailbroke your phone you could do it but apple just steals most of those ideas anyway and call it their own.

Max Slater-Robins said,
There is also a lack of customisability within IE10. For example, there is no way to change your default search provider

Internet Explorer > settings > advanced settings > Default search provider > Google

illegaloperation said,

Internet Explorer > settings > advanced settings > Default search provider > Google

Typing this on FF OS now and I can laughably say that I can't change my default search from Bing from my phone I'm fairly certain that I can do it from my comp though.

The worst thing about FF OS is probably (in order) 1. the slowness 2. lack of some integrated features and 3. lack of IM'ing apps, specifically Skype. I'm guessing these will be largely fixed over rhe next few months. (Yay for free updates!)

Edited by Pluto is a Planet, May 8 2013, 5:47am :

illegaloperation said,

Internet Explorer > settings > advanced settings > Default search provider > Google

You can change the default search provider to Google on Windows Phone 8, but Google redirects windows phone searches to a very minimal low quality mobile site vs Bing.

Deviate_X said,
You can change the default search provider to Google on Windows Phone 8, but Google redirects windows phone searches to a very minimal low quality mobile site vs Bing.

Possibly the most annoying thing to put up with on WIndows Phone is googles intent to prevent access from any of their better content, even when it's fully supported. Such ******* moves, -_-

I got into Windows Phone a couple years ago knowing it had shortcomings, but I'm glad I've stuck with it to see it improve over time. I'm due for an upgrade this summer, but I will probably hold out for the next Nokia 900 series.

One of my requirements for a phone is that it must be able to run emulators. I don't think Windows Phone allows this.

You did at least try out the S3 and S4 right? (The best phones out there from my opinion.)

Well it's not possible to do dynamic recompilation on WP8. So while you can still run emulators, they are 5-7x slower than they are on other devices.
This means that some emulators like SNES, GBA can still run full speed. Although they will suck your battery dry because they are using 5-7x more power than other devices that are able to dynamically recompile.
But you can't run newer emulators like Playstation, Playstation Portable or the upcoming Wii emulator.

Uh, you're thinking of Windows Phone 7, which can only run C# / Silverlight / XNA applications.

Windows Phone 8 can run native code. Nothing stopping you from writing an app that uses dynamic recompilation...

When you recompiled you take the code from the source which normally isn't targeted the platform that is running and emit new code that is targeted for the platform that is running. In order to run this code you have to put it in a specific memory pool which can only be allocated to by using win32 API, and you can't use win32 api in Metro/Modern Interface applications. It's the same principle for JIT compilation.

i myself picked up a red lumia 920 about 3 weeks ago and I really have found the experience more favorable than I did with my original iphone.
I just wish I had waited a little longer before renewing my contract so I could have seen what the lumia 928 or the successor of lumia 920 has to offer before buying a new phone.