WP7 vs Android - Part Two: Communication

Android is an operating system that captured the hearts of many, and continues to do so, but with the release of Windows Phone 7, a new contender has entered the ring. Windows Phone 7 is making some Android users green with envy, while others are turning their nose at the new platform. In this series, we're going to look at specific features of smartphones, and give a breakdown of which OS has the competitive edge in each area.

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This series is written from a Android users' perspective, and aims to share how Windows Phone 7 might feel to your average Android user, and what may or may not appeal.

This second part of the comparison covers communication, and how Windows Phone 7 does this better (or worse) than Android. Be sure to check out the first part of the comparison for an overview of the basics.

Text Messaging

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Texting is a huge part of most peoples' phones, and it's important to get the experience right. Android offers a feature rich text message client, and Windows Phone 7 offers a simple, but functional client instead. Both platforms use threading, which is essential on new phones.

Android offers conversation view, with the contacts name, as well as Facebook or Google Contact picture appearing next to their name. While the integration of pictures and all this information can be appealing, the design isn't exactly attractive, and can feel very cluttered. Notifications are shown across the top bar, with a preview of the message before it hides away as an icon.

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One of the frustrations I experienced with Android is the default messaging application can be slow, clunky and generally inconvenient, especially so when message totals climbed above 300. This was mainly down to Android 2.1, and admittedly, 2.2 fixed this to some degree by allowing automatic clean up of messages over a certain limit, but still, if you have a large number of threads, the application can slow to a crawl.

Windows Phone 7 somehow manages to circumvent the application being slow, while retaining massive amounts of messages. I've sent and received around 400 messages over the last week, and the application has retained it's original speed, which is brilliant.

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The messaging client on Windows Phone 7 is simple and sleek, and fits in with the entire OS. Speech bubbles pointing down represent you (pointing towards the user) and speech bubbles pointing upwards represent the other party. No names or images are used here, except at the top to indicate who the messages are to. If you click this you're thrown through into the contact's details.

The simplistic design can be confusing though. The messages are exactly the same color, and sometimes at a quick glance can take a while to decipher, until you catch on to the way the boxes are pointing. This took me a while, as I'm so used to the way Android uses contact pictures to identify the other party.

Notifications are similar to that of Android, except they slide down in a visor style.

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Windows Phone 7 wins this section due to its simplistic nature, with the client being easy to use, as well as fast. The latter being an area that Android can stumble in. If it weren't for this factor, it's likely Android would be on top, as it's customizable to the heart's content, but speed is everything when you're writing only 160 characters.

Winner: Windows Phone 7.

 

Email

In a smartphone, email is as essential as texting, and getting the experience right is critical to how efficient it is to email off of a device.

As a long time Gmail user, I'm obviously used to conversation views. The way Windows Live presents itself doesn't make sense anymore, and I'm used to seeing email laid out all in one, rather than having to flick between messages to find content. For some reason, Microsoft didn't bother with conversation view in Windows Phone 7, instead opting for single message viewing only. It seems like a poor design choice right now, with even Outlook 2010 supporting message threading.

Android's built in Gmail client has threading, just like the web interface, which makes it superior for phone usage. This is great, but the email client also seems to suffer from over cluttering, as seen in the picture below. Android can be seen on the right, with Windows Phone 7 on the left. This is partially due to the smaller Android device I own, but even on larger devices, such as the Nexus One, it still feels like there is too much going on, distracting from the actual email content.

WP7

Both devices display the HTML content correctly, but Android lacks the ability to zoom in or out of the email, making it a bit of a hassle to view the entire email. Windows Phone 7 supports pinch to zoom here, so you can zoom in and out easily, as necessary.

Windows Phone 7's animations in the email application are fast and classy, with the message flying off when sent. It's odd that the system wide color scheme doesn't come across here, but it does make sense, considering having the background black may make the emails harder to read. Also, the phone supports a huge range of accounts natively, including Exchange, Yahoo!, Gmail, Windows Live, IMAP & POP.

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For this section, the winner is hard to decide. The minimalistic nature of Windows Phone 7's email client is brilliant, and it feels great to use, but the lack of conversation view is frustrating. Android has conversation view, but the interface is so busy and very distracting. The other annoyance with Android is sync can be unpredictable and very slow at times. When a sync is initiated, it can take a long time to update the inbox, this may only be personal experience, but it is very off putting when on the go.

Windows Phone 7 wins here for four major reasons; HTML email is much more useful with pinch to zoom, offers a large amount of built in accounts, sheer speed and the minimalistic interface.

Winner: Windows Phone 7.

 

Social Networking

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Social networking is a huge part of many phone users' daily life, and decent integration can make the phone experience much nicer.

Android and Windows Phone 7 try very hard in this area. Android doesn't come bundled with Facebook functionality, but installing the Facebook application from the marketplace allows contact information to be synchronized with Facebook to grab photos and other missing contact information. After this, the latest status update of the user is shown in their contact, as well as a link to their profile (which goes to Touch Facebook). Once installed, the application can be configured to check for notifications, and notifies the user using the notification bar when they have new messages or wall posts.

Windows Phone 7 tried very hard to bring this integration into the core even further. Facebook is built right into the phone, and nothing is required to download to start syncing. Adding a account will automatically synchronize the contacts with your address book, and bring their posts and updates with it.

The Facebook integration at this point is beautiful. You can go into the “People Hub” and view the newsfeed, and you can open individual contacts and view a newsfeed from them, as well as being offered the ability to post on their wall directly, and interact further with ease. The odd thing here is that there's no central place to view notifications, and there's no actual notifications from Facebook itself, unlike Android.

There's actually a Facebook application for download from the Marketplace that gives further functionality, such as the missing “notifications” but these aren't actually pushed to the user. It doesn't even have a live tile. You have to actually open the application (which can be slow) and go check them yourself, which is very, very frustrating. Below is a quick overview of the Facebook application, the OS wide integration and its pros and cons.

  

On the Android side of the fence, Facebook doesn't come without problems. From time to time, you'll try to perform an action, view a status update or photo, and you'll be thrown out of the application onto the "Touch Facebook" web version. This odd behavior can be frustrating when trying to find information or browse a profile.

The same problem exists for the Windows Phone 7 Twitter application, but the OS itself doesn't support Twitter out of the box yet. Here's hoping this is added at a later stage. 

Both mobile platforms have severe issues in these areas, Windows Phone 7 excels with integration of Facebook enabling almost any activity quickly, providing you aren't looking to get notifications. Android excels because it has notifications and the app works generally quite well, but falls down severely thanks to it's reliance on the "Facebook Touch" version of the site. These problems considered, neither platform is better than the other right now, both issues are just as annoying as each other.

Winner: It's a Tie.

 

This post is part of a week long series featuring Windows Phone 7 called "7 days of Windows Phone 7", and is a deeper look into Microsoft's much anticipated re-launch into the smart phone market. To follow the feature week, make sure to check out the "7 days of Windows Phone 7" tag. Check back later this week for the final part in this series.

  

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I like these articles, but I find it weird how the winner is reached. Example - The Email interface lacks conversations and is frustrating to use. It wins! What?

Chrono951 said,
I like these articles, but I find it weird how the winner is reached. Example - The Email interface lacks conversations and is frustrating to use. It wins! What?

But I did explain why...

Lotta Android fanboys in this thread. I've been using Android for well over a year and love it, but I'll be the first to admit it has much room for improvement in certain areas. I'd like to see some speed improvements all around the OS, especially in the messaging department. It's nice to see WP7 step up as a decent challenger in the phone OS ring. More competition generally means a better product for the end-user. Good review so far, Owen.

Listening to people have bitch fights over this android vs wp7 review just makes me want to buy an iPhone to spite them.

Can you turn off facebook integration with the address book on WP7 yet? Last I heard you cannot. Huge negative for me. Lots of my friends put secondary or even "dummy" contact info on facebook. I don't want that info messing with what I have in my address book which is the correct stuff! Plus, I'm friends with acquaintances on FB I may not want in my address book... Bottom line, I prefrer to keep FB inside its app, not integrated with everything. With WP7 it sounds like its all or nothing with FB.

MiniVegeta04 said,
Can you turn off facebook integration with the address book on WP7 yet? Last I heard you cannot. Huge negative for me. Lots of my friends put secondary or even "dummy" contact info on facebook. I don't want that info messing with what I have in my address book which is the correct stuff! Plus, I'm friends with acquaintances on FB I may not want in my address book... Bottom line, I prefrer to keep FB inside its app, not integrated with everything. With WP7 it sounds like its all or nothing with FB.

I'd like some clarification on this too. I'm a "neat freak" and have to have everything perfect in my contacts list. I too have some friends that post dummy information and have friends I don't care to have their contact information either.

Jaybot said,

I'd like some clarification on this too. I'm a "neat freak" and have to have everything perfect in my contacts list. I too have some friends that post dummy information and have friends I don't care to have their contact information either.


Facebook integration is disabled unless you specifically enter the login information. You can use the standalone Facebook app instead. Facebook information is only imported into contact if that person is already in your phone's contact.

Blasius said,
Wow, the android defense force (er fanboys) is going full steam it seems.

Yeah and from all the comments from Windows fanboys here, including the author it seems like we are fighting a losing battle.

recursive said,

Yeah and from all the comments from Windows fanboys here, including the author it seems like we are fighting a losing battle.

Considering Owen has used both Android and WP7 devices extensively over the past year, I think its safe to say he's not being biased toward one platform over the other.

There is nothing wrong with being impressed with a different device.

One thing...

To be fair, the non-Gmail Email application on Android also lacks the conversation and threaded views. However, it does have better HTML Viewing than the GMail App, allowing pinch to zoom, etc.

So if you are not a GMail only user, the difference between the email clients is not very different at all. (I only use my Phone GMail account for its activation and android phone related betas, etc.)

You can do POP3, IMAP, EXCHANGE on both rather well, and the newer builds of Android also do Folders with IMAP. WP7 might have the edge in its support of Web Access based Email accounts, but I see no reason that Google won't eventually offer this as allowed by the providers.

Raa said,
LOL It's a tie. Lets just call it a biased review then?

Isn't that obvious? Seriously, they should consider tagging these as Windows / Windows Phone ads.

Android's GMail client might not have zoom on HTML emails, but the Android Email client (which you'd be using to pick up emails from services other tham GMail) does.

jf-1 said,
Android's GMail client might not have zoom on HTML emails, but the Android Email client (which you'd be using to pick up emails from services other tham GMail) does.

I didn't know this! Thanks for pointing it out

jf-1 said,
Android's GMail client might not have zoom on HTML emails, but the Android Email client (which you'd be using to pick up emails from services other tham GMail) does.

Not to mention that the stock email client also has support for windows live (hotmail), yahoo, and exchange accounts (apart from the obvious IMAP/POP3). The first thing the email client asks you when you configure an account is the email address and the password, and then it takes care of the rest. Meaning that it has built-in configuration for both yahoo mail and hotmail (and it even warns you that no at all yahoo and hotmail accounts have imap/pop support).

i don't know too much with WP7, but does it allow apps to completely change and customize the SMS client, the keyboards, emails etc?

And I'm pretty sure my droid came with facebook.

enigma429ad said,
i don't know too much with WP7, but does it allow apps to completely change and customize the SMS client, the keyboards, emails etc?

And I'm pretty sure my droid came with facebook.


Not yet. And yeah, it depends on the phone you get. Lol, some come preloaded, some don't...

Wow. This article certainly doesn't read like a Tom's comparison and while attempting some congruity by splitting up the communication elements into sub categories, it still is hard to read and has a strong tinge of WP7 fanboism.

I am glad however that you are enjoying WP7 so much. It looks to be a very cool phone OS.

Ok, did I miss where the Win7 and Android hardware was posted? I mean, how anyone take this article as value if we know nothing about the hardware the review was done on. If they are not comparable devices, then whatever....

techbeck said,
Ok, did I miss where the Win7 and Android hardware was posted? I mean, how anyone take this article as value if we know nothing about the hardware the review was done on. If they are not comparable devices, then whatever....

What does the hardware matter when the OS is fundamentally the same across all devices? If it's important to you, the HTC 7 Trophy was used.

Owen W said,

What does the hardware matter when the OS is fundamentally the same across all devices? If it's important to you, the HTC 7 Trophy was used.

Well yes, it is important. if your android phone is a slower phone like a G1 or something, your entire argument about messaging being slow makes no sense, as it could just be because of lower phone specs.

Knaarfje said,

Well yes, it is important. if your android phone is a slower phone like a G1 or something, your entire argument about messaging being slow makes no sense, as it could just be because of lower phone specs.


Problem exists on HTC Desire, HTC Legend, HTC Hero... I can keep going, if you like

techbeck said,
Ok, did I miss where the Win7 and Android hardware was posted? I mean, how anyone take this article as value if we know nothing about the hardware the review was done on. If they are not comparable devices, then whatever....

Not only that but it looks as if Owen wasn't even using the latest android - froyo 2.2. He stated that Facebook and Twitter were not integrated, but that's wrong, they are integrated in the stock android.

Another glaring omission from wp7 is flash. But I'm sure not even a peep about that will ever come from Owen lol.

Flawed said,

Not only that but it looks as if Owen wasn't even using the latest android - froyo 2.2. He stated that Facebook and Twitter were not integrated, but that's wrong, they are integrated in the stock android.

Another glaring omission from wp7 is flash. But I'm sure not even a peep about that will ever come from Owen lol.


Wait for part 3 then. They are integrated, but thanks to a third party app.

Owen W said,

Wait for part 3 then. They are integrated, but thanks to a third party app.

Oh I can't wait! Yet another WP7 biased review, and if it's not, the past 2 "reviews" over rule the 3rd part, still making WP7 "win".

Yay.

WP7 is a solid phone, but the weak comparisons do little more than offer flamebait, while angering fans of both sides with uninformed opinions. Interesting read though, I am excited to take a look at WP7 myself to make my own conclusions.

PotatoJ said,
WP7 is a solid phone, but the weak comparisons do little more than offer flamebait, while angering fans of both sides with uninformed opinions. Interesting read though, I am excited to take a look at WP7 myself to make my own conclusions.

ThePitt said,
the phone 7 gui is simply annoying and dysfunctional

if it is dysfunctional, how are people making phone calls, sending text messages, or using it at all?

dys·func·tion·al Adjective
1. Not operating normally or properly.

ILikeTobacco said,

if it is dysfunctional, how are people making phone calls, sending text messages, or using it at all?

dys·func·tion·al Adjective
1. Not operating normally or properly.

Exactly. It sounds like a vocal minority (Since the general consensus seems to like the UI) just want to be heard.

ILikeTobacco said,

if it is dysfunctional, how are people making phone calls, sending text messages, or using it at all?
dys·func·tion·al Adjective
1. Not operating normally or properly.

It's very difficult to determine who sent messages at a glace. I'd say that's "Not operating normally" aka dysfunctional because on every other phone out there it's obvious. Furthermore, making calls is also harder on wp7.

And man.. is the wp7 UI fugly or what lol.

Singh400 said,
At least and be impartial lol...

I gave a clear and concise opinion of why I think WP7/Android win in each area.

Owen W said,
why I think WP7/Android win in each area.

The areas you selectively choose to make WP7 look good. Where is Twitter? Microsoft has made a big fuss about facebook integration and spent a great deal of time on it, so that's clearly why you are focusing on that and omitting everything else.

From my experience and seeing wp7, I concluded that android is far superior in messaging. I mean you can actually tell which messages belong to whom, unlike wp7.

Flawed said,

The areas you selectively choose to make WP7 look good. Where is Twitter? Microsoft has made a big fuss about facebook integration and spent a great deal of time on it, so that's clearly why you are focusing on that and omitting everything else.

From my experience and seeing wp7, I concluded that android is far superior in messaging. I mean you can actually tell which messages belong to whom, unlike wp7.


I said that Twitter suffers from the same issues.

a comparison article on communication features for mobile phones.. aren't we missing something here like eh.. making a phone call perhaps?

Knaarfje said,
a comparison article on communication features for mobile phones.. aren't we missing something here like eh.. making a phone call perhaps?

+1 LOL, call sound quality is important as is the ability to be on a call and run an app (such as calendar)

ZeroHour said,

+1 LOL, call sound quality is important as is the ability to be on a call and run an app (such as calendar)

Because neowin writes make millions and own every phone on the market to compare? sound quality has nothing to do with the OS. It is purely based on the hardware. Knaarfje meant the software side of things(probably).

ILikeTobacco said,

Because neowin writes make millions and own every phone on the market to compare? sound quality has nothing to do with the OS. It is purely based on the hardware. Knaarfje meant the software side of things(probably).

Indeed I did I must admin that I'm an android fan, but I really don't really know very much about WP7. I think the way android handles your contacts throughout the OS is fairly great(press someones avatar/image/whatever to call/message/etc that contact anywhere in the OS) So I'm wondering how wp7 handles your contacts etc

Also, how exactly does wp7 handle calls and what can you do during a call for example? I think that's a fairly big part of communications.. on a phone

Knaarfje said,

Indeed I did I must admin that I'm an android fan, but I really don't really know very much about WP7. I think the way android handles your contacts throughout the OS is fairly great(press someones avatar/image/whatever to call/message/etc that contact anywhere in the OS) So I'm wondering how wp7 handles your contacts etc

Also, how exactly does wp7 handle calls and what can you do during a call for example? I think that's a fairly big part of communications.. on a phone

Well, when you tap on a person in your People Hub you are taken to a screen where you can call, message, view their recent Facebook or Live posts, etc. It's very well layed out honestly.

As for what you can do when you're on the call, I honestly don't have any experience with that as I've only played with demo units (And not made phone calls obviously), but the OS itself, as well as apps Microsoft has written DOES support multi-tasking. So I'm sure that things like calendar, e-mail, etc. is available when on a call. Only 3rd party apps don't support multi-tasking right now, and a Microsoft Rep told me that he's seen that in nightlies, so that's on its way...

Knaarfje said,
a comparison article on communication features for mobile phones.. aren't we missing something here like eh.. making a phone call perhaps?

Thanks for pointing this out. To explain, we're looking at the WP7 OS as a whole, and judging call quality would be pointless here, as it will differ between hardware. I could show off how to make a call.... but it seems a little futile to look at that in depth

Owen W said,

Thanks for pointing this out. To explain, we're looking at the WP7 OS as a whole, and judging call quality would be pointless here, as it will differ between hardware. I could show off how to make a call.... but it seems a little futile to look at that in depth

as I mentioned in the comments above I was referring to the software side of things. How are your contacts integrated throughout the OS for example? I.E. is it possible to navigate to a contact's facebook profile from say a received email or text message?

Knaarfje said,

as I mentioned in the comments above I was referring to the software side of things. How are your contacts integrated throughout the OS for example? I.E. is it possible to navigate to a contact's facebook profile from say a received email or text message?


Yeah, fair point. Yes, it is. You hit on their name, which puts you into their contact that already contains their latest status update and news feed. Right now, you don't fall into the 3rd party Facebook app, and there's no need to

Owen W said,

Yeah, fair point. Yes, it is. You hit on their name, which puts you into their contact that already contains their latest status update and news feed. Right now, you don't fall into the 3rd party Facebook app, and there's no need to

oh my god!!!!! STOCK ANDROID 2.0, 2.1 AND 2.2 do this. 2.2 even does twitter. BY DEFAULT!!! Without you having to go to the market to do anything.
You go to the contact, and see their status update "via" some service (twitter, facebook, google talk). All you have to do is go to the accoutns & sync menu, which I'm sure is similar to what you have to do on WP7.

So excuse me for calling this review biased when you're plain ignoring the facts. EVEN if for some obscure reason facebook was not installed by default in your android device, if it has android 2.0+, the integration IS on the OS, since any app can implement the status updates thing. Instead of being limited to whatever microsoft decides is worth it.

Julius Caro said,

oh my god!!!!! STOCK ANDROID 2.0, 2.1 AND 2.2 do this. 2.2 even does twitter. BY DEFAULT!!! Without you having to go to the market to do anything.
You go to the contact, and see their status update "via" some service (twitter, facebook, google talk). All you have to do is go to the accoutns & sync menu, which I'm sure is similar to what you have to do on WP7.

So excuse me for calling this review biased when you're plain ignoring the facts. EVEN if for some obscure reason facebook was not installed by default in your android device, if it has android 2.0+, the integration IS on the OS, since any app can implement the status updates thing. Instead of being limited to whatever microsoft decides is worth it.

He isn't really denying this, is he? He's simply answering my question.
I do agree that this review or comparison or whatever isn't completely objective(Calling it a WP7 review might do these articles more justice), and it missed some pretty important functionality in which Android does an excellent job(IMO).
It still gives us Android fanboys a basic impression of what WP7 looks like.

so turn of the caps, it really doesn't emphasize your argument. It just looks like you're offended.

His argument is "since they're 3rd party apps, it doesn't matter, wp7 wins". When the truth is google themselves decided to bake those apps in the newer android builds. So it's not a random carrier or manufacturer choice, it's google's, who made the damn OS.
Android allows ANY developer to implement account sync and status update syncs too, something that both facebook and twitter do. THAT's part of the OS. And his argument is not a very good one when he is implying that people have to go and download and app, which is not the case for any 'with Google' phone running android 2.1+

windows phone 7 is way better in user xperience and entertainment... The iphone and andriod put together can't give you the xperience you get from Zune player on the phone... put them together can't give you the xbox live xperience the browser on windows phone is better and faster even if its doesn't have html5 or uses webkit maybe i say its a draw cos of than in browser comparison. I don't by a phone to start searching the internet for how am gonna customize it. I love WP7

benzema said,
windows phone 7 is way better in user xperience and entertainment... The iphone and andriod put together can't give you the xperience you get from Zune player on the phone... put them together can't give you the xbox live xperience the browser on windows phone is better and faster even if its doesn't have html5 or uses webkit maybe i say its a draw cos of than in browser comparison. I don't by a phone to start searching the internet for how am gonna customize it. I love WP7

huh?

I agree with most of them, however I think the big concern for most people will be the threaded view having the same color in WP7. If they change this, will can be easily done in a new update and which Microsoft will probably do if there is enough demand, then WP7 comes on top. I like the iPhone's text messaging system. It's pretty easy to do.

SuperHans said,
So can you add labels to emails like in gmail? or star etc using WP7?

Not sure about labels, but you can flag messages, which is similar to staring them in GMail.

Owen W said,

No labels, but it has folders.

Thanks Being a big Gmail user like yourself, having full Gmail functionality is a big advantage for me. So it looks like I'll be sticking with Android for now!

SuperHans said,

Thanks Being a big Gmail user like yourself, having full Gmail functionality is a big advantage for me. So it looks like I'll be sticking with Android for now!


You'd actually be surprised how well the email client in WP7 works, despite this. I'd give it a shot first, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Yes, the over all approach to the comparison looks biased towards WM7. But remember one thing that he is talking only about the preloaded software and features of both the OS and not what softwares available in market.

Secondly, the speed of opening an application cannot purely depend on the OS but equally depend on the hardware. This should be mentioned which hardware has been used as that may make a big difference.

Lastly, Android is bringing new builds in months while WM7 is a major relase by MS in 3 years, hence it has much expectations and much noise is there. Yes, there might be good things with it but comparison should be with other details also so that there will be a fair chance for every one.

philomath said,
Yes, the over all approach to the comparison looks biased towards WM7. But remember one thing that he is talking only about the preloaded software and features of both the OS and not what softwares available in market.

Secondly, the speed of opening an application cannot purely depend on the OS but equally depend on the hardware. This should be mentioned which hardware has been used as that may make a big difference.

Lastly, Android is bringing new builds in months while WM7 is a major relase by MS in 3 years, hence it has much expectations and much noise is there. Yes, there might be good things with it but comparison should be with other details also so that there will be a fair chance for every one.

Facebook is integrated in android, at least from 2.1 onwoards. Same goes for twitter and android 2.2 You can have your gmail contacts, facebook contacts and twitter contacts all tied up to the same 'contact item' on your phone. When you hit that little picture icon in the SMS application, a nice pop up window appears with the person's latest status update (twitter, facebook , google talk status), and little icons to contact this person: call, text message, email. Other 'communication' apps can implement this thing too, and have their own icons appear (pingchat, whatsapp, you name it). That same "status update" will also appear in the contact view. It's not my cup of tea to have facebook and twitter running in the background updating themselves every so often, but that integration is there.

But apparently for the person who did the review, facebook does not come bundled with android, and that "facebook/google contact picture" is just clutter in both the SMS and e-amail apps.

So it's either bias, or someone who doesn't know android at all.

Owen W said,

...when you download the 3rd party apps

No. No. and No.
Both Facebook and Twitter come integrated in stock Android. (Twitter since 2.2, Facebook since 2.0 or 2.1). They are part of the "official" ROM, they can't be uninstalled from the market (what you can do is uninstall the updates).

Julius Caro said,

No. No. and No.
Both Facebook and Twitter come integrated in stock Android. (Twitter since 2.2, Facebook since 2.0 or 2.1). They are part of the "official" ROM, they can't be uninstalled from the market (what you can do is uninstall the updates).


Didn't come with the phone I bought, nor with the Nexus. Might have been an anomaly, I don't know.

Edited by Owen W, Oct 28 2010, 11:58pm :

Julius Caro said,

No. No. and No.
Both Facebook and Twitter come integrated in stock Android. (Twitter since 2.2, Facebook since 2.0 or 2.1). They are part of the "official" ROM, they can't be uninstalled from the market (what you can do is uninstall the updates).

Which MFR stock ROM? As for the Google builds, I am pretty sure that these applications are still not part of the OS builds. Go look at the Android build sites.

Just because your phone came with it preloaded, doesn't make it a PART of Android. Additionally, even if Googld did start shipping them in the Android OS, the APPS are NOT MADE BY GOOGLE, and NOT part of the Android Build.

Several phone providers and carrier providers preload these applications, just like they load other crap, but they are not made by Google and are not part of the OS.

You are like a person buying a PC and insisting that the Norton Anti-Virus the OEM loaded on it is part of the OS. Trust me, Microsoft also doesn't make Norton Anti-Virus, and Google doesn't make the Facebook and Twitter Apps.

On WP7, the Facebook integration, sans the dedicated app, IS BUILT INTO THE OS and developed and provided by Microsoft.

So yes, yes, yes, the author is 100% correct.

Go read ANY review of android 2.2. They all say that twitter is now part of the build, just as facebook had been since 2.0 or 2.1.

My nexus one, unmodified by the carrier, came with facebook. I updated to 2.2, and twitter was now part of the thing. And by that I mean that I can't get rid of any of the two apps.

So, google has decided that 'stock' android includes both twitter and facebook. And even if they didnt include those apps, the OS is already 'integration ready', so you just download those and can sync the accounts. For all intents and purposes, stock android is the one that google bundles with the nexus one. So it really doesn't matter whether google made the apps or not.

And technically, none of the google apps are part of the OS either. They're not open source, and they're not part of the open source android build you get when you download the code. That goes for google maps, gmail, google talk and even the market.

So I don't think it's inaccurate to say that facebook and twitter are part of the OS if it's included in every google build. I mean, it's not like my phone is preloaded with manufacturer/carrier crap, it is the nexus one.

Oh, and back when the facebook app was released for android, there were rumors that it was *actually* developed by google and just published by facebook. Was never sure of this one.


And social networking integration is built into the android OS, but instead of being limited to facebook or whatever microsoft decides, you can install anything you want.

The Facebook part of this didn't make as much sense as it should, especially with the discussion being mostly about 3rd party apps. Also I don't see how Android makes you rely on the touch version of the site.

When you speak about notifications, do you mean the bar inside the 3rd party app? That's a weird way to approach this. What really matters is how the OS enables integration with social 3rd parties, whoever they might be (not just Facebook!) WP7 has built their OS around this, so how easy is Android to plug in to and extend (if I were Flickr for example?)
These comparison articles are a bit strange.

burnblue said,
The Facebook part of this didn't make as much sense as it should, especially with the discussion being mostly about 3rd party apps. Also I don't see how Android makes you rely on the touch version of the site.

When you speak about notifications, do you mean the bar inside the 3rd party app? That's a weird way to approach this. What really matters is how the OS enables integration with social 3rd parties, whoever they might be (not just Facebook!) WP7 has built their OS around this, so how easy is Android to plug in to and extend (if I were Flickr for example?)
These comparison articles are a bit strange.


Both platforms require a 3rd party app to complete the integration. How is it a weird way to approach it?

Owen W said,

Both platforms require a 3rd party app to complete the integration. How is it a weird way to approach it?

Facebook is integrated in 2.2 by stock.

No need to even continue with these articles. It's so obvious that the author is a huge MS fanboy!
Just say you like WP7 over Android and be done. We can all tell how this is going to turn out.

social_eng_specialist said,
No need to even continue with these articles. It's so obvious that the author is a huge MS fanboy!
Just say you like WP7 over Android and be done. We can all tell how this is going to turn out.

well..be honest google boy.

social_eng_specialist said,
No need to even continue with these articles. It's so obvious that the author is a huge MS fanboy!
Just say you like WP7 over Android and be done. We can all tell how this is going to turn out.

+1

social_eng_specialist said,
No need to even continue with these articles. It's so obvious that the author is a huge MS fanboy!
Just say you like WP7 over Android and be done. We can all tell how this is going to turn out.

^This.

social_eng_specialist said,
No need to even continue with these articles. It's so obvious that the author is a huge MS fanboy!
Just say you like WP7 over Android and be done. We can all tell how this is going to turn out.

Agreed. I stopped reading when I saw Owen's name. It's patently obvious that he's picking and choosing apps/features to show windows phone 7 in the best possible light, and even when android is clearly superior in an area he still finds an excuse to rate it down. Just look at the social networking section, facebook gets the most analysis; i wonder why? Perhaps because microsoft put the most effort into that? I see no analysis of twitter what so ever.

The whole thing sounds like a microsoft press release to me.

Flawed said,

Agreed. I stopped reading when I saw Owen's name. It's patently obvious that he's picking and choosing apps/features to show windows phone 7 in the best possible light, and even when android is clearly superior in an area he still finds an excuse to rate it down. Just look at the social networking section, facebook gets the most analysis; i wonder why? Perhaps because microsoft put the most effort into that? I see no analysis of twitter what so ever.

The whole thing sounds like a microsoft press release to me.


+1

Flawed said,

Agreed. I stopped reading when I saw Owen's name. It's patently obvious that he's picking and choosing apps/features to show windows phone 7 in the best possible light, and even when android is clearly superior in an area he still finds an excuse to rate it down. Just look at the social networking section, facebook gets the most analysis; i wonder why? Perhaps because microsoft put the most effort into that? I see no analysis of twitter what so ever.

The whole thing sounds like a microsoft press release to me.


I thought you didn't even read the article so your comment is invalid.

I think it's a bit of a design flaw that both incoming and outgoing messages have the same bubble color on Windows Phone 7. Isn't there a way to change that?

.Neo said,
I think it's a bit of a design flaw that both incoming and outgoing messages have the same bubble color on Windows Phone 7. Isn't there a way to change that?

Not much need - it really isn't confusing. But the option would be nice, I suppose.

rfirth said,

Not much need - it really isn't confusing. But the option would be nice, I suppose.

I would like this option as well to be honest. This is the one area I feel the "Glance and Go" philosophy doesn't hold up. Differing colors would make it a lot easier to do so...

.Neo said,
I think it's a bit of a design flaw that both incoming and outgoing messages have the same bubble color on Windows Phone 7. Isn't there a way to change that?

Would be cool to change...but it's actually OK as it is.

Owen W said,

Would be cool to change...but it's actually OK as it is.

Agreed. but it isn't hard to tell the difference between the two since ones is left aligned, and the other right.

Hopefully it will be updated, this seems to be one of the main problems with metro. Same thing with the text conversations, the speech bubbles should differ in colour at least slightly (maybe just a different shade).

Seriously?

How biased can you get. The SMS client has never lagged for me and I have way over 3000 messages in total.

Notifications is awesome on Android since any non-fullscreen application is able to display data without interrupting your current operation because of the pulldown bar.

jbrooksuk said,
Seriously?

How biased can you get. The SMS client has never lagged for me and I have way over 3000 messages in total.

Notifications is awesome on Android since any non-fullscreen application is able to display data without interrupting your current operation because of the pulldown bar.

+1

After reading part 1 I could predict the outcome of the part 2...

"The simplistic design can be confusing though. The messages are exactly the same color, and sometimes at a quick glance can take a while to decipher, until you catch on to the way the boxes are pointing. This took me a while, as I'm so used to the way Android uses contact pictures to identify the other party."

and yet,

"Windows Phone 7 wins this section due to its simplistic nature...."

Hmmmm....

Jaybonaut said,
How biased is an Android user who is trying to notice the speed difference? Is that what you are really asking?

I'm not biased, I'm offering actual evidence to the Android side on this extremely biased review.

dannyCage said,

+1

After reading part 1 I could predict the outcome of the part 2...

"The simplistic design can be confusing though. The messages are exactly the same color, and sometimes at a quick glance can take a while to decipher, until you catch on to the way the boxes are pointing. This took me a while, as I'm so used to the way Android uses contact pictures to identify the other party."

and yet,

"Windows Phone 7 wins this section due to its simplistic nature...."

Hmmmm....

He said it was confusing at first after coming from an android phone, implying that it wasn't confusing afterwards.

jbrooksuk said,
Seriously?

How biased can you get. The SMS client has never lagged for me and I have way over 3000 messages in total.

Notifications is awesome on Android since any non-fullscreen application is able to display data without interrupting your current operation because of the pulldown bar.

Maybe he is using a cheap android phone? Which kind of defeats the point of the review in the first place since comparing OS speed should be done on phones with similar specifications.

dannyCage said,

+1

After reading part 1 I could predict the outcome of the part 2...

"The simplistic design can be confusing though. The messages are exactly the same color, and sometimes at a quick glance can take a while to decipher, until you catch on to the way the boxes are pointing. This took me a while, as I'm so used to the way Android uses contact pictures to identify the other party."

and yet,

"Windows Phone 7 wins this section due to its simplistic nature...."

Hmmmm....

I thought the review was fairly clear that his opinion is (And I tend to share it) that there is too much going on on the screen in Android... WP7 is a lot cleaner, and with the exception of a minor quirk (And I agree that the message balloons should be different colors), is a great client. It's very easy to use.

jbrooksuk said,
Seriously?

How biased can you get. The SMS client has never lagged for me and I have way over 3000 messages in total.

Notifications is awesome on Android since any non-fullscreen application is able to display data without interrupting your current operation because of the pulldown bar.


You clearly are bias towards a platform. Phones are down to individual opinions, thus why you and many others are getting upset. I respect that you like Android, and it's obviously your opinion that it's better.

Owen W said,

You clearly are bias towards a platform. Phones are down to individual opinions, thus why you and many others are getting upset. I respect that you like Android, and it's obviously your opinion that it's better.

So... Using that logic, this isn't a proper review since you, yourself are biased.

jbrooksuk said,

So... Using that logic, this isn't a proper review since you, yourself are biased.

You're kidding right? It's a review. Someone offering their research and experience on a device. Get over yourself.

jbrooksuk said,

So... Using that logic, this isn't a proper review since you, yourself are biased.

You don't understand what a review is.

jbrooksuk said,
Seriously?
Notifications is awesome on Android since any non-fullscreen application is able to display data without interrupting your current operation because of the pulldown bar.

Notification works the same way in Windows Phone 7.

I blame Facebook for the tie at the end, the facebook app for android is developed by facebook itself and it-is-horrible!

Alastyr said,
I blame Facebook for the tie at the end, the facebook app for android is developed by facebook itself and it-is-horrible!

Somewhat true, but as has been reported before, the Facebook application developers 'hate' the android platform for development.

This is where a lot of 'solid' developers also come down on the issue, as getting a 'nice looking' and feature rich application tends to be a RAM pig and this is after jumping through all the bad Google Java libraries and development crap that you have to make up for that is provided by both WP7 and iOS.

If you have developed applicaitons for iOS or a desktop PC and then 'have' to develop the same application on Android, you want to poke your eyes out for the insanely complex and less functional API offerings.

W7's development platform is right now by far the easiest of any of the mobile devices, and also offers more features integrated into and provided by the OS API sets, being a full development generation ahead of iOS and 2 or 3 generations ahead of Android.

It is sad for such a simple and seemingly 'open' platform that on Android you are left to recreate a lot of simplistic functionality, especially gestures and interactions that should just be inherent to your applicaiton, and are not.

Great review Owen!
I'm really looking forward to getting a WP7!!
I've used iPhone and Androids before, but it just doesnt flow properly. I own a Zune HD, and the interface is so fluid and just works well and natural. I can't wait to have my smart phone experience with this too.

The only thing i dont' like is that FB doesnt have a live tile .. I really hope they do soon.

j2006 said,
Great review Owen!
I'm really looking forward to getting a WP7!!
I've used iPhone and Androids before, but it just doesnt flow properly. I own a Zune HD, and the interface is so fluid and just works well and natural. I can't wait to have my smart phone experience with this too.

The only thing i dont' like is that FB doesnt have a live tile .. I really hope they do soon.

I thought any app could be pinned as a tile on the home screen - maybe I'm wrong.

Minimoose said,

Not all of them are 'live'

ok, that makes sense. But how would you implement a live tile for a service like FB? Which notifications would you want on the tile? it's not like an Outlook tile that tells you how many emails you get - with FB you wanna know about messages, notifications, wall, status and, for some ppl, even pokes!

reverseswing said,

ok, that makes sense. But how would you implement a live tile for a service like FB? Which notifications would you want on the tile? it's not like an Outlook tile that tells you how many emails you get - with FB you wanna know about messages, notifications, wall, status and, for some ppl, even pokes!

Good point. That would be a disaster if they tried to implement all of that. I really think that they should just add notifications to the integration in WP7... There's really no need for this other app...

j2006 said,
Great review Owen!
I'm really looking forward to getting a WP7!!
I've used iPhone and Androids before, but it just doesnt flow properly. I own a Zune HD, and the interface is so fluid and just works well and natural. I can't wait to have my smart phone experience with this too.

The only thing i dont' like is that FB doesnt have a live tile .. I really hope they do soon.


Thanks! Appreciate the feedback. I'm sure it eventually will get one, to be honest.

M_Lyons10 said,

Good point. That would be a disaster if they tried to implement all of that. I really think that they should just add notifications to the integration in WP7... There's really no need for this other app...

Notifications and maybe friend requests, those are the most important things, neither would have to take up much space, just 2 numbers.

Minimoose said,

Not all of them are 'live'


Actually, some apps on the Windows Phone Market already have live eiles, but many is just getting to implanting it.

The stock android sms client does blow, i bet if you compared handa handcent sms to wp7, the outcome would be different

bdsams said,
The stock android sms client does blow, i bet if you compared handa handcent sms to wp7, the outcome would be different


It's SMS, one isn't using it to write a dissertation, Care to elaborate how it "blows" ?

bdsams said,
The stock android sms client does blow, i bet if you compared handa handcent sms to wp7, the outcome would be different

Yes, but a reviewer can't test every alternative client and app... He wrote the review based on the stock app, which makes sense... If it's not as good as WP7's, then that's just how it is... I guess Google should include a different client...

M_Lyons10 said,

Yes, but a reviewer can't test every alternative client and app... He wrote the review based on the stock app, which makes sense... If it's not as good as WP7's, then that's just how it is... I guess Google should include a different client...


Exactly. You've taken the words right out of my mouth.

thealexweb said,
What the hell, how exactly is the Android SMS client confusing to use, it's as simple as it gets.

Where'd I say that?


The [WP7] simplistic design can be confusing though. The messages are exactly the same color...

tanjiajun_34 said,

Maybe because you say...
"Windows Phone 7 offers a simple, but functional client instead."

I think it's because the Metro design language just keeps the UI clean and dramatically less cluttered. Most Android user-interfaces have a hefty amount of chrome with buttons everywhere. It might be very simple to use, but it is not a simple UI.

tanjiajun_34 said,

Maybe because you say...
"Windows Phone 7 offers a simple, but functional client instead."

yeah, talking about the UI

thealexweb said,
What the hell, how exactly is the Android SMS client confusing to use, it's as simple as it gets.
LOL The article smells of Microsoft green.

Electric Jolt said,

I think it's because the Metro design language just keeps the UI clean and dramatically less cluttered. Most Android user-interfaces have a hefty amount of chrome with buttons everywhere. It might be very simple to use, but it is not a simple UI.

Yeah, I think that's what he meant. You can't really argue that the WP7 UI isn't clean and simple... Android does have a lot more crammed on screen at any given time.

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, I think that's what he meant. You can't really argue that the WP7 UI isn't clean and simple... Android does have a lot more crammed on screen at any given time.


That's what MS DOS will always be the cleanest and simplest operating system there ever was.

Jebadiah said,
LOL The article smells of Microsoft green.

Positive for Microsoft, so they had to be paid off. But if positive for Google then it was fair. Riiiiight.

Bengal34 said,
Positive for Microsoft, so they had to be paid off. But if positive for Google then it was fair. Riiiiight.
LOL It's a known fact that Google, Apple, and Microsoft pay tech news websites for biased articles. Why are you so ****ed off? Do you work for Microsoft or get paid to comment on websites?

Jebadiah said,
LOL It's a known fact that Google, Apple, and Microsoft pay tech news websites for biased articles. Why are you so ****ed off? Do you work for Microsoft or get paid to comment on websites?

Guys, time to start worrying for the children, the world. =\

Jebadiah said,
LOL It's a known fact that Google, Apple, and Microsoft pay tech news websites for biased articles. Why are you so ****ed off? Do you work for Microsoft or get paid to comment on websites?

/facepalm

resol612 said,
Guys, time to start worrying for the children, the world. =\
Good. You worry about the children and the world. Thanks! LOL

TCLN Ryster said,
/facepalm
Why don't you prove me wrong instead by proving to me that these big shot corporations are not paying off websites for product placement?