Tag: Windows Mobile
Firstly, I agree that the UI looks absolutely beautiful for properly bringing together Social Media info, Games, Music, and Photos. Even Jesus Diaz, one of the big pro-iPhone fans on Gizmodo is saying that “Microsoft Has Out-Appled Apple” and I agree 100%.
They do a really good job of pulling in info from multiple disparate sources and putting them together nicely on their “hubs” this very idea is basically what many people think the future of computing will entail; instead of separate apps for each outlet it can all come together in one place.
And it looks so advanced compared to iPhone with good reason. iPhone is still the basic app menu homescreen it has been for the last 3 years; Windows Mobile has always been derided because it seems sold compared to iPhone. Now Microsoft has leap fogged Apple and makes iPhone look like it is, an interface design that is nearly a third of a decade old.
And here is my first problem with Windows Phone 7 (WP7), I didn’t like how restrictive iPhone was. When it’s apps came out it got better but it’s still what Apple wants you to do and nothing else. WP7 is starting to look like the exact same thing. Microsoft’s integration of Social Media, Games, and Photos is damn near perfect; however I shun social media, never use my phone for games (I don’t even have an xbox 360 and no live account), and I think photos taken from phones are a waste where a real camera should have been used.
The only thing in Microsoft’s hubs I’d really use is Zune. And when I tried Zune out on my computer I hated it; it’s the last thing I want to be FORCED to sync music through. It’s as bad as iTunes but with a different look.
And a lot of the nasty rumors that I think are no-gos for a phone for me are now official are pretty much a given.
No custom skinning by third party manufacturers (HTC Sense, Toshiba 3D, TAT Home).
Apps only come through Windows Marketplace.
No Backward Compatibility for old programs.
Possibly no stylus support.
Possibly no keyboard.
Possibly no COPY AND PASTE!
Yes, TechCrunch hinted at limited to no C&P. Although that’s not certain at all.
My gripes with the phone are the same as my iPhone gripes. For all the slick, pretty, shock and awe interface stuff at the end of the day I want functionality. Unfortunately all the WP7 functionality seems to be focused on helping you waste time on social media, or waste time playing games, or waste time staring at pictures (I’m single with no kids, I understand this sentiment changes with children).
I came from PDAs, for me my phone is a computer in my pocket, a resource I can look up important data, keep my life in order with PIM applications, track when I’ve spent too much time on a subject and need to move on, translate info or languages I don’t know, remotely connect to server resources I don’t have direct access to, etc. Just about every use I’m going to have for my smartphone are things that don’t exist on the WP7 phone as it stands. They’re going to need to create a lot of apps to be able to keep up with the functionality of my Windows Mobile 6.5 phone.
So ironically it looks like I may be transitioning to Android in the near future to have a phone that is diverse as the Windows Phone I have now. However it’s too early to tell on anything, so many amazing things are happening in the handheld device space this year that all we can do is wait.
The only current phone up for play is the Nexus One that looks like a killer Android device. The HTC HD2 isn’t released yet but may be the pinnacle of what Windows Mobile reached before moving to WP7. Dell is creating a smartphone-tablet transitional with the Mini 5 that looks incredibly tempting if I can justify carrying around something that big. Windows Phone 7 Series deivces will be dropping by fall. And by time all players are onstage Apple with have the iPhone 4G shipping.
The future looks bright but difficult if you’re shopping for a new toy but undecided like me.
My Phone uses WM6.5 and sometimes it feels like I’m the only one defending it; many people attack it because the interface isn’t “iPhonesie” enough for them. In other words they don’t have the eye hand coordination to hit buttons smaller than 2in square.
Plus I like that Windows Mobile is actually more open than iPhone OS or Android to tinkering and changing. Not only does it make the phone customizable to my tastes but it means that any programmer can go in there and make the Os do what they want to. Ironic since I know so many Open Source gurus that lament my choice of Windows 7 on my desktop saying Linux is the way to go. But they have iPhones…
Anyway BGR has new rumors on the specs Windows Mobile 7 will have when it’s revealed in a couple weeks. And it’s all bad news.
- The traditional Home Screen will get a whole new look and will not support custom interfaces like Sense and TouchFLO
- No Flash support as time constraints prevented its inclusion
- Applications will be installed through the Windows Mobile Marketplace only, manual installation from a storage card will not be allowed
- Say no to multitasking and yes to push notifications which may be provided by a Microsoft hosted push notifications environment
- No .NET Compact Framework backwards compatibility so all those old apps will not work, but a portion of the data and business logic .NET CF may be ported at some point
- Browser is based upon desktop IE7 codebase, but with some IE8 functionality and is currently faster / better than the iPhone 3G
- No more active sync or Windows Mobile Device center. Zune software will handle all syncing
Basically they’re going to make WinMo suck as hard as iPhone. I’m frankly sick of the world striving to emulate the iPhone and focusing on all the worst aspects of the iPhone to adopt. First it was taking away the stylus, now where locking down the device and not allowing third party companies to improve upon the design.
I REALLY hope that either this is all bunk. Or the rumors that the phone OS is splitting into a Business and Consumer version; and that this is the consumer version and the Business version will retain the openness of the current OS.
I’ve been curious how the Windows Marketplace will revitalize the developer community for WM phones. I admit I’ve been jealous of some of the apps that come out for the iPhone; developers flocked to the store and even though 99% are useless “fart apps” and pointless gimmicks the huge volume of production means that there are still hundreds of apps that are actually interesting and useful.
WM Phones (and Blackberry and Android) often have all the same capabilities to run these programs and without the Apple restrictions they have even more freedom to use core functionalities. But without a store for developers to congregate, find customers, and make money, there hasn’t been nearly as much attention paid to the windows phones.
Now that the new store is operating I’m tempted to try out a 6.5 ROM on my AT&T Fuze again. My gripe when I ran a cooked ROM before is that the OS was TOO finger friendly. Windows Mobile has always been optimized for stylus use (originally being a PDA OS) and hitting tiny icons with fat fingers can be a pain.
The problem is that making icons and menus too big makes it’s hard to read what they say, or you spend all you’re time scrolling up and down a list that should only take up half a screen. A perfect example can be seen in this left of shot from BGR:
I’m not sure if that’s a distorted menu from some odd setting but that’s similar to what the menus looked like on the ROM I tried. Frankly I’d rather whip out a stylus if it meant I had more than 4-5 menu options on screen and they could display more than 6 characters at a time.
There are a couple new 6.5 ROMs on XDA forums that look like they may have upgraded and removed the problem. Maybe I’ll spend tonight loading a new OS on my phone while I watch the Hexagon 3hr special (that should ALMOST give enough time for a ROM change…)
GET OFF THE STAGE!
The new Windows Mobile App store is going to have the ability to remote kill applications that get approved and later rejected.
Every other mobile phone app store has the same ability, and from a company perspective I can see why you’d want the ability to remote kill something that should be there to avoid bad press and litigation. But it still sucks that they want to reach their grubby paws into our phones.
Even though Microsoft has the reputation of the Evil Empire/Big Brother company that controls your lives they’re really not. Microsoft is far more open and free to do as you please with your equipment than Apple, especially in the mobile phone market. For so long Windows Mobile has been dependant on outside programmers to write apps in their free time to make full use of the OS and to add or improve features and programs. Without an official application store WM app development has been a no-mans land where apps are built by individuals on their own time with no distribution method other than their own website and word of mouth; similar to the open source world of Linux.
Obviously there are some major questions about how heavy handed windows will be in their marketplace. Some of my favorite apps are for profit programs that replace all the core PIM functionality of the phone with more complex feature rich versions. That may be a no-go in the WM app store if it’s as locked down as the Apple app store.
The good thing is that not only will people find a way to disable this, but we don’t even need to disable it. WM still allows installation of programs without an app store without the need to hack or jailbreak the phone; it’s the way the WM “Market” has run for the last decade.
But for the apps that we do get through the store, it will suck that Microsoft can take those back.