Phone satisfaction

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 4:32 PM | comments: 0

I remember when Apple announced the iPhone, widely described as the "Jesus phone" at the time, that I knew I had to have one as soon as possible. And sure enough, I got one. I skipped on the 3G, but did get the 3GS after about two years with the original. Then Android came along, and while much of the hardware was initially not interesting, it seemed like iPhone wasn't as sweet. Then Windows Phone came out, and I figured I had to give it a shot since it was free and I could develop for it without learning anything new.

The thing that I learned after a half-year with WP7 is that a smart phone, in the general sense, has become kind of an unremarkable thing. It's not that I'm passionate about my phone (though it does have advantages, but I'll get to that), and it's not that I'm dissing the iPhone (though I don't miss it). I'm probably a fair representation of an average user, if technically more adept, and it just doesn't matter as much as it did a couple of years ago. It does what I need it to do, and that's good enough.

I will say that the recent updates, which took too long to be deployed, actually fixed the two big issues that I had. The first was that it crashed now and then. My theory was that it had something to do with the memory card I put in it, which is not supported, but Diana had no crashes so I figured that had to be it. Whatever the cause, it has gone away. The other issue was that the phone doesn't save camera settings. It still doesn't, but for my model (Samsung Focus), it now defaults to having the "anti-shake" on, which essentially forces a slightly higher shutter speed. In other words, it now matches the usefulness of the iPhone camera.

So while I'm not passionate about phones anymore, specific or in a general sense, there are some nice advantages and upsides to having a Windows Phone. As it turns out, writing software for it isn't one of them, because I don't have the time or desire to do so. However, the Facebook integration and cloud syncing of contacts to Google is infinitely more useful. The only thing that it still really has to sync from the desktop is music. I also love the Xbox Live achievement whoring that's possible. In general, I'm really pleased with the games on it.

I do think that the UI is superior and evolved, but I suspect that doesn't really matter to anyone except people who think about that stuff. It seems like the platform's long-term success will be more hinged on the deals they do with Nokia and the carriers. It makes you really appreciate how much better Apple is at creating sex appeal.


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