It was over two years ago that I first purchased my Windows Phone. At the time, I had high-minded ideals of what a mobile operating system should be like, but the decision came down to just a few key philosophies. At the time, they were design, integration, simplicity and devices. For the most part, I’ve never second guessed the decision to go with Windows Phone.
You see, in theory iOS 7 is a better Windows Phone experience. While there aren’t any live tiles to speak of, Apple’s new design aesthetic borrows heavily from Windows Phone and delivers a ton functional user interface improvements. It’s use of gradients and shades allows it to feel minimalist and digitally authentic while giving users more opportunities to see their custom wallpaper.
For a design oriented guy who prizes cool details – like the parallax scrolling added in iOS7 – iOS is suddenly a contender for my wallet.
For the integration minded-consumer in me, iOS has always ranked supreme. The operating system might not have been as visually appealing as I would have liked but there’s just no way to not conclude the iTunes Store and the services that it provides aren’t the best. TV Shows, movies, books, magazines, iTunes U, none have first-party equivalents on Windows Phone. Instead users have to hope that third-party applications are available on the platform. Now with new iTunes Radio, iOS 7 becomes an obvious choice. Yes, I’d have to sort of restructure my service usage to Apple’s products, but that’s not the worst trade-off. One Apple ID across devices that offers everything a user might want with one account. That’s integration at it’s finest.
While iOS 7 certainty got me thinking about switching over to Apple’s mobile offerings, that idea didn’t really catch on with me until I got my first glimpse at leaked pictures of the iPhone 5S. The device is a knockout, a gorgeous piece of machined aluminum and metal that just screams “hold me.”
Originally, the iPhone 4 was what made a Windows Phone user out of me. I hated the idea of only being able to choose a device from one manufacturer. In my mind, since Windows Phone could be licensed to hardware vendors, it gave me the greatest chance of finding a device I could settle into. Of course that changed once Nokia entered the Windows Phone market.
While Microsoft likes to trumpet a range of devices, the truth is that one company, and one company alone provides a decent Windows Phone experience: Nokia. That’s not a bad thing really, Nokia’s Windows Phones are great but they’re also suffering from the same design ailments. For the most part they all resemble big polycarbonate blocks.
Meanwhile the iPhone 5S is sleek, and is rumored to include all the hardware I think is necessary for a top-notch mobile experience. Together with the wealth of accessories that are available for iPhones, I think the hardware trade-off could be moot. After all, if I’m going to suffer from a lack of different hardware options, I might as well go with one of the best made devices in the industry. For example, iOS 7’s native support of third-party gaming controllers could change the nature of mobile gaming.
I haven’t made my decision yet. I’m still toying with the idea of making the HTC One or the Lumia 925 my everyday companion. However, for the first time Apple will have my attention when it takes the stage on September 10th, and for a die-hard Windows Phone fan like me, that’s saying something.