Moving from Android to Windows Phone 7 Part 1 : Getting Ready for the plunge!
Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to share my adventures of transitioning from being an Android user to a Windows Phone user.
This is going to be somewhat interesting considering that I was a Windows Mobile fan boy for so long. When Windows Mobile 6.5 dropped, I was so underwhelmed with how little progress was made over such a long time between updates that I finally took a break from Windows Mobile. I purchased the iPhone 3GS and it became my daily driver until Windows Phone 7 was released last fall. I still checked out new Windows Mobile 6.5 and Android phones that I was evaluating, but I always returned to the iPhone 3GS.
Last fall, I was very excited about Windows Phone 7. I was getting some awesome buzz from the inside (I was in my 6th year as a Windows Mobile MVP) and eventually was flown to Redmond to participate in the Windows Phone 7 Ambassador program which gave me an early look at the OS. We weren’t afforded a ton of time with an actual device, but I was hooked. I was totally ready for Microsoft to get back into the game in a big way. When Windows Phone 7 went live, I got the HTC HD7 and the Samsung Focus. After a week or two, I realized that Windows Phone 7 wasn’t ready to be my daily driver. I ended up purchasing the iPhone 4 to replace the 3GS as my main. Not too long after that, the Motorola Atrix hit and I bought one. I ended up setting the iPhone 4 down and have been using the Atrix every day since. It’s time for a change now.
I am supposed to have a Windows Phone 7 device on the way but I am not sure if it’s going to be the HTC Titan or the HTC HD7S. When this arrives, part 2 of this series will start. I will take you from unboxing all the way to when I decided if Windows Phone 7 is ready for my love again. Mango brings many improvements to Windows Phone 7, so I hope we can get along again. I miss Microsoft on my mobile!
Part 1 starts today with my weekend project. I pulled out my old Samsung Focus and installed Windows Phone 7.5 aka Mango. This phone can’t be used as a phone though, I ruined it 9-10 months ago when I damaged the simm slot, rendering it unable to read a simm card. The update required me to reinstall the Zune software. An hour later, the update was complete and my Samsung Focus was running Mango!
I haven’t used Windows Phone 7 for over 9 months and I haven’t kept current with its progress so I am in for a little bit of a learning curve. The app selection has to have gotten better. Cut and paste has to be in there now? Yes, it is, but it’s not perfect. I spent the morning downloading apps and comparing what I use my Android Phone each day for. What apps will I lose. What won’t I be able to do if I slap my simm into a Windows Phone device for a couple of weeks.
So far, I am nervous about several items I discovered today.
- Google Ecosystem – The is no doubt that Android handles Gmail and other Google services much better than any other OS. I mean, it’s Google’s OS right? Ever since I left Microsoft Exchange Servers behind, I have fallen in love with Gmail. Sure, Gmail works on the iPhone and Windows Phone and somewhat well, but the experience is unparalleled on an Android phone.
- Pandora – I guess, as Eric from HTC put it, I am behind the times. He says Slacker is the way to go anyhow. Well, I love Pandora and I will definitely miss it. What might make it easier are other services that are available to Windows Phone owners like Spotify and Slacker. In addition, Zune Pass is an awesome solution. Why stream when I can just download all I can eat and make my own playlists.
- Free Navigation – Google Maps Navigation is hard to beat, especially when it’s completely free! At this point, I am not sure what is available for Windows Phone 7. I will try to replace Google Maps Navigation with something once I get started, but I can guarantee, I am not going to be purchasing anything when I am trying to replace a free service.
- SiriusXM – There is no “Official” app for that with Windows Phone 7, but I have been told that there are a couple 3rd party apps that suffice. I will be checking those out as well.
- Social Media – I really like Android and iPhone versions of the “Official” Twitter clients, but I really don’t like Windows Phone 7’s version. Facebook is ok. Other apps like Yammer and Foursquare are fine on WP7.
- Fantasy Football – ESPN and NFL.com have apps to manage your fantasy football teams available for Android and iOS, but currently there is no version for Windows Phone 7. I am obsessed with Fantasy Football and this is going to be a bummer. I am able to hop on a PC or Laptop often enough to where it won’t kill me, but still… I want my FF on the go! There might be some 3rd party programs that I can give a try, but I have to wait until I get a new Windows Phone device to give them a try.
That’s all I could come up with today, but I am sure other issues will pop once I get the new phone. I will deal with them as they pop up.
Stay tuned for more! I did a similar diary style series a few years ago when I tried the Palm OS for a couple weeks after using Windows Mobile and PocketPC for so long and it was fun for me and the readers!
11/13/2011 at 8:04 am
As an Android-for-phone and iPad-for-tablet user I can certainly commiserate.
When I used the HTC 7 Pro for review, I found that not only did I miss apps that were absent, but was also disappointed by those that were present – but severely lacking. Slacker is getting better but still not as good; same for Spotify, Rdio, and MOG isn’t even present. Games I can find are mediocre, and most are missing. While it is nice to have built in MS-Office ‘mini-apps’, the choices on Android and iOS are much better and more robust.
And sadly I am just not really sold on the whole tile thing as being more efficient.
11/13/2011 at 8:45 am
i also was windows mobile fanboy, now I own an Android device and I will never come back to a closed OS from MS.
11/13/2011 at 8:49 am
I don’t mind a closed OS personally. I just don’t have time in my life to jailbreak or root devices. I do realize the benefits, but I can get by with stock OS versions.
11/13/2011 at 11:21 am
People will always throw out the phantom ‘open’ argument, when in reality Android is so beholden to the crapware of the carriers and handset makers that for 95% of folks Android is less open than WIndows Phone.
11/13/2011 at 10:36 am
Chris as far as the social media is concerned, I prefer to use the people hub.
11/13/2011 at 11:20 am
I did until I found it was limiting the amount of text I could put in messages …
11/14/2011 at 10:22 am
what r u writing a story book?
11/14/2011 at 11:14 am
No – but I don’t tent to use ‘text speak’ because I am of an age where I think it makes you look less intelligent. So what you might do in 140 characters will take me 300 characters in actual sentences.
11/13/2011 at 11:20 am
***applause*** Good for you! There’s so much freedom to behold when not shackled and blinded by foolish fanboyism! My current phone: Motorola Droid X2 (although seriously considering switching to at&t to nab an Atrix2. That phone just looks so gorgeous to me). My current laptop: Samsung Series 9 running on Windows7. I don’t have a tablet, but if I were to get one, I would definitely get the iPad2. So there you have it. Fanboyism and sheer blind loyalty is just plain foolish… in my opinion of course. :-b
11/13/2011 at 2:15 pm
No fanboyism here either. I have the Samsung Focus with mango on it and plan at this point to get the Titan. Totally happy with wp7. Also have the iPad (not 2… Not enough of an upgrade for me).
You are saying you might get iPad 2 but I am considering dumping my iPad 1. By the time I pay $30+ a month for the data plan and 30/year for the navigation app I use when traveling I am thinking I might rather have an android phone with free navigation as my secondary device. I can then use it for calls and texting if I want. I have read that everyone is very happy with the google navigation. Doing this gives me a view of of android to see what I think and plus I think iOS is pretty boring. Also I can quit traveling with the extra weight of a tablet now that the phone screens are getting bigger and better. The Titan has a huge screen which I think will allow me to get out of carrying a tablet.
11/13/2011 at 2:30 pm
I would never get a tablet, but if I were to get one, the iPad2 would be it. I think that tablets are just extra unnecessary baggage in my opinion. One smartphone and one ultra-portable laptop for me and that’s pretty much all I need. I live in G-Mail and Google Docs and Google Reader and Google Books and in absolute awe of the brilliance of Google Maps coupled with Google Navigation. LOL in a way, I’m kinda trapped into the Google ecosystem. So if I were a Fanboy of any kind, I suppose I would be considered a Google fanboy. Cheers :-)
11/13/2011 at 11:48 am
Most of the time, I find that I don’t use the social apps. I can post straight from Mango, and it’s smooth.
The navigation in Mango is much better than it was, and still free. I’ve also found that I can sync as many Google accounts as I like at the same time. I use my G account for my personal calendar, and bring in my wife’s as a different color.
I think you’ll be pleased.
11/13/2011 at 11:58 am
Thanks for the tip – haven’t checked the Nav since updating to Mango.
It was abysmal in WP7 – it was directing me on routes that would have been 30 minutes longer – on 2 hour trips! First time I called it a fluke, 2nd time I was just thankful I knew better.
11/13/2011 at 1:58 pm
I hope it’s the Titan. I plan on picking mine up next Sunday. I currently have the Samsung Focus that’s on it’s last leg because of being dropped on land and water so much.
11/13/2011 at 5:10 pm
Having had an HTC Diamond back in the days and getting by with Android now this ‘experiment’ going to be something I’ll keep a tab on.
Haven’t actually considered switching to Mango myself, but I’d really like to see if the iPhone Bashing Brigade of my Facebook contacts are actually right about WP7 or not :P
Keep the updates coming!
11/13/2011 at 5:18 pm
Looking forward to part 2 of this article! If Sprint ever gets a good sized WP7 slab I may jump ship.
11/13/2011 at 6:19 pm
Who cares. I’m staying with a REAL smart phone, (the name of which begins with the letter “i”). Every phone mentioned here are all a bunch of cheap “Also Rans”.
11/13/2011 at 8:05 pm
If you hate Androids and Windows Phones so much then why are you here?
11/13/2011 at 8:09 pm
Sadly there are always those who come to any thread with this stuff … But I have to say I like the mature and open discussion here so far! I love fans, have no use for fanboys!
11/13/2011 at 8:12 pm
You liked me when I was a fanboy didn’t ya? :)
I am still a wannabe fanboy, but I can’t be once eyes have been opened to other things.
I have used Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android long enough to form my opinions. To be 100% honest, the parity across all 3 current platforms is pretty close. I mean each of them have pluses and minuses.
11/14/2011 at 2:56 am
Can’t reply due to nesting limit … but while you have always been a fan and advocate, I’ve never considered you a fanboy – that suggests a resistance to fact and reason that you just never exhibited.
11/14/2011 at 10:29 am
the android and iphones are all the same ol stuff that we’ve seen for years. nothing really new. latest iphone is pretty much the same ol stuff. windows phone 7.5 is new, refreshing, and different. you cant read an article or peak at the phone for ten minutes… you cant watch a video to really “get it”. pick it up, try it out. some carriers ever do a 30 day (no contract, moneyback) thing. Once I picked up the win phone I will not be switching back. -mac guy for 25 years, android user for 2 years
11/13/2011 at 8:01 pm
I will be in the market to replace my semi-trusty Backflip phone next month, so I am greatly looking forward to hearing how things go.
My wife has a Focus and absolutely loves it. I’ve played with her phone some, and it does seem really slick. I’ve also been looking at an an Atrix 2, which is being offered at a really nice price. And no, I am not considering an iPhone at all. I do not like an ecosystem where I am told what I can do and can’t do with my phone.
The biggest negatives I see for the Windows Phone are:
1. Fewer apps: In addition to what was mentioned here, I would also add: no Starbucks app, no music locker streaming app (e.g., mSpot, Google music). Yes, there is one for mp3tunes, but it gets some really horrible reviews in the app store, and it doesn’t appear to support background play (at least when I tried it out it stopped playing as soon as I went back to the home screen)
2. No expandable memory. This wouldn’t be quite so bad if there were a decent music locker player available. But since there isn’t I then have to figure out how to get my 17+ gig music collection (192 WMA) onto a phone. Yes I know you can use something like Zune to listen to music, but sometimes I want to listen to songs I own and don’t want to be beholden to what the music companies allow on any given day. I’ve been a Rhapsody subscriber for almost a decade and know that sometimes what is available today isn’t tomorrow.
3. More expensive devices. The Android phones are more aggressively priced it seems.
The biggest negatives for the Android are:
1. Crashing: I particularly love it when my Backflip crashes when a call comes in. Just when it is needed! I realize that a Backflip isn’t an Atrix, but my understanding is that even the newest Androids aren’t exactly the world’s most stable phones.
2. Not as pretty. I like the way Windows Phone is laid out better. I really want to be able to use it on pure aesthetics.
3. Out of control Market: I don’t like being told what I can and can’t do like Apple does, but not doing anything at all to curate your market doesn’t exactly work either, unless viruses are your thing. I like MS’ approach of checking for malware but otherwise leaving alone better.
11/13/2011 at 8:12 pm
Awesome + and – assessment. Good post!
11/13/2011 at 8:12 pm
Wow. So many comments. I hope I don’t disappoint with this series of posts.
11/13/2011 at 11:34 pm
I will follow your progress on this. I was a WinMo guy for a long time and like you switched when WM 6.5 came out. I was underwhelmed and went to Android. I would like to switch back at some point and am intrigued by Mango.
11/14/2011 at 1:29 am
window phone is totally crap, nothing special..
11/14/2011 at 4:31 am
Chris, good to see you posting again, and Bravo, Windows Phone is the choice of champions. I did the same thing a year ago when a month after I got the Desire, a local carrier gave me a Mozart as part of a social program. Went from my HD2, running android before that. WinPho 7 was a beta, winpho 7.5 is almost RTM, the change up is not that hard. The thing is to be open minded and not compare it to other OS’s too much, enjoy it for what it is, easy to live with.
11/14/2011 at 6:42 am
I had used iphone , android and wp7. I feel the if iphon3 3GS was a market shaker then, WP7 will shake the market in very near future. I love to hate Microsoft, and had done that after the launch of iphone, but having used all the three plaftforms now, I could clearly tell WP7 Mango was a big leap done by M$. As long as M$ keeps everyone onboard with their updated releases I dont see any point buying anything else.
Its the most value proposition and the most rich mobile ecosystem except apps ( surely there is a shortage of apps, but if you see the way the wp7 app market is growing almost double the speed of others)
I will not say its going to be a MS world, and hate seeing that happen, But seeing the present offering and the market movements I can clearly tell that to happen. Except the North American market you go to Europe and Asia, it will be a cake walk for MS since Android and iPhone had gained little grounds. As a person who was involved in sales in one of the largest mobile markets in Asia, Non techies know Nokia and nothing else. Just go to a Asian city and ask about Android or iPhone you will understand what I say. And that is the growth market where Microsoft and Nokia are very well known names already. May be google is known after that but not like Nokia or Microsoft.
11/16/2011 at 2:00 am
i’ve been using wp7 (used htc mozart bought on ebay just to experiment with wp7) for the last two weeks and it’s been really awesome, it’s so amazing with all the integrations, flipping live tiles with all the info, really slick! btw been an iphone user for 3 years, gave my iphone4 to my son who’s fed up with his android phone (running froyo) but is now wanting a windows phone as well after playing with mine.