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How I turned my Samsung Galaxy S8 into a Microsoft phone

Microsoft's new mobile effort revolves around bringing the best of Windows 10 to Android and iOS. Now that Windows 10 Mobile is all but dead, it's time to start embracing Microsoft's new goal; making Android and iOS better for Windows users. Timeline, Cloud Clipboard and Continue on PC are all Windows 10 features that aim to tie your Android or iOS device to your PC further, and vice versa.

I recently went out and purchased a Samsung Galaxy S8 with the intention of turning it into my new Windows phone. Now, calling it a Windows phone isn't entirely accurate since it's not running Windows; so I like to call it a Microsoft phone. It's a smartphone that's loaded up with Microsoft software and services, and outside of live tiles and UWP apps, it has everything my Lumia Windows phone had, and that's fantastic.

See Samsung Galaxy S8 at Amazon

Microsoft has made switching from Windows phone to Android or iOS incredibly easy, so much so my Android phone feels even more connected to my Windows 10 PC than my Windows 10 Mobile device ever did. Things such as Microsoft's own Android Launcher, Edge, Cortana, Outlook and OneDrive bring all the features and functions I need out of the Windows experience on my phone.

I've even reprogrammed the dedicated Bixby button to launch Cortana instead, using an app called bxActions. When I press the dedicated button, it launches the Cortana app. If I hold the button down, it takes me immediately to voice mode where I can say commands and have Cortana do things. It's super handy having a dedicated Cortana button on the side, as it makes adding things like reminders or checking the weather super convenient.

Using Edge on Android is a nice addition, as it syncs your bookmarks and form data across your PC and phone. I don't care that it's using the Chrome engine underneath, because I don't have an issue with Chrome's engine. I use Edge because it uses my Microsoft account to sync data, not because of the underlying engine. Being able to continue files and web pages on my PC from my phone is also super convenient, more so than I was originally expecting.

More to come

This will improve over time, too. With Timeline and Cloud Clipboard in Redstone 4, apps and things you copy will also be transferable across devices. Near Share is a new feature in the works for Windows 10 right now too, which will undoubtedly be coming to Android phones; allowing you to share files, photos and more instantly between your PC and phone directly from the Share UI on Windows 10.

The only things I need from Microsoft to complete my Microsoft experience is a dedicated Phone and SMS app. Once I'm able to make cellular calls or send SMS texts from a dedicated app on my PC and phone that sync that data across devices, my Microsoft smartphone experience will be complete. It'd also be nice to see a Movies & TV app on Android or iOS, but that's not a priority for me.

The beauty of Android is that it's an open platform. Sure, most Android phones come bundled with Google services, which isn't ideal if you're someone who isn't into Google's ecosystem; but the good news is you can essentially replace all of that with Microsoft's own offerings. You can set Edge as your default web browser, Microsoft's Launcher as your default home experience, OneDrive as your photos cloud backup solution, Outlook as your default email and calendar client, and more.

You can also download package disablers, which I don't actually recommend unless you know what you're doing. Package disablers allow you to disable some software and services that Google and OEMs bundle onto Android devices. For example, I used a package disabler to disable some of the things Samsung includes on the Galaxy S8, including Samsung Cloud, TouchWiz, Bixby and even Samsung's built-in keyboard. I don't want or use Samsung's services. Of course, most people, even Microsoft users, won't want to disable these.

I also personally like to disable pretty much everything Google on my Android, outside of Google Play Services and the Play Store. I disabled everything from Chrome to the Google Assistant, as Microsoft offers alternatives in that regard. If Microsoft has an app that does something Google or Samsung offers, then I'm absolutely going to be disabling the Google and Samsung offering in favor of Microsoft's.

Windows 10 Mobile is no longer the best choice for Microsoft fans

If you're still using Windows 10 Mobile because you think Windows phone still offers the optimal "Microsoft" experience, it's time to re-evaluate that thought process. Microsoft has put so much work into making Android and iOS 'the' platforms for Microsoft software and services on mobile that Windows 10 Mobile simply doesn't hold a candle to the integrations and features Microsoft apps have on other platforms anymore.

Redstone 4 will see this trend continue. Microsoft is building features into Windows 10 on PC that tie directly into the apps and services available on iOS and Android. This is not something that is happening on Windows 10 Mobile. As we have reported in the past, Microsoft is leaving Windows 10 Mobile behind with feature2, with no new features in development. Windows 10 Mobile doesn't have an ecosystem to support it anymore.

Sure, Windows 10 Mobile still works today, and it will continue to work for a long time. However, Microsoft isn't going to be building experiences that benefit Windows 10 Mobile and PC integration anymore. That focus is now on Android and iOS, and that's incredibly exciting. If you've decided to remain on Windows phone, just know that your tight integration between your PC and phone is now matched on rival platforms, and will quickly find that over time, Android and iOS phones will have better integration compared to what Windows 10 Mobile can offer.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

354 Comments
  • I can't stand the iOS interface.  It is usable to me.  I don't like Android either, but since Microsoft has the Launcher and it allows for some customizations, Android is likely my next phone.  I hate it, but not much choice.  My Icon is EOL.
  • Just like me... Somehow i cant wait to get a samsung S8 but my Lumia 950 just continues to work well, its still has the best OS in my opinion
  • I've had the S7 since last Black Friday. It's great. I'm holding out for the S9+. Yes the WP os is great, but I couldn't stand everything being produced for only iOS or Android.
  • Yep, I just tracked one down, and it's on its way. 🤓😀 will go well with my X3 et al.
  • Nothing's stopping you from doing this to the LG v30 which is a way nicer phone with a better camera and best of all you're not stuck with that effin bixby button..
  • Best, most beautiful and practical UI. OS not sure.
  • Launcher10 is by far the best Windows Mobile app launcher on Android. It also has live tiles. I used it in combo with a few widgets and I have simulated about 95% function and look of windows mobile AND I have access to all the apps on Android
  • Does it simulate voice texting using bluetooth?  The biggest thing I miss about my 950XL is that I can't text using voice via bluetooth in my car.  I also hate how the Android OS constantly has to be baby set, killing apps, and optimizing, etc.  I can't find a way to have google assistant connect to my work (Exchange) calendar.  There are so many things that I took for granted on my windows phone that I really miss now with my note 8.  Just makes me more annoyed with MS for abandoning the OS.
  • It's been about six years since I've bought an Android device.  I HATED how there were so many google services/apps running in the background that ate up system resources and no matter how many times you'd kill them, they'd sneak back at it again.  I hope when I switch to an Android phone that isn't going to be so much of an issue. 
  • Nope - still the same. Tons of crap you can't get rid of.
  • Are the live tiles on Launcher 10 capable of being made transparent and be resized? Thanks.
  • I too have an excellent 950XL, but my partner has just switched to Nokia 8, seems a good service except for the OS! even with MS Launcher  it's awful, the migration process is a total nightmare,be prepared for 48hrs of frustration.  what a pity MS feels win10 mobile was flogging a dead horse!
  • Even thought you hate iOS, at least it is usable to you.  
  • Tee-hee
  • I understand that it's difficult. But after playing around a bit you'll appreciate all the apps you can get along with all the customization. There's lots of good launchers, keyboards, lock screens, etc. Win10 mobile will always be the most beautiful OS and the smoothest, and you can have a Win10 device by your side whenever you miss the Win10 experience.
  • You won't appreciate it if you don't need the apps.
  • Ok but maybe the hardware support from the OS because there's many really cool hardware features available? My s8+ has an Iris scanner, fingerprint reader, LED notification light, heartbeat detector, and the standard hardware that others phones have like a camera and such. There are many things that Android offers. I used to hate it and I thought it was horrible but now I love it just as much as W10M. We just get so used to things that we oppose what we are not used to.
  • Not everyone wants or even cares about an Iris scanner, a fingerprint reader OR a stupid LED notification light (I just want to smack people who have that feature turned on) or heartbeat detector.
  • Please educate yourself before posting a comment like this. I've been a Windows Phone user since the WP7 days, went through a HTC HD7 and a Lumia 925 before switching to Android this February. Fingerprint unlocking is so much more convenient and easier than typing a password/pin especially if it doubles as a power button(thanks Sony). The 'stupid' notification LED helps with battery life a lot. Incoming notifications don't power on the whole screen, only a tiny light, which in turn helps me see if I have any pending notifications without needing to unlock the phone myself if I've been away from my phone. I loved my 2 Windows Phones but their time to pass the torch came last winter. I don't use a lot of apps(can't be bothered to install yet another messaging app - looking at you Snapchat) but the quality of the few apps I do use is so much better on Android. Plus, it has actual multitasking and no 'resuming' screen.
    Not liking or caring about a feature is fine, but saying you want to smack people who use it is taking it a bit too far. Take it easy dude, after all it's just a mobile os we're talking about.
  • Funny, I have learned to appreciate the stripped down version of apps on the windows phone.  When I first used facebook on my note 8, there was so much crap going on that I couldn't tell whether I was coming or going.  Also, apps are constantly asking dumb sh*t like, "Can I be your dialer?"  "Can I be your messaging app?" "Can I use your contacts?"  I can't understand for the life of me what a ringtone programs needs with my contacts.  It's just too much.  I also wish notifications for all but the usual suspects were turned off by default and I'll choose to turn on the ones that I want.  Also, what's the point of having Cortana if the app needs to be running for you to use it.  Companies complained when MS baked in internet explorer into their OS, yet, Cortana isn't allowed to run as a service, and google assistant will not look at any calendar that isn't googles.  As you can see, I'm struggling a bit making the transition...lol
  • Yeah it asks those questions for security reasons. If you download a messaging app like Textra or ChompSMS, Android asks for permissions for things and defaults so malware can't automatically set itself as default.
  • Preach it...
  • Used ios for 11/2 years and have been with android--s8 plus--since end of June.  Iphone bored me, but the Android experience is maddening.  Windows platform was the best of the three operating systems.  I find myself comparing each phone I have to my Lumia 1520 and 900.  Microsoft is off its gourd if it thinks there is not a market for their phones.  They just need to come out with a stunning design to attract consumers' attention.  That is the first thing that a lot of people notice--the design of the chasis.  Make it look expensive and exclusive, and they will flock to it.  Then the operating system will hook them.  And the apps will follow.  
  • Yeah I'm not referring to the camera flash notification light I'm talking about the one on the front you can barely notice it from far away.
  • One of the big reasons I gave up on the old PocketPC/Windows Mobile was precisely because I had to install skins, etc., to keep it useful.  I DON'T WANT A DEVICE WITH A TON OF CUSTOMIZATION.  I want an attractive, easy to see user experience that just WORKS.  That was Windows Phone.  And, to a lesser extent, Windows 10 Mobile.  As far as I'm concerned, having a bunch of stupid keyboards, widgets and whatever is stupid.  The OS itself should have 99% of what I need to do built in.  Which WP had in spades.  I hardly needed any apps because so much was integrated.  But it's all those ridiculous Android and iPhone users who infected what Microsoft had in Windows Phone.  So, to placate them, they began DISintegrating the OS, causing the downward spiral.  I hate Android. I hate iPhone.  There's no amount of skinning, widgets or other lipstick to make those pigs worth my money.  Even as bad as W10M has become.
  • Well you're boring.
  • No he's efficient and uses his phone as a productive tool and not a toy.
  • So do I. The more features = more productivity. I never use my phone as a toy. I don't even have games! Just because there's more features doesn't mean it's not efficient. You don't have to use all features. You can customize it to make it efficient for you.
  • Sweet jesus what a tool. I hate having options.......blah blah.....fawk off.
  • SquareHome2 and Launcher 10 do quite a good job fixing many UI lacks, even with fake live tiles to get a bit more information.   Also i recommend "wave up!" and "Flip to turn" to bring back some of Win10 convenience features.  The settings menu is still terrible, have not found a solution for that yet. Also i miss bing maps (here! is good, but the latest updates of bing maps app on WIn10 were really good.
  • I do hate when an article tries to tell me (Microsoft fan) that the phone i choose to stick with (Lumia 950) is not the best phone for me.
  • That's your problem if you don't wanna hear the truth.
  • Are you ok? Can you comprehend what i said? Nobody, and i mean nobody can tell me what is best for me. I guess that's why you grew up like you did.
  • I don't agree that this article tells you what is best for you. That is each to their own. What it does tell you, is that your Microsoft experience is levelled on iOS/Android and will soon be surpassed by better integration with Windows 10. Better than Windows 10 Mobile ever will.
    It took me a while to realize, but it isnt so much about any platform anymore, it is about the services that run on it. And the great thing is, as consumers, we have choice of platform and choice of services.
  • Too bad I can't up vote comments on Android or I would have. +1
  • But wait, I thought everything was better on Android! I know exactly what you are talking about. I recently acquired an LG G6 and have an LG V30 coming tomorrow.
  • There is exactly one thing better on Android: The native youtube app. Everything else was done better on Win10m.
  • @b4rtw "If you're still using Windows 10 Mobile because you think Windows phone still offers the optimal "Microsoft" experience, it's time to re-evaluate that thought process." My current vehicle doesn't have a heated steering wheel.  But the new year model does.  Does that mean I'm missing the "optimal" experience?  Then I should chuck away a perfectly good car to update to something that isn't all that "optimal" to me.  An experience is subjective.  No one can tell me what experience is "optimal" to me.  I think Microsoftjunkie has a point.
  • That's a bad analogy. It's like saying you have a car now that uses a certain type of fuel. But that gas stations in increasing numbers are stopping to carry that fuel, and it looks like they'll probably stop carrying it altogether. Now you have to drive further each time to get that fuel when you can make life easier by getting a car that runs on another fuel that's convenient, easier to get and keeps your engine running well for longer. Those gas stations are also now offering a car wash for every 5 gas refills, and have a store in which you can buy snacks, food and drinks. All these options are not available in the other gas stations you visit. Maybe some have snacks but a very small choice, which you may be satisfied with, and that's ok, but most people get tired of eating the same few things everytime when the rest is enjoying so many different tasty food options. That being said, you may prefer the fuel your car runs on now for a reason or another, which is OK, even if it might not even be available anymore anywhere soon. You can do what you want. The author is just pointing this scenario out.
  • Jeez, take it easy on the fella 😂
  • Taking your fuel analogy, assume Win10 phone is more akin to E85.  It's nowhere near as commonly used as regular gas, and is not as easy to find at stations, but the gobs of extra horsepower it packs is an undeniable advantage/value...
  • yup Android and IOS these days offer a better Microsoft experience for sure, Android a little more than IOS as you can customise it a hell of a lot more. I switch between Microsoft Launcher (use on work S8+) and Launcher 10, which gives you tiled interface with live tiles (on my note 8). Really anyone still holding onto windows mobile 10 there is no reason too.
  • Pity I can't add photos here. Otherwise I'd show you a well lit photo of my Lumia 950 with cognac leather Mozo case with a caption that reads 'Just look at it'.
  • Yes
  • Unless Google allows Cortana to be intergreted into the OS like it is with Windows Phone, it will never be the same. Never. Because Google will never allow that.
  • Sure they will. Microsoft just has to make the phone with that feature. Samsung does it with Bixby.
  • >Better than Windows 10 Mobile ever will That's actually the problem, why W10M never was successful. Nadella was trying to give us wheelchairs with rectangular wheels and was wondering why people kept using crutches. In my eyes he is a dumb idiot. By the way, if I leave W10M I don't want a better Microsoft experience. Then I want a better Android experience. This means Chrome for Edge, Google Mail for Outlook Mail and I won't buy any app in the Microsoft Store.
  • .
  • Guess you didn't get the point. They are simply letting you know that android is the best platform for MS users. I will be getting note 8 by the end of this month so I could even make so comparison video with my 950XL and maybe you will see through that samsung with right apps is actually surface phone we wanted... ;-) Don't get me wrong 950 is good, but s8 or note 8 are so much better in everything
  • I switched over to the Note 8. I love it so far, I replaced most Google apps with Microsoft as well.
  • I know and agree what you mean about the S8 being better than the 950, but in fact, the Lumia has much better photos at low light and at night, the Operative System Windows 10 Mobile offers you a much easier and smooth experience. I have a Lumia 950 and an S8, and if we go for specs the Lumia falls behind in everything apart of the camera (much better photos at low light), but the thing that mkes the Lumia 950 strong is the OS, I prefer W10M over Android by a mile.
    Anyway, I was about to get rid of my Lumia 950 and force myself to love Android and keep the S8, but now, even knowing the S8 is a much better phone, it lacks W10M and the amazing night photos from the Lumia 950, and I may have to keep it too.
  • absolutly love my note 8, best phone on the market hands down right now (and thats including the iphone X)
  • The surface phone i want is a 4,7" sized device, maybe foldable.
  • I did exactly the same switch 3 months ago and am very happy. the camera is not as good specially in low light. however it is still very good and much faster. Real multitasking the s pen and the best screen On any phone will make you love the phone
  • Sefin - Don't forget to add all the annoying sh*t about the note 8 in you're unbiased comparison.
  • Nobody is telling you what is best. The author is simply telling that if what you want/need/like the most is in Microsoft products and services, the best platform is not Windows Phone. If Windows Phone is the best platform for you, fine. Also, juvenile comments like "I guess that's why you grew up like you did." are pointless and unrelated in any way. But my question is, if you are so convinced about whatever that may be, why are you inconfortable when someone tells you (as you seem to think) something you are not agreeing with. If I'd be the kind of people like you resorting to cheap insults, I would guess that's why you grew up like you did (though the term "grew" is loosely used here, as I truly hope you regressed from a higher state of mind rather than evolved into the one you are right now).
  • That's an ignorant response, Azizelh.  The right phone for you is the right phone for you.  If Android, with WHATEVER lipstick on it, is the right phone for Azizelh, there's nothing to say that it even comes close to being the right phone for Microsoftjunkie...or me, for that matter. 
  • Why should he live by your definition of what truth is?
    Device enjoyment is largely based on personal experience. How many times have Android fans been confused on what iPhone fans see overpriced iPhones iPhone fans never argue about features, hardware etc compared to Samsung Galaxy line in particular, but they have always remained steadfast that their beloved Apple iPhones just work, smooth, the wonderful experience that you just cannot understand and not quantifiable etc etc etc.
    The day you are able to preach the truth to iPhone fans successfully, I will try to consider your truth for consideration which I am sure will probably not entertain but will consider it.
    As of this writing, FOR ME, nothing beats my beloved L950 XL, absolutely nothing for my experience (I have tried my wife's iPhone 6 Plus, My son's Sammy Note 6). Fanboyism out of the way, I truly love my L950 XL How well can I tell you.
    My argument is not that these other platforms are bad or inferior to my L950XL, but that They do not compete at all for MY use case experience.
  • How is someones 'preference' somehow ignoring 'truth'? Even beyond 'preference' - Take the Lumia 950 or 950XL at GSMArena and put it in a compare box to the Note8/S8 and an iPhone X...  Notice the 2-year-old phone, with the exception of the CPU/GPU is technically in the SAME CLASS, and still beats the Samsung and iPhone X in several RAW specifications and how those specifications work.   Even the 'older' SnapDragon in the Lumia 950XL keeps up with both devices and beats both the S7 and iPhone 7 in several tests - let alone the UI and Apps responding faster. So at 'best' it is only one year behind in RAW performance.  (With WM10 it uses all the cores in the phone concurrently - something Android didn't fully do, and Android still hit TDP limits - the NT scheduling technology that also accounts for thermal loads to pick cores is BRILLIANT, and is why it was able to a lower performing SoC and beat Apple's iPhone CPUs in multi-core performance and in GPU and some base CPU operations is able to beat Android on the same device by 1.5x-4X depending on the phone in comparison with the exact same SoCs. A couple of examples...
    While you are there, take a look at the camera comparisons with images and video, and notice the Lumia 950 was doing 4K better then than Samsung or Apple does today.  You can read the fine print on test images recorded in 4K with the 950 that you cannot on the S8 or the iPhone X in each lighting condition. Then, take a look at screen quality and color accuracy - it still offers fidelity over the newer devices. Or look at the sound tests that are mostly better, and even then look at the Facial/Iris recognition technology (may have to jump around the web) - but the Lumia 950/XL can't be tricked like the S8 or the iPhone and does all this without a frankensten'd special chip like the iPhone X uses - that is easy to fool.  I'm not going to recommend the Lumia 950/XL, but people treating them like they are 'old' were NOT paying attention to the quality they offered when they came out - which is sadly one reason it didn't do well.  If there was a refresh of the Lumia 950/950XL with the newer processor, with few other minor changes, it would be the top phone that could be bought. - And this is technology Microsoft was offering two years ago.
     
  • The SD810 is a ****. It was so bad Samsung skipped that generation on their flagships. You are going to have a hard time rewriting the history on that SOC. Qualcomm needed a 64bit SoC to compete with the iPhone. They did not have a custom solution ready in time so they were forced to use ready made ARM designs. It was just a stop gap before the SD820 and their custom design. Microsoft and most other OEMs didn't have a choice, it was their only option for flagships at time. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/04/in-depth-with-the-snapdragon-810...
  • Seen some photos elsewhere, and still think my 950xl gives better results. Chuck a Snapdragon 845 in, a little more RAM and make it Android. Be my next device. I'd like to see a MS Android phone.
  • I am using a 950 right now. While it does everything I need it to, the browser is starting to not work well for sites such as NFL.com and nhl.com videos don't play because their sites think the phone is an android and can't figure out what to do.
  • Unfortunate, but true. Just tried it out. However, for the timebeing, you can still download the app for NFL.
  • That has nothing to do with the 950, or the OS or the browser, that means the Web Developers are not professionals for sure, a professional Web Developer has a bunch of "rules" that have to be applied to every single website they develop, is like every car maker know that a car has to have breaks, wheels, a steering wheel, and a few more basic things. But all the parts need to make the car driveable for anyone, short, fat, tall, thin, etc. The same applies to Websites, they have to be able to run exactly the same way on every browser and should not be checking at all the platform where it's being run, this should only be happening if you are developing content that is specifically designed to run a specific platform, but for this, there are webapps, websites shouldn't do this anyway.
    Shoort version, those websites are not reliable, they were developed by amateurs and users should report this to the Company that holds those websites. If nothing is done, do like me, stop using those websites. Nobody has to buy a new device or install unwanted browsers just to be able to visit a website. 
  • It isn't your fault for using an old, obscure and end of life device? Why should developed think for one second about that .1% of users that are going to switch soon anyways?
  • Edge on Android is actuaaly a very good browser, syncs across mobile and pc and i think it probably is one of the best mobile browsers out there right now
  • Except that you have to hit the space bar between every word when you're swyping.
  • I was actually surprised how good it was. Edge on mobile was bad when i switched to Android. I won't use Google or Firefox, so I had been using Brave browser (which i still love), but found edge on Android to be very good, I now use it as much if not more than Brave Browser. 
  • Not sure why you're having trouble with nfl.com... I just tried, browser set to 'mobile' on my 950xl.. scrolling, links and menus fluid and fast here. Go Lions!
  • Just tried this on my 1520. You are right. But, I went into the settings in Edge, changed it from mobile to desktop and nfl.com videos work just fine.
  • He didn't yell YOU; he explained what HE did for HIMSELF. Self-absorbed much?
  • "Windows 10 Mobile is no longer the best choice for Microsoft fans". Can you read?
  • That statement is fact.  Adverse to change much?
  • That is not fact, when my experience debunks it!
  • Your experience today is going to erode and likely erode heavily over the next six months. Even app support from Microsoft will be minimal while third parties will drop support quickly. Imagine how bad the experience will be a year from now. With any sort of forward thinking, Android is the best mobile platform for Microsoft fans. Buying a Windows phone today is silly and this website would be irresponsible to recommend one.
  • I guess you should've asked me why i use a phone in the first place. Email, calendar, OneNote, office suite, small games, phone calls, texts, especially camera/video. My use case for phones are small and it doesn't hurt to still have a future proof phone minus specs. Windows Hello has not been fooled and has bested Samsungs in speed and Iphone X in spoofing. What i have maybe older, maybe slower, maybe little apps, but it is Golden.
  • Ok. We get that FOR YOU, right now, the Lumia 950 offers the best possible experience for your use cases. But lets imagine another scenario. Imagine that, for some reason, you had to buy a new phone today, which you would use for the next 2 years. Would you still choose a Windows Phone?
  • This is a good comment. For example I loved the Elite x3. But am I going to be able to use it for the next 2yrs? Sadly no... So I sold it for almost what I paid 4 months later, now I am using a Note 8. Now I'm not saying everyone should or have to do this but imo a $800 phone should be amazing for a long time, but with Windows Mobile dead its bad to hold on to. Just my opinion :) Also T-mobile is taking $130 off the price of the Note 8 and if you buy from T-mobile Samsung will give you a $200 gift card to anywhere you want! So $330 off is amazing, $600 Note 8 :)
  • Yes i would/will happily. What am i missing besides apps that i don't necessarily use or need? At least support with patches/fixes will still come if there is only one more. Can't complain about High amplitude mics (4), high res screen (oled), dedicated shutter button, camera that still blows away many competitors, windows hello (being faster and more secure than Samsungs or Iphones Face ID, interchangeable back covers, replaceable battery, memory expansion, double tap to wake/sleep, customization, security, and the list goes on. Name one phone that gives you all of that!
  • What am i missing besides apps that i don't necessarily use or need? I thought that too, up until almost a year ago. I didn't take the article as it telling you to switch. If you like the current and future situation of WP, then that's on you. But you have to come to the realization that sooner or later, you're going to be left behind with WP. I never used Android before switching to a GS7, but man, once I did, I couldn't believe I had waited as long as I had. I thought WP was going to turn around, but it's not going to. Saying you're going to stay with WP simply because it works, is like saying you're going to continue using an 8 track player. If you've not used Android, I encourage you to try it out. Give it a whirl. You may find some apps "you don't necessarily need" that offer you some enjoyment.
  • Just ordered an HTC U11 today. Should have it soon, but for the record, I still have a laser disk player hooked up to my TV. It's the only way I can watch the original Star Wars trilogy the way they were released in theaters.
  • Pixel 2
  • Lol. You guys are fighting a losing battle. Look at this dudes name.. He's with Microsoft to the death. He's like my diehard BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 brothers.  I am a BlackBerry user BTW.. But on a BlackBerry KEYᴼᴺᴱ Black Edition so went android too. Having said that.. The keyone is probably the best phone to use Microsoft Office apps. 
  • "Would you still choose a Windows Phone?" For me that's an unequivocal ... YES!
  • yes I'd just buy another a1 condition Lumia 950 from Cex for £140 with a 2-year guarantee.
  • I have a 950, brand new, never been used, in the box. Wanna buy it?
  • " Imagine that, for some reason, you had to buy a new phone today, which you would use for the next 2 years. Would you still choose a Windows Phone? " Very good question poiman, the answer will still evolve around my use case & experience, and I see no reason not to stick with windows in the next 2 years. I would invariably not be different frpm lots of folks that still use their iPhone 4S. Evidently for what they do and use their iPhone 4S for, how accient that phone is not consequential at all. Here is what I do with my 950XL. I read the news, mail (personal and work - both on outlook because my employer uses MSFT cloud), MS Office, I play 5 games total (Solitaire, Candy Crush, Archer Bowling 3D & Township - Note: I am 50+ yrs old.) Wife and I have just 2 bank accounts, 1 of them is our mortgage company, both have Apps that we use (Wife is a traitor, she uses iPhone one of our 3 kids thinks he is just so cool with Galaxy Note, Rest of the clan uses Windows phone), our banks also have Texts we can use to bank and transfer money. Skype, Whatsapp, FB, Map, OneDrive, Photo/Camera, Groove/Spotify, Office Lens, Authenticator, Edge, Skype/Teams for work, MS-Sports, MS-Money, FB-Messanger, Instagram, MS Weather, Netflix, WindowsCentral, MSPoweruser, Winbeta(lauches OnMSFT), Disqus,Tubecast, Scan, Linkedin, Yammer, Twitter (I use Fenice more), Riverbend Church, Bible by HSAP. I have flipboard, but found that if I ever reset or delete it from my phone, I can not get it back and that will be a shame and big loss to my app experience. The list above are apps I use all the time, but the following are what is unique to my current windows phone that I am badly addicted to. I can not imagine using a phone with no Live Tiles. I love these other features; Iris Scanner, full MSFT features integration, Settings UI that is almost like my WIN10 desktop, The 20MP Camera and its rich features, Cortana, Reminder, Family Calendar, Camera button, True Tone Flash. All these represent my experience that any other phone would have to beat, improve upon and or increase for me to be tempted as you put it (in next 2 years) In the next 5 years or 10 might be a different story, I might have graduated to a n awesome FLIP PHONE and use a Windows Tablet like Windows on Arm as my media consumption device.
  • A Galaxy Note 8 would do all those task better if not just because of the pen. Also, most Microsoft apps are better on Android and they will only keep getting better while Microsoft ignores Windows Mobile in the future.
  • I'm with @Microsoftjunkie. I'm actually going buy an idols4s, elitex3 maybe another 950xl just as a back up or when my mom/mom in law's 640/ blue win HD LTE kicks it in work issued me an iPhone 6s, i use it for specialty work apps and i use it on wifi lol, the sim stays in my 950xl. Started using it for some oddball personal apps.... The keyboard sucks though, even with SwiftKey 
  • Swift key is bad on android two. Pretty sure its the same as the Winmobile keyboard. I hvae tried several keyboards. None im thrilled with, but Swipe+ has been the most useable for me. 
  • If you are in the US, the Microsoft Store black friday sale has the Idol 4S for $169.
  • "Buying a Windows phone today is silly and this website would be irresponsible to recommend one." Not true.  I bought a half dozen new Palm Pre phones when they were unloaded in 2011 and am still enjoying my Palm webOS phone.   (cough, cough)
  • Same. The best phone for me is the one I like to use. For right now, it's a Lumia 950XL.
  • Just dont read the article then, the headline was clear enough that this article isnt for ppl like you. if you fine 950 best for your needs its good. While there are others who arent aware of this direction of Ms and keep asking on forums if its a good idea to buy a WP, this article clears such stuff.  
  • I agree with you whole heartly.  I will never buy and iPhone or another Android.  Is that means I have to go back to a flip phone, I will.  I very much dislike the wack-a-mole interface, and lets be real, Androids security is terrible.  With MS coming out with a Surface LTE, I no longer have a reason for have to have a smart phone.  I have no plans on buying one yet, as with you, the Lumia 950 works fine for now.  But I do have options now.
  • While I understand what your saying, hiding from new technology doesn't sound fun imo.
  • You call Android security terrible then say you plan to buy a Windows PC?! I am sure you see the disconnect there. Windows is the most exploited platform in history, and it is actually exploited in real life, not just theoretically. If you were truly worried about security, Windows is the last platform you would use.
  • That was back a decade ago with the XP era. Win7 was getting a little better, but today Windows 10 along with Edge is heads and shoulders above the security concerns of the past. Some of the apps running on Windows are security nightmares such a Flash and Adobe Acrobat being a couple of the worst a couple years ago but things have been pretty good lately. 
  • Androids security is terrible Based on what? I've had an Android phone for the last year and have not had any security issues.
  • Its called a generalization bro. Of course he wasn't trying to tell each individual person what is best for their specific technology situation. But he is right that for most people, most of the time an Android phone is a better Microsoft exprience than any Windows Phone. Get over yourself, it not always about you. 
  • You contradicted yourself. A generalization is a WHOLE, so yes, he did tell "each individual person" what is best for their technological situation.
  • Lumia 950 is not the best phone for you. 
  • It tells you nothing of the sort. What it tells you is that Windows mobile is no longer the best platform for people who want to integrate their phone and PC. Times have (sadly) changed and Microsoft shifted focus to where its customers were going anyway.
  • I hate that too.  I hate Google and Apple equally so I'll stick with my L950.
  • Me too. I bought a Samsung Galaxy S8 and no matter how much I try to make it look and feel like windows 10 mobile it is all in some way Google this and Google that. And the Microsoft Outlook Mail and Calendar apps for Android are not as good and feature rich as my Lumia 950 XL windows 10 mobile. It is a shame that this is suppose to be what replaces the Windows 10 mobile experience. It is not gonna be sufficient and I now realizes why the HP Elite x3 sold out that quickly on the Microsoft website and why the Lumia 950 XL second hand are not super cheap as many still want the real experience instead of the Android with Microsoft make up on,
  • I'll try this on Nokia 9 soon.
  • Why skype on android can't be the dialer/sms app is absolutely confusing. Make it happen skype team!
  • Skype Lite can be the SMS app.  But it's not the best option at the moment.  Texts are buried and I didn't find a way to get toast notifications with it.  
  • they did start to Alpha an app (which was skype) around 6 months ago whcih you used as your default dialer and sms app, but I havent seen anything about it for quite some time now. I did try it at the time and was rather slow.
  • It can't be the dialer, but AFAIK you can set Skype as default to launch for calls and such. Issue there being it won't use your phone, it'll use Skype.
  • Had all the rest but good to know about the Bixby button remapper. Installing it now to use Cortana. On another note, I wouldn't be surprised anymore if Microsoft's mobile device was based on Android, heavily modded to work with Windows 10 (Microsoft launcher, pré installed office apps and OneDrive, lockscreen app, etc) . People wouldn't have a problem buying it because it's Android and they wouldn't be missing any feature or app they might need, and if it has the Surface branding and form factor innovation, it could be a big winner. I think it's the only way for Microsoft to get back in the mobile world.
  • But if you can already do that with your [INSERT_PHONE_HERE], why should they burn money in building hardware which is the reason they abandoned Lumia?
  • Can you provide advice/steps to remap bixby to Cortana?  
  • Download the app mentioned in the post. The rest is fairly simple.
  • The GS8 is a fantastic phone, gotta hand it to Samsung. Been thinking if I should disable packages or not, but still not sure what I like to use the most. For example, Microsoft launcher is nice, but I do also like Samsung's offerings.
  • When (and if) I leave Windows Mobile I'll miss Live Tiles the most.  I have an iPad and iPod and I truly hate the badge icons with numbers.
  • I struggled with that too and no launcher on Android can come with the ease I had on my WP devices.  I have tried square home and another only select apps work with the live tile emulation.  So I stick with Arrow.
  • you can get live tiles on a few android lauchers, I use Launcher 10 and works pretty damn good, I would say even better than my 950.
  • Listen you can always have a W10 device by your side. I have a Galaxy s8+ as my daily device but I have a 1020 by my side. I am also gonna get a 950xl in the future. You won't have to miss w10. You can have both devices at the same time.
  • If only it was possible not to have a damn Google account to use an Android phone.
  • I don't see how much use it would be without the Play store, and you're probably going to be in a world of hurt in other ways, but you could import a phone from China. If it hasn't been fully westernised then it won't need a Google account (you'd have to go through some hoops to get a Google account to work with it). 
  • Amazon tried that. Look what happened there. You need the Play Store. If you don't have it, you have basically nothing. May as well be on Windows mobile.
  • Sorry, Zac. You're just describing how you put lipstick on a pig.  A disgustingly filthy, ugly pig. Do what you want to do, of course.  But I'm not buying.
  • Thing is, this pig has meat on its bones. Windows Pig is getting old and has been sent to the slaughter house, waiting for the inevitable :)
  • While I somewhat agree with your assessment, you will eventually buy... Or be left behind.
  • Lol I can't stop laughing.... Why is that pig statement so funny? 😂
  • We all look forward to the day your phone eventually gives up and you buy an Android phone or an iPhone. Or a Nokia 3310, that'd probably work.
  • Hmm, this was interesting. I'll love to disable some of the Samsung apps. Sounds like this is a workable solution.
  • I tried the package disabler but I think it caused some of the weird issues I was having (freezing, missing features, etc). The GS8 will automatically "shut off" any application you do not use and not allow it to run in the background. My phone is working much better since I factory reset it and let it handle all that stuff automatically.
  • Noted. I'll leave good enough alone then.
  • This is because Zac is an idiot, you can not disable Samsung's services only if you have a root device. What package disabler does is turns them off and the system immediately returns them and then again turns them off and the system returns them again, this process happens in the background endlessly while compromising performance and battery. 
  • I did say in the article that I do not recommend using package disablers...
  • "Shut off" is not good enough. I want them GONE and not talking up storage space. I could remove anything I wanted to on my Lumia 950XL.
  • MS serves other companies as usual, will they serve MS??
  • MS serves MS by getting its services on every platform available. The platform itself, simply doesn't matter anymore
  • But MS mobile platform is dying day by day.
    Aren't they pushing us to buy an Android/iOS phone?
  • Yes. Microsoft is pushing us to buy an Android or iOS phone while trying to keep customers via the same or similar services and apps they have made available for iOS and Android. My advice is to use whatever phone or platform that fits your individual needs.
  • I don't want to leave Lumia but MS doesn't want their mobile OS nurture.
    At present time, i don't need a smartphone except my Bricked Lumia.
    I'm also want to change my primary phone. Win8.1m have more apps than the w10m.
    But most of developers aren't getting much money/interest to keep their cross platform (fb, insta etc.) apps update simultaneously.
    And the other w8.1m loyal devs/users had left Lumia phone. Win Phone can do anything because most of DESKTOP users are totally dependent on MS Windows.
  • What app did you do to disable services and a list of items disabled?  In addition Samsung Pay is nice but I agree on the other items.  bxbactions is nice but I find Bixby is maturing and if I need to launch cortana I let bixby do it ( I know horrid).  But reason I deal with Bixby is passive listening if MS ever brings it back to Cortana on Android I will switch.    In addition I found that install MS email accounts work better if done from the outlook app instead of Samsung Cloud like reps try to get you to do in store.  I have reset my phone and batter life is really good compared to before.  And after trying Oreo when it is ready the speed will be close to a WP speed. 
  • Android allows you to disable stuff you don't want to use as a built-in feature. However, you should always be careful because if you just go in all guns blazing and disable everything Google, you're gonna have a bad time. There are things you need to keep running for the phone to operate. On my phone I've disabled Hangouts, Play Music and such because I'll never use it and I don't want to see it. Corporate Google Apps email address is added to Outlook so no need to use Gmail, Cortana replaces Google Assistant, Microsoft Launcher out front. Nice experience.
  • It's a shame that the Microsoft Launcher is still beta-ish. I loose apps from folders on my home screen when I reboot, so I need to restore my layout pretty frequently. I also see sluggishness, so it still needs performance work. When I switch to another launcher, it clears up. Just can't use it as my main launcher, so I've been using Nova instead...
  • Are you really surprised this happens?  We are talking about a consumer focused product from the Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Team!  Of course it will have problems!  MSFT does not get the consumer on any platform! The other crazy to the rest of the world thing is that the MSFT is crowing about a launcher app that many Android developers publish for free so that they can build their resume.  But that makes total sense in the Massively Screwed-up dys-Functional Teams world!
  • Yeah, half-hearted attempts don't count for much...
  • Use launcher 10 mate. Pay for it and be rewarded with windows like experiece. Use custom icons and get nice clean start screen...
  • yup Laucher 10 which i use on my note 8, paid for the extras and this thing works better than the native windows mobile on my 950.
  • If there is one thing I miss more than ANYTHING about using a windows phone is the fact that when connected via bluetooth Cortana tells me when i get a text and asks me what actions i would like to perform. I have yet to find such a feature with Andriod's Cortana version or any setting at all. Does anyone have any ideas? Zac?????? Please help me really truely love my android phone as that is really what i miss most. 
  • I love this, too. And Glance. And Hey Cortana. And setting location reminders. All of which you can't have on Android (that's my understanding anyway).
  • You will need to use native services for those features.
  • Glance screen is available on android. You need oled display and download always on display or how it is called.
  • You don't need an OLED display at all. Razer Phone has an LCD display and it has an always on display built into the phone. Misinformation is not your friend.
  • The closest you're going to find is Android Auto.
  • Android Auto doesn't work with my X5. We have a S8+ and a S8, no luck. 
  • The Cortana experience on Android is horrible.
  • I agree. It is a mess on my GS7 Edge and Note 8. Cortan isn't respove, the app UI crashes and if jittery and half the time, Cortan doesn't seem to listen or takes a long time to listen. Setting reminders isn't as reliable and the UI is a huge, colorful step back from the simple, yet effective Windows 10 Mobile Cortana UI. Cortana on Android is so bad in my use cases that I have resorted to using Bixby. True story. Leveling up via Bixby, I have almost reached my next $20 gift card in Samsung Pay.
  • Try the SquareHome 2 launcher! It replicates a lot of the live tile functionality, has cool 3D effects and is extremely customizable. It's $4, and worth it. There's a 2 week trial so you don't have to go all-in. I love it...
  • I bought it too, not because I needed the extra options because I wanted to support the developer on a doing such an amazing job!
  • Once I'm able to make cellular calls or send SMS texts from a dedicated app on my PC Maybe not for calls, but what's so bad about using Cortana to send texts?
  • @Zac, you can use Samsungs sidesync app to get sms/calls to-fro from your PC, it replicates entire phone on PC so every task can be accomplished on PC while your phone can be resting on the wireless charger some place away.
  • Samsung's most underrated app and the one I used the most on my GS7. Barely touched the phone during the day.
  • Capital B and a Capital S
  • can you reprogram the bix button to be a camera button like the windows phones had?
  • You can set the power button to launch the camera. Once set, you quickly press the power button twice and the camera launches from any state. It is close to what I had on my lumias
  • Launcher 10 has live tiles and if you want the full Windows desktop package then use Computer Launcher or Desktop Launcher. They just keep getting better.
  • Slack Zac? You know MS Teams is the way forward ;)
  • I disagree with this. Teams' interface gets in your way more and notifications are far more frustrating than with Slack, especially on mobile. Teams does have a couple of neat tricks with GIFs and memes and such, but overall the information architecture is not as well planned in my opinion. More work to use.
  • Hey Zac have you tried the paid version of Launcher 10 yet? It's really cool for the live tiles that you're missing... Check out a screenshot below:   https://forums.windowscentral.com/showthread.php?t=464799&p=3714732&view...  
  • This post (like many other in WC) are clickbait post. Don't reply anything, and don't read it. For reading news about Android and iOS, you cand find many better sites. The more you write and read here, the more WC win with adverstising and they don't even bother to write about Windows' things.
  • Thanks for replying!
  • Square Home 2 does a better job and is more customizable.. Here on a note 8 https://1drv.ms/i/s!AjQy7pYmnZMzs-hm_aijirrp8hqSBg https://1drv.ms/i/s!AjQy7pYmnZMzs-hnbKLRzddHIv7Dkw
  • Square Home 2 is the real deal. However your icon pack and the rounded tiles look terrible.
  • 1st the icon pack you speak of are the default icons.. as far as the rounded corners and a preference and to me look alot better than the square look of the windows live tiles but that is my preference and you are entitled to your own oppion as to what you would do, however people who see me phone all love the look some being windows phone fans...
  • I would say Launcher 10 gives you a much better windows mobile experience.
  • i have tried launcher 10 and its is not as good also squarehome 2 can do alot more and yes it also can look exactly like windows mobile with both full screen background and tiled however i prefer to stylize as i always felt windows mobile was too conservative for me.. and yes this is my personal opnion..
  • Hell no. The moment I switch to Android as the daily driver, I will also move away from any Microsoft service just out of spite. Will also cancel Office365 and will never subscribe to anything Microsoft again. 
  • That's just silly. Switch to what Google? Have you read there terms of service, basically they can read anything you create and use as they see fit.
  • Enjoy using Google apps then. They're not a patch on Office. But you have a jolly old time.
  • It is not the Microsoft services.  It is the WP UI experiences!
  • Which were a flop and have now been killed as a result. Microsoft can't move away from WP experiences fast enough.
  • Have you read the article? Let me quote it for you. "Things such as Microsoft's own Android Launcher, Edge, Cortana, Outlook and OneDrive bring all the features and functions I need out of the Windows experience on my phone." There are no live tiles, so which UI experience are you talking about exactly? Microsoft's launcher on Android together with all the MS apps look and feel nothing like W10M. There isn't even a dark theme for Outlook. 
  • I have the S8+ with AT&T. While I have loaded the Microsoft experiences, I still find some items frustrating. The hardare is really nice but I still find the OS lacking for my needs and still don't feel confident I know when emails, messages and calls are missed. I am still learning so it may be a case of not understanding the device or configurations yet as I am only two weeks in. Here are my initial issues. 1. Need Glance. The Samsung version is nearly useless as it does not allow you to choose what apps you want notifications nor does it show next appointment unless you double tap and swipe for it. Instead you get useless icons on your screen that say nothing. 2. Also unless you use the built in calendar and contacts app in addition to outlook, the phone OS does not acknowledge Outlook as the default Calendar, contacts, etc. If you don't use and sync them as well then the phone will not display your contacts and will say you have no appointments. 3. The phone app icon from the samsung app does not show any indication of missed calls or voicemail when pinned to the home page. I have to open it to see what I have missed or click on the voicemail icon to see if anything is on the visual voicemail page. I truly hope Microsoft develops something to replace the Samsung Dialer and contacts list. 4. Widgets are just not as good as tiles 5. Since I have to run multiple email programs because of the issues mentioned above, I get multiple chimes for the same incoming email/appointment reminders and such and not yet figured out how to disable. Plus since I have multiple email programs sync so I am sure I am suffering more battery drain and storage issues. Also since the OS is open, there is no one true support site like I had with Microsoft. For the first time in my life, I feel like an old man baffled with technology and this is not a fun feeling. I will say a major positive is having real apps and not the half baked apps that were way behind iOS/Android. So that is a plus...
  • Maybe it is time to drop Microsoft services as well. There are much better ones available on Android that would work better.
  • To be honest you may be right. If the integration is this poor, I may have to abandon the M Launcher and just use the gmail email and calendar program. I am too embedded in Microsoft services to jump because my company and my home are all based in those programs. But I may just kill outlook and run with the embedded experiences since they seem to play well with exchange and live mail etc. I miss the integration of just plugging in my live credentials and everything just working. Now I have to setup photo backup with onedrive, my phone config with samsung backup, and all the other programs. Also frustrating that Facebook does not sync with the contact list so I now have a lot of just phone numbers in my contacts that used to sync with Facebook. Miss the sync profile pics as well. Honestly had Microsoft issued their phone before Android and had the app experience first, I think it would be Droid that would be headed for the scrap heap. While being open source, it just is not as clean and polished and integrated like WP. 
  • I don't think it mattered when Microsoft launched Windows phones. They are too locked down and too hostile towards carriers and manufacturers. It would have been a tough fight either way. Not fixing these major issues after killing WP7 was a huge mistake. Doubling down on a failure doesn't make sense.
  • May I suggest the Sync Me app? It works wonders in keeping your FB contacts synced with your contact list. It even does profile pictures!
  • Wow thank you! I will check it out!
  • I looked at this but the description is caller ID and call blocker. Are you sure that Sync me is the correct name?  
  • I'm there with you...I got the LGv30 and I can't tell you how many times I've thought I had it figured out but only to find out I don't. The hardware feels good especially the Hifi DAC but other than that nothing else surprises. I am still missing that video background playback. 
  • Agree.. .Microsoft just needs to get more integration solidified and then give users the option to turn off the Android crap.  It is crazy when adding an appointment and Cortana sticks into the Local calendar.
  • Huh....how is integration with Android, a microsoft issue?  In the article, Zac blows over the core functions area.  But another responder quite clearly pointed out, there are things you can't turn off or replace.  Period.  Until that is offered...there will be integrations, by anyone, that simply can't and won't happen.   When Microsoft blocked so many things, years ago, it was decided it was monopolistic.  In many cases, rightfully so.  When others do similar things, apparently its the cost of doing business.  How long has it taken, Apple and Google to get to this state with their OS and devices.  they have locked their core services.  Microsoft locked the core servers on their mobile devices.  Its what maintains the status quo on those devices....the ability to control and dictate core funcitons in their software.  You either line up and use it as is, or you try to figure out a way for the 3rd party software to alter the experience. In this case, IMO, you need to ask Google why they will not allow alterations to the core services, and not ask Microsoft why they are not replacing Google core services.  Just my thoughts....
  • you can get notifications / live tiles if you use squarehome 2
  • thake a look at this image  https://1drv.ms/i/s!AjQy7pYmnZMzs-xgR7qfgRUkOvz_eQ  
  • I use Google everything so I don't relate to your problems except #2. I use Exchange for my work mail and used Outlook for a while. But it irritated me no end, that the calendar is not integrated with the default calendar. So if there's a conflict between a personal meeting and a work meeting it's not easily obvious without looking at 2 different widgets. I finally just dumped Outlook and switched to AquaMail. Much better than the Outlook app.
  • You need to make Outlook the default for email, calendar, and contacts in Android. Once you do that, #2 and 5 should go away. You should also remove the accounts you set up in each of the apps you don't want to use (Gmail, Samsung Mail). As long as the mail programs have the accounts set up, they will continue to check, and send notifications.
  • Is this guy really using MS apps or just trying to sell S8?
    Most of MS apps are horrible. Cortana was waking me up every morning at 8am even on weekends (had to uninstall). Outlook barely has features (using Nine). MS launcher is good idea poorly executed (using stock). I also tried Edge, it's full of bugs (ok, still early development). Office apps are decent and OneDrive.
    MS more and more feels like a startup company producing beta software.
  • True also with Windows 10 and Office 2016. Both feel like beta to me. Very disappointed.
  • I find issues with Cortana - especially coming from a place where she is so well integrated in Windows/WM.    Regarding her waking you up... "Hey Cortana, remove my 8 am alarm" will work.  The thing that makes this odd or a common issue is that she tends to use the GMail/Local calendar instead of the Outlook Calendar.    (So if you ever set the Alarm, she probably added it locally, and then the Local Calendar or Alarm App itself didn't turn it off.)
  • There's ONE known (and long lived) bug on the Outlook app on Android that keeps me from going back to the Microsoft ecosystem. It's that dumb. I use Gmail to send and receive from and to 4 different email addresses (including my outlook.com and gmail.com addresses). I can also do that on outlook.com and it works from outlook.com and the Windows 10 app but not the Android app which only shows Microsoft addresses and aliases. The techs told me it's a bug being worked on but as long as it's there, I'm not switching ecosystems... which is a shame because I would very much like to. Now I know I could use Gmail and be on the Microsoft ecosystem for the rest but right now I have all my stuff in one place. So that's how it's going to be until Microsoft gets their act together. 
  • I'm thinking about doing something I like this.  I just got a Pixel 2.  LOVE the camera but was really thinking that Assistant would just be better than Cortana.  Like just flat out better.  Let me tell you, as far as reminders, geofencing, tracking packages and setting appointments it is NOT.  Which is a little embarassing in my opinion.  Come on google, you can't even maintain parity with MS on this one? jebus. 
  • Ya, that is also a bit of irony, as Cortana truly is an 'assistant' that really can and does things for users- where Google Now/Assistant are fancy voice web search technologies with a few side tricks.   I use Cortana a lot more than average, but I think that is really sad.   I have either bluetooth, built-in Mics or $5 USB microphones in all desktop devices and invoke her to send emails, texts, respond to them, add things to remember for me, create content of information for me - all while I am walking around my office or doing other things.  Then when sitting at a desktop or using my phone in a place voice isn't an option, I am so used to just typing and having her do what I ask. Hit Windows Key and start typing:  "Remember that my neighbor's dog name is Spot"  then when pulling up in my car, hit bluetooth or say "Hey Cortana" and ask - "What is my neighbor's dog name?" (Which is a data storage feature that Microsoft doesn't even tell users about.  (Names are something I mentally throw away, and Cortana saves me more than I would like to admit.) Also the fact this information travels with me on any device is kind of important and a bit cool as it is free form information storage that just works.
  • Android is still android no matter how you dress it. There are some things that I like and somethings that I don't. 
  • Yep, and even with all the UI and App changes you make, it doesn't fix the OS model issues of Android that are an array of really bad designs that is highly not-secure, has instability, poor performance, and a rather long list of things from allowing runaway processes/Apps to even how Memory is managed and the risk of losing data from Apps - things that do not exist in the Win10/WM world.  It is also a bit sad that a 'mobile OS' requires more RAM than the desktop version of Windows 10 for plausible performance. This is why Microsoft really needs to go back to the Android Subsystem project from WM10, and release a better Android than Android - that is effectively running Windows - but still lets users change the launcher/shell, while keeping Android Apps managed by the OS in ways that Android simply does not and cannot do.  Testing shows that most Android software would even run faster due to NT kernel sitting under it with better scheduling and access to drivers that are far more optimized.   There are a LOT OF ANDROID FANS that would love a more secure, more stable and faster device that lets them run all their Android Apps - and they can even ignore the user level features of Windows that Android doesn't offer, or offer well. I am amazed almost daily in inconsistencies in base Android and Google made software for Android - It is just beyond amazing that so many people that never used Windows Phone/Mobile have no idea how much harder and how clunky things are in Android.  Just yesterday, was helping a friend with Google Cardboard - and the UI is not only really bad in the VR Apps, especially without an external controller, but even the launcher itself locks and doesn't rotate to display properly in landscape - which is a WTH moment. (So even with things that have an interesting or clever idea behind them are implemented like a CS 101 student that hasn't had a simple design or UI/UX class.)
  • That's why I still have some small bit of hope they do release a courier type device with telephony using Windows on Arm.  Just install bluestacks and run whatever Android apps you want.
  • talking about stability, secure in the same setence with Windows is a JOKE
  • ^^  Well said, Net Avenger...
  • I'm personally still disappointed the Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition didn't have a special feature of letting you have Cortana instead of Bixby. But I guess that was a bridge too far considering they didn't even have the Microsoft apps pre-installed on mine. The set up described in this article (identical to my set up) should have been the out of box experience on the Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition.
  • There is an SMS app from Microsoft available in Play Store. It is called 'SMS Organiser'. I am currently using it as my default SMS app and it's way better than the default SMS app Samsung offers. It also has reminder functions and the best of all it categorises the kind of SMS you get under different tabs. Here's the Play Store link - https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.anrdoezrs.net%2F...
  • I would love to use it but currently play store is tell me it's not available in my country...you would think it work in the US...oh well. 
  • I found it in the U.S. Play Store...just search for it intead of following the link.
  • Where?!? Lol Seriously, not finding it, but based on the description from the Indian link, I want!
  • is only available for folk living in India. Would love to get this app but is region locked and requires an Indian mobile number to activate.
  • except its not widely available.  As an MS Garage project...its most likely only available in a few markets
  • I need microsoft maps. I like to manage my favorites via pc with bing/maps and then using them in maps of mobile maps.
    Or is it easy to import the favorites in Here we go?
  • This is kind of a big thing, and surprising it isn't available.  The thing the industry and even some groups at Microsoft don't seem to realize is the Navigational features of Windows Map, and when used with Cortana, have always put Google Maps to shame for Navigation.  Windows Maps has offered full offline line mapping and navigation for years and by using Cortana, the idea of having to tap or look at the phone is not necessary and seems so dated.
     
  • You can download Google Maps data for offline use. Unfortunately you can't select a whole state with a single tap. You fit the area you want to download in the window they give you and tap download. You can also name it if you want. I guess the idea is you can have a smaller file size and only get what you need, but I'm one of those people that wants the full state and doesn't want to shuffle a window around repeatedly just to download a large area. An option to download the map data for a particular route would be awesome. You don't have to tap or look at your phone to use the Google Maps. You can use Bixby, Cortana, or OK Google to have it get you directions just by talking to your device. I haven't found a way to export Bing Maps favorites to Google Maps, but you could open 2 browser windows, open the locations in Bing, and transfer them manually into Google. It's not ideal and could take time, but it would be a solution.
  • The problem with Samsung, shared by Windows 10 itself, is the pre-installation of crapware on the platform. Samsung literally fill their devices with programs that Android already has or software you don't need. It reduces the performance and confuses the interface.  I suppose this is a testament to the success of the platform. It is precisely the dominance of a platform that pushes corporations to put crapware on devices. Windowsphone remained largely free of crapware you could not uninstall which highlights the poor sales. Of course there was plenty of complete dross in the Store!  
  • I agree a 'bit'... Part of the disconnect is that Samsung's versions are often designed around specific features in the hardware that enable more features for things like the Pen on the Note 8 and taking advantage of deeper camera features than the base Android Apps offer.   There are also some base Android Apps that are really awful - and have been forever and seem to mainly get worse, and with a lot of things I truly hate on base Android - Samsung replaces these Apps, and they are truly better. There are other 'little' things that are superfluous and 'crazy making'  - which are probably the things you are noticing as well, but those can be replaced or removed.
     
  • I have been able to uninstall or disable any apps that I don't want on my S8+. Sure it's not ideal coming from a 950XL that had only a couple games I didn't want, but it's a one time inconvenience.
  • I tried out a Samsung J5 prime for a week. I downloaded all the Microsoft apps and MSN weather and Edge. I also downloaded Swiftkey and had pretty much the same setup on my windows phone. I switched back to my windows phone I couldn't go without the live tiles and could at least read the screen in sun light. The Samsung screen was just dark in the sunlight couldn't read anything.
  • we know that for at least year or two, that best icrosoft experience is gone on another platforms. You should mainly inform Jason.
  • I am a lifelong user and fan of MS services and devices. I made the switch from Lumia to Galaxy S8+ about 3 months ago and I have to say, I am enjoying it! The phone is stunning and I get great battery life. I have disabled or swapped all Android services and have installed MS apps in their place. Again, I am really enjoying the MS apps on Android, they are smooth and have great UI. The one thing I am missing is an SMS app from Microsoft. The one they have produced is only available in India? For such a long time, I said I would never swap my Windows Phone but I think MS made that decision for me. Personally, I have not regretted the move as I still use the MS services that I am invested in.
  • Check out Textra for SMS. The free version has ads on the bottom, the pay version removes them for $2 or so.
  • Same boat. But Microsoft Launcher keeps on crashing on my S8+. Sans that, I'm all in on Microsoft on this Samsung device.
  • Until I can have a tiled interface on something other than Windows phone, I'll stick with Windows phone. I'm not that much into the Microsoft ecosystem, so having better Microsoft apps on Android ia not something that will make me switch. Give me tiles, Driving Mode, Windows phone keyboard with the blue dot to move the cursor, Quiet Mode.
  • Also dark mode...
  • you mean something like this? Andriod already has it and in some ways the live tiles on this launcher are beter than windows phone they are deffently more customazible... https://1drv.ms/i/s!AjQy7pYmnZMzs-xgR7qfgRUkOvz_eQ  
  • I installed a launcher called SquareHome 2 and got the look and feel of the Windows Phone (tiles) on my Nokia 6. It's a little fiddly but there are live tiles for contacts and photos so much of it replicates my 950XL almost perfectly.
  • I tried SH2, but the way it handles the folders was terrible. I don't need full size apps in each folder. I couldn't get the apps small enough to keep the folder from being so huge and filing up my Home screen.
  • Sorry, I don't think this cuts it. Is Cortana even available outside US English? Not remotely close to what I can do with Windows.
  • My kids have the S8 and love them. Personally I'm not a huge fan, can't get over the weird shape, they feel to narrow and I always feel like I have to squeeze it so I don't drop it and shatter that glass back and screen.
  • The back glass on S8 not only shatters on drops, but also is prone to finger prints and palm sweating....
  • Cortana in the Car, is horrible on Android..
    How does anyone get around that? I have the S7 and it wont work..never has..I complained to Microsoft..but deaf ears, just like the missing Badge for unread messages on outlook for Androud
  • Cortana on Android is not going to be as good as it is in WP. I just wrote it off, as much as I like Cortana. That is probably my most missed feature. Other than that, I use Android Auto and Waze.
  • Microsoft needs a company dedicated to customization jobs like Shelby did for the Ford Mustang. Take all these tasks to convert an/any Android phone into a "Microsoft" phone and charge a premium on top of it. I'm sure all it would take is some scripting and packaging but I just don't have the time to come up with it all. May be interested in angel investing if anyone wants to give it a go ;-)
  • The ONE thing keeping me from switching to Android at this point is the fact that the Groove app doesn't support local files. This may seem trivial to most people but I have a huge music collection (50+GB) that I listen to for hours a day. It's the number one thing I use my phone for. After the nightmare of Xbox Music, I came to love Groove and have not found any other app that offers its features, i.e. seamlessly syncing my many playlists of local content across mobile, desktop, and Xbox. If Microsoft at last updated the Groove app on Android to support local files, I would switch immediately. That said, I know I may be waiting a long time (maybe forever)...
  • It supports local files, but only from your internal memory (not your SD Card)
  • Is not about the phone and it's not about their services, is about the system, i believe that android is impractical, and windows is more simple and fast!
  • Android IS ******* A W F U L.
  • How about an article that details or answers questions for WM users on how to get XYZ feature on Android via ABC App or various settings. (You guys have better access than users to people running Android coming from WM and even people at Microsoft that could use the questions to help fill in gaps they currently have that are important to users.)  
  • Bkarghlgrrrghllllish....
  • Hi
  • Does the outlook people list integrate with android for GPS, calling, texts etc.?
  • Yes for calling and texting. Not sure about GPS.
  • Amen. Special kind of idiot to try to tell you what's best for you, or what you do, or do not like.
  • For Android don't bother with edge as primary browser. It's just beta test that isn't useful at all. For primary look for Samsung Internet. It has a ton of features and extension support = ad blocking! Check this out guys. Hands down the best mobile browser...
  • The Windows Mobile feature that I haven't been able to replicate on either of my Samsungs is the comprehensive outlook mail experience, particularly with our Exchange Mail accounts.   I've tried all of the leading Android Mail clients, including Outlook for Android, and I just can't get all the functions I had with my HP Elite x3, can't get the conversation-threading to display and sequence properly.  So I keep my back up HP Elite x3 on wifi as a backup and it's like night and day how much better it handles email.    I do like the Microsoft Android Launcher better than the rest, even though the Nova Launcher is more customizable.   Overall, things are definately moving in the right direction, with Edge and OneDrive really impressive.  Now if I could find a way to strip out all the rest of the Android Bloat and Rot!     
  • X3. Rules.
  • Great article. But why would you disable Samsung Pay? That is the single most brilliant feature of a Samsung phone.
  • Couple it with the Gear S3 and it is the shizz nickle
  • Because of the same reason he plagued his new phone with Microcrap apps and services: he is a fanboy. Messing up a S8 with Ms crap is so dumb
  • I'll tell you what I like; dual sim cards, expandable SD card memory, wireless charging, removable battery, and good camera.  Anyone know of a Sammy or other Android that has all this?
  • Most Android phones now are IP67/68, so you won't see the removable battery. They also tend to have either Qualcomm Quick Charge or a proprietary version of fast charging. Both make wireless charging obsolete. In the time it takes to shower and get ready for work, your phone gets a full days charge. But I agree, your 950 is still a great phone. Wish mine didn't die.
  • I don't know which smartphone i'll use after my actual Lumia 650, i just hope i won't have to switch to android cause the system although we'll connected to apps and services is just horrible.
  • Stop trying to sell me on MS with Android.... If I move to Android - I dump EVERTHING MS.  Why not discuss in this forum why Google Search, Gmail, Docs, Drive, etc is better for Android user as well?  How about on a Chromebook?  Anyone?  Is Android better with a Google Ecosystem or MS Ecosystem? There is not 'must have app' that MS provides. What I would like to hear about is build quality - is the S8 a tough phone like Nokia products. My Desktop at home is for gaming, at work - for work.  Work also uses Iphones....    
  • Google is better for Android the same way Microsoft is better for Windows. There is cross-functionality between the two, but it really leaves you with a "cross platform feeling". You can tell that each side optimized everything for their side, but made concessions so it will "work" with the other guy's stuff. It is very much like the Apple/Microsoft problems iPhone Windows users face, just with less animosity between the companies. If you use a Microsoft email account (Outlook, Hotmail, Live) then you will want to use the Outlook app on Andorid for that, and the Gmail app for Gmail. While both can connect to the other guys service, they also have a long history of breaking the connectivity between the app and the other service. Chromebook is a waste of money unless you want a young child to "have a computer". Chrome OS is a browser based operating system. Think of it as IE or Edge as your entire operating system. Everything you do is done in IE/Edge. You would be better off with an Android tablet. Android kind of requires you to "use" their stuff. Take contacts as an example. You are coming from Microsoft-land to Google-land. Your contacts are stored in Outlook.com (People). You can import them into Google contacts, but now you have two separate lists. If you change a phone number on Outlook, it won't change on Google. Some programs like Nine (third party Android email app) hot-sync the contacts for you. So you use Nine as your email client and it runs on the Microsoft side, then syncs everything with the Google side. This is important because non-Microsoft apps will look to Google Contacts for contact information (i.e. texting app, phone dialer etc.). Supposedly, Android Oreo addresses this, but I cannot install it yet to test. It does it by allowing you to make a default app choice. Again, I can't say how well it works because my phone does not support that OS yet. The other big problem on Android is security. If you buy a Pixel or Nexus phone, you will get security updates as soon as Android finishes them. If you are on any other phone, that time frame goes from weeks, to months, to never. It all depends on how quickly the phone manufacturer comes out with their version of that security update, if they decide to do one at all. Skipping an update is not uncommon where you will get every other one. Android really is the wild west all over again.
  • Not exactly true, look how long it is taking google to put out the patch for KRACK on the new pixel phones. "We also have a bit of news: the KRACK vulnerability won't be patched on Google-branded devices until December. That's right, Pixel and Nexus owners will have to survive a whole extra month being vulnerable to KRAC." https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/11/pixel-wont-get-krack-fix-until-december-but-is-that-really-a-big-deal/
  • No, it's not really a big deal.   The whole KRACK thing was way overblown.  Loads of iOS devices aren't getting a fix either, because it's only fixed in iOS 11.   10.3.3 remains unfixed.   Krack is only an issue for wifi clients.   It cannot be exploited remotely by random people on the internet, attacking your router IP address.   So it would be your neighbors - or whoever is in range of your wifi signal - who could use it.  They could then get your router password and connect to your LAN.   Wifi Routers are only vulnerable if they connect to another router AS A CLIENT.   IOW, 2 routers in bridge mode.  Again, an attacker needs to be in range of your wifi signal.   Normal home use, the router is immune.  
  • My point was that whenever a security update for Android is available, it goes to the Google devices immediately. The update for KRAC, for whatever reason, did not make it into the November update. The Nov. update was sent out to the Pixel/Nexus devices though. Almost no one else running Android has the Nov. update yet. My OnePlus 3T just recently got the August update.
  • Google is better for Android the same way Microsoft is better for Windows. Exactly. Example, Google Keep. I can make an entry on my phone, open it on my tablet in Chrome and see the entry. I understand a lot of people liking WP, but until they try Android, they're not going to know what they're missing.
  • I use both, and Android blows.
  • If Microsoft could make Cortana work the way it  did on my WPs, I'd be so happy. 
  • Jumping into the fray, I think what the author is merely trying to do is to distinguish between MSFT lovers and Windows Phone lovers. If you fall into the former group, then Android/iOS phones loaded with Microsoft apps meet the bill. If you are the latter, he is pointing out that you are probably being ill served by your choice, but it IS your choice. That said, remember that while MSFT is more or less abandoning Windows 10 Mobile, it is working on making Windows 10 a scalable OS, which will work on any form factor, using only the software components the particular form factor requires to operate properly and provide a good user experience. If that indeed happens, together with UWP apps, there will be little distinction between Windows 10 on the desktop, tablet and smaller devices such as phones or phablets. Without pulling "Andromeda" out of my derriere, this seems to me to be the long game. So, in the end, what I imagine happening is MSFT is betting that by putting its apps across Android and iOS, users will be so enamoured with them that when they are complete with their new CoreOS, it will be a no brainer to get people onto MSFT devices, for the simple reason that integration will perfect and total.
  • You might want to try out Launcher 10 or Square Home 2 launcher, you can almost get that live tile feel that you can't get with the Microsoft launcher.
  • What about Microsoft MAPS? I am really attached to that app on my phone and use it a lot. When I have to leave my 950 behind, I want to take the Maps app with me. Any word on that?
  • Google Maps works great. Waze is also another good option.
  • Just don't leave your 950. No need. WM rules.
  • Isn't Skype the app you'd use "to make cellular calls or send SMS texts from a dedicated app on my PC and phone that sync that data across devices?"
  • Can Skype send texts to phone numbers?   I don't think it can, at least I don't see a way to do it.  It appears to be between skype users only.   I use TextNow.  Been using it for years.  You can text to any phone number.  It's available on everything, including Windows desktop.  
  • On the phone, click your name at the top left and choose Settings.  Scroll down and enable SMS.  I haven't tried it (I can barely tolerate that phone app), but I'm told you can set Skype as your default for SMS and use it to send texts to phones.  And that once you set it up on the phone, it'll work from the PC as well.  Again, haven't tried it, so YMMV.
  • Ah, thanks.   I see it now.   Also, not many people realize that you can also just use Outlook (or whatever mail app you use).   There is nothing magical about texts.  They are basically just emails.   For example, if your carrier is AT&T, you can send an email to yourphonenumber@mms.att.net and it will appear as a text on your phone.   There is a list for every phone carrier in the world, that has the email address to send to.  It is always phonenumber@whatever.com or .net.    
  • I switched from my Lumia 950 XL to a Galaxy S8+ 3 months ago. It's the worst phone I've ever had, Android sucks and having all the Microsoft Services on the S8+ doesn't make it better. I'm now trying to sell it and go back to my Lumia.
  • I find that hard to believe. I switched to a S7 almost a year ago and it blows my Icon out of the water.
  • Right on brother. I just ordered a 950! Android just sux botox. I mean, it's just butt ugly, boring, stagnant with mosquitoes hanging around. It's like a cheap hooker without the happy ending. Android, and Zac's attempt to convince himself are a joke.
  •   Sorry Zac, this is the ultimate windows phone on android 😁
  • One thing that I added to make my android even more Microsoft-esque is a launcher called Launcher 10. Does a very good job of replicating the home screen of a Windows 10 Mobile phone, including the all apps screen, resizeable tiles, live tiles, app folders, etc. Really makes feel like I'm using a phone running on Windows. I'd post a screen shot but Windows Central does let us on comments. Its like $2 to unlock certain features (like live tiles), but I found that $2 well spent.
  • Thankyou for this.  Love my Lumia 950, but when contract is over I have to replace it with iOS or Android as apps I need for work will no longer be supported on W10 mobile.  I'm currently leaning to Android and S8/S8+/Note 8 because I still cannot be swayed by the Apple system of everything thru iTunes AND that interface!  
  • I'm sorry, but i WILL be waiting for the sms and phone integration first, the stock android and ios animations and what not are the pits and some apps developers still only wanna ride Google and apples poles anyway, they DISGUST me... 😒
  • Textra is a pretty good texting app on Android. Still can't find a decent dialer though. Also, Nine for email.
  • As an owner of an S8+ I would love to bring it into the MS family. A How-To would have been nice. Programing my Bixby button to Cortana now....
  • Microsoft needs to make the following apps for Android
    1. Maps
    2. Contacts
    3. Pictures /gallery
    4. Movies&tv (chromecast supported)
  • Does the Razer phone use the Chrome engine as well?
  • Hi Zac
    I would appreciate a more detailed guide to set up an Android Phone (could be a Samsung Galaxy S8) as a Microsoft device and also a video review of what it is like to use Microsoft services on an Android device.  For example, using first or third SMS apps, Outlook People sync, etc.
    Thanks!
  • I totally agree with Andrew. Everyone can figure out installing apps, that's not hard. It's the settings in Android and the apps that will make or break how the phone performs. Also, getting everything to sync reliably and frequently.
  • it's still very sad that Microsoft killed a great phone OS. And for what? For someone to get a laugh out of watching people who love W10M cling onto small bits and pieces of what was a great (and secure) OS & ecosystem? Sorry way to run a business.
  • S u r e... Can't wait to corrupt my android with outdated software that will brick my phone and end up costing double for tech support from Windows. 
  • Microsoft garages has an incredibly promising sms app, unfortunately its not available in the us.  Come to think of it, wonder how hard is would be for Microsoft to port their Windows mobile Phone app to Androis and iOS? 
  • II think it is a smart strategy on Microsoft's part to make their products available on any platform.  I don't like locked down ecosystems hence I'm not an Apple fan.  If I buy the hardware I can do whatever I want with it from a software point of view.  I like something I can use on windows or linux or Android or chrome OS.  If word or powerpoint or excel available on any platfrom then Microsoft stands to win.
  • You miss the point completely Jack!
  • What wallpaper is that?
  • The microsoft launcher is no good, everyone really needs to use Square2 Home.  It's so much like windows metro it's scary, and it even has a couple of features I wish WP10 had (long press tiles and lock home screen tiles).  
  • My 6P is pretty much a Windows phone with all the Google goodness.
  • Zac, I'm so glad about your new phone. I think it would be best for you to start writing for android central now because I really don't care about your Android experience.  I have Lumia 950 and  Cortana integrated into the system so you should realize that it won't be and it's not the same experience to have Windows 10 mobile or Windows 10 on all devices vs. have  "android phone with Microsoft launcher missing live tiles, SMS, etc. " It will never be the same experience, not with Redstone 4 or 5. - you should remember that.
  • The strategy of Microsoft is not to lose the consumers but to get the Android and iOS consumers to consider the  Windows 10 platform as the best solution across all devices. Surface Pro with LTE is on its way and until the Redstone 4, we are going to see some other new devices from Microfost as well. Then I will ask you who even need Samsung??  In the meantime,  the official support( which means regular updates) for Lumia 950 and some other w10mobile devices will continue until 2020.  In another word, my experience and sync between my windows 10 PC, laptop, and L950 are much better than yours. Live with that.
  • I will never leave windows phone.........as my good friend Charlton Heston said....."From my cold dead hands".
  • Yep!!!!!
  • See my comment below. Let's get together and buy Groove and WM!!!!
  • As someone who tried this anc failed, I have a lot of issues with this article. There is no way a w10m user can duplicate the experience on Android. The core components, Cortana and Outlook, are seriously lacking in features and functionality.
  • Outlook doesn't even use sync with exchange. Most useless app on Android. People have to resort to third party apps to avoid Google.
  • That's all very interesting Zac, NOT! You see, the thing is, it's still fugly as crap and boring as bat poop. WM rules. I'm typing this from my X3, waiting for my new 950 to arrive, have my 640xl primed, and use my 950xl regularly. All of them smoke the rubbish OS of Apple and Android. I can do everything on these awesome devices, and when I find help buying Groove off of MS, and winning the rights to WM in a poker game with Shitya, I'm going to continue to develop the OS with Richard Branson. 🤓😎💰💰💰💰💰💰💰
  • Microsoft does has its own SMS app for android. I m using it as default. But the #author said that there is no dedicated phone, sms apps from ms.
  • But,after all the customization.can one have a clear black display?I read somewhere that white on black is easier to read than the other way round.
  • Currently oogling over to the Razer Phone or a 2nd generation of it with similiar, maybe even more refined, looks.
    If Microsoft ever did a Surface Phone this would have been the direction I'd have expected them to go ( sans the trampstamp Logo )
  • My best W10 Phone experience is still my 950 XL. I have an older iPhone and carry a Galaxy note with me as well, Arrow-Microsoft Launcher and Launcher 10 are nice, but it is not the same experience for me on my 950XL, launcher 10 and others are close but doesn't give you the full live tile experience that I use it for, weather, News, fuse, calendar, text, email, live tiles just work better on my 950XL. I only need you use the Note for a few apps i rarely need to use on android. My point, like others have stated, is that user experience is subjective to only the individual. My friends love and wish they could have Cortana and the live tiles work on their iPhone like it works on Win10m, but they like their iPhone. Those who like the google echo system will swear android is awesome. In my opinion currently the best iOS experience is on an iphone, the best Android experience is on and Android, and the best Windows Phone experience is on a Windows Phone. Of course each would need to run on the best hardware. Regardless of the projected future experiences, My best Windows 10 Phone experience is still on My Lumia 950XL, yours and other will be yours. Hopefully the rumors are true that Microsoft will release Surface Mobile device that makes phone calls that will truly enhance my mobile experience.
  • I just renewed my carrier contract and upgraded to a Galaxy Note 8 the first thing I did was installing the Microsoft Launcher, Office 365, outlook, Edge and onedrive and set them as default over there Google counterparts best Microsoft powered phone ever! If this is the future of Microsoft for mobile, well then it's something I can get used to!
  • Boooooo hissssss
  • Once I'm able to make cellular calls or send SMS texts from a dedicated app on my PC ...
    Couldn't agree more. Also, a tighter integration with Cortana should be developed. The loss of some of the text messaging features is quite disappointing.
  • So many braindead people attacking the writer. He isn't telling you what to buy, he is giving you advice based on his experience.
  • How I (tried turning) my Samsung Galaxy into a Microsoft phone (and failed).
  • I did pretty much the some thing to my note 8(comming from a lumia 950 XL) and I have to say that I am very happy with the results. Yes I do miss live Tiles a lot but overall the Experience has been much less traumatic than I though would be. multitasking and the spen is fantastic. I am writing this comment with it(YES, writing, not typing) and It works very Well indeed.
  • To me, the Microsoft experience on w10m is still absolutely far from being levelled on android. It seems to me that the blog has been hurt about all the mobile mess and silence from MS, and now they are contradicting themselves about what is the best "Microsoft phone". Come on, only a few months ago you named the Lumia 950XL, then the Elite x3, then the Lumia 950xl again ... Yes, I get it, Microsoft has been developping on other platforms for a while, but it is way too early yet.  Live tiles, seamless and not confusing configuration, essential and consistent settings fast to be used over the whole plaform, battery and memory never becoming an issue, a familiar and unified set of tools to develop for every UWP device (xamarin isn't equally effective), a friendly way of resetting the phone keeping all my preferences, start screen etc. All the story about the "continue on phone" thing is a bit overestimated I think. I open office and there is my last file, and the same happens with photos, onedrive, activities and so on. I will stick with my beautiful, altough not perfect 950 and when, in a few years, the Microsoft mobile "focus" will be satisfying again I will reconsider maybe. If they still focus on android, google services will better be completely ditched in favour of Microsoft services. So, if the MS puzzle will become complete and truly consistent it might be worth it to embrace multiple OSs, as Zac Bowden is actually doing now. Otherwise, I am saying it for the first time in my life, the best shift to do will probably be the shift to Apple with EVERY device, then I guess I will say "bye bye" to this blog. Yes, because they have always understood the game earlier to be honest anyway: the consistent platform (related to the sense of feeling home), the attention to details, the importance of keeping the position in every tech sector included their weaker divisions, simply by pushing reliability!  It would be sad for me mostly because I feel home with Microsoft (xbox, surface etc.) and because I find them maybe the keenest group of democratic tech innovation on earth. I will stay tuned to the next moves, no more room to fail in MS I guess.
  • Thanks but no thanks. My 1520 does it all for me and unlike iPhone or this android device It was and still is a cost effective phone.
  • To the author: When are we getting a Surface Phone?
  • The only thing that is missing IMNO is Maps. Microsoft really need to bring that to the platform so that there are true off line maps like on my Icon.
  • I've also swapped, it's a decent replication of Windows Mobile, though most clearly lacking in live tiles on the Microsoft Launcher. There are other basic issues such as:
    1. Bad syncing in some areas (e.g. contacts sync but whether they are linked is not).
    2. Replicated features that remain separate (e.g. to-do list on Microsoft Launcher and Cortana are separate; news on Microsoft Launcher, Cortana, MSN News are separate, yes, 3 separate Microsoft news features!).
    3. Notifications are synced across devices but the dismissal of notifications is not (e.g. you get an email notification on your phone and computer due to sync, but if you read the email or dismiss the notification on a computer, that isn't accounted for on the phone).
    4. The Weather app on the Microsoft Launcher screen is super simplistic and bare, and can't be linked to MSN Weather.
  • Microsoft still has to improve their MS Launcher. I am having a better experience with Launcher 10. It is absolutely awesome.
    I am in the process of switching too. I bought a Blu HD1 phone from Amazon for $50 and I intend to get a high end phone after I am satisfied with the Android experience and I can ditch my L950.
    I haven't switch yet (I am still using my L950 as my main phone) until I see how to use only Outlook (nothing from Google) to manage all my contacts, how to restore my WhatsApp backup and how to copy all my sms and calls logs. Then that will be it.
    If somebody had done any of those, please let me know..
  • Whilst entrenching users on ios and android even more and providing profits to Apple and Google, that's a solid long term business strategy. NOT. Do we see Apple and Google do this?
    Nope, we do not. I understand why Microsoft has taken that route, it makes sense if Microsoft was a company without a universal app platform. But as it stands, they are and are going to risk years of work of unifying the windows core and UX for short term gain. That is THE most retarded thing ever for any company to do. It completely eviscerates any possible foothold for a growth transition and long term vision. But they will keep chasing those stock market figures.
    All the while Apple and Google solidify their foothold on the consumer and enterprise space.
  • I'd like to know why Microsoft won't figure out how to integrate the Outlook calendar with Android's calendar (which apparently it has done on iOS). I install Blue Mail, connect it to my outlook.com account, and it integrates the calendar nicely.
  • Outlook can't connect to the Exchange server. Seems like a waste of time to me. I tried all the email apps and Boxer is the best for managing two accounts. Still not as good as W10M by a long way.
  • I'm really enjoying my Galaxy S8+, but I can't find the option to disable apps from being able to run in the background. I had it initially, but after a couple updates I can no longer find it. Otherwise I'm really enjoying the phone. The only thing I want are the jump lists for the app list. I hate scrolling through pages when I'm used to jumping to where I want to be.
  • meh, I prefer Windows 10 Mobile for the UX/UI and not actually for the Microsoft services.
  • I have to disagree, there is just too much happening on the Android phone, the beauty of Windows Phone was its simplicity. If Microsoft was to come out with stock android phone loaded with all of their features and maybe even the option of live tiles to be incorporated into the launcher, then I think they will score big points. Can only hope...
  • I miss a Photo Gallery so manage all my pictures updated to Onedrive, together with my local ones.
  • Cortana on Android has so many bugs still, and at least on my phone, she is almost useless, she has problems trying to decide which apps to open as there are more than one to choose from because of the Samsung bloatware etc...
  • how do you change Samsung S8 in Win 10 is youtube video . or website
  • Say what you want, but I'm staying with my 950 until it dies. Then, I will probably go back to a flip phone. Ios is bad, and android is just as bad.  After hearing the critics whine for so long about Vista, I look at apple or android and think, static icons...widgets to simulate live tiles??? How Vista like!!!!
  • Wonderful job and article Zac. I moved to a S8 after my Lumia 650 wasn't repaired after the 2nd attempt. I think my Micrsoft conversion is about 80% of what you have done. Would you consider writing up a more comprehensive how-to? I really like the layout of the Clock widget are you using, which one is it? 
  • Well thats just not good enough. I dont want Android or IOS. I want what I have and it's working perfectly fine. Lumia 950
  • Tried to put the Windows Launcher on my Note 8 but kept getting "Login failed".  Went into the settings and tried via Office 365 and got the error message that the "Microsoft account is not supported, use a school or work account."  Anyone else see this on a Note 8 if they have even tried it?
  • Saw it yesterday too when I was setting up the Microsoft Launcher.  My work account synced though .  I'm guessing that it's something on their end. Keep trying, it'll probably work soon...  
  • I've just about totally adapted my S8+ to the Win-verse.  But I'm still annoyed that when I do file management with Samsung's "My Files" it only includes a "cloud" link to Samsung Cloud Drive and Google Drive.  Since I'm only interested in using OneDrive (with my terabyte plus of storage), I really need "My Files" to access that drive and could care less about the other two.  Is there a file management app that I don't know about that would work for this?
  • I wish Samsung would come out with a Windows on ARM version of the S8 or Note 8. I would buy that over the Android version. 
  • Good, thoughtful, informative article.  When my 950 eventually goes, I'll have to decide if or why I would use MS services anyway.  My data on Sky, er Onedrive, is one thing, yes, I have years of free gigabytes amassed and I'm not relinquishing that.  But Cortana? Or Edge?  And Onedrive doesn't offer free unlimited photo storage like google.  So, frankly, MS has screwed me and every other loyal fan, putting me into a situation like this, guessing how to cobble together a kludge of a mobile OS solution to approximate bits of WM10.  Screw me (again, and again) MS?  No more, screw you MS!  Let someone else buy into your lies and generate revenue for you using Bing, et al...  No more.  
  • I'd really like to see a step by step for how to do this.  I'm not a android mechanic.  I push buttons.  Anyone know of one.....anywhere?
  • The galaxy note 8 sounds very tempting. I've decided to stay on windows 10 mobile for a while longer. Reasons for this. The Microsoft Phone is still a relatively new experience, whilst windows 10 mobile has been on the market for a while now, and I feel, is less beta, and more robust. To me it even seems to mature nicely over time, whilst a "microsoft phone" will, as I see it now, still have to mature, like the early days of windows phone. Then there's the familiarity of the ecosystem that just grows on you over time. This allows room to focus on getting more things done, rather than needed to invest more time in the new and finding your workflow. And ofcourse the community grows as time passes, which makes troubleshooting more famiilar, whilst android on a "mcrosoft time" will also mean more time needed to search and find your new network for troubleshooting and dealing with two ecosystems, android for phone, and windows for pc. My experiende is that is double the work and double the investment when it comes to troubleshooting, a fact of life in the long run. Microsoft has had a spotty record during the windows phone days when it comes to durabilty and longevity in its product cycle and servicing. Windows phone 7 to 8, the discontinuation of groove music, to name but a few come to mind. It is still far from clear how long microsoft will an can maintain their servicing on iOS and android, how long android and iOS will tolerate their apps (thinking about YouTube bottlenecks on windows phone) on their platform. It isn't clear what microsoft will do to protect its customers with using their products on a now-windows platform. And the iphone a galaxy note devices are not exactly cheap investments. Both my 1520 and 950XL are great hardware devices on their own, and have great camera's. I think for me the snapdragon 800 and higher chipssets have been an amazing milestone for amazing pc power in your pocket devices. It can off course only get better, and the galaxy note 8 has will likely be even more icing on the cake.  The last thing that has me delayed in switching is that the mobile to pc connection that cortana shows, isn't the posterchild I have seen it could be. The main reason is that microsoft still fails in one big area, and that is region and language support. It is getting better, microsoft has made promises in the past, but as long as the isn't ramped up and becomes a priority, integration between pc and phone won't matter, much, and the experience will still be a fragmented one for more regions globally, today. The promises are amazing, but still far away, half baked, shy from reality.      
  • Hi Zac, I recently have acquired a galaxy s8+ and did pretty much everything you did and Microsofted as much of the phone as possible. It's mostly gone well. I would be interested to know if you did anything else other than what you stated in your article. I too found the Samsung sms and dialer apps awful on this device. I've replaced the sms with textra which seems to be a very good replacement (I missed the dark theme and mute options on 950xl which this solves) but yet to find a decent dialer. Tried drupe but I'm not sold on that. Did you use the MS next lock screen or work out how to use that to override system lock screen? The Samsung always on is quite nice, similar to glance but would be nice if it displayed events/meetings. Would be interested in yours/others opinions or recommendations.
  • Very nice article. I have migrated from 980XL to S8+. I also have used a disabler to help in making outlook front and center. The outlook part would be totally successful in my estimation if I could snooze reminders. Still hoping to find solution on that one.  Challenges ahead are. 1. Snooze on Outlook. 2. No support of SD Card on OneDrive. 3. No support for SD Card on Groove Music. Not a subscriber, want to play my collection from local and OneDrive. 4. No Android Auto support for groove music.  That being said I am thrilled to have this phone. A gigantic step up. Thank God. I very much appreciate having Google Maps and chrome. Chrome was my preferred browser on windows. Thanks Bill
  • OK, this is supossed to be Windows, not Android. This is a nice subject, good analysis, etc. but it should be on Android forums.
    Seems like writers are in a hurry to move everybody to android.  Now, if you change the name, like Microsoft Apps Central, or Microsoft on Android, then ok. But this is "Windows Central", at least for now. If I want to read about android, I would go to the proper page.
  • It's so annoying to read all the time about android phones on the WINDOWS central and that's the reason why I prefer some other pages lately.  http://allaboutwindowsphone.com/ is a fantastic page, they have much news about the apps, etc. Much better then WC http://mspoweruser.com/ - they are better than WC as well.   
  • Gotta ditch Slack and get on Teams!
  • How is the battery life by the way after installing all Microsoft apps on S8, even I have a S8 want to try all the apps if the battery life is similar to touchwiz, would like your comment on that.
  • If I switch from WP to Android, what would be the best way to manage my contacts on android. In other words, how can I keep my contact in sync with my desktop outlook. I do not like outlook mobile. I use Blue Mail for Android.
  • There's an Outlook app for Android. It has mail, calendar, contacts. I run it on my Chromebooks.   :)  
  • Zac, thanks for this article and it absolutely belongs on Windows Central because how else are Windows users going to find it? I don't prowl around on Android or Apple sites and I'm sure I'm not alone. I bought my S8 from my local Microsoft Store so they installed a lot of that software for me. Sadly, they did not disable Bixby and that is the single most annoying thing on the S8, showing up every time I open the camera and making me avoid that handy button on the left side. That is why I loved your article showing me a way to disable Bixby and reprogram that button. If Microsoft is going to make Microsoft phones out of the S8 and Razer and sell them in their stores, they should go all the way and make this Bixby fix themselves. Thanks again for showing me how to fix the one remaining thing I dislike about the S8.
  • Folks, why should I have to perform handstands on an iPhone or Android phone to get a windows experience? It just sounds like someone who wants a Windows Phone and has to take second best because Nadella got the poops about it. MS made some serious mistakes over the years but scrapping Nokia must surely be at the top of the list. Can anyone point out a different mistake that is bigger than that one? What has been Nadella's Biggest Stuffup?
  • Folks,
    I missed my live tiles and it is on our two Android MotoZ Play phones. It is called Squarehome 2, and is available in the Playstore. It gives us the tiles and they move the same way and can be sized just like WinMobile 10 (WM10). IT is free and if you really like it you can pay one time $3.99 for the key to open the advanced features that are there for only two weeks. I love having my Apps in a separate page that slides out with a swipe from right edge to the left just like WP10. I despise the Android launchers. But I am glad to see this article. Doing as this article suggests, AND installing Squarehome 2 will amaze you. IT is all the best of the WM10 experience. Here is the link: https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.anrdoezrs.net%2F...
    I have nothing to do with them, just a user.
  • hey everyone. is it possible to download android apps without signing up for a google account?
  • Yes. Go to apkmirror and download and install. Easy. 
  • But you need to update apps manually which can be problem or troublesome, depending on how you use your device.
  • Honestly I've found most of your acticles borderline annoying for quite some time, this one is in fact a repeat of one I used awhile back to microsoft my LG with limited success (decided to go back to 650 until it breaks). If you guys want to be really helpful, why not write an app to do all this stuff for us.  Download all the microsoft apps, install and set them all as default to be specific.  More people use samsung, but I would love an LG one.  Not saying I would pay for it, but I would part with a few bucks if you could find a way to make it use my onedrive backup to transfer all my data.  Especially my contacts and sms messages, never could get those to migrate properly. 
  • What are people using for listening to podcasts across Android and Windows 10? I am currently using Grover Pro across my Windows 10 machines & my Lumia 950.
  • Has anyone succeeded to migrate WhatsApp messages? Officially it is not possible. Thanks(Painfully migrating from L950 to S8)
  • Which Package disabler did you use?
  • I know that this is an old post, but... I have a contact in Outlook for Android who's phone number includes commas and #. I don't have contact syncing turned on. When I tap the phone number and then tap Call, it doesn't bring the phone number over to the dialer. If I remove the commas and #, then the dialer works. If the contact is dialed from within the native contacts app, it works.  I have other people with the same version of Outlook, but with different phones - Pixel 2, Pixel, Galaxy S7 that can dial this contact. Is there a problem with dialing from a Galaxy S8 and Outlook that I'm not aware of?
  • Trying hard to make Android replace my Windows 10 experience and I CAME from android to windows 10 mobile in June 2016. After almost two months trying to make a Samsung Galaxy S8 being my main phone it is just not gonna cut it. I still uses my Lumia 950 XL as the main phone and the Samsung S8 as a secondary backup for apps not found on Windows 10 mobile. Anything else like calls, texting, Facebook, Messenger, Youtube(MyTube is the king), Spotify, Taking pictures, surfing the net(Monument and Edge), checking and writing emails on the run, to do lists, calendar planing, watching Netflix etc. are all done on my Lumia 950 XL. Currently I see no reasons to stop using the Lumia 950 XL phone. Also after reading this:
    https://thehackernews.com/2018/03/android-botnet-malware.html I am pretty sure that using a Windows 10 mobile is a bit more safe and yes I might not be able to play Pokemon Go or having fun with young people on Snapchat but that is perfectly okay as long as my mail and smartphone keeps a bit privacy and won't come pre-installed with malware. Best, A very relaxed Windows 10 mobile user.
  • Zac, I would love to see an updated take on this.