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Using an iPhone X in the Microsoft ecosystem

iPhone X
iPhone X (Image credit: Al Sacco | Windows Central)

I'm all-in on the Microsoft ecosystem. I use OneDrive, Windows 10, Outlook, Office, and pretty much every other Microsoft software and service under the sun. Most people know that for the best Microsoft experience on a smartphone, you'll likely want to go with Android as apps have more control over the OS and as such can integrate themselves as if they were native experiences.

But what if you're not a fan of Android? As Microsoft is no longer focused on Windows 10 Mobile, the only other real alternative is for the best Microsoft experience in your pocket is iOS. So, what's it like using an iPhone as a user in the Microsoft ecosystem? I recently switched from an Android phone to the iPhone X to answer this very question.

Buy iPhone X from Apple

iPhone X setup

For this write-up, I'm using a 64GB Space Grey iPhone X. In case you're wondering, yes, the iPhone X is a beautiful, premium bit of hardware. Sure, it's expensive, but you get what you pay for in this regard. Not one person I know has been disappointed with the iPhone X's hardware, even with the silly notch located at the top. The device feels beyond great in your hand, and also has a bit of weight to it which I also like.

Setting up the iPhone is pretty simple, but you will be required to setup an iCloud account with Apple if you plan on using the App Store to download things. You can use your Outlook account as an iCloud account, which is nice. No need to set up separate iCloud email, meaning you can retain your one email address and have that on the phone.

Once setup was complete, the first thing I did was jump into the settings to make sure iCloud wasn't backing up my photos, video and documents to its servers. I'll be using OneDrive instead for this. If you want to go total extreme, you can also turn off iMessage and FaceTime too, however that's probably not worth it if you have family or friends who use those services.

Then I made sure my Outlook email wasn't being used in the iOS Mail app, as I'd be using Microsoft's own app. I did the same for Calendar, Notes, iWork, Siri, Reminders and Health. In short, I gutted most of Apple's stock apps and services with the intention of using Microsoft's own.

The newest version of iOS allows you to remove/disable several stock apps that come installed on an iPhone. With that in mind, I went ahead and began removing apps such as Mail, Calendar, FaceTime, Notes, Maps, News, Reminders, Videos and iBooks. We will be replacing what we can with Microsoft-made apps instead.

There are still a few apps that cannot be removed, such as Phone, Messages, Camera and the likes. That's to be expected, however, and removing them probably wouldn't help anyway. But with most of Apple's other apps out of the way, I could finally begin downloading Microsoft apps. Removing several of Apple's own apps does pose for some annoying issues down the line.

Microsoft apps on iPhone

Jumping into the App Store, I went ahead and just searched for Microsoft in the search tab. This brought up a long list of apps available on iOS from Microsoft. It doesn't take long to realize that Microsoft is definitely a software company first, with such dedication to a rival platform being almost unprecedented in today's age. There are what seems like hundreds of Microsoft apps available on iOS, and they're not bad.

So, I first needed to replace the Apple apps I just removed, so I started with Outlook, which I'll be using for both my email and calendar apps. Microsoft's Outlook app for iOS is pretty feature filled, with direct access to OneDrive and my contacts for quick emailing and sharing of documents. It's a very self-contained app, and one I was happy to see on iOS.

So upon downloading the app, I was asked to sign in with my Microsoft account. In doing so, I had to type my email and password, and then enter my two-factor authentication code before I could start using the app. This is something you'll be doing a lot when setting up your iPhone with Microsoft services because iOS doesn't automatically apply your Microsoft Account to Microsoft apps, unlike Windows phone or even Android. This was the first iOS annoyance I came across.

If you use the Microsoft Authentication app, this makes logging into apps a little less tiresome if you've got two-factor authentication enabled. Microsoft has an Authentication app for iOS, which is basically identical to the one found on Windows phone. It works well, and will be handy when logging into new Windows PCs or services that you use with the Authentication service.

Up next, I went ahead and grabbed Microsoft Edge for iOS. Since I use Edge on Windows 10, I want to have all my synced favorites, passwords and browsing history on my phone too. The Microsoft Edge app on iOS offers everything you would need in this regard, along with a clean UI that features both a light or dark mode. It also has a feature that allows you to send webpages from your phone directly to Edge on your PC, pretty neat!

Then I turned my attention to Office and OneDrive. As you probably already know, Microsoft has a nice selection of Office apps on iOS, including Word, PowerPoint, OneNote and Excel. I'll be using these apps in place of iWork and the Notes app.

The Office apps seem to be on-par with the Windows phone and Android alternatives, which means you're not missing out on any functionality when switching to an iPhone. Each Office app has direct access to your OneDrive, and OneNote has a handy iOS widget that allows you to create a quick note with ease, similar to the quick-note toggle in the Action Center on Windows phone.

OneDrive is another app I installed, but only for the built-in photo and video backup. I've always backed up my photos and video to OneDrive on Windows phone, and I wasn't planning to stop now. OneDrive has camera backup support, which is likely a must have for many of you.

Next up is Skype, which I'll be using in place of FaceTime. I use it for video and sometimes text conversations. It won't be able to house SMS messages like on Android or Windows phone, so you won't be getting SMS sync between Windows 10 desktop and your phone, but that's something I can live without.

Cortana is a pretty big one for Microsoft users, and I can happily say the Cortana experience on iOS is perfectly fine. Arguably, it has a better UI than it does on Windows phone, and most of the functionality is there. It won't sync notifications to and from your Windows 10 PC, unlike on Android or Windows phone, but it will pop up reminders and can do most voice commands and web searches. Cortana also has a widget that you can pin to the widgets area that gives you an overview of your reminders. You can't replace Siri with Cortana, however.

Not having SMS and notification sync between your Windows 10 PC and phone might be a deal-breaker for many of you. Indeed, I thought it would be for me, but I don't miss it. It wasn't all that reliable to begin with, and I really dislike the Skype Preview SMS experience. I never used it on Windows phone anyway. This definitely comes down to what you want from your Microsoft ecosystem experience. Do you want synergy between devices? On an iPhone, you don't get that synergy, but you do get a great mobile experience.

Other Microsoft apps I installed include Xbox and Mixer for gaming, GroupMe for communication with some of the Windows Central team, and MSN News as my news app. All of those apps work just fine.

The last "app" I installed isn't really an app, but rather a keyboard. Microsoft makes its own iOS keyboard called SwiftKey, and to my surprise it works rather well. I recently tried to use SwiftKey on Android, and found the experience to be dog-awful. On iOS, however, SwiftKey is great. It's fast, clean, and even has an adaptable UI that will switch between light and dark modes to reflect the UI of the current app you're in. It looks sweet!

It also offers all the cool, relatively useless statistic data that you can go in and look at if that's your thing. The SwiftKey keyboard will be used in most places of the OS over the built-in one, expcept where the text field is marked as "secure" by an app. In this case, it'll default to the built-in one, which isn't so bad.

So … that wasn't too bad

With all of Microsoft's apps installed and being used in place of Apple's own apps, I was happy. However, this experience is not without some annoyances that pop up from time to time.

Apple still doesn't allow you to set default apps on iOS, so even if you remove the stock Mail or Calendar apps, when other apps call to add an event to your calendar, or open an email to compose, it'll look for the stock apps and tell you they aren't installed. One way around this is to manually copy an email or create an event, which is what I've been doing. It's not a major issue, it just means you have to take a few extra steps to get some things done.

This also means you can't set Edge as your default web browser on iOS, and you can't even hide the Safari icon. Clicking on a link in most apps will either take you to a built in browser for that app, or switch you to Safari. Some Microsoft-made apps such as Outlook do allow you to specify whether you want links to open in Safari or Edge, however.

The iPhone X does introduce a new system for navigating the UI. No longer do you hit a home button as found on Windows phone or Android, instead you swipe up from the bottom and use gestures to get things done. At first, I was skeptical that this would be hard to learn and more cumbersome than jut hitting a button, but I was wrong. In fact, the gesture-based navigation system on iPhone X is better than anything else the competition has to offer.

In short, moving to iOS with the iPhone X as a Microsoft user isn't all that difficult. Microsoft has made the transition easy with great, powerful iOS apps, and Apple also helps by allowing you to disable several of its services and apps out of box. I'd say the experience is almost perfect, apart from not really having any synergy between your phone and Windows 10 PC, and the default apps issue.

You'll also be missing out on Microsoft Wallet, but that's probably not something many of you care about considering it's only available in the US. Instead there's Apple Pay, which works well enough.

If you're a Microsoft user looking to make the jump to iPhone, I say it's doable. If you're OK with not having notifications or SMS sync between your phone and PC, and are OK with a few extra hurdles with default apps, I say go for it. If you can't live without live tiles however, don't. iOS app icons only offer a notification count rather than actual info. Apple isn't perfect, after-all.

Buy iPhone X from Apple

Updated 20 February 2018: What's like like using Microsoft apps on the iPhone X? Let's explore.

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.

450 Comments
  • It's doable, but it's not comfortable. It's a shame that Apple still doesn't allow for you to switch the Default App based on your preferences and this alone makes it uncomfortable, at least for me.
  • This has been my experience as well. iPhone is ok, but not great. I am sticking with my XL for now. (And I know we can debate this, but I vastly prefer email on Windows than iOS)
  • Does Nadella have any tips from using this iPhone "Pro"? https://www.onmsft.com/news/microsofts-satya-nadella-shows-off-iphone-pro
  • ok...
  • Switching away from Windows phone? Not me, thanks.
    I will be using my 950 (which is actually better device than iPhone 7) as long as main apps that I am using are supported in UK. That includes major banks, FB, Spotify
  • That was my issue was the apps. for me the lumia 950xl is the best phone I've used since the hd2 imo but losing some of the big apps like PayPal made me move over to android. Now android is not a bad os and I like the way the LG G5 looks and works and the camera is not bad to but being a big ms user o find some things clunky. I can't save music to my SD card in groove the same with one drive. Outlook is nowhere near as good as Windows mail to the same with the cortana app to. But on the plus side the Moto 360 is a great smart watch to use and I have every app I need.
    I've found it's all swings and roundabouts with them both. If Windows mobile gets the app support back again I'll move over again but until then I'm stuck with android and won't look at iOS.
  • Same boat, moved to Android due to required apps and I find it sucks. I need it for business but the Outlook app is no where as good as the one on windows phone. I might pick up a 950 and use two phones.
  • I too own a 950 and love it in general. However, in what respect do you rate the 950 better than the iphone 7?
  • @ACF1:
    Personally I consider 950 better device than iPhone 7 because:
    1. Much bigger screen 5.2 | 4.7
    2. Expandable SD card
    3. Dedicated headphone jack
    4.. Much better camera
    5. Better antenna
    6. Quick charger - USB C-TYPE
    7. Battery - Replacable and bigger
    8. Continium support
    9. Cost
    (last, but not least)
    It cost me £249 (inc the docking station) from MS store.
    So, absolutely no brainer for me.
  • iPhone 7 Plus:  5.5" Screen iPhones are 32/64/128GB Storage, and some of the fastest and more reliable storage in the industry (being used in Smartphones). Most people are over the headphone jack.  I'm sure you'll get there, as well. I don't think the Lumia 950's camera is better than the iPhone 7, nevermind "much better." Better Antenna...  Numbers?  Also, do most people even care (seriously, "phone" use is on the decline, not on the rise...  I think I use average 10 minutes a month). iPhones have had fast charging for years.  This is why they charge really fast to 80%.  Welcome to the future.  USB-C, at this point, isn't really much more convenient to the average consumer than Lightning is.  No PCs I know have USB-C, and no wall plugs/dongles I own use it. Battery Life is fine.  DOn't care.  Apple's support is great.  Battery went bad?  Go to an Apple Store.  They'll fix it, probably for nothing (if you have AppleCare). I'm sure 2017 will be the year of the Continuum Desktop.  Keep dreaming, buddy. Cost is the only reason why you're making this post.  You know damn well if the iPhone cost $300, you'd have gotten it over the Lumia in a New York second.  I feel like all the poor people run to the internet to bash Apple, becaue they cannot afford to be a part of that market. It's a no brainer for you because you can't afford an iPhone.  To people with the disposable income that allows them much broader choices, things are quite different.  The market speaks for itself; and no, it's not just becuase "Apple is good at marketing."  It's because Windows Mobile is rather lackluster and the app ecosystem is in shambles.  Many of the major players (i.e. Google, Apple) refuse to support the platform, and many others give it bottom barrel priority for development and support. 
  • My hp envy has USB-C
  • Dude thanks for saying this. I am with you. It's like nobody is in their right mind on this forum
  • Yes, iPhones are more expensive, but if you take care of one, they hold value well and resell like hotcakes on eBay. My wife's very tired and worn 16GB iPhone 5C sold for $100 just a few months ago. My listing tried to show all the scratches in the screen and dents to the case, and it still sold via Buy it Now in a matter of minutes--a beat up iPhone from 2013. And replacing the battery on an iPhone isn't that hard. I replaced 2 on that old 5C. It's not as quick as a phone with a removable cover, but it takes maybe 15 minutes, and the kit you need that includes the tools and new battery can be had for $20. Even the 7 can be done, but the thermal glue used for waterproofing makes it a little tougher.
  • I sold my 4+ year old iPhone 4 to t-mobile for $202!!! After I had already gotten my iPhone 6 from them for about a month.  I'm on my 3rd year with this phone now and it's been great.  It's always running the newest iOS released.  Ihave my High end custom built Windows 10 PC I built, but live in the iOS world just fine.   I'm not a fan of Android.  
  • I trading my iPhone 4S with t-mobile last November 2016. Their estimated value for the trade in was $10 that made me really upset. So I wonder how in the world you got the $200 plus trade in.
  • Thank you, this hits the nail on the head for me. Somwthing else to consider... why is everyone so obsessed with going "all-in" for one provider? I've tried it. It sucks. Neither microsoft, google, or apple has the full picture. I use a mixture of services from all three. Everyone has something they do best and aside from messenging they all generally cross talk anyways. Viva la Gmail, viva la Office, and viva la iPhone as the best phone experience.
  • You sir, are a halfwit. As someone currently suffering with an iPhone 7 Plus 128GB Jet Black version, I can tell you with certainty: the Lumia 950XL, which my wife STILL uses, is a better phone in many, though not all, regards. Its screen is far superior, to start, and despite what you claim, yes, the camera IS superior. The only advantage my iPhone 7 plus camera has is in speed. But the manual control? Forget it. Easily changing settings? Forget it, you have to bounce out of the app and into the BS settings app. I grudgingly use an iPhone because under ******** Nutella's "leadership", Windows on mobile has lost too many apps and failed to pick up or even keep the big ones it had. But rest assured, the Windows 10 mobile OS is far, FAR superior to the antiquated **** that is iOS 10.
  • My elite x3 wastes all iphone variants...
  • Keep dreaming peppermint-lemon.   The lowly ole iphone 6s is faster than the x3...let alone the 7 or 8.
  • This reminds me:
    https://youtu.be/FFhjDX-DUew
  • Touche!! You realize the only thing he could do was to down vote you :))) when truth hurts, it hurts :)) You can add to those the 1000% superior customer support from Apple compared to the ZERO Knowledge customer support from MS...all those MS call support agents know is to read from a doc file how to reset your device :)) they don't know sht!
  • Why make it personal? It's posts like this that give forums a bad name.
  • Well put. I have both the iPhone 7+ and the 950XL and far prefer the 950 XL for most things. The charge time for the iPhone is horrendous - really. I got the iPhone and the Apple Watch at the same time (because of the watch). It's faster, but the camera is not as good as the 950 and we have done many comparisons being camera aficionados here. Also Siri doesn't even come close to Cortana. If only Microsoft had not dropped the band I wouldn't have had to switch. Bad call Microsoft.
  • My bank just released a nice update to their UWP app the other day. Subtle but extremely useful changes. Mostly use my phone for Email, calls, Twitter, banking, skype + sms. Also read windows central and use FB/Messenger and Instagram a bit. I've never liked mobile phone games just because they are so far from the fun of playing on Xbox or PC. I also use Uber when I need a taxi but I'm moving somewhere that doesn't even have Uber soon. I don't use dating apps because I'm married. There's really not much I need, it differs for everybody of course but I won't have a reason to replace my 950 for a while unless it breaks. In 2018 hopefully MS will have a new phone with something unique until then any new phone would be a complete waste of money for me. I always look at other platforms when I buy a phone and since WP7 never had a reason enough to change. A LOT of iPhone users wouldn't switch to Android because its what they know and they are invested in it. That's probably the reason 99% of people just get the upgrade to the newer model of what they have (usually by taking on a debt by spreading it across the 2 years of the phone contract)
  • You sir, are deluded beyond belief. As a former die hard Windows Phone fan, I'd had enough of the ****** experience on my Lumia 950. I just got an iPhone 7 Plus for cheap and let me tell you that it is such a dramatic improvement over my old Lumia 950 in every single respect that it almost beggars belief. The UI is amazing and fluid; apps load at least 5 times faster. The apps are far far better than anything I've used on Windows Phone, and even Microsoft's own apps are lightyears ahead of their Windows Phone versions. There's a difference between being a fan, and another to be deluded out of your mind. You are the latter.
  • what do you mean Jeddo45?
  • If you use Cortana, Groove, Skype, etc, you don't have the ability to set those as your default apps for Assistant, Music, Messaging, etc.. It isn't a huge deal, but can definitely jar you out of your workflow.
  • That's the point.  To jar you out of your workflow and push Apple services as replacements.  It's called an Apple iPhone, not a Microsoft iPhone.  Apple doesn't, and probably shouldn't, have to feel an obligation to make replacing thier services or apps with those of competitors any easier than it already is.
  • Then why let you "remove" their apps at all? If all it's going to achieve is that when you want to use a service, the system nags you to reinstall Apple's inferior versions?
  • Not only can you not set ANYTHING but an Apple first party app as a default (making the much-vaunted "removal" of Apple apps a moot point), the iPhone versions of Microsoft's apps are largely inferior. Cortana is nowhere near as good, and OneDrive is downright AWFUL on iOS because it's so painfully slow at syncing.
  • how come gdrive, dropbox, icloud drive do not have problems syncing on ios, only onedrive? and you blame the iphone for it? go blame MS for their incompetent employees hired by Nadella for 25% the price of a professional.
  • I have no issues with OneDrive on iOS. Maybe connection? I don't know, but mine works fine.
  • That's why I ditched the iPhone years ago, that and the horrible walled garden.
  • Any OS you go and start using is putting you into a WALLED Garden.  That's just such a weak excuse.  Buy a Xbox One, You're now in a MS walled Garen.  Go use Anadoird, you're now in a Android Walled Garen being spied on my Google, a ADVERTIZING company!!! Use LINUX, you're now in the Linux Walled Garen. That really is just a pretty lame excuse.  
  • Good god, learn some spelling and grammar.
  • hahahha, REALLY!!
  •   Sorry, but not all your examples are valid.  Yes, once you chose a platform, you are at the mercy of developers creating software/content for the platform you are on.  Windows (on a PC), Linux, MacOS, and Android (to an extent) allow you to aquire and install software any way you like.  So, on a WIndows PC, you could say you are in Microsoft's 'garden' but it's not a 'walled garden' becuase Microsoft doesn't control what software you can use. Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox, and iOS ONLY allow software that has been vetted and accepted into the respective app store.  That is where the 'wall' comes into play...
  • And Microsoft has a walled garden too....Just that that garden is void of vegatables, fruits, flowers and running water....At least apple's "WALLED GARDEN" is lush with everything you need....i.e.....APPS!
  • Fanboys in MS's garden must be really high on something, seeing flying poneys and chocolate rainbows :))))
  • It was horrible for me too
  • ^--this was also my main issue. it's ridiculous where the API tries to open a mail app it tells me to reinstall the apple mail app instead of just using outlook.  I've also found that while it's kind of liberating that there are apps available, I have barely bothered to download much of anything. I'm ready to switch back if MS actually gets back in the game for real. time will tell.    
  • Why not just move the OUTLOOK app to the front page and hit that instead of the mail app????
  • LOL. I think some just don't understand...the most simple things!
  • I think android is the way to go for Windows users since you can do everything mentioned and more such as set the default apps, install Microsoft's arrow launcher and even replace the lock screen with Microsoft's next lock or whatever it's called.
  • The Arrow launcher is crap. Microsoft needs to release a Live Tiles launcher for Android and integrate their first party apps with it so you get full live tile functionality. The icon grid is too 1990's for 2017.
  • Crap compared to Windows Mobile but great compared to what comes with android. Android is definitely the way to go since you can't set apps as default on ios. On android you can switch to Firefox too which is better than chrome but worse than edge.
  • At this point Microsoft might as well release their own android with all these apps preinstalled.
  • That's when I'll consider using Android.
  • You can get a (Microsoft) Galaxy at the Microsoft store.
  • I've had nothing but bad experience with Android. It's laggy and unstable even on great hardware, and quickly devolves from a relatively smooth experience to a slow, crash-prone circle of doom. Android is the Windows 95 of Smartphone OS's.
  • :) next time don't mistake a J7 for a GS7...and you might not have the "laggy unstable experience". You call Android unstable, while win10mobile is nothing but a failed OS, neverending beta...
  • It's cute the way you claim I'd make such a stupid mistake, but I'm a 20 year systems engineer. Rest assured, I know EXACTLY what I'm buying. Android is mediocre trash. iOS is trash, too, buy at least it's target 0 for 99% of apps.
  • I switched from Windows 10 Mobile to Android (6.0.1, stock), and yes, Arrow is great! But newer beta is so unstable. I like Next Lock Screen but this app changes the icons to the notification bar and breaks with the uniformity of the design.
  • New microsoft launcher is great! 
  • I don't think that matters. In many cases, their solutions are the better solutions. For example: Apple will sync Tasks and Notes form Outlook.com. Those are the same Tasks and Notes that Sync to Outlook 2016 on the Desktop. Outlook.com is basically "Exchange Online for Everyone" now. You get better parity with the back-end as well as with Microsoft's Desktop PIM application using Apple's built-in PIM Apps on iOS than with Outlook for iOS. I do not personally recommend anyone use Outlook for iOS, unless they're okay with supplementing it with other apps (that sync to the same service) to access the other functionality, or they never use that functionality). Wunderlist and Cortana do not allow you to Recur Tasks/Reminders, so a proper Task Manager is necessary for people who create proper tasks (particularly recurring tasks). When I tried to use Microsoft Services on my iPhone, I had no way to Sync Tasks between devices. OneNote has some of the slowest/worst sync performance I've ever experienced. I never use it because it's too slow... OneDrive renames all of your Picture and Video files when it uploads, making it impossible to reconcile against other (offline) backups. That's the only reason I'd use it on an iPhone. Also, iCloud is the only thing that syncs sanely on an iOS device ;-) Lastly, Microsoft Media services have very very poor availability outside of Microsoft devices. Groove and Music & TV on the Web requires Flash. Most STB/Streaming devices cannot access Microsoft Content, which limits you to very expensive (comparatively speaking) gaming consoles. If you already have a PS4, then it's kind of hard to convince me I should get an Xbox just to watch some movies I bought (in reality, it's a lease due to the DRM) from Microsoft's store. I will just buy an Apple TV that costs half as much and move on with my Life. iTunes works on Windows and Mac, and we're assuming the smartphone is an iPhone, anyways ;-)
  • Lol... Microsoft doesn't allow you change Default app also.
  • Yeah. Finally someone said it. Fans wont acknowledge this though.
  • Don't need to. The point of the article is using Microsoft apps on an iPhone. Windows phone already has them as default :)
  • THANK YOU! Somebody has to mention this! I mean yes iOS is still quite odd to not even support changing app defaults, but W10M isn't even innocent here, though slightly bit better situation since W10M will ask you which app to open and some do automatically opens associated app. Still, W10M seriously have to support changing app defaults just like the PC version does of W10. This will give 3rd-party developers an incentive and level-ground to MS first-party apps by having their own apps by treating them more native with users choice. This is why there seem no other 3rd-party apps competing in Windows Store which contributes to the population of high-quality supported apps and developer's confidence to the platform. Example: There seem no other 3rd-party mail apps that are really good and well supported on W10M, there are few but not much. Most apparent is the competition of web browsers is basically dead, since you can't even make them default making them very disconnected experience when opening a web page realizing it always opens with Edge.
  • True.. but strangely.. I have no urge to change the default ... Dunno.... iPhone... the following are just terrible: Calendar (both built in and outlook mail)
    Keyboard (swift key is better though)
    App switching
    Auto arranging grid of icons
    No settings in app for things like notifications
    If I have go to "Settings" one more time .. SHEESH ! (no deep linking/control center jump to things like Bluetooth)
    Camera manual modes
    Song identification sheesh... So easy on WM10
    Lock screen replies (really ... swype then touch then ... )
    No simple "back" function
    No lock screen items/glance i.e. CALENDAR !
    Camera button any ?
    Cortana granted she has some issue on W10M but still... no real comparison The list goes on... if MS would just get a few important apps... my 950 would be driving ms daisy ! And iPhone can go to swappa !
  • First thing I would do if I had switched to iOS is remove that freaking ugly keyboard. I can't have something that ugly pop up every time I wanna type something it's gonna ruin my whole experience. I'd probably get the Microsoft Arc keyboard. Man, the whole iOS UI is so out of place for someone coming from a Windows Phone.
  • I use swiftkey. much better than apples keyboard.
  • May we have a similar article for Android too, please?
  • Yes, with Nokia 6 android in mind👍
  • My thoughts exactly.
  • That's a great suggestion. In my experience, it's slightly more wonky, but still works decently. iOS is better with this.
  • no way with the level of customization android has you can even give your phone the metro design
     
  • Two-way sync on iOS works. I can make a new contact and it syncs to my contacts on outlook. On Android, it doesnt seem to be able to. I could never get it to work. That destroys any ideas I have about switching to Android :(. Not that I would want to anyways because Android is so clunky...
  • Thank you for explaining what I meant. This is a big deal.
  • No it works okay
  • Thanks God i'm not the only one. I recently (november) had a Xperia M2 Aqua as my 2nd line phone and i was wondering what i made wrong?! I'll grab an iPhone to fulfill it with MS software down the road (i need to use it myself before talking).
  • Wait, is two way contact sync supposed to work in android and it's a bug that it doesn't or is it not a feature period?
  • Unfortunately, this is phone dependent. Some Android phones are just fine and others suck at this.
  • For two-way sync on Android, you need to add your Outlook account from 'Exchange'. No need of Outlook app. With Outlook app you can sync one-way only. From the web to phone.
  • I have it that way and still don't get it
  • To go "all in" on MS, Android > iOS. You can set Cortana to be the long-press on home, you can set MS apps as defaults for all kinds of things, and, glory of glories, you can run the brilliant Arrow launcher, which is a better, more tightly integrated MS experience then is available on WP. And SMS relay and desktop notifications will likely work there soon, too. Also, OneDrive works better on Android then on any other platform (including WP), in my experience.
  • Yeah, I really don't understand the point of this article, as the author basically disables all the reasons you would buy an iPhone in the first place (and I really don't understand the reasoning behind disabling iMessage). Once you do that, you might as well just get the Android phone of your chosing. The reasons some people hate the iPhone are pretty much the same reasons other people love the iPhone. 
  • I can explain iMessage disabling, as it is something that I do myself. It's only useful to keep on if you don't plan to switch your phone. If you do, sometimes things can break temporarily. Turning it off makes it easier to switch around, same with Facetime as well.
  • I feel OneDrive works really good on Windows, and almost the same way in android
  • Yes please, need an android article!
  • I've recently done this (to some extent) and I can say that Groove is pretty useless if you store your music on the SD card. No Maps, so all those pinned locations need to be re-pinned in a new map app. Outlook calendar is a big step down as well, without the week view you may be used to...
  • I recently switched from Windows 10 Mobile to Android, and I'd say most of what this article calls out reguarding iOS is also true for switching to Android. The major differences are: Android does let you set defaults, so clicking on an e-mail address will just open in Outlook if that's what you want. Notification sync does work from Android to Windows 10, so long as you install the Cortana app on your Android device. Microsoft also has a "launcher" for Android (called "Arrow Launcher") which integrates nicely with Microsoft services and is more familiar as a Windows 10 Mobile expat than any of the other Android launchers I've tried. My only real gripe is that while the Outlook app works well, it doesn't actually sync your stuff to the Android calendar (similarly to what this article says with iOS), so other apps that integrate with the calendar don't see your events since they're only in the Outlook calendar and not the main one. The biggest annoyance here is that the MS Band's "Calendar" tile is basically useless because none of your Outlook events are in the calendar so you won't receive notifications for them on your band.
  • Actually, you can have Gmail sync with your Outlook.com account to populate your calendar and phone book. Just tell it to not sync email. This gets that data into those apps, so your band and other apps will have access to the info too. It does require syncing both the Outlook app and Gmail app, which is kind of annoying.
  • Ah, I don't actually have a Gmail account associated with my Google account, so maybe that's why it doesn't work for me.
  • You don't need one.  Gmail syncs Exchange via ActiveSync. Outlook for Android and iOS is useless.  It's there because they want to keep users and use it as a testing bed for features. On iOS you can Sync Email, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Notes from Outlook.com straight to Apple's own apps, and apps that access this stuff will see it.  You cannot do that with Outlook.  It's extremely basic.  Microsoft's 1st party apps on Mobile (and the UWP on Windows 10) have worse support for their own back-end services than the stock Android and iOS software. Even on macOS, the stock (free) Apple software has better Outlook.com support than the UWP junk Microsoft has in Windows 10.  It's embarassing.
  • Sorry, can you step through exactly what you're recommending?
  • Early 2014 i moved all gmail related info to outlook by forward all mail and fully sync contacts and mail. Is the best I could have done, i spend months without opening gmail and get all the content.
  • Were you able to get two-way sync to work for Android? I could never make a new contact on android and have it sync into my microsoft account. Outlook just does one-way sync. At least in my experience. 
  • New contacts added to my sister's S7 edge do appear on her outlook account. Make sure when creating a new contact, the "create new contact in" option is selected to the outlook email address.
  • I make sure of that and still don't get it
  • I had problems sync my contacts between Outlook and my Android phone. When I edited an Outlook contact on my Android, or deleted it, it was not deleted or changed in Outlook. It is very annoying. So I had to move them all to Gmail and remove them from Outlook. However, I like the Outlook Mail application more than Gmail.
  • Yep, this is something that is annoying for me on Android.
  • You took the words right out of my fingers. Android comparison please
  • If you switch to Android why not using Android services?
  • Maybe you're in it for the hardware or other apps from Play Store
  • What do you mean by Android services? You mean Google ones? Well you are alreadydo if you are using Play Store which is natural since well, you have to like MS, Apple, Amazon, Blackberry does. Not to mention benefit for device syncing. Thing is if you are primarily user of MS ecosystem but want to take advantage of hardware diversity, app ecosystem and other consumer tech supporting Android. It's not perfectly seamless, but its best than iOS. Heck, Windows 10 Mobile kinda all-over-the-place now when it comes to Accounts management even for MS apps. Example I signed in already on my MS account and when I use other apps, they kept asking the same as if I haven't done it. This wasn't the case in Windows Phone days where all accounts associated on the device are automatically signed-in on apps, any apps.
  • Would love to see such an article.  Question though...If you switch to an Android phone but switch app preference to Microsoft, would you still need a Google account for the phone?  I've divested completely from Google and hope never to go back.
  • Yep, you would still need one but it can serve as a shell.
  • You will need a Google account, but you can use your outlook address for the google account, you just won't have any Gmail associated with it. However, it will let you access some google services like YouTube.
  • You need a Google account to access Play Services. Sure, you can not use it at all but then you won't be able to access the Play Store...which kinda defeats the point of leaving an OS with no apps for an OS where you refuse to use the app store. You can, however, use the Amazon App Store instead. But that's a whole lot of work for nothing really. You can replace Chrome with another browser (though Edge isn't available)...but don't you ever use YouTube? That's a Google service and app...
  • Rarely use YouTube but when I do I don't log in and don't use my primary browser.  On my phone I use myTube. It took me awhile to become Google free and I have no inclination of going back unless I absolutely have to.  Partly why I continue to use my L822 in hopes that day never needs to come.
  • Most of what's in the article applies to the Android experience except Android is INFINITELY better than iOS. Here's the main differences: - You can actually change the layout of the phone unlike Apple's boring spartan grid of icons. On Android you can even emulate the WP UI with launchers like Square Home 2. And that included "live tiles" too since you can get notifications of the tiles. - The ecosystem isn't locked so you'll never need that iTunes crap to connect your phone to your computer. You can also easily use USB-OTG and all of that. - Microsoft services can actually integrate deeper into Android because the OS isn't a walled garden as iOS is. You therefore have more benefits. For example, Cortana on Android is much better than on iOS (and it's available in more regions....and IF it's not available in your region, you can still sideload the apk and get her or install her through the "Microsoft Apps" app from Microsoft). - You have far BETTER HARDWARE. The S7 from Samsung is by far the best phone available on the market so far, including iOS and WP devices. You have to be a complete idiot or paid by Google to say otherwise. And this is coming from someone who loathes Samsung products in general.   And how do I know this? Because I've switched to Android when Nokia temporarily left the market and I didn't bother starting over on Google's ecosystem as it made no sense. I carried over every single Microsoft service to Android and it works perfectly with all my Windows 10 machines (actually, it works often better than WP ever did). Outlook, OneDrive, Xbox I kept it all.
  • I do not even consider iOS an option at all. I am "testing" Android in an HTC A9, and it even received the Nougat update.  I think you are right in everything. What I am not satisfied yet is that I cannot install groove and I even create a new account that is USA based, but it is not showing the the apps from USA.  I can't believe how this is far more easier in Windows Phone that in Android.  I already read gazillions how to change regions, but I still cannot find a way that just works.
  • But you'll still be stuck with Android which is a terrible OS. Period. Been there, done that, won't ever go back to that crap again.
  • How is it terrible? If that's so terrible then how it even people still using those. It's not perfect but it's far from horrible. Though experience may vary depending on OEMs own set of experience, but the stock ones are just as smooth as it gets. On Android world, you are most likely going to blame OEM on interfering the Android standard.
  • Great article Zac. I just wanted to help you on the Calendar bit. What I do with my iPhone is that I create events in the Outlook app and have them sync (which it does almost instantly) to the Apple calendar. I never use the Calendar app for events. It's just a matter of setting your Microsoft account to link that way. Unlike how Android does it, the two calendars (built-in and Outlook's) talk together very well.
  • That's what I do too. I've got my Microsoft account syncing directly with my iPhone by going under Settings-->Mail-->Accounts, adding the account, and turning on Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders.  Then I simply use the Microsoft calendar on iOS as my default.  That way any appointments I make or contacts I add are always up to date on all apps on my iPhone and sync seamlessly with my Microsoft account.  Just leave Mail unchecked so you don't have your messages showing up in both Outlook and in the default mail client.
  • Exactly, and it works well. I'm a fan.
  • Fine I will get Samsung this year still I will wait for i8 and Oct Microsoft event..if MS introduce another windows 10 mobile i will go ahead and buy samsung mostly..if MS blew me with some category defined mobile.
  • Im glad windows phone is still around....Im not sure I would want to go Apple or Google if it wasn't. I don't like the apple way, and I just simply cannot stand anything Google. I do think Google has the better platform compared to Apple.
  • Actually Microsoft is doing great Job on the other platforms and using great apps. So I switched to iPhone 7 BUT..... I am switching between Lumia 950XL. It is really difficult to switch.... :( I keep love my Lumia....
  • I rely heavily on the synergy. I'd rather type my texts on my computer keyboard over my phone keyboard any day. That is something that I do everyday and I think I would miss that. Also, the live tiles, another feature I rely on.
  • I unfortunatly have to use an iPhone for work, but they provide it and I still keep my 950 on me at all times still. While I do try to mirror the services on both, the apple UI still drives me nuts.
  • This is my concern, when I have tried to navigate the interface on my wife's iphone I just find that it gets in my way.  Plus I can't really tell what the tiny icons are or mean on an iPhone whereas on my 950XL, I can jst glance at my the live tiles and get the information I need.
  • Ok, a Windows central article that's telling the windows users "came on, go foward and bought an iPhone, it's better"......
  • Would you rather we lied to you and recommended a Windows phone that isn't better?
  • We are glad u did it Zac. Unlike earlier when wc even cheered retrenchment.
  • I would not say you lied, you stating windows phone isn't better is your opinion and don't make it a fact. As meager as BB market share is, to some, it is the best there is and that is their opnion and would not say they lied either.
  • No... Actually it is an Windows central article talking about windows apps on another platform, and that they are great. If you're switching to IOS or not is completely up to your personal preference. So, either way you get a awesome WINDOWS experience.
  • Yuck. I have daveled with android and iOS from time to time. Android is great for the first month or two, then the lag and crashes set in and make the experience miserable. iOS seems reliable and quick, but it is just too dull. Live tiles have too much utility value to me. I also depend on quick charge quite a bit on extra busy days, which is at least twice each week. I just overall appreciate the stellar integration W10M has. It's a great experience in my opinion. Sure, it has its flaws, too, but they are flaws with easy workarounds for the most part.
  • I agree. I have tried to switch to Android too and found it so buggy and clunky that after a few months I am back on W10M. iOS is out of my price range but I use it for my work phone and its ok, but no live tiles... I love live tiles :). 
  • Now could you do an article on moving to Android and how that went?
  • Personal experience: it goes even better. Go to the Play Store, download "Microsoft apps" from Microsoft and there you'll have a comprehensive list of Microsoft apps to download (including Cortana). Install them and you're set.
  • - I have an iPad.  The transition too MS services is easy. A few annoyances though: ​- the outlook app isn't that much better and I prefer contacts, calendar and mail in the stock apps because they are deeply integrated and linked into the OS
    ​- the OneDrive  upload photo features work very sloooooooooooooow in the app. This is also a major problem in the Android apps and the photo-part of the OneDrive website. Google and Apple photos have an amazing caching system like it feel you are browsing your cloud pictures as fast as they are local
    - Groove needs iPad support  
  • They need Microsoft Movies & TV.
  • Agree, partially. Would prefer MS integrate UltraViolet and authorize my prior purchases to my UV locker. I can't justify buying anything new until then.
  • I didn't realize that iPhone doesn't allow you to swap default apps. It's truly a modern day "smart"phone. :P I'm using MS apps on my Android phone, but as a whole, I still greatly prefer MS apps on my Windows phone.
  • I would reccomend setting up your mail/cal/contacts to sync to all apple default apps, turn off notifications, and throw them in a folder never to be opened.  This gives you the features like Siri telling you to leave for event based on traffic etc.  Apple won't store any of that on their servers, and it stays on device anyway.  No harm....
  • +1 Works well.
  • A major thing that keeps me from switching is the universal dark theme of Windows. The bright white of iOS is too hard on my eyes.
  • Sometimes I think this is the main reason I have been using a Lumia 640 as my DD, while still carrying around my S5A for work email.  I hate white background screens, so hard on the eyes.  I had a Chrome plug-in on my work PC for it, but then IT killed it, won't let me use my settings.  Luckily it still works at home.  I don't like Apple because they're too restrictive and overpriced.  It's like they're saying, "We're making it this way, it's awesome because we say so, you can't change it, give us money, peasant.".  I'm on the fence about getting a newer Android, or a Lumia 950.  Android is way less restrictive (like, you can actually move icons on your "desktop", lol) but everyone I've ever used has lag issues unless they're half empty.  God forbid you put 10 apps on there, time for the slow lane...  Something always conflicts.  Every other time you update, the thing either A. slows to a crawl, or B. burns through the battery in 1/2 a day, or C. Both.  No such issue with the 640.  Only issue I have with it is that it's slow to open the Facebook app sometimes, and sometimes Edge loads slow or not at all.  And the Camera has a great app, and can focus up close (I need this at work sometimes) really well, but the camera is low res.  A Lumia 950 just might solve these issues for me, I think I'm picking one up tonight...
  • I just upgraded my Icon to am Alcatel Idol 4s. It's fantastic.
  • That's T-mobile only, right?  I'm on AT&T (pretty much have to be in my area), and my S5A is paid off.  I can drop my mobile insurance (~$8), keep the S5A/L640 as a backup, and get the 950, and my bill only goes up $2 a month.  I may not even tell my wife and see if she notices, lol.
  • I think it will work on AT&T as well because it's GSM. You can buy it from the Microsoft Store unlocked.
  • Those are supposed to be good, enjoy it!  But it's hard to pass up $2 a month for a 950, so I'll be going that route, lol
  • I think AT&T just start selling the L950 again.
  • The Idol 4S is available unlocked now...this was front page news for about a week.  You can get it from the MS Store online..unlocked.
  • I had not seen that.  I saw it was on T-mobile before, so I haven't really paid much attention to it when it popped up on the home page.  I also have not looked to purchase it on MS's site, so didn't see it was unlocked on there either.
  • I second that! Dark theme all the way
  • I have a 950XL and iPhone, sure I could jump onto apple or android but why should I... I actually like the Windows M OS, 99% of apps for my needs exist... and for that 1% i have my iphone which sits there unused 99% of the time with a flat battery, I just dont like using it... saying that if I had no choice I would jump to an iphone, an android solution would not even be an option for me no thanks...
  • Cameras just do t measure up... Got a 7 and tried it again my 950xl. Just noise and off colours on the iPhone, lack of detail and no RAW. That's pretty much a deal killer, sent the 7 back.
  • You absolutely can shoot in RAW on an iPhone 6 and up.  (You just can't use the built in camera app to do it, which is super dumb...try Procamera or Adobe Lightroom.)  Like WM10 phones, the camera app may produce colors more to your liking as well. https://www.cnet.com/how-to/raw-photos-iphone-ios-10/
  • The iPhone shoots natural colors.  If you like Samsung'esque colors, then the Lumia may work better for you.  If you favor accuracy, then the iPhone is almost unbeatable at this point (most OEMs are going for the surreal look with thier camera output - including Google).
  • Meh. If I had to switch from W10M, I'd go for an Android. I always thought that iOS was... a bit weird.
  • Thank you so much for this article. I have been using Windows mobile since Windows Phone 7 and as of lately the app gap has been something of an issue for me. I love the windows platform and am real deep into the ecosystem as you Zac and was contemplating going the iOS route but was also scared of losing everything I have put so much time into with all the MS services I use daily. After reviewing this I at least know what to expect. And for those knocking him for making this article, he isn't promoting iOS at all and being realistic on what many of us are facing currently being devoted Windows users. For the meantime I think I will be doing the jump to iOS until MS comes out with their next big thing in the mobile system. MS has not lost a customer in me I will definitely be back once I see they have come up with a solid solution to their mobile shortcomings.
  • How can the start screen looks like that in iPhone?
  • By opening a picture of the Windows 10 Mobile Start Screen on an iPhone. It's not the actual iPhone home screen and no you can't change their home screen to look like anything but iOS.
  • Take a look at this picture, it shows the Microsoft apps in Windows Phone, iOS and Android: http://cloudhulp.nl/2017/01/office-365-and-its-mobile-apps-overview/ As you can see most of the Microsoft business apps are one iOS platform
  • When you see new Microsoft apps like StaffHub come out with no Windows app and apparently no intention to make a Windows app, you have got to wonder whether they are planning to turn out the lights on W10M. Why didn't they just use Xamarin for StaffHub?
  • Xamarin is useful for basic stuff all big developers prefer to code native
  • iOS must scare MS most of all. At least MS has access to system level functions with Cortana on android. No matter what anyone says, mobile devices will be the primary use for digital assistance for the foreseeable future. It may not be that big a deal right now, but when all our devices are seamlessly interacting, it will force people to change their whole ecosystem. This is why I would go to android if I ever leave WP.
  • I've also tried to switch to iPhone for the same reasons. I liked it but after a while I really missed the keyboard, windows hello, and the overall look of Win 10 Mobile. Now currently loving the HP Elite X3 and Continuum!
  • I just had to switch from WP to Android a few weeks ago because I wasn't able to find any W10M in the nearby stores and that's exactly what I did: I disabled the most apps from Google and replaced them with Microsoft's apps.
    I'm not a heavy phone user, but I still feel uncomfortable using Android instead a Windows Mobile Device.
  • Imaginging Windows 10 in iphone's hardware looks sexy though 😃
  • Why would you put that mediocre crap inside an iphone or an android?
  • stupidly apple iOS doesn't let you have separate icons for separate mailboxes; just one mail app icon.  you can't pin folders or items to the home screen either.
  • I like iPhone more than android but if I were to replace my windows phone, I would go for an android. I am a developer and would like to write apps (even if just for my own use) and I will not buy a mac for this. Missing dual sim version is another reason.
  • I think you can use linux now to develop apps for iOS (maybe even windows with bash now). The downside is I think its $99 a year to do it... But I dont think you need a mac anymore. 
  • You still need a Mac with Xcode on it to build iOS apps even if it's just sitting on your network.
  • I'm pretty sure Build conference showed off a demo to convince iOS devs to switch to using Visual Studio on Windows to take advantage of both touch interaction when testing in the iOS VM and the Azure service to target/test on a range of remote hardware. I wouldn't be surprised if they omitted it, but they certainly didn't make any mention of any need for any Apple hardware at all.
  • For what it's worth, you can get a used Mac for cheap and dual boot if you need to. The Mac mini is built pretty well, and even a 2010 model can run Sierra fairly well, especially if you max the RAM and/or add an SSD.
  • I tried to find a used decently speced mac mini (late 2012 models, so I can upgrade RAM myself) on ebay. They are going for around $800. Definitely not worth. I built a high end PC 4 years ago for just under $600.
  • It's easier.. to leave the stock apps... Calendar, Contacts and set them to sync... then disable all notifications..  That way you only get notified once (from outlook mail).. Also Cortana wants to only sync (calendar) with the stock app.. so by leaving it.. you get Cortana integration...   I just went through this over the last week... Apps matter.. so MS take heed... if I could get some of the main apps of decent quality I would use my 950 as a daily driver..  Sad. :(   The work flows are so much better on W10Mobile.... plus there are lots of gotchas... for example:  ​Bing Maps is weak on IOS  no streetside
    ​Bing Maps doesnt integrate with  IOS only Apple Maps or Google Maps does
    ​Google maps is ok.. but each feature is a separate app unlike Bing on W10M which is beautifully integrated

    ​There's more... but this is a good start ....    
  • great topic, good article. I do think you start with a flawed premise that people still have WP only because they are all-in with MS ecosystem. I actually like windows 10 on my Lumia 650 and you even mention some of the reasons (live tiles, etc.). I have pretty simple needs from a phone, hence the L650, and would cringe at paying for an iPhone. Yet I refuse to go with Android/Google so I'm still hopeful that within the next 1-2 years a miracle happens so that I can continue using Win10 (doesn't even have to be on MS device). I'm good for now, fingers crossed. A nice follow-up to this would be a how-to do all the iPhone disabling actions. I know nothing about the iPhone but my wife has one yet also uses mostly MS apps (Outlook, Onedrive, Office, etc.). It has not been quite as painless for her, I suspect because she hasn't disabled all the Apple stuff.
  • As an owner of many Windows phones, including the Lumia 950/950 XL, a new iPhone 7 32GB and a Nexus 5 to name a few, I agree with this article. What keeps me from using my iPhone in any real capacity beyond it helping me stay unbiased is the fact that iOS doesn't tie into the Windows ecosystem like Windows 10 Mobile does. I also do not like having "phone only apps" from Microsoft. What do I mean? Non-UWP apps. I prefer the UWP Office and other apps because they are the same ones that I use on my computer and when I use the same branded, native iOS apps, they are not the same apps from Windows 10. The iOS and Android apps are simply smartphone apps. The menus and buttons and design is different, meaning I have to learn something else to use a service that I already use. This may seem like a small thing but using Word or Outlook on Windows 10 Mobile is the exact same whereas on iOS and Android, I have to hunt for settings and features. I don't have time for that. Live Tiles and the seamless integration into Windows 10 is what matters the most to me.
    The iPhone 7 is sleek, looks premium, feels premium, even the Otterbox that I have on it's fragile shell is premium, not bulky and ugly like years ago but the iOS software is a letdown of "do it different because we are Apple". Learned behavior of button placement that is Windows and Android is thrown out of the window in iOS, simple things like a back button either being missing or in a different location for no reason except being different. Buttons at the top, making them harder to reach and so forth make for an experience that isn't intuitive. The phone itself is extremely powerful, getting benchmark scores that even 2 950XL's combining their power cannot match. At the end of the day, my iPhone 7 and Nexus 5 are mere informational, troubleshooting devices and my 950 XL, seamless Windows 10 integration, Continuum that I use daily, is my main phone. I hope that Microsoft makes their next phone out of similar high end (though fragile) material as the iPhone 7 as it feels like a billion dollars in the hand compared to my 950 XL. I really want a Alcatel Idol 4S with Windows as it is as close as I can get to high end looks and feeling material with the awesomeness of Windows 10 Mobile's seamless Windows ecosystem integration. Lastly, I fall in the rare camp of those that are not at all moved by app count bragging rights and follow the full ecosystem experience instead. My desktop, laptop, hybrid convertible, 2-1, tablet and phone all run Windows 10 and iOS (Android too for the same reasons) is the uncomfortable odd one out. Yes, you can make it work but I don't want to "make it work" I just want it to work and the deep Microsoft Account integration in Windows is priceless to me.
  • I recently got an iPhone 7 Plus for my birthday from a few people, and I've got a case of serious push/pull. On one hand, I absolutely love the premium feel of the iPhone, and since pretty much all of my friends and family have an iphone, the Facetime and iMessages integrations are fantastic. Also, the apps are generally quicker and better than W10m. That being said, my favorite UI ever is live tiles, and all my PCs are Windows. Its nice having everything available to me on the iPhone, but there's just something special about windows on phones, plus I think that the Continuum vision is the future of mobile. Camera-wise, Im pleased with both. I will say that I like the built-in option to shoot at 16:9 full screen, but that can be fixed on iPhone with an app. Over the past two years of being iPhone-less, I've grown to be much more of a general tech enthusiast rather than a brand/platform enthusiast. But Im constantly drawn to Windows despite its weaknesses. I will definitely keep my 950XL to play around with. Im more excited than ever to see what they bring to the table this year. I think for me the primary issue is indeed with apps, though much less now than with WP7. Outlook, calendar, Groove, OneNote, etc on W10m are wonderful. Facebook and Messenger in particular need some more work and added functionality that the other platforms already have.
  • Love it. Let's all keep pressuring Microsoft to hold on to their mobile strategy!
  • If you want a premium feeling Windows phone, Idol 4S. It doesn't get better.
  • If I left W10M, I would miss the Live Tiles and the UI in general.  I had an iPhone 4, just didn't like the UI.  My wife has a 6 Plus now, and I still do not like the UI.  Obviously, the apps are the big draw.  I do like the idea of SMS sync between your phone and PC, so that would be another negative to go with the iOS UI.  I would consider an Android as you could almost completely take over the phone with MS services, you would just have to deal with the Google Play Store and the UI, which is not much better than iOS.  You can pin the Cortana Widget to the iOS notifications screen, for easy access, but Siri is still locked to the Home Button.  I am clinging to my Lumia Icon for now and hoping for better things come this fall.  Just stay in the game MS, or better yet, change the game.
  • Let's all keep the hope alive. I've been with Microsoft since my Lumia 920 and I can't see myself using anything else unless forced too. Let's keep up the pressure on Microsoft to hold on and excel in their mobile strategy!
  • It feels good to know that there are many like me still truly madly in love with MSFT :) Thanks for the article Zac :)
  • I can't see myself using anything else other than my 950XL!
  • Can't make myself come to terms with using iOS or Android. Really, really like Windows on Mobile! As long as the apps I absolutely need are there and there is a phone I would like to own; i am not leaving. May use Android or iOS just for the sake of testing them out as a secondary device but neither of them can match the UI of Windows....it's just so cool and different. Live Tiles are very important and now I really want MS to improve their functionality and add extra large tiles to mobile.
    Once my 920 gave up, about 12-15 months back, I thought of buying a mid range Android while waiting for a new device from MS (did not really like the looks of 950 series) as a make shift arrangement but the fact that I would have to use it for around 1.5-2 years because the Surface Phone was delayed made me buy a 930 instead even though it wasn't cheap despite being old and out of production.
    I also though of buying a second hand HTC One M8 from my friend but couldn't stand android for even half an hour.
    Currently use a 930 and waiting for the Surface Phone (or whatever it is called).
  • Tried the same experiment on my work iPhone 6S late last year. Results were that using MS Apps on an iPhone as a daily driver is serviceable at best, but far from as fluid an experience as just using my L950 on it's own. Importantly it revealed that, for me, the app gap isn't nearly as big a thing as it's made out to be. I just don't use enough novelty or social media apps that it's a deal breaker to migrate away from Windows phone. Also, I found Apple's U.I. to be ergonomically inconsistent (with functions and menus moving from top left, to top right, to either bottom quadrant without logical explaination) and for that reason the phone is nearly impossible to use 1 handed. I mean really, if I'm resting the iPhone in one hand, I shouldn't have to use the other hand to reach "done" or "edit", or some interface element in the top opposite corner with my other hand. Didn't Apple state being able to use the phone with one hand was unbendable dogma in the beginning? So after a few weeks, I undid the experiment and felt happy that Windows Phone has come such a long way. In my mind Windows OS has evolved to be superior ergonmically to Apple's hodge podge of UI ideologies, espoused one day and discarded the next. For the handful of apps not on Windows that I "need", I just use the web or rarely a cheap Andoid tablet. $60 instead of $600. In the end I didn't find the grass to be greener enough to justify a switch.
  • I wholeheartedly agree with your UI complaints & I miss a 'back' button most of all. 
  • I recently switched from BlackBerry 10 to Windows 10 Mobile and am mostly happy with it, although there are some definite frustrations. Say what you want about BB10's lack of apps, but the core OS was very fast, very smooth jumping around. Lots of things that were simple swipe gestures on BB10 could be a few clicks on Windows. There are other things I like better, of course, like the customization potential of the Start screen and a range of Office apps I use for work. If Windows 10 Mobile dies, I honestly don't know which of Android or iOS I would go to. For Android, I can't get past that their basic business model is to sell your information for ads. I know Microsoft and Apple collect data, but it isn't the centrepoint of their business, so I'm a lot more comfortable with it. For iOS, I haven't used Apple products in a few years since when I used to have a MacBook and constantly found it insufficient for what I needed to do. More to the point, the closed nature of the OS would constantly annoy me. Microsoft needs to stick around the mobile contest if only to give some middle ground between "forget privacy" and "forget customizability".
  • Just clicked excel and it opened in two seconds. 950xl, last insider fast build. What am I doing wrong?
  • Same for me and I am on the current stable release as it is my daily driver, I just don't know what the hell some of these people are doing.  My AmazingWeather HD app is my slowest at about 6-7 secs.
  • It's definitely doable, I looked at a friend's iphone and also an android.  My question would be who in their right mind would want to do it?
  • i should try it someday getting bored already from android and im affraid i'll get even more bored from iphone :0 
  • I'd consider switching if I was unhappy with my experience on Windows Phones. I'm not, so I wont and can only hope that there really are the 3-4 OEM's preparing to release Windows Phones as indicated in other articles recently aired.
  • No doubt, the best phones for integrating with the Microsoft ecosystems are Windows Phones.  I never had a phone other than a Windows Phone until 6 months ago, when I got tired of never having the apps I wanted.  Given that I have given up on Windows Phone for the time being, I have found iPhone to be a better choice than Android for someone who is committed to Microsoft services.  
  • I've made the switch, and I'd never used an iPhone before 3 weeks ago.  I followed Paul Thurrott's guide 'iOS for the Windows Guy' (or something like that) and uncoupled mine from Apple as much as possible.   I've had some learning curve challenges sure, but its nice to have a phone that consistently works day in and day out.  I miss WM, but at the end of the day, they've quit on us, so I've followed suit.  I still have 2 WM10 devices in the house to play with, an Alcatel Idol 4s & a 950, so I guess I didn't quit completely. My complaints about iOS are pretty minor...if you accept you can't customize much, switching is easier to swallow.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I could personalize though.  I personally find the MS apps to work just fine on iOS, I have no complaints about them, but I'm not a heavy user either.  I do not like the new 'fake' button on the iphone 7.  I find the fingerprint reader suspect...if you live in cold climates, mine will not recognize my fingerprints until they warm up which is annoying.  Whereas Windows Hello on the 950 is dead reliable.  I do find the UI to be different between apps, which is annoying...very annoying. My work email's would no longer sync via Mobile Iron as the fall update broke Mobile Iron's implementation...so I was also driven off by an app I need to have. Do I love the iPhone...no...but I'm no longer an Apple hater either.  I should have switched a year ago.
  • +1 om that guide. It is excellent.  Haven't had any hiccups, but can't say the same on the Android side.
  • Yeah, I think a lot of the rhetoric against Apple is a little outdated. I had to use an iPhone 4 as a work phone a few years ago, so my opinions about iPhone weren't very good back then. I think that since then, iOS hasn't gotten massively different, but it has been refined substantially, resulting in a very clean and stable experience. Even the stereotypes against iPhone users is tired. A lot of people I know that use them just see them as a tool, not a status symbol.
  • I train in an ice rink for 4+ hours a day, and it gets down to the teens here (wind chills below 0 at times).  I can take my gloves off and my frozen fingers work without fault on my iPhone.  If you have water on your fingers or there is something contaminating the scanner surface, then that may be an issue.  If you put your finger on teh scanner at such a steep angle that it isn't getting a good reader (easy to do when you can barely feel them), then that may be an issue... But the fingerprint scanner is not suspect.  It's still pretty much the best on the market in a phone. The fake button works even through some of my gloves, and once you get used to the haptic feedback it is a non-issue. Most people I had try it couldn't tell a huge difference between teh haptic and physical button.  It felt like a real button to them.  It is well implemented. The only big problem I have with the iPhone is the bezels.  They could be a tad smaller. I think many people need to use the phone more to see where Apple has put in the "Good Work."  For example, as coaches and athletes, we use apps like Coach'e Eye, Dartfish Express, and Ubersense (Hudl Technique) all the time.  Apple has APIs built into the system that allow these apps to record at various resolutions and framerates.  It's not the kind of black magic that seems to be required on Android and Windows Phone.  Apple know which Resolutions/FPS are supported by the device, because they can query this, and it "just works." iCloud has a lot of faults, but Apple has done a better job at making good APIs (CloudKit, or whatever it's called) that allow Apps to use iCloud as a Storage/Sync Service, and they've pushed it aggressively.  They're done the same with Siri, CarPlay, Apple Home, etc.  Microsoft hasn't done as well in that area, especially when their mobile strategy is increasingly dependent on rival mobile platforms.  You know there's about an 80% change we'll see Siri App integration on macOS in the next major update, and developers will run to it.  Microsoft has been less aggressive here, and developers have been more apprehensive as well... I have an Android phone, but I haven' had a Google Account on it in a while, so I cannot speak to how this works there.  I do know that More Windows and Mobile Apps have Google Drive integration than OneDrive, etc. and I think Google has been better than Microsoft on API-leveling on Android, so that apps can deliver better UXes without being held back by the entry-level/low-end market.
  • Here's a link to the article you had mentioned "iPhone for the Windows Guy: Minimize Apple’s Grip on Your Device"): https://www.thurrott.com/mobile/ios/80461/iphone-windows-guy-minimize-ap...  
  • I can't believe there's no movies/tv app. I have spent several $ on movies and tv shows. didn't realize I'd be locked in forever to windows phone for it. Would have thought satya would have insisted on apps being made for android and iphone.
  • That surprised me too.
  • My main problem is with the contacts. Can you sync  Outlook contacts? I recently tried on Android 5 and I wasn't able to do so. I was forced to disable sync on Android and do it through Outlook app. Also, I assume you can't link contacts on iOS, right? I really hate the fact I must have a contact for every damn app. Having many contacts on Skype, Ooutlook, Facebook, Lnkedin, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo and so on, it will be a mess...
  • Yes you can sync contacts and link them. iOS is better than Android when it comes to this. On iOS, you can set up your MS account as the default place for new contacts, and it works great!
  • I did the same for my wife since her 630 died but went with Android, the BLU R1 HD with ads is only $59.  Took me a day to disable all the Google spyware and get the MS apps running.  This is her first full week.  I miss the log in once and all MS apps know its you from windows phone.  I think I had to enter her password and id for every single MS application.  I will be getting a earful this weekend on if its ok for her or not.
  • I think you meant to say you Disable Google spyware and enabled Microsoft spyware.
  • I think the key difference is that Google explicitly states they will datamine your email/etc while MS promises not to. In either case, any cloud service still requires users' trust though, I suppose.
  • Sounds like you haven't read Microsoft's terms of service lately. They datamine and can share it with their partners.
  • Lol
  • Cool, article, thanks, is there a similar one for Android? mH
  • A very useful article and certainly will help Microsoft/Windows 10 users to make the leap to the iPhone. I originally entered the smartphone world with a Blackberry. Being from Canada originally, I stayed with the Blackberry
    until I became frustrated with the lack of apps and innovation from the company.  I started with the iPhone 5, 5s and now I have the
    iPhone 7 32gb. Great phone! Would point out that Facetime audio, in my opinion, is superior to Skype when communicating internationally.  This is useful to know
    conversing with other iPhone users. Also, Siri has improved dramatically and is better integrated to the iOS platform than Cortana.
  • Yeah Cortana is just dumb on iOS. I think I have it installed just because I'm informed of sports scores.
  • I still use Windows Phone not because I'm big into MS ecosystem, but because it simply has the best phone interface.  iOS doesn't have any customization, Android is a mess, each OEM changing the interface to their liking which none are to mine.  The only Android look I like is pure Nexus experience, but unfortunately none of Nexus device has an SD card slot, which is a must for me. I just love Metro tiles...
  • More like Retro Tiles. Windows design is horrible
  • So you like pages and pages of static icons', and have to actually launch an app to check the temp?
  • My Android phone shows the temp on the home screen, as well as my fitness progress, music controls and quick actions. Live Tiles are very limiting compared to widgets and get very frustrating since they are just flashy icons with no further utility.
  • Seriously. Android is way better than WM when it comes to quick actions
  • That and most of the tiles don't update. I had the News app stuck on the same spinning news report on the tile for two weeks. It only updated once I resized the tile. My P9 has scalable widgets that tell me more information and also let me perform actions without having to go into the app. Yes some apps on W10M let you take actions or reply in the action centre, but so too does every other app on my Android when I swipe down or when a banner notification comes up.
  • 1. Starting with iOS 10.3, apps can change their icons without app updates. 2. My iPhone 7 Plus is so blazing fast, there is no speed difference if I had to open an app to check the temperature (oh no! what is the world coming to! *cue eye roll*) 3. With 3D touch I don't have to open the app to get relevant info. So there  
  • Boiling fanboys voting you down :)) The truth hurst sometimes for thickheads :)) Yeah, it's nice when apps open like a breeze. How's facebook on Win10Mo? Oh, it takes ages to open. How's Messenger? Oh, no video and audio call yet? :))) Check out Ebay on you precious Lumia 950...oh, you don't have a proper app just a buggy,slow and battery hog Edge. How about securing your Wifi...oh, L2TP VPN is still broken, openVPN?? is windows 10 mobile even aware of this? :))
  • That's the truth. Windows Mobile fans are part of a thick-headed cult that doesn't see the rest of the world. All they know is that they think the like Windows Mobile, but they don't really know anything else
  • Newer iPhones wake when you lift them up, and from the lock screen, slide to the left, and you can see a weather widget that has the current temp, along with the conditions and forecast. If you haven't used 3D Touch, then you don't realize how such a subtle feature can change how you interact with your phone. Hard press on the Pandora icon, for example, and you get a list of recently played stations that you can launch instantly. It doesn't have to be exciting for me, but it definitely is practical.
  • True dat
  • Really? All i see is that every little company copies windows 10 design. Squared and mate;).
  • LIke who? Live tiles are "unique". That's a nice way of putting it. I use a Surface Pro and Live Tiles has no advantages at all over 3D Touch on iOS or widgets on Android.
  • Shoot. Sorry accidently reported your comment 
  • But what are you going to do whem MS is down with W10m....when you can't use W10m anymore?
  • The Microsoft apps on iOS are great: Outlook on iOS is the best email client bar none on any platform, incl. Outlook on Windows Mobile and Android. Office apps work well and OneDrive does all I want it to. MS Teams is another app that works better on iOS than on Windows Phone rendering images in messages better and so on. I feel like Microsoft has done everything they could to make the experience with their services great for iOS users. However, the limitations of iOS, most namely not allowing me to change my default apps or integrate Cortana with the shell are a killer and annoy me every day. I use Cortana on my laptop a lot because it is right there in the taskbar or on 'hey cortana, ...' but on iOS I have to find the app, launch it, wait for it to initialize and then do what I want. Apple will never let Microsoft integrate Cortana more with their OS just as they won't let mail and calendar links in apps to launch Outlook or any other 3rd party app for that matter. That's why after using iPhones since 2008 (with the odd Windows Mobile here and there) I am looking at an Android device for my next phone.
  • This site is so fanboy. SO fanboy. As if Windows Mobile is anything to compare to iOS and Android! Hahaha. You guys are dedicated to defending a dying platform with an already dead Windows Store. Windows Mobile is so bad even Microsoft isn't paying attention to it anymore. I don't know why I even read the junk that comes off this site. I guess it's because I like laughing when people try to defend Windows Mobile. Windows Mobile is lacking in the feature area. iOS 10 and Android Nougat are vastly superior to Windows Mobile. Vastly.
  • Actually, windows mobile is more future proof then ios;). If you never used the platform, don't talk just not to shut up.
  • Microsoft is already treating Windows Mobile like it is EOL. At this point we are just waiting for the announcement.
  • That's the truth.
  • Haha yeah right it is. I'll believe that when I see it. Last time I checked, Windows 10 is watered down on mobile, not "future-proof". Windows on ARM isn't going to change that much, esp when it's up to OEMs. That's when they just make android phones. Please clarify on how iOS isn't as "future-proof" as WM. This sounds interesting.
  • It's called "Windows" Central, so yea it's kind of MS fanboyish. What features do think it lacks, does everything I want, including synching with all my other devices, laptop, XBox, tablet, that my kids Android's don't. They are actually kind of jealous about that. Don't trot out the app issue, that is not a OS feature and totally depends on personal needs.
  • What syncs with Windows Mobile that doesn't sync with Android?!
  • Android is horrible at syncing between devices. It's so bad, it doesn't. iCloud Sync is awesome tho, especially when you take that you can sync your desktop files to your iCloud drive automatically, universal copy and paste, etc. And if your needs are anything other than the bare minimum (and even then, some) you can't use Windows Mobile.
  • apps to me are a os feature, paypal gone, here maps superior sat nav gone, santander uk banking gone, vodaphone uk seller never been there, and ofcourse myfitnesspal gone, these apps enhansed my phone, my ui and my os and to me are all part and parcel of the same thing, microsft obviously thingk so too cause they rebooted windows 7 mobile, 8 mobile 8.1 mobile and now were all on 10 all because of the big app issue and its now alot bigger a issue than it was even in 2015.  microsft only havethemselves to blame for these apps leaving, you need to show suport on your own products and apps otherwise why would developers devlop for you? I love and think windows mobile is the best, live tiles are awsome, the ui is great, apart from androids hamburger menu, that sucs.  The notifications system is also superior and im comparing a iphone 7 and s7 edge, but microsft has wasted to much time, taken to many features away and even now their apps like groove or even maps and skype arent even close to offering us what we are used to.  Put simply, it might be a great os but microsft is taking way to long to make their apps, and have the features the apps should have already.  They are taking too long and rebooting things for to quickly.  This has now gone full circle and hurt them alot more than they currently realise, but its coming.  I hope they can pull themslves out but when the best selling phone cant use groove cause it cant read sd cards or the bigest selling ipad air 2 doesnt even have a groove app and when gestures is not suported on windows 10 and skype preview still misses settings and features the old one has you know microsft is currently trying to pretend to look good.   To me microsft is more of a hardware company than a software company now and i think they have really faltered in the software arina, 2 years is too long for apps and software to get back features it used to have.  Remember outlooks inbox linked function, that was 12 months late, skype wasnt even workable for sending video adn photos for the first 12 months of windows 10 official release oh and drag and drop funtion on desktop was missing too in alot of areas like their photo app and skype.  Its not that microsft dont make good software its that they dont put eveything back in tioll 1-2 years later and somethines longer like the speakerphone option on mobile gestures which is still missing.
  • I agree with you except on the notifications bit. Rich Notifications are dope on iOS 10 
  • So why do you comment? My friends iPhone won't let him make or receive calls today and if his battery gets to 30% the phone shuts down, his screen doesn't work sometimes and god forbid if he drops it. One time and the screen is cracked. He paid three times more for his iPhone 6 than I paid for my Lumia 650 and I have 128 gigabyte plus 16. He's got 64.
  • I have a 7 Plus, used to have a 5, In our family we have had almost every single model. Problems? Nope. Your Lumia 650 is made of plastic. The iPhone is made from premium components. The hardware is vastly superior and the software is awesome. The storage is about the only advantage you have here. Comparing a defective model to a working Lumia 650 isn't fair. The screen cracks? No way, I didn't know glass brakes when you drop it. Maybe he should get a case :)
  •     Software?  What software ?  OH you mean apps... Where I have to open a different app for EVERY single thing...  and I cant just "go back"  to the the last thing I have double clutch, fart and swype then select...   cause there aint no integration whatsoever on the iPhone.. Perhaps you should go use W10M for a while... so you have a clue... ​IOS is a freakin APP launcher. Nothing more.   You clearly have no idea what "integration" means (i.e. SERVICES)..  or  what an ecosystem is (SERVICES)...  Apple has no search ... Apple has horrible mapping...  Apple has no streetside..   the list goes on,.. they are damn well hardware company not a software, search, mapping, images, translator, AI,Cloud,SERVICES, etc.. company.  They have nice hardware.... ecosystem.. eh... there's better (i.e. MS, Alphabet)    
  • Dude, you're such a troll. Shut up and take your own medicine and try iOS 10. Puts WM 10 to shame, like its just an app launcher.
  • Dude, you're such a troll. Shut up and take your own medicine and try iOS 10. Puts WM 10 to shame, like its just an app launcher. I use Windows 10 and iOS 10. So actually, you have no idea what you're talking about. iOS has multiple 'Back' buttons, gestures, etc. There is plenty of integration, you obviously haven't used iOS since at least iOS 8. Services are vastly better on iPhone (again, tried both). Apple has great search. The best (on devices. Just becasue you have a search engine, it doesn't mean you're automatically. Better ecosystem than Alphabet and Windows combined. Apple has great maps (again, you haven't been around iOS recently). All the App Extensions in iOS are becoming more abundant in all the stock apps. Apple doesn't have streetside... yet (you haven't been paying attention to anything else in the news world other than WC obviously). Apple is the best hardware company, and they are on top when it comes to AI (they have neural networks too, ya know), iCloud is the best, mapping is awesome, images (what do you mean by that? Btw Bing is horrible, if you haven't noticed... oh wait you're a fanboy), and they do have translating. Siri is waaaaay better than Cortana (use both). Just stop troll.
  • Bing powers Siri lol
  • It's not only Bing. All Bing does for Siri is do web searches (which it isn't good at). Wolfram Alpha and other sources power Siri as well too
  • Bruh... who's on "WINDOWS CENTRAL" spouting about how crApple is the "best" .. So who is the TROLL ? Please I have an iPhone with version 10.2.1 sitting here... and a MS 950 with fast ring on it.. and I can assure you that the WM10 device is significantly faster and more intuitive to navigate than the grid of icons... AND it syncs across all my Windows devices (L640, W10 Surface Pro, Xbox).. unlike the walled garden.
  •   Haha... shut up. My phone syncs with my Apple TV, MacBook Pro, etc, etc. As for it being faster, what iPhone do you have? Because I seriously doubt what you are saying about Windows Mobile being faster Just because your grid of icons looks different. Sheesh
  • As a W10 user withmy 4th iPhone I nearly didn't read this after the early line that you can't move apps around on your phone screen.  Esay Peasy; just hold tile down until it jiggles, them hold it down and move it anywhere, onto an open screen or a different folder!
  • This is true but aside from the dock, you can only move them along active rows. You can't move your icons to the bottom or side all of a sudden like you can on Android and Windows Phone/Mobile.
  • That's true. I have enough apps on my home screen that it doesn't bother me very much, but I can see how that would be annoying to other users
  • Yes you can..then they get auto arranged.  Awesome !
  • BTW you guys can vote me down if you want, but you know I'm right.  
  • Obviously douches like you care or you wouldn't come here to post.  Go find an isheep or lagdroid website to feed all your wet dreams about the other platforms.
  • Hehe
  • windows 10 mobile was DOA anyway! a mediocre broken OS, tested by insiders instead of professional testers, buggy performance, poor UI design, and ZERO support from MS. FFS, L2TP VPN is still broken today on it :))) fanboys will always remain fanboys. I've been a fan of Lumia phones because of the camera and the stability and speed WP8 and 8.1 were known for altough the apps were kind of either missing of lacking features. But windows 10 mobile was and is a total crap, a disgrace to the entire tech world.
  • Everyone here seems to share my idea on what it means to be a W10M user. Yes, the few social apps we don't have would be nice, but definitely not a deal breaker. Most of my family use iPhone, most of my friends use android. It's not that I'm not a fan of what they do, I just feel that Microsoft has a better UI than either of them. I do hope that Microsoft can use their strategy to let their user base continue to use their OS on phones. It is everything I've ever wanted in a phone, and it can only get better.
  • I'm sure Windows Phone will survive. Apps keep getting updates and new apps were just added to the store. That wouldn't happen if Windows Phone wasn't going to last.
  • That's not an indicator of anything unfortunately. Things get released for soon to be dead products all the time. If that's the only thing you're using to measure the pulse of the product then I would reconsider... Writing is largely on the wall. Windows Phone is dead in the water. I'm sure there will be another phone reboot (their third or fourth in as many years?) but you can consider the current form of Windows Phone as dead.
  • I was fine until Samsung announced they are dropping support for Smart Things on Windows mobile. the app has be come a mainstay for me and is barely functional. Dropping support means it time to move on, at least until Microsoft decides if they are going to release the elusive surface phone. Until then ust tryinf to figure out the lesser o two evils.
  • If I switch today switch to Iphone, do I lose the text messages on my X3? There's no way to sync 'em to the other phone, not even with an app?
  • If I remember correctly there is a paid app that can do it. https://www.mobikin.com/mobile-phone/transfer-sms-from-windows-phone-to-iphone.html
  • I agreed till you said. You were not used to such amazing build quality cause you used lumia devices....whaaat?
  • Most, if not all, Lumias are plastic mainly. iPhones are premium aluminum and ionized glass
  • AKA... FRAGILE    Who cares if it has "premium" hardware if you have to put a 2" thick case around it ?? OH well... I guess at least you get to touch the "premium" gorilla glass 4 screen.. like all the other phones in the world..  LOL
  • 1. It's not fragile. iPhone 7 didn't brake its glass on a 10 ft face down drop. 2. Everyone else except for windows mobile fans cares if it's premium hardware. 3. Gorilla glass is good, so is Apple's, people just don't take care of their phone 4. Every other phone in the world doesn't have Gorilla Glass...
  • Yes and I've seen too many iPhones with broken screens.
  • I haven't had 1 broken screen with all the ios devices I've used. I've seen plenty of screens cracked that weren't iPhones. Now that I think about it, I don't see Windows Mobile phones much in general
  • yeah, specially on the Nokia days they had superb buid quality
  • "I was surprised to see how fast these were to load compared to a Windows Phone". If the author used a 950XL, the iPhone 7 is an order of magnitude faster, so it's a given. The 950 XL is mostly, if barely, on par with an iPhone 6 in terms of performance.
  • shame the 950 is a nice speced phone whith a terribly cheap feel to it.  the 930 was great, premioum all the way, even the screen shampered at edges, the back plastic was solid and premium feeling too and that metal edge, even today its a great phone to hold, my 950 i gave away cause well its a 400 pound phone in a 50 pound body, its descrasful for a profesional phone company to make.  and im not a fan of the iphone 6 either.
  • Actually... having both the above.. I find the 950 to be "faster" than the iPhone 6 ......  so perhaps a 6s  is on par with the 950? dunno...
  • 🙄
  • Disagee, I tested this on my 950XL after reading what he said and Excel and Word load in 2-3 secs at most, I am not sure what you people are doing with those apps or your phone.
  • shame groove player doesnt work on the ipad air 2 unless ofc you use the iphone version and that requires you to read text the wrong way round.  even on my s7 edge im forced to us play because groove cant read my galaxy eedge s7 sd card with all my music on it.  Plse tell me whats going on at microsft.  add edge to this, new tabs cant open up to your default home page and im struggling to understand what exactly microsft expects to achieve.  A smaller consumer audience manybe.  Gestures  on mobile plse my 930 has waited 2 years to get it back like in 8.1.
  • What about wireless sync, apps/kids corner, driving mode and other services that are not available on iOS. (I personally use all of them.)
  • ??? Wireless sync is definitely on iOS... there is a "Guided Access" mode on iOS where you can lock the phone with a passcode into one app, good for kids... not sure what you mean here by 'driving mode' (navigation? CarPlay?)
  • Basic is a perfect description of iOS.
  • Haha yeah right. Just because you don't have your precious Live Tiles...
  • Hmm...its anything but basic.  The UI is straightforward, clean & simple but only if you want it to be.  They have widgets, long press & short press options, menus if you swipe from the bottom up & top down.  There's a lot there, but its also not there to interfere if you don't want it too. Where, IMO, it gets messy is with all the UI variances between apps.
  • CX1....  EXACTLY...!   App launcher =  Basic
  • Last time I checked, Windows Mobile was pretty basic. VPN isn't even an option 😂
  • ive switched to android and theres so many things i miss now from the windows experience, things like cortana is none existant on my englich uk android s7 edge, grove isnt workable on it or my ipad air 2, even outlook feels a proper mess on my s7 edge.  notifications suck compared to my 930 experience but you know what, microsft take to long  and 2 years is too long, to give me features back i loved, they keep rebooting things that really didnt need rebooting and they dont give their present customer base the respect they should all get(eg everyone on mobile before the onedrive storeage remove helped kill windows mobile os numbers, loved gestures beta a simple but incradible effective mobile app, yet microsft doesnt and hasnt suported the app , its own app in windows 10.  yeh its in the windows store, yeh it claims to work in windows 10 and yeh its a big fat lie).    Oh and the apps market has becoome worst than in 2015.  In 2015 there were some apps missing but nothing major for me, now with paypal, myfitnesspal, santander bank app, vodaphone app in the uk, and here maps which microsft once owned(what a joke) theyve all left.  no working wireless payments no proper flagship premium feeling handset and sneaky edge forceing bing bs is really hurting microsft in my eyes.  I hope they sort it out but ive been saying that near enough 4 years and still the things they made progress on like gestures, like browser , like notificatins are all being greatly handicaped by atrocious desisions like forcing bing on you, no default homepagher for new tabs on edge, sktpe preview still doesnt have all the nessesary features people would need to move, and well they dont even suport their own things in a cross platform and cross compan y envoirnment, well not  offering their apps with simple things like a music player unable to read the best selling phones sd card the s7 and edge series its kinda a huge issue.  No cortana is just plain descraseful, unless you live in the usa lol.  And does anyone actually use multi monitor at microsft casusd eskype makes it imposible for me to open the task manager when in coversation lol, its all of small things and time that is hurting microsft for me, hell if apple or android had a os for desktop that had the samer games suport i really feel id have left alrerady and i live windows 10 but come on, seriously.  Microsft may seemingly being suporting their apps on android and is but as a windows 8.1 and windows 10 user the transition accross those apps through ios and android is a very poor third class feeling option.  often things like storeing your music on a sd card make groove a imposible choice, even if you like it.  Im glad they dont sell music on groove app cause why whould you buy it if it cant even read the bigest selling phones sd card the s7 edge?,
  • Hi Jason, I have Cortana working very well on UK Android Phone, she is listed under Microsoft Apps in the play store. Syncs with my pc, can send texts etc from my pc. My phone is Huawei.
  • Switching away from microsoft hell no just ordered a new Lumia 1020 and still happy within there ecosystem.
  • in 2013 i had microsft wallet and was promissed that id get a secure sim and be able to pay for goods in shops via mobile, 3 years later im still waiting to have a working wireless paying option in the uk with a windows phone.  My s7 edge workes in 99% of the shops and my lumia 930 in 0%  its kinda a big deal now.  i move to s7 edge cause paypla and before that myfitnesspal and here maps all left the windows app store, to many missing apps now in 2017. I love groove but it doesnt work with the s7 edge on my sd card so im forced to use a very poor alternative play.  Again thks microsft.  Edge same thing.  on desktop i cant open a new tab to my home page, big fail here too.  No cortana in the eu is a huge mistake for a windows pfan.  Im a windows 10 fan best os ever, it is but theres to many issues in android and iphone apps and  even in microsfts own product range that makes it hard for me to actually promote it to friends.  Im at a stage where if it wasnt for gaming id say its time to jump ship to ios or hope android release a full os.  Not haveing a premium mobile phone, not haveing a app store sutable for todays needs and quite frankly missing very basic functionality on apps for ios and android is a huge missed oprtunity.  honestly unless they sort out things liker gestures or even groove the player you use on desktop but onot on your s7 edge cause it cant read your music on sd card.  Unless microsft stop insisting on pushing bing on me and not leting me use a browser like all other browsers always have, my default homepage is google for a reason and yes opera, safari, chrome, firefox and even internet explaorer all let me choose my home page as default when opening a new tab and all allow me to us google as b=my search engine.  Why has microsft edge got to be different?  Why does anyone even think this is acceptable?
  • You do know you can change the default search engine under Advanced settings in Edge, right?
  • 😂 changing search engines is an Advanced Setting? 😂 Btw that's only a small portion of what he was talking about
  • Let us see a similar article using Androd and then compare iOS and Android
  • Not gonna lie, Windows looks pretty sweet on that iPhone.
  • So after all, did you really make the switch? The article suggests you did so, but I just don't want to believe it :/ Btw, I still prefer a Lumia 650 in design over the iPhone 7 any day. One of my friends has an iPhone 7, and her first thought after playing with my 650 also was that how good it looks and how thin and light it is compared to her iPhone :D
  • Yes, the plastic is so thin and light, the bright ugly colors are so beautiful... the horrible Retro live tiles, which offer nothing as far as functionality, so beautiful... the squares, (I can resize them!!! Woohoo!!) so beautiful, gotta love those bad back icon and well over all bad design choices, mmmm
  • Bro, what the hell are you talking about? :D Yeah, plastic is thin and light. But the 650 only has a REMOVABLE plastic back cover, so you have acces to the REPLACEABLE battery :D And it has a metal bezel all around. And yeah, those bright colors are beautiful, my 535 looks amazing iin orange. But my 650 looks amazing in black :D So you can chose the color :D But yaeh... That fancy named "rose gold" pink looks much better... And about live tiles... I didn't even talk about the OS. But why would tiles be retro? Do you even know what you are speaking about? And it offers nothing in functionality??? What do small icons in a grid offer in functionality that live tiles can't? A badge? Live tiles can also do that. But they also display useful information :D Everybody knows that the Windows UI is better than the iOS one... So go to hell, for heavens sake. with your one button feature phone OS :P :D And post your sh*t on imore...
  • BLIND FANBOY ALERT I use both, dude. iPhones and 3D Touch are dope and beat Windows and Live Tiles, hands down. And if you think the bright orange plastic and metal bezels (sooo 6 years ago) are good lookin, well...
  • Yeah, I'm the fanboy, not you... Really :P :D I'm the one who loves overpriced phones with a grid of icons as "UI"... Btw, I have an iPad Air 2, but it s*cks, big time... But at least still better than lagdroid :D
  • Wow. Just wow. WM fanboys are worse than isheep and lagdroid fans combined. I'd be surprised if you have ever tried the more 'advanced' features, like swiping up on your iPad to get to quick settings. Have you even used iOS 10? Notifications are actionable and rich (media playing right from the notification, etc) and if you've ever tried IFTTT than you can realize that notifications are great on iOS. As for the grid of icons as UI thing, the home screen isn't the whole UI, sheesh... plus the only difference is that you can resize your icons. Woah! Awesome and completely necessary for my mobile survival! Jk resizing is dumb. Windows design choices are horrible, (circles around every single button) and completely messed up navigation. So we are both fanbois I guess. :P :D
  • Oh goid, now I see the "orange plastic with metal bezels" thing you wrote earlier... You can't even read, I guess :P :D The 535 is orange with no bezels (because I like orange), and the 650 is black with bezels, as I wrote earlier. And yeah, I installed iOS 10 on that ipad, whan I got it. I know that area that appears when swiping up. I know all the multitouch gestures. But it's still too dumb... :D And yeah, everybody, who isn't an iSheep knows that the Windows UI is better than the iOS one. And live tiles are not just icons with squares around it... So now I'm done with you, and that's all :P :D
  • Man, you're blind and a jerk. :P :D That is totally not true what you said about Windows UI being better.... my goodness such a lie. You must be deaf to everyone else too, because yeah Windows Mobile is bad. Really bad. It's not dumb, you just obviously prefer Windows. Too each their own I guess. You can have Windows for all I care. Take their poor design choices with you. Btw just saw what you said, missed that part with the metal bezels. Still tho, plastic back is iPhone 3G and Samsung S3 era
  • "That's all :P :D"
  • good article zac i have formally quit windows phone this year. just like how you said i cannot deal anymore with the buggyness and lack of a smooth responsive ux that use to be wp8 that is on my iphone
  • I use Windows on work and personal laptops and XBox One and use a Nexus 6P and Nexus 9 and still love and enjoy Microsoft's (and Google's) ecosystems.
  • The answer is certainly yes.  I've commented before on how I've been a loyal Microsoft Windows Phone user since WP7 all the way through W10M. Samsung Focus through Lumia 950. Unfortunately, with news being what it is. The state of app deprecation, etc, I decided to try out the iPhone and wait until Microsoft works out its goals for mobile for the long haul. I bought a Samsung Galaxy S6 and returned it after 2 days. God.  Then I bought a bloody iPhone 7.  The experience is... well, unchanged since I last owned one almost a decade ago.  But, there are those pesky things like apps. Thanks to Microsoft, I am able to use nearly all of my Microsoft apps on the platform while they go through this re-re-re-trenching period.  Groove, check.  Outlook, check.  OneDrive, check.  Office, check.  I've just put all of the Apple Junk into a folder appropriate named. Is it optimal? No, I miss the customizable nature of W10M. I miss my Live Tiles.  I miss sizing things the way I want. Etc.  But for now, this thing will hold me over until Windows 10 Mobile finds its footing and I am confident that Microsoft and vendors are equally committed. First world problems, I know... But it is a quality of life issue when you can't manage your Smart Home, for instance, using your Smart Phone. One among many practical things I really came to terms with during this switch.  Or even finding basic accessories due to availability.  I loved my Lumia 950. But it just felt under utilized and unsupported. Do I feel like I abandoned the platform?  No.  Do I feel that by switching I've made it more difficult for Microsoft to makes its case for consumer adoption. No.  They are focusing on business. Until I see a Surface Phone, I'm not going to sweat it.  Years of supporting Windows Mobile over a host of devices for my entire family, and rings upon rings of test versions of OS and installs, etc, I think I've earned some reprieve. Besides, another thing I tell myself is... imagine what it will be like when I come home! 
  • Pretty much sums up my thoughts.
  • +1 I'm with this guy.
  • Zach, I've been reading your content for years and you do a great job. After reading this article I felt obligated to join the community and provide some additional feedback. I'm all in on Microsoft ecosystem but after getting my 950XL early last year, due to my 1020 shattering, I started to experience the pain. Three phone crashes in the middle of conference sent me looking for options and the iPhone is where I landed. Here are some points that I think need to be accounted for in your article: 1. The keyboard on iOS is TERRIBLE. You must go get Word Flow or SwiftKey to even make the iPhone usable for a Microsoft person. Then you'll find one flaw, Apple prevents 3rd party keyboards from having a microphone input.
    2. Contacts are done. You are forced to put all your new contacts into the iPhone app which doesn't sync to your MS accounts. You have Outlook but no way to input new contacts into that app. If anybody has figured this out, please share ideas.
    3. Calendar and the Microsoft Band. None, nada, zip . . . you can't have the band sync with the Outlook Calendar so your forced to go back and install the Apple calendar. I haven't been able figure this out so it has significantly impacted the functionality of the MS Band.
    4. More Calendaring - I HATE getting notifications when I get an email. It is an absolute productivity killer. However, I MUST get calendar notifications. The Outlook app doesn't allow for this because calendar and email are in the same app and they don't control notifications separately.
    5. You mentioned it but I didn't realize how much it would impact my workflow. I used to use deep linking live tiles a bunch. I had certain OneNotes or websites that I loved to have pinned to my home screen. I had to fully change that. I did figure out that OneNote has a nice Favorite feature on iPhone that wasn't there on Windows that helped with pain but it did taking some getting used to.
    6. Maps - I miss all my pins that I setup on Microsoft Maps. Then find out Apple maps stinks. I wanted to stay away from Google maps but there isn't a Microsoft option. This one was frustrating but not something that I haven't adapted to.
    7. Apple Updates - Apple is nonstop about updates. The OS updates are the worst. If you don't accept an update right away expect to be interrupted multiple times a day with update warnings that take 3+ clicks to get back to where you were at. Let me postpone the update for days or weeks. The control is just so much better on a Microsoft stack. Those were some of the biggest frustrations. However, the move had some great benefits, such as airline and travel apps are way better (love the wallet based mobile boarding pass feature) and banking apps exist that are easy to use (hello mobile deposits). Hope this helps people see some other gaps as they make their decision to make the jump. If anybody has found solutions to any issues I list I'd love to hear about them.
  • This ^^^^^^^^^^^^ ​#3  yes you can.. you need to use the generic "Notification" tile not the calendar tile...
    ​#4 enable calendar sync in built in app, disable notifications, then connect cortana to sync calendar..      
  • #2 - Can you not just go into Setting -> Contacts -> Accounts and add your Outlook account?  Then within that same path, you tap on the Outlook account and turn on Contact Sync?  (That's how I'm doing it for gmail accounts.)  I don't know, so I'm honestly asking why that doesn't work?
  • @doelse  you are correct.. you just have to sync BOTH.
  •   2. I have no trouble syncing contacts. I have my MSA setup as an Exchange account. Granted, I'm ok with having my email sync through the standard mail account. It works just fine. 6. HERE maps. Works great. 7. Not sure what the problem would be with updates. You can pretty much hide all the app update notifications, and the OS updates are about once a month, maybe less. I see that as a good thing, though I guess everyone has their preferences. 
  • Agreed. Contacts are so easy and instant for me. Being able to add a contact in my phone and just have it sync immediately with outlook is amazing. It feels as easy as it did on 8.1.
  • 4. Make sure to set your default calendar to your MS account. Create calendar appts via outlook and it will sync with the apple calendar almost instantly. Just turn on notifications for the apple calendar, that's how that would work for you.
  • Just reading this article gave me an ulcer. Ugh
  • I moved to Android using Hauwei P9 and all of MS services.
    Big downside to Outlook app is that you can't edit or add contacts!!!
  • I prefer Android over iPhone at least with Android I can set my default apps and certain MS apps work better with it. I'm looking at you OneDrive without real background uploading on iPhone.
  • Outlook on iOS is considerably better for me than Outlook on Android, especially for my work account, which uses MS's own InTune. 
  • I'll be using my Lumia 950 until Pocket Surface arrives. Or other OEMs equivalent running full Windows 10. I'm positive its only roughly 12 months away. And I currently have all the apps I'm interested in available to me. Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, WC, among others. All have regular updates on Lumia 950. I don't miss anything at the moment. So don't feel the need to change to an interface I don't really like.
  • Facebook required atleast 2GB RAM, Amazon offers not applicable for Windows Phones. I can't find all TV series in Netflix
  • It's working with 1 GB RAM, but don't expect multitasking to be fast.
  • Android with all of the MS goodness for my phone. Windows 10 with Google for my laptop. Who the **** needs Apple?
  • Quote: "It's 2017 and the iPhone still can't charge up in less than 30 minutes, it's a joke." It's 2017 and the iPhone still doesn't have wireless charging, and that is a joke too.
  • The "wireless" charging available right now is fake. You need a cord, plugged into a pad, instead of just plugging the cord into your phone. About 15% more convenient. It will be cool when we get true wireless charging, e.g. charging devices across the room.
  • Losing the Glance screen is my biggest annoyance with switching from WP/W10M to an iPhone.  I'm so used to having it displaying at me constantly on my desk and then as my alarm clock on my nightstand.  I wish there was some way to do it on the iPhone
  • I've got my work iPhone 7 running most of my Microsoft apps, works ok not like a WP.
    Have to admit though the camera on my 950xl is so much better than the iPhone 7. How did Apple get that so wrong??
  • That hero image is blasphemy. 😒
  • I can't use any other phone in this world other than Windows Phone. I simply love windows phone.
  • I considered an iPhone for a moment but remembered how basic it was. I'm tired of my Nexus 6P being so buggy. Planned obsolescence I guess. I miss WP. Do any of the Windows Phones have stereo front facing speakers?
  • Yup, HP elite X3, I am loving mine, the build quality is excellent, the phone feels elegant. This is what the 950/950XL could have been, should have been. My niece even commented on the fact that the ELITE X3 though looks big, it is very deceptive once you hold it in your hands, compared to her iPhone6S+. HP have done extremely well here, considering it is their first attempt at something like this. I find myself going back to my X3 daily. Few issues with camera focus and double slam to wakeup which I have turned off until HP gets it down pat. Still though, I am using my 950XL as a daily driver mostly, while I am waiting for my L1520 screen to turn up from Germany so I can start trying out the insider builds on fast ring.
  • NOthing basic about it anymore. it does a lot more than static Icons. 3d touch, and various screens create a lot of function. Did you use all those features when "TRYING" the iPhone.
  • I bet he did not even had a 6S or 7 more than 1 minute...let alone to actually use it. I also thought 3D Touch was nothing but a gimmick, but after starting to use it, well, it's more than useful.
  • I use One Drive for all 8.1, W10M, Android and iOS camera backup. The 8.1 & Android apps work every time, iOS and W10M seem the least reliable with camera upload. Outlook works fine on all platforms. 
  • i tried using the MS keyboard... cant put it as default , dealbreaker.
    cant handle iphone keyboard.
  • For WordFlow, you can put it as default. Anytime you are in a text field, just hit the globe and it will stick.
  • thanks but i returned it.. wasnt for me.
  • Aw okay.
  • swiftkey which is MS owned works as default on my iPhone.
  • This story shows how sad the windows phone scenario now is.
    A dedicated Windows site explaining to the fans how to switch phones.
    Understandable though, that's what makes it so sad 😢
  • I also agree with you on this. It really is so pathetic to see a dedicated Windows site encouraging people to abandon Windows Mobile. ☹😪😢
  • It seems that you have done with iPhone, what I did with my Pixel. Android actually allowed for a better integration with my ecosystem. For the parts where it comes short - I still have several Lumia phones and a tablet. :)
  • I have compared my lumia 540 wp 10 with samsung j1. KitKat 4.4. I realised wp10 is much better in speed and performance.. There is one draw back is Xender which is popular app used to transfer data. Is not working well in wp. Hence wp is much better..
  • By the way which app is working fine in windows phone
  • Looking forward to seeing an article about Android, as I'm probably going back to it after I'm done with W10M.
  • Didn't see a mention of the keyboard in the article. One of the first things I personally did was install Word Flow from MS to replace that god awful iOS keyboard.
  • Just ask Nadella and the rest of the senior MS staff how they get by without using Windows Mobile.
  • i rather use android. iphones are too basic.
  • This make me uncomfortable.
  • I switched, for now (Until any Surface Phone gets released), to iPhone and wasn't that bad. What I hate the most is the keyboard and the fact you can't customize the control center. I think Windows 10 Mobile keyboard is the best and top 1. Also, I use all the Office apps, including Lens, Skype and One Drive. Outlook is pretty good but I found Spark more interesting.
  • "This is something you'll be doing a lot when setting up your iPhone with Microsoft services because iOS doesn't automatically apply your Microsoft Account to Microsoft apps, unlike Windows phone. This was the first annoyance I came across." I don't think this is an iOS issue but rather Microsoft doesn't provide this service for their iOS apps. With google apps on iOS you have to log in only in one app and all google apps are loged in automatically.
  • Means u are saying 0.8 % who use wp they are good then ios people.u r people who have not long thinking.ms gives free apps to ios??if u wanna make more app deal with more developer.ios just use the micosoft apps n said like ios not good after all.fist ms wanna make more apps are they deal with another developer no not at all.becouse ms olny need or how to make money.wrong thinking.
  • @Zac i tried about 10-15 times to open/close word, Excel, power point on Lumia 950xl and actually it's about 2-3 seconds at most.. Tried on Nexus 6p, about the same... So it is quite fast on both OS By the way, it is a very interesting article! Thanks!
  • I also really don't understand how zac said that... Because it doesn't take more than 2 sec on 950xl.. It doesn't applies to office apps but core apps like messaging , groove music, movies and tv, skype , etc they too open quickly..
  • I am having lumia 640 and over it no office app open it crashes everytime, and after the last upadte every app is crashing here and now and the rest is filled by store app no aap is getting updated until i move that app to the phone memory, I recently buy a android device and beleive me that experience is far better than windows phone, I am not a customizer at all but all i need is stability in things i use.
    Specially my ICICI bank app.
  • The problem is that you have a 640 with only 8 GB flash which is too little in combination with the fact that running apps from SD card is unreliable. Get a 650 with 16 GB flash.
  • Is it loading from cache? Or did you clear the cache after each test load?
  • Peoples who saying wp better then n performance then android phone.last 4 year they developing os still os is too much buggy.n peoples saying good os are they kidding????????
  • Nuh uh.
    I'm sticking to Lumia, as long as it's still supported by Microsoft.
  • And is it still supported....? Think no.
  • Yeh, it is.
  • I don't know what phones you guys are using, but core apps load insanely fast on my 1520. I'm running release preview builds though. Groove is probably the quickest, but the office apps load quickly as well as Cortana. Heck even windows Central loads fast. And now it doesn't crash in the background anymore.
  • I don't know how zac said that apps doesn't load fast on W10M, it takes less than 2 secs on 950xl..
  • How does it take 10 seconds to open office apps on a 950? It's takes 5 on my 535. I'd expect high end hardware to do better.
  • It doesn't take more than 2 second on my 950xl, i don't know how zac said that...
  • Just treid it on my 950, took 7 seconds.
  • The one app that iPhone doesn't have is Microsoft Movies and TV. I have hundreds of movies and TV shows and can never switch.
  • @zac office apps does open on my 950xl within 2 seconds... Any office app.. It never took me 5 second..
    I don't know how you've said thay...
  • like being a stupid monkey ?
  • A good article and all very true. I tried the iPhone and like the reviewer says, it's a bit basic but fast looks good and simply works.
    I recently went into a local phone store and looked around at all the handsets being mindful of 4 things. Reliability, speed, camera and most importantly for me looks.
    It was impossible to not keep going back to the Samsung Galaxy s7 edge, it just looked different, had a polished look about it, stood out from the crowd so I earmarked it, spoke to a few of the staff then went home and read all reviews I could find. I purchased one the next day in platinum finish.
    I've been a user of Windows on and off for years since the htc hd2 which was one amazing handset, but since Windows 10 it's been rather grueling to date. I have a 1520 and 950xl which are both for sale currently.
    When I set up the s7 I did what the reviewer did and remove some of the stuff I would never use and searched the store to find a window launcher. I found one called 'square home 2' played with it for a while, payed for it and continued from there. It's absolutely amazing with far more customization than Microsofts own. So here I am with one of the best bits of hardware on the market currently with an ecosystem that I really like. All things Microsoft downloaded and running as they should if not better. What I find interesting is that they sometimes update first on Android then on their own platform, seriously curious about that!
    Now there's going to be replies to this arguing awww, android is so unsafe, well, all platforms are unsafe, it's digital end of story! It will come to light soon enough how Microsoft is just as bad in harvesting data etc etc.
    So as the review here says, you can move away from what are now 'old' phones and continue on your merry journey with the windows ecosystem on other devices without feeling left out.
  • I was an iPhone user before and tried MS apps, but they weren't as good as they are today. MS apps on iOS have gotten a whole lot better!
  • App starved maybe, but buggy? I would have agreed with this statement a year ago, but I think WM10 has matured into a great OS. Let's be fair here, WM10 is not buggy, I haven't had to reboot my phone except for updates in over six months. I much prefer it over iOS or Android. While I'd love to have more apps, I don't find myself longing for anything in particular. I love my 950 almost as much as I loved my 1520, but alas Lake Erie loves her now.
  • Agree. Although 1 GB RAM (Lumia 650) is too little when using Facebook and Messenger. It's like using a 4S (512 MB RAM) and iOS 7-9. It's slooow.
  • My girlfriend uses Facebook on her 650 all the time and has no problem.
  • When it's running it's working fine. It's the process of getting it into memory that's slow. And I'm referring to the Beta version.
  • Glad to hear that your 950 is stable. Curious if it is an AT&T branded phone? Or unlocked?
  • Unlocked.
  • " you can't position apps wherever you want on the screen" ?? Off course you can!!! Dude thats like the basics of iPhone functionality. Other than that, I used to have and loved a Lumia 920 before I broke the screen, and then my wife gave me an iPhone 5s. Personally, I think the transition wasn´t bad at all, since I do use a bunch of microsoft services but I don´t entirely depend on Microsoft (Wich I think you shouldn´t depend). I use my outlook account, I have a Win10 PC, I own a Xbox one.... I couldn´t be happier with my iPhone and all of my Microsoft apps. My iPhone 5s was outdated, and since I don´t like big screen phones, I bought an iPhone SE wich I Love!!!!!!!!!! PS: SMS????? Really???? 2017 dude......
  • In what way where your 5S outdated?
  • I don't understand your hate for the term SMS? Is it outdated? Is texting going out of style?
  • Good bye Zac. Will miss your article about Windows Mobile. I think it is a creative way to say 'I'm switched!' I cannot bring myself to the iOS (and Android - to less extent) since I hate having the screen that look like Win95 with the whole desktop filled with icons. I personally don't like the way how this plays out though, sounds like encouraging people to switch the platform. There must be a community of people who loves using phone with Windows as the OS, Windows Central used to be that place. I know we do not have much people now but there must be a place or two for the people to be at ease, sharing and helping each other. Windows Central used to be that place. Let's me see the trend for a while. More articles like this and Windows Central will never be the same. You guys are losing your charm, maybe at least to me. If the time comes, I will also move on.
  • A grid of icons with squares around them is still just a grid of icons.
  • I called that preference. We can differ on that no problem.
  • I think you misread the end. He tried it for an experiment, because many are curious. He is switching back to his Lumia. This kind of thing is important, considering that Microsoft is taking a break from releasing any phone hardware any time soon.
  • I re-read and could not find that.
  • My mistake, I think someone asked him on twitter and he replied that he wasn't switching permanently. Sorry to make you reread.
  • What about Maps, and What Browser?
  • I need you guys to do an article like this for Android
  • I've been wondering this for ages. I'm sick of Windows 10 now, its got worse and worse.
  • But some are going to better and better.
  • I'd rather move to a Nokia Android phone
  • Airline tickets to China will be expensive.
  • hahahaha or lol. But Nokia is in Finland.
  • Prep them. Its coming.
  • Can you edit Outlook contacts on an iPhone? Can the iOS Groove app sort albums in the order of most recently played? What map/navigation app should you use to achieve synergy?? These are all major pains when I tried the OP, though on Android.
  • 1) Yes you can, I do it all the time. (works better on iOS over Android) 2)No idea 3)Not sure here either.
  • Perfect timing, as I reluctantly have to make a move soon. Would be nice to see a similar article for switching and setting up android for MS services to compare the processes.
  • First of all sorry for my poor grammar. I been using an iPhone se for 6 months now and my favorite part of it is the size. I've fallen in love with the small put anywhere screen dont get me wrong the 950XL has a beautiful high rez screen that makes pictures and video pop. But it is huge in a good way.
    Music is a big part of what keeps me using my iPhone and taking it everywhere the fact that there is a family subscription for apple music has caused me leave groove music and look pass how awful apple music is at selecting music i might like. Something I will always miss not using groove it just knew me.
    And since I do alot of driving CarPlay is a gem it feels so premium. Having music and maps on the cars display is awesome and it communicates so well with voice commands. My 950xl does not get along with my Fords Sync3 that well having to use "Hey Cortana" to start playing music or text/call someone. Placing my Lumia on the window or vent feels so 2013.
    And FaceTime vs Skype for me? FaceTime just works and that is what makes it great. On Skype I rarly get a good connection and normally have bad video quality in my own experience. And since my family members are all using iPhones FaceTime makes sense. On my iPhone I use Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote, all the office apps, Apple music, FaceTime, Cortana, and WordFlow. Since im in Canada I had to make an US account to download Cortana and WordFlow.
  • Microsoft apps work better on ios than on the windows phones.
  • The deal-breaker for me last year was either when WM10's immature clock app would decide to not set off any wakeup alarms, or when the thing would occasionally reboot, freeze, or refuse to respond to touch. Waiting for a mature OS and a flagship with NFC. And an iPod Mini which can download any necessary apps.
  • Er, when last year was this? I've never experienced those issues and I've had the Lumia 950 since January 2016.
  • I have been playing with this idea of installing Windows 10 on iphone 6s and as I saw the image I was happy only to be disappointed to the fact that this wasn't what I was looking for. So, guys what do you think about this! Windows 10 on Phone. Would like to try it out! Let me know if anyone already has tried. Peace.
  • Why, how about trying to install android on the 950xl....that would be a much better idea!
  • I've had to switch to iPhone6 from the Lumia 950 because of performance issues while WM10 was and is still being developed. But I had followed most of the path that Zac had taken, and use a lot of the Microsoft ecosystem. While there are a number of handy IOS apps on the iPhone which I use daily, if the iPod Mini were to allow downloaded IOS apps then I would probably carry one along just for those apps, and use whatever flagship Windows phone comes along in the next year or two.
  • What about the ipod touch. You could run everything off that except to make calls.....FaceTime/imessage/music/ and EVERY APP works on the ipod.
  • Thanks Steve for pointing this out. Yes, the iPod Touch would be a great companion to a W10M device, but I guess I am thinking of wanting to carry something smaller than a cell phone-sized device (such as the iPod Touch). Might reconsider my requirements whenever a good enough W10M flagship device arrives and the iPod Mini still won't allow downloaded content.
  • Yeah I get yah. I was "THIS CLOSE" to pulling the trigger on the 950xl/950/dock bundle but said, NOPE...functionality overrules fanboy thoughts. My new phone the ip6s was like a breath of fresh air for my wife and I. We finally saw what we were missing. It was ALOT. Now we do things on our phones that are not possible on windows mobile...and both of us just look at each other and chuckle. the only negative we have ever said is, camera is lacking compared to our 1020s!
  • I'll switch to iphone, when I transition to female.
  • So your switching to android then.    That's good too
  • I love all the fanboys here stating their friends tried the 650 vs iphone7 and said the 650 felt premium compared to the iPhone. ha ha....The 650 is made by fisher price...it's plastic...and not in the good NOKIA plastic that felt awesome. Its the cheap plastic dollar store toy type plastic. Get real fanboys!
  • I made the switch to a Huawei P9 this past week, from my 950XL. I had this P9 for a month or two but only gave it a day before I gave it to my wife to replace her 640XL which she was only getting more and more frustrated with. Eventually I hit the point where the things I was staying for outweighed what I was missing. My wife got an iPhone 7 and I took back my P9. She loved the P9 but seems to like the iPhone 7 more. After almost a week with this P9, I don't see myself going back to my 950XL unless something drastic improves many issues. I mean seriously, Facebook opens like a snap on this thing, while I was waiting up to 10 sec for Facebook today load on my 950XL..... Which has good specs but obviously more work is still needed on the software side. I didn't replace all the apps like the above article, but I do have Outlook and Microsoft's news app, plus the office apps, but mostly I am using the stock apps to give everything a chance. It's really not that bad. Since what I do most on a phone is use apps, the overall UI isn't an issue and the UI that comes with this P9 is actually kinda good with a lot of customisation. And since most of what I do is in Apps and there are lots of apps, I can't complain.
  • Won't let me edit now. I meant to say that the things I was staying for on my 950XL were outweighed by what I was missing out on other platforms.
  • How about bing maps?
  • Bing Maps is crap! On both IOS and Android you can get either Google Maps/Waze or completely offline HERE Maps which is great.
  • Nah ill use Bing maps which works well 
  • Here Maps https://goo.gl/2HOS8P
  • i cant find bing maps in the iphone store
  • Bing Maps is way better than google maps ever was. It reached the level of here maps within weeks it replaced it, and now is way faster and easier to use than here. Offline maps are availibe ever since. And also, i have a lot of favorites in bing. But there seems to be no bing maps on iOS.
  • They are not call Bing Maps, it's Windows Maps.
  • I am a Windows user, I use Windows at home and even at work where everyone is using Apple. I have 2 Xbox one's as well. I love the platform. The only disappointment was mobile. Over the last year I was noticing apps that I wanted but couldn't get. I was thinking about moving away from windows phone but just couldn't do it. I saw this near bezel less phone and thought thats nice I hope the Surface phone is like this. I updated my car and my 950xl phone just didn't sync with my car and realising that there is long wait for a new Surface phone, I decided to move to Android Xiaomi Mi Mix. I have all the windows apps I need on this device and wanted to sync with my Windows 10 PC. I'm in Australia and I like Cortana for its syncing but its US only for Android. I worked around this problem by side loading Cortana and it works as well as it did on my 950 xl. My phone also allows me to set up defaults so no issues like the Iphone looking for stock apps. If you are thinking of moving than I suggest Android over IOS. It was a hard decision to move away from Windows mobile but now that I have I do see what is lacking with windows phone and am glad I moved. I will move back if Microsoft's vision of one platform succeeds.
  • Thanks for this article. With the demise of the Lumia phones, I've been looking around, and there is no denying that Apple makes very nice hardware. I prefer their latest phone over anything else on the market, although I haven't checked out the Pixel very closely. But I really can't imagine enjoying the move away from the MSFT ecosystem, I'm too engrained with it.
  • You will enjoy it, trust me, and many others that did switch. It's like going from the stone age to the 1st century, no matter if you chose iphone or the Pixel/GS7E/Mate 9. Every app for everything you need is there, MS's apps included and working better than on wm.
  • You should try Android. The Microsoft experience is grest on here. And you can still have that synergy between PC and phone I believe(I have a SP2 with W8.1 so I'm not 100% on that) You can use Cortana with voice detection and all the Microsoft services are there plus Android is way more customizable than iOS.
  • Do try to keep up, this article is about using IOS not which OS is better according to you.  
  • Microsoft should give us 2017 updated Lumia 550, 650, 950 and 950 XL what do you think guys?
  • Groove music Bullshit!
    Spotify, iHeartRadio best app
  • Apple Music and Google Music are also available on both IOS and Android, besides Spotify which is also top notch! who the F needs groove music and their outdated library.
  • People who store their music on OneDrive and use Groove to access it.
  • If you pay for apple music you do NOT have to store anything anywhere...you just listen to what you want.
  • I've always used Android, never been interested in Apple. My phone is a Samsung Galaxy S6. I use Windows 10 on my pc - the two systems can get along very comfortably with each other.
  • I've recently switched from a Lumia 830 to the iPhone 7Plus and my wife went for the iPhone SE.  We're about 95% happy we made the switch. We're both in the MS ecosystem, though not quite as heavily invested as Max. We have outlook.com email addresses, but use the iOS Mail, Calendar and Contacts app. We do use Office as 365 subscribers and they work well on iOS. OneDrive works brilliantly as it should and all the rest seems to work pretty much fine. As a bit of an audiophile I have our entire music collection on a Synology NAS at home, and here the apps work soooo much better on iOS than they ever did on Windows Phone. I never use iTunes for music, nor do I use Groove. I buy mp3s from wherever (amazon mostly) and save them on the NAS and I have access to them either remotely or I download them to the device through the app. Movies we rent or buy in iTunes so that's also fine out of the box. I think maps is the most annoying thing. On iOS, I love Here WeGo - it is just great. Unfortunately, Here stopped support of its Windows apps, so on my Windows 10 PC I can't have quite the same experience (outside of logging onto the website). Even though Microsoft Maps uses Here map data, it cannot synchronise favourites etc. between the platforms.  I'm not sure what to think about a Surface phone if it ever comes out. Right now, I'm quite happy I made the change, because there were certain things I wanted to do on Windows 10 Mobile which simply didn't work - most importantly was using the Synology NAS. But there are other things: I fly quite often both for work and privately. Almost none of the airlines of the world have decent Windows 10 Mobile / Windows Phone apps. On iOS, I've got a folder on my homescreen with all the airline apps, so I can manage bookings, check in mobile, etc. etc. Also AirBnB, booking.com, rentalcars.com, DB Navigator (German railways), SBB (Swiss railways). These things work absolutely briliantly on iOS where I had major issues with Windows Mobile.  
  • Exactly our results too Holzlondon. My wife and I both got 6s'ssss last may, and they are awesome. Only fanboys will say otherwise. My only issue is that on the 6s, the camera is only about 80 percent of what windows mobile cameras are....but that's fine. I have Fuji professional cameras for the times I want amazing photos that the windows mobile devices cannot come close to. But as you do, we travel ALOT...and having all our apps available instead of doing it with web wrappers, its WAY AHEAD of the left behind windows 10 mobile system. To bad too, because the windows mobile OS is very nice. but all the negatives outway the positives about 10-1.
  • Yes I'll admit the 7Plus is still not quite a match for even the 830. But it does come close. We also do photography with a Canon DSLR, and no matter how good the phone pictures are (regardless if Lumia or iPhone), nothing comes close to what you can do with a "proper" camera....
  • I shoot with Fuji X cameras. I am anxiously waiting for the 51mp, medium format monster they released to arrive at my door! What a weapon.
  • How did you not replace that subpar Apple keyboard wiht Swype?! Please do this, its a much better keyboard experience. Apple will force you to use thier keyboard for password entry, but that is a minor invoncinence to be able to swype text and email messages, searches and address, etc. Go grab it ZAC!
  • I use the World Flow keyboard from Microsoft, which is pretty good. Only issue is it only supports English, so I have to use the default iOS keyboard for Russian. Does Swype support multiple languages?
  • I meant SwiftKey or Word Flow - got my apps confused! Swiftkey is MS owned, and for Andriod. WordFlow is also MS owned, but for iOS. Dusteater, you're doing it RIGHT.
  • Swiftkey is for both Android and iOS.
  • I have only two issues with using my iPhone instead on my old Windows Phone when it comes to the Microsoft ecosystem.... 1. There is no Movies app so I cannot watch any of my purchased movies and tv shows from the Windows Store. 2. There is no Windows Central app!!!!! If these two items were added to the iPhone my world would be complete.
  • Despite its name, the WC Forum app is the Windows Central app. It has a Blog Section: https://goo.gl/ShzXU5
  • I use an iPhone in the Microsoft ecosystem, after trying for 3 months to use Android with the Microsoft ecosystem.  iPhone/iOS is a million times preferable to using Android with the Microsoft ecosystem.  Android really wants you to be using GMail and Google Calendar.  For example, using OK Google to schedule an appointment by voice would put the appointment on my Google Calendar, not my Outlook.com calendar.  Epic fail. I'm not sure why you would disable iMessage, especially if you have contacts that use iMessage.   I'm also not sure why you would ditch Apple's Mail app for Outlook.  Apple's Mail app is great with my Outlook.com e-mail account and also my work Exchange account.  I have not tried the iOS Outlook app.  I haven't had a reason to.  Can someone give me a reason? And, using "Hey, Siri" to schedule an appointment by voice adds it to my Outlook.com calendar.  Game, set, and match, folks.
  • I'm sure it's been discussed before, but I hope MS, Apple and Google would come up with a way to virtualize and allow for downloads from each other's stores.
  • I reluctantly got an iPhone a couple years ago when my 1520 bit it due to hardware failure. I use as many MS apps that I can be use I'm used to them and they sync with my MS ecosystem. Honestly, the iPhone is just fine. The keyboard and static screen are the biggest cons, but other than that it so pretty smooth, sleek phone.
  • SO much passionate arguments here. Guess I'd add my bit too. I've been using Microsoft mobile platform since PocketPC and IOS since Ipad Mini 2 (IOS 8). The sad App state of Windows Phone/Mobile is entirely Microsoft's fault. The various reboot of runtime made developers wary of coding for WP/WM. The various hardware not being able to be upgraded is less of an issue. The problem is Apps. With each new generation of Windows Phone, devs had to dump a whole lot of code because it's incompatible on the new platform. This is why Microsoft is finally settling down with UWP and Windows on Arm to allow some of the millions of Windows programs work on Arm platform (in theory). It'll take years for devs to warm up to that idea so as long as MS don't change UWP fundamentally, there's still a chance for the App situation is improve in the overall Windows ecosystem. I love the Live Tiles since the beginning. I hated the static IOS icons. The recent IOS 10 widget is much worse than Android's implementation from a functional and aesthetic standpoint. I have all 3 mobile OS at home and that's where I draw my conclusion. I use my Ipad mini 2 for all the apps/games that are not available on WinMo. BUT, for my daily usage, my Lumia 950XL with Mozo back fullfil 95% of my usage. So what's the 5% not supported on WinMo? Note that I live in Singapore. Master/Visa NFC payment, my work POS app, some online payment portal, many many games (PC gamer here), and that's about it. Banking, many online ordering/payment, works just fine as long as there's a mobile website. Some apps are much richer and more stable on IOS but I don't really use those app coz I have full Windows running on Surface 3. So if MS really gives up making phones, I will switch to an IPhone (I'm wary of Android's security) and I lament how great my WinMo Start Screen was.
  • you said you removed maps? what did you replace it with?
  • Not bad. Simply means we need a stable Microsoft Hardwared phone.
  • I'm on Verizon. My 928 bit the dust and Verizon gave me no options other than upgrading and there were no Windows Phones that they considered viable. So I went with a Galaxy S6 and did basically this. I gutted as much as could that was Google oriented. And then installed a bunch of Microsoft apps, including the HUB keyboard and their Arrow launcher. It's not perfect but it does what I need it too with the services I need it to. But I really, really miss having a Windows Phone.
  • To be honest I like using Android and Windows but that's just imo
  • For me, choosing between iPhone, Android or Windows is not about the apps. It is about how the system is designed, how many steps do you have to take for an action, if it is consistent. Windows is the only good options. Only with the start with two screens (selected and list with search box) it wins.
  • You must only use your phone to send texts and emails.
  • I for one find Microsoft's own apps to be better on both Android and iOS than they are on Windows Mobile.
  • Funny enough, I find the Microsoft apps better on Android than on iOS.   I have both, an iPhone 6s Plus as my personal phone, and a Samsung Galaxy S6 as the phone my employer gave me for work, and many times I end up preferring the way things are done on Android.   I still keep some older Windows phones in the drawer at home as cameras/ gym music players (Lumia 1020 and 1520). What has me hooked and keeps me on iOS are, Facetime, which I find superior to Skype (no spam or advertising on Facetime!) and iMessage.
  • Recommendation if you're considering the iPhone: Download WordFlow, a Windows Phone keyboard for iPhone. The main reason I love Windows Phone is because of its keyboard, and this keyboard extension for iPhone is near-exactly the same as it is on Windows Phone. You won't regret it ;)
  • I have been using swiftkey, also owned by MS. Maybe I will give wordflow a try.
  • Is it possible to use the Windows Phone keyboard on the iPhone 7/7+?
  • I love how you write objective and truthfully as well as setting the stage for what kind of person you are. It is a very informative and useful article. Great writing Zac!
  • Great article Zac!
  • Hi Zac, I read this article first back in January, I stayed with my 950XL. My screen was just smashed a couple of weeks ago and I switched to the 8 plus. Lots of tiny nuances that I have to get used to. The PC sync is a huge issue for me. I used it extensively. I'd like to see an updated article with today's environment.
  • Seeing as it's now 2 weeks later, are you happy with the iPhone? I'm thinking of switching since Android is turning into my own personal hell on earth.
  • Thank you for this article. I had an iPhone 3GS years ago to see what the hype was about and left unimpressed. I'm in the middle of a 14 day AT&T "try" of the new iPhone X to see if things got any better in 2018. They did not from what I've seen so far. The same locked down UI but at you actually can delete some of the apps instead of having a "never" folder for iOS apps you can't get rid of. The phone is pretty strong hardware wise. I've had a crazy amount of apps open and it still plows through anything I've tried so far. I'm going to give what you did a try. I've always liked the Outlook, One Drive, and several other Microsoft apps. If it works at least I've got and option when I finally have to drop Windows Mobile. It's a shame that Microsoft can build a great tablet, ( I love my Surface Pro 4 ), but they just fall all over themselves when it comes to cellphones even when they have something promising they've blown it. 
  • nope ain't gonna happen, happy with my 950. waiting for foldable :D
  • apple needs to redesign how apps work so that when you press the mail app it always opens to your mail.  not the last folder you happened to be looking at.  ios 11 seems to have made it even worse, where you can swipe/close the app and it still goes back to the folder that was open instead of your inbox.  so stupid!
  • Cool
  • Android is the better system for Windows phone converts... Better choice of phones, Microsoft launcher and the ability to set default apps... Also Android is more customisable and has SD card support... I have a Blackberry, have configured it for MS services and love the Blackberry apps especially the Hub...
  • What is like to switch from a MS ecosystem to Apple (Mac) ecosystem.  With W10m dead, I havea  decison to make, and it is not just about the phone.  It is the Ecosystem.  I am thinking the whole Apple ecosystem works better then a mix with MS.   Should I go with a full Apple Ecosystem OR How does Android and Apple play together  - Android phone, Mac OS. MS - just don't trust you any more.
  • The iPhone x it's very expensive if I want to use windows 10 like mobile ..
  • One way around the default apps issue, particularly for outlook.com users is to set up outlook as an Exchange active server. It still uses the "m.hotmail.c0m" address. Once the server is set up you can choose to activate some or all functions. I chose to activate Calendar and Contacts on mine. This meant other apps count track my appointments etc, however i did not get duplicate emails. Also meant that I was able to continue to use my synced contacts. My Cortana usage was way down however as IOS just doesnt allow it enough access to be really useful. In the end thouugh when time came to upgrade my iPhone 7, I took a Galaxy S8. The Android to Windows experience is far superior, and I found the phone nicer.
  • I love my iPhone and I like Microsoft. I use many apps on my iPhone. My most missing feature is that Live Photos are not storeable on OneDrive ....