Switching from Android to WP7, should I be nervous?

In the world of mobile phone technologies changing from one device to another usually brings excitement. Getting a new device with more memory, faster CPU/GPU, better cameras, newer and faster radios is so thrilling. Other times it can bring the same immense excitement mixed in with the feeling of wanting to throw up. If you fall into the latter camp, it’s probably because you are switching OS platforms and a devote technophile. That is where I am currently at … the week before a new device launch and I am planning to switch OS camps. This time around is the HTC Arrive for Sprint which is the first Windows Phone 7 device for CDMA networks; you might know the GSM variant, the HTC 7 Pro, with slide-out keyboard and all.

This isn’t my first (or last) switch from phone OS’s. I’ve gone from PalmOS to Windows Mobile (2003 all the way to 6.5) to Blackberry, to webOS, to Android and, to iOS. All of these in no particular order and on several occasions more than once. This time feels different to me than previous changes. When I wanted to switch from Palm to Windows Mobile, it was because of the lack of multitasking and Wi-Fi support. From Windows Mobile to webOS, it was the lack of pretty and notifications. From webOS to Android, it was… well it was a lot (credit goes to Palm/HP for making round two three more interesting). So, why am I making the switch now and why the sudden urge to expunge my Jolt Cola and beef jerky?

I could easily say that I am happy with my HTC Evo running Android and let’s face it, a stock HTC Evo is a great device. Even then, I always take it one step further and dabble in custom ROMs with flashing and tweaking settings (the nerd in me can’t resist); this allows me to have the latest and greatest that Google has to offer for current generation devices like the Nexus S. I’m still not making a convincing argument for switching, am I? Then I’ll get to the point… Android has never been pretty. Never. Nope. It’s downright meh as a matter of fact. Metro UI is a beautiful design that I want to get to know. There is something pretty and oh-so-dreamy about the transitional movement that appeals to my brain. But, I’ve been burned on a move like this before (i.e. webOS is gorgeous but lacked functionality with early adoption; some could even argue it still is without major patching). Android also lacks decent music support for me. Sure it has Slacker and Pandora! They can get janky with the multitasking while listening to those applications (webOS has that market cornered, if you’ve ever heard the PalmCast over at sister site www.precentral.net, you’ll know I’m a fan of GPS & Slacker integration over Bluetooth in the car).  The Zune Pass integration might give webOS a run for the money but it’ll have a lot to prove.

Now, here I am, going from one OS with multitasking, a decent notification system, insanely good Google services, and a wealth of developer support (commercial and developmental) to an OS with “zero” multitasking (let’s face it, there is no quick app switching, though it's coming with 'Mango' in the Fall), a notification system that needs some work, Google services that are passable with tweaking, and a fairly new core of developers (but with heavy hitters on the commercial side). And so, this is where my stomach churn occurs. I can watch YouTube video and YouTube video, read article after article, and talk to friend after friend on the Pro’s and Con’s of Windows Phone 7… and I still won’t know I’ve made the right switch until I’ve actually gone through with it.

  • I just switched from Android and I am a little worried. I hope they figure out the small issues or I'm going back. Lots of potential! Come in MS get the updates out and constantly make the OOS better.
  • Not really. I use to use Android, and I think it's worst off. It's more feature packed, but the OS is a fluster cuck. It doesn't have a smooth flow to it. It's just a bunch of features, thrown together. Poorly. IMO.
  • Me myself have been looking in from the outside on All OS'es. I have read about Android for so long, and kept me up to date with the development of phone hardware, but I still have not yet owned any Real smartphone. I had a Samsung Jét S8000 for a year - the "Smarter than Smartphone" one - but then I took a dive in the pool with it and the rest is history. I too was very interested in Android and was quite dead-on that it would be the OS of my next device. But in lack of money and decent enough phones for my taste, I waited ...... and then a completely new OS emerged - the Windows Phone 7 - and I immediately fell in love with the aesthetics and design of it. The overall feeling was almost flawless in terms of good looks and design, and it took a totally new approach to how a smartphone shall function and look. I have NEVER been impressed by the static icons or lack of widgets of the iPhone, and I've always like the Symbian widget start-screen better than any of those I've seen on Android (I never even really liked the look of HTC Sense, other than when it resided on the Windows Mobile).So now I am too waiting for a good opportunity to grab me a WP7 and go full force with it. I especially like the comforting feeling of knowing that the OS updates actually Will happen on my phone - which I can Not say about Android devices. And I'm not one of those "FRAGMENTATION!" guys back-talking Android, but compared to the unified updating sequence of Windows Phone - I take the WP and it's unified UI any given day of the week.I just first gotta collect me the $ to go out spending, though :-) But I hope you'll be happy with your device and choice, too!Cheers!
  • The Keith Newman!! Welcome to WPCentral! I've listened to you on the PreCentral Podcasts and look forward to you contributing here. I am about to make the jump from WM6.1 to WP7 and am just waiting for Verizon Wireless to give me the chance. One of the reasons I waited for WP7 is that I don't really want to have to tinker with the UI anymore. I just want my phone to work and to have access to music, podcasts, video, maps, internet and video without needing to tweak the os to get it there. I have thought about Android but the UI just felt more like WM7+ than anything new and different. I NEED WP7 since most of my work world is in Windows and nothing runs the Office suite like windows mobile or WP7. The only other Os that I may jump for is WebOs 3.0 coming this fall. Mostly for the way the phone and the TouchPad can share functionality together and the use of real multi-tasking but alas, no real native windows applications.Welcome and I look forward to your contibutions.
  • I wonder if your jump from 6.1 to 7 will be dramatic for you; but with tombstoning of apps in NoDo, I think you should be able to adjust. I know from Android/webOS to WP7, it'll be hard for me.
  • If you switch it isn't a lifetime move. It's very easy to go back. I switch regularly.
  • Here is the real question. How are we the people, suppose to take the Windows platform serious if you (the WPCentral journalists) and MS themselves don't take it serious? I remember watching a video a long while back with MS employees talking about Windows Mobile but one of them owning an android phone. How are we suppose to take their product serious if you don't even use your own product and back it 100%? Yes, I know Windows Mobile and WP7 aren't the same but that's not the point. My point is you should always back your product 100% if you expect other people to take it serious as well.I guess what I'm trying to say is if we want WP7 to succeed, We need to back it 100% right now cause if you don't then other people won't, which can hurt any chances of it to succeed
  • I own 5 Windows Phone 7 devices: HD7, Mozart, Arrive, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus.Y'all can kiss my butt.And Los, FYI: This is Keith's first post here at WPCentral, so perhaps take a deep breath and take in the facts before posting, m'kay?
  • Well it's my first time posting here too. I wasn't trying to bash anybody or start anything. I was just making a point. Something that I noticed even about Microsoft themselves. The average person reading this is not gonna see if it was his first time. They're gonna see someone in doubts about a product their suppose to be a journalist for. That's all i'm saying. No need to get all unnecessary if it didn't apply to you. I was speaking of MS too
  • I totally agree with you on this one.
  • I love my WP7 Samsung Focus and even with the flaws Id take it any day over my previous iphone and android phone. I look forward to the updates but can I live it and enjoy it the way it is? Heck yes! BEST phone Ive ever owned by a country mile!
  • I think it is implied by the article content and the listing of my experiences with other OS's that this is my first dabble into WP7... not exactly sure how this isn't a backing of a product (I mean, I am getting it, therefore it's a backing right?!)Secondly, this site reports WP7 news and editorials; like it's sister sites under the SPE umbrella (even the previous wmexperts), these journalists NEVER pander to the platform when the platform isn't deserving. I think Dan has done a bang of job of reporting the awesome and the not so awesome since site launch. I appreciate his journalistic integrity... and he smells like flowers (just sayin')
  • I understand your just doing your job and your just getting into WP7. I'm not criticizing this site or journalists for doing it's job. You guys do a very great job. I also understand you don't directly work for MS. I was mostly speaking about MS commitment and the public perception of WP7. All of which was sprinkled all over your article. Just look at the title. That's exactly the attitude that's hurting the platform right now. Why should anybody be nervous? It just seems like WP7 gets all the hate cause it's missing some features, so people wanna stay away from it for now. Why is it that that's never stopped people from backing android and iphone when they didn't have some features when they started? the iphone went 3 years without most of those features. It didn't stop people from getting it. It definitely didn't stop it from succeeding. It just doesn't make any sense to me especially with MS saying from the beginning that those features are coming
  • I feel nervous ANYTIME I switch platforms when it's been a while since I was on it. Like when I went to iOS 4.2, I knew Gmail labels and badging sucked when having a combined inbox. That might be an issue with WP7 too... I will have to figure out what works for me via a decent notification system and creative engineering. All new platforms will have this kind of public perception of nervousness, especially people who knew WM from the past and how it aged and MS did very little to help that (HTC tried it's hardest to flip people's minds). This article isn't specifically about how WP7 is weak, but how it you can compare two platforms when switching to an unknown one.
  • I totally agree with your entire post! Nothing more to add.
  • "I own 5 Windows Phone 7 devices: HD7, Mozart, Arrive, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus."I get what you are trying to say, Daniel, but how many of those five did you personally buy yourself? ;)
  • A lot, actually. LG, Focus, HD7. Focus is my first AT&T device and is contract bound. The Quantum and HD7 were eBay purchases. Mozart was from MS and the Arrive (currently) is a reviewer device, which goes back. In 2 weeks, I'll purchase the Arrive on my Sprint account (been a customer for 11 years).
  • How many phones and carriers does one guy need?! OK, your job description is a little different than most of us!
  • Windows Phone Pros:- Metro UI is absolutely amazing... The automatic tiles, .. everything is extremely mouth watering... Android is pretty static, and ugly..- Zune Software... Hands down, the very best music/most powerful device software and UI in the industry .. You know the story with Android- IMO the calendaring... If you are highly dependent on your calendar, then it is the way to go.. You appointments are right there in your face (even on standby), and your phone can automatically switch sound profiles if you are busy according to your calendar.- FM Radio- IMO the keyboard is better than my Nexus one running Gingerbread.- Better facebook App.- The useless lag on my Nexus one phone application is so annoying.. never seen it on any WP7 device.. Windows Phone Maybe's:- Office integration: It has the best Office software on any device, however, you cannot transfer files via USB for now.. you either have to email them to yourself or have them on SharePoint.. Such a bummer!! I suspect that will change soon though. For now, Documents to go on android does a better job cos you can edit and sync with your computer. Windows Phone Con's:- Apps: If you are into apps (or android games), then you will suffer.. Windows phone is no where near the length and breath of where android is with apps.. However, they have the big hit apps. Most of the apps that I actually use, I could transfer the information to excel. + if you want the very best of apps, get an ipod touch. Those are the pros and cons for me personally. I just got sick and tired of all this smartphone madness... I was fine with my Tmobile Dash on WM 6.5.. Due to the touchphone craze, I went to the G1, Dash 3G, Iphone 3GS, Nexus One, and was recently considering the Dell Venue Pro.. So sick and tired of having these fancy phones that don't satisfy my everyday needs (solid calendaring, solid email and messaging integration with a real keyboard, with a battery that lasts at least 3 days).. I'm going back to the basics.. Nokia E71 + a solid MP3 player... I find that apps are just a waste of my time and I have a computer most places anyway..Hope this helps.
  • I switched from Android to Windows Phone 7, well technically I still have both but as far as use concerns go I switched. For me Android is a fun phone to tinker with, where Windows Phone 7 is a fun phone to use.The other reason I switched is I never felt secure or safe with Android. It is all just so open without any sandboxing, it is a virus nightmare waiting to happen. And no one wants to take responsibility. Google throws an app store and os out there on a monthly basis and leaves the OEM's to struggle to implement it and users with nowhere to go but each other, which is great until something really bad happens that goes deeper than just technology.
  • Similar to "Los" comments, I too wonder about Microsoft's own people backing up their own product. For one, I am a Touch Pro2 user, on WM6.5. I am fed up with the device's consistent freezing, unresponsiveness, lag, etc. etc..... that being stated, I kept saying to myself, "Gee, I wonder how many Microsoft people really use this junk, and I'd love to see somebody get a snapshot of Ballmer using an iPhone or something other than his very own WM 6.5 software junk..." For comparing WM6.5 to iPhone was just no comparison at all. NOW however, I am looking forward to upgrading to WM7 and am all for it. I hope it exceeds my expectations and that I love it.And another thing to go with this and "Los" comments, take the Bing app for example. I am not sure if it is this website, or another like it that has shown an in-depth review of Bing for iPhone. And after reading about it, it makes you wonder, how in the world does Microsoft's very own search engine app get all the bells and whistles for an iPhone?!??! In other words, Bing for WM7 apparently does not have some features Bing for iPhone has! WTF!??!
  • I'll agree it sounds messed up, but we need to remember that the Bing team operates independently of WP7. The Bing team has the sole goal of ensuring the success of the Bing search engine, with or without WP7.
  • I can get that. Ok, so Team Bing is responsible for Team Bing. Ok. But who is the owner of the team? (Microsoft right?) And why on earth is the Team playing harder for a different owner than their very own? That's how I analogously see it at least.
  • Those are great points. Exactly what I was talking about. That's how I see it as well
  • Simple: NOT EVERYONE LIKE TO BE ON AT&T/T-MOBILE!C'mon peeps, think of it. I've even heard some MS people say this, they're waiting, like a lot of us, for CDMA devices to hit. Cut them some slack.
  • Your right. Not everyone like to be on AT&T/T-Mobile. I am with Sprint myself but that doesn't change the fact that one of the Windows Mobile development team owned a HTC G1 (which of course is android). Now you can not tell me there wasn't any WinMo phones on T-Mobile at the time. I can understand if it was a test phone. You know, to see what the competition has to help improve WinMo but No, that wasn't the case. The G1 was his personal phone which is weird since he's a WinMo developer. There's no excuse for that. If your not using your own OS that you made, why should I?
  • Welcome to the WPCentral side, Keith. I, too, listened to your Podcasts at Precentral back when I owned a webOS device. I have since migrated to a Samsung Focus and love it, outside of the occasional bug. Multitasking and temporary lack of Copy&Paste were difficult to handle at first. You'll find the fluid UI, Commercial app support, and the fact that Microsoft won't get bought out by a printer manufacturer to be nice Pros.
  • Good luck with the switch. I don't know if you have run into this but moving between finger friendly OS's is much tougher than keyboard friendly ones. Going from Blackberry to iOS was easy... iOS to WP7 was hard. You get very used to the location of UI elements on the screen and the physics used for animations and scrolling. But I have to say, that even without multitasking, the shear speed of WinMoPho7 makes up for it.WP7 is great if you can make it past the turbulence from switching between touchscreen OS'.
  • I'm a HTC HD7 wp7 owners and I can honestly tell you that 1. you'll lose a ton of feature 2. you'll gain a new experience (wp7) 3. dont count on too many updates happening on wp7 (although they're promised they're pretty much broken promises)
  • If you're worried about unfinished, unpatched software then WP7 is not the place for you. We won't be getting any major revisions until very late this year at the earliest - more likely it'll be about this time next year. The Zune music player is pretty good, except that it skips a lot, and this is apparently not fixed in the NoDo update. Maybe next year. Over the last couple of months I've come to believe that WP7 is destined to be a place-holder to hang on to the market while MS waits for their long-term strategy to mature. There's too little happening in WP7 in the near future compared to the number of developers MS supposedly has in their phone division - whatever they're working on it I don't believe it's WP7. I think WP7 and Mango are hanging on to the market while Windows 8 is turned into something that can truly compete with Linux/Android or OSX/iOS, i.e. playing the role that Windows 95 and ME did for Windows XP. I'm sure Windows 8 for Phones will be a really excellent OS in five years time. I'm also sure that I'm not interested in putting up with the issues that journey brings.Because of this I'm actually planning to switch the other way, from WP7 (Samsung Focus) to Android (have an iPad 1, don't like the OS, probably wouldn't like it any more on a 3.4" screen). I'm waiting on that rumored Nexus S with AT&T bands, though were the Atrix's "4G" not so egregiously throttled then I'd already be on Android.
  • I too have experienced the Zune playback skipping effect. I haven't seen it ever since I removed Beezz from my phone (the live tiles stopped updating, and the development for that app is taking forever as there are many other bugs and missing features in it.) So, I would check to see what you have installed, as another app using the Live Tile or Push Notification systems may be causing it.However, I'm not knocking that MS is doing no favors to their consumers. The biggest issue I have with WP7 is the pure lack of "timely updates" and lack of communication from the WP7 team. They placate us with blog posts over on windowsteamblog.com that doesn't answer any questions. It's kind of like the TV show Lost. They would feed you a bit, but left you hungery or ravid for more.I disagree with your comments that WP7 is like Windows ME, or even Vista. Sure, calling the team like that may light a different fire under their asses. But the OS itself isn't like either of those.
  • There's alot of love for WP7 in these comments, but the fact of the matter is that there are quite a few missing features in WP7. -No custom ringtones.-Unable to join hidden wireless networks.-No unified email inbox.-No visual voice mail.-Zune player is unable to resize video which is a problem for widescreen dvd rips.-A LOT of bad apps in the app store (might not be different from Android).-Only able to sync main calendar from Google (or anywhere)-No cut and paste (and poor cut and paste in the upcoming update)Deal breakers? That's a personal decision. I switched to WP7 from an iPhone as I wanted information presented in a different way. Android didn't appeal to me and WP7 seemed like a worthwhile investigation. I like the phone, but there are compromises to be made. The biggest question to be asked.... Is Microsoft capable of updating the phone in a timely manner to catch iOS/Android? That remains to be seen, but their planned 2 updates a year seems severely lacking. I love my phone (Samsung Focus), but I have my doubts that I'll have for longer than a year.
  • I can't switch from Android soon enough - the day Verizon releases the Trophy I will switch. I went from Palm to Winmo 6 to iPhone to Winmo 6.5 and now to Android. Android is an absolute mess and reminds me quite a bit of winmo6 on my Samsung i730. I go to the app store, some applications don't work on my Droid 2 global because Motorola blocks this or that service, apps crash, now there's viruses, google requires you to sign up for their email, and I still can't configure a notification that shows unread email for my exchange account without using googles unified inbox garbage. If I didn't need a global phone on Verizon I'd have an iPhone, but until Trophy I'm stuck with Android.
  • Forget switching back and forth from Android. I've used Android long enough to know its a clunky piece of **** that I wonj't be returning to! I am happily changing to the Arrive, because WP7 appeals to me far more than Android. The only other OS I would consider is webOS.
  • The phone experience is wonderful but it's the lack of useful apps and developer api's that currently let early adopters down but I've no doubt this will improve over time.One massive FAIL is the marketplace. It's tied to a gamertag/zunetag which after creation is region locked permanently. This means if you plan to move countries or have already done so ... or live in an unsupported country you will NOT be able to enter valid credit card details and therefore will not be able to purchase anything (except for free apps and the quality of those fluctuates wildly). This problem has existed for xbox360 users for 6 years now and MS remain extremely quiet on the subject and do not consider it a high priority on their agenda of fixes.
  • Seems like a silly dilemma for you, The Keith Newman. You state that you are a technophile and that you are happy with your EVO - so you are FULLY aware that WP7, in its current state, is NOT going to provide you with all of the functionality you currently have with your EVO. And your complaint with Android is that 'Android has never been pretty'? How silly and lame! Beauty fades and can't be expected to solely hold your interest, or perhaps in your case, it will. What will be even more predictable is after you purchase a WP7 device, and return it (because it didn't have the functionality you needed), you'll post again, criticizing WP7 for the very things you already knew (and as you already pointed out above) before your purchased it.
  • idk... beauty is a pretty big thing that attracts many to WP7.You can't downplay it.
  • It's one of the main reasons why I'm really thinking hard about the Arrive - I find the OS painfully beautiful. The live tiles, the hubs... I love everything about it. Android is drop-dead ugly in comparison, even with third-party launchers and widgets.Also, the speed of WP7, paired with the beauty, really makes a compelling package. Add in decent Office support and what looks like an awesome HTC five-row QWERTY and the Arrive is really, really tempting me. But Google has made me dependent on integrated GChat - I use it very, very frequently, since all of my friends have android phones. I hardly text at all anymore. I'm also dependent on Google Maps and Latitude. I'm not sure I can give those things up.
  • Not down playing the 'beauty' of the Metro UI at all...It is very unique. But The Keith Newman is an Android user and the functionality he currently has with his EVO, he will not get with WP7 in its current state. As I stated earlier, the 'beauty' of the Metro UI cannot be expected to solely hold the interest of an EVO user, but perhaps in his case, it will.I'm just tired of reading post from 'folk' who KNEW what WP7 was capable of before they purchased it, only for them to post and critize why they are returning to Android, iOS, etc. because WP7 just didn't 'do' what they needed it to.
  • It's not a silly dilemma, it makes sense as a technophile I'd always be willing to switch to something new despite the downside.I'll be as fair as I should be, but I am not bound to any OS as a fanboy would be.
  • Great post Keith. I am in the same position - I have an Evo but am very tempted by the Arrive. In fact, I was all ready to dump the Evo on the 20th, but then I installed Cyanogenmod 7 and it's really breathed new life into the device. Now I'm going to wait to see what Sprint introduces on the 22nd to make my final decision.
  • I was running CM7 but it was resetting a lot on me (all the way since nightly beta 1). I ended up going back to Froyo with MIUI and it's awesome. Google should probably sweep up that company and use that UI as it would really make it a much better experience. Not to say Duarte isn't moving in the right direction with Honeycomb; it still feels fragmented in UI integration, pieces don't match from core app to core app.I hope to just get an experience of WM7, I think I'll enjoy it a lot and have things to complain about as well. Trade-offs are what make us settle with a particular device.
  • CM7 RC2 (once I fixed all the stupid **** like having to lock GPS using a Sense ROM before flashing) has been rock solid for me so far.
  • RC2 with and without a fresh install gave me the same issues. No worries really, I've got the new device bug. When the Evo2 comes out, I'll want that... and then another device and then another. My first smart phone (Treo 300, almost 10 years ago) didn't even last that long before I moved on to the Blue Angel. Nature of the beast... hence I have zero allegiance to a platform (although I am EXTREMELY partially to HTC builds)
  • For me, it all came down to the User interface and integration with facebook and MS services like zune.If you like the way the phone itself functions, you'll be happy. You're going to be slightly annoyed at what the phone is missing in terms of smaller features next to the Android, but it's not enough to make me consider switching. I'm loving it for now, and when my two years is up if MS hasn't added the key features (which they already said they are) I would think about switching.Go to this thread to see what the OS currently is missing and see if you're willing to trade off those features temporarily for the things you love about WP7http://pocketnow.com/windows-phone/what-else-should-microsoft-add-to-mango
  • I'm a "soon to be" owner of a HTC Arrive WP7. I work for a 3rd party retailer and had doubts about a new windows OS. After selling quite a few and having the chance to play around with WP7 I was left extremely impressed. Sure the OS needs work, there's limited options/settings to toy with but seeing WP7 in motion and simply using the phone is a unique experience. It definitely left an impression on me and I look forward to more updates.I am not nervous to switch from Android to WP7. I've never been a huge fan of android, and the widgets just kill my battery life anyways.My only complaint with wp7 is lack of landscape support...that will be rather annoying on the arrive, keeping fingers crossed that mango fixes this.
  • The WP7 HTC Surround was my first smartphone and so I don't have the comparison problems all the above posters have. I have played occasionally with my wife's IPhone but did not care much for it. For all the shortcomings mentioned above,like many other users, I have not begun to even scratch the surface of this beautiful OS. The apps I need including IMDB,Facebook,Weather channel etc are easily available and what there isn't can be accessed on the browser. I have had a lot of fun showing off my (limited) knowledge of the phone and its features at parties. At the end of the day it is a phoen and not some life-saving device like a defibrillator etc. Just enjoy it while it lasts and get a new one when it dies.
  • Me and my wife will be at a Verizon store the day the trophy is released. I've been saying this since the WP7 launch....Sales might look off because people are either a) waiting for thier current contract to end ( i know 4 off hand in Tampa that are in this boat) and b) waiting for sprint and Verizon... Verizon is KING in the Tampa/FL area. You can't beat the coverage. When GTE was spit up one of the spin offs (Verizon) recieved in the deal, control of all the old GTE ifrastructure. This has aided Verizon in being the best in Coverage. I was close to moving to At&T, but held off...