USA Today: Windows Phone is a joy to use

Some good exposure for Windows Phone on USA Today with Mark Smith talking about how he's enjoyed using the HTC Radar and to him the OS is a refreshing change from iOS and Android. He holds a strong emphasis on icons vs tiles throughout the article.

"Where Apple and Android have settled on home screens of small square app icons, Windows has created a vertical column of interactive tiles that display information — unread e-mails, missed calls, weather, etc."

Smith noted that Microsoft's TellMe functionality isn't as advanced as Siri on the iPhone 4S. To be honest, Siri comes across as more of a gimmick to the majority, where as TellMe actually does something. You don't need to ask a Windows Phone for the weather, you'll see it on the home screen. You can -- however -- open an app by voice command and other functions that Siri flops at.

Overall, positive words for the platform and any exposure is good exposure. Head on over to USA Today to read his impresions.

Source: USA Today (opens in new tab); Thanks, Harold W., for the heads up!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • In before some Android fan talks about how Widgets are somehow better than live tiles
    Was a very good article to read nontheless
  • Great read. wonder what he would have said uing a Titian or a Focus S. great none the less.
  • My favorite capability with the voice commands is doing in-call commands for pressing numbers.  I was able to call AT&T and get my phone replaced using the voice commands alone, with the screen completely broke.  It only took about 30 mins (due to waiting times) and I had my replacement the next day.
  • Thanks Rich. I've been describing the difference between WP and Siri to people and have tried to be too polite to my Apple loving friends, but you hit the nail on the head. Siri is gimmicky. The cute answers Apple programed in for uses such as weather and calendar (and the meaning of life) are really just a type of packaging of a product; the kind of thing Apple excells at.
  • Article is nice but nothing to write home about. The New York Times was much better and more comprehensive. And to someoninwa's comment that "Siri is gimmicky" are you phucking joking? That comment reaks fanboi. I mean I'm very impressed with WP but the AI technology behind Siri is pretty advanced. And it's only at its infancy and only will improve once Apple release the API to developers. And the comment about how Apple injected with attitude is pretty slick IMO. I bet you wouldn't mind if MS did that first before Apple. Look I love what MS is doing with their mobile OS -so much so I'm moving to it and am very bullish in their prospects- but I love a lot of the other features coming from Android, iOS, and even webOS. I'm not going to be blinded by one system so much so that I can't be impressed by the competitors.
  •  Bodega_Bay! I'm not sure why you're being so dismissive of the USA Today article. The point is that WP7 is starting to get some much deserved respect from the mainstream press, and that is fantastic for the platform. Comparing it to the New York Times article is ridiculous! They are both wonderful articles. This USA today article seemed to be even more bullish on WP7 and I believe it will encourage more people to give it try.
    I have tried Siri on my friends iphone 4S, and I do believe that a lot of it is about being charming. No one is denying that it's good tech, but it simply isn't all it's cracked up to be. Besides, Apple bought Siri. They didn't invent it. If you are a supporter of WP7 then you have a lame way of showing it. If you don't like the article then just shut up and let the WP7 community enjoy a little bit of positive confirmation.
  • He can be a supporter of WP7 without being blind to the technology of it's competitors while not succombing to the rah-rah attitude of many here (and other WP7 blogs).  There was nothing wrong with Bodega's reply other than it was grounded in reality.
  • Well said.
  • No fanboi, and bully for you if Siri impresses you. I believe it is gimmicky. I don't choose to have chats with my phone nor want it to answer me like a Star Trek computer. Apple has packaged Siri with a bit of conversational ability because design and marketing is what Apple is all about.
  • Sorry about the typos but I was a little annoyed. 
  • All this talk of Suri made try out the WP7 on my HTC Surround. Quite neat to be honest. I think I will use it more often. Love my WP7 more each day.
  • I like TellMe, but it does need to be better and certainly isn't as advanced as Siri. I was driving on the highway yesterday and didn't want to risk toying with the phone to start playing music. I told my phone "play music."
    It searched Bing for "play music." Failure. I said "start music." It searched bing. Only when I said "start Music and Videos" did it open Zune and even then I had manually press the play button. Not ideal.
  • Yeah, if there was one improvement I would want from tellme, it would be to have the ability to play songs or artists by command. It would be really useful in the car.
  • There's a lot of improvements Microsoft can bring to TellMe that can exceed what Siri currently offers. The only technology TellMe lacks that Siri has is natural language which Microsoft can look into.
  • It would be convenient to have it understand more by conversational style speech. 
    Other than that, this is a classic case of user error.
  • When Siri came out with iOS5, I was in the car with a friend, comparing my voice features on my Omnia 7 with his new iPhone 4G. He was surprisingly annoyed that I could compose and send a text all with my voice, whereas he couldn't. His annoyance gave me some pleasant satisfaction.
  • love the tellme, but when i say it, i have to be really slow and accurate to get the write text message i want to compose. It's rediculous!
  • Just goes to show you there's a better alternative than iOS and Android if consumers are aware of Windows Phone. Give it a try and you'll find a lot of people would love to jump ship to Windows Phone.
  • WP7 speech (TellMe?) is hit or miss for me. Last night, I wasn't 100% sure of the location of a movie theater, and I said "Cocoaplex Hershey" without turning off the music playing in my car, and it came right up. But it still did Web search and didn't switch to Local so I had to click through to get to the address. But thanks to T-Mobile, there are so many times when my signal is too weak to use voice...
  • I would absolutely NOT describe Siri as gimmicky.   I love the fact that you can easily create events with Siri.  Events based on clock or GPS location.   "Remind me to call Mom when I leave work" is incredibly powerful.   "Schedule a meeting tomorrow at 10am" is pretty nice.  Seems more important to me than "Launch Yelp".