Windows phone refugees may not find asylum on iPhone
The demise of Windows 10 Mobile is approaching, and Windows phone users are considering their options.
What remains of the smartphone space is a two-horse race where disenchanted Window phone fans have a choice between an Android phone or iPhone. It's simple but limiting.
The fall of Windows phone is a sobering weight upon a historically proud community of users. Fans embraced Windows phone's promise and the unified platform vision Microsoft hoisted on them, even as the platform struggled, year after year, for mass acceptance.
Sadly Microsoft failed to commit to its mobile platform. Now abandoned Windows phone users sit humbled, contemplating which of the platforms they've openly derided will be their future. Given what each platform does and doesn't offer, however, a Windows phone refugee may want to pass on the iPhone.
Windows phone refugees may not find asylum on Android
iPhone isn't the best Microsoft experience
Microsoft's working hard to create a cross-platform ecosystem that embraces iOS and Android. Project Rome and Microsoft Cloud allow developers to enable apps to continue seamlessly across devices. Microsoft Graph and Cortana support user experiences across devices. And Microsoft's cross-platform pollination of iOS and Android with first-party apps ensures Microsoft's presence on rival platforms. Microsoft Edge is now on iOS and Android, and it offers "Continue on PC," for instance.
This is good news for Windows phone users who love the Microsoft experience but are contemplating switching to iOS or Android. It's better news for those who are leaning toward Android, however. Apple's locked-down iOS limits how deeply Microsoft can sink its services into the platform. Consequently, iOS won't integrate with Microsoft's ecosystem and Windows 10 as deeply as Android does.
For instance, Android allows users to make non-Google apps, like Cortana, Bing, and Edge the default apps for specific services. Users can even receive text messages from their Android phones on their Windows 10 PCs. iPhone? Not so much.
iOS can't be remade in Microsoft's image
Device customization is also a barrier Windows phone users considering iPhone will confront. Conversely, Android's openness allows users to personalize their home screens and devices and lets Microsoft build apps that integrate with and customize the Android experience.
Microsoft has a wealth of experience developing for Android through Microsoft Garage and a previous partnership with Andrasta (formerly Cyanogen and more recently Lineage). Former Microsoft Chief Experience Officer Julie Larson-Green said, "Android is a great platform for rapid experimentation."
Microsoft has shown no signs of slowing its commitment to making Android a home for Microsoft's services; nor of making Microsoft's ecosystem a home for Android. Though the same is true of Microsoft's commitment to iOS, it will never integrate as deeply into Microsoft's ecosystem as Android. Thus, Windows phone refugees seeking the best Microsoft experience might want to pass on iPhone.
iPhones all look alike
Smartphones are arguably the most personal devices we carry. Consequently, personalizing home screens is a pretty big deal for a lot of people. It may seem like a small thing, but personalization is one of the most valued aspects of the platform for Windows phone users. We like our smartphones to reflect us. The emotional impact of personalization cannot be minimized.
Through resizing, rearranging, and customizing the transparency and color of Live tiles, setting background images and a light or dark theme, Windows phone users tailor their home screens to their precise tastes. Thus, no two Windows phone Start screens look alike. Users considering the every-iPhone-looks-alike, grid-of-static-icons phone would be leaving this level of personalization behind.
Microsoft Launcher, for Android provides users with a customizable home screen experience, integrates with Microsoft products, allows users to continue activities on their PCs, and more. Users who love personalizing their devices may find Android more appealing than iPhone's homogeny.
No expandable storage and a big price tag
Samsung, HP, Alcatel, BLU and other OEMs provided Windows phone users who like options with a variety of choices over the years. Even now, the crowdfunded WinPhone 5.0 by Trekstor is an option for the diehard enthusiast.
Conversely, Apple's the only manufacturer of iPhones. Though there are few complaints given the hardware and software synergy, if Apple's design choice doesn't tickle a user's fancy, he's out of luck. Conversely, a plethora of Android OEMs offer a buffet of choices for Windows phone refugees hungry for a platform to call home.
Furthermore, iPhones don't have expandable storage. Most Android phones, like the ones Windows phones fans are leaving behind, do. iPhones are sold on increasingly expensive tiers with ever-increasing storage options.
Speaking of cost, Windows phone users may find the cost of a new iPhone off-putting. Though there are flagship Android phones comparable in price, iPhones (and Apple products in general) are notorious for their luxury-item price tags.
So, should you join team iPhone?
Windows phone refugees seeking a haven on a new platform may find iPhone's limited customization options and limited integration into Microsoft's ecosystem a non-starter. Limited device choices and no expandable storage are also potential drawbacks. The iPhone's inability to be recognized as an additional drive when connected to a PC, like Windows and Android phones, may also trouble power users. And for a device with a starting price of $1,000, the missing headphone jack is an ironic shortcoming.
Windows phone users who feel they must switch may find Android's openness, ability to personalize, and integration into Microsoft's ecosystem a more appealing option.
Hey Windows phone fans — ignore the haters, use what you love
Then again, for those inclined to hold out as long as their Windows phone does, an enterprise-focused, expensive, pocketable non-phone telephony-enabled Windows device may be in your future.
And Android isn't perfect, either ...
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Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!
By Jez Corden
I've laid out many time how Microsoft's vision has always been the full power of Windows on a pocketable device.
Pocket PC to Windows Mobile to Windows Phone to Windows 10 Mobile didn't achieve that. Windows 10 on ARM via Core OS and CSHell does. Windows 10 Mobiles demise is just a transition to what MS is currently working on under thr Project name Andromeda. It could be canceled of course like Surface Mini and McLaren but this is the broader context for you to view this type of article in.
This piece as you see in the opening and close references this future device, but focuses on the reality that some users are not going to wait and see what pans out. They're switching or considering switching now.
Heres a piece I wrote some time back that you might like:
Why the death of Windows 10 Mobile may be a good thing
Glad for the change of attitude.
This confirmed what we always thought the two os's are.ie not an option for a true Windows fan.
Thanks for the in-depth analysis.
Windows phone refugees may not find asylum on Android Concolusion: Windows phone refugees should not use smartphone anymore.
The storage settings in the 950xl I got for my wp needs are so much better. You can freely choose to move some apps on the card or choose to save new files there
Android is more open and thus prone to bad apps than Windows 10 Mobile was, but Play Protect and other improvements are steps in the right direction.
Moreover the system causes less problems for me and for the first time since a while I have a trusty device at hand. It is sad to see that people are still denying reality and request a blunt statement by Microsoft that they would cancel Windows 10 Mobile completely; although Microsoft never did this before. Well, actually they did this time by saying that Windows 10 Mobile is no longer getting any feature updates, but for some this seems to be not obvious enough.
As a WP / WM user ive been spoiled by a great experience (buggy sometimes though) and as many people has been trying to convince users of the Windows systems to change because IOS is fantastic, Android is fantastic etc. I can tell you, as a prosumer that always use two phones - Android has been riddles with problems (not going into them here, look at android forums/sites for that) as has Ios. In camp Windows though, people have been told time after time that their experience was bad and soon people started to believe it. It hasnt been worse than any other platform. The reason for people bashing WP (both Ios, and android) has been that 1. they have been jealous - its been a fantastic looking platform to show to people, its been snappy on weaker hardware, it has had fantastic cameras that noone could match, its been less buggy and more secure than both android and ios. Also, dont forget the wp challenge and the high quality and durable Nokia devices that ran WP. 2. They are afraid, WP / WM could easily with the right marketing and profiling be eating away at one of the other two OS.es sales and making them "loose" to the other. I say that WM/WP aint dead until the last user ditches it.
Its sad to see so many people being angry with MS (i can understand many of them) for not pushing further and me for one know that it could be successful still, but coming here in comments and bashing the editor and/or saying how fantastic their experience with [insert OS here] is is just BS. They have to believe the lie...
Had to take a REFURBISHED unit as a replacement (sucks.)