Why I’m (finally) leaving Windows Phone for Android

Windows to Android
                                                                    From Windows to Android (Image from Android Authority)

For the past four or so years I’ve owned a Windows Phone. Now that’s about to change because I’ve finally decided to join the majority and use an Android device as my day to day phone.

Since I dropped my (Windows) phone sometime in December and shattered the screen I’ve been thinking of which phone to buy. My heart said I should stick to Windows because, despite the many complains especially the lack of apps, I’ve become used to the operating system and the long battery life, something that Android phones struggle with.

But with time I’ve come to fully realise the limitations of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, now simply termed Windows 10 Mobile. The lack of apps is a case in point. Though I have long believed that there are more than enough apps on the Windows Store I’ve come to realise that I was wrong.

This realisation came last week when I decided to join a gym. The program I chose to use is one called StrongLifts 5×5 and it has a great accompanying app for Android and IOS. No official app exists for Windows Phone. There are other unofficial ones, of course, but compared to the official ones they are very poorly made and lack some of the most useful features.

This lack of official apps has been one of Windows major shortcomings. I couldn’t find a decent app either when I decided to start jogging using the couch to 5k plan. In certain cases, for instance,  banking, using third party apps is not advisable.

Developers are not too keen to produce official applications for Windows mobile because, at less than 4% of the total market share, Windows Mobile powered devices are a tiny fraction that’s not worth their effort. Obviously it makes more sense for a developer to spend time on IOS and Android app development and maintenance since that’s where the bulk of their customers come from.

The important question is what Microsoft could have done- or can do to increase the number of Windows mobile devices. One such approach has been to produce low cost devices such as the Lumia 520 which proved to be very popular. With more people using the platform developers would have no option but to follow.

Windows 10 Mobile also aims to unify the PC and mobile devices and even the Xbox. This would perhaps boost Microsoft’s market share in the mobile phone OS race because most people in the developing world use Windows for their computers and it would integrate seamlessly with their other mobile devices. However such a time may be far away in the future, or may never come at all.

In the meantime I’m moving to Android, at least for my daily phone. I may get a Windows Phablet soon, but it’ll be for other purposes rather than daily, hourly use. I have tried to stand by Microsoft, against all common sense and reason, now the time has come to join the world of Google.

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Windows 10 Mobile (Preview): First Impressions

I almost ruined my phone trying to install the Windows 10 Mobile Preview build for Insiders. From Monday afternoon I tried unsuccessfully to restore it but it was unresponsive, only showing a lightning bolt and a cog. I finally succeeded in installing a new firmware and got back to Windows 8.1.

I say this at the start so you know what you’re getting into should you want to try out Windows 10.

Anyway today I finally successfully installed Windows 10 Mobile on my Lumia 920. And what a beauty it is. To try it out (with considerable risk) download the windows Insider app, sign in and then download the updates. This’ll take some time depending on your internet connection. When it’s done it’ll tell you to install the update. This may be the point where your phone dies- possibly never to wake again.

So just to show you what the new OS looks like. It looks great, much better than Android or Ios. This is the smartphone experience!

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The default homescreen
The default homescreen
A new look notification area
A new look notification area
Texts display differently too
Texts display differently too
My new homescreen
My new homescreen

 

This is what we’ve been waiting for. Amazed.

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Time I got an Android Phone

The Moto G is an amazing phone  (Image from TechRadar)
The Moto G is an amazing phone
(Image from TechRadar)

I’ve been using a Lumia for almost three year now. Different Lumias certainly but Lumias all the same. The only time I didn’t have one was when my Lumia 720’s screen cracked and I used the Huawei Y220, a small useless limited phone which I used for a couple of months.

I also had an old HTC as my second phone last year until I sold it. So as you can see my Android experience is not that much. But I’m going to change that soon. I want an Android mobile phone now though not because I no longer want my Windows Phone.

I just want a different experience and- I’ll admit- the richer app  selection is pretty alluring. However I’ll keep using my Windows phone and look for a cheap but good Android phone, like the Moto G which I’ve heard so many good things about.

Maybe owning an Android device will push me to develop Android apps which is something I’ve always wanted to do but lacked the willpower.

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WhatsApp comes to the Web

Whatsapp comes to the web. Awesome
Whatsapp comes to the web. Awesome

Last night it was announced by WhatsApp on its blog that the popular chat client can now be used within browsers instead of just on mobile phones (Or using some mobile phone OS simulators such as Bluestacks, Visual Express or the Android development kit)

Said the post:

Today, for the first time, millions of you will have the ability to use WhatsApp on your web browser. Our web client is simply an extension of your phone: the web browser mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device — this means all of your messages still live on your phone.

To activate this web app you simply go to http://web.whatsapp.com and then scan the PR code there using your mobile phone. The latest versions of WhatsApp have been updated to give you the option of scanning the PR code.

I just did it on my Windows phone and it works like a charm.

On a Windows Phone make sure you have the latest version of Whatsapp, open Whatsapp then click the 3 dots for menu and you’ll see a new addition to the usual items:

Select "whatsapp web"
Select “whatsapp web”

Click on Whatsapp web and it’ll open the QR code scanner interface. Scan the code generated on your browser (has to be Google Chrome for now) and it’ll work. Just like that. If you’re using Firefox you’ll be met with the following message:

WhatsApp Web is not available for Chrome yet
WhatsApp Web is not available for Firefox yet

You do have to keep your phone connected to the internet though.

Great development I must say, though it makes it easier for spam message creators and the fellas who make very long stupid jokes. I could literally copy and paste a whole book and send it to someone. Just to see what happens.

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Why I want the Lumia 930

The Lumia 930
The Lumia 930

I’ve just watched an awesome video of a National  Geographic channel reporter shooting a video of the Victoria Falls using his Lumia 930. Man, it’s an amazing phone, and I want one now.

Those who know me will know that I’m a bit biased towards Windows and I always have a Windows device. But bias aside, the Lumia 930 is an amazing gadget. I want it.

So alongside the bicycle, this phone has made it to my wish list.

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