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In 2010 I bought my first Windows Phone device, beginning a love affair with the slick user interface and writing endless posts and user guides and generally evangelising the platform. So why have I switched to Android?

Me & Windows Phone

It’s a strange feeling to be using an Android device as my main phone, but a good one. When I switched to Windows Phone in October 2010 as an early adopter of Microsoft’s new operating system, I had been running Android for the previous 18 months. Prior to that I had owned a series of Windows Mobile devices (a few of which could also run Android) going back to 2004.

Since 2010, I have owned a HTC HD7, two Nokia Lumia 800s and a Nokia Lumia 920. Putting the 920 aside has been tough, due to its astonishingly good camera. However, despite endless guides (covering everything from email to unlocking first generation devices), a MakeUseOf manual and many app and game reviews, I’ve decided to make my new HTC One my main phone – and return to Android. The live tile-esque Blinkfeed tool in the latest HTC Sense UI, meanwhile, has helped to ease the transition from Windows Phone’s Modern user interface.

It’s not that I’ve been away from Android – in the intervening time I’ve owned a HTC HD2 (modded to run Android) Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HTC HD2 In Minutes Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HTC HD2 In Minutes Last week I was challenged to install Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the HTC HD2 in as little time as possible. The reason? It was my client’s lunch hour; she was sick of Windows Mobile... Read More and a HP TouchPad (again, with Android installed) How To Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HP TouchPad In Minutes How To Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HP TouchPad In Minutes As slick, smooth and functional as webOS is on the HP TouchPad, and wherever the future of the platform may lie, there remains a problem – the shortage of apps. The fact remains that there... Read More , both of which I’ve modified to run Android ROMs – however, it is good to be able to use a dedicated Android handset again.

It would be churlish to try to suggest that the slimline design of the much lighter HTC One hasn’t turned my head. The Nokia Lumia 920 is surprisingly heavy in comparison – I’d never really noticed just how doorstop-like it really is.

Shortcomings of Windows Phone 8

Over the past few months I’ve noticed problems with my expectations of Windows Phone. My assessment of the My platform’s failings and omissions This Is What’s Missing From Windows Phone 8 This Is What’s Missing From Windows Phone 8 Are you thinking about getting a Windows Phone 8? Although touted a next generation platform by Microsoft, Windows Phone 8 is missing several features considered standard by its competitors. Can you do without them? Read More underlined for me exactly what was wrong (such as the notification bar and the lack of connectivity toggle options), and why I needed to move to a platform that was more suitable for my day to day use.

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muo-quit-wp8-devices

Specifically, the inability to easily share links and blog on my Windows Phone were the main issues. While link sharing is possible, the inability to link to specific apps proved troubling for me. Similarly, the omission of WordPress as a sharing option (something that works well on Android and iOS) made me realise that after three years Windows Phone 8 really should be far more advanced than it is.

Me, Mobile Working & Efficiency

As a freelance writer and blogger, time management and efficient completion of tasks is vital to my survival. Whether writing or researching, having a device that does what I need and offering the tools to complete the task quickly is vital. Why spend time emailing a link when it can be quickly saved to a WordPress draft or added to a repository of similar references?

muo-quit-wp8-email

Windows Phone 8 has its good points when it comes to productivity. For instance there is the extremely useful OneNote app Mobile Working with Windows Phone - Microsoft Office Mobile 2013 Mobile Working with Windows Phone - Microsoft Office Mobile 2013 Since its initial release in 2010, Windows Phone has generally had a reputation as the "other". Neither iOS nor Android but something else entirely, its curious and fast user interface has led to it experiencing... Read More , a triumph from Microsoft that thankfully is also available on Android!

Meanwhile, Windows Phone has given me an introduction to voice recognition Windows Phone 8 Voice Recognition Tips and Tricks Windows Phone 8 Voice Recognition Tips and Tricks Why would you pick up your phone if you could just tell it what to do? Windows Phone 8 has several very good speech recognition options. Give laziness and productivity a boost with our tips... Read More , advised me when updates to my newsreader and podcast manager were available and of course provided me with the native Microsoft Office tools Mobile Working with Windows Phone - Microsoft Office Mobile 2013 Mobile Working with Windows Phone - Microsoft Office Mobile 2013 Since its initial release in 2010, Windows Phone has generally had a reputation as the "other". Neither iOS nor Android but something else entirely, its curious and fast user interface has led to it experiencing... Read More , which I’ve used extensively for mobile working.

How Android Improves My Efficiency

The quest for information drives my professional life. As a result of this, I need to be able to find, share and collate as much as possible, sorting the wheat from the chaff, without losing time that I would later need for writing and networking.

Thanks to my switch to Android, I can now perform research work easily and efficiently (Weave is a great newsreader on Windows Phone, but Android has a much stronger selection, although Feedly’s recent misbehaviour Feedly Was Stealing Your Content -- Here's the Story, And Their Code Feedly Was Stealing Your Content -- Here's the Story, And Their Code Last week, Feedly rolled out a controversial new "feature" -- hijacking feed links. Here's the full story of why people are angry, and how one blogger helped to right the situation. Read More  makes me regret placing my faith in them.

muo-quit-wp8-office

Meanwhile, Office 365 is now available for Android, which means I can get the same collection of Office apps on my HTC One. As for WordPress, the Android version doesn’t refuse to upload photos and even offers the ability to browse the snaps already uploaded. Hardly advanced, but it makes you wonder what the developers of the Windows Phone version are playing at.

Finally, the superior implementation of Dropbox (superior, that is, to even Microsoft’s own SkyDrive on Windows Phone) means that my wife and I can easily view photos of our children taken on different devices. Windows Phone doesn’t offer any automatic photo upload options beyond SkyDrive and Facebook, neither of which works for both of us.

Why There Is Still A Place For Windows Phone

While my migration to Android has almost completed, don’t think that you’ve seen the last of my Windows Phone articles. The Nokia devices are a superb collection and the Finnish group is clearly taking an influential path in determining what users want from their phones.

It seems that Nokia has determined its market, certainly in the UK and Europe, and identified its typical user – one that wants to use the most stylish smartphones and accessories, but less bothered by the productivity on offer from Android and iOS. Instead, their focus is almost purely on photos and social networking. In this regard, my old Nokia Lumia 920 Nokia Lumia 920 Review & Giveaway Nokia Lumia 920 Review & Giveaway A couple of weeks ago, Nokia introduced two new devices to the world: the Nokia Lumia 925 and the Nokia Lumia 928. The top notch of Windows Phone 8 devices, these two smartphones will only... Read More might be considered a perfect match. One look at an evening’s TV in the UK will show product placement of Nokia Windows Phones to a considerable degree. Their presence is widespread on screen and growing in real life, and the popularity of the brand coupled and their social network friendliness makes Windows Phone very suitability for a particular type of user.

The thing is, that user is no longer me.

Hey Android, I’m back.

  1. Yasser Yabillo
    November 10, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I don't use android.. I have experienced using it on tablets. Its bad. I have Lumia 735 and I am contented with its function

  2. laura
    March 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    If windows phones are as great as stated above, could you guys tell me how you manage to perform device to device bluetooth transfers using your Nokia Lumia 800 for example ( task so easily done through android) ????

  3. Chris K
    February 20, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience Christian. I hope you have a dalliance with a new WP8.1 device over the summer and offer an in-depth review. The ongoing leaks suggest it will be quite an update. Keep up the good work. Cheers!

  4. Mad_Geek
    January 20, 2014 at 3:18 am

    I hear you.

    Shifted to Lumia 1520 two weeks ago and am reselling it. Beautiful screen aside and really high quality pictures i can't get the job done. For my job i use a lot of keyboard/editing functions. The keyboard implementation (especially if you use multiple languages) on WP is terrible.
    I find the whole software experience (from market software to market search to the way you have to interact with the UI, with long-presses often not working) etc. extremely frustrating.

    Pity because the Nokia-hardware part, the screen and the photocamera are really top notch. However, when you spend so much on a device of this level you also want to work with it. WP is not ready as a business platform yet in my opinion. I had to go back to my old android phone, with great disappointment as i don't like Android and the new business model Google has implemented (in particular the mania of putting G+ everywhere) not even a little. I am hoping for a rebirth of Blackberry. They were very productive devices.

  5. Umesh A
    January 13, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    guys i'm using lumia 820 and its very interesting to because camera is awesome and smooth touch is give me very good feeling about latest nokia phone

  6. Sheogorath
    January 2, 2014 at 7:07 am

    It's a walled garden for which Crapple holds all the keys, allowing its users none of them. Not such a big issue in the US, but a major one in Europe, where jailbreaking your iPhone could lead to a prison sentence.

  7. Félix D
    January 1, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Well:
    I had a good and bad experience about windows phones. I have a Lumia 900 and the thing i really hate is the battery, specially when damaged.

    Don't have so many apps, but I really adore the camera. Can record so good videos and photos without draining so much the memory.

    But, I have my phone at the Warranty because got bricked. Oh Well!!

  8. Sanyog
    December 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Dude I am using a windows phone as well as Nexus 7.

    I feel more secure on my windows phone than on nexus 7.

    Android is such a mess. Applications can access almost anything on your device and can steal your data.

    Android play store is full of fake and adult applications while windows on the other hand have less but quality applications.

    I love my Nexus 7 but I feel more secure on windows phone.

    • Umesh A
      January 13, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      thumbs up from me dude im also liked it

  9. TechnoAngina
    December 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Wow, the amount of vitriol here is kind of odd. Seriously it's a phone people, calm down. Go out and use that anger to protest for civil rights or something. To answer some of the odd posts regarding Android. The lag isn't from Android. Mine was never from Android, but rather the stock AT&T bloatware. Once I removed them, the issue was gone. I've personally looked at the Windows phones and they've got some neat features, but the lack of customization really kills that thought for me, same as it does with the iPhone, and even a few Linux distributions that make you have to buy into their ecosystem. Seriously if a mobile device is getting in the way of doing what you want to do, then it's not doing what you need it to do, regardless of the OS. Personally I'd like to switch to Replicant or Debian on my phone, but there aren't a ton of options to do that right now. I can tell you in my enterprise environment there isn't a lot of buzz for Windows phones, because every user who has had one, hasn't found it able to compete with the iOS or Android ecosystem. Windows phones have a lot of potential, but like a lot of things with Microsoft, the potential falls by the wayside with poor implementation.

  10. Binoya M
    December 27, 2013 at 6:41 am

    You are spot on with everything you said with the article. I switched to windows phone and just 2 months later, I feel its the worst decision I have ever made. As you summed up in the article, the higher end models are for a particular type of user ,and the lower end ones for people who upgrade from feature phones. It`s simply not for productivity like windows 8.
    If I had an option, I would have changed from that too.

    Let me add,I too was sick of the fragmentation of android affecting the app behaviour and having to depend on the update schedules with no guarantee whatsoever. But Microsoft doesn`t seem to give me an alternative. Well, what I feel is they are contend with the third place in mobile.The iPhones are way too expensive for me and its limited sharing ability puts me off.I know a lot of people who work in Silicon valley who have tried to switch and switched back to iPhones/androids. The so called growth of WP8 is only because of the cheap Lumia 520/521 which constitute almost 70 percent of the WP market share.

    I don`t really understand all the criticism from the so called 'happy' windows phone users above. If someone voices their opinion, doesn`t mean they are bashing the OS or purposefully trying to make it look a bad option. I am a windows phone user and I completely agree with what`s been written and just because the OS is fluid, its not going to keep me from switching.

  11. felart
    December 27, 2013 at 3:09 am

    It's true that WP lacks some features, but the upside view is that its features are sometimes superior than the competition:

    Here maps with true voice offline navigation in most countries.
    Super fluid, no lag enviroment in every corner
    Very good battery life, the OS handles background tasks way more efficiently than android(from a development point of view, this is critical for good battery life)
    It has kid's corner, you could have a virtual phone prepared for kids so they don't mess with your stuff.
    The best native SNS integration in the market.
    The best of all, NT Kernel, so you basically have a PC in your pocket, even the crash screens are the same: http://pix.echtlustig.com/1212/bluescreen-auf-einem-windows-phone.jpg
    (not fake, I have seen it myself in my phone while tweaking)

    So yes, maybe WP is not for everyone, just like android isn't either.

    I had been android user since 2009, but at some point WP caught my attention and I made the switch to a Lumia 920, which has what I was looking in a smartphone: Good camera and good battery life.

  12. John
    December 27, 2013 at 12:28 am

    I'm not sure if I follow.

    Apparently blogging is harder on Windows Phone, because you can mainly only email links, rather than download their content into an app. Is that right?

    Also, you prefer dropbox to Skydrive.

    I followed your link to other shortcomings: a notification center, a lack of ability to customize sms message alerts.

    Is that it?

    I can see that Windows Phone might be a bad choice for the .0001% of smartphone users who use their phone to blog. And if you don't like Skydrive, sure, move on.

    But I've got to assume that you don't have any real world, major complaints about Windows Phone that an average user would find frustrating. You can play music, run apps, get the weather, get email and text messages, find news articles, surf the web, play games, make fart sounds, find directions, etc. on a Windows Phone.

    Do you really not have anything to write about?

  13. tjelle
    December 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Maybe the features in 8.1 is great for WP8.But i think its been a long wait,should have been there from the start

    • Christian C
      December 26, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      This is exactly the point. Three years, people.

  14. PoliTecs
    December 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    The WP issue is with the WP app. You belong on android cause you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

    • Christian C
      December 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      It's more than just WordPress. Why not read the post properly?

  15. Gregg
    December 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Lol this article.

    So basically your points on why you switched from WP is that "I can also do this on Android" (what?), and "there is no notification center" (announced, along with most of the other features missing from your little linked list, for Windows Phone 8.1 in April).

    The only other thing really even mentioned that is even slightly relevant is Dropbox integration (which you laughably call better than SkyDrive, clearly you don't really use them that much if that's the case).

    From the way you phrase your article, what you really have a problem with is the lack of app support, which is a legitimate claim, as WP apps simply do not usually do as much as their iOS/Android counterparts, but you don't seem to have enough knowledge of the ecosystem to even fully flesh out your argument.

    • Christian C
      December 26, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Lol your comment.

      "Announced... for Windows Phone 8.1 in April" - over FOUR YEARS since WP was announced, then. You don't think this is too slow from the world's biggest commercial software publisher?

      Dropbox integration on Android IS better than SkyDrive integration on Windows Phone. I fail to see how you can either contend this or misunderstand the original statement. Again: Lol you comment.

      The lack of app support isn't the issue. The quality of apps on WP is on the whole better than Android or iOS. No one has to surf the Store browsing through 99 versions of the same app on WP - it's there or it isn't.

  16. Matthew
    December 26, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I thought Windows Phone was a natural partner to windows 8, sharing the same look and feel from tablet to Phone.

    But, a lot of interesting apps are not available for Windows phone, and unless you are happy to live with Apples restrictions or hope you can find a jailbreak that works, then the ONLY platform to consider is Android.

    Though the development / release strategy of Android also leaves a fair bit to be desired - for what is supposed to be a more open system, you are dependent on the vagaries of manufacturers releasing an update with their own mostly bad customizations.

  17. Jayghosh Rao
    December 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Decent Article. People would have different reasons to switch between the two OSes. The most compelling reasons for me, though, are these:

    Lumia is cheaper. It is still a smartphone that does what smartphones are supposed to do on the basic level. Efficiently enough. There are features missing but with regard to cost, it is the best. And this is the most important point. I, personally, don't see a reason to buy a phone that costs as much as a laptop.

    WP doesn't lag like Android. My mom bought an Android recently and it was freezing like crazy within even a week. Its price range was comparable to the Lumia 520 and I tried that. The 520 beat the Samsung in every way except the usual "apps and customizations" that comes with Android.

    But what good is customization in case of low range phones if the OS hangs so much? WP is better for low range phones and Android seems to be an apt choice for the higher end models.

    I would prefer WP. Peace.

    • Herb
      December 27, 2013 at 9:38 am

      You get what you pay for, a cheap badly optimised Samsung running Touchwiz is not representative of Android. The Moto G destroys your argument.

    • Jayghosh Rao
      December 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      @Herb,

      Well, the Moto G isn't out in India yet. And it is a tad bit costlier compared to the phones I mentioned.

      But yeah, Android is better on its own when you strip out the other aspects.

      P. S. Thanks for pointing out the Moto. Inclined to buy it when it comes out.

  18. Gerritt
    December 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Amen brother! As an IT executive and close follower of your site, I can say that Microsoft just does not get it. I have tried to "introduce" several Windows phones to my organization and each time, we have found ourselves switching to something else. Just something as simple as setting the phone up the first time requires a call to Vz Wireless for assistance. The charger for the new Nokia had something rattling inside the plug after less than two weeks. We are going to stay with Apple and I am done with Windows. Too bad because there is some great opportunity with integration with enterprise systems that makes Windows a natural selection but then again it is Microsoft and seamless integration is just not in their DNA.

  19. hari
    December 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

    hi
    i can say one thing for the WP Lumia 625 i have the build quality is great and the battery is too good it give me much better battery than my brand new galaxy grand android phone yes on battery life i can say 625 beats any android phone hands down and this is based on my experience with many android phone and it is still my main phone

  20. silentcon
    December 26, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Eh? Why not an iPhone?

  21. frank
    December 26, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Except HTC one (500€), android phones are laggy and slow unless you install unofficial ROM that often brick the iPhone. So for a out 200€ you can get an excellent wphone, for the esame price instead you con purchase only android rubbish.

    • Herb
      December 27, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Lol sorry but this is just a load of rubbish, I like WP however you fanboys keep harping about this android lag that hasn't existed since the introduction of JB. Nexus 5,LG G2, Xperia Z1 are all smoother than the HTC One.

      Sent from my LG G2 that is smoother than anything you're using. Deal with it.

  22. Dalsan M
    December 26, 2013 at 6:52 am

    I'm sure that you would agree that Windows Mobile 6.5 was among the great mobile OS's that ever was, if only the availability of apps were not so slim. Very capable and hackable, much like the desktop counterparts, but support was very lacking. If only Microsoft decided to improve upon what they had instead of putting out a very limited audience-style movie OS, Windows Phone would be higher up and on par with Android. Microsoft had the tools to dominate the corporate world, but never fully pushed to be better for business and personal use.

    Android fan? I can't say that I truly am, either, but for usability, customization, and plenty of apps available, Android is the choice. iOS, and especially Windows Phone, are for specific audiences; anyone like a power user would opt for Android as it offers the most capabilities without any modifications, but even more with mods. Once the Ubuntu phone hits the market officially, I'm sure things will change even more. When that happens, we can truly see how far behind Windows Phone is in comparison, and what Microsoft should do to remain competitive.

    • Christian C
      December 26, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      I've been thinking about this a bit lately, partly as a consequence of switching back to Android, and looking back over my smartphone history.

      I think you're right, WM 6.5 was a more flexible OS, a good homebrew/enthusiast community (many of which switched to Android when MS pulled the plug). I would have liked to see the originally mooted WM7 have a chance, in an ideal world.

  23. Bob
    December 26, 2013 at 6:04 am

    This guy was never a Windows Phone guy. This article is fake, and titled for hits. Just go look through his old articles. He was, and always was, an Android guy. I'm not saying he didn't sleep with a Windows Phone a few times, but he was always in love with Android.

  24. Zhong J
    December 26, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Maybe you should compare both system to test which one are better for which needs. I never used Windows Phone before it's very similar to Windows 8 and I find Android system to be very customizable with good use of its touching gestures.

    • Christian C
      December 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      This is a very good point. I may do that. Thanks for the suggestion, Zhong.

  25. RH hassan
    December 26, 2013 at 1:35 am

    good decision

  26. noBS
    December 25, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    How many times are you guys going to republish this article?

    Ironic that the first two shortcomings of Windows Phone that you listed have recently been announced as coming in the next update.

    We get it, your an Android fan.

    • Zlate J
      December 26, 2013 at 1:55 am

      *You're :/

    • yourefoolofit
      December 26, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      Clearly an Android lover, and hater of all things not Android.

      You're points are invalid.

    • Charles
      December 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Nothing on Android is superior to Windows Phone. Point blank and period. Android is the HAY, iOS is the wood, and Windows Phone is the brick. This pig builds with BRICK! OINK OINK.

    • Christian C
      December 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      This article was written last week. It was published yesterday.

      It has not been "republished".

    • dragonmouth
      January 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      @Charles:
      You are SO right! Windows is a pig and Windows Phone is as useful as a brick.

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