Windows Phone 8.1 Update – The Future For Microsoft

I’m writing this piece because I feel as though I should share with all of you what I’ve found to be as an interesting situation that I’m in.

From iOS, to Android, to Windows Phone? An Honest Review

I’m using a Windows Phone.

It all started when I left my Motorola Q behind, and plunged for the iPhone.

It was smooth, fast, beautiful, and just so different that I fell in love.

I realized at that moment that I needed more than just a phone that made calls; the iPhone to me was a sign of the future.

Alas, four months into owning it, the glow wore off.

Part 1: The Apple and The Garden.

After a few upgrades (3G, 3GS, 4), I found that iOS was starting to become drab.

I was tired of having to wait for a jailbreak in order to customize the phone towards what I wanted to do at the time, and by jailbreaking, I often found myself riddled with glitches and bugs.

Plus, the iPhone was a money pit in and of itself, simply because of it’s fragility.

I had the worst luck in the world, because even after purchasing an Otterbox, I STILL managed to shatter the screen.

Most of all, I grew weary of iOS. I’ve always been big on design and minimalism, and something about the skeuomorphism on iOS constantly irked me.

My friends who are all Mac-heads constantly raved about how beautiful the iPhone was, but I was never convinced.

After all, I grew up on PC and my computers are all heavily skinned thanks to RainMeter and DeviantArt downloads.

So one day, I decided to look elsewhere for my next phone.

I was constantly being amazed with what Android was doing, and one day, I pulled the trigger and bought the Galaxy Continuum (that Galaxy with the second, small strip screen at the bottom).

Man, what a phone.

Part 2: Are These The Droids You Are Looking For?

I fell in love with the depth and breadth of Android and its ability to adapt via. widgets/apps. If I didn’t like the way my phone looked, I would just reskin it or get a ROM. However, as with every fairy tale, there’s a catch. It seemed like a daily thing with force closes and app glitches. My OCD side could not ignore the constant jitter of the OS, nor the lack of any sense of design language. Aesthetically, Android just seemed “cheap”, especially when it came to apps. While I could control the way in which my homescreen and lockscreen looked, the apps themselves ruined the experience for me.

I soon tossed the Continuum aside for a Droid X2, which was more or less the same thing. Next came the Droid Incredible 2, which was a blithering mess of glitches for me. Finally, I went with the Droid RAZR.

That was a big mistake.

The first 3 months were wonderful, but I was one of the many waiting to get ICS. Finally, the day came. We were promised a smoother phone. Sure, it looks miles better than it originally did. But it was a mess of problems from there. I’ve tried restoring the phone, resetting the apps, but force closes became a daily occurrence. Many times, I’d run into errors that brought the phone to its knees and mandated a restart. I sent in the phone, had another one sent to me, and the SAME THING HAPPENED. We tried a third device, but to no avail. JellyBean added some nifty features (Google Now was pretty slick) but what’s the point of having endless features if your phone crashes every 15 minutes? Mind you, all of my phones were checked and double checked for any suspicious apps, and in fact, the only apps I ended up having just because I trusted them were Engadget, Instagram, and Facebook.

Part 3: He who lives in a glass house

…must really love Windows. I for one did. I purchased a Surface on the release day, and I have been quite satisfied with it. My laptops were all upgraded to Windows 8, and I was enjoying constantly out benching the MacBook Pro in both photo and video editing in terms of LR/PS/PP/AU performance. So naturally, I was following Windows Phone for a while, checking it out (from a safe distance, in case MS pulled another Kin).

I left my RAZR on the train by accident (good luck to whoever now has it), and I had an upgrade sitting because I originally wanted to wait until the 928 came to Verizon. However, with another line due for an upgrade the following week, I decided that it would be smarter to just get the Lumia 822 now, and use the other upgrade when the 928 hits home. That is, unless they announce a 41 megapixel EOS Lumia, in which case, that upgrade will be waiting until THAT phone is on Verizon.

Zeus almighty, this phone is nothing short of amazing. First off, I’d like to say that yes, I do miss Instagram. But not as much as I thought I would. However, this phone truly feels like a SMARTPHONE for me. Why? Where do I begin?

Part 4: Happily Ever After.

The first thing that I fell in love with was Microsoft’s Predictive Text. Sure, Android has this too, but the one on the Lumia is actually quite accurate. The keyboard on my 822 is so much more accurate than the one on my RAZR. Mind you, both the RAZR and the 822 have similar screen sizes, so space and screen size is not to blame here. It is just plain and simple easier to type on a Windows Phone.

The speed of this phone HUMILIATES my RAZR, and even my friend with the iPhone 5 struggles to do as much as I can. We had a little “Smoked by Windows Phone” time at lunch during college, and I never lost a single match (except for the “post to Instagram” challenge, which left me feeling less than kawaii). Flipping between apps is seamless, loading times are barely noticeable, but the phone has never ONCE stuttered. That’s…

What? Is this even possible? What black magic is this?

The OS is absolutely gorgeous. I find the need for a notification center to be something that I don’t care for, simply because my homescreen is absolutely gorgeous in how it is laid out. Everything that I NEED updates for, I get. As for the one off games, yeah, maybe it would be nice to get a notification center just for those third party apps, but trust me, I don’t feel like I need one. The OS is really focused around me, because everything from typography to design language is flawless. I find it weird that a guy like me who loves to tinker and customize things suddenly doesn’t want to, but you know what they say- if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Flipping between texts, Facebook chat (through the stock messaging application), emails, One Note, Calendar, and other apps is just stupid fast. Literally, I just back button or hold back button and bam, bam, bam. Android made me afraid of notifications. Windows Phone made me love them.

There are so many intuitive pieces to Windows Phone that are neither original, or unique, but the way in which these pieces are implemented makes them feel completely special on Windows Phone. I for one, am actually fine with knowing that there are better Windows Phones out there. Before, I had upgrade anxiety- never satisfied with a purchase, and waiting to see what would come out next. Instead, I might not even upgrade this for a while. I just bought a Mugen Extended Battery for this phone because I’m constantly on it (another first for me). I actually WANT to use this phone. When I had an iPhone or one of my many Droids, I would only use the phone to text, or call someone. Stuttering and other issues made me dislike using my phones. But this phone is so unequivocally smooth and refined that I am encouraged to use it. For the first time in my life, I’ve bought an app. Asphalt 7 Heat. A racing game. I’m going to be buying more apps to support this ecosystem. Why? Every app I’ve used so far on this phone looks good, works well (except for the Facebook app, but I’m just using the integrated Facebook support and therefore, I don’t care. Plus, I’m sure that it isn’t that great of an app on purpose thanks to FB’s dislike of Microsoft) and is fluid and fun.

I really cannot express how happy I am with this phone. If you’re skeptical, give it a week. You’ll find those tiles flooring your heart.


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  • James Haberberger

    I agree wholeheartedly…. I absolutely love my Nokia 822 from Verizon…. I am also waiting for the Nokia 928 to come out! Windows Phone 8 rocks!

    • esail

      the 928 is out on Verizon.

  • Ahmad Siddiqi

    Yea I gotta say that ms came out with something that works. I also have the 928 and this device rocks.

  • Matt Crosser

    Search for Instance, formerly Instagram, on the Windows Phone store. It’ll cure your Instagram blues. It did mine.

  • Pedal_Harder

    Great information. I too went from an IPhone for several years to my first windows 8 phone this past November and all the things you mentioned about why you like the OS are the same for me. I have the HTC 8X, but my wife was due for an upgrade and she purchased a GS3(because of the large screen), well that lasted for about 4 days before she decided she wanted the same functions I had. She returned it and exchanged it for the 822 and loves it. I find that I do pull out the phone to use many of the features that in the past I wouldn’t do with the IPhone. When we travel the local scout is such an amazingly useful tool that I can’t understand why more smart phone don’t have this. In regards to apps, the funny thing about the GS3 is that you had to hunt around for apps to install just to get what my Windows phone does right out of the box. Also, those apps on the Android were never integrated as well as the they are on the Windows phone. I love that I can open the camera and find a list of the apps I have that will work with it, how logical is that!

    My office uses mostly all MS programs so the windows phone was a perfect match. The calender actually lets me accept meetings on the phone unlike the IPhone.

  • irwincur

    Funny, I had much the same feeling. I have used smartphones since the early day, back when MS was the only player. Had a Blackberry, and then two Droids. Android was a big step up, but it always seemed like it was just tossed together, granted we are talking v2 days. My last Android ended up getting tossed out of my Windows, I was so sick of the lockups, crashes, and random overheating that I lost it. I too had been monitoring Windows Phone from the fringes, and I decided to make the leap.
    I have never been happier, the phone is idiot proof and just plain works. I went with the 8x and loved it, took me about an hour to acclimate to the new interface. The keyboard blows everything else away, even the third party Android apps. Honestly I just don’t care anymore about the customizations in Android, I didn’t reboot the Windows phone in months.
    Even better, my mom was in the market for a smartphone, a total newbie. I gave her my 8x and upgraded to the 928. The 928 is just a bit better, but the camera is killer, and with two young children, priceless. My mom, one week into her smartphone days has already almost mastered the thing, this is testament to the intuitive design on these things. I have also converted a co-worker.
    I still have an Android tablet (Nexus 7) which I like, but it still crashes and has some general crankiness. For the record, I have over 20 years experience in the IT field.

    • esail

      just get a surface pro and the rest of your troubles will be over.

  • Palantas

    The keyboard really is great, and it has been since Windows Phone 7 was first released. I’m on a Lumia 900 (soon to be 920), and I can smoke my girlfriend on her iPhone 5 when it comes to typing speed. It’s surprising that Android and iOS haven’t caught up yet in that particular category.

  • Syahir

    for best fb app, try get facebook will be made official in due time…for instagram, try get instance..pretty much same app to access instagram

  • Inkognito Jones

    Same experience. Used to think I was ‘productive’ because I could load custom ROMs, or troubleshoot others’ iPhone or Android issues. Now I realize I was just wasting my time. Who needs a phone that has to be babied?

  • Lu

    Please! I played with the windows phone at their mock (wannabe Apple store) at the Glendale Galleria. It was terrible. Not intuitive at all. Whatever you guys have to tell yourselves to make yourselves feel better about owning a Windows phone, more power to you.

    • elderjlward

      If a persons experience with a mobile OS has been iOS or Android or even Blackberry 10, it is likely that there is a particular way of interacting with a smartphone that has become familiar to you because all three of those OS’s are fundamentally similar, in that they are laid out more or less as app launchers via a static grid of apps.(remember Apples lawsuit against Samsung – the screens look similar to iPhone in how apps laid out) Android of course has a broader scope in the implementation of widgets but the concept of horizontally scrolling pages of static apps is common between those Operating Systems. Pulling down from the top for a notifications center is also similar.
      So for most people(market is dominated by Android and iOS) sthey are familiar with interacting with a device in a certain way because that’s what they use, and if they use strictly iOS, knowledge of how that operates can be transferred to Android even if they pick up an Android for the first time. Not because that the Android device is inherently intuitive, but because it has a similar UI functions to the OS (iOS) that they use. The same would be true for someone picking up an iPhone coming from an Android phone. The familiarity due to the similarity in UI function may sometimes be attributed to inherent intuitiveness of those OS’s. Windows Phone UI is different from those OS’s and UI’s in that it employs a vertical scrolling start screen of resizable and customizable Live Tilles(a combination of an icon and widget) and static tiles in contrast to the page after page of static icons(and android widgits).
      Instead of a swipe down notifications center the tiles update with notifications, including the Me tile, where you can also view social media notifications.

      So again it is DIFFERENT than what most people are accustomed to, but that difference may sometimes be interpreted as lack of intuitiveness because most people know Android and iOS and of course those two UI’s have similar functions.

      in support to this Windows Phone users have some of highest satisfaction ratings among smartphone users.

  • Harry Velez

    Agreed. I am not certain that I would pooh-pooh Android, but I was not attracted to it. I had an Iphone 4 for over two years and never found it fun, exciting, or compelling. I got my Lumia 928 in May just a week after it began to be sold. Love it. Took it to Spain for 5 weeks. Changed the SIM card. Beautiful. The phone works smoothly, intelligently, and intuitively. For once, I really like my smartphone. Great maps app, thanks Nokia. Great camera. Easy to share stuff. Great integration of Office. Easy to customize info as one likes it best. Great phone, period.

  • Randy Hawkins

    I agree wholeheartedly with this blogger. I have used my own Android and used the iPhone a few times. Will android is like anything else open source and buggy. IPhone is just to much mac for me to handle. I got an windows 8 phone as well. I ain’t going back to Android any time soon!!!

  • Allen Tierney

    Just wanted to say that I’d been using the Facebook beta app for awhile, and as of yesterday that became the official app. Try it. I promise you’ll like it better. I have a friend with an iPhone that told me she thought my Facebook app works better then hers.

  • Justin

    If you want a good android you need to go with the nexus experience…I’m rocking the nexus 4. I’d like to try windows phone though and own one as a back up. I love how it looks and feels but I just can’t stick too it. I’ll download everything windows 7/8 on my nexus and uninstall like a second after Haha I can’t use anything besides android really.

  • William

    yeah we need smartphone, not computer in our hand :)

  • davidgp

    Again and old article crops up on Bing News why is this site constantly re-hashing articles as new, look at date of article 30th Aug 2013 and then the comments.. all becomes blisteringly clear that this site is after clickthroughs to Ad revenue, poor showing for a supposed tech site.

  • Jody A Morgan

    I agree as I have owned a WP8 for a while now but I don’t understand the title of this article since you discussed none of the features in these OS just the brands themselves.
    With that said I am a person who wants a unified ecosystem with my tech. If you are a MAC user them go get the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV and use them to the full. If you are a PC user then get the SurfacePro and the Windows Phone and the Xbox one and sync it all together as one. And if you are a droid user well…..Nexus and droid are all you have and a free browser, but I am sure that Google will be coming out with an OS soon as I am sure it smells blood in the water with the debacle of Windows 8.

    • justd80010

      Google has an OS, ChromeOS.

      • Jody A Morgan

        HUH I did not know that they had made that a full OS. I will have to but a desktop from Dell or IBM and try to load my StarCraft game on it and see how good that runs. Will it let me install EXEs that I download from vendor sites like Adobe Photoshop too? I am interested to know.

        • justd80010

          Mostly if you don’t have an Internet connection it’s just a decoration. But I’m told this is the wave of the future and people only need something like ChromeOS.

          • Jody A Morgan

            This is what I meant that they don’t have a true OS rather is a really expensive device to surf the web. Obviously to each his own preference but I have no love or use for Google at this time and have banned their use in my family. Now I am not really forcing my family not to use Google products but the family did agree on settling on a unified platform. We decided , for now, that it should be Microsoft, That may change to Apple in the future but never will I turn to Google for any product or service. That is nothing more than MY PREFERENCE, and not to be taken as me telling others what they should use.

  • Brian

    The title is a bit off as WP8.1 isn’t released yet (this is different than the GDR2 (Amber) update. However, great article! As for your Instagram fix, check out 6Tag or Instance, both are awesome 3rd party Instagram apps. I’m using 6Tag and it even integrates as a camera lens.

  • Lance Stern

    WP has an INCREDIBLE instagram client app called “6tag” now… and it’s not Windows Phone 8.1

  • William

    i have the 822 too! It isnt windows phone 8.1 though, and one of the things that disappoints me is the updates they give us. They are pretty lame.

    • justd80010

      8.1 won’t be released until 2014

  • Yuan Taizong

    I’ve used Windows Phones for quite some time and they’re awesome.

  • Charles

    Android Kit Kat is made of hay, iOS out of wood, and Windows Phone out of brick. You decide which little piggy you are when the big bad wolf comes knocking.

  • justd80010

    It’s true, I have the L920 and as an early adopter I thought I would suffer from phone envy but I don’t. For once I don’t mind waiting two years for my upgrade because I’m halfway through my contract and although I’ve seen other great phones I feel like I have one of the top 3 or 4 phones in the world right now. I use the FB app created by MS, it’s great and for Instagram I use 6Tag, I can’t imagine the official app doing anything 6Tag doesn’t and the developer really stays on top of things and keeps the app updated.

  • Dan Hugos

    My L920 isn’t perfect (battery life in particular, and ATT reception not great where I live) but it sure is sweet. I really don’t get all the fuss with certain apps, but I guess if you have to have Instagram instead of 6Tag or Instance, then WP is not for you. Otherwise, WP is one thing MS did right. From a user-experience point of view, it is really a nice phone, quick and smooth, and a pleasure to use. One other thing though, the title of this article is obviously misleading and a rather flagrant way to get attention to WP. These sorts of things actually work against a very nice phone.

  • Aravind Hari Shankar

    Makes me happy to see that there’re people who can appreciate something for what it is. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Killer.

  • James Burkett

    I can’t wait for WP8.1. I got the 928 and never looked back. Some small functionality is missing from the stock WP experience (Customizable ringtones and slider keyboard), but I imagine that we will get that at some point. For now I would rather wait here with a device that I can use and not have to Worry about ROMs and tweaking to the point of breaking functions. In the words of Apple fanboys, It Just Works… (But unlike the iPhone, the battery lasts longer than 5 hours). Regardless I look at this OS and it actually makes me want to develop for the platform. I have some good ideas and I am currently learning development for the platform. Be looking out for me. WP for the win :)

  • JerrySandi Donovan

    I never drank the Apple koolaid, so I never owned a iPhone, but had a DInc2 out performed all my friends iPhones for the past few years so I never felt the need to go that direction. After waiting for ICS upgrade that never came out and the way Google became too invasive into spying on their user’s messages, I knew I needed to cut the Google strings and waited for the 928 to come out. I purchased one on the second day it was available on Verizon and have loved it ever since.

  • Brian Evans

    does anyone know when the windows phone 8.1 update comes out?

  • GK15

    Try 6Tag. It gives you access to instagram for WP8 and works extremely well. Also Bing Facebook Beta for WP8 to get the official Facebook app for Windows phone. It works just as well as the iPhone equivalent. Enjoy! :)

  • JC

    Lol. Thanks for the review. Eventually when my existing phone contract ends, I will be leaving my Blackberry Bold in the dust and going over to a Lumia 925.

  • Drake Richter

    I went through basically the same thing. My Lumia 928 is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made, especially considering that it was free on contract!

    Ranking right alongside it in satisfaction is my surface pro 2 256gb, which has utterly consumed my daily computer usage. I used to use the desktop I built more than anything else, but now that machine exists solely for gaming titles that require dedicated graphics – if I wasn’t a gamer I would be down to one device to fit tablet, laptop, and desktop roles all at once.


    Rather good article, more detail than initially hoped for however many including myself and my colleagues would agree with most of it, Microsoft and Nokia have done a good job so far and are working fast and hard to bring the ecosystem up to and higher than Google also Apple.

    Personally I would love to see MSN Video’s or Vimeo take big market share of YouTube under Microsoft’s umbrella seeing Google not playing ball by not allowing Microsoft use their own YouTube app.

    Looking forward to 8.1 and 9 update in future.

  • Genghis7777

    Now, if a Windows Phone came out with HWR support across the board, and a Wacom stylus then I’d be in heaven!