Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Week With Windows Phone 7

Due to a combination of working out whether I was moving jobs (yes), whether I was going to keep my work iPhone (now irrelevant), and whether I wanted to sign up to a new contract (not really) I’ve been very late to Windows Phone 7.

I eventually succumbed and, being on Orange for the last twelve years and not wanting to move network ,had a choice of the HTC 7 Mozart, LG Optimus 7 or the Samsung Omnia 7.  Several people I know (including @jonoble and @dmilor) have the Omnia 7 and with a quick play around with it that was the one I went for.

I’ve now had it for a week and thought I’d put some thoughts down on what I like and don’t like.  I think it’s a cracking little platform and there’s two many things to list of the the likes so I’m just going to list the don’t likes.

  • SkyDrive integration with OneNote in the Office Hub – doesn’t work correctly or does, but strangely.  Thanks to Jon Noble for the post explaining how to integrate “correctly”.
  • SkyDrive integration with the Office Hub – there doesn’t seem to be any way to get Word/Excel/PowerPoint from the Office Hub into SkyDrive.
  • Integration within the People Hub – this one was raised last night at the NEBytes Birthday Event and until then I’d not really thought about it.  We integrate Facebook feeds to people if they have an account but why don’t we link text messages and email messages?  It would be nice to see the “here’s everything I’ve done with a person from one place” and then links from there to the correct application.  And why don’t we show the call history in there as well?  Yeah!  I can see what they’ve spouted on Facebook but I can’t see when I last called/texted/emailed them?
  • Integration within the Photos Hub – why aren’t other applications in there.  Yes we can look at SkyDrive and Facebook photos but where’s the Flickr integration (which is relevant to me as  I have a Flickr Pro account but substitute your own photo-sharing application in there).

Now having written them down they seem a lot less bothersome than I thought they were.  For a first platform I’m quite happy that the main issues that I have are all to do with “integration” with things outside of the phone itself.  If you start playing around with the phone there’s an awful lot of attention to detail in the very small things – for instance slide from the “home screen” to the “application screen and watch the arrow rotate – that make it a pleasure to use.

It’s a really nice start to the platform and there looks to be plenty of updates in the pipeline for this year (including one this/next month).  I am an ex-iPhone user (under protest I must add) and this just feels a little nicer – it’s certainly a nicer phone but whether it will ever get the market penetration as the iPhone or the Android is the big question.

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