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  1. Sam I Am Not's Avatar
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       #1  
    I am a current iPhone user (for many years). Much of the focus of what I read about WP8 (or 7) is about the social media prowess of the platform. I do not use Twitter, Facebook, etc. I would like some education as to what benefits Windows Phone platform offers without the social media angle. I want to keep away from hardware items (such as the great new 920 camera, build quality etc), and hear from you about the software experience and what is different in WP VS the iPhone. I am a software developer (not in the mobile space), so I am looking for both a simple UI angle, as well as a technical one.
    Here is some of what I do know
    • I understand the basics of live tiles, and know the minor changes from 7 to 8 in this area, but this seems trivial to me.
    • I understand that that it is generally quicker to do things in WP VS iPhone.
    • I understand that much of what is new in 8 is unknown, but that developers will have some leeway in 8 (richer APIs etc) to create apps that were not possible in 7.


    In the past I have owned a Pocket PC (an HP Jornada 568), but I think that the iPhone has more in common with WP 7/8 that that one does.
    Thanks
  2. gwydionjhr's Avatar
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    #2  
    You've done a pretty good job of covering most of the benefits.

    I would disagree that changes to the tile sizes isn't that significant. For example, if email is important to you, you'll be able to large size the tile and actually see some of the content so you can "Glance and Go", only opening the app if what you see on the tile needs immediate attention. That's a huge advantage to the user over a static icon that only shows you a number for your inbox and forces you to open the app all the time like Pavlovs dog and a ringing bell.

    There are four key features I use all the time that are integrated into the phone that also don't require first installing and then opening a separate app.

    Local Scout: This post details my personal experience with just how good Local Scout is. http://forums.wpcentral.com/general-...ion/195674.htm

    Sound Icon: Same idea as SoundHound, but once again, integrated into the OS. I use it to cheat at Music Bingo

    Bing Vision: I use this to scan the QR codes WPCentral posts at the end of every app review. Makes installing new apps a snap!

    Mic Icon: easy for search, and also use it for Voice to Text while my hands are occupied.

    We have yet to see just what kind of impact it's going to have, but one of the big things I expect with WP8 is going to be the ability of apps to pull data from each other, I think MS calls it Contract Sharing or something like that.
    Regards,
    Joel Rushworth
    Victoria, B.C.

    Nokia 6188 - AudioVox PPC6600 - HTC 8125 - Lg eXpo GW820 - Lumia 710 - Bring On WP8!
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam I Am Not View Post
    I am a current iPhone user (for many years). Much of the focus of what I read about WP8 (or 7) is about the social media prowess of the platform. I do not use Twitter, Facebook, etc. I would like some education as to what benefits Windows Phone platform offers without the social media angle.
    OK, I'll be happy to take a stab at answering your question, but first I need to ask you a question... what DO you use your phone for?

    Web browsing is a nearly identical experience, search is nearly identical (although Local Scout gives a HUGE advantage of tools on iPhone), and contacts management and email are both pretty much the same if you cut out all the social network elements. Same with text messaging.

    So what does that leave? App selection, I suppose, but can you elaborate on what you use?
  4. #4  
    Well if you like music the built in music player makes it very easy to access tons of songs instantly at your fingertips for streaming provided you have a low cost zune/xbox music pass subscription. iTunes on iOS still has yet to implement this feature (only get a 60 second preview when streaming), also in WP8 there's going to be a feature to add songs to the cloud and stream them from there for free. For office, which I have been using alot for homework you can start something on the phone and it will be right there waiting when you get to a PC with office 13 or SkyDrive installed, SkyDrive also has web apps where you can work on them there.
    soulzero likes this.
  5. Sam I Am Not's Avatar
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       #5  
    Thanks for the answers.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoodThings2Life View Post
    OK, I'll be happy to take a stab at answering your question, but first I need to ask you a question... what DO you use your phone for?
    • Browsing
    • RSS reader( Google Reader client). Preferably something that has text to voice (not that I have that now). I currently use NetNewsWire
    • Podcasts (few enough that I can manually resubscribe). I usually listed at 2x speed. Does this exist? How does the podcast experience work in WP?
    • Weather
    • Email
    • Google Voice (for free texting and international calls)
    • Contacts (synched to my local Outlook PST)
    • Music (MP3 currently loaded onto my iPhone via iTunes)
    • A good todo list. I currently use RTM (Remember the Milk). I know that there is probably a built in one.


    There are a a few other apps that I use that may or may not be available for WP, but the main list is above.
  6. dgr_874's Avatar
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    #6  
    I'm in the same boat as you. iPhone user for a long time and really checking out windows phone too see if I wanna switch. I have a lumina 900 and an iPhone 4. If you wanna pm me for any specifics I would be happy to share what I have learned.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam I Am Not View Post
    Thanks for the answers.


    • Browsing
    • RSS reader( Google Reader client). Preferably something that has text to voice (not that I have that now). I currently use NetNewsWire
    • Podcasts (few enough that I can manually resubscribe). I usually listed at 2x speed. Does this exist? How does the podcast experience work in WP?
    • Weather
    • Email
    • Google Voice (for free texting and international calls)
    • Contacts (synched to my local Outlook PST)
    • Music (MP3 currently loaded onto my iPhone via iTunes)
    • A good todo list. I currently use RTM (Remember the Milk). I know that there is probably a built in one.


    There are a a few other apps that I use that may or may not be available for WP, but the main list is above.
    OK, here's a quick run-down for you (from my perspective, of course):

    • Browsing -- I really find IE to be pretty comparable with Safari, but I don't do a lot of hardcore surfing from phones. I find IE to handle the Flash issue more cleanly, and in WP8, IE10 is apparently MUCH faster.
    • RSS reader( Google Reader client). -- There's a number of good RSS readers available with different features, I personally like SimpiRSS.
    • Podcasts (few enough that I can manually resubscribe). -- Podcasts are plentiful and work great for the ones I've tried.
    • Weather -- Weather Channel is most functional but slow, Accuweather is OK, and AmazingWeather (my personal favorite) and WeatherFlow are both in a competition to out-do each other... very good choices, and the weather live tiles beat ANY option on iPhone hands down.
    • Email -- I find the email to be very efficient. Is there a particular feature you're concerned about?
    • Google Voice (for free texting and international calls) -- I think there's a partial alternative so far, but nothing official until WP8 allows for full SIP/VoIP functionality. People have been successful using the service though.
    • Contacts (synched to my local Outlook PST) -- Absolutely top notch support if you can import all your contacts to a Hotmail or Office 365 account to use via ActiveSync. PST is not gonna work though, so plan ahead. PST's need to die though. Signup for an account at Outlook.com and import there, and you're good to go... that will likely be your Microsoft Account too, if you play it right.
    • Music (MP3 currently loaded onto my iPhone via iTunes) -- MP3's will load just fine, AAC's will need to be unlocked and converted. That said Zune Pass @ $10/month for mostly UNLIMITED kicks the crap out of iTunes every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
    • A good todo list. I currently use RTM (Remember the Milk). I know that there is probably a built in one. -- LOTS of To Do lists, but I just use Tasks in Outlook (again, synced via ActiveSync with Outlook.com/Office 365). Otherwise, there's lots of great To Do lists that are stand-alone apps, if you prefer. UPDATE: There's also OneNote, which you can sync by SkyDrive... in real time. With your family. On MANY devices (including iPhone).
    Last edited by GoodThings2Life; 09-27-2012 at 05:27 PM.
    soulzero likes this.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by dgr_874 View Post
    I'm in the same boat as you. iPhone user for a long time and really checking out windows phone too see if I wanna switch. I have a lumina 900 and an iPhone 4. If you wanna pm me for any specifics I would be happy to share what I have learned.
    Absolutely! Share away anything you feel is must-have... we'll be happy to share ideas and opinions with you. :)
  9. Sam I Am Not's Avatar
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       #9  
    Is a podcast app built into WP? Can you elaborate on local synching? I have Outlook on my PC. Will WP not be able to sync to that? The underlying storage for Outlook is a local PST, but if iTunes can sync to this setup, why can't WP?
    Thanks
  10. Winterfang's Avatar
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    #10  
    The most important difference I will say is Hardware options.
  11. brmiller1976's Avatar
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    #11  
    I can only comment on WP 7.X, but...

    1) 7.X devices are MUCH cheaper to own and use than iPhones. A full-priced handset like the Radar is about $300, versus twice that much for an equivalent iOS device, and is available in 4G configs on lower-priced T-Mobile. You can pick up a "free" Radar with contract on T-Mo and pay 1/2 as much as an iPhone plan on the big boys, for service that has no caps at all.

    2) The level of integration with Windows on the desktop is a little better.

    3) The UI is MUCH better (IMO) than iOS (which is really Palm OS 7, as far as I'm concerned).

    4) The diversity of hardware means that you can more easily find what you're looking for (plastic/aluminum, big/small screen, etc.)

    5) The multimedia experience (outside of the dreadful Spotify experience) is very good. Microsoft's music services and associated podcast discovery apps are every bit as good as the best you'll find out there, and deeply integrated into the OS as well.

    Ultimately, if you're thinking of trying it out, there's no reason to not take one of the major carrier "test drives." You typically have a week or two to return the phone for a refund and cancel your contract. Why not pick one up and try it out?
  12. #12  
    Podcasts are also handled by the built in music+videos, I haven't really used it but I heard that it works really well. For tasks I use the built in to-do section on the calendar which syncs with outlook and shows alerts and due dates. OneNote will also work too (just like the commercial).
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam I Am Not View Post
    Can you elaborate on local synching? I have Outlook on my PC. Will WP not be able to sync to that? The underlying storage for Outlook is a local PST, but if iTunes can sync to this setup, why can't WP?
    It's not a question of can or can't, it's a matter that they choose not to support it. The whole point is that they want people to use cloud services, and this is a situation where they're right. PST files have always been prone to corruption and data loss, so moving people away from that into Hotmail/Outlook or Office 365/Exchange accounts or even Gmail or Yahoo or whatever you prefer is a good move.

    Besides, syncing with Outlook and PST means plugging your device in to sync... this is a wireless world. ;)
  14. Sam I Am Not's Avatar
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       #14  
    How can I export contacts into a location that the phone can pick up? I honestly do not want to upload my entire contact list to GMail.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam I Am Not View Post
    How can I export contacts into a location that the phone can pick up? I honestly do not want to upload my entire contact list to GMail.
    I would export contacts to a .CSV (Comma-Separate Values) file. You can open that in Notepad and remove out the ones you wouldn't want to sync. But that begs the question... if you were gonna sync them all to your phone from Outlook, why wouldn't you sync them all to GMail (and subsequently your phone)?
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by gwydionjhr View Post
    You've done a pretty good job of covering most of the benefits.

    I would disagree that changes to the tile sizes isn't that significant. For example, if email is important to you, you'll be able to large size the tile and actually see some of the content so you can "Glance and Go", only opening the app if what you see on the tile needs immediate attention. That's a huge advantage to the user over a static icon that only shows you a number for your inbox and forces you to open the app all the time like Pavlovs dog and a ringing bell.

    There are four key features I use all the time that are integrated into the phone that also don't require first installing and then opening a separate app.

    Local Scout: This post details my personal experience with just how good Local Scout is. http://forums.wpcentral.com/general-...ion/195674.htm

    Sound Icon: Same idea as SoundHound, but once again, integrated into the OS. I use it to cheat at Music Bingo

    Bing Vision: I use this to scan the QR codes WPCentral posts at the end of every app review. Makes installing new apps a snap!

    Mic Icon: easy for search, and also use it for Voice to Text while my hands are occupied.

    We have yet to see just what kind of impact it's going to have, but one of the big things I expect with WP8 is going to be the ability of apps to pull data from each other, I think MS calls it Contract Sharing or something like that.
    Great job on this post! I'd just like to add that Bing vision also has a built-in text translator. With myself being English speaking/reading only, and my kids at a French school, this is a life-saver! Report cards, permission forms, etc, are all in French only! I know my French will get better but right now this feature is saving my bacon!!
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam I Am Not View Post
    Is a podcast app built into WP? Can you elaborate on local synching? I have Outlook on my PC. Will WP not be able to sync to that? The underlying storage for Outlook is a local PST, but if iTunes can sync to this setup, why can't WP?
    Thanks
    The built-in Zune media player (being rebranded Xbox music & videos for WP8) supports podcast synched, but I believe you have to get the ball rolling via Zune on your PC/Mac Connector if your computer is a Mac.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam I Am Not View Post
    How can I export contacts into a location that the phone can pick up? I honestly do not want to upload my entire contact list to GMail.
    Sync them to a Live ID. MS won't sell your contact list to advertisers.
    soulzero likes this.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by freestaterocker View Post
    Sync them to a Live ID. MS won't sell your contact list to advertisers.
    Agreed. You have to have a Live ID regardless of what your primary email account is anyway.
  20. #20  
    OneNote and Nokia Reading can be great apps for some of the functionality you are looking for.

    Also, while MS doesn't force app makers to follow its UI language, much of the apps I am using are using the UI, making for a very consistent feel. You aren't exactly in multiple mini-OSes as I sometimes feel when I am using my buddy's iPhone. Consistency is key, I feel.
  21. #21  
    One of the huge benefits is the MS Live ID syncing for your contacts. MS doesn't sell the info and it fluidly links everything between phone and the Live account. The new Outlook.com setup is very similar to how things work on WP7.5 and likely in WP8. So the experience is consistent and the grey mail setup is unparalleled.

    I personally love the fluid syncing of Skydrive. All of my Excel, Word, PPT, and OneNote stuff is on my PC but also synced with SkyDrive and accessible via MS Office on WP7.5. I have my entire documents directory available via Skydrive. I also love the Skydrive sharing feature. I can take a doc from Skydrive via my WP and share it via email.

    The People Hub is also useful even if you don't do the social networking. Someone listed in your contact list will have a full history of communication presented to you - phone calls, emails, and text messages; as long as those things have not been deleted. It goes way beyond a threaded message.

    The podcast functionality is built into the music player. You can easily subscribe or individually download. Management is easy too, allowing you to determine how many podcasts you want to sync automatically, if any.

    And the music is terrific. I'm a Zune Pass user (old school - have the $15 a month plan where I get to keep 10 songs a month permanently and download or stream from a library of millions), so music is a cinch.

    Some people have already mentioned the scanner (found under the search button), but there's more there. Local Scout has been mentioned, but the phone also has a built in musical listening program that communicates with Bing. With Zune Pass (soon to be Xbox Music Pass), it is pretty seamless. Hear a song you like and let the phone listen - and it often picks it up just fine even in somewhat noisy places like restaurants. It will tell me the name of the song and artist, give me the album, and give me a direct link to download via MS - and with Zune Pass I can grab the song as part of my subscription usually. Or, if I don't wish to download over my cell network, the phone stores a list of the songs it has detected so I can easily go back and download later when I'm on wifi.

    The barcode scanner is fantastic when you're out shopping. Scan a product barcode and you'll be given reviews of it and, even better, you will often have local prices come up so you may find a nearby store with a cheaper price thanks to its integration with Local Scout.

    Also coming with WP8 is voice command for apps. WP has had app launching via voice since the beginning, but now developers can build in voice commands. So, if Amazon builds it this way, I will be able to say "open Kindle 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" from the start screen and the Kindle app will open to that book - and, like Kindle is everywhere else, it will open to the last place I was in it.

    The Live Tiles are also very handy on weather apps, news apps, for messaging, and for email. As others have said, WP8 will let you set the size to emphasize what is important to you. Make email a BIG tile and you'll see flashes of your email messages in the tile. Same for txt messages. This allows you to set priorities instead of having to open up each app to see what you've got.

    I think Windows Phone shines best doing the most basic tasks. It's easy to use and email, txting, phone calls, etc work pretty fluidly. Your most important stuff gets pinned to the Start screen and everything else is easy to find alphabetically in the app list - no need to remember which screen its on. The "find" function also works very well.

    Another aspect is the consistent design with pretty much every app. They are not very button or icon centric. Instead they all have a left-right menu system that you can easily flick through. It's hard to describe, but I find it pretty ingenius in daily use and very intuitive.
    soulzero likes this.
  22. cckgz4's Avatar
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    #22  
    Great answers everyone
    Nokia Lumia 1020 owner here...

  23. smoledman's Avatar
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    #23  
    There area already compelling reasons with WP7.5 but with WP8 it just becomes overwhelming.
  24. Daniel Ratcliffe's Avatar
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    #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam I Am Not View Post
    How can I export contacts into a location that the phone can pick up? I honestly do not want to upload my entire contact list to GMail.
    But the advantage here by syncing them all to GMail (although I personally use my Microsoft Account that powers my phone + Zune + Xbox + SkyDrive, the same advantage is present there), is that let's say you lose your phone. You link up your GMail to your replacement phone. Watch the contacts fly in. No PC needed. You could even do it while you walk out of the store with your replacement phone. Now how's THAT for being ready to go quickly? :P

    "Fortune cookie said: 'Outlook not so good'. I said: 'Sure, but Microsoft ships it anyway'."
  25. selfcreation's Avatar
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    #25  
    ill be honest im not much of a social media guy ether , I don't even have the *me* tile set up! lol

    I like WP cause its easy to use , interactive , love the live tiles and the concept behind it , all my gear at at home is MS so its good for my ecosystem. Also its probly the OS ive had the LEASE problems with , never really had any BUGs on my phone aside from the random resets when i open new apps ( but that's rare).


    I just like this thing! and how it all flows. tried it once and fell in love.! :giggle:
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