Having spent a very long time using smart devices and writing content about smart devices, there is an overarching feeling of everything being a bit rubbish.
From numerous bugs and glitches to lazy code writing preventing cool features from operating properly, no mobile operating system is sadly without fault.
We’ve established the many faults of Android and iPhone, subsequently angering 96.3% of smartphone wielders. We aren’t done quite just yet, however, as there’s still at least another 2.7% we can annoy with our nit-picking opinion.
So, let’s get onto it: 4 reasons why Windows Phone is awful.
4. Apps are awful
Or rather the lack thereof. Or, for comedic effect, “Apps? What apps?”
If you haven’t yet understood: Windows Phone has considerably less apps than Android or iOS combined. Windows Phone isn’t hard to develop for by any means and in fact Microsoft regularly partners with developers both big and small to offer help and smart devices for testing purposes.
So why this terrible discrepancy? The truth is that no-one really knows. You can estimate that it’s due to their 2.7% userbase, but iOS’ 18.3% still seems to have a larger number of quality developers for it than Android. Perhaps it’s due to the arguably ugly user interface that the Windows Phone app store features, but the Android Market wasn’t exactly a fine work of art.
With the release of Windows 10 Mobile Microsoft have claimed to be working on “Microsoft Bridge”, allowing developers to port Android and iOS apps and games to their Windows platform with very few code changes, so perhaps the tables will turn in the near future.
For now, however, Windows Phone is in serious need of a catchup operation.
3. Cortana is awful
“Hey Cortana. Hey Cortana. Hey, Cortana. Cortana? HEY, CORTANA. H E Y C O R T A N A.”
I’ve gotten the most use out of Cortana on Windows 10 and felt absolutely ruined by how poor Cortana’s speech recognition is when compared to Google Now.
I’ve said things in different accents, two times, at concerts and gigs and Google has very rarely failed me. I’ll even try it now (for science): sitting in an office verging on 30 degrees Celsius with a large AC unit whirring in the background and music playing. The screen is also locked and I haven’t touched it in about an hour, so it’s almost undoubtedly asleep.
“Okay Google, what’s the weather going to be like this afternoon?”
Once is all it took to spring to life and tell me whether it’s going to cool down later today (it isn’t).
Cortana, on the other hand, I gave up on long ago. Be it from a Windows Phone or Windows 10 computer, Cortana just isn’t up to scratch when it comes to speech recognition.
It gives relevant results, it’s useful, Bing isn’t anywhere near as bad as I used to think it was (it’s still pretty bad though; don’t get me wrong) but Cortana doesn’t hold a candle to Google or Siri.
It’s a real shame, too, because virtual assistants were arguably the biggest fad of 2014 and, despite Google taking a more informational and less fun approach with Now, they’re still cool things that can often save a lot of time.
2. Device numbering is awful
I’m not too sure what the current Windows Phone flagship is, and neither is Google.
Why? Because the sole manufacturer of Windows Phones, Nokia, choose largely arbitrary and instantly forgettable numbers to name and identify their many devices.
I think that the higher the number the better the phone is, but that isn’t true in some cases where a newer phone might have a slightly lower number than its predecessor.
I can’t imagine what the marketing team for Nokia was thinking. Sure, it sounds cool, but asking someone like myself (who is deeply interested in consumer smart technology) the specifications of the Nokia Lumia 940 or Nokia Lumia 860 or even whether or not those phones exist is pointless, because the truth is that no-one knows.
This may seem like a small thing; perhaps less important than a lack of apps or terrible voice assistant, but it honestly makes the Windows Phone market lose its identity.
The iPhone 6, the Galaxy S6, the Nexus 6, the Moto G 3rd Generation, the LG G4: all memorable with meaningful numbers. Lumia 1200? Is that even a thing?
1. No-one cares about Windows Phone, and that’s awful
Yeah, I struggled with the title for this entry, as I have done with most of this article.
You see, I’ve never actually used a Windows Phone as a daily driver. At most I’ve operated one for a week, and it was alright: I didn’t have any major gripes with it; it ran better than my similarly specced droid, and so I’m relying on reviews from others when creating this article.
The problem is that – with less than a 3% market share, no-one cares about Windows Phone, and it shows: few reviews, few rants and few reliable sources to get information and research from.
The app market, the lack of development on Cortana, the mindless number labelling: it all contributes to the falling market share and subsequent quality of the platform with little to no change in sight, and so even with Windows Phone 10 on the horizon it’s unlikely that much will change in the coming years.
If Microsoft Bridge is a success and the app market suddenly soars then maybe there’s hope for the system, but as it stands that’s a far off dream. We can only wait and see what comes.