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BLOG: I'm ditching Windows Phone 8 again, but not without reservations

Marco Chiappetta | June 4, 2013
My second foray into the world of Windows Phone 8 is once again ending with me going back to Android. The experience was much better this time around, though.

I thought there were three "kinds" of apps on Windows Phone 8 back in January: those specifically designed for the OS that looked and worked great, quick-and-dirty ports of apps obviously designed for other platforms that suffered from random anomalies and graphical artifacts, and kludges that were nothing more than wrappers for mobile websites. That's not quite the case anymore-at least not for the apps that I use regularly.

I'm happy to report that the app situation has improved dramatically since my first experiment. Not only is there a much broader selection of quality apps, but some of the apps I was initially disappointed with (like Facebook, YouTube, and Words, among others) have all received updates and are far better than they were before. The Facebook app in particular still suffers from some information density issues in my opinion (there's quite a lot of wasted screen space), but it's so fast now that it can be forgiven. The selection of apps, while still not as broad as Android or iOS, is much better too. One downside, however, is that apps (especially popular games) don't come to the platform nearly as fast as they do for Android or iOS. And it seems that many apps that are free on Android or iOS are paid apps on Windows Phone.

Ultimately, my experience with Windows Phone 8 and the Lumia 920 was significantly better this time around. I'm still going back to Android because I'm married to a few apps that I can't be without just yet (like Logmein), and I enjoy playing with custom ROMs and customizing Android, but Windows Phone 8 served me well.

I think new smartphone users would probably enjoy Windows Phone 8 now, much more than they would have before. The OS is fast and fluid, it's rock-solid stable, and its built-in apps and browser work well. Existing smartphone users who aren't already entrenched in any particular app ecosystem should have no problem making the switch. Users like myself, deeply entrenched in a competing mobile ecosystem, may have issues with Windows Phone 8, though. When you're used to having access to the latest, greatest apps first, and have already gotten intimately familiar with a ton of apps, it's hard to give that up.

 

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