Good bye Windows Phone5 min read

I know, I haven’t published any article in English for a long time and my goal is still to actually translate everything that I wrote in German but you know what happens. It’s just like with those new year’s resolutions. That’s why I thought: OK, let’s just publish a new article in English first and maybe in English only 😮

I am a Windows Phone user since quite some time and my whole family is too. And it was a big upgrade from my previous OS. The OS I had before was Symbian. You don’t know Symbian? Ok, no Problem. Nobody knows Symbian except really nerdy nerds. Symbian was a OS developed by Nokia (Do you still know that company?) before they decided to produce Windows Phones only and before they sold their mobile department to Microsoft and practically died.

Symbian was, like Windows Phone still is, a great OS. But it had hardly NO apps. There was that so called “Ovi Store”. It did contain some apps, but those some apps were only really really few apps. And I know those arguments people say when somebody says that Android is better than iOS because it has way more apps than there are Apps in the App Store and then iOS folks fire back with a higher App quality. But things get really bad if you have NO apps available. A really crappy WhatsApp and only some games. That’s it. Even though the Windows Phone Store had “only” about 125.000 apps at that time (source), it was a big upgrade for me.

Windows Phone Lovers, don’t get me wrong please. I still love the OS itself. I think Microsoft has done a great job with the development of Windows 10 on the PC and on phones. But the market share still keeps falling and was at the end of 2016 at 2.4% (source). And I really understand that a market share of 2.4% is not a really convincing number to invest money in app development. Unfortunately, this leads to many apps not being available on Windows Phone. In some cases, I really don’t care (I am still proud of not having Snapchat) but in many other cases I genuinely do care (like in the case of IFTTT). Sometimes, companies decide to publish their app on Windows Phone but then don’t care about bugs. While the OS is kind of stable (Windows Phone 8 used to have less bugs than Windows 10 Mobile has now in my opinion), I sometimes need to reboot my phone up to three times on my way home just because Spotify screws something up with the media controls. And it’s definitely not the fault of the OS because the built-in player works just fine.

So, what’s next?

Well, I think I’ll get myself a BlackBerry. No, just joking 🙂 . My next phone will have Android. Why not iOS? There are three main reasons: Firstly, I love to design MY phone. While I think that the gui designers at Apple do a really good job, I still want to have the freedom to decide what I put on my home screen and how I lay it out. A widget displaying some info in a way Live Tiles work on Windows Phone? Great! Just a simple shortcut to an app? Fine too. I can do all of that in Android and I can order it, leave gaps, … I know that iOS recently added widgets, but they still don’t work in a way I want them to work in. And believe me, at work I use both iOS and Android extensively so I know what I am talking about.

Next, I really appreciate the freedom that apps have on Android. While I know that this opens the door for viruses, it enables a developers’ creativity in a way that I know many great apps on Android that simply cannot work on iOS due to restricted APIs.

And the third reason is one that only very few of you might know. I work in a company that develops apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone and the procedures that Apple enforces just to install your app on a real iPhone are ginormous. While all the fuss happens behind the scenes of the App Store and few people besides the developers actually see the mess, it’s really a mess. Once you have the apk-file of an Android app, you can install it on any phone. With no fuss. Uploading it to Google Play is a different story, but I am just talking about installing. You can literally write an app, package it into a apk-file and send just that one single file to a friend and he will be able to install and test your app. There’s no need to upload it to Google Play first. Not so on iOS. A unique device identifier (the so called UDID) that every iPhone has must be registered on the Apple website to be allowed to install your app. Besides the ipa file (which is the iOS equivalent to the apk file), you need a Development Profile for development, a Provisioning Profile for Beta installs and a Distribution Profile to be able to publish your app to the app store. And if you get one of those files wrong, nothing works and you might be stuck for hours on working out why it didn’t work.

Now, for those out there who are just about to ask which phone I am going to buy: I am not going to buy a new phone right now. The hardware of my Microsoft Lumia 950 XL is still in a really great state and I don’t want to waste the money while I still have a working phone. But when my phone dies, my next one will be an Android phone.

With those thoughts in mind, I still have one final question: I do see how many times my website is called and I do see what articles are read the most, but I am really curious about who actually reads the articles. Are you my nasty neighbour or are you my future girlfriend? I want to know so I would be really glad if you’d tell me what you think about the post. Some suggestions: The comments section below, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter or even real life (can’t provide a link for that one unfortunately 😉 ).

5 Replies to “Good bye Windows Phone5 min read

  1. Ich weiß genau wovon du sprichst, hatte auch längere Zeit Windows Phones, vom LG Optimus 7, Lumia 800, Samsung Ativ S und schließlich bis zum Lumia 640, als ich gemerkt hab wie viele Fehler Microsoft gemacht hat wollte ich diese Firmenpolitik nicht mehr unterstützen. Android hat zwar auch Macken aber Google arbeitet erheblich “zuverlässiger”. Die Marke Lumia ist ja mittlerweile tot, eigentlich sehr schade drum

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