Windows Phone or now known as windows mobile (whatever man, they are the same thing to me) has came a long way and may have sparked the birth of Android as we know it today. My journey begin on the 27th of August 2013, my brand new Nokia Lumia 520 arrived and sealed its fate as my first windows phone or what I call a truly smart phone. (I was using the simple black and white phones back then). Compared to android it blew me away. Fast and smooth it was even on a low end device (512 mb of RAM) Windows 8 “Amber” then “Black” and 8.1 brought “Cyan” (those names refer to updates / firmware, eg : Android Kit Kat, Lollipop and Marshmallow).
“Cyan” was huge update, one which unfortunately signified the end for older lower end phones. The stellar performance before was now mediocre. I moved on to the Nokia Lumia 920 then with better camera, specs, wireless charging etc etc… (Yes, wireless charging was available way before its competitors but Samsung got more attention while Apple still does not have it). I’m not here to flame anyone but seriously guys, the misinformation amongst many pisses me off. Just for the record, I use the good ol’ cables and wires, not spending another 100 bucks to buy a wireless charger, no matter how cool it sounds.
The App gap
Let’s face it, apps are part and parcel of a smart phone or in this case the joy and bane. The situation from day 1 with my Lumia 520 was already bad but I brushed it off since it was a fairly new operating system.
(a) Instagram BETA TM : This silly piece of shit was never updated until September 2nd 2015. Pictures are still square, no video uploading and filters are far behind than those on Android and iOS.
A good 3rd party app would happen to be 6tag (developed by Rudy Huyn), fully featured and till a certain extent better than Android and iOS. There are times where the app however randomly crashes.
(b) Kik : A messaging app that’s used frequently by US citizens (our form of whatsapp or wechat). Those who use Omegle will understand the appeal of kik. (No, I do not mean sexting or something stupid, it means people use it widely). Never send things that will get you blackmailed or into trouble like nudes.
An app that started off on Windows phone 7, grew up and left the party. Read more here : http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/30/why-kik-loves-windows-phone-7-spoiler-it-boosts-android-and-ios-user-growth/ The app itself has issues with account creation (sign up) then crashes randomly and worse case scenario doesn’t work altogether. Also only updated once but remains shitty.
(c) facebook : Oh, this app, there is so much agony in mentioning it. You launch the app, it then tries to refresh, fails and displays an error message. The same thing happens regardless of connection WiFi – LTE 4G – 3G – H+, unless you’re having awesome connection speeds. This should not happen, if it can load on my computer then it should load on the phone too. You cannot edit posts, tag people in comments, uploading pictures or videos takes eons. Seriously, I have to log in on a computer to edit a post? Microsoft support says facebook themselves are responsible while the app is clearly stated as published by Microsoft. Get it all together la. The new emoticons / reactions wont work either. Windows phone facebook users can only like stuff is it?
(d) Messanger : Also powered by facebook, is slow and lacks features its counterparts have. Not been updated for some time.
(e) Twitter : No gif support, vids don’t play, half assed notifications, unable to see quoted tweets (you have to tap the link and see from the browser). No love in terms of updates for some time. Really twitter, really?
(f) Snapchat : This is a big one, it has garnered a reputation by being a sexting app and teens love it, for better or worse. Personally I can’t be bothered about this app but understand the appeal of it. I either have or had an account back then but didn’t understand how it worked and may have deleted it when the 3rd party apps crackdown started.
Basically some dumb developer made a 3rd party app, which proved to be insecure, causing stuff to leak. Neh all those shame shame papi bu stuff la. Snapchat responded harshly by banning users that use 3rd party apps for it (if you continued to use them), now you are only allowed to use the official app, which is not available on Windows phone ><
6Snap – 3rd party app for snapchat was taken down and the developer was threatened with legal action. http://www.techworm.net/2016/01/snapchat-ceo-hates-microsoft-wont-put-snapchat-on-windows-phones.html It was not his fault though.
The CEO also has a thing against Windows phone and Android users. Evidently hating more on windows phone users.
There is word that the app merely screenshots a picture from your camera and does not take a proper picture.
One where he shows some colorful language from his blackberry : http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/28/confirmed-snapchats-evan-spiegel-is-kind-of-an-ass/
(g) VSCO/ Snapseed / Youtube or Google powered apps are largely unavailable, Microsoft and Google have pretty much not been the best of friends.
Windows phone 8.1 will be left in the dust or to rot. Updates will be focused on wm10
The windows store is no stranger to shitty or zombie apps. In fact it now has so much junk and irrelevant apps. Here is a screenshot or two. No, you don’t need any of those cleaning apps. Its just in a sad state compared to previously. I would not mind as much if apps are just not there but allowing fake apps or copied apps to be available is just plain sick. I know it increases the number of apps but look at the amount of junk apps in the Play Store. I’ve seen better days.
Microsoft has told the world at large that the social apps are being worked on and will be available. I don’t see snapchat coming though. I too am inclined to believe that the apps will be pushed out and left without an update for who knows how long. History may repeat itself.
Project Astoria / Islandwood
These projects were announced a while back, both for porting apps (in a way, copying an app and pasting for other platforms to use). Astoria for Android Apps while Islandwood for iOS apps. Astoria unfortunately died midway, meaning there will be no android apps ported to wm10. Islandwood on the other hand has seen some success (Instagram apparently ported their iOS app to wm10), its also something i look forward to (if i stay with windows phone) due to the quality of apps on iOS.
It has its fair share of bugs and till this day remains a mess from what i saw but bring some changes / improvements to what we saw previously in wp 8.1
Conclusion : Windows phone, an OS with potential and stability, messed up by Microsoft along the way and let down by low quality apps.
Unless you have a ridiculous amount of money and feel adventurous, I would not and cannot recommend a windows phone as your daily driver.
I’m going to be really blunt, developers do not develop perhaps due to what happened in the past, they may not see hope in this os, which is sad. How can a kid breath when you put a bag over his head? I just cannot blame one party wholly. Any relationship is made up by 2 or more parties and it will not be right to blame only one side.