Well it’s been 3 months now of using Microsoft’s latest mobile OS in it’s consumer iteration, and I thought I’d post a little on my thoughts. For a few months before the final release I was using an Insider build of the OS on my Lumia 640 which got me really excited about the future of Windows Phone. So how does it measure up to my expectations?
The unfortunate truth is that the current build of Windows Phone feels very much like it did when I used it 6 months ago. It is still a buggy and infuriating mess. This was something I could forgive back in the testing period, but now, when it’s meant to be in the hands of consumers, it needs addressing. The flaws of the OS are huge, with apps continuously crashing and just refusing to work. Since upgrading to my Lumia 950 I’ve found myself relying on a spare Android device for almost everything.
Go to use the camera, resuming, resuming, resuming, crashes. Repeat, crashes. Restart the phone, it works! This is the same for multiple applications, and no amount of software updates have made the OS any more stable.
To make matters worse it seems Microsoft are desperate for feedback. Right now it seems about 25% of the time I use an app I get a message pop up and stop me from using my device that says “Rate this app now!” No matter how many times I say no, Microsoft comes back with a vengeance asking again, and again, and again. Now we aren’t talking random free apps, we are talking about the phone book, the calculator, the damn built-in apps!
I won’t go into my thoughts on the Lumia 950, there’s not enough time in the day to talk about how flawed that device is, but Microsoft seem indifferent to their latest mobile OS. It seems that the current issues have existed for a long time, but they just aren’t getting addressed. Does Microsoft secretly want their mobile arm to die quietly? It seems that way.
What about all the good things though? What about Continuum? That looked awesome! No. It’s ok, but again, we are months in and nothing has changed, there are almost no universal apps outside of Microsoft’s own apps, and the entire experience is a laggy mess. It’s ok to use if you have nothing else at hand, but it’s far from perfect, in fact, it’s far from average. I expected more, but Microsoft seems lost in it’s attempt at getting people to develop for their mobile OS. We did just hear news about them scrapping their own app porting solution in an attempt to push developers towards their newest acquisition. Maybe in the long run this is a good thing, but in the short-term it delays everything again.
It isn’t all bad, and to be fair I’m too close to the situation. I’ve paid a lot of money for my device, and it’s the worst mobile experience I have EVER had. I love the idea of Windows Mobile, but I don’t think Microsoft are committed to the platform any more. Maybe they will surprise me, but I can’t stress this enough. If you’re curious to see what Microsoft’s mobile OS has to matter, turn away, bang your head on a wall, and chose Android or iOS. Window’s Mobile is still a beta OS and nowhere near ready for consumers!