Windows Phone lacks basic features

I have been with WP since the beginning (LG optimus 7 WP 7.0). And every time there’s an update it always accompanied by a few steps back too. Now with 8.1 I’m running out of my patience. Two major things that finally makes me think it’s time to leave WP are the missing of hubs and Bing search button doesn’t work anymore. It really crippled my productivity. The missing of hubs makes WP no different than other operating system . It’s all about apps now. No more messaging hub. Music and video is a mess now. The experience using the people hub now is far less efficient than using the app itself (fb, twitter etc). It takes time to load to comment, retweet etc. Why would I use a people hub if I don’t have to go through this issue when I use the app.

Windows Phone lacks basic features

Hence the hub is rendered useless for me. And that excuse of social extensibility framework thing just doesn’t cut it. And now every time I tap my search button it takes me to IE. Why does it seems that it’s getting dumber and dumber in doing basic stuffs. There’s always something not working with WP. And I’m getting really tired of this.

WP7 and wireless sync but it is rooted in the ‘iTunes or the highway’ ethic. Some argue Zune wasn’t different – but no, very different, it had metadata sync and auto folder watching. And through Android it’s an app-to-app variable experience which allows you to do everything you like, as long as you don’t mind that nothing talks to anything else and metadata is something that only Google keeps to itself.

On balance, I find Android the lesser evil experience in the end since I can wring some degree of how I want things to work by a combo of the right apps and much futzing. But Zune HD/WP7 media worked the way I want things to work from out of the box.

I like what they’ve put into 8.1 if looking in absolutes and comparatively speaking they seem to be gaining a bit of momentum but I still feel it’s a case of too little too late, especially if you look at the dev and app side – a lot of what they’re doing seems to actually downplay the importance of WP (focus on Xamarin, faster first-party apps for other OS’s) while at the same time the updates aren’t making WP significantly more functionally attractive (bar gimmicks like Cortana) to either ‘get shit done’ or ‘nerd out’ types.

I really like the WP aesthetic when talented devs have the imagination to break out of the cookie-cutter app template, but they’re a tiny, tiny, percentage when compared to the iOS/Android talent pool design wise. I really do think post-WP8 the OS is just trading off the latent newness (now rapidly wearing off) of the flat aesthetic that WP7 pioneered while doing little else right apart from what they have to do which is to achieve OS basic feature parity with the competition (which even with 8.1. they haven’t quite achieved).

To the extent that now when someone I know tells me they got a Windows phone my eyebrow shoots up and I go ‘really?’. A friend of mine recently got a Lumia and I had that same reaction – he’s pretty invested in the MS ecosystem aside from phones (it’s not like I’m not either, but still), and he explained that he thought he’d get the best first party experience with WP.

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