I’ve used Windows Mobile phones ever since we formed ManageOps v2. My first one was a rather clunky (by today’s standards) Pocket PC version. Then I moved to Windows Mobile 5.x. When that phone finally died, I switched to an AT&T Tilt running Windows Mobile 6.0. Then, a year or so ago, I got my wife a Tilt 2 with WinMobile 6.5, and started suffering a little bit of device envy. I was eligible for an upgrade, and I thought about going to the Tilt 2, but I knew that Windows Phone 7 was coming, so I held off.
Last fall, I actually went as far as jailbreaking my Tilt, and installing a third-party ROM that would let me run 6.5. It wasn’t bad – in fact it was better than 6.0 – but 6.5 was designed for a screen a little bit bigger than I had on my Tilt, so some things were a little clunky.
Several of my colleagues here at the Moose have gone down the iPhone road – but I’m used to having a slide-out keyboard, and I didn’t want to give that up…plus there were a few things I was reading about WinPhone7 that I found really attractive. So I waited until the LG model, with its slide-out keyboard, was available.
I’ve had my LG for a couple of months now, and I’ve got to say that I really like it. The negative things I’ve read about WinPhone7 don’t bother me at all. No slot for an SD expansion card? Come on! It’s got 16 Gb of flash built in – which is 8 times as much as I had before. I don’t spend time downloading movies to watch on my phone, so I doubt very seriously whether I’m going to run out of memory before the phone reaches the end of its useful life. No cut/paste from the apps? Yawn. How often do you really need to use that in the real world? If you consider that a must-have, so be it…but I don’t know that I’ve ever used it, and don’t miss having it.
The app store isn’t as big as Apple’s, but it’s big enough that I was able to find everything that I needed. The only app that I’d really like to see that isn’t available yet is a Citrix Receiver app – and that’s not Microsoft’s fault (I don’t think…).
So what, you may ask, do I like so much about it?
First, I found the interface to be intuitive and easy to learn.
Notice the two Outlook instances circled in the picture? That’s one of the things I really like about the phone – it can synchronize with more than one Exchange Server. I run a Windows 2003 Small Business Server at home, at the heart of my home network, and it hosts my personal email domain. We run Exchange 2010 here in Moose Land. My phone syncs with both accounts, yet allows me to access them individually, so I can easily choose which account I’m sending from when I compose a message. You can’t see it in the picture, but there’s a tile for my gmail account, too – I just have to scroll down a bit to get to it.
Social media is built in, and well integrated. That tile in the upper right of the home screen is the “People” tile, and takes me to a screen where I can easily switch between my contact list and my Facebook feed. The contact list is integrated – it pulls from both of my Outlook accounts and my Facebook account, and for contacts who are also Facebook friends, it automatically pulls their Facebook profile pic and associates it with their contact record.
I’ve found the GPS to be more sensitive and reliable than the GPS in my old Tilt. It seems to have no problem at all syncing up with satellites in locations where the Tilt would take minutes on end, and sometimes fail with the annoying “move to another location and try again” message. I’m looking forward to trying it out this summer on backcountry hikes, using the “Outdoor Trekker” app that I found. This app will display your actual latitude and longitude, allow you to set waypoints that it can then help you find your way back to, and keep track of your total mileage covered and both your total elapsed time and the time you spent actually moving. If it can see enough satellites, it will even keep track of your altitude, which will be really useful when I’m gasping for breath and wondering how much higher I have to go before I finally get to the top of Mt. Dickerman (which is definitely on the hiking schedule for this summer).
Since there was a free Kindle reader app available, I tried it out. It was very readable, and easy to use – and being the insatiable reader that I am, I expect that I’ll use that app a lot.
Don’t get me wrong – if the iPhone had a slide-out keyboard option, I would have been sorely tempted to join my colleagues on the iPhone bandwagon. I also know several people who love their Android phones (mostly very technical people who love the myriad ways you can customize it). I also know some not-quite-so-technical business people who get frustrated because it takes so many steps on their Android to do something that should be way easier to do, and because of issues like having a completely separate contact database for the “Nitro” Exchange sync client.
I guess I’m just a Windows Phone guy at heart. My LG does everything I need it to do, and does it very well. I’d really like to see a Citrix Receiver for it, but let’s face it, actually accessing a remote desktop or application on a tiny smart phone screen is not something anyone is going to want to spend a lot of time doing.
I welcome your comments and questions…just be nice to one another, please.