Cereal that is yucky and soggy used to be tasty and crunchy. That’s how I think about Windows Phone 8.
I truly loved the Windows Phone 8 experience when I freshly got the Lumia 520 a couple of months ago. Today, I’m bored outta my mind and even irritated at times. The OS’ limitations, which merely niggled at the beginning, have become increasingly irksome. Like tiny rocks stuck in the back of your shoe that you just can’t get out, the discomfort gathers, until you just can’t ignore it.
By the way, no offence to Nokia, who still make great hardware. It’s Elop I blame for getting them to jump off a burning platform onto a leaky raft.
I’m too tired to start recounting the fails, I’ll skip right to the fixes. I’m thinking it’s about time for Windows Phone 9, a new version of the OS that –
1. Has a revamped notification system. I know, live tiles, toast notifications and the “me” tab, yes, yes, yes. They just don’t cut it. I want to see my notifications from all my apps in one easily accessible place, 3 days later, and not have to scroll around to find them, or leap for my phone when I hear an alert because its life span is just five seconds, after which it’ll disapper, never to be seen again.
2. Nixes or fixes that stupid search button. I mean, why create something that has no real purpose in life than to be just annoying. Abeg.
3. Has multitasking that actually multitasks. I don’t even want to get started on memory management issues.
4. Allows me to “select all” when selecting text. I can’t believe nobody thought of this. Wonders of the ages.
5. Has rotation lock so I don’t have to sit up to use my phone in bed or crane my neck/arms into awkward just to match up.
6. Makes basic functions accessible – like turning WiFi/Bluetooth/NFC on and off, so I don’t have to dive into the settings every single time. Jeez.
7. Takes IE out back and shoots it, or gives me the option to set a third party browser as default.
Add to the list, if you are so inclined.
One more thing that needs urgent looking into. Not a problem with Windows Phone 8 per se, but with its rather flaky ecosystem substrate. Microsoft’s services garden might work for enterprise, but it’s just no fun for the consumer, and I’m getting a bad case of claustrophobia, living within its walls. I want Google Apps, Maps, Docs and YouTube, not Skydrive and 360 and all the other shitty MS equivalents that nobody cares about. Of course Google is doing all they can to screw them, but I don’t care who they have to beg, bribe or blackmail to make this happen. If you’re gonna create a walled garden, you need to make it a really fun, happy place.
And yes for developers, they also need to find a way to do them the BBB treatment too. Windows Phone might be in third place, but even that position is not guaranteed if developers keep making third rate apps. It’s okay to underestimate Sailfish, Firefox OS et al, right up until they disrupt you.
Compared to Android, the maintenance culture appears somewhat cavalier, evident by the long periods of drought between release cycles. When the updates do trickle out, the effects are only barely noticeable. It’s been said that Microsoft is trying to patch the rafters, but there won’t be any real fixes till 2014.
Post image via Wikipedia Commons.
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