So, I’ve been using Windows Phone 8 a while now and here are a few things I like and don’t like about it:
- New lock screen – seeing the pictures from Bing, or prices from GasBuddy on my lock screen and knowing it might look different each time makes it much more interesting and it’s nice to have more app notifications and customization available.
- Office and productivity – not a new feature but amazing how useful it has been to have Excel and OneNote documents that I normally access via PC available to me on my phone.
- Lenses – the new lenses system is great, and I’ve been impressed with some of them and how easy they are to use. It’s a great way to extend the camera functionality.
- Live tiles and home screen – better customization and it feels like more 3rd party tiles are now more “live”- I’ve notices far fewer occasions when they showed out if date info.
- Skype – Well, lets face it, it actually works now. A nice improvement and complemented by the Lumia 810’s front facing camera.
- No TV-Out, not even via DNLA right now. My dad was showing picture from his Galaxy SII over Christmas using MHL to hook it to a TV. When done, he asked if I wanted to connect my phone and had to admit that my fancy new Windows Phone can’t do that simple task. The thing is, people assume it now
- Shorter timeout for the screen, and now sleeping screen to take advantage of AMOLED technology, or way to keep the screen on when charging. This is something that comes with me using the phone as a media player in the car. I love to randomize my music and want to be able to see what’s playing and to skip without having to unlock the phone – it’s easier to tap the screen than reach the lock button on the side when it’s in a holder.
- Lag. Yes, it is true that windows phone is pretty responsive but there are times when you find yourself waiting. Mostly, these are times when its reconnecting to WiFi. It’s reconnecting because it decided you were done for now, and was saving your battery. Also, everything has a splash screen, nothing opens all that quickly, though it is snappy once opened.
- Missing album art. I have a windows 8 computer and used the Windows Phone app to import music, most of which has album art in windows 8’s Music app but didn’t on the phone. It’s an encoding issue of sorts as Zune would embed album art and the windows phone app doesn’t, but the average user will just see the grey square where album art should be.
- Some aspects of use are confusing. Windows Phone is a relatively simple operating system to use and understand but there are a few things that are just not that obvious. For example, attachments on emails – if you are typing an email, you can’t attach much other than pictures from the email app, but if you go to (e.g) Office, and long press on a file Email is one of the ways you can share it. Speaking of sharing, if you want to share by Bluetooth, you have to turn it on first for the menu item to appear- it would be better if it you could choose it, and the phone would turn it on while it shares whatever it is, then turns it off again. Stuff like that anyway – oh, and curious about what’s on your Micro SD card – well, if it’s not pictures or music, you will never know (at least not via any interface in Windows Phone anyway).