Well after a weekend of playing around, some early thoughts on Windows Phone and how it compared to WebOS.
- The screen is super responsive and the UI is silky smooth and there are a lot of very subtle animations that really add to usability… however, there were also a ton of animations which were just excessive and got in the way. Overall the animation is a net positive, but there is plenty there which annoys
- Generally speaking, everything is generally intuitive and easy to figure out. However, while my 2 year old was running WebOS like anybody’s business after a very short amount of time, she had a heck of a time with this one. Two things come to mind for this:
- The interface is very text heavy, there were very few icons or pictures – probably not the biggest deal for the adult users, but a notable deviation from where the industry is going
- A bigger deal was that there were many very simple/basic tasks (making a call, turning on speaker phone) which took many more clicks than it did on the Pre (or the iPhone for that matter). Seems a little more UI tuning should have happened
- All in all, a solid experience. This feels like what the Pre could have been had it been released on better hardware
- The selection in the app marketplace was respectable. I was always able to find at least a couple apps for each of the significant categories I wanted
- Like my wife’s iPhone, it’s really easy to press unintended buttons – especially the 3 soft keys at the bottom, the “back,” “home” and “search” buttons – this is especially annoying given the…
- …lack of multitasking. I am always getting tossed back to the start screen or the bing screen and most apps do a really poor job of retaining their state so either have to start over or wait a *while* for it to reload
- If the Pre’s limitation of three screens for icons was annoying, Window Phone’s limitation to just *1* is just plain ridiculous! I haven’t downloaded enough apps for this to be an issue yet but looking at how many apps I have on my Pre with the really gimpy App Catalog, if I had to organize them in the way that Windows wants, the interface will simply not scale
- Need to play with this some more, but there seems to be some weird limitation with large txt fields (as in, you can’t really type that much into them)
3 comments on the Arrive itself:
- I really dislike the landscape keyboard. It’s too wide – my fingers have to travel too far which slows down my typing. Windows Phone was clearly designed to be used primarily in portrait mode – many modes do not convert to a landscape format leaving you peering at a sideways screen. Given that portrait is the natural way to use the phone, having to always change to landscape to use the keyboard is annoying and just feels unnatural. Unfortunately it seems the industry is moving away from portrait keyboards (and really, physical keyboards in general) – maybe I will have to pick up a Dell Venue Pro just to support the format!
- I love love love the fact that phones are starting to standardize on micro USB as a universal charging format. Well, it looks like all of Sprint’s phones have at least
- This is one butt-ugly, chunky-ass phone!