Oh Windows Phone…

Dear Windows Phone,

I’ve been with you for a few years now…since the very beginning when you made the leap from Windows Mobile – version 7.0.  I’ve watched you grow up.  I’ve enjoyed your devices, and had 4 different models since 2010.  I am currently using a Nokia 1020, and absolutely love it, especially the camera, which is really the primary reason why I bought it.  I’ve taken some amazing photos and actually use the DSLR-level controls. 

I’ve upgraded my Nokia 1020 to Windows Phone 8.1, and Cortana…wow, you are amazing.  Your voice recognition is spot on, you answer my questions, do my bidding, and kick Siri’s butt every time and iPhone-using friend and I compare you two ladies.

For me, Kids Corner is indispensible…how have other platforms not adopted this type of feature?

And lastly, email and messaging (and Office docs) are where I live, and Windows Phone is an outstanding platform for those mobile interactions.

But what is killing me is apps.  I know, I know, the platform has nearly all the major mobile apps and popular games like Angry Birds and Words with Friends. (Although still a few big ones like Nook are missing that I could certainly use)  I’m not talking about those apps.  I’m talking about two other categories of apps: what I’ll call second tier apps and innovation apps.  Second tier apps are those apps you might get at a conference or maybe a franchise restaurant.  These are apps that are not intended for mass consumption by all, but targeted at a specific audience.  What I’m calling innovation apps are those that are doing something new and unique, but are often iOS only – for example an app like Pixotale.  These are the kinds of apps that are missing from this platform.  (In fact a few years ago I carried around an iPod touch just so I had an IOS device to run some missing apps on!)

I don’t know how to do solve this problem.  It’s not a problem of the platform not giving developers the right support.  I’d argue that for tooling and development support, Windows Phone is the industry technical leader. 

I don’t want to leave the platform, but the missing app problem is getting to me. 




Windows Phone 8 App List (June 2013)

A few colleagues of mine recently starting using Nokia Lumia 920s running Windows Phone 8.  I’ve been using this same hardware and mobile OS for many months now, and thought I would help out with a quick list of apps that they might find useful.  I opened my phone and flipped over to the list of apps, and started writing them down – I was shocked that the list was so long!  Who says that this platform has an app problem!  Here is my list of apps I use on a fairly regular basis – this isn’t an all inclusive list – I have more than this installed, but these I use on a regular basis.

Activity Feeds (a Microsoft CRM app)
Audible – Audiobooks
Bank of America
BLINK (takes a rapid set of pics and you can choose the best to save)
Chase Mobile 
Clearer (to-do list app)
Cocktail Flow
Disney World (shows you ride times for the Orlando parks)
Facebook Beta (beta version of the new app)
Fuse (news feed reader)
glEEk! (twitter client)
Instance (Instagram app)
Lync 2013
MyRadar Weather Radar
Nokia Conference Beta (one-touch auto-dials conference lines from your calendar entries)
Pace Calculator (calculates running times/paces)
Reading Lens
Valpak Local Coupons