Earlier this month, Apple announced iPhone4GS; remarkeably, over 4 million units were sold in the first week. Consumers seemed to overlook that that the much awaited iPhone 5 release was effectively pushed well into 2012, having to settle for the iOS5 version without the anticipated sleek hardware.
And then there was Siri…a new voice enabled personal assistant, capturing consumer’s curiosity and offering as much fun as Angry Birds. Make no mistake about it…Siri may provide fun entertainment today; longer term, Siri offers the potential for productivity; soon everyone may have a personal assistant on-the-go.
Around the same time, Microsoft announced the release of Windows Phone 7.5, referred to as Windows Phone Mango along with three new phones from Microsoft’s newest phone partner, Nokia.
Let’s just say the consumers did not pay as much attention to Windows Phone Mango as iPhone4GS. This is a shame; Windows Phone is innovative in both design and functionality — here are a few reviews for both Windows Phone 7.0 and Windows Phone 7.5. While I won’t call out all of the features, it is worth mentioning a few outstanding considerations:
- Integrated Email — one email tile (box) for several accounts; so now I can consolidate all my hotmail, yahoo and gmail accounts into one box
- Threading — like messages are grouped together; I particularly like being able to group conversations i begin in text and move to email
- Social — includes tight integration of common social apps; I like having the option to text with SMS or on Facebook
- Groups — now that i have integrated Facebook and LinkedIn contacts into my phone, groups help me better organize people
- Wi-Fi Hub — phone has built in capabilities to operate as a hub; unfortunately, most major carriers block this feature
Windows Phone 7.5 is well designed OS, easy-to-use and integrated with social features. So what is missing? Well for starters, hundreds of thousands of applications available on iOS (e.g., Starbucks app, WSJ) and thousands of applications optimized first for iOS, then Android and finally released less than optimally for Windows Phone (e.g., many of the airline apps). However, none of us use hundreds of thousands of apps; we make due with a dozen or so.
Aside from avid xBox users, the Windows Phone seems to be too much productivity and not enough fun; iPhone on the other hand the appears alot more fun (e.g., introduction of apps, camera and Siri) and becomes increasingly useful over time. While we should love Windows Phone for its ease of use and productivity, we sure would enjoy a bit more flash and fun along the way.