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Making the move from Windows Mobile

10th June 2016

Anyone who knows me both inside and outside of Cosmic, will know how up until very recently I was all about Windows Mobile. As the only person within Cosmic who even used a Windows Phone, I was always the one that was left behind when it came to the limited app store and somewhat lack of functionality of Windows devices compared to its iOS and Android counter parts.

5 years ago I decided to purchase my first Windows mobile device, starting off with a Nokia Lumia 800 on Windows Phone 7 in 2011, and making my way through countless Lumia handsets, between the transition of Nokia to Microsoft right up until my current 950 XL. I was adamant that I would never use an iPhone and rarely found myself using anything running on Android.

As an ambitious videographer, it was always the camera element that sold Nokia's Windows devices to me. With their Zeiss lenses and PureView camera technology, the quality of video footage and photos that you could capture on them seemed to be in a league of their own. Initially the other features that were attractive to me were vast; the ability to expand storage using a micro SD card, satnav that didn't require an internet connection, an app built in purely for editing video, but over time those features have gradually become the norm for alternative smartphones or have instead been phased out by Microsoft entirely.

My current phone, the 950 XL, offered some fantastic features. As always, a PureView camera capable of capturing stunning 4K video, Continuum which allowed me to double the phone up as a desktop PC, and "Iris scanning technology" to unlock the phone and make payments through the Microsoft App Store. However, with the gradual decline in the number of apps being developed for Windows Mobile, all of those features, as great as they were, simply lost their "wow factor" unfortunately fast. Apps such as Periscope, Pinterest or Sky Go just didn't exist in the world of Windows Mobile and the number of times colleagues have shown me "this great new app" that I could blog about, only to end up finding it doesn’t actually exist on Windows Mobile and instead have to dig out the ancient Android phone which could install it was ironic to say the least. But the problem isn't necessarily down to Microsoft. The desire for app developers to create apps for Windows Mobile just isn't there and for a mobile operating system that holds just 6.3% of the market share in the UK, it is obvious to see why.

It wasn't until recently, when Microsoft's own video editing app was discontinued and the third party alternatives just didn’t perform as desired, that the thoughts of switching to Android or iOS started to creep in. My final decision to switch came around when I decided to buy myself a camera drone. When it arrived through the door, I felt like a ten year old on Christmas Day tearing the packaging open. I spent an hour setting it up, and getting it prepped for its first flight on a stunning afternoon, only to find that the companion app to fly the drone does not exist for Windows Mobile! That was the final straw and at that moment I made the decision that it is time to switch to either Android or iOS. For the moment I am stuck with a Samsung smartphone on Android that is several generations old with a severely cracked screen to fly my drone and capture some awe inspiring footage, but seeing as it is well over 5 years old, it still does everything that I need it to do.

More recently, the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter apps for Windows underwent a massive overhaul after spending up to several years between updates; bringing the design standards and features to the same level as the app equivalents for iOS and Android, but unfortunately for me it was just a little too late.

I still agree that the Windows Mobile devices currently on the market are fantastic devices, but for me, the functionality through the means of a number of apps are becoming the number one priority. A priority that Windows Mobile unfortunately does not fit for me anymore. I am sad to be leaving the world of Windows Mobile behind, but for a day in an age where new and exciting apps and technology are developing almost daily, and as a person with the curiosity and desire to try them out, my only option appears to be making the switch.

So, my final decision will be, do I move to Android or iOS?