The Journey from Windows Phone to iPhone

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I’ve been using Windows phones for about 4 years starting with the Lumia 900 which replaced my Blackberry. The Lumia 900 is still going strong and my son uses it as a music player and web surfing device. My wife still uses my workhorse Lumia 920. She loves the Qi charging (I’m jealous) and the solid performance. I was using a Lumia 1020 as my main phone for the last two years and I had a Lumia 925 as my backup phone and for travelling with a foreign SIM. In early 2015 the USB connector on my 1020 started to be a bit flakey and the camera grip/battery pack stopped working. I also found that I was struggling to get a full day out of a single charge. Especially on long days which typically have more photo opportunities. Annoyances for sure but tolerable as I anxiously awaited the Lumia 950 and 950XL. Then it happened. I was on a speaking tour with MVPDays for a week in the fall of 2015. I was in Vancouver on the first day of the tour and I dropped my phone in the elevator and cracked smashed the screen. I couldn’t find anybody that could replace the screen (Although there were dozens of services to fix iPhone and Samsung screens). I ended up putting packing take on the screen and living with it for the week. It was not fun.

When I got back to home I used a combination of my backup Lumia 925 and a 1020 that I borrowed from David Smith awaiting the expected launch of the new CityMan and TalkMan Windows 10 phones in October. When they launched I was fully expecting to pre-order a Lumia 950XL. While I was on vacation in November I listened to Peter Henry guest on episode 21 of the Surface Smiths Podcast and he convinced me that Windows Phone was a platform on life support undergoing experimental treatments. Even though Peter tried to order a Lumia 950 he eh was nto even able to pre-order one. All he could do was get on the notification list for when pre-orders would be available in Canada.

I tried throughout December to find a place in Ottawa where I could order a Lumia and was unable to find one. I ultimately decided to buy an iPhone 6S Plus because it had two features that the Windows Phone did not:

  2. I BUY IT.

What I like

There are lots of things I like about my iPhone. Here’s the first ten of many that I could think of.

  1. I love the form factor and the screen.
  2. I love the Biometric access. The fingerprint reader is just brilliant.
  3. I love the battery life and the charging speed. I am a heavy user and I typically only drain my battery about 20%-30% in a regular day. During the week, I often just charge it on my drive to and from work (about 15 minutes each way) and I’m good to go. I thought I’d miss Qi charging but with the great battery life, it’s not that big a deal.
  4. I love the music player it’s much better than WP.
  5. I love the headphone amp. The sound quality is better than my Lumia 1020 and it drives high resistance loads with ease. I no longer need a separate headphone amp for my audio integrated ski helmet or my over the ear Sennheiser headphones
  6. I love the Podcast App (and the other podcast apps available for iOS)
  7. I the MS Office products on iOS (like Outlook, OneNote, Office Lens, etc.)
  8. I love the life hacking apps like banking apps that let you deposit a cheque with a photo (This saves me lots of time and I get my money faster. Alos I don’t wash cheques in my jeans as often)
  9. I like the lightening cable. It’s just so simple (no wrong way to insert it and no pins to bend)
  10. I love all of the accessories available for the phone. There just weren’t too many for WP.

What I Miss

There are definitely things I miss from my WP experience. Microsoft did get a lot of things right. Here are some examples.

  1. Camera – I miss a physical button to start the camera app and to take a picture. Sometimes a good shot is missed because it takes too long to launch the app depending on what context your phone is in. I also miss the shutter button. I’m convinced that touching the screen to actuate the shutter (is there even really a shutter anymore?) makes it harder to keep the device stable as you are pushing it on a horizontal axis and this leads to blurry shots. Overall I still think I got better shots with my Lumia 1020 (and maybe even my 920 and 925)
  2. People Hub – I hate that only contacts that I have in my phone are displayed as part of caller id info. I don’t have pictures for all of them and many acquaintances that I have in LinkedIn and Facebook will never be in my local contacts list. I know I can manually synch them but that’s a pain and needs to be done on a regular basis. I loved just having them all integrated automatically and seeing callers profile pictures without me having to harvest them myself.
  3. Quick Settings – Quick access to settings like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. I play around with these settings often and they were easy to access in WP – Just swipe down and there they were. The quick access settings were also customizable to the settings your used the most. I also miss the ability to turn off Wi-Fi for a set period of time. I used this feature regularly when presenting. When the Wi-Fi isn’t stable I’d prefer not to use it but I don’t want to remember to turn it back on again later.
  4. Live Tiles – It was so easy to check the weather or my next meeting form my home screen and much better use of screen real estate

I also miss Cortana but I’m getting used to Siri. She makes me laugh at how she mispronounces people’s names.

What I don’t like

There are definitely things about my new phone that drive me crazy. Maybe I just haven’t figured out how to use them yet but here’s an example of some of them.

  1. I hate the iOS copy/cut/paste interface. It is painfully inaccurate and needlessly confusing and time consuming. WP just worked.
  2. I hate that not all phone numbers can be dialed as a hot link
  3. I hate having to use iTunes to manage my music
  4. The Bluetooth is flakier than my WP. I am often fumbling with it trying to get hands free to work. Not a good idea when a call comes in when
    I’m driving. WP just worked.
  5. I don’t like how the GPS functions


I’ve tried the following accessories and I will be posting reviews of each of them in the coming weeks.

  • Otterbox Case
  • UAG Case
  • UAG Screen protector
  • MagGrip CD Slot Magnetic Universal Car Mount

7 thoughts on “The Journey from Windows Phone to iPhone

    Mike Maadarani said:
    March 23, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I had similar experience with the iPhone when my 1020 was completely broken. I decided to switch back to WP when the 950 came out, but the 950 was a disappointed for the first 3 months. It got a lot better with couple of CUs. Bluetooth is still inconsistent like it was in 8.1, but I am hoping it will get fixed soon.

    alexanderdbrown said:
    March 23, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Re camera physical button .. I use the “volume-up” button to take pics. Not sure if this is enabled by default, if not check it out in Settings.

    Also a somewhat context-independent way to bring up the camera app … use the slide-up control at the bottom of the screen.

      Colin Smith responded:
      March 26, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Good advice. I knew about the slide up but that still assumes an unlocked phone and eyes on the phone not the subject. I used to be able to whip out the phone and be in camera mode by the time it was up and pointing at the subject. Nice trick with the down volume – I was unaware of that. It is awkward being on the bottom but usable nonetheless (will take some getting used to). BTW – it doesn’t work in Office Lens

      PHenry said:
      April 13, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      Where is THAT setting? I sorely miss the dedicated camera button! I really hated MS removing that from HW requirements. :<

    PHenry said:
    March 26, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Hey Colin. Unfortunately I didn’t mean to dissuade any current WP owners\users from the phone, but it looks like that’s what I did. :< I wanted Microsoft to try to stand up and take notice. Unfortunately it doesn't look like they did. UWPs are not NEARLY as popular as what MS THOUGHT they were going to be. After MS launched the Nokia-X (the android phone) I predicted garage devs (arguably all that's left doing any Windows dev now) are going to jump ship and goto javascript. After a few yeasr, from recent surveys on StackOverflow, that's exactly what's going on. When was the last time MS trumpeted the number of apps on the Marketplace? 1.5 years ago? Remember when we hit half a million apps? Yeah me too…1.5 years ago. Nothing since then. People are just turning their heads and walking away from MS and they are blind to this.

    The one thing you talked about, the dedicated camera button, that is something MS removed from the hardware requirements unfortunately. My 550 doesn't have one, and I sorely miss it as well.

    Thanks for the blog. Keep up the great work!

    […] Colin’s blog: The Journey from Windows Phone to iPhone […]

    PHenry said:
    April 13, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    After a few weeks of leaving my last comment….I sadly find myself analyzing the Android phone market. I have a couple blogs in draft mode, doing research now. Just have a little bit more to do before releasing. Very sad state of affairs IMHO….you feel that……. is that snow in hell? DOH!

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