The Switch: Conclusion

So after a number of days using the Windows Phone, could I permanently switch from my iPhone to the best Microsoft has to offer? Let’s go over some of the highs and lows...


The Switch: Hardware

John Gruber recently asked the question, “What phone would you rather carry? An iPhone 4S modified to run Android or Windows Phone 7? Or a top-of-the-line HTC, Samsung, or Nokia handset running iOS 5?” His point was that the thing that makes an iPhone so special is the software. But he did later point out that the hardware is definitely important. There’s a reason for the shape, size, button placement, and even the materials used on every iPhone made. This becomes obvious when you think of running iOS on one of the crap Samsung phones being offered with Android.

So, even though what I really want to experience was the Windows Phone OS, at some point you must look at the hardware too. The best OS is nothing if the hardware can’t stand on its own.


The Switch: Downloaded Apps

I mentioned on day one that I don’t use my iPhone as a phone much. My iPhone has really been a portable computer that lets me do particular tasks throughout my day, regardless of where I am. Somedays I wonder how I survived before the iPhone... and when I think about it too much, I get the shakes and try to pretend I’ve always had an iPhone!

But honestly, the reason I can do so many of the things I need to do with only my iPhone has a lot more to do with the apps I’ve downloaded than the phone itself. So can I get these same – or comparable – apps on my Windows Phone? And will they perform as well as what I’m used to?


The Switch: Built-in Apps

With the quality of third-party apps, it’s hard to remember which apps came with the iPhone and which apps were extra. It’s also hard to remember the original iPhone and no apps! But the iPhone comes with a lot of the tools I use every day. Can Windows Phone compete with these apps?


The Switch: A Quick Update

For the past two days I have grumbled about how Windows Phone handles long lists of items. For example, if you have a list of 100 songs, you have to scroll all the way through the list, whereas the iPhone gives you letters on the right side to quickly jump to a section in the list. Today I discovered that Windows Phone does actually offer a way to quickly jump to a section.

Above each section, Windows Phone has a colored square with the corresponding letter for that section. Let’s say you’re currently at Muse in the artist list of the Music app, there will be an “M” floating at the top. If you tap that letter, you are presented with a list of all the letters of the alphabet which you can tap on to jump to that section.

This is a really slick way to handle long lists. But for sake of comparison, it’s two taps vs. Apple’s one. And it certainly was not obvious. There is no clue provided that tapping on the big letter will do anything. I just happened to tap it by accident.


The Switch: iPhone to Windows

The minute I played with the Windows Phone demo on my iPhone, I knew I had to try a Windows Phone for every day use. (Smart move there, Microsoft.) The interactive walkthrough showed me enough unique features that are in the Windows Phone to make want for more. The real question was whether the nitty gritty details are as cool as the main features you get to try out in the demo. So I spent a few weeks trolling eBay and Amazon in search of a decently priced, used, or open box, Windows Phone.

This is day one of my Windows conversion.


ShareTool 2

I do all of my work from home, which is great of course... I see my kids more than most working dads, plus the commute is great! But one issue I’ve run into is that my kids hog all of the bandwidth when I’m working. Last week, when my new office was completed, I decided to rectify the situation and get a dedicated Internet line just for work. So the kids’ iMac runs off the Verizon DSL line, while my laptop and iDevices all connect to the new high-speed line from Wisprenn.

Everything has been great since I made this switch except for one small thing: I can’t access other machines on my network like I used to. I can’t share iTunes libraries, or remote into the iMac to help my four year old when he gets stuck on something.

Enter ShareTool 2.


Inline Confirmation

My friend Jeret and I recently started a new company called Pixel Ark, and our first product, ChurchBulletin, started beta testing on October 1.

I’ll probably detail some more of the product here, but my favorite piece of the entire project (which consumed virtually every waking hour in September) is probably the inline archive/delete confirmation.