I have been using WindowsPhone, Window Mobile, Windows CE (all various names of various versions of Windows for a Mobile Device, possibly a phone) for a long time. I have been using Nokia Cell phones since I moved from a bag phone. When the Microsoft purchase of Nokia happened, I was not entirely unhappy, although I was worried enough that I had picked up a iPhone through a different carrier (Verizon) as a backup. I was using the Nokia E72 at the time, and was quite happy with it, although using the iPhone (as a step up from the iTouch) as a manual repository and backup cell and data signal. So Nokia still brought out the E7, which I got, and which was a disaster. So, I went back to the E72. Then the 920 Windows Phone came out. Looked great, so I got one. After loosing 2 days of business to it (not because of startup issues with me, the damn thing just wouldn’t work), I put my ATT sim BACK into my venerable E72, and went back to work (albeit after buying 2 more). About 6 months later, I tried the 920 again, and this time (after several software upgrades) it worked fine.
So, when W10m started making the Beta rounds, I had been here before. I knew that it was going to be rough, it would not be suitable for use as a Daily Driver, past performance is not a guarantee of future returns, safety not guaranteed and please keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times. By this time I was using a 1520 as a primary phone and quite happy with it, with a couple of caveats. My main source of malcontent had to do with email. You could, I understand, using a methodology slightly less complex than launching a nuclear missile, email an attachment file (pdf, in my case). I had been able to do that exactly once, then I kept getting lost about step 25. My second issue was that while you could display excel spreadsheets and word docs, you couldn’t actually edit them. About that time Microsoft started having problems with Windows Phone in general, there was word that they would be dropping the line, the new CEO had rumored commitment issues with WP or WM or whatever, and they also started offering almost all of Office on iPhone and Android. The Outlook App on iPhone let you <gasp> email attachment files. My entire catalog of manuals, the company billing information file that I send out daily, the company W9 even, could all be sent from anywhere I was at, even the toilet (Ok, work/life balance or lack thereof will be the subject of a different post).
So, I picked up a second 1520 to try W10m Insider (beta) on. The 920 that I had was too slow for it, and the 1020 was too good a camera to mess up. So, I got it loaded up, and it was crap. No prob, turn it off and wait for the next version. Which was crap. So I went through that about a dozen times before one of the Insider versions got to a level I thought was worth pulling the Sim in my 1020 and switching it over. That made it my backup ATT phone. Went through about 4-7 more versions and it started running fairly well. About the same time my primary 1520 started having screen problems. Not uncommon with that phone, after a while (almost 2 years in my case) the digitizer starts separating (or at least that’s the most plausible answer I found on the web). So with one phone going down, I decided to try W10m Insider as my primary phone. I would also have the second 1520 as a backup (and I ordered a third one just in case). There were a few problems, but it was usable. It never failed me as a phone, and the email worked fine and OneNote was great on it. I was actually pretty happy with it. The next Insider build put a wrinkle in. The voicemail didn’t register a message unless you rebooted the phone. That was a disaster, I rebooted a couple of times to pick up one message just to find I had missed a second call while waiting for the boot. Then they dropped the “final” build, the one the new Windows 10 phones would be released with. “This”, I thought, “will be the one that gets it all right.” The build release rate had dropped off, so this MUST have been what they were focusing their efforts on. Notsomuch. The release build had the same issue in it.
So, now I was faced with an interesting choice. I could either live with rebooting every 30 minutes or so to check my voicemail, or go back to W8.1m. I instead did what I usually do when presented with a binary solution set, I jumped the tracks instead. In this case I went and bought an iPhone6s on ATT. This would do 2 things. It would let me try the latest iteration of the iPhone as a Daily Driver in my business, and it would give me a reason not to throw a screaming fit about the issues I was having with W10m, and the Glacial Slowness (pre-global warming) that Microsoft was working on them. If I liked it, I would keep on the new path and re-evaluate W10m at some future date when it had time to congeal a bit (or not). If I found some issue that made it less than usable, I could give this phone to Mrs Dr ThinkingEngineer, who so far had held onto her iPhone4s with the zeal of a Second Amendment advocate to their last pistol.
The results of the iPhone experiment will be detailed in a future post. But, it took the new version of Windows Phone (Mobile or whatever) to drive me back to an iPhone. Like I say, I’ve been here before.