If true that's a pretty nifty pivot.
Had they shipped Astoria in Windows 10 to allow Android apps to "just work" it would have destroyed their UWP strategy.
So they might get a few more Windows Phone users but they would have lost control of the new development platform and given it to Google on a silver platter. And they would never have got anywhere near the numbers Android is at.
I would be shocked if Microsoft don't bring UWP to macOS, Linux and Android (I don't see how they can with iOS) in the not-too-distant-future.
Kind of like how OS/2 support of Windows applications helped destroy it?
Would be nice to see Apps from VS running in Linux and macOS. There's been some effort that one assumes supports this direction... Also, all things to make Azure nicer to use and better as a target are in their long term interest.
My question mark over iOS is because of how strict Apple are with approved apps. Will Apple like Microsoft bringing "app parity" into the iOS eco-system and more importantly will they allow it?
That being said, it is pretty obvious it is a minuscule platform; apps are often lagging behind their iOS/Android counterparts, and there are some obvious ones missing (like Snapchat and Pokemon Go).
It is kind of sad really; I think it would be healthy with more than two major players, and Windows 10 users will probably feel quite at home in Windows 10 Mobile.
I can't blame Microsoft for it, but the app-gap between WP/WinMo 10 and Android is getting untenable for me. I'm thinking about switching back, not because I think Android is better (I don't think it is at all), but simply because I'm starting to feel left out when all my family and friends are using, e.g., SnapChat to keep in touch and I...can't.
It particularly riles me up that there were perfectly functional third-party Windows Phone Snapchat apps, but Snapchat demanded that they be removed and still (evidently) declined to make a WP app.
Not to pick on Snapchat, it's not an uncommon story.
If I could even just download the Snapchat APK and sideload it on my Windows phone, that'd be enough for me. But I can't, since Astoria got killed.
They need to defend their trademark, or it will be genericized. Not that that's a big deal, but it can be a thing.
More importantly, if the windows store is filled with crappy snapchat apps, it hurts their brand. If they release an update that breaks those apps, it hurts their brand. It's a no-win situation. Then there's hacks of third party apps, that are spun as being Snapchat's problem: http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/01/tech/social-media/snapchat-hac...
Snapchat is in a particularly bad position for the last bit, because what they're selling is fundamentally a lie, and having that lie exposed hurt them a lot.
Likewise I'll pick up my iPod touch when I want to listen to a podcast, browse Instagram, or use Find My Friends.
There are hardware differences that make me use one device for it's camera or more reliable bluetooth, but I don't really associate that with the operating system.
Do you use a Windows Phone device because of the operating system or because (for example) it has an excellent camera or does something special with your XBox?
- app organization. One swipe and I'm looking at an alphabetized list of apps I can jump to by letter. This is huge to me, so much easier to find and identify an app versus a 2d grid dominated by icons.
- live tiles. My email tile shows me unread emails, photo tile shows pictures, calendar shows appointments, etc. Small thing but makes life a little simpler and makes my home screen look nice.
- settings are organized and laid out in what seems to me to be a much cleaner and logical way. I think this may have regressed some in win 10.
- maps are offline by default. Saves on data and helps out a lot when going through poor signal areas, which I do a lot.
- Cortana is super awesome, ime works better than google now.
- I can deny apps individual permissions.
- OneDrive integration. I didn't use OneDrive prior to buying the phone but since it was auto installed on my win computers i started using it and its very convenient.
A lot of it just all the minor usability and ui struggles just aren't there. To me it's a lot more polished and easy to use. I may have bad taste. :)
If I take a picture on my phone, it syncs to my laptop and desktop. If I put something on my computer in my OneDrive folder photo folder, it shows up in the photos on my phone.
You share a folder, update a file and then the other person does not get the update to that file, so then they are sitting there on the phone with you saying "no I don't see the updated file" and you have to have them login to the web version and basically download the file to their one drive. That happened to me several times and I just gave up on One Drive. I don't know if they fixed that. Yes, it syncs things for YOUR folders but it will not sync things to shared folders.
Note that Here maps with offline maps is also available on iOS and Android:
- solved by any launcher
- cannot comment
- gmaps handles this automatically
- baked into android since L
Nearly usability and UI struggles are easily solved with a custom launcher.
Then you have never used Windows Phone. None of the Android launchers provides the equivalent of WP tiles with the same amount of integration. There is no API that launchers could use to pull out the same amount/types of information.
Nonsense. It does some prefetching, but if you are in another country (no data) and you go slightly off-route, there is no maps coverage anymore. Luckily, new versions of Google maps allow you to download offline maps ahead of time as well.
For me the reason to switch if I was still on WP is that the app state is so deplorable that even Microsoft's apps on iOS and Android are miles ahead of WP's counter parts.
What's missing in Android compared to WP in this regard? I have widgets on my Android homescreen that has buttons to activate app functionality (e.g. Audible's 'play' button) and that dynamically update their content. Is there some richer interactor or viewing scheme wp supports?
That said, it's a great launcher and I use it on my Note 4. I still don't fully understand the strategy behind why Microsoft released it though.
Customizability is great, and I think a phone OS should be highly customizable. But I also want it delivered to me in a state where I have to do as little customization as possible. I don't want to fool with it more than I have to.
Can you comment further on google maps doing that automatically? I have not seen it to be the case that I can turn off data, input a destination, and get turn-by-turn directions the whole way.
I am fully aware of Google Drive, but the reason I started using OneDrive is because it is already installed on all my Windows computers; all I had to do was sign in. The same is not true of Google Drive. I take a picture with my WP and by the time I walk over to the computer it's already there, and I didn't have to do anything to set it up.
Also, regarding permissions, no, it was "added" early on, but you couldn't use it without downloading other apps and then without rooting your phone. I think it's supposed to be in Marshmellow for-real-this-time, but I haven't seen it yet.
On the other hand now that Uber and bank of america have a universal app it feels more complete.
This may seem ridiculous but that's what these apps are doing to people. :)
I have an Android phone and it doesn't have Snapchat on it. I also have friends with varieties of phones, and Snapchat, and they're very intelligent. It's donwvoted because it's a pointless "get off my lawn comment" that says nothing other than "I look down on all Snapchat users".
If Microsoft is building a framework, I'd expect it to provide a great UX for their users.
If a compatibility layer is required, it would be better for MS users to have it in the reverse direction, to let WP apps run on Android, and use that to try to convince devs to build WP apps.
In summary, it never made sense for MS to provide WP users (their own platform!) with a second-rate UX.
I would claim 'nice ux' is something that would not drive market adoption nearly as much as other factors (value, usability in general, etc).
I see where you're coming from when you say that nice UX is not the most important thing, but a poor UX comes in the way of usability. The conventions users are used to no longer work, which comes in the way of using the app for its intended purpose. UI that doesn't fit might also cause users to pause and reorient themselves, again distracting them from their goal.
For example, wall switches in India are on when pressed downward, as opposed to upward in the US. Either works, but if the switches are different from room to room in your house, it's confusing.
There were many other factors that killed OS/2. Just before Warp was released, it was quite hyped in the press. The then unreleased Windows 95 was considered to be a train wreck and OS/2 a true 32-bit operating system. However, once people got their hands on Warp, it turned out that the installation was difficult unless you had hardware that was covered by the relatively small driver base. Moreover IBM didn't really seem to care about supporting OS/2 for end users. So, much of the enthusiasm evaporated even before Windows 95 was released.
This is categorically false. You only need to visit the windows phone reddit to see all of the complaints on how poorly implemented it was, how it affected the performance of the phone and the app compatibility issues.
Microsoft's attempt to put Android apps on windows phone and their harebrained idea to replace Google services with their services, within the app, were all failures and not because it would have cannibalized their native apps, but rather they just couldn't pull it off.