There are too many people whining about the fact that the Nokia Lumia 900 has been out for about half a year, and they’re already coming out with the next handset. The Nokia Lumia 920 has better specs and will run the new, supposedly non-backward compatible Windows Phone 8 OS. And ya, its coming out soon. So, that means people like myself have to bare with the fact that my awesome Lumia 900 will soon be outdated. However, despite all the coolness which is the Lumia 920 you won’t see me crying like a little girl who got pushed down on the playground by her future ex-husband.
Let me give you all a history lesson: decades ago someone came out with a handheld computing device. I forget what it was called. Then Apple released the Newton. It was an atrocious device with laughable handwriting recognition, and very difficult input methods otherwise. It bombed hard. Then the company known as 3com developed handheld computers most people would confuse with Palm Pilots nowadays. Not surprising since 3com sold to US Robotics who would later turn their mobile department into Palm, Inc. Then, the PalmPilot and the PalmOS was born. For many years Palm and Microsoft (with their many mobile offerings including Windows CE and the phone OS based on it, Windows Mobile) both held dominance in the mobile category becoming known as smart phones. Palm, Dell, HP, and a handful of others were the only ones making smart phones. Nokia had Symbian, and they did very well (what, with, like 1,000% market share in the cell phone world), but then came Research in Motion, or RIM for short, along with the BlackBerry smart phone. They soon overtook the smartphone market since they were easier to use, at least without a stylus, and much adored by IT departments and the large corporations they worked for.
At this point, Apple had lost the smartphone battle. Also at this point, Google was beginning to work on a little project known as Android… That is, they began Android before Apple began working on the iPhone. If that’s true, then why was there (and why does there continue to be) such fanfare over the Apple iPhone? It has very little to do with Apple or the “innovations” of the iPhone, and more to do with the iPod. The iPod was probably the best thing to happen to music (at least from the consumers point of view). It was simple to use, simple to control, and simple to load with your favorite songs. The mere idea of an iPod phone was nothing short of fantasy, though. It was impractical for Apple to make a smartphone. However, as you well know, they did it anyway. It wasn’t the fact that it was an Apple device, though, that made it such a success. It did have intuitive navigation, and nice first party “apps” as they came to be called. But the thing that drove iPhone sales was the fact that this was the much anticipated iPod phone. The entire Internet community had envisioned every possible concept for an iPod phone. It was talked about before Apple began actually working on it (supposedly). This is a device people had been waiting for: an iPod that is also my phone. Not even a year later, the iPhone was no longer “my iPod that I can make phone calls with.” It was now THE go-to smartphone for everyone who wanted to latest, most coolest… app (ha, you thought I was going to say “technology”). Why no fanfare over Google’s offering?
Even though Google had many strong points in it’s Android operating system, besides beginning work on the OS before Apple did, Apple got their device to market first. Once the Google Nexus was finally released, on a small network known as T-Mobile no less, everyone wanted the “iPod phone.” Google also had to suffer from the envy of Apple lovers who wished for the open-ness of Android. Apple fan boys favorite retort was “Google stole that from the iPhone.” To this day, this argument makes no sense. Palm was using icons arranged in rows and columns for years before the iPod, much less the iPhone. They also allowed one to use the stylus to “slide” web pages up or down instead of using a scroll bar or arrow key. They also sold applications, played music and videos, browsed websites, synced e-mail, and had touch screens. Not to mention, Google began work on the Android operating system before Apple, and released the Nexus not long after. There was no time for Google to re-craft Android to mimic the iPhone. And why would they want to anyway. Android is running under a different philosophy.
If you don’t like the stock messaging app, you can replace it with a third-party app from the Marketplace (now Play store). You can do this with the browser, email, calendar, and even the home screen or the app market. You can also access root folders (the folders with all the system information in them) and change nearly anything! Of course, this comes at a price: you must be a Linux genius (or at least think you’re one) and if you mess anything up, you could ruin the whole phone. The iPhone, on the other hand, is locked down so neither you nor app developers can mess with system files. Android proponents will claim you lose functionality with this kind of software Nazi-ism. However, if you are unsure of what you are doing, and want something that is simple and just works, you should go with the iPhone.
Now, the whole reason for this post: the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 device. It’s coming out soon; too soon for some Lumia 900 owners. Lots of people are whining and complaining about this apparent oversight on Nokia and Microsoft’s side of things. But the facts remain the facts:
- Microsoft is playing catch-up, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Windows Phone 7 OS is butt-kicking awesome.
- The Windows Phone 7 devices are a little short on the specs when compared to the top of the line Android devices, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Windows Phone 7 OS is sleek, and (unlike the desktop OS sometimes) it just works.
- If Apple had done this before (you can’t tell, but I said that sarcastically) no one would be whining about it. Sure, they’d be a little upset, but not so upset as to write a letter to Nokia and AT&T telling them they’re going to drop them for eternity.
- You can’t compare Windows Phone 7 (or 8 for that matter) to Android devices or the iPhone. You have to compare the WP7 OS to the Android OS and iOS. Why people keep saying the hardware sucks so they went with Android, and then call Android better belittles their own intelligence, apparently without them knowing. That’s like comparing a netbook to OSX. It’s not Windows fault the Netbook has low specs. (although, as I stated earlier, the lower specs don’t seem to make much of a difference)
The most important fact of all: my opinion. Not because I’m better than you, but because I have owned all three devices, and thus have used all three OSes. I love the Nokia Lumia because A.) it’s the lovely, snappy, simple, elegant Windows Phone 7.5 OS, and B.) because it merges with my Live, Bing, Xbox, Hotmail, Windows, Office, SkyDrive, and all around Microsoft-centered life. Here are some other things I have noticed:
- Angry Birds runs great on my Lumia, and obviously ran great on my iPhone. However, not so great on my HTC Aria or my Samsung Galaxy Captivate, both Android phones.
- I could make my ringtone whatever I wanted on my Android phones, along with messaging tones, alerts, alarms, etc. On my iPhone I found this very difficult, although I could do it. On my Lumia, it’s similar to what I had to go through for the iPhone, but unlike the iPhone I have to use the stock alert sounds. Only custom ringtones for me.
- I replaced my messaging app on my Android phones, along with my browser. That is, I changed the default app to a third-party app to handle all that kind of information. My messaging app (Handscent) also allowed me to set custom text tones for individual contacts. Neither iPhone nor my Lumia allow this.
- I gotta say, the fact that I would sync the iPhone, and to some extent the Lumia, to my computer made me feel much better about my data. Sure, I could sync my HTC with my computer using their (very limited) software, but it just wasn’t the same. I never hooked up my Samsung… and that made me sad. However, I don’t really need to hook up my Lumia. The Lumia will start syncing after 10 minutes of being on battery, assuming I’m on my home network with my computer and the computer is on and the Zune software is running. But still. Yes, now the iPhone syncs some stuff with the iCloud, but my sister doesn’t use it because it doesn’t seem to work well. But that’s not first hand info, so we’ll just say “I guess they have that, too, tho…”
Really, in all honesty, neither phone OS is worse than the other. The only thing I can think of which is holding Microsoft back is the low (usable) app count in their marketplace and the apparent lack of any announced backward-compatibility. Putting Android on the Lumia hardware is not an answer to Nokia’s problems. This is all just head games where no one really wins. You are free to like any OS you choose, but you must keep two things in mind: 1.) technology changes faster than you can make up your mind about purchases, so stop whining about updates and upgrades and you’re lack of ability to get them for free; and 2.) quit shittin’ all over my favorite OS until you spend at least a week using it. I’ve read many reviews and blog posts from people who have tried Windows Phone 7 devices only to find out they don’t care about the other phones, because this phone does exactly what they need it to do, and it does it simply and beautifully. Just because you’re an expert on what WP7 lacks that Android or iOS contains, doesn’t make you an expert on WP7.
Now, if that didn’t work, I order you to stop whining about the Lumia 920!