I’ve been considering something for a while now. Something that, for me, was almost unthinkable even a short time ago. But now I want to mix things up a bit and try something new. So after some internal debate, I’ve decided to try a new smartphone platform. Although the Android platform never offered anything that I found to be compelling in terms of end-user experience, Windows Phone has intrigued me since it’s debut with its completely different user interface paradigm. So I decided that I would follow Judie and Dan’s positive forays into the Windows Phone world, and I’d try a few weeks with the HTC Titan myself.
Back in January, Judie and Dan both tried and spoke very highly of the HTC Titan, and most especially of Windows Mobile and what they felt it could become (here, here, here, and here). That started the gears turning in my head (those poor gears move VERY slowly sometimes!), and now I find myself about to try to follow their earlier paths. I am a little but different a type of user than they are. For me, the big challenge here is that I have been an iPhone user since the first generation came out in 2007, and I was an Apple user for many years before that. My investment in the Apple platforms is very deep and makes any kind of change a big challenge. I also have a lot of apps in specific categories like language study and navigation that make a change potentially more difficult and costly.
So let’s take a quick look at what I mean when I say I’m heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem. I have a Macbook Pro (running OSX Lion and Windows 7 Ultimate), I have a current generation iPad, and I have an iPhone 4s. Additionally, I support another iPhone 4s, and iPhone 4, a 1st generation iPad, and an iPhone 3G in my family. Just on my iPhone, I currently have 189 apps on my iPhone 4s, 1260 songs, 80 videos, 1314 photos. Like I said – I’m heavily invested in the Apple milieu.
This will be quite the Grand Experiment for me personally. I feel that MS is getting a lot right this time with the new phone user interface and the tight ecosystem controls. But I am concerned that many app areas that I rely on might still be missing and I might be lacking equivalents for many of my apps, but that’s all part of the experiment – do cognates exist, or do I really even need (or use) all those apps? Will my content – music, video, books – migrate well?
While I wait for the phone to arrive, I’ve already begun the challenge by making a list of all my apps. I will see what has exact matches, work-alikes, or no equivalent. From there I will decide what I need, and what I can live without. I will see what music I can easily move, and what I still have trapped by Apple FairPlay (DRM). I will try to talk about all of this, as well as the costs of moving for someone as heavily invested as I am. And I plan to talk about all the good, the bad, and the ugly that I discover on this journey.
As a last bit of business before the games begin, I want to point out that I will not be completely abandoning the Apple ecosystem, because I still have my iPad and my Macbook. One of the challenges will be using the new phone in conjunction with my Macbook (as my main content repository). Apps I simply can’t do without will probably find themselves in use on my iPad, but I will call these kinds of things out as the experiment progresses. In any case, it should be an interesting ride!
So any advice from those of you who have made the leap? Any warnings? Feel free to share your words of wisdom and tips here!