If you want your Windows Phone critiques to sound credible, try using real reasons


It seems like in the world of technology writers, many don’t really know much or anything about Windows Phone.  A good example is CNET’s executive editor Molly Wood who’s review of the Nokia Lumia 1020 is full of completely inaccurate information (WPCentral’s Daniel Rubino points this out pretty nicely.)  You’ll see similar critiques around the web and many focus on things like “Not enough apps” or “there’s no Instagram”.  Repeating those makes you sound like you’re just copy/pasting critiques from somewhere else.  The Instagram issue isn’t even true.  Yes, the official Instagram app is missing, but there are many 3rd party Instagram apps that often work even better than the official version on other platforms.  6Tag, for example, is probably the best Instagram app around.

As for the “There aren’t enough apps” mantra, yes, it’s true that certain developers don’t support Windows Phone and that’s a valid critique… for the developers that make those app for other platforms, not necessarily the Windows Phone platform itself. If you actually point out what functionality you’re missing, that would be a valid criticism too.  Though maybe that functionality is actually there, possibly implemented in a different way, and you don’t know it because you didn’t look.

In other words, try using real reasons supported by facts to criticize Windows Phone.  Here’s a few to get you started.

Xbox Music

Back in the days of Windows Phone 7.x, the Zune and music pass integration was fantastic! Windows Phone 8 turned that around completely.  Xbox Music on Windows Phone 8 is very buggy, often laggy, and overall a horrible experience compared to what it was like in the Zune days.  Attempting to stream albums via Xbox Music Pass often hangs.  Even looking at albums in the music store can be very unresponsive.  Albums show up with a price first and then check your Xbox Music pass status for each song to see if you’re allowed to download it and that takes forever. Seriously, it’s slower than anything else on Windows Phone.  It makes scrolling unresponsive and even the back button doesn’t work right from here.  While Xbox Music made special playlists are available, you can’t download them in one step.  The same is true with your custom playlists in your cloud collection.  At least the Bing music search still works.

Xbox Video

If you’ve got an Xbox 360, Xbox One, or Windows 8 PC/Tablet, the Xbox Video app is a great way to rent movies, subscribe to TV show seasons, or buy videos that have some very cool Smartglass special features.  You can even use Bing search rewards points to rent movies for free.  Where’s Xbox Video support on Windows Phone 8?  It’s not there at all!  Windows Phone 7 supported Microsoft’s rights managed video service if you copied the videos to your phone using Zune, but with Windows Phone 8, rights managed videos from Xbox Music aren’t supported at all.

Reinstalling Apps & Backup

Apple did a great job with allowing you to back up your phone’s current state to a desktop PC via iTunes.  You can easily plug in your phone and reinstall all of your stuff, apps included.  Windows Phone 8 is relegated to cloud-based backup only, and that does NOT include apps.  So say a particular app that you may have purchased is no longer available in the Windows Phone store, you won’t be able to ever install or use those apps on a new phone.  There are a lot of games that seem to expire in the Windows Phone store and are removed forever after a while… you’ll only be able to play them again on the original device that had them installed on.  If I want to play Orbital, Twin Blades, Fable Coin Golf, or Hasta La Muerte, I have to boot up my Windows Phone from 2010 in order to do so.  Not cool!

Google is intent on sabotaging Windows Phone and I don’t want to leave Google

This is a big one that is going to be very difficult to resolve but it’s a valid criticism.  Google wants nothing to do with Windows Phone and wants its user to have nothing to do with Windows Phone as well.  Google is actively blocking Microsoft’s YouTube app from functioning and they’re even removing Gmail’s Exchange ActiveSync functionality, though luckily are giving Microsoft enough time to implement Google’s replacement synchronization API.  Still, switching to Windows Phone would require a huge reduction on your dependence on Google’s apps and services.

Have you got any others?

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About The Author
Adam Z. Lein
Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for Pocketnow.com since they first appeared on the market in 2002. Read more about Adam Lein!