As of today, it has been exactly one month since I’ve carried the Lumia 1020.
October 11 was the day Automatic arrived, the (as of now) iOS-only OBD-II module which feeds all sorts of information from your vehicle straight into your phone. At the time, I was still working on the AT&T Galaxy Note 3 review, so I had to sideline the 1020 in favor of the iPhone and juggle reviews.
As much as I hated to power the 1020 off and toss it in my bag (which, in hindsight, was a terrible idea), it was a long time coming. I remember the Lumia 1020 announcement and how excited everyone was. It had literally been years since I had personally been that excited over a phone. Dealing with new mobile devices day in and day out sort of dampens the effect of new devices … until something new and truly intriguing comes along.
The Lumia 1020 was just that. The 808 PureView was, for many, a unicorn phone that was as impractical as it was awesome. The Lumia 1020 was an extension of that, yet far more realistic and practical, with only a few compromises.
I picked up the Lumia 1020 on launch day, July 26, at full retail price and carried it for the following 11 weeks, using it every day, snapping pictures left and right, and … actually enjoying Windows Phone for the first time ever.
I had found alternatives to almost all the applications I had become accustomed to using on other platforms, and I learned to deal with the idiosyncrasies of the blossoming operating system – the lack of a unified notification panel, odd resume times, poor multitasking, and third-party clients for practically everything.
Ever since receiving Automatic, though, I haven’t been able to push myself to use Windows Phone again.
The odd part is, nothing really changed. I still enjoy the camera experience, I learned to like the UI, and I love the hardware – I don’t mind the bulk, though the scratches on the display are quite annoying.
So why haven’t I gone back? Why can’t I swap out the iPhone or an Android phone for the 1020 again?
Frankly, I hadn’t even given any thought to it until this past Friday. I was out to dinner with a group of practical strangers for a mutual friend’s birthday. Curious about why I had two phones on me, people started asking questions. When I pulled out the iPhone, one said, “I had you pegged as an Android guy.”
I replied with, “I also use Windows Phone.”
Then it dawned on me. I don’t really use Windows Phone anymore. It’s been a month since I’ve even powered on the Lumia 1020. A whole month.
The easy answer is to say it’s solely due to having and actively using Automatic. I fell in love with the product. Being able to track my mileage and fuel efficiency from my phone is an irreplaceable feature. And having a device remind my phone where I parked without any action from me has come in handy more than once in the last four weeks.
Truthfully, though, I could continue to use Automatic without carrying the iPhone. I could toss the iPhone in my dash and just make sure to keep it charged. And in another month or so, I’ll simply be able to pair my Android phone with Automatic. So Automatic, while important, is not the sole reason.
Chances are, I will not go back to using the Lumia 1020, at least not for the definite future.
I spent the weekend trying to figure out exactly why that is. Oddly enough, it has nothing to do with my original problems with the platform. I solved my beef with application situation by digging around for weeks to find alternatives. And I dumped a fair amount of cash on applications and games, so it has nothing to do with not being invested – I’m now financially invested in all three major platforms.
Do I like the platform? Yes, actually. I enjoy it. It’s refreshing to use, and it has tons of potential. But there’s an elephant in the room. I’m a heavy Google user, and Windows Phone is notorious for not having official Google support for a lot of things: YouTube (a native YouTube app), Google+, Drive, Hangouts, Google Play Music, etc.
These are all apps and services I use multiple times each and every day. The longer I carried the Lumia 1020, the less and less I used it, as I found myself innately reaching for whatever accompanying Android device I had on me, since I knew it could easily access anything I needed it to without any trouble.
The more I used Windows Phone, the less I liked it, simply because it didn’t give me access to the things I needed.
I am shamelessly a user of many Google services. But that shouldn’t mean I have to use Android … and only Android. I have no trouble accessing all my necessary services from iOS. Unfortunately, it’s a different story for Windows Phone.
I enjoy Windows Phone. A lot. But until Microsoft and Google learn to play nicely together, the chances of me using Windows Phone again, full-time, are quite slim. And that’s unfortunate, because I really like the Lumia 1020 and all the accompanying software. Now it’s collecting dust and scratches in my backpack.