Windows Phone Finally Becomes a Viable Choice for Android and iOS Users

The new version of the operating system comes with so many new features

There has been a lot of debate on what mobile platform is more user-friendly and offers more personalization features. Not to mention that Android and iOS users always take advantage of the ultimate argument against switching to Windows Phone, and that’s the fact that the latter doesn’t have so many apps in the Windows Phone Store to justify it.

One of the main reasons that most Android and iOS users do not consider switching to Windows Phone, even though there might be better deals on smartphones powered by Microsoft’s mobile platform, is that some of the most popular games and applications arrive on Windows Phone much later.

In some cases, Windows Phone users are skipped entirely by developers who prefer to monetize their games and apps on Play Store or App Store. There’s also the issue of exclusivity, where Apple and Google strike deals with developers for certain titles, which means that they will always be available on either iOS or Android.

I can’t remember Microsoft ever doing this with a major app or game. However, beginning this year, Microsoft seems to have made it much easier for developers to create and publish their apps on Windows Phone Store.

Hopefully, that will increase the number of apps in Windows Phone Store to the point where these Android and iOS users might consider switching to Microsoft’s mobile platform.

Anyway, with the release of Windows Phone 8.1, I can finally recommend Android and iOS users to switch to this platform. Obviously, given the fact that the first smartphones powered by Windows Phone 8.1 will only arrive next month, I’m only talking in perspective.

I’ve run Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview for about a week and I can truly say that my old Lumia 920 is now a powerful productivity tool.

The only thing I can complain about is that WP8.1 seems to drain my phone’s battery much faster than the previous version, but that can be explained by the multitude of new features that the platform got.

Cortana in action (screenshots)
Cortana in action (screenshots)

Most of these new improvements require more battery life, and I'm talking about features like Glance, Action Center, various customization options for Start Screen, Live Tiles and some others.

Customization was another factor that would have made an Android user and an iOS one disregard the idea of switching to Windows Phone, but with the latest update, that “problem” has been fixed.

A lot of Android users are stuck with Google’s platform because of the free services that the search giant offers on the operating system. I’m talking about Gmail, Maps, Search, Google Now and other similar apps and services.

Well, it looks like whatever Google offers, Microsoft sometimes offers a much better version of it. Perhaps Bing may not be as good as Google (though I disagree), but getting the full Microsoft Office suite inside your phone for free is a great advantage.

Although it’s limited to United States for the moment, Cortana is a great personal digital assistant. Even if it’s only in beta, it shows tremendous complexity and much resourcefulness when it comes to suggestions and answering a variety of questions. When the final version is released, it will be a serious contender for Siri and Google Now.

The Action Center is another missing feature that has been included in Windows Phone, which will now allow users to see notifications from any application.

It also makes it easier to access the Settings menu and includes toggles to various features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Rotation Lock.

Security is another aspect that has been improved in the Windows Phone. That’s something that Android users can only dream of.

Live tiles and lock screen (screenshots)
Live tiles and lock screen (screenshots)

The new Word Flow keyboard included in Windows Phone 8.1 has been recently confirmed by Guinness Book as the fastest virtual keyboard included in a mobile device. In case you didn’t know, the previous record was held by the Swype keyboard on Samsung Galaxy S4.

A plethora of popular applications that most smartphone owners are using is almost the same on all three major platforms: Android, iOS and Windows Phone. There are only a few that are still missing from Windows Phone, such as BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), but that has been confirmed to arrive in Q2 2014.

I’m sure that there are more reasons that Android, iOS or BlackBerry users may want to switch to Windows Phone 8.1 once the first devices arrive on the market which I haven’t mentioned in my article, which is why ask Windows Phone fans to share their thoughts in the comments.


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