Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Goodbye Windows Phone

MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone

MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone

By Ben Stegner
Well, Windows Phone, it’s been a fun ride. You’ve fought hard these last few years, but now the time has come to hang up the gloves. At the end of September, we at MakeUseOf will have to stop covering you, since interest about you across the Web has been sharply decreasing and our own Windows Phone section has mirrored this. Even your awesome Windows Phone 8.1 update wasn’t enough to bring a spark.
It simply can’t go on this way.
Yes, we know that you’re not perfect. Mobile gaming was inferior on your platform, and there were some glaring holes in how you do things. You’ve still been a great friend, though, and to see you off we’re going to point out some of your natural strengths and the little ways you’ve made us smile.

You Saved My Battery

Smartphone batteries leave something to be desired, so it’s appreciated that you took the time to set up an easy-to-use juice-saving feature. When Battery Saver was on, you made sure to stop checking for new email and updating Live tiles to make sure that the battery stayed alive for as long as it could.
01 Battery Saver   MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone
And to be sure I saved as much battery life as possible, you let me look at which apps were running frequently and decide whether they should be allowed to run in the background – something Android users have to use Greenify and be rooted to fully take advantage of.
By default you made this happen when the battery got low, but when I had a concert or party and needed my phone to last all day for its camera, I could manually turn on Battery Saver until I next charged you.

You Knew When I Wanted Some Peace

It’s great to be notified of everything as soon as it happens, and you made sure I never missed the important moments with your Action Center. However, at those times when I needed silence, Quiet Hours was there to help.
Cortana made it all happen; I could be assured of quiet when I was asleep every night, or by enabling it on a whim when I was spending time with friends. By syncing my calendar, any events where I was occupied, like classes, were also hushed so I never had to worry about my video game ringtone going off and embarrassing me.
02 Quiet Hours   MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone
Ah, those calls being sent straight to voicemail and lack of notification sounds were glorious. But you didn’t stop there; you thought of everything and even provided a way for my most important contacts to break through when I was in Do Not Disturb mode.
My Inner Circle was a list of valued people, so I could be sure that my spouse, parents, and boss could reach me in an emergency. Anyone else could decide for themselves if it was urgent enough to break through, making certain I would always be reachable in a crisis.
03 Inner Circle   MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone

You Were There When I Knocked

Of all the buttons on my phone, I press the Power button the most. It makes sense – when I wanted to do anything, whether just checking the time or making a call, I had to turn the screen on first, and the Power Button was the only way to do that until you came along, Windows Phone.
04 Touch WakeUp WP   MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone
With the Wake Up feature, you let me turn the screen on by simply double-tapping it. When my hands were dirty and I didn’t want to pick up my device, or if it was on a table and I just wanted to quickly check my notifications, a few taps did the trick. Even better, only certain Android phones have this, so it made me feel exclusive.

Since pressing a button so much can wear it out, as some iPhone users know, this feature was both convenient and made sure the button lasted for a long time.
Using a touch-screen phone with gloves can prove difficult, too, and specially made gloves aren’t cheap. With the high sensitivity option you provided, specially tuned for using gloves, I saved some money and enjoyed a more responsive experience.

You Looked So Good

Not content with just personalizing my lockscreen, you took the extra steps and allowed me to completely change how images looked on my phone. If I preferred a slightly cooler or warmer look of colors, it was a click away, and you even provided multiple images for testing. Android users can’t change this without an app, and on iOS you can’t change it at all!
05 Screen Settings WP   MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone
And who could forget the sunlight enhancement option? When I was outside it was harder to see my phone’s display, so having a way to reduce the glare didn’t go unnoticed.

It Was The Little Things

Some features, Windows Phone, I almost forgot to mention because they’re so intuitive. One of the first things I decided to do with my phone was to make sure I had a solid backup plan, because I didn’t want to lose anything. I was delighted to find that you were backing up my text messages by default, and that this didn’t require a separate app like on Android. A person who isn’t tech-savvy would have still had the basic backup preparation they needed.
06 Backup Flip Silence   MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone
Another great feature for dealing with those annoying calls was Flip To Silence. When someone called that I didn’t feel like talking to, with a simple flip of the wrist the ringer was silenced and I was happy again. Only a few Android devices have this built-in; doing it otherwise requires some setup with Tasker, which is tough for beginners. Without jailbreaking, my iPhone-toting friends could only wish for this feature.

I’ll Miss You, Pal

Well, Windows Phone, it’s time we end this. In addition to everything we’ve went over and what we didn’t, even your awesome Office and OneDrive integration wasn’t enough to make more people see how helpful you really were. How neat was it to work on a document using Microsoft Office on my PC, then pick up my phone and have it waiting for me in the Recent section?
I had a whole office suite in my pocket!
07 Office WP   MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone
Lots of people hate the Windows 8 interface on their PCs, but you showed that the user interface can work well on a different device, Windows Phone. If only more people had tried you, maybe they’d have realized how fun you are to work with. Your existing user base loves you for sure, as we’ve polled them and they think that Windows Phone will win out the mobile OS race in the end.
We’ve written all about you, Windows Phone, but sadly people aren’t interested. Unless we see a breakthrough soon, this will be the last time we talk.
Godspeed, old friend.
Perhaps if the people reading will miss Windows Phone, or have a reason why they haven’t tried it, they’ll let us know below. I’d hope that they also share their thoughts on your departure from MakeUseOf.

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