I have been a Windows Phone user for the past year. I bought the first Mobile phone with Microsoft Windows Phone 8 released in Denmark, the HTC 8X to be exact. I bought the phone knowing that the apps was not there yet, but I wanted to try this new platform. A year has past and the apps are still not there. Some apps has come to Windows Phone but they a usually slimmed down versions with far less features then there Android and iOS counterparts. So I got tired of waiting and bought a Samsung galaxy s4 mini, an Android phone. I have been an Android user before. I used the HTC Desire for over a year back in 2010, when it was the best Android Phone available. Even back in 2010 I had better apps with more features on my HTC Desire, then the apps available for Windows Phone 8, here at the end of 2013.
It is a shame really… I actually like Windows Phone 8, and I am somewhat annoyed that I had to spend money on a new phone, just because of the absence of quality apps on the platform.
It has been about two weeks since I bought my Samsung galaxy s4 mini. My first reaction to it was, Yes!!!! I can do this, and I can do that, ohh yeah!! and all is just awesome. One of the first apps I installed was ownCloud, since the fact that I wanted to move to this cloud solution was what finally push me to abandon Windows Phone, because there is an ownCloud sync client for Android and none for Windows Phone. The funny thing is that there is not many, if any, apps with ownCloud integration. For example, Draft (a markdown text/note app) is able to sync with Dropbox not ownCloud and Draft is the best of the markdown apps on Android that I have tried. So do I use some crappy and poorly done texteditor that force me to dig through the file system every time i want to open a markdown file, but allows me to use ownCloud via the local file-system. Or do I use the very nice markdown app that syncs nicely with Dropbox and say bye bye to privacy, since using Dropbox is the same as sharing my file with NSA. As suggested to me I could write a markdown app with ownCloud integration myself, and yes i could do that. However I do not have the time. When you have a wife and a kid, time for own projects are sparse, and the little time I have I use on other projects. There are more to life then coding, yes that is right I said it. I know…..… you might need to take a moment to rethink your life……………….
At this point I am still using the calendar and contacts sync via ownCloud, but that might change because, it does not always work correctly and courses data in the contacts to get messed up and that is not acceptable.
I am very happy with the work-flow I now have with Draft and Dropbox. Yes that is the route I took, Dropbox. The phone came with a free 50 GB subscription so why not. I now have access to all my note and documents and able to view and edit them on the phone in a very very nice and easy way. So while I did not end up using ownCloud for my cloud storage, I did get the markdown work-flow I wanted, and could not get on Windows Phone.
There are pros and cons to both Android and Windows Phone 8. However it is very clear that Android has been around longer because there are fare less stupidities on the android side. For example the volume control on Android has four settings ring tone, message, media and system and they can all have different volume level. On Windows phone there is one volume setting for ring tone, message, media and system. So if I have been listening to a podcast or music and forget to turn the volume back up, I will not hear when the phone rings. Windows phone have live tiles, which essentially is a widget with one way interaction, system -> you. You can for example not have a toggle switch for for example to turn wireless on and off. It can only be a link to the wireless settings page. On Android widgets have two way interaction. Android widgets can be small applications with full user interactions. For the most the live tiles on Windows Phone just shows unimportant information, like the photo app that is just rotates small image thumbnails, like really small. I am sure the live tiles look like a good idea on paper but is to limited to be of much use.
One thing I will say in Windows Phones favor is that it is a lot faster then android on similar hardware, A LOT FASTER. Some speed comes from the Windows Phones simple UI elements, but most come from code running directly on the hardware and not in a virtual machine. Even though the two phone has very similar specifications, it is just a lot harder to slow down my Windows Phone compared to my Android Phone. But all in all I am quite happy with Android.