I rarely have anything to say that isn’t gaming related, which ends up on Levelcapped, so this has turned into a Windows Phone-centric blog for the time being. It’s not a total conversion; it’s just the current topic du jour that I seem to have things to say about.
This time, it’s news about improvements. First is official improvements. Nokia has announced two new WM7 phones: The Lumia 710 and the Lumia 800. Nokia’s offerings were Srs Bsns because they apparently have a pretty decent aesthetics track record, and these phones don’t disappoint. The 800 especially. Sadly, the 710 is the only one currently (or coming soon) available in the US at this time. Still, Nokia is plastering ads for their WinPhones all over the place, apparently. Here in the US, HTC’s Radar had a TV spot during Modern Family, which I’m told is kinda funny. There’s also a new commercial showcasing One Note note synching on WPs. In looking at the WP ecosystem, it’s apparently very popular everywhere but the US (and, reportedly, Australia), so increased visibility is good in regions where it’s already popular, and especially here in the US where exposure has been limited at best…absent at worst.
Drawing a circle around previous posts and annotating it, there seems to be a real burst from the community to get WP on the radar (!) of several companies who have either waffled or who haven’t shown interest in providing a WP app alongside their iOS and Android offerings. CNet had a throwdown between the iPhone 4s, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and the Lumia 800, and seriously knocked the WP device on the weakness of it’s marketplace, which prompted WMPoweruser.com to highlight some high-profile apps that are conspicuously absent from the platform. It seems that some folks in the community have had enough, and have created a website called I Heart WP7. This site is designed to call attention to apps and developers who have shunned the WP platform, and to provide WP users a way to “gently harass” these folks for a WinPhone version of their apps. It’s a confusing situation, as I mentioned in the last post, because we really don’t know if these companies are flatly refusing to release a WP version, or just aren’t sure if it’s worth their while. Efforts like those of I Heart WP7 are allowing users to line up to inform these companies that yeah, it’s very much worth their while to support the platform.
So I guess things are getting better for WP7, although I’m still waiting for the Mango update, a full month and change after most everyone else got it. This puts a lot of cool new apps and updates out of reach, which is rather infuriating. I like the Lumia 800, but it has no front facing camera. The Samsung Focus S is on the horizon, which does have a front facing camera, but I had a Galaxy S and currently a Focus, and both have had issues: the former with the GPS, and the later with receiving OS updates in a timely manner. Assuming this warming trend continues, I might consider keeping on with the WP platform the next time my contract is up for renewal, but it’s going to take wider developer support, and more “modern” hardware features to allow me to consider it.