WP7 is a new smart phone platform that is looking to attract users from Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry. Windows Phone 7, although new, does not bring anything groundbreaking to to table. Consumers have been putting WP7 to the test and across the board, the reviews have been positive.
Not only has Microsoft successfully elbowed its way into the crowded smart phone market, it has also secure a firm position for Bing. One of Microsoft’s goals with WP7 is to become a worthy competitor to the leading smart phone platforms. Another goal that may be quickly overlooked is the future of Bing. Can WP7 help Bing compete against Google? Can WP7 compete with Android?
Bing is Microsoft’s successor to Windows Live search. Bing is fairly new. Google is holding, what some say, a monopoly in the search market, while Bing is a far second.
What does Bing have, Google can not offer. Not much. Regarding the results that Google has recently even large ahead Bing with the introduction of Google instant. With this option turned on, the results are displayed immediately in real time as you type. Google can even predict seeking what you for proposals also appear dynamically. Bing’s page is on appearance before Google. Bing home page changes every day with some very unique and beautiful images. It may not like a big deal seems but makes a little more comfortable with Bing. Sometimes you see the Google logo changes depending on current events or time line.
So, the Google logo with pumpkins and other festive icons of last Halloween was decorated. I think Bing from Google is visually,. Bing’s home page and search results appear modern and less cluttered. Also I think better than Google maps Bing maps. Their aerial view is fantastic. Bing good on the browser sees. What is the problem? Now, with the release of raising, Bing is the default search engine and this love for the eye candy is on the mobile platform. To access Bing, pressing the search button. Background changes and the phone “fresh feeling”. This small feature sets out how the phone constantly Gets an update even if a small. The results are smooth and seamless. If you feel like bing is a part of the phone, rather than an app. You can cycle through results for swiping from left to right. Be Web, images, local and other options.
Search On An Android
There’s different ways to initiate a search on Android. Some manufacturers have a dedicated search button while others omit this. Most users will make a search from the home screen through a widget. Making a search will open up the browser. Most of us are familiar with Google so I won’t go into detail explaining their features. Results are accurate and reliable though I will say Bing’s implementation on WP7 is much cleaner. Swiping through the different categories of results feel more natural than clicking on a link. It feels easier to use search on Bing compared to the browser on Android.
On Android, Google Maps must be launched when you are on the browser with an address. The experience is not as smooth as WP7. With WP7, when you search for an address, and click maps or directions, Bing maps loads seamlessly. The transition is smooth. On Android, it feels like one big app shuffle.
Messaging on Android is simple. You either use the default messaging app, ChompSMS, Handcent or another third party app. Messaging on WP7 is also easy. One of the tiles on WP7 hosts a messaging app where you can compose and send SMS and MMS text quickly. Email is equally easy on both platforms. You can use the default Gmail app on Android or a third party app such as K9 Mail. The email app on WP7 works more or less the same way. They both have push capability, priority filtering, and HTML embedding. One feature missing from WP7 is threaded messaging. The Gmail app does not have support for a unified inbox however the “Email” app does. There is currently no support for a unified inbox on WP7.
Music on Android is good. I found myself looking for a third party music player just because “good” sometimes isn’t good enough. I found TuneWiki to be a much better experience. WP7 did a better job with Zune. Like most of Microsoft’s products, Zune integrates very well into WP7. Third party apps are not so lucky. You can play your own music in the background with Zune. Apps like Slacker Radio and Last.FM cannot be played in the background. Microsoft have confirmed that they will release third party multi-tasking. It’s now just a matter of when. Those who have a Zune Pass will have unlimited access to millions of song on their PC, Xbox 360, Zune HD, and now WP7. It costs $14.99 per month and you can keep up to 10 songs per month. Compared to iTunes, each song is $1 and they are served a la carte. On Android, there is no default music store however, most apps allow you to purchase songs via a third party. For example, if you are listening to a song on Pandora Radio, they often have a choice where you can buy it. Speaking of Pandora, it is currently not available on WP7 although an official app is expected soon.
In terms of customization, Android beat WP7 hands down. There are so many things you can do to change the look of Android. There’s ton of widgets and many cool things like “live wallpapers”. On top of that, there’s also different flavors of Android. Most manufacturers have their own version. Motorola has “MotoBlur”, HTC has “SenseUI”, and Samsung has “TouchWiz”. Their differences are subtle but enough to make casual consumers question what OS they are using. As far as WP7, each phone basically looks the same. There are no themes available at the moment but with the introduction of the marketplace, that may change. Right now, you can only change the colors of the default theme. Is this a good thing?
Fragmentation is one of the major complaints with Android. There are so many versions of Android that many developers have a hard time programmes, work for everyone. Some applications will work only on Android 2.2 and you during other phones work ever. This creates many problems for the platform. Although raising your operating system is closed, this can be a good thing. Responsibility is one of them. If an application in Android, it is up to developers to fix it and they can do it in its sole discretion. This is true for all external developers, including raising. Microsoft is committed to protecting their raising brand in the long run. You develop brand awareness. When we think of raising people from a powerful Smartphone platform with standards to think. Android has no standards so that they can’t control their brand image. We can be found on low end phones Android runs up to the latest high performance smartphones. It seems some confusion when there are too many choices. MotoBlur aims it many socially oriented widgets deliver SenseUI seems very functional, TouchWiz looks IOS. Although Google Android opened this fragmentation can people on free flowering, have a major impact on consumers.
Consumers new to smart phones have a some knowledge on what they’re buying. If you were to ask people, “What’s an iPhone, BlackBerry, or WP7?” they will have a clear picture in their minds. Because there are so many different versions of Android, people will not recognize it as easily. This may hurt Android in the long run.
An Ergonomic Phone?
Fitts’ Law of ergonomics states that the time it takes to hit a target is a function of the distance to the target and the size of the target. Basically, this means that it is easier to click on a big object that is close compared to a small object that is far. I’m talking about icons. On Android, icons are very small. This allows for more icons on screen but then you have more clutter.
My sister has 5 home screens. 4 the 5 screen on their Motorola backflip is completely filled with symbols. In contrast, raising, have large square tiles which are easy to push. Are a big deal icon size? No, but every small detail matters. Small icon sizes on Android makes inevitable mis clicks and the random drag and drop. Computer designers work hard to Fitts ‘ law are liable on the desktop and it seems that Microsoft are following on Smartphones. Most of the menu system on Android based on click. A single click on the settings menu, checkboxes, etc. During click or tap of course moved the desktop to the Smartphone produced raising effort, Fitts ‘ law follow. It’s easier than then swipe. Most of the options and settings on raising used swipes instead of clicks. For example, if in their E-Mail application go swipe to left, access urgent messages, sent messages, unread email, etc. On Android, click small links to get these menus. This makes it somewhat easier to use compared raising on Android.
You can find examples of this whole WP7. The home screen has organized a list of applications in large tiles. Painting on the left side shows a list of applications. Tiles are large and easy to press. The layout is logical and well thought out. Integration is good and the error is minimal. In contrast, Android feels like a Smartphone that tries, is a computer. Small icons on the start screen is similar to the most modern computer operating systems. Widgets are resources eaters and overwhelm the processor (like Flash). Integration on Android is not as clean and it feels unnecessary.
For example. Search for Dunkin Donuts starts with a text or voice input on the home screen of widgets. Then the browser takes a second to open. The results show some Dunkin’ Donuts locations nearby. Clicking on an address will open Google maps. Google maps is loaded. After it is loaded, it will direct GPS. It takes a widget for the browser that takes to navigate a different app to open. The end result is the complaint. It is the method. Every time this is done, there is a break. Android reminds that the browser opens. Then again, remembered that open Google maps. I am sure the same on raising happens but they make no point which points out. Loading screens are reduced to a minimum.
WP7 has flaws. Third party multi-tasking is a big issue. Cut-copy-paste is also missing. Also, landscape mode is not fully implemented. These issues are known and will be addressed in the future. Once these issues are fixed, where do I rank WP7 compared to Android? No surprise, I rank WP7 above Android. The layout and design is well thought out. WP7 shows a strong adherence to Fitts’ Law. The organization of hubs makes consolidating contacts easy. You can view Facebook updates right from your contact lists. Android still has some strong points. No doubt, many manufacturers are investing heavily on making it work. It also have tremendous third party support. Although WP7 is not a game changing smart phone platform, it remains a solid choice. If Android is described as the “hacker’s iPhone”, then I would say WP7, is the “young man’s BlackBerry”.