Photo: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
We love the Windows Phone operating system.In fact, it’s better than iOS in several key ways.
We might even be on the cusp of recommending you buy a Windows Phone, if it weren’t for a few major gripes we have with it.
To its credit, Microsoft has fixed a bunch of issues lately that we’ve been having (like the ability to sync multiple Google Calendars), but there are still some issues that are dealbreakers.
Here are a few of the reasons we still won’t switch to Windows Phone.
Frankly, we don't care how many apps any given platform has.
What we do care about is whether a platform has the apps we've come to expect on our smartphones.
We use apps like Dropbox, Instagram, PayPal, Skype, Seamless, iTrans (for subway maps), SugarSync, and Mint.com every day. Until the apps we use the most are on Windows Phone, we can't possibly switch.
It's as simple as that.
We frequently find ourselves trying to find where a specific word is on a website. On iPhone and Android, this task is a triviality.
But where is this feature on Windows Phone?
This feature's absence is a daily frustration.
Because iOS and Android have such enormous user bases, smaller companies and developers put forward their first app efforts on those operating systems.
If we visit an amusement park and see that its owners have built a map app for getting around, we want to be confident that we'll be able to download the app. We expect the app to be on iPhone, but in most cases, niche apps like these are not on Windows Phone.
Even big companies like Citi and Chase haven't yet released apps for Windows Phone.
When you're receiving calls, texts, and instant messages all day, it can be really easy to lose track of what has happened.
Android and iOS both have solutions to manage all the stuff that gets pushed to your phone (screenshot at right), so why doesn't Windows Phone?
All Windows Phone has are badges that represent notifications on each app.
Android and iOS both have solutions to back up just about everything on your phone, but Windows Phone does not.
We'd expect some kind of SkyDrive backup to be a feature in Windows Phone 8 (the next iteration of Windows Phone), but for now, you're starting from scratch if anything happens to your device.
Windows Phone is still incapable of taking screenshots, which is something we do pretty frequently.
We like taking screenshots in order to capture funny texting conversations, status updates on Facebook, pictures, and more. And of course, being able to take screenshots makes our job reviewing apps a whole lot easier.
You can easily 'link' your email accounts in Windows Phone, which lets you see one inbox that contains all of your messages. However, everything else about manging multiple accounts is messy.
For example, once you use the 'link' tool to combine your inboxes, it's not easy to view the inboxes separately again. You have to dig through the 'Folders' menu to pick out which individual inbox you want to view.
Also, if you type a whole email then decide you want to send it from your other email address, you'll need to copy and paste all your text into a new message. On Android or iPhone, this takes just two taps.
We can only come up with seven or so things that Windows Phone needs to improve on, and the most important ones just involve convincing developers to get on board.
This means Windows Phone is almost there. It has almost caught up with the best of the best Android devices and iPhones.
By now, it'd be almost impossible to get an iPhone or Android owner to switch to Windows Phone or something else.
So what happens once Windows Phone is finally polished and catches up to those platforms? Are they too late to the game? Is Windows Phone different enough to make people reach for it over the iPhone?
These are all questions that are too tough to answer right now. But that hasn't kept some from speculating. Robert Scoble, for example, doesn't think Windows Phone stands a chance. All we can do is wait and see.