Microsoft Should Force Developers To Use the iPhone

Facebook photo save on iPad (all rights reserved)

Windows 10 Mobile is still too cumbersome for most people accustomed to Apple’s iPhone or Android

By Stephen Pate – There is a reason people prefer Android and iPhone to Windows phone. Both operating systems are easier to use.

I’ve been using a Lumia Windows Phone for the past 3 years and its a kind of torture compared with the ease of use on Apple’s iOS on an iPad. Things that are easy on the iPad are cumbersome on the Windows device.

We are only a week away from the release of Windows 10 Mobile and the operating system is still years behind an Apple iPhone for ease of use.  I’ve used the pre-release software for a few months and it finally works but it is not fun.

On Windows Phone it feels like the developers have never used an iPhone to see how easy tasks can be. Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, has a solution for cross-platform learning. He is forcing a number of Facebook employees to drop their iPhones for Android phones, reported Wired last week.

Terry Myerson and Gabriel Aul, VPs’ of Windows at Microsoft, could take a page from Cox. Facebook wants a good part of the development team to use Android mobile platform “so that they can be reporting bugs and living in the same experience that most Facebook users experience today.”

I suggest that Microsoft would improve Windows Mobile if their developers personally use both iPhones and Android. Otherwise they are going to continue developing Windows phones that don’t come close to the competition for ease of use.

Simple everyday tasks on an iPhone or iPad are unnecessarily complex in Windows 10 Mobile.

For example, try saving a photo from Facebook, something a billion people do everyday on Facebook. On an iPhone, it takes two clicks – press on the photo and touch “Save Photo.” You’re done. That’s how I saved the photo of my grandson at the top of this article. Two clicks.

On a Windows 10 Mobile phone, the same “Save Photo” took 6 screens and several more steps.  You can’t simply press on the photo you want to save.

With Windows 10 Mobile saving a favorite photo takes these 6 steps, starting with touching the 3 dots on the bottom right of the page.

Windows 10 Mobile – saving a Facebook picture steps 1 to 3 (NJN Network)

The job isn’t over yet. There are 3 steps to go.

Windows 10 Mobile – saving a Facebook picture steps 4 to 6 (NJN Network)

One step on an iPhone and six on a Windows phone. Steps 2-5 could be eliminated with a setup choice that saves “Save all my photos here” – most likely on the OneDrive cloud. Apple iOS does not allow the file name to be changed to keep the process simple. Microsoft could make that optional or not.

Cumbersome rules are common in Windows 10 Mobile.  Is Microsoft applying ease-of-use design principles with Windows 10? That process would be intuitive for Microsoft development teams if they used the competition . I suggest they apply Chris Cox’s instructions that developers be forced to use competitive products not just Windows Phone. This would apply to the executives as well.

This is probably one of the main reasons Windows Phone has never been popular. Despite the advantages of the Nokia Lumia phones with the best cameras, the phone has remained a niche product with less than 5% of the market.

Apple excels at creating elegant solutions but they are not just elegant for design sake. Apple phones and tablets are the easiest to use and highly recommended by their users.

Windows 10 Mobile will get released in November 2015 but I am afraid it will not become popular. It cannot compete with Apple iOS or Android for ease of use.

Microsoft has other cards up its sleeve to sell Windows 10 phones like integration with Office and the new Continuum feature that turns your phone into a portable computer. None of those is likely to dent Apple’s success like Android has done.

If you have a Windows 8.1 phone, try the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview which can update your phone to the soon-to-be-released Windows 10 Mobile.

PS – Thanks to my daughter-in-law for posting a regular supply of cute pictures of her children and to all my relatives and friends for their posts for that matter.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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5 Comments

  1. You are totally wrong in the way you are managing your photos. You are trying to find pictures in the file manager that’s not what file manager is for. When you try to save a photo from facebook simply long hold on the picture it then gives you the option to save photo or save and share photo. If you select save photo one goes to the file manager the other goes into the camera photos hub and you picture you saved is the very first photo in your photo hub under collection the other is filed in the file manager either on the phone or on your SD card were ever you have deccomment_IDed to place it. My point is it doesn’t matter where you save it a copy always goes to your collection photos hub. File manager is a additional feature that allows you to organize your photos into separate files and name them what you ever want it is a awesome feature built into w10m

  2. To save a photo in w10m you simply click on the photo in facebook and a copy goes right to the picture hub in your photo collections you are trying to find the picture in file manager which is for storing and organizing downloaded files. It’s there were you can name and create different files and folders for different things its awesome feature in w10m. You need to correct your article.

  3. comment_content_author_url says it all. I’d rather have the freedom of choice on a windows device than be limited by iOS. Even if it comes with more steps. By the way, you can also open the photo full screen and take a screenshot. That takes away the choice of where to save it, but it’s still the same amount of options as you have on an iOS device – with less taps on the screen.

  4. I am using win 10 mobile and the Facebook app. Click and hold pic then select save pic. DONE. Pic is now on your phone how easy is that. I think you should do more research before you write an article.

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