Me & Windows Phone?!

Note: this entry was previously written on my personal blog back in January but seemed relevant to my new site so I decided to re-share here.
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Yes, you read correctly! As many of my friends on social networking and in real life know... I am a HUGE and very loyal "Android Geek", so when I started telling people that I was using a Windows Phone I got some strange looks and some funny comments. All I can say is... desperate times call for desperate measures. When you have to make a carrier switch a little sooner than you've expected and you're on a budget things happen!

There was a part of me that considered getting a cheap Android phone instead, but with a budget of $100 the lower spec'd Android offerings left me unimpressed so I decided to give the Nokia Lumia 521 a chance. I'd heard mixed reviews and opinions about the devices and wanted to test one for myself.

It's been interesting to say the least, some days I feel like "OMG, come on first pay day so I can get back to my beloved Android" and others I'm like "eh, it's not so bad".

I'll be honest, the Windows Phone OS is not as bad as many people assume. It is fast, responsive... everything you expect a smart phone to be if you don't rely on Google for most of your communication needs. Their "app store" leaves a lot to be desired but it does have some fairly popular cross-platform apps such as Pandora, Whatsapp, Angry Birds (because everyone loves that right?!) and even Instagram (Beta). I guess what I'm trying to get at is that its "sufficient".

However, I am one of those people who fully embraces all things Google. As a result, looking at this phone I immediately began to miss Google Hangouts, Gmail, Google Music, Keep, Drive, Youtube, Chrome and lets not forget Google+! There are some alternatives for most of these apps but they honestly aren't up to par... I've completely given up on a replacement for Hangouts because most of the third party apps that work with the old "Google Talk" work for a bit and then stop sending you any notifications. I also really miss being able to stream with my Google Music All Access subscription, there is an app called "CloudMuzik" that lets your stream any music you may have uploaded to your Google Music library but even that is a bit wonky.... skipping over songs and providing less than stellar sound quality. I think if anything the only decent replacement is the built in app that lets you add a Gmail account... and yes even that is simply not as good. I would honestly rather have an iPhone than a Windows Phone simply because I'd have better access to my favorite Google apps.

I'm aware that not everyone is quite as dependent on Google's apps and services as I am though, which is why I can't completely write it off. In actuality if one day it suddenly had all these apps it could really give Android a run for its money.... perhaps that's why Google isn't developing anything to work on the Windows Phone OS eh? I know I'm not the first to come to that conclusion and I certainly won't be the last. It's all about competition.

Personally, I can't wait to get back to Android... it's my first true love (yes, I know I'm a weirdo!) I plan on buying a Moto G in the near future and later a Nexus 5 or Moto X. My mom will probably end up with my Lumia, she certainly won't miss the presence of Google the way that I do with that device :)