Windows Phone 7

As of late, aside from work (the stuff I’m actually paid to do), my brain has been consumed by 2 things: My kids, and a windows phone app that my husband and I are working on.

I’m not going to go into great details regarding the app until our first release (hopefully in the next two or three weeks), but I really wanted to blog about the windows phone 7 potential.

So… I love blend.  I can create magic with expression blend – but now I can create stuff for the mobile space?  Cooooooool…

My husband received 2 of the windows 7 phones (or is it windows phone 7?  What order are these words supposed to be in?!)  For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to rename it “Wisiph”.  It’s just easier to type.

Anyway, my husband received these phones to test.  What is it about married couples?  Oh yeah – what is mine is his, what is his is mine (there are more mean versions of that saying…).  So guess what?  I get to play with the Wisiph too.  Sweeeet.

So first of all – I like it.  The interface is over-archingly a fun interface and easy to figure out.  Not quite as simple as the iphone, but a whole freakin lot more so than the droid (sorry Google.  Lots of love to you, but the usability needs more work).  I thoroughly enjoy the commercials for the phone, I enjoy how the phone navigates between apps – it’s just simple!  I enjoy how accessible various areas of apps are set up and how there’s a menu system which isn’t really a menu system like windows typically has.  It has a whole lot of the feeling that I loved from the Zune and very little of what I HATED from the old windows mobile operating systems.

The things which could be improved upon:

The camera.  If I have to look online to figure out how to take a dang picture, then it’s not intuitive enough.  When I finally DID find it, I felt stupid – and that’s exactly my issue with it.  When using a device, I should never ever get the feeling that I’m stupid.  I should feel empowered and smart enough where I can just pick up the device and use it with very little of a learning curve. 

For those who get the phone and haven’t figured it out, the little button on the right side of the screen (when looking at the screen) both brings up the camera taking app as well as takes the image, so 1 hit of the button to use the view finder and 1 hit of the same button to take the picture.  None of that is directly on the screen. 

Also to mention, the software for the camera needs fine tuning so the pictures turn out better.  I think the camera is likely more capable than the software built for it can utilize.

The marketplace.  This things rocks, but for about 2 weeks, I was frustrated because I couldn’t find any way to search the place.  Well that’s kind of lame.  I did locate a “Marketplace” search tool app to install, but who ever heard of a place for application downloads without a search engine?

Well – there is one, but I’m going to come back to the “I felt stupid” comment.  There is nothing on-screen for searching.  That little search icon which in most circumstances brings up the default search engine, in the marketplace, is reprogrammed to search the marketplace.

The 3rd big bad thing is just the Wisiph’s infancy.  There are too few apps out for the device, but I’d be willing to bet that by the time the 2nd generation of phones comes out, there will be plenty.  Every day more and more apps are released. 

Speaking of – Silverlight Simon is up on the marketplace, released by David Kelley and right now is ranked as the #28 in most downloaded apps!

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