The news of Apple’s revamped iOS7 at the recent Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WDDC) elicited some mixed reactions from e3. So our Creative Director, and avid iOS user, Tristan Pride, egged on two Windows 8 phone users to respond. Here, Neil Collard, MD, and Rich McCloskey, Account Director, argue for and against abandoning their Windows 8 phones.
Neil is staying on the Windows 8 ship…
It was with a little trepidation that I observed the WDDC conference from Apple. Having just embedded myself more tightly into the Windows 8 eco system with the purchase of a Surface Pro, was Apple going to give the world something amazing that would redefine the market and render my recent purchase dead in the water? Thankfully (for me) no, frankly I find the iOS 7 enhancements a little lacklustre – a bit like the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini.
The problem for me is that Apple has been tied to a visual language that stems from the iPod touch and is starting to look massively out of date. Android and Windows 8 have really moved the game on leaving Apple playing catch up trying to recreate the elegant simplicity of Windows 8 and the intelligence of Android. iOS 7 looks firmly like Apple reacting to the competition – a long way short of the trail blazing innovation of old and an indication of just how quickly the competition has moved the game on.
So while they’ve finally ditched the skeuomorphic design the new look doesn’t blow my mind. The lozenge shapes (caravan windows as we used to call them in webland), semi transparent layers (aka rainbow puke) and general lack of structure in the way that different tiles appear, just looks inelegant to me and irritates everytime I use it. In the past I have had flirtations with various Android devices but always come back to Apple, however my current love affair with my Nokia 920 is rapidly turning into a long-term relationship . I do have an iPhone 5 (company phone) but it currently plays second fiddle to my Windows 8 phone. And nothing I’ve seen so far suggest that will change come autumn when iOS 7 becomes available.
In my view, expectations around Apple have been unrealistically high for too long. And their ability to innovate can’t keep up. The markets have recognised this… Last year their share price fell by nearly 40%. If only everyone else would be more adventurous, they would discover the delights of Windows 8 (and perhaps create a bigger market for apps).
Rich is jumping the Windows 8 ship…
I'm not convinced Windows 8 phone is going to make it – mainly because the user base is small so there's not much gain for people to create apps. It’s a vicious cycle which means you only have a small number of apps that are useful. So the apps I really want like Spotify, banking, Starbucks etc., are not available or are poor versions of their iOS / Android counterparts.
I think this deters people from owning a Windows 8 phone – and when the other options are so good why would you go for it? So the cycle continues. It's the Betamax/HDDVD of the phone options. I have no issue with the functionality. I found it easy to use and the design was pretty. Windows have now started paying developers up to $100,000 to create apps. I was going to suggest that! It’s a pretty drastic measure, but they really need to do something to change the playing field.
And what does Tristan, the instigator, think?
I love how intuitive my iPhone is. But I also love the design of the Windows 8 interface with the live tiles. I’m probably with Rich on the app issue. So my perfect phone would involve jailbreaking an iPhone and making it run Windows 8 style live tiles. So you get the beauty and the brains!