Don of the Day

Don of the Day


Adventures in software development with Xamarin and the Web

Software developer, building things with code in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

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I Quit Windows Phone

Don FitzsimmonsDon Fitzsimmons

Yep, I did it. Like many others, I gave up on Windows Phone. For the past few months, I've been enjoying my iPhone 6 and the best app ecosystem on the planet. And after suffering long with so few apps on the WP platform, I was on a Roman holiday downloading everything I had missed out on for the year I spent with my Nokia. I filled 4 screens with apps on the first day (Dark Sky, Facebook Page Manager, Sleep Cycle, my banking app, VSCO Cam, Amazon Prime Music......).

Don't get me wrong, I loved my Windows Phone and I still believe the OS is the best out there. I may have a lot more apps now, but I do miss my live tiles. So, why did I quit Windows Phone? Yes, it was the apps, but there's more to it than just that. It's the ancillary things, like playing music in my cars with Ford Sync. Ironically, Microsoft created Sync and it never worked with my Windows Phone, in either vehicle. iOS works perfectly.

I'm also a part time photographer. That means I accept payments from my clients using a debit card. On Windows Phone this cannot be done, but with iOS, I can choose between several payment processors including Square (they have no plans to support WP) and PayPal Here (also no plans to support WP). Want to control a Sonos audio system, you can't with Windows Phone. You get the point.

Part of the reason I started using Windows Phone in the first place was because I wanted to write apps. C# is my language of choice and I live in Visual Studio, so it seemed like a good idea. The development experience for WP is great. The SDK and the tools are very easy to use for an experienced .Net developer. But then there's the whole Windows Store experience. It's bad. It's very bad. While Microsoft has improved the speed at which apps are published, the whole payment experience is unbearably slow. As a developer, you really have no idea when you'll get paid the money you make with your app and you have to make at least $200 to see a payout at all.

And good luck being found among all of the crappy apps in the store. My app was featured in various countries. That was nice, but in the end, I netted a whopping $600 + for my app so far. Hey, that's pretty good you might say. No, it's terrible. If I had billed a client for the hours that I put into my app, the total bill would have come to about $6000. Needless to say, I was not very motivated to write anymore apps. Although I did, but I never published my second app (a weather app).

I truly hope Microsoft finds some way to improve the app ecosystem for Windows Phone, but, short of a miracle, I don't see how they can do it. Apple and Google really have the advantage and that's a shame, because Windows Phone, as an operating system, has a superior user experience. Anyway, I'm going to go download more apps.

Software developer, building things with code in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

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