Around 2007 when I was personally getting interested in the Nokia n97 to replace my Samsung Blackjack (running Windows Mobile), Apple’s iPhone was slated for release. Neither Nokia nor Windows OS devices have enticed me ever since.
Interface designers ought to live with the devices and operating systems they’re designing for.
Any given project that I’m involved with will have a target device, or a hero device that represents a class of device types. But only the Motorola Atrix, the Samsung Galaxy 10 inch Tab and now the Nokia Lumia 900 have interested me to the degree that I would want to shelve my iOS device of choice and immerse myself into something else.
So, five years later Nokia has my full attention, not just a passing glance, with their Lumia 900. The fact that it’s on a true 4G network (AT&T LTE, not faux HSDPA) makes it a bonus.
But it’s not just about the manufacturer.
A few people I’ve told are ribbing me about Windows Phone, saying “are you liking all six apps?” Microsoft is touting 100,000 apps so far (to Apple’s 650,000), so if the size of the app marketplace is the only way to measure an OS then Apple wins. But there’s a much bigger point here. We could be moving in a direction that is embracing services in the way apps have enabled — services like Twitter, cloud storage, etc. — and also becoming post-app. What I mean is Windows Phone has embedded many features and embedded many tasks into the OS that could very well replace the need for all those apps. What Microsoft has demonstrated so far, is that the people-centered approach to Windows Phone might just eliminate some of the need for bouncing between apps that iPhone has trained us all to do.
So, yes, two days in, I already miss Instagram (the sharing tools and network but not the editing tools), Camera+ (the editing tools and not the sharing tools) and Flipboard. But with the way the Facebook service is embedded into the contacts (People) and photos (Pictures) I don’t expect I will miss the Facebook app. (Yes, FB has deployed a Windows Phone app, my point is it’s not needed.)
I expect I’ll gather more thoughts here on Tumblr as the days go by. Speaking of Tumblr…