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Android/WM - Why pick one over the other?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by SweetBearCub, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. SweetBearCub

    SweetBearCub Member
    Thread Starter

    Aug 2, 2009

    I'm new here, and registered to ask a very important question. "What makes Android phones superior to or more desirable than a Windows Mobile Professional phone?"

    I've used Windows Mobile phones since the Sprint PPC-6700. I have also used the Mogul, and am currently on a Touch Pro. Compared to many smartphone OS'es, WM is extremely flexible. It has thousands of apps available, is relatively easy to program for (being based on similar API's as the desktop versions), it allows low-level system access (which is needed to make many apps work properly), and Microsoft has even turned a blind eye to the rampant modification of the OS, as is done regularly by members of the ROM hacking community. This has allowed us to mix & match the software on our phones to create what each user views as the most desirable hybrid.

    In addition, WM supports Exchange integration and has a passable MS Office suite on all Professional devices. We take this as a simple matter of fact, but the funny thing is that many other OS'es have only limited access to Exchange servers and no MS Office suite.

    I am not a business user - I am a prosumer. This means that for the most part, I don't care about the system's Exchange abilities, and also that I rarely have a need to be buried in MS Office on my phone. Having said that, it is comforting to know that these tools are there should I ever need them. Due to well-discussed Qualcomm/HTC ATI driver issues, my last two phones have had sub-par 2D and 3D graphics performance. Like everyone else, I have no idea when this will be fixed, if ever. As far as I know, the driver situation is out of MS'es hands, and is up to HTC and the carriers to fix. This is an annoying flaw in an otherwise great system, which severely limits its abilities as a gaming platform, though many good games are still available and still run well. In theory, if a developer was willing, games could be written which directly address the ATI hardware in the phones, as WM allows this, but it would be difficult and would limit the games to only a few phone models.

    Like most people, I readily admit that WM's interface in general is bad. Its desktop roots are apparent in that most WM Professional phones are designed to be manipulated with a stylus, since they need high precision. For the most part, I don't mind this, as I have grown accustomed to it. I view it as a tradeoff for having access to such a powerful system. Besides, who would want to use only their fingers on a 2.8" screen? I do think however that Android's approach of using a trackball is a great idea. It allows precision and is still easy to manipulate. WM Professional phones in general support this, as they allow almost anything to interface with them assuming a driver is written. A bluetooth trackball or mouse (or keyboard or most other peripherals) can easily integrate into the system.

    Although WM will soon have an app store, it will be subject to the sensibilities of MS at-large, as most system's app stores are subject to the sensibilities of their owners. For example, no porn apps. No apps that facilitate hacking. No apps that seek to work around carrier limitations. WM however, has the ability to load apps written by anyone, obtained through any distribution channel, with no concerns of losing manufacturer support. This is an invaluable ability, and I think it defines the platform's flexibility over its competitors.

    Unlike many smartphone OS'es, WM has included several other options since its inception, such as system-wide cut/copy/paste and multitasking. It also has included many different input options since at least WM5, in addition to hardware keyboard support. It has multiple on-screen keyboard styles, you can write on the screen and have it auto-recognized (print, cursive, or a combination), you can use Palm-style graffiti writing, and in some case you can even speak to the phone and have it transcribe for you. I'm sure there are others that I'm forgetting.

    Given the above points - What are the advantages and disadvantages of an Android phone as compared to a WM Professional phone?



  2. KlaymenDK

    KlaymenDK Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2009
    Well, you ask a very open question, and no doubt there are many, many possible answers. I have two for you:

    1) I like a stable, responsive device. This favours operating systems that are event-driven real-time and/or have a very shallow structure, which means that not a lot can crash or cause delays. These (say, PalmOS and EPOC), generally don't exist anymore, as they have been replaced by power-hungry multitasking full-fledged operating systems.

    2) I like to be able to freely write software. For reasons that I won't tire you with, I own neither Windows nor MacOS, and that leaves only few options for software development (disqualifying the iPhone as well as Windows Mobile- and Symbian-based devices). Of those remaining (mainly the Palm Pre, and OpenMoko- and Android-powered devices), Android seems to me to be the best option, though, oddly, not necessarily as good as what was available a few years ago.

    Addressing business use, this is my personal digital assistant; as such I have no desire to sync with office software. I do, however, make multiple, frequent, automatic backups. Furthermore, I have always had more use for solid, useful PIM apps for knowledge capture and retrieval than for fancy multimedia capabilities (which I'm not dissing; I just have had no need of them).

    [Edit: Crap, just realised this is an old thread, only brought forth by a spambot.]

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