My Windows Phone Experiment Comes to an End

Today, I bury my Windows phone. I jumped on it when it launched. I wanted something new. Similar to when I jumped on the iPhone when it launched. Sadly, no matter how much I wanted Windows phone to succeed, it failed in the long run.

Today, I got an *gulp* Android phone. It was the last phone OS I had not jumped to yet. I figured it was time to give it a try.

Galaxy S8 64GB (Verizon)

I got my new Samsung Galaxy S8+ in Orchid Gray. It is slick. It is bright. And fast. All of which I noticed in the first few seconds of turning it on. My HTC M9 running 8.1 had some of the elements… once. But over time it has dulled and slowed. If HTC would have been willing to at least allowed the device to upgrade to Windows 10 mobile, I may have stuck with it longer. Alas, they failed to stay current. As consequence, I was left behind on an island. Like a manufacturing town where the primary business has left town and all that is left are the few operations struggling to stay afloat. A few once great businesses that are no longer receiving any investments or updates. Like a Kmart in Flint, Michigan.

kmart

I have tried to hold out as long as possible. Trying to remain loyal and proud of device that makes up less than 1% of the market share. I hoped. I was optimistic. I scouted the websites of https://www.windowscentral.com/ and https://www.thurrott.com/ and others regularly for some glimpse of hope. Maybe a spark of light far off in the future in the form of a rumor to entice me to stay a little longer. But no. Nothing coming from Microsoft that gave me any hope of hanging on.

If anything, the more I read, the more I got the impression that Microsoft too had given up on their experiment.  All the news from Microsoft was about their efforts on Android and iPhone. Even in those rare occasions where they did anything on Windows Mobile, it was not for my 8.1. The abandonment was tiresome. I was all out of hope. I was out of contact. My HTC was well past 2 and a half years. It was failing. The Camera would not load. The volume button frequently decided not to cooperate. The few apps I had were hit or miss. Oh, the apps…

The first time opening the Google Play store on my S8 was an overwhelming experience. There were apps for everything. When I did a search for an app… it was there! There were no sacrifices required. If I wanted it, it was there and more.  Not like the annoying situation of a conference I spoke at recently where the guide and everything else was only available on other mobile systems. I could not even see my session’s evaluations. And in one session, the presenter bragged about a service being available “on every device!” Yeah, just not Windows phone, Blackberry, or even my Amazon Fire tablet.

One of the first apps I downloaded was the Microsoft To-Do app [see my review]. I have found Wunderlist to be one of my favorite productivity apps/programs. Since the intent is to sunset Wunderlist in favor of To-Do, I figured it makes sense to only download one of the two. Trying my best not to be stuck on another obsolete island.

After 6 years, today I officially claim end to my Windows Phone experiment.

 

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Switching from Wunderlist to To-Do

I have been using Microsoft To-Do for about 2 months now. I migrated my Wunderlist content over to To-Do. Microsoft stated that the plan is to take what worked in Wunderlist and make it a part of To-Do. With Wunderlist sunsetting, I thought I would test the waters with To-Do.

So far, I have liked most of it. I do miss some of the features of Wunderlist – for example being able to share a list with others and enable them to view/edit/add to that list.  Also miss having subtasks for a task like a checklist. (MSFT has stated that these features are in the works to be released soon – not sure what ‘soon’ is, but I am anxious :))

I do like a new feature that was not in Wunderlist – My Day Review. Wunderlist has an “inbox”, but the “My Day” is better. I use the “To-Do” list as the equivalent to the Wunderlist Inbox. Then try to move just a handful of items at the start of the day to the My Day list (if I get those done, I will move more onto the list). What also is nice is at the start of the day, the My Day section lets you review what was and was not done yesterday. In the review, you can hit a button to add it to today’s My Day. Or check it off as done, in case you did not check it off when it was done. You can obviously also change/update the item details and due dates, as needed. But beyond that, My Day then pulls from your lists to suggest what you might want to work on today! Clicking the + icon adds it to today’s My Day, in addition to being able to manually add new To Do items.

When you add tasks in Outlook, they are also added to To-Do. This is helpful when you flag an email for follow up.

todo.png

This product will get better as they put more resources into it. For now, it is still worth relying on it for daily organization and productivity tracking. I would love to see Kanban type boards or ability to sort the items by weight – either priority or effort. And as a visual person, it would be mighty cool to see graphical representation of what I have completed or my history or what ‘piles’ of work still await me. I will also need to update my Windows Phone 8 to a 10 phone or some other OS to take advantage of the mobility of the tool.

That is a 2 month view. I shall loop back in another 6 months to let you know if I feel any different or if I have learned anything else to make myself more productive. And if there if no post in 6 months, that means I am NOT any more productive or organized!