True confession. This last year or so I've been packing an iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. As a Windows Phone lover I'm not particularly proud of this, but I reckon that needs must. I like the iPhone because everything just works, and you can do everything.
But, when we went to Chicago on holiday I took along my Lovely Lumia of old. I wanted to use it as a mobile hotspot. T-Mobile do this tourist plan which gives you lots of data over 30 days for only 30 dollars. For some reason they fail to mention in the snazzy adverts that you also have to pay 20 dollars for a sim to load the plan on to, but hey, 50 dollars for 30 days of mobile internet abroad, I'll pay that. So I bought the sim after a bit of muttering in the store, popped it in the Lumia 1520 and off we went. Before I'd left I'd put the latest build on Windows 10 on the phone and it makes a really good mobile hotspot, worked a treat.
And then I found myself using the Lumia in preference to my iPhone for most of my daily stuff. It is just easier, nicer and quicker to use. Reading mail is a lot, lot, easier. I prefer the screen and everything just works. Navigation was a snap, the maps app is easily the equal of the Apple one. Even the Guardian app was easier to use to read the (depressing) news each day. Remember that this is a phone I bought in December 2013. And it was as snappy and usable as state of the art devices. Battery life was fine and I remembered how much I loved Windows Phone.
And then I rediscovered the stopper. One of the main reasons that I don't use Windows Phone any more. The Amazon Kindle app doesn't work. And by doesn't work, I mean it doesn't let you read books properly. It misses out chunks of text. You find yourself switching between horizontal and vertical orientation, or flipping back and forth between pages, just to get a line or so of the book to appear. At first I thought that I was actually going mad but no, it turns out that Amazon Kindle on Windows Phone is incapable of remembering where it got to in the book from one page to the next. Astonishing and awful. I read a lot of books on my phone, this is a deal breaker. Game over for Windows Phone.
I hope this can be sorted out. You would think that, what with Amazon and Microsoft being neighbours in Seattle, Satya Nadella could pop round to borrow a cup of sugar from Jeff Bezos and, during the conversation on the doorstep casually mention that the Amazon Windows Phone app could do with some love, and then casually point at the truck load of money he happens to have brought with him.
Stuff of dreams perhaps, but if Kindle worked the Windows Phone would be a very compelling platform for me. The iPhone is great if you want to experience state of the art smartphone user interface design. As long as the state of the art is 2007. But the Windows Phone interface just feels like the future. It's properly thought out, well solid and just easier to use. But I can't read books. And that's sad.