Originally Posted by grking
except that every review out there says that the UI is innovative, different, easy to use and fast. A large percentage of people still view MS through the lens of M$, and all the rest of the pejorative terms (not entirely without cause). However, this might be a mistake, because all of the indications are that MS is slowly changing its course. We shall see what happens.
I haven't used a WP7 phone, but I've watched a lot of video about the UI.
It is innovative!
1) The lock screen is customizable -- as with Android and lacking in iOS.
2) The Start Screen Active Tiles/Hubs are multi-app aggregators (more succinctly: multi-app notification/polling event
aggregators). This is quite innovative!
3) You can pin any app or person to the Start Screen list -- Android and iOS have similar but less flexible features.
4) The lack of copy/paste is somewhat mitigated by intelligent anticipation of "what you are going to do", and "what information you will use" among apps -- especially within a hub.
Of the above, 2), the Start Screen Active Tiles are the true Innovation. However, it is not clear, how useful this will be:
-- beyond a few groupings, how many active tiles are needed?
-- It is not clear how flexible these hubs are- are they predefined by the OS?
Number 3) above, pinning to the Start List, looks like a good idea. In reality, it is similar to putting an alias (to launch an app) on the desktop (Start List on the WP7 Phone). A few may be useful, but too many rapidly creates clutter and confusion.
This is where it begins to break down.
The start list is a convenient place to go to see what needs your attention. If you add too many tiles, it actually is distracting and slows you down. This is especially painful when you scroll to the bottom of a long list of tiles, tap a tile, run the app, then exit the app. You are taken to the Top
of the tile list, not back to where you were.
What about other apps, not in Active Tiles and not pinned to the Start Screen. Well, that black bar to the right of the Active Tile list (taking up about 1/5 of the display) is used to flick left, where you are presented with an alphabetic list of the names of all apps. You scroll this list then tap the name to select the app. When you exit the app [it appears that] you are taken to the Top
of the apps list, not back to where you were.
There is no search, and no fast app switching among recent apps (other than back, one app at a time).
This is, likely, OK for the few "system apps" provided and the few other apps available,
But if you have 30-40 apps (we have more than 100) it becomes a navigational challange to run apps. Essentially, you have 2 sequential lists: the Start List and the Alpha App List that you must navigate top to bottom.
Again, I have never used a WP7 phone. I am basing the above on what a beta tester / advocate showed and said in his demos of the phones.
Perhaps the above WP7 deficiencies are what, one of the people quoted in the article was referring to to when he said:
Author Joshua Topolsky noted having trouble with third-party apps, especially news readers, crashing. Windows Phone 7 doesn't exactly have the "fit and finish of a fully realized product," wrote Topolsky.