One of iOS’s most limiting aspects is its icon-driven interface. iOS’s default interface, the homescreen, it simply a grid of equally sized icons, and while these icons are pretty, they all look pretty much the same. Worse, they are dumb: they can’t do anything cleverer than pin a badge to themselves to convey information.
Compare that to the way Android or Windows Phone handles the homescreen. In Android, you can pin intelligent widgets along with apps to the homescreen; in Windows Phone, the tiles operate not just as app icons, but as smart widgets that can convey to the user changes that are happening within the app, even when it’s not as open.
iOS users have been clammoring for Apple to figure out a way to make the iOS homescreen smarter for quite a long time, and this concept video describes one possible interpretation, which mixes up the iOS homescreen with Android’s widgets and Windows Phone’s Live Tiles.
I picked up my first iPhone around three months after the device launched way back in 2007, and I’ve been an iPhone user ever since. I’ve dabbled with Android devices throughout the years, and I even tried webOS on the HP Pre, but I didn’t like either operating system as much as I like iOS on the iPhone.
When Microsoft first introduced Windows Phone, I was instantly attracted to it. I liked the look of the user interface, I liked the way the system worked, and I actually liked the fact that Microsoft was in control of the Windows Phone Marketplace. (One of the things that I dislike most about Android is that the Android Market has no approval process.) I’m not a fan of the Windows desktop operating system, and I’ve stayed as far away from it as possible after purchasing my first Mac. But I felt compelled to try Windows Phone.
So I did. I swapped my iPhone for a HTC TITAN running Windows Phone Mango for one month. Here’s how I got on.