I read an article in the New York Times today titled, “This Phone Is Great, Till It’s Time to Add Apps”. The phone was writer is referring to is the “released today” Nokia Icon available on Verizon, a Windows Phone. The below paragraph almost got me to stop reading, but I persisted:
“While this disadvantage might not be apparent in your day-to-day use of the Icon — you’ll have no problem making calls and sending texts — the phone’s shortcomings will haunt you whenever you want to try the next great thing.”
Really! My guess is that the writer has his 401K heavily vested in Apple and/or Google stock. Or, he has never actually seen a Windows Phone. Either way, Mr. Manjoo, this is what I can do with my hobbled Windows Phone:
I can receive and send mail on my 11 synced accounts, many of which are setup for push.
I can browse my Facebook feed in my People hub, which is sorted properly and ad free. Swiping on any contact I can see their more recent FB posts, see their FB photo gallery, and view a history of recent phone calls, texts and emails.
I can leave myself a simple voice to text reminder with a single tap that will create a new tile on my Start screen
I can view tasks that are due and past due, and view the same information on ALL my synchronized Windows 8 PCs.
I can see the current weather for my location, view the future forecast or open the app and view weather for any of my saved locations.
I can see upcoming appointments, birthdays and other important events on my calendar tile, which syncs with 5 different mail accounts.
I can check the status of Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. Pretty important if you live in Florida.
I can check weather radar anywhere in the country. Valuable when a Yankee game is on rain delay.
I can scan in documents with my camera and send them as bundled JPGs or PDFs to anywhere.
I can manage my fuel usage and mileage.
I can manage all of my passwords, which are also synced across all of my Windows 8 devices.
I can view and interact with hundreds of online blogs via Tapatalk, sharing useful and “truthful” information.
I can do just about anything with my 41 megapixel camera, and a multitude of apps. Enough said.
I can view a slideshow.
I can get the metadata for any photo taken or downloaded.
I can read RSS feeds from anywhere in the world, organized in easy to read categories. As my app syncs with all my Windows 8 devices, I can move between devices and pickup where I left off anytime.
I can view news and video from CNN and Fox News. Two different perspectives.
I can read and post on Twitter across three different accounts at the same time.
I can open and edit Word, Excel & Powerpoint files.
I can open and edit OneNote files, which are synced across all my Windows 8 PCs.
I can search terms and get top results from; Google, Yahoo and Bing all at the same time.
I can search for movies, read a synopsis and view trailers.
I can watch movies on Netflix.
I can watch Crackle.
I can search for a movie and find out which paid or free service it is currently available on. Easier than browsing on my XBoxOne.
I can use the Ask Ziggy voice assistant. a precursor to Cortana.
I can set alarms.
I can calculate.
I can track the whereabouts of any package sent or ordered. This info automatically syncs across all my Windows 8 PCs.
I can manage and update my grocery shopping list, so I don’t forget anything or miss any sales.
I can keep track of things that I need to buy so the next time I am at Home Depot I don’t leave empty handed.
I can keep track of all my subscription services and renewals, being alerted when one is coming due.
I can get better informed in today’s culture with Urban Dictionary.
I can check the score of any sporting event, and pin tiles for any US sporting event for play by play results.
I can read ESPN news, check stats, scores, etc.
I can watch games on MLB.TV.
I can check the even schedules for any professional sports league around the globe and be reminded when a favorite team has an upcoming game.
I can turn WiFi, Data, BT or Airplane Mode on or off and get a visual indication of their status.
I can open One Drive or Drop Box and view. manage all of my files.
I can transfer files and photos wirelessly from my phone to any PC.
I can view stock market numbers, or open the app and get some more detailed info.
I can check my connection speed.
I can view my current battery level be informed of how many hours I have left.
I can search for or navigate to a location with HERE Drive/Maps.
I can check the status of any airline flight.
I can use City Lens to see places and venues around me.
I can draw on a screenshot of a map to add important information.
I can add scaled measurements to a photo.
I can find my car.
I can check local transit availability.
I can quickly find a location anywhere in the world using a variety of different methods.
I can manage and edit my three Facebook Pages.
I can check the current exchange rate for any currency.
I can beam my phone screen to any PC.
I can keep track of who I loaned money, tools and stuff to.
I can manage my eBay account to see ho is bidding on my stuff.
I can browse and purchase anything on Amazon with a couple clicks.
I can quickly find the HEX for any color in a photo I have taken or downloaded.
I can convert any measurement.
I can fax files and images from my phone to a fax machine.
I can beam photos to any PC.
I can search for and stream music stored on One Drive.
I can view and upload videos to Vimeo.
I can view, upload and download videos from YouTube.
I can search for songs by listening for a few seconds.
I can listen to my favorite stations on iHeart Radio.
I can search for and download millions of ringtones.
I can check venues for upcoming concerts.
I can manage the Zune app on my PC from my phone.
I can edit/trim videos.
I can make a ringtone from any track.
I can stream/download any of millions of songs available on XBox Music.
I can play a bunch of games, including XBox games.
And that was just my Start Screen.
I can check any acronym
I can find the definition for any word offline.
I can quick add a string of number together, including tax.
I can access my online AT&T Locker.
I can use Authenticator for two-step verification.
I can edit/send my electronic business card to anyone.
I can do complex calculations.
I can compare multiple prices by cost and size to find the best deal.
I can open files with CVS extensions.
I can check grammar.
I can forward selective contact information via mail or text.
I can use my phone as a level.
I can view and manage my LinkedIn account.
I can calculate just about any kind of loan.
I can find the recipe for almost any drink.
I can check my current monthly AT&T usage.
I can check the DBs of any sound.
I can check the nutritional value of thousands of raw and prepared foods.
I can monitor how much longer Obama will be in office.
I can check tides for any river, inlet or ocean.
I can hand write notes on my screen.
I can view the specs for almost any Smartphone every made with a couple clicks.
I can view photos and videos, and listen to music from my phone to my XBox One.
I can find the volumes and measurements for three dimensional objects.
I can do a quick reverse phone lookup.
I can speed dial my most frequent numbers
I can use my phone as a stopwatch or timer.
I can track the Sun’s location relevant to any address or location to determine solar efficiencies.
I can voice record.
I can use Team Viewer to access a connected PC.
I can shop at Home Depot and BestBuy.
I can translate just about anything by typing, speaking or imaging.
I can check world facts.
I can shorten a URL.
I can use Wallet to manage transactions.
I can manage my PayPal account.
I can manage my checking, credit and debit card accounts.
I can monitor my weight and see how I’m doing.
I can use WeeMee to create funny images of contacts that don’t have photos.
I can manage my WordPress account.
I can check the Nat Geo World Atlas for info.
I can manage my XMas gift lists.
I’m sure I missed a few. But as the vast majority of Smartphone owners have downloaded fewer that five apps, I think this would satisfy most users. No?