Windows 10 packs loads of useful features and improvements over Windows Phone 8, no doubt, and I will get to those in another article. But I shall start by highlighting some extremely annoying things that Microsoft ought to have sorted out in this reiteration of their smartphone platform. These annoyances were there in Windows Phone 8 and they have been retained in Windows 10 Mobile.
1. Updating Apps From The Store
After setting up the Lumia 950, I immediately launched the Store to install my favourite apps, as well as check for any updates for pre-installed apps. When you tap “Check for updates”, it takes a while for the list of available updates to be drawn up and displayed. When the available updates were eventually displayed, I had 25 of them listed. Awesome.
The second problem turned out to be getting the updates to download. They all stayed stuck reading “Pending” on end. It took two days to get all the updates downloaded. This is madness. Over the same WiFi connection, I got 17 app updates in Google Play Store completed under an hour.
Microsoft needs to fix these aberrations last year. It is not acceptable today. Updating apps shouldn’t feel like driving a 22-wheeler articulated vehicle.
2. Network Mode
After a brief celebration of the addition of the options to peg the network to 3G only and 4G only last year, I am so pissed now to find that those options don’t exist on the Lumia 950. The only options available are to set the ” Highest connection speed”, which really is auto mode.
Why Microsoft ditched “3G Only” and “4G Only” modes beats me, but it smells like a bad idea. Here, I have a dual SIM 4G capable smartphone and I still have to carry a second device around for my for data connection. Bummer.
3. App Transitions
I launched an app yesterday and had to wait a few moments staring at a black screen while the app loaded. On some other apps, it is a white screen. Sometimes, it is a horizontal stream of dots. However it is implemented, the app transition s irritate. Windows 10 Mobile needs to get rid of this transition thing. Some apps have been cleverly designed to fill that transition space with something like a splash screen, but it rankles all the same. The Lumia 950 is the 11th most powerful smartphone in the world, according to AnTuTu, yet I have to stare at a transition screen when I launch an app?
These things are basic, and Microsoft ought to have fixed them. They may not be deal breakers for a lot of people, but they affect the perception of Windows 10 Mobile. And at a time that the platform desperately needs more numbers, these annoyances do not help the cause. Look out for my next article detailing the improvements that Windows 10 Mobile bring over Windows Phone 8.