Why my next phone will be the next iPhone

I thought it was time to drop Android and go with a Windows Phone. My thoughts have changed and my next phone will be the new iPhone when it is available. What hasn’t changed is that I will indeed drop Android.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor
iPhone apps
Image: Apple

When it comes to gadget purchases I can be an impulsive guy. I see one that catches my eye and I am prone to buy it without hesitation. That's a big reason why I have too many of them.

Given my history, it's telling that I still haven't acted on an impulse I had a while back to ditch my Android phone and go to a Windows Phone. Phones running Microsoft's OS are different from anything out there and my feeling was that it would be a refreshing change over Android.

See also: Smartphone doldrums: Time to go Windows Phone

So why haven't I traded my old Android phone in for a new Windows Phone? Several reasons have held me back.

First of all, I can't get past the possible lack of apps for Windows Phone. All the apps I need may very well be in the Microsoft Store, but I don't want to do a lot of research to find out. I don't need to do that with the iPhone or Android; they have everything I could possibly want.

I regularly see Windows Phone users on social media wishing that one app or another was available on the platform. After a lot of thought I've decided I have no desire to play the wish game.

The second reason that I am passing on Windows Phone is because it is its own little island in the Microsoft sea. The platform is totally separate from Windows 8.1 for all intents and purposes. The apps are completely separate on the two platforms and devices running them don't directly link up. They're similar but separate.

Lastly, I am firmly entrenched in the Google system for email and other stuff. That's what kept me in the Android camp for so long. But the fact is, Google is supporting its services very well on iOS, and I use them heavily on the iPad. The same should hold true for the iPhone.

Google and Microsoft are not the best of friends, and the former is not producing apps optimized for Windows Phone. Google may be petty in its refusal, but it is what it is. That makes Windows Phone less attractive the more I think about it.

This thought process leads me to wait for the next iPhone, the iPhone 6 or whatever it will be called. I've waited this long to switch phones so I may as well wait until the fall when Apple should spring the next iPhone.

I own an iPad so I can leverage most apps I've purchased. Many have one version that fits both iPad and iPhone so I'm covered.

Most importantly to me, when iOS 8 arrives around the same time as the new iPhone, it will link to the iPad. I'll be able to answer calls on the iPad if that's what I'm using (like now), while leaving the iPhone in the pocket or gear bag. That is a very big deal to me, and it's pushed me over the edge to go iPhone.

Windows Phone is fine, it's maturing nicely for such a short history. But it's not there yet and I'm not going to compromise my user experience. I want to get a new phone and just start using it fully. No researching to see if this is available, or if it can do that. Maybe in the future when Windows Phone has everything the other mobile platforms have. Maybe.

Update: To Microsoft's credit, they announced "universal apps" at the BUILD conference this year. These apps are intended to run on both Windows Phone and Windows, making it easier for developers to cover both platforms with a single effort.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley has the scoop on universal apps and while it is exciting, the reality is it is not here yet. While some apps are rolling out, it's likely we won't see many for a while. Eventually, Microsoft intends that all apps be universal, but unfortunately we probably won't see a lot of consistent activity in the timeframe of my purchase decision.

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