TWIT 905: The Last Helicopter

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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If Microsoft announced they were rebooting Windows Phone (and if it were on par with pre Windows 10 in terms of quality. Windows 10 Mobile was garbage), I’d buy one today. I loved my Samsung Focus, Nokia Lumia 920 and 1520. Gorgeous UI and a fun operating system to use. Not having apps, especially as a high schooler from 2010-2014 was not fun. I still loved that era of smartphones. The things Palm with WebOS, BlackBerry, and a Microsoft were doing really drove innovation to iOS and Android at a time where iOS was feeling stale and Android needed quality control and beautifying. Today, phones aren’t as fun. Foldables are neat, but there’s not a lot of excitement. I’m on an iPhone just because it’s the default, not because I love it.

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Great show. Miss Connie during the F1 chatter. . . :smile::smile::smile:

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I would seriously give Windows Phone consideration were it re-released. Especially if they made that Android conversion tool they created more widely available. Tiles were definitely ahead of the time. And Windows Phone didn’t need a driving mode because driving functionality was baked into the device. I could have Cortana read me my messages back in 2013-2014 before Android Auto was ever a thing.

And the build quality of the Nokia phones was excellent. It may have been plastic, but that shell and screen were perfect. I must have dropped it 100 times if it was once and I couldn’t find any scratches on the screen. I still have my Lumia Icon (the Verizon version of the Lumia 920). Loved that phone.

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I’ve never been a typical phone user, so my opinion may be moot. I don’t see Windows Phone Part 2 being worth anything because it still wouldn’t have any apps (have you seen the Windows store? ick!) and these day Windows has seemingly become very buggy because MS expects its user base to do all the testing. Additionally, Microsoft seems incapable of making, communicating and then sticking to a plan… so why would it be any different for a phone v2. You’ll never get devs to develop specifically for something that doesn’t have a rock solid and well communicated plan forward.

But it might be fun fantasy for Xmas… :wink:

Maybe it’s me - but I find the Windows store a lot more useful today than it ever was in Windows 8 and the early years of Windows 10. It’s my first place to check for apps. Only if I can’t find it there do I look online.

You’re not wrong about that. Which is one reason why I only said I’ve give serious consideration and not “absolutely buy”. Any one of those things would be reason to wait and see - all three of them are pretty severe. But I also would hope that if Microsoft were serious about re-releasing Windows Phone as a viable product - they would have some basic stuff in place.

That - and I really am tired of the duopoly from Google and Apple. Either I lock myself in a walled garden where the Great Apple knows what’s best for me and pats my head, or I pay for the privilege of having my data packaged and sold. There really has to be a better choice than those two.

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While I never used one,people that I know that used WIndows phones were very happy with them. The issue was that MS was late to the game, IOS and Android were already dominant. Software writers didn’t want to code apps for three platforms.


also, the numbers were too small for the developers

One thing about the Nokias, their quality was excellent. I never needed a case, because the plastic was smooth, but grippy, felt high quality and didn’t slide out of the hand. Since then, I’ve had various high-end Android and iPhone phones and all of them have had cases, because the phone’s shell is brittle glass and slippery as soap. The first one that isn’t that way is my iPhone 13 Pro, the back is a little rougher, but I still don’t trust it enough to carry around without a case.

Tiles were brilliant, as was the hubs idea (People, Photos, Video etc.) no need to work out whether that video was shot locally, on Signal, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, it was in Videos. That is how the interface should work. The problem is, the above mentioned companies make their money by siloing the content, not making it easier for the user to access.

From your replay to @PHolder :

I’ve not seen the store in years, it is disabled on all our company machines. Even in-built app store apps, like Editor, Paint, Calculator etc. aren’t updated, because the store is blocked. On some users’ PCs, they managed to deinstall Calculator, which they generally use a lot, you can’t get it back, it is no longer a built-in Windows application, it is a Store App and if you remove it, you can’t get it back, if company policy is to block the store.

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That is the problem, and why it will never come back. To be honest, Windows Phone was the best of a bad bunch. None of the mobile platforms was or is ideal. Windows Phone took the best bits of iOS and the best bits of Android and mixed them together with their own magic sauce. It was way ahead of Android and iOS at the time, but both of those had already established their user bases and few people were willing to swap, even if it was a bit better.

It is the catch 22, without users, no apps, without apps, no users. Any new platform coming in must rival the apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store on day one, not the sheer volume, but the significant, top 10,000 or so apps that most people use - banking apps, messaging apps, social media and productivity, and, of course, those little time waster games.

Not enough devs are ever going to invest the resources on an unknown platform, before it is launched and users are already bickering over whether iOS or Android is better, what are the chances of getting them to switch en-masse?

It will need to be something like the AR experience of the smart contact lenses in Swan Song, with its beautiful virtual paper, but modern and 3D look floating in front of you, something breathtaking, something that draws you in. But a different phone interface is just a different phone interface and people have already settled on what works best for them.


As to the show itself, brilliant. Iain was on top form.

And Connie was very good - her rant on immediate profit sums up my view of modern day capitalism. In the past, people looked to build a business to last, a legacy, or at least a source of income for their lifetime, but investors today want a quick profit in the current quarter, the future be damned, as long as they can dump their stock before the whole pyramid scheme collapses.