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If This App, Then That App – Going from iPhone to a Windows Phone

If This App, Then That App – Going from iPhone to a Windows Phone

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I’ve been participating in the Microsoft Canada Holiday Swap event where we essentially traded off our usual smartphones (in my case, the iPhone) for a Windows phone.  I wrote about the phone that Microsoft gave me and did a mini review of it here.

One of the things that I started to do, immediately after I got the Windows phone, was to find my favourite apps that I use all the time on the iPhone.  Some of the apps were fairly easy to replace whereas other apps were a little more difficult and took some creative searching to find.  Some apps that I did replace turned out to be duds.

This post covers the apps I used on my iPhone and what I’ve replaced them with on the Windows Phone.  Leave a comment below with the apps you’ve switched to if you have any suggestions for me!  I’ll also include a list of what I have yet to replace if you have any suggestions on replacing that list specifically.

Twitter (iPhone) > Rowi (Windows Phone)

One of the things that I do miss about my iPhone is that a lot of the services I use regularly have native apps created for the iPhone platform.  The Windows phone has fewer native apps, which means that you are often needing to do a bit more research before settling for one app in particular.

While the Windows phone does have a native , it’s quite terrible.  It’s missing a few key features like reply all and retweet with comment that just make it unusable for me.  So, I switched over to Rowi and am finding it to be really great.  The one thing I love about Rowi is the ability to pin whatever ‘feeds’ you want to your home screen.  Then, with a swiping action, you can easily navigate through your mentions, lists, etc. without having to click through a bunch of menu options.

Facebook (iPhone) > Facebook (Windows Phone)

All right, so not much of a change here because both devices have a native app for Facebook but I needed to include it so that I could talk about how terrible the is for the Windows phone.  In fact, it’s so terrible that my mobile Facebook usage has decreased to almost zero.

What makes it terrible you ask?  It doesn’t update properly, notifications don’t show up, you have to click a status update twice to be able to like something someone shared and if you’re scrolling and there is an update, it pops you to the top without any notice.  T-e-r-r-i-b-l-e.  There is not one single redeeming characteristic for me when it comes to the Facebook app for the Windows phone.  Would LOVE a suggestion!

Pinterest (iPhone) > Pinspiration (Windows Phone)

I’m not a huge ‘pinner’ from my mobile device but I know many of you are so I wanted to take about the Windows phone app versus the iPhone app.

I wish I could report to you that the Pinspiration app for the Windows phone is great but it’s not.  The profile tab doesn’t load anything but a white screen for me, there are ads across the top of the app*, which takes up valuable viewing space and when I tried to pin something, none of my boards would load.  Clicking the board button just did… well… nothing.

iPhone wins in this case with their native – anyone have any suggestions as to another good Pinterest app for the Windows phone?

*From the Pinspiration website: Free version has ads and refreshing Pinners You Follow list is throttled. Buy the app to remove ads and unlock ability to get up-to-the-minute updates from Pinners You Follow.

Dropbox (iPhone) > BoxFiles for Dropbox (Windows Phone)

I have the Dropbox app installed on both my iPhone and my Windows phone but admittedly, didn’t use it a lot on my iPhone.  I mostly used it to upload photos from my iPhone to Dropbox so that I could easily grab them from my computer.  Since the iPhone doesn’t have document editing features that work well (and it’s not easy to edit documents on an iPhone), I never bothered with actually downloading or opening documents.

The BoxFiles for Dropbox app on the Windows phone works just as you would expect it to.  It allows you to upload documents, download documents and since the Windows phone does have office installed on it, you can even modify documents that you download from your Dropbox.  Since the Windows phone has that extra feature, I’m giving this one to the Windows phone app.

Runkeeper (iPhone) > Runtastic (Windows Phone)

One of the apps that I use a lot on my iPhone, especially in nicer weather, is Runkeeper.  Runkeeper allows me to track my workouts, includes a built-in GPS and allows me to listen to playlists while I run.  Since I wanted to give the Windows phone all of the tests I could, I looked for an app that would compare to Runkeeper.

I found Runtastic for the Windows phone that looks really comparable and appears to have many of the same features.  Now, you might wonder why I’m saying “looks” and “appears” instead of speaking from a place of having tried it.  Well, I can not for the life of me get past the login or create account screens.  Every time I attempt to connect via Facebook, it says, “E-mail address already exists” and when I tried to set up a new account with a brand new e-mail, I got the same errors.  So, while it looks really great, the fact that I can’t login to use it is not so great.

Treehouse Video (iPhone) > Kids TV (Windows Phone)

One of the things I’m always looking for on my mobile devices are kid’s shows or kid’s apps.  This is because we’ll often be grocery shopping or out at a restaurant and a meltdown begins.  The iPhone, and now the Windows phone, saves me every time.  On my iPhone I have an app called Treehouse Video and while the majority of the shows are only accessible through their monthly subscription, there are a few free shows that have saved me during a crisis.

On the Windows phone, I found the Kids TV app and it’s actually really, really fantastic.  There are a ton of great free shows on there with way more free selection than the Treehouse Video app has.  There are a lot of well known shows available to be watched and that means tons of opportunity for me to keep my little one busy when I need her to be.  Definitely a must-get for your phone!

No Equivalent Replacement For

Here is the list of apps that I used on my iPhone that I have yet to replace.  Any suggestions would be helpful!

  • Basecamp
  • Analytiks
  • Freshbooks
  • WordPress
  • Instagram (I’ve tried Fhotoroom and a few other Instagram apps but they’ve all been very ‘meh’)
  • Hay Day

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Comments (2)

  1. HotcakesOttawa Thursday - 13 / 12 / 2012 Reply
    A couple of tips for you: 1- Instead of Dropbox, consider switching to Skydrive. It's built in to the OS and works really well. I especially like that Office documents and photos automatically upload so you never lose anything if you lose the phone. Skydrive has a great web interface for when you're away and even has a great desktop app for Mac and PC. 2- I don't have any issues with my Facebook app, and in fact I find it better because it's not plagued by ads like the iOS version. If you want to enable notifications, press the three dots bottom right, go to settings and enable all the notifications you want. Shake the phone to update your feed. Then again, I don't even use it much since Facebook is built into the OS. I use the Me tile to post to Facebook and Twitter, and I use a pinned group tile to see my most important friends' feed (commenting and liking is a lot easier from there). That also has the advantage of showing me Facebook posts and Tweets from my close friends all in one place. 3- If you visit the Freshbooks website with your phone, you get a mobile version. You can also pin that site to your start screen, so it looks just like an app. 4- Same goes for the latest Wordpess. They have a very workable mobile admin. I'm not familiar with the others on your list, but check the website with your mobile browser... you might be surprised. A
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