I had occasion to visit a Verizon store this weekend and took some time to play around with the various Android and Windows Phone devices. I was struck by how completely awful the user experience was on almost all of the tablets they had on display. The navigation was jerky and the home screens cluttered. Why would you bother displaying a product that felt annoying to use? It’s possible that some of the problems were caused by poor maintenance of the demo units, but all but given the responsiveness of even the newest Android phones, I have to think the problem is with Android. There’s just this nagging, split-second delay in the interface response that casts doubt into the mind of the user as to whether they correctly execute the command they were going for.
Now the Windows phones on the other hand, I see potential there. The more I read and experience, the more impressed I am with WP7 and Windows 8. Microsoft seems to have taken the time to get the basics right before moving on to added features. The interface is slick and they’re doing some really interesting things with social media integration and those live tiles. I find myself rapidly losing interest in Android as a platform. It’s beginning to draw connections in my mind to those soulless, off-brand, dumbphones that carriers try to sell to people who don’t know what they want (to play off the thought from Gruber about why Android tablets aren’t doing as well as Android phones).
I had hoped that WebOS would stand out as the first true iOS competitor on both the phone and tablet fronts, but is looks like that may be Microsoft and surprisingly, I’m ok with that.