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What am I missing with Windows Phone 8?

My first foray into Windows Phone 8 didn't go over with the readers so well, but since the OS and apps I use have been updated a few times since then, I'm giving Microsoft's mobile OS another go.

A few months back, I acquired a Nokia Lumia 920 with the intent to use the device as my everyday smartphone. I had been a long-time user of the old and now defunct Windows Mobile, and still like to experiment with custom ROMs on an old WinMo-based HTC Rhodium from time to time, but for the last couple of years I’ve almost exclusively used Android-based devices.

BACKGROUND: Why I abandoned Windows Phone 8

My initial experiment was a simple one. After a couple of weeks of using the Lumia 920 alongside a Samsung Galaxy Note II, just to get a feel for the device before making the switch, I decided to give it a try as my primary device. My initial impressions of the hardware and Windows Phone 8 were very good, which facilitated the switch, but once I made the transition and eventually installed many of the apps I use frequently, I was left disappointed. I thought Windows Phone 8 itself was nice, but the app situation—with apps created by Microsoft and some ISVs—was lackluster. I eventually switched back to my Android device.

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Credit: Microsoft

The Nokia Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8.

After I posted my thoughts on the experiment, I got called a few names and was deemed an attention seeker by some others. A few of you understood where I was coming from, though, and could relate to my reasons for switching back to Android. Since the feedback was so mixed the first time around, for my next experiment with Windows Phone 8, I want all of your input.

I use my phone mostly for email and in-box maintenance, web browsing, and social networking on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I also use it as a companion diagnostic device, alongside my laptop, for scanning Wi-Fi networks and the like, and for occasionally remoting into machines (using LogMeIn) to perform basic maintenance. I do some casual gaming as well and use my phone for entertainment as well, to watch and capture video and pictures.

Aside from an overly active in-box, I don’t think my usage model is all that different from that of most smartphone users, but since so many of you thought I ditched Windows Phone 8 for the wrong reasons, I want to know what I should be doing differently.

What apps or methods should I use to access the web, my email, and social networks? Which are the best apps for tech geeks? And what are you favorite casual games?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments and I promise to take them into consideration during my next experiment with Windows Phone 8. The Lumia 920 and many of the apps I had been using have all been updated in the few months since my first experiment, so I’m hoping for a better ultimate outcome. I’ll let you all know how it goes soon enough...

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