It's time for a new phone. I gave it my all with Windows Phone and have nothing but admiration for the work they have done. It's really a great interface and platform. But there's no denying that it's the walking dead. The lack of app support can no longer be tolerated. I can't get Lyft; I can't get Instagram; I can't get the nifty mobile app from my bank that will let me snap a photo of a check and deposit it right there. It's time to move on and wish Windows Phone the best.
That leaves an open question of where to go next. I don't really want a giant phablet sort of thing. A five inch screen is all I need; my current phone is 4.6" and that's just fine. There is an outside chance that, given a big-ass phone, I would start to do things like read Kindle on it, although I doubt I would ever watch video. But honestly, checking texts and facebook messages, maps and reviews when I travel, and the occasional dedicated app are all I do. I thought I might start using Spotify, but it's not ready for me yet (more below). I think it's more important to me that a phone fit in my pocket.
Actually my perfect phone fits in my pocket, has a SD card slot, has a replaceable battery, a great camera, and a fairly long battery life. I do not believe there is any phone that fits all my criteria. The smart thing to do is probably either get a Samsung Galaxy or an iPhone of some sort and then at least my problems will be the same as everybody's. Google's Nexus is also appealing. I would prefer to go android; I have never been for of the Apple ecosystem, but Apple's upcoming small sized iPhone might be a winner. My current plan is to wait until that's out and the early adopters pass judgement, then decide.
Meanwhile my Dell XPS 13 laptop is showing signs of being on its last legs. It has always had curious power management issues, I even replaced a battery on my own at one point, in violation I am sure of whatever warranty might have been left over. Now it's taken to dropping wifi connections -- a restart sorts it out. I'm hoping it will last me a while longer -- and I'm sure it will, but what's to follow? I have been very attracted to the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book for a while. They seem to have had some power management issues themselves, but they are now sorted. That said, the newest generation of Dell XPS 13 is getting rave reviews.
Lastly: about my brief encounter with Spotify and music streaming. There are a number of music streaming services. In the past I have used the free versions of these, but I have come to find the commercials intrusive and low quality intolerable. At first I keyed in on Pandora, but Pandora's problem is that it has a fairly small library. Like most services you can pick an artist and it will create a station of works by that artist and similar ones, but after a while I found their algorithm to be repetitive. Either that or it occasionally drifted far afield from the sound of the chosen artist.
Spotify is different. The largest of the services library-wise it depends primarily on users building playlists and sharing them. You can create artists targeted streams like Pandora, but the benefit of shared playlists is that someone one with similar tastes has already set up a nice playlist for you. You can then follow that playlist and many list authors keep actively editing and expanding their lists which keeps things fresh. I was so intrigued by this that I actually signed up for their free 30 day trial.
It didn't go so well. First despite their enormous library a couple of artists of interest to me were not available (yet oddly they were on Pandora). Secondly I ran into a fairly common bug in that occasionally playlists would just stop playing at the end of a song. It would need a manual pause/start to start playing again. Annoying as hell. Turns out it is a common complaint, but no word from Spotify even acknowledging it. So I'm pretty sure I'm going to kill my subscription before my trial is up.
I still have Amazon for streaming, which comes free with Prime, but the selection is truly lame, as are the playlists. They might improve with time. Microsoft, Google, and Apple all have streaming options, so I may start experimenting with those.
I have a closet in my basement office where I dump all my old, discarded technology. It will soon be overflowing. I have no explanation for why I hoard my obsolete technology like that. It just feels weird throwing these things out -- they must have some value, I mean, who am I, Bill Gates that I can just toss usable stuff away. Also, maybe someday Pawn Stars will give me top dollar for it.