Hey Microsoft, in the land of no screenshots your phone OS is king.
Windows Phones can’t take screenshots. This in and of itself might not sound like a big thing. It is. Here’s why. I have a Windows Phone and it does lots of nice things, however, I can’t show you – not easily any way.
Let me illustrate that for you. Here is a screenshot of a phone interface
Doesn’t seem all that important? Try then to describe the iPhone interface without a picture.
The iPhone has a grid display with 16 icons per page for your apps and a dock arrangement of four apps along the bottom.
Now, you could write a better description than that, but without a picture it still sounds very plain and even if you are effusive with praise about that interface using words like ‘cool’ and ‘simple’ it’s difficult, no impossible, to convince a third-party of that without some visual assistance.
Windows Phone has ‘live tiles’ these display relevant information like mentions on twitter. Sounds dull, sounds plain. It’s actually a neat feature, but it’d be easier to get across and resonate with a picture. Windows Phone lets you easily see your social network updates and post to them quickly in one simple interface. Same thing.
See, for example iPhone Twitter integration.
I can’t evangelise the platform easily – hey look at this I just did on my Windows Phone.
Were screenshots easily made on Windows Phone there’d be more blog posts and tweets mentioning it. Information about Apps, system features and general features in Windows Phone is being lost. Look at how many people tweet iPhone screenshots. Is that an accident do you think?
It’s not just individuals this affects though, it’s publications too. Illustrating a feature or blog post is a hundred times easier with a screenshot. I imagine a conversation:
Writer: Hey, this Windows Phone app is cool.
Editor: Ohh, as it happens we have a gap in the app of the month feature, 250 words, two grabs, Monday?
Writer: Cool, it’s windows phone though so I can only do a shitty picture of the screen, will that do?
Editor: Um, is there an iPhone version you can do instead.
Writer: Yeah, do that?
Perhaps Microsoft feels that the chance of negative coverage might affect the brand. I mean a site like Damnyouautocorrect might do untold damage to your reputation. **RUNS OFF TO CHECK iPHONE SALES** Huh, seems that’s not the case.
I asked on Twitter if anyone knew why Windows Phone might not have a screenshot option. I received a reply from Peter Bright or @DrPizza if you prefer:
Their argument is that normals never need to take screenshots. That might be true in general, but it hurts geeks.
Utterly. Bonkers. Seriously Microsoft get your head out of your ass and let me evangelise your phone platform more easily.