Migrating from one Windows Phone 7 to another

My original WP7 device (an HTC HD7, aka “Schubert”) has become a vampire.

This started just after I applied the NoDo update, and while I was traveling to the UK, although I think both of these events are unrelated. The phone was less than two weeks old when this behaviour started.

Every battery I stick in the phone gets drained, and although the phone pops up the requisite “I’m charging your battery” icon, the battery never gets charged.

So I’ve asked for a replacement phone. That in itself was a pain.

Despite the words “T-Mobile” on the box, on the phone, and T-Mobile requiring I sign up for a 2-year contract, T-Mobile won’t service the replacement – or if they will (and they seem unclear on the idea), they can’t guarantee I won’t get a refurb.

So, I go back to Amazon Wireless, where I bought the phone originally.

Perfect behaviour from them, as expected – a new phone is shipped immediately to me, and I get to spend a little time with the two phones as I transfer data to and fro.

Bizarrely, I have to charge a battery in the new phone in order to be able to use the old phone at all. I can’t even drive it purely from the mains cable.

And now I have to figure out how to get my phone information onto the new phone.

Outlook

Outlook is the easiest one – because it only hooks into Exchange, all I have to do is provide my new phone with the account details (email address and password), and I have all my email transferred.

People

People come across fairly easily too – either from Outlook or Windows Live, or by going to the Settings menu, sliding to Applications, then selecting People, from which you can “import SIM contacts”.

Applications and settings

Applications that I’ve bought through the Zune software come across immediately. Applications that I bought through the phone, they don’t come across at all. Fortunately, I hadn’t actually purchased anything at that point, so I only had to deal with getting the free apps. Nor could I persuade the Zune software to download those apps that I had purchased through the phone, even though they clearly weren’t on my new phone.

Of course, all the settings in those applications – high scores, achievements, account settings, etc – not able to be ported over. Rather irritating, really. This portion of setting up the new phone took the most time of all.

Music, videos and pictures

The Zune software does a credible job of allowing you to copy information out of one phone and into your collection, and then from your collection back into the phone. I’ve written before about how awkward the Zune software is with my Podcasts, and this experience doesn’t really improve on that in any way.

Overall

Overall, it’s fairly certain that the use-case of having to move from one phone to another is not considered by Microsoft to be a significantly common requirement. I certainly hope I don’t have to do this again.

But I do wonder if there could be some form of standard for migrating settings and purchased apps – this was a tedious process in all, as I went through re-finding all the apps I had installed, and dealing with the Zune software’s reluctance to fetch applications that had already been installed on another phone.

Those apps that were easy to move over, it seemed more as an accident than good design, as these apps are based around storing their data off the phone. I’d like to see developers think about deliberately surprising their users with good behaviour, instead.

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