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news.gifFriends News - Lost In Mobile

Lost In Mobile


Still playing with Windows PhoneShaun McGillFri, 18 Apr 2014 19:49:22 +0000http://www.lostinmobile.com/home/still-playing-with-windows-phone52bd65a0e4b0aee2c11d35b4:52bd9eb3e4b09f4528ffce36:535181cee4b0245ee2ff77e0 1020yel.jpg

I now have a Nokia Lumia 1020 because I was so impressed with the Lumia 625, impressed enough to request a higher-end review model. I will be honest and say that the only real reason to test the 1020 is the camera which is what most reviewers talk about anyway when it comes to Windows Phone. If you read an example set of reviews of this phone, you would hardly believe there is an operating system behind the camera, or apps, or a phone at all, but there is.

After a mere 24 hours I must say that I find the Lumia 1020 experience most fulfilling, and by association Windows Phone 8.1. I installed the latest software update as soon as I received the phone and it really is something to behold. The flexibility of the home screen is now quite impressive and with just enough personalisation to make it sit nicely between the rigidness of iOS and the chaos that is Android. Microsoft is quickly getting this area right and the feeling flows throughout the system. Put simply, it is a joy to use and feels like a phone should to me. Don't get me wrong, I am not jumping to Windows Phone or anything, but as an OS it really has nailed the user experience for touch, gestures and whatever other movements your fingers can make with a phone.

The 1020 itself is incredibly well built and feels solid as a rock. I even like the bold yellow colouring. The silly hump at the back is a pain in the backside when trying to lie the phone on a flat surface, but of course we all know why it is there. It's there to power the camera which I have not had much time with yet, but I will update on the photography features at a later date.

I won't be writing a review of this phone as that would be silly so late in the game, but I will have a shot at comparing it to the competition in terms of hardware and software. A Galaxy S5 is also sat on my desk and I must say that in the short time I have played with it, I have been completely nonplussed by the experience. It feels like every Galaxy that has come before it albeit with some improved specs and there really is little to like in my opinion. Sometimes phones need to be about the emotions they bring out and the 1020 does a much better job of clinging to me than the S5, and dare I say it the 5s.

There are problems, lots of little issues that make transferring content a pain, and lots of misses in terms of apps, but if you are willing to bend there is a lot to like here. I'm going to take my time with this one and see if I can find enough advantages over the 5s to make me think hard. The better screen and sound quality are the first two I spotted, but there is a long way to go and so we will see what happens.

One thing I am sure of is that Microsoft is on a roll at the moment in many different areas and that things are starting to bunch up in the smartphone market in particular. It is still all about Apple and Samsung (Google?), but I for one would like to see a third contender doing some damage and first impressions of the Lumia 1020 and Windows Phone 8.1 suggest that many of the building blocks are already in place and working well. More another day...


Still playing with Windows Phone  View ?

1020yel.jpg

I now have a Nokia Lumia 1020 because I was so impressed with the Lumia 625, impressed enough to request a higher-end review model. I will be honest and say that the only real reason to test the 1020 is the camera which is what most reviewers talk about anyway when it comes to Windows Phone. If you read an example set of reviews of this phone, you would hardly believe there is an operating system behind the camera, or apps, or a phone at all, but there is.

After a mere 24 hours I must say that I find the Lumia 1020 experience most fulfilling, and by association Windows Phone 8.1. I installed the latest software update as soon as I received the phone and it really is something to behold. The flexibility of the home screen is now quite impressive and with just enough personalisation to make it sit nicely between the rigidness of iOS and the chaos that is Android. Microsoft is quickly getting this area right and the feeling flows throughout the system. Put simply, it is a joy to use and feels like a phone should to me. Don't get me wrong, I am not jumping to Windows Phone or anything, but as an OS it really has nailed the user experience for touch, gestures and whatever other movements your fingers can make with a phone.

The 1020 itself is incredibly well built and feels solid as a rock. I even like the bold yellow colouring. The silly hump at the back is a pain in the backside when trying to lie the phone on a flat surface, but of course we all know why it is there. It's there to power the camera which I have not had much time with yet, but I will update on the photography features at a later date.

I won't be writing a review of this phone as that would be silly so late in the game, but I will have a shot at comparing it to the competition in terms of hardware and software. A Galaxy S5 is also sat on my desk and I must say that in the short time I have played with it, I have been completely nonplussed by the experience. It feels like every Galaxy that has come before it albeit with some improved specs and there really is little to like in my opinion. Sometimes phones need to be about the emotions they bring out and the 1020 does a much better job of clinging to me than the S5, and dare I say it the 5s.

There are problems, lots of little issues that make transferring content a pain, and lots of misses in terms of apps, but if you are willing to bend there is a lot to like here. I'm going to take my time with this one and see if I can find enough advantages over the 5s to make me think hard. The better screen and sound quality are the first two I spotted, but there is a long way to go and so we will see what happens.

One thing I am sure of is that Microsoft is on a roll at the moment in many different areas and that things are starting to bunch up in the smartphone market in particular. It is still all about Apple and Samsung (Google?), but I for one would like to see a third contender doing some damage and first impressions of the Lumia 1020 and Windows Phone 8.1 suggest that many of the building blocks are already in place and working well. More another day...

... / ... Read more...

(18/04/2014 @ 21:49)
The longest app?  View ?

What app have you used regularly for the longest time? I had to think about this and I believe it to be Pocket Money which I have used for at least 4 years now every single day.

... / ... Read more...

(17/04/2014 @ 04:00)
Mac Desks  View ?

Nice desks and all that, but I am convinced I would likely hate most of the people who work this way. It suggests more of a focus on the look than what actually happens on the keyboard. In other words, false.

... / ... Read more...

(17/04/2014 @ 03:00)
The 1648 emoticon  View ?

A dedicated poetry reader appears to have discovered a smiley face in a poem from 1648, a find that would extend the pre-history of the emoticon back by about 200 years.

Editor Levi Stahl, publicity manager for the University of Chicago Press, was taking in some poems by Robert Herrick when he noticed a rather unusual typographic formation in the second line of the poem "To Fortune."... More at The Atlantic.

Not completely convinced, but sort of impressed.

... / ... Read more...

(16/04/2014 @ 18:13)
The subscription society  View ?

What if you only had to pay for coffee once a month? With a new app, there's a way to do that. Called Cups, the app sells monthly subscriptions for unlimited coffee from a few dozen independent coffee shops around New York City. $45 a month gets you as much brew, drip, filter, pour-over, and filter coffee as you can handle. Tea's included too. If you need espresso (and who doesn't?) the subscription jumps up to $85 per month. That gets you any size espresso, americano, cappuccino, latte, macchiato, and iced coffee you want. The only restriction is you have to wait 30 minutes between cups

... / ... Read more...

(16/04/2014 @ 18:08)
The best in the world?  View ?

What phone to you believe to be the best available at this time? The iPhone 5s? Galaxy S5? HTC One (M8)? Let us know and please include your reasons for believing it to be the best.

I am obviously going for the 5s for many different reasons.

... / ... Read more...

(16/04/2014 @ 04:00)
"So, You're Going To Die."  View ?

goingtodie.jpg

You have probably read Kirk's comments on Lost In Mobile and you may have caught his recent interview. Well, click the image above to read a skeptic's guide to mortality which Kirk wrote. So impressive.

... / ... Read more...

(15/04/2014 @ 22:18)
Playing with Windows Phone: part 1  View ?

lumia625.jpg

I have been playing with Windows Phone for the past few days as an experiment to see what has changed, what works and what still doesn't. I fully expected to write an obituary about how the app situation is still dreadful and how the lack of flexibility in the OS still hampers what I can do, but I have come away seeing the OS, and the apps, as the best part of the system. An operating system I much prefer to Android by the way.

My choice of device was a Nokia Lumia 625 (£119 SIM free from Phones 4U) and so I got to work with a budget device which offers a fairly low resolution and minimal(ish) specs.

The setup process is a complete pain in the backside. Signing in with my Microsoft ID to be told that I need to have an 'app' password. Multiple attempts to get Gmail working and then the process of downloading the relevant maps for Nokia Here. I set them off downloading and went away to set something else up. When I went back I was asked if I wanted to resume the maps download- we are in 2014 are we not? Anyway, after a fairly short amount of pain it was all set up and so I could get to playing with Windows Phone.

I really do like it. The sheer simplicity of the calendar, email client and contacts make iOS feel complex at times. The tiles work brilliantly once you have your most needed apps in place and there is never a stutter to be felt. It feels like a grown up OS, it feels considered and it has a lot of merit that the over-flexibility of Android cannot offer. Like iOS, it doesn't feel like a computer that has been shrunk down, it feels like a set of tools that all work in harmony together.

And the I tried to download some apps and immediately found a source of worry. The Flipboard app is not a Flipboard app and there are many other examples of apps that are dodgy to say the least. I don't like that because it immediately knocks my trust and makes me consider purchasing and downloading apps too much. If you want to build a successful app store, you have to create a carefree emotion that lets users spend money, and the Windows Phone store is far from carefree. It is worrying just how many dodgy apps I found in the first 5 minutes and that is something Microsoft has to address. You simply cannot have rip-off apps within 2 taps of entering an app store.

Anyway, I downloaded the official Twitter app, Kindle and some others and am pleased to report that they all worked as expected. They have the visuals of Windows Phone tucked in to all the right places, but manage to retain the goodness that makes them so popular on other platforms.

I will continue this another day, but my initial impressions of Windows Phone are that it is impressive, it is quick and it will suit new users down to the ground. There may indeed come a time when the app situation bites and I cannot find a solution I need, but the OS is moving on nicely and 8.1 looks much better already.

To be continued...

... / ... Read more...

(15/04/2014 @ 04:00)
More 4G use in 6 months than in 8 years  View ?

Since its 4G launch in August 2013, O2 has amassed over one million 4G customers. Those customers used more data in the 4G network

(15/04/2014 @ 03:30)
I always smile  View ?

Whenever I see one of these I smile. Every single time.

(15/04/2014 @ 03:00)
Do you talk to your phone?  View ?

siri.jpg

Siri and so many competing technologies have raised the idea that talking to your phone can save you time and help you to get things done in a much more natural way. The idea is great, but the question remains as to how many people actually use these voice services.
 
So, do you talk to your phone at home, in public and/or when driving? I rarely use Siri because it struggles in the car through noise and I find other methods just as quick.

... / ... Read more...

(14/04/2014 @ 04:00)
Why you should get involved  View ?

whisper.jpg

In fact, THERE'S an even more intriguing line of speculation: what percentage of phone (PDA/slab/whatever) interaction will move to voice command? Nowadays I find it easier to say "Siri set an alarm for 8am" then to fiddle with the clock UI, and sometimes it's nice to dictate a text (though I have to double check -- the text to speech is still pretty dumb and bad at sussing from context) The movie "Her" -- not even talking about the title character, but some of the lesser helpers-- had assistants who could make intelligent decisions about your mail and schedule and what not.

I wonder how far we are from that? In any event, the most interesting moves in the near-medium future will probably be software, not hardware. (And not just reskins of existing UI paradigms ;-)


I'm very much of the same school of thought as you: that telephony is a function, not a form, and that the slab-device I use today is a computer with a telephony function. Telephony can be built into almost anything these days, and so to define something which has telephony functionality as a phone wold end up defining cars, servers and many other things as "phones".


I agree that phone is a function, not a form factor, but for me one of the two biggest changes technology has made for society in the past two decades- rivaled only by the emergence of the internet itself - is that the phone function is now traveling with us, like Captain Kirk's communicator when he beams down to a planet.

That is a MASSIVE change in day to day life, plans can be made and changed on the fly. People can be contacted in real time via voice or text as people, not as "someone who might be at a specific residence at a certain time".

Some of your tricks to get phone like service at your desktop or what not are clever, but not the world changers that ubiquitous cell coverage was.

(And of course smartphones are the convergence of those two biggest changers: phones with us always, PLUS internet)

So, slablike device or no... I say probably yes, just because the electronics kit (antenna, battery, chip) is gonna have some bulk and 2D screens are cheap and useful.


Absolutely! But what you value, it seems, is the ubiquity of communication, and the location-independent nature of it. This is exactly what I mean when I say that telephony is an issue of function.

Is it currently the case that most devices implementing this function are slabs? Yes. Need it be that way? No

... / ... Read more...

(14/04/2014 @ 03:15)
BlackBerry 10: A potential Pheonix?  View ?

All this week, a C|Net Aussie has been trialling a current Blackberry, with 4 daily reviews with video and a final summary.

When I was forced to abandon WinMob / Palm, I did consider Blackberry, but chose Android. Okay, call me

... / ... Read more...

(13/04/2014 @ 11:10)
Reeder 2 for Mac  View ?

Got a Mac? Not happy with the current selection of RSS readers available? Well, you should try the Reeder 2 for Mac Public Beta. It is the best by far.

... / ... Read more...

(13/04/2014 @ 04:00)
  View ?

I suspect we often ask ourselves if gaming can actually get any better in the near future. A quick look at the video above suggests that it surely can, and will.

... / ... Read more...

(13/04/2014 @ 03:30)
(13/04/2014 @ 03:00)
The relationship you have with your phone?  View ?

The above image, tweeted by Fascinating Pictures, popped a question of the day idea into my head.

How would you describe the relationship you have with your phone? I would say that mine has moved from stressful to largely enjoyable these days.

... / ... Read more...

(12/04/2014 @ 04:15)
Virus Shield  View ?

Virus Shield claims it is an antivirus that "protects you and your personal information from harmful viruses, malware, and spyware" and "Improve the speed of your phone," and it does this all with one click. It also claims to have a minimal impact on battery, run seamlessly in the background, and if that wasn't enough, it also acts as ad-block software that will stop those "pesky advertisements." This app costs $3.99, has been on the Play Store for just under two weeks and has already had 10,000 downloads with a 4.5 star review from 1,700 people. 2,607 people hit the Google "recommend" button. This means that the app must be doing something right... right?

Unfortunately for the buyers, Android Police has discovered that all the app does is change a red "X" graphic to a red "check" graphic. Literally. The 859kb app doesn't protect, secure, or scan anything. More work went into the Settings menu than the actual "security" portion of the app, and it appears that thousands of users have been scammed out of their money... More at Neowin.

It's good that the app has now been taken down, but seriously? It says a lot about the trust most users put in official stores that they are prepared to recommend apps based on no real evidence, unless the ratings were scammed as well.

For a less sympathetic view of the Virus Shield mess, go to this podcast and jump to the 33:16 point. Agree with him or not, he has the most amazing laugh.

... / ... Read more...

(12/04/2014 @ 04:00)
Apple just banned our ads...  View ?

bloom.jpg

Apple just banned our ads because we're "a competitive service to iTunes Radio and it is against Apple policy" We must be big time now ;) Tweet by Bloom.fm.

So, why doesn't Apple just remove the app if it is going to use the 'similar' rule? Or, even better, why doesn't Apple just let the market decide which is best and stop playing these silly games?

... / ... Read more...

(12/04/2014 @ 03:30)
The ear  View ?

This rather presupposes that there is a

... / ... Read more...

(11/04/2014 @ 04:00)

Last import : 19/04/2014 @ 17:21

 
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