iphone / mobileNo Comments
21
Sep 13

Nokia Lumia 1020: The Windows Phone experiment and why I am not keeping it

The Lumia 1020 is a great device. I am also going to try and return it.

The camera is awesome. The operating system is really nice. In my opinion Windows Phone is in many areas superior to iOS 6 and probably looks better than iOS 7.  There are a lot of smart features (People app), and on the Lumia 1020 the terrific screen and fantastic camera make it a very compelling, high quality device.

There are unfortunately several things that together make this a device that falls short for my needs.

  1. Email and Calendar – While my micro-business uses Office 365 and I still stick with Outlook on both the Mac and Windows, Windows Phone’s email app is just good. The fact you cannot reply to an email in the quoted section, that you must have meeting attendees in your contacts list – are both mindless and disappointing.
  2. Facetime-equivalent – Skype is a great app. I could not get it to video-conference properly with iOS (which my family uses) and as such, it’s a knock on the phone.
  3. Photo syncing – So you have a terrific camera. There is no way to get the full-resolution files off the camera without a sync to your computer. Yes, 12MB per photo is a lot but WiFi can do that. Furthermore, this would have been easier if the Windows Phone app – on Mac or PC – was better. You can either fully sync the device (bi-directionally, mind you) or pick files. I am fine picking files, but you cannot even pick photos – it’s a file list which you cannot sort by date. Luckily the file names have the date in them but is this 2013 or 1989?
  4. Apps – yes. There are too few of them. While there are great ones – 6tag, the People app (again), and there many apps that were ported to the device, you are not where things are happening. There is no Dropbox (you can use Microsoft Skydrive or a very decent API client like Filebox) or YouTube, or a decent web video player. The new-new is not on Windows Phone.
  5. Too many photo apps – Difficult to knock on the phone with the best camera period but there are too many apps there to make it a seamless experience.
  6. Mobile web – Internet Explorer on Windows Phone is more than perfectly decent. It’s actually pretty good. But again – mobile sites don’t necessarily aim to support mobile IE. They normally gear to support the HTML5 Safari likes, and since this is not Safari, things are a bit subpar.
  7. Windows Phone – Microsoft shows it wants to support Windows Phone by acquiring Nokia. But how long is Windows Phone 8 going to be supported? Is the 1020 going to be upgradable (a la Apple) or is it going to be dumped on an older OS (Lumia 800 anyone)? And now there’s talk Windows RT will make its way to phones. Windows Phone is great, but certainty would have helped and Microsoft, with a new CEO coming and god knows what changes, is not making matters clear.

If I did not need the best email and calendaring possible, have a family with lots of Facetime users and were taking many many more photos than I do now, I would keep it. But right now, I don’t think it is the right companion for the next couple of years. I love you but…


17
Sep 13

Nokia Lumia 1020: First week’s impressions of Windows Phone

CN Tower at night

The CN Tower in Toronto, shot at night without flash on Nokia Lumia 1020

It has now been a week since I got the Nokia Lumia 1020.
The phone feels great in your hand.
The photos are very good.
You do feel like you live on an island.

Windows Phone is still a novelty.

I love the flat design and once you get its implementation of panels, its interface seems more fluid than iOS’ dependency on tabs. The user interface’s fit and finish are polished and smooth, nothing like the noisy bumpy experience on Android.

I am what I believe is an enterprise user.
I need impeccable email and calendar experience, as close as you would get in Outlook (however frustrating it is sometimes). Windows Phone is not there. It is smooth, but close (see gripes below). Microsoft can and should improve on this, but who do you talk to in order to ask?

Presently, with a week left for me to return the phone, I am swaying between keeping it and getting the new iPhone 5s. Below are some of the impressions I gathered over the last week.

Continue reading →

Posted from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


14
Aug 12

HTML5 Date Element: Mobile Browser Support Snapshot

The HTML5 date element is an especially great addition in the mobile world. It triggers native controls, built for mobile devices, instead of forcing the developer to come up with a normally-complex solution. Support was not there for a while but apparently things are improving as of late.

For example:

iOS 5.1 Safari

Screen shot of HTML5 date field on iOS 5.1 Safari browser

Android 4.x Chrome:

HTML5 date element in Android 4.x Chrome Browser

But sadly, the native Android 4.x browser is not compatible.

Android 4.x Browser's rendering of the HTML5 date element

I say, use it!

Posted from Westborough, Massachusetts, United States.