So overall, I really like the Nokia 920. It is a great phone and despite some little issues it has worked really well. However, there is one thing that Windows Phone 8 (WP8) does horribly wrong in regards to it’s music player and it truly boggles the mind. Playlists.
You would think that something as simple as managing and creating playlists easily would be a feature that one would expect as a given on today’s smartphones. I would use the term “afterthought” for this on WP8, however that would imply that someone actually put any thought into this at all. It is one of those things where you simply ask yourself “Who was in that meeting? Who thought that would be a good idea?” Is this a huge issue? Of course not, since you can listen to music and you can listen to playlists. It is just one of those things that are so basic that it just makes you go crazy that they screwed it up so bad.
Here is the problem:
So lets say you want to make a playlist. So you think you could just go to your list of songs, select them and create a play list right? Wrong. There is no simple way to create or edit a playlist. Here is what you have to do in order to create a playlist.
- Play a song
- While that song is playing, search for other songs, select them, and select “Add to now playing”. Which apparently is a hidden playlist that you can never see or edit.
- Then you go to the song that is playing and choose “save as playlist”
- Type in the name of the playlist and save it
But what if you want to edit that playlist? Remove or add one song. Too bad. You have to do the process above again and save over that existing playlist or create a new one. May not seem so bad, but try managing your music this way or creating a quick playlist for the gym for example. Also, if you happen to mis-touch on one of the songs and it plays instead of being selected. Well, you have to start the process all over again.
If WP8 really wants to compete with Android and iOS phones, it really needs to do the simple things right. If it can’t, then the Windows Mobile franchise will go the way of the Palm Pilot.
Someone please correct me if I am wrong about not being able to fix/change any of the following “issues” I ran into.
I am a user of skype, so naturally I installed the app on my Nokia Lumia 920. The app is nice and works well. However, one thing I noticed immediately is that WP8 seems to make any Skype contact the main contact record of that person.
Example: If I have a contact for Bruce Smith on my phone via Exchange or other service, but I happen to have his name as “Bubba” on my Skype, guess what name pop’s up when he calls, texts, or emails? Thats right, Bubba shows up.
I use Skype 99.999% of the time as a chat client for colleagues and friends. Seldom to I use it to make actual calls. So I tend not to put full contact details in my Skype contact list, nor do I make sure they are up to date. I am also more “playful” with the nicknames.
I use my Exchange/Outlook Address book as gospel. I make sure my contacts are always up to date and named appropriately. As an overview, this still should not be a problem since I would know the nicknames of the people on my contact list. However, this was not the actual problem, just the example.
The actual problem was that I had a contact in skype who actually had a place holder email and phone number a long time ago, which has since went to someone else. I never changed this in skype, because as I said earlier, I do not really care. When I chat, I just changed the display name. However, when this person called and texted me today it came up with the other person’s name.
So, again no big deal right? Just go into your contacts, sorry, I mean “People”, and change the contact info? Nope. As WP8 will tell you “You cannot change or delete skype contacts on your phone” Lame issue #1.
Hmm. I guess I can just tell my phone to not use Skype contacts and uncheck the box. That should work right? Wrong again. Lame issue #2
Ok, I can roll with that, I guess. So I will just simply go into my Skype client and delete the contact. This way it will not be on my phone any longer. Nope. Did that the contact sill remained on my phone even after waiting about an hour and two restarts. Lame issue #3
The fix? I had to uninstall Skype on my phone and then re-install it. Only after I did that did the contact disappear. Lame issue #4
It is things like this that makes me think “who in the meeting decided this way of workflow for contacts on WP8 was a good idea?” Whoever you are, you need to be fired or transferred to the Vista Dev team at MSFT. Horrible idea. Simple fix would be to let you DELETE OR EDIT ANY DETAILS OF ANY CONTACT YOU WANT or not integrate skype contacts by default OR let me choose which contact source I want to be my primary.
Oh, btw this is totally a FWP (First World Problem), and I am well aware there are more serious issues in the world. I just do not happen to work with any of them. Merry Christmas!
It has now been over 24 hours since I moved from my iPhone running iOS to the Nokia Lumia 920 running WindowsPhone 8 (WP8).
First the Good:
I love the speed and responsiveness of the touch interface. There is no lag at all whenever I am typing or switching applications. I am becoming a fan of the WP8 “Live Tile” interface, though I was not at first. I like that I can make each tile small, large, or wide to suit my needs. Just like with Android, I am fan of being able to customize my phone UI. Which you cannot do with the iPhone.
Wireless charging. You get a free “charge pad” when you buy the 920. This allows me to just lay the phone on the pad for it to charge. It is really hard to plug in a cable to charge? No. But it is great to just put my phone down on my night stand without have to mess with cables. Purely just a convenience.
Native Apps. These are by far the most superior native apps on any smartphone I have used. The email client, messaging, chat, maps, etc… are beautiful and work great. The maps are better than the new Apple Maps, but are not as good as google’s maps. Close, but just not there yet. If you happen to be in an exchange environment then there is nothing better (in my opinion of course). Of course the Gmail client worked great as well. Also, Nokia’s free apps are quite cool. The PhotoBeamer app is fun and allows you to display any photo you have on your phone to any other smart phone.
Battery life so far has been great. I have been talking, texting, watching videos, web browsing and the battery has responded well. This of course will change over time, but I am very happy with it.
Web browsing. This is a far superior experience than other smartphones I have used. Websites come in fast and are quick to render. I was really surprised by this as IE is my least favorite browser to use.
iTunes sync. This is where one of the drawbacks of being a flower in Apple’s walled garden for long comes into play. All my music and photos are in the AppleSphere known as icloud. So I was beyond happy when I found out that Mac has a WP app tht allows me to easily sync my music and other media to my phone. Worked fast and correct the first time I used it.
Camera and Video. These work well and are just as good as it’s counterparts.
Autocorrect. I had my share of “damn you autocorrect!” experiences on the iPhone, and I am happy to not have to deal with them anymore. The WP8 autocorrect is not overly sensitive and really allows me to type faster with less errors. This is a huge plus.
Now for the bad:
3rd Party Apps. Ugh, this is where my experiment with Android went bad. That and the fact that my phone never received the new OS updates. Lack of 3rd party app support is what will kill a smartphone. This is where apple is KING. There is nothing better than the Apple AppStore. Nothing. If MSFT could only get over that hurdle I could see myself staying with the WP8 long term.
A lot of the apps I used are there, Facebook, WordPress, twitter, etc.. However, my bank does not have an app, starbucks, 8×8, and some other services do not have any apps. Can I survive with out these? Sure. But, I do wish they were there. I hope that the WP8 dev community will grow, but time will tell. Right now, this is a big negative, at least for me, about the phone.
Size. The size of the phone is more than what I like and what I am used to. It is not a big negative and honestly it is better for videos. However, I do miss the iPhone form factor.
Overall, I can point out far more good items than bad ones, so I am happy with the change. The Nokia Lumia 920 has so far been the best smartphone experience I have had with the iPhone being a close second. Android is getting close, but the fragmentation is really what will keep Google from reaping it’s possible rewards.
I recently received this question as part of an overall comment on one of my other posts regarding VoIP. The short of answer is you never know for sure. All we can do as IT Professionals is make the best possible decision based on the information we have at the time. This is where doing the proper Due Diligence is key. Looking at the technology, looking at references, looking at history, revenue, etc… all help in making the “right” decision. True, it’s possible that 8×8 can turn into another Vocalocity, but I doubt it. It’s also possible that Vocalocity will become better than 8×8, but I doubt that as well.
Having cut our teeth so to speak on Hosted VoIP with Vocalocity, it gives me a better appreciation of how VoIP providers differ. I can say from using both providers that my experience with 8×8 has been so much more positive that I hate the fact I didn’t switch earlier. The point is you really never know until you have hands on experience with these services. And any service provider worth anything that claims their service is better will let you try it out first. Free of charge. 8×8 did that for us, but Vocalocity did not. I also go by the emails I still get from current and ex Vocalocity customers who had the same problems I did. To this day I have yet to receive an email from anyone that has been happy with their service. Does this mean there aren’t any happy customers? Of course not, but again that is all part of the overall decision process when choosing a provider. You use the information you have.
The day of iCloud.com and iOS5 is now here. I have just went through the steps and have put screenshots. I did this process on my MBP using OS X Lion using Safari. You either need OS X Lion (Current Build) or an iOS5 device.
First part is going to iCloud.com and putting in your MobileMe login information.
If you already have not updated your MobileMe on Lion then you will get a pop-up to “Get Started” in order to move your account. This will take you to the MobileMe account with custom URL with /Move. Login in again with your MobileMe account information and it will give you another pop up to setup MobileMe on OS X (Providing you have not done this).
After this has been done, the migration process will begin.
Like most everyone else in the TechnoSphere, I am saddened by the recent passing of one of the greatest visionaries and technology pioneers of our time. Love him or hate him, he had the greatest impact of any one person during the computer age from 76′ to present. He changed the way people used and looked at technology. From the Apple I to the iPad, he truly had a vision for our interactions with technology. Hopefully Apple will honor his memory by continuing to operate in the same way that it did while he was at the helm. Techcrunch posted a FB status update with one of his quotes that I think rings the most true about how he lived.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
I have had a few weeks now to finally get into the iCloud Beta and I can sum it up in one simple word; Awesome. This long overdue feature allows you to sync Music, TV Shows, Apps, and Books between your OS X Lion and your updated iOS devices (see below).
Now when I purchase a song, book, app, or show on an iCloud enabled device it will automatically (if you so desire) download to your other enabled devices (see below).
I like how simple this was and the fact I no longer have to transfer purchases from my iPad & iPhones to my various Mac computers. It really does unite the Apple family of products into a seamless and online sharing architecture. As a long time MobileMe user, I am excited about to see how Apple’s iCloud evolves.