Archive for the ‘windows phone’ Category

In Love…Finally

“You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince” 

― E.L. JamesFifty Shades of Grey

CortanaRemember my “hot new boyfriend,” the Nokia 920 Windows phone? If not, here‘s the link to my budding romance for a refresher. Windows Phone and I got together about 4 months ago, and it hasn’t been a bad relationship, but there were things about him that left me wanting more. Well, he decided it was time for an upgrade; not that anyone should change for anyone else, and I think of this as a lifestyle change that he wanted to do. Since the upgrade I have fallen head over heels in love. Everyone said I would, but I wanted to play with these new features myself — hands-on. Admittedly, installing the 8.1 developer preview took a lot longer than I expected (a couple of hours), but I was patient and it was so worth the wait.


Here’s why I fell in love:

  1. Notification Center: my last boyfriend (Android on an S3) had notifications, and I didn’t realize how much I depended on that little feature until I didn’t have it anymore.
  2. Quiet Hours: OMG…I love this!!! The phone goes quiet except for who/what I allow during the time I sleep, or should be sleeping. As a parent, I need to have my phone with me at all times for the kids, and when they are at sleepovers or just out, I need to be reachable. In the past I would leave the sounds and vibrate on and the phone would disrupt my sleep. I don’t recall if my S3 had this, but I don’t care, I have it now.
  3. My Commute: Day 1 and this app was dead on. It warned me first thing that my commute was going to be longer than normal; it was right! It was right and Google maps with traffic was wrong.
  4. Cortana: I liked the voice recognition on my S3 and it worked pretty well, but Cortana puts the S3 app to shame. She’s funny, tells me jokes, tells me what’s scheduled for my day, and makes phone calls when I ask her to do so. If Cortana was a real person, I could fall for her!
  5. Podcasts: It’s a little thing, but I live with podcasts and it was a pain using a limited app. Now, I just subscribe and voila, the podcast is downloaded. Again… I know its a little thing, but it was something I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I had it again.

And that is just 24 hours after the transformation. I know there are other features that I’m going to love. Hopefully one of those features is syncing media wirelessly. I hope to spend some more quality time with my new-and-improved lover over the next few days, and see what else he can do to deepen our relationship.

50 Shades Darker…the email saga continues

Hot New Boyfriend

Hot New Boyfriend

Today is my three-week anniversary with my new boyfriend, Nokia Windows Phone. I have to admit, it was hard for me to let go of Google S3, whom I dearly loved. If I stopped counting how many times I have almost physically lost control of Windows Phone, I think we’d be a pretty hot couple. But it took time for us to connect; it was a slow “awkward first date at the movies” type of relationship before we could truly become in sync on a deeper level. If you aren’t aware, I have had a serious love affair with Google for many years now. I’m not going to get into the tawdry details of this relationship; but if you want to know how I fell deeply in love with Gmail, and then why I considered leaving Google for someone a little bit more grown-up, see my blog post here.

I knew I needed to give Nokia Windows Phone a chance since I started working at Microsoft as a contractor, and I must confess, I put it off. Google held me captive, and I really didn’t mind. Gmail knew everything I did, where I was going, and even provided ads based on my search and browsing history. I never had to ask him for anything: he always anticipated my wants and needs. But the relationship was becoming too controlling, and when I wanted to access my corporate accounts via my S3, he was reluctant to let me, and that was my breaking point. I’m not saying this was Gmail’s fault, it really wasn’t, but it was enough to make me realize how controlling and one-sided my relationship had become. I tried staying with Gmail, but my love for Microsoft’s hot collaboration characteristics (I mean have you seen Exchange, calendar, and Lync?) was growing each day. I couldn’t stop dreaming about these forbidden features, and every day I had to go without them. While out of the office (which is a lot of the time), my feelings for Google and my S3 waned. Learning the nuances of my new phone has been a little trying at times, but this new relationship is making me realize how dysfunctional my Gmail one was. So after three weeks with Windows Phone, here are my thoughts:

1. I love the screen. For us mature ladies, it’s clear and easy to read.

2. The camera rocks. I even think it’s better than the camera in my S3.

3. Integration with the office. This is what pushed me to explore new relationships. I can do anything I need related to office communication with my phone. He’s as good as I dreamed it would be.

4. Easy to use. For the most part it was easy to setup and start using. It didn’t take long before I got familiar with the settings.

5. Car connectivity. This is hands-down the biggest bonus of Windows Phone. He seamlessly connects to my car; and even reads me my messages and plays the music I like.

As my favourite daytime talk show host always says: you will never change another person. Bearing that in mind, I know I will either have to live with the following quirks or move on.

1. Lack of apps! I knew this was going to be an issue going into the relationship, but I didn’t realize how much I depend on those apps; and I’m not just talking about Angry Birds or Candy Crush, I’m talking maps, music, podcasts, time tracking, etc. This has been the biggest struggle for me by far.

2. The extra swipes to get to where I need to be. I think this is just something I need to get used to. The lack of “screens” bothers me. S3 had one screen for “work”, one for “games”, one for “kids”, one for “settings”, etc., and I could easily and quickly get to where I needed to be. With Windows Phone, it seems to require more effort to get to the same place.

3. Lack of notifications. S3 had a notification bar along the top that let me know all that was incoming. As far as I can tell, Windows Phone doesn’t have this feature, and I have to enter my password and actually glance at the screen to see where the indicators are.

4. Lack of app consistency. Again, this is a small thing, but it really bothers me. I keep my Facebook newsfeed pretty clean. No offense to some of my friends, but I block specific notifications requests, etc. to reduce the amount of stuff that comes across my feed. On my Dell Venue 8 Windows Pro, the Facebook app continues to follow those rules, but on my phone, I see everything. At this point I rarely check FB on Windows Phone because the feed is so full of clutter.

My final thoughts… Yes, I’m going to stay with Windows Phone for the time being. I like the independence and I don’t feel like Gmail has complete control over my life. I’m not completely in love with my new phone, but there are warm and fuzzy feelings. He’s a good solid phone (quite literally), and reminds me very much of my Blackberry: down to earth, no nonsense, and dependable. At least Windows Phone is way sexier than my old Blackberry boyfriend will ever be – I even got a hot red case to show how committed I am to him.

PS…if anyone knows how to sync music from my computer to the phone without plugging it in, please let me know.

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