Archive for windows

I’m an artist and respectively, I was wrong about Windows Phone

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2013 by flyingsources

A few months ago now I wrote a post about how after being with Windows Phone for a while, I realized it wasn’t for me. There were many factors I took in play for this conclusion but now there’s an update to my conclusion.

My choices were based off of other motives where I really wanted the ability to try other OS’s and partially because I was getting somewhat bored. I set out to sell my Lumia 920 (which I miss now lol) and found someone who wanted one in exchange for a Nexus 4. I took the plunge and did the swap. The reason for the Nexus 4 Android device was mainly for the fact that I could run a new smartphone OS in development on it. This OS is Ubuntu Touch. Over the time I spent with Android/Ubuntu, I learned a lot and it was a fun experience as it should be when trying something else out. I wasn’t new to Android but I was new to Ubuntu Touch although it was and still is in a development preview version. Using Android was fun, and playing with Ubuntu Touch was fun as well. UT has a lot of potential in my opinion. It’s like a mini version of Ubuntu desktop on your phone. You can even run the terminal to update software etc, which is pretty impressive. Android is, well, Android. It has its pros, but many of us know it has its cons. After playing with Ubuntu/Fedora on my desktop for this time period, I wanted more “stability”. Don’t get me wrong, Linux is awesome. Ubuntu is getting more and more popular with new features that others seem interested in implementing as well. Fedora was awesome too but there was something missing for me personally. I never had any security issues with either Linux platform on my laptop. Dealing with where I should focus my development/programming priorities is very important to me as well. Summed up, I felt the urge to put Windows 8 back on my laptop. I really fits me better. There are huge benefits with using a Linux based, open sourced platform as well though. But I can always install whichever Linux platform alongside (with a much smaller partition) Windows if I ever feel the need to, so we’ll see where that goes for me in the future.

Now back to Ubuntu Touch. They have a long way to go still. The OS and its functionality is very unique. The UI and the UX (hopefully I correctly understand the differences by now lol) are reminiscent of the desktop Unity format but there are still missing points to me. It just feels empty. This could be because it’s still being worked on, but as videos and demos show a more finalized version of it, it still doesn’t appeal to me. So after flashing Ubuntu Touch onto my Nexus 4 about 3-4 times, I decided to move elsewhere. I played with and learned about Firefox OS, which my favorite feature is the impressive fact that the entire phone OS is built off of the web with HTML5. Everything from the settings of the phone to the web apps. This is going to be great for those in other countries where it’s hard to find affordable smartphones, also since Firefox OS phones are planned to be very, very affordable. There are drops in the Firefox OS world of apps though. Yes, they’re just web apps and that is awesome but they are also laggy, unresponsive at times and for the most part, you need an internet connection for them to function at all. I wish them both the best of success.

I started to look more into Jolla’s mission with Sailfish OS, which is truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen. More appealing to the eye and very simple to use. I was looking to get a Nokia N9 to play with MeeGo, which I have heard from my fellow-writers at Nokia Innovation, it’s a legend. The MeeGo smartphone OS is the forefather of the upcoming Sailfish OS. They have a lot of similarities, except it looks to me that Sailfish is just more polished.

I had the opportunity to either get a Nokia N9 for $175 in great condition or a Nokia Lumia 521 for $130. My family and I are in a real bind right now, being unemployed with two children so you gotta do what you gotta do, so I went with the Lumia 521, with no real desire to come back to Windows Phone. I met the guy and talked him down to $100 due to other deals online and ever since I’ve had that phone in my hand, I’m happy. Aside from the awesome Windows Phone/Windows/Nokia community worldwide, this device in itself is perfect for me right now.

First things first, I had to learn that no phone will be ultimately perfect, ever.

Each OS and Manufacturer will have their cons, but what matters is how much the pros add up, for you. They each have their pros as well, obviously.

This Lumia 521 is the best device and Windows Phone you can buy for that price tag to get the most out of. I had a Lumia 810, Lumia 820, Lumia 822 and Lumia 920 and this little Lumia 521 can work just as hard. Pictures come out beautiful outside in the light, since it doesn’t have flash for the camera. It also doesn’t have a front facing camera, but 99% of the time, I never used a front camera. It has a 5 MP camera but still has Nokias camera technology built in (though it’s not Carl Zeiss). Like I said, pictures come out great, videos even better, music is crisp and loud, I have a lot of apps downloaded that I use and still have enough space left.

Simply put, Windows Phone and Windows is a breath of fresh air again, especially WP8 since I use a smartphone for most of my work etc. I was tired of having to constantly kill background tasks with Android among other issues. The battery on this Lumia 521 honestly lasts much longer than my Nexus 4. Windows Phone is simple, clean, effective and though it’s still young, it has come far and I’m sure has a bright future. So I’m excited to get back on the ship and continue my learning of Windows Phone development, Windows 8 development and might work on Sailfish OS development too in the future.

I’d like to thank all of my friends on twitter, Nokia Employees/Ambassadors/Devs/Fans and WinPhans etc, for all of their help, support and love for the welcome back! Let’s do this!!

“I’m an artist and accordingly, Windows Phone is not for me”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2013 by flyingsources

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Hi, my name is Rafael. In fall of 2010, I got my first smartphone. It was an iPhone 3gS. I loved it because it was new and I never had anything like it before. I didn’t have enough smartphone experience to compare it to other devices of the time so it was the best I knew. As time went on I eventually was able to get a Nexus S in the summer of 2011. By that point it was tired of the hoopla of Apple and frustrated with how the OS of iOS functioned including the flaws of the iTunes Apple store. Android was a strong fit due to its customization capabilities though I was a novice still in experience and this led me to get an Apple iPhone 4. After using it daily for a while I was set that the functionality of iOS was not only not for me but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Then I turned back to Android and obtained the Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket. I learned more about the way the open sourced Android experience worked and started rooting it and adding custom ROMs which was very fun and saw how it really was a computer in a phone. I then went with another Android, the Google Nexus. Things were going awesome and I was learning more and more from this version of open source powerhouse smartphones. Then came along something new and somewhat familiar since I’ve pretty much always had a PC, Windows Phone. The first time I saw a Windows Phone displayed in front of an AT&T store, I gagged. I thought to myself how ugly of a interface though I couldn’t judge it without trying it first. So as time passed by I tried out the HTC Radar in the early fall of 2012. I loved that although it was so compact, its Operating System, Windows Phone 7, was like a breath of fresh air. And for a little 5MP camera, I got some amazing photos with that little beast. The build was also very solid and I liked its two-toned design with the white and metal style. But I wanted more. I then worked my way up and got a Lumia 900 cyan. This device is not only beautiful to the eyes but Nokia knew what they were doing alongside Microsoft’s OS, with their awesome apps, services and support. What lead me to Windows Phone as well was the preview of Windows 8 I installed on my Windows 7 laptop months before the release of Windows 8 in its finalized version. The design and fluidity was so smooth and appealing and heck, it even boosted up my once slow and boring Windows 7 laptop immensely. This was the first time where I ever considered App Development and Microsoft along with Nokia has TONS of assistance and programs for those who want to develop for Windows Phone and the prior for Windows 8. After playing with the Nokia Lumia 900, I wanted a Windows Phone 8 device once they were announced so I searched and searched Craigslist nearby and found a brand new, unused Windows Phone 8X by HTC for only $200. So I jumped on that quickly! The night I got the HTC 8X, I reset it to start from the beginning with the set up since I ran through it the first time with the seller to make sure all was functional etc. Well after that reset, the 8X broke on me with the Gears of Death spinning and spinning out of control. I literally had it for an hour when it decided to screw up. I was more than distraught, I was without any phone now. Gladly, the 8X still had repair warranty covered by HTC which I found out once I called their support team. The worst part is that I was without any phone for over a month, checking every day for the shipment of my device. I marked HTC off of the list for this, especially because their customer support was as reliable as someone who had no idea what they were doing……::wink wink:: 🙂 This was most likely in regards to their concern for their line of Windows Phones since they primarily focus on their Android devices for support and advertisement which is beyond evident. During this waiting period, Nokia was generous and helpful enough to let me trial a Nokia Lumia 810 which was great and exciting! Although it wasn’t the flagship of Windows Phones in general, it had Windows Phone 8 software on it and was a good look into the new world of Windows Phone software. Once I finally got my HTC 8X back from HTC’s repair department, I sold it and bought a Nokia Lumia 822 which comes unlocked though it’s featured under Verizon’s Windows Phone 8 devices. It was a better fit due to it’s price range and internal memory, among other features. I worked around to getting a Lumia 820 for its body customization and then was able to get the big daddy, the Nokia Lumia 920. During this time I also got a Windows 8 laptop and starting digging into Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 App development. Problem was due to my resources and hardware, I was unable to take advantage of all it offered and time was an issue in regards to learning how to program. So to bring this all up to date, after dabbling with Ubuntu in the past on my old laptop, I was attracted to Ubuntu Touch which is their mobile OS that functions basically identical to the free Ubuntu computer OS software they offer. I installed recently Ubuntu 12.10 on my Windows 8 laptop and let me tell you it was one hell of a difference. To open Windows 8 programs and apps, it would take minutes sometimes and sometimes wouldn’t even open but stay there and I would just close them. I personally also found development learning as a beginner to be a burdensome task although I was given many resources by Microsoft and Nokia for free. I felt the loads of tutorials, webinars, app labs etc, were not for beginners because they were missing step by step instructions instead of just running through a few demos to do a basic program for something. After installing Ubuntu 12.10 and seeing not only how much faster and efficient it was running on my Windows 8 laptop, I also learned of how EASY it is to develop for Ubuntu and open source Apps in general, such as Android as well. That sold me alone. Then I installed Ubuntu along side Windows 8 on the laptop and to this day haven’t had the need to run Windows 8 at startup of the PC. I’m in love. This is what I’ve been looking for and what caters to me and dammit, I have the right to go for what I find appealing in the tech world. Now that I’ve summed up by smartphone history as detailed and as brief as possible, I now want to go into my own opinions about Window 8/Windows Phone in general.

Windows Phone 7/8:

Development:

  • Not enough beginner documentation/tutorials, making it very difficult for beginners and those who’s time is limited.

  • Limitations also regarding hardware, software and $$

  • PRO: Lots of programs for those that already know development to some extent, though don’t look to HTC for any Windows Phone development assistance or programs; they just don’t care.

 

App Problem:

 

  • This of coarse is up to developers but also in regards to companies putting their apps into the Marketplace and Windows Phone store.

  • I understand completely when someone doesn’t want a Windows Phone due to their lack of apps that other platforms have. And if there is an alternative to such app for Windows Phone, 90% barely funtion at all.

  • Books, that’s a major missing feature for Windows Phone that I love. Google has that covered with Google books, HANDS DOWN.

 

Customization:

 

  • Tiles get boring. Very fast. Sure, you can NOW change the size to 3 choice sizes and their colors but nothing else. Windows Phone is not a computer in your smartphone, no matter what anyone says. It’s only a Windows 8-esqe start screen OS for smartphones.

  • Live tiles is a smart concept, it really is. But it’s lacking. The live counts are set up by the user (if they work correctly) and do not come natural. I personally rather have a notification bar above like Android has where I can adjust any settings or view my notifications without leaving what I’m doing behind to go digging for things in the settings like in Windows Phone for example. The list goes on and on.

 

 

OPEN SOURCE:

 

  • The biggest flaw of Windows Phone OS. This is the main source of issues with the OS, in my opinion. That’s enough to say about that.

 

 

I have to mention though that Nokia is the ONLY thing keeping Windows Phone alive. They know what they’re doing with their exclusive apps, services and device hardware. The Lumia 920 is by far the strongest, most durable smartphone I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning. And it’s camera is one of the best if not The Best. Aside from the camera specifics though, I don’t find it entirely necessary in a smartphone. You can always get a nice camera that’s gonna be better than even the Nokia Lumia 920. And although, Nokia is the “saving grace” of Windows Phone, Windows Phone is still declining in sales even with Nokia’s success. I’d LOVE to see Nokia put their hardware and software in a boiling pot along with an open source OS like Android or Ubuntu etc, and see what happens. I believe it can only be VERYGOOD.

So, with all of this said. I’ve met lots of great people with my journey involving Windows/Windows Phone and I hope for it to stay that way, but I’m going with what is easier and better for me. So farewell to Windows Phone and hello again there Android/Ubuntu/Open Source sweetness. 🙂 It’s been fun, but it’s about to get more exciting now. Thank you to everyone that has helped.