Woohoo! I’m just 64 minutes to the 400 hours milestone!
Lumia experience or illuminating Xperia ?
Let the trial begins. Can I jump back to the Android world again? #JumpShipTest #PlusOne #MinusOne #NotPlusOne #NotMinusOne
A couple of weeks ago, I was blessed to be given a week long opportunity to try out the new Sony Mobile flagship product, Xperia Z2. During the trial, I have been “tweeting” about my experience in Instagram (when I have something visual to talk about!), Tweeter (when my takeaway was just 120 characters long!) and Facebook (when I can’t tweet via Instagram nor Tweeter!). Here’s a consolidation of the experience tweets;
First Un-boxing Experience
Z2 retains the DNA of Xperia with the dial like power button, and a dedicated camera button which you can activate the camera function even if your phone is pin locked. Something that I had silently wished for in first Z generation. #PlusOne
Setting up is a breeze. Android has come a long way, but Sony plays a part here #PlusOne
My first gripe of the phone: Z2 uses micro SIM instead of nano. Now I need to buy the adaptor! #MinusOne
I talked about how the dial like power button is Sony DNA, but I didn’t like the lack of tactile feel. #NotPlusOne #NotMinusOne
Sony Mobile has definitely come a long way to make Android phone an end user phone. No doubt Andorid itself, and the likes of Cyanogen, have progressed by leaps and bounds to make the experience less intimidating to technically less inclined end users. Sony Mobile just completes the last piece of the experience puzzle through its layman friendly setup process, simplified but very functional home application and polished applications in Gallery, Video, Mail, Calendar, etc.
Z1, Z2 … more than just different codes
Same but not same #NotMinusOne
On first look, it is not easy to idenitfy which is Z1 and which is Z2. My wife complained that I took her Z1 when I was holding a Z2. There are some subtle differences but generally, its slightly (very very marginal!) lighter, thinner and cleaner (in its design).
The Z2 is clear a winner over Z1, once you look beyond its cosmetic appearance. The screen is a good example. I always feel Xperia Z1 screen is washed out, especially when you place it beside a phone with great display (like the Lumias) and the following photo just proves my point. Good news is Sony had fixed it in Xperia Z2 but that means Xperia Z1 owners would feel shortchanged.
This is how the two screens compare up. No prize for guessing which is Z1 and which is Z2.#PlusOne
Bigger Lumia 1520 vs Better Xperia Z2?
The screen maybe smaller than my 6″ Lumia 1520, but the qwerty keyboard remains functional, even though the keys looks too tiny for my fat thumbs.#PlusOne
I was talking about how the smaller screen in Xperia Z2 remains functional, coming from big screen Lumia 1520. Turns out it’s because of the enhanced autocorrect capability implemented in Xperia Z2. I estimated I have at least 50% of typo mistakes, all thanks to a smaller screen (despite sporting a 5.2″ screen) and my big fat thumbs. Out of which, I estimated 90% of them are auto corrected correctly, even with local terms like kns, wahlao and Tampines! The autocorrect function in Xperia Z2 has this learning feature to learn my past spellings from various sources, including Facebook, Tweeter, Text message and Gmail. Which means you do not need to worry that your Xperia is a strict British English teacher since it can also understand your Singlish lingo. The only gripe I have now is the space bar is too close to the last row of qwerty keys, so I always end up with “v” instead of space. No way the autocorrect function can understand ehatvivwanrvtyped, can it?
Lumia vs Xperia photo shootout #NotPlusOne #NotMinusOne
Xperia Z2, with its exmor lens sensor continues to demonstrate its prowess when taking shot in low light condition. Lumia seems to be under exposed although I would say Xperia overcompensate the dim lighting condition. The former still captures all the details and with its ability to have full control over all the camera settings, from shutter speed to white balance, Lumia 1520 remains comparable if not better than Xperia Z2.
Is this the moment to join the dark side?
Even though speed could deteriorate over times with an overloaded phone, it’s nevertheless a refreshing to experience the fast navigation in Android over Windows Phone. I have to say the useless application animation has to be one of, if not main, culprit in the latter for giving that lag experience. You don’t really feel it’s slow until you get to see a fast one. Just as you think your Honda is fast until you sit in a Ferrari. #PlusOne
The moment one steps into Android world, it’s like as if a kid has walked into a toy megastore, surrounded by all the goodies. You never know how much you have missed out until you experience the richness of apps again, the likes of #smugmug #plex #blackvue #obd2 #PlusOne
So much has been said about the lack of apps in Windows Phone world. I used to think that app is a nice to have if the phone/phone OS maker takes care of the essential functions like PIM, social media like Facebook and Twitter, and a good internet browser that can make up for the lack of internet-based apps. However, doing so implies one is essentially restricted to what the phone maker has to offer. Your phone is as smart as the phone maker is, duh! The lack of apps problem however is probably less a concern to business users, so one man’s meat is another man’s poison!
First test on work productivity passed with flying colours. Exchange email implementation is very seamless as I could access EAL (Enterprise Address List) instantaneously, presumably because of a local instance of the EAL. The experience in fact is much better than Windows Phone for various reasons. Sony must be credited for this as I believe this is not an Android experience. #PlusOne
Second test on work productivity passed! At least for now. PowerPoint can now be viewed without format loss, particular on those that uses complex slide objects or slide animation that are found in newer Office 2013. #PlusOne
My biggest complaint about Android phones in the past has been its amateurish functionality in its office productivity tools such as powerpoint or excel. Even Exchange email and calendar clients were half baked; incomplete or missing Enterprise address lookup feature, calendar appointment sync issue, inability to initiate an invite, etc. Sony Mobile seems to have all these fixed. NB: I stand corrected if these are also fixed in pure Android phones.
No more issues sending an email to an US-based colleague without having to remember his or her name. In Windows Phone, you need to follow the last name first name format in order for the Windows Phone lookup to be able to find the matching contact, but not necessary in case of Xperia Z2. When there are multiple contacts having similar name in the Enterprise Directory, you can’t tell the difference in Windows Phone. In Xperia Z2, I was surprisingly impressed that it could. The other big, if not biggest deal breaker in the past has been Microsoft Office compatibility. I have tried all the Office apps, from Google Office to QuickOffice, but none of them was able to display slides or spreadsheet without format and/or content loss. Miraculously, Microsoft decides to port the their jewel app to Android and iOS recently. This, I think, has to be the key to unlock the door to the dark side!
I had always thought Windows Phone is less efficient in its network data operation, but this video shows otherwise. Again, I think the cursor animation in Wp8 might have created that slow perception. On the otherhand, Microsoft has done a great job in creating that fast experience, probably through a lower resolution thumbnail and caching implementation. #MinusOne
Readability under direct sunlight is next to zero. Disappointing or does anybody knows it’s not turned on? #MinusOne
Z2 haptic feedback still has the same issue as its predecessors, i.e. Z and Z1. I observed that their haptic feedback mechanism is less superior than other makers. As you hit the screen, the vibration effect is not “firm” and “controlled”, as in you feel like the entire screen is vibrating (alittle exaggerating but I hope you get my drift). Its even more obvious if you hit a qwerty key repeatedly. In some instances, such as the lockscreen, it makes input appears to be less responsive. I have to turn off haptic feedback in the lockscreen setting to eliminate the lag. #MinusOne
Had a first significant concern after all the raves and positive experiences so far. The screen was not responsive yesterday, and it was displaying the animated wallpaper. Thinking that the unit must have hung, I instinctively reset the phone by pressing and holding on to the power button (a practice that I always do when Lumia hangs on me). Then the phone restarts, as expected but what follows surprised me. The phone was actually hard reset-ed. All the settings and configurations were lost, and photos and personal files were erased. Something must have happened to cause a system panic and result in a factory reset. Hopefully it’s an isolated case because I have been liking what I had experienced so far till this incident happened. #MinusOne
Xperia Z2 has its quirks, so don’t get away with the impression it is a perfect phone. I have yet to come across one, and this certainly is not. Save the last incident, which I hope its truly an isolated one, those imperfections may not be an issue for those who are not really affected by them, e.g. you don’t use your phone under the sun. In today’s market, this is probably one of the very rare few I would consider if I have to switch over to Android now. The fact that I am ready to jump after a week trial, sums up my favorable opinions about this gem. The only reason why I am holding my move? No it’s not XiaoMi. It has got to be something that #PlusOne, anybody?
RunforFood: Highlights of my 24 months of exercise regiment
Yes, it has been 2 years since I decided that I need to get my act together to get myself back into shape, literally. Peeps who know me personally, know I was athletic when I was younger. Well, not the national level but surely good enough at district level. But I know I need to find the right motivation to get running a sustainable regiment instead of a short moment of enthusiasm. Food becomes my motivation factor, and therefore my mantra, “Run for Food” #irun4food .
My first run was a disaster, but you got to forgive the performance considering that I had not been exercising for at least a decade.
Since then, it has been a regiment to run at least thrice a week. At one period, I just keep on running on alternate days, and when I got injured in 2012, I told myself I had to augment my routine with swimming and cycling, which I did subsequently. 24 months later, I can fairly say that there has been a tremendous progress made, whether it’s physically (8″ slimmer and 15kg lighter), pace and timing (4 min/km faster) or health wise (more focused with fewer MC taken). I did a similar run this morning, through the same route as I did on my first run 24 months ago, and the result was sobering.
I did feel tired towards the end of the run, but hey, I WAS tired from the first second I ran 24 months ago!
Here’s a look back at some of the highlights of my exercise regiment in the last 24 months.
While the motivation of running is so that I can eat in peace, the “side effect” of physically more trimmed is also welcomed. I lost 8″ of waistline, and more than 15kg worth of calories. It could be more, if not for my lack of diet control, but I am not complaining. That said, I am more selective with my diet choice though, the food has to be worth my hard earned calories for me to ask for extra serving.
One of my goals is to complete a 20km run before end of 2013. While there is still 15 days before the year end, it is highly unlikely I can last that kind of distance considering the state of my ankles at the moment. I probably could do a mix of run and walk to achieve that goal, but I want to challenge that goal with a consistent pace. In the end, the farthest I can achieve is a 16km run, 4km shy of my target, unless miracle happens in the next 2 weeks.
One of the things I try to do is keep my exercise regiment in all circumstances, such as travelling. So far I have managed to keep my running routine intact wherever I traveled, whether it’s Bangkok, Geneva or Cupertino. I actually like running oversea, particularly those in Europe and US because of the fantastic weather, cool temperature and low humidity. It is therefore no surprise that one of the best run is achieved when I was running in Geneva early this year during Spring time, clocking a 29.18 min timing for a 5km distance.
The best, however, is reserved for the run made just few days ago. My biggest peeve with running in Singapore is the heat and the humidity, and therefore I thought I would never outpace what I have achieved in Geneva (per above). It was therefore a pleasant surprise that I achieved my best 5km run, so far, at a sub 29 minute timing locally. The first km was done comfortably and when I saw that it was a under-5:50 min/km pace, I told myself there might be a chance for me to achieve a low 29 min run, so I pushed myself further. The last km was a challenge though, as I felt my leg muscles were too tired to even lift an inch.
All in all, it has been a great 24 months of exercise. Over 2600km of distance covered, 336 hours of heart pumping moments and over 230,000 calories burnt. And that’ll a whopping over 800 of burgers worth that I could have afforded to eat! But obviously, it has to be a damn bloody good burger for me to waste all these hard earned calories.
RunforFood: “Life to date” Cardio Report card
It has been a while since I last blogged! Month of September had mostly been a swim month, as I tried to give my feet rest as much as possible. However, I do not wish my exercise momentum to stop, and therefore I focus on swimming instead. It was a challenging because it is not easy to keep to a 3-5 times a week swimming routine, and consecutively for 4 weeks. The end result, at end of the month, is satisfying though, despite the boring routine (imagine having to complete between 40-120 laps per session). I even completed an 1km swim session under 24 min! With my feet having much needed rest, I am starting to ease into running, without any ankle or knee support!
Here’s my life-to-date Cardio report card. I was hoping that I can complete 400 hours of exercise by end of the year, but that looks like an impossible target unless I start exercising every day for an hour!
RunforFood: Report card after 18 months
It has been awhile since I blog about my #RunforFood regiment. The ritual to run for food is still going strong, and in fact, I do find myself improving in my fitness over the last few weeks. In May, I managed to catch a few runs while I was on business trip to Geneva, Switzerland. It was a fantastic weather (under 15 deg C!) to run! In June, I continue my running regiment, and augment with cycling and swimming to combat the hazy weather.
Some factoids about Air Quality and its measurement — My Take
For the last 5 days, we had experienced in Singapore what seems like a Hollywood movie script. “Crisis” loomed, leaders (perceived to be) giving bad decisions, people panic into revealing or rise to their true-selves.
Confusion, anger and desperation, partly because information was in bits and pieces in National Environment Agency (NEA) site. NEA website has finally re-organised it’s information with better clarity, although I think laymen would probably not understand. I thought I would share some of my takeaways after researching on the topic of air quality within and outside of NEA website. Some facts may well be my wrong interpretation, but all these are what I have concluded after going through NEA site, EPA/Airnow site, various countries environment agency sites such as Hong Kong, United States, Australia, Germany and UK.
- PM is no Prime Minister. PM10 refers to particles of size less than 10 micron, which means it includes those that are smaller than 2.5 micron but bigger than 100 nanometer. Particulate matter is one of the pollutants used to measure air quality, and usually measured in terms of its concentration (microgram/cubic metre)
- PM10 versus PM2.5. Because PM10 include particles smaller than 2.5 micron, you would naturally expect concentration of PM10 to be higher than that of PM2.5. E.g. a PM10 concentration of 54 ug/m3 has the same air quality effect as a PM2.5 concentration of 12 μg/m3.
- PM10/PM2.5 concentration can be measured as 24 hour average, 3 hours average (in case of NEA for their 3 hours PSI computation), or hourly (used in Australia and some states in US).
- (NEA) PSI calculation method is similar to other air quality index used in other countries. Air quality index (or pollution standard index) looks at 5 pollutants (particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen dioxide). The so called better AQI used in some countries, is because they look at PM2.5 concentration whereaas NEA looks at PM10. Each pollutant measure is sub-indexed based on a table of scale that corresponds to the concentration. For e.g. sub-index 50 is equivalent to 24 hour particulate matter concentration of 50 ug/m3, or 8 hour Ozone of 118 ug/m3. The PSI (or AQI) is then determined by taking the maximum sub-index of the 5 pollutants. So if PM10 index is 50, but Carbon monoxide index is 200, the air quality is indexed as 200.
- PSI is AQI, no? While NEA uses PM10 instead of PM2.5 to calculate the PSI (or AQI), it does report 24 hours PM2.5 separately, used to be every 4 hours but recently reported hourly due to the escalating haze. The PSI/AQI is therefore inaccurate, if every pollutant has low concentration, but the high concentration of particulate matter is mostly due to 2.5 micron or smaller particles. In recent haze incidents, this is not true though, mainly because the concentration of PM2.5 is exceptionally high, so even if PM2.5 pollutant is not used to measure air quality, it’s concentration is already reflected in PM10 measurement.
- PSI is not accurate? When 3-hour PSI is low, but PM2.5 concentration shows exceptionally high, that’s most probably because the latter is measured past 24 hour (in the case in Singapore). Only PM10 is measured on 3 hourly basis. Whether it’s 24 hour, 3 hour or 1 hour average, it shows AVERAGE measurement, and it does not correspond to what you see/smell NOW. Obviously, an 1 hourly average measurement will be closer to what you see, while a 24 hourly average will prevent unnecessary panic alarm (or false sense of comfort) due to a particular spike / drop. Therefore it is important to know the duration in which the pollutant or air quality is being measured, and used it accordingly.
- Hourly or 24 hourly average is the way going forward? When the air quality is already at hazardous level, a forecast measurement would be more helpful than an hourly or 3 hour reading, because one should already be taking the necessary precautionary measure against the haze. (This is just my take)
- Hourly or Real time AQI? Not all countries are using true hourly air quality index measurement. In Beijing and Hong Kong, the hourly report pollutants based on the same definition as Singapore. e.g. it uses 24 hour PM10 concentration at 1500 hrs for a 1500 hr AQI calculation. In US, not all states have 1 hour average PM2.5 / PM10 concentration reading (e.g. Colorado state), let alone 1 hour AQI. In Germany and UK, there’s no reports of 1 hour average measurement. In Australia, it does look like all states have 1 hour moving average readings (at least 2 out of 2 states I checked have 1 hour average readings). Last but not least, NO countries provide real time measurement of air quality index, or the associated pollutants.
I do stand corrected for the above interpretation, but the purpose of the writing is because I read too many postings and accusation that’s based on seriously wrong assumption or understanding. I hope this doesn’t create more confusion than it is already in the cyberspace. If I have more time, I will reference some of the sites to the above points so that you can read for yourself if I have interpreted wrongly or not.
London AQI definition http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/latest/currentlevels
Fried Oyster Omelette aka Or-lua — Geylang Lor 29 @ 396 East Coast Road http://goo.gl/SWJDW
2 weeks of rendezvous with Sony Xperia Z
Having switched over to a Windows Phone for a month, the ownership experience is like a love-hate relationship. Beneath the grouses of the phone’s shortcomings (and there happens to be a lot of them), lies the beauty of simplification and strong fundamentals. Just as I thought I’d adapted to the life of imperfection, Sony Mobile decides to lure me back to the dark side with their new flagship product Sony Xperia Z. I was given a test drive opportunity, and at the end of the two weeks trial, it was a tough decision if I should ditch
my Lumia for the new found love in Xperia Z.
Having owned some of the top selling phones like the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S3, and Sony’s previous Xperia models like the Xperia S, I thought Sony Mobile had the best form factor in Xperia Z. The 5″ phone does not look excessively huge unlike the Samsung Galaxy Note, thanks to its edge-to-edge display in a typical 4.3″ phone form factor. With just 7.9mm thickness, while not exactly the thinnest phone in the world, the phone feels elegantly light, and comfortable to hold with one hand. The back of the phone has a glass finishing, surrounded by a set of refined but sturdy buttons and ports fitted firmly with watertight port covers, collectively giving the phone a premium quality feel. Samsung’s plasticky SIII and HTC’s bricky One X (and Lumia 920 too!) all looked out of place in comparison.
The setup procedure was simple and straight forward, with some touch up from Sony Mobile to polish up the user experience. With Android Jellybean (4.1.2) pre-installed, Sony Mobile creates a layer of mobile entertainment experience over the default Google
user interface. The end product is a very sleek and nifty mobile digital photo album, music walkman and high definition video entertainment player. The speaker position is far from ideal though, as my hand would inadvertently cover it when holding to watch a
video playback. Paired with my Beats by Dr Dre headphone, the audio reproduction was impressive, although I admit I am not exactly the audiophile you would expect for audio system feedback. I love the “Throw” function, as I can stream any photo, music playback
to my UPnP-enabled Samsung TV wirelessly. I had problem streaming video (both Xperia recorded video and mp4 video) to my TV though, and hopefully it is an issue that can be easily fixed by Sony Mobile.
The 1080p razor sharp display, packed in the 5″ screen using its mobile Bravia engine, creates a vibrant screen with punchy colour and stellar contrast reproduction. The display passed the outdoor test with flying colours, as the content in the screen remained visibly clear under bright sun lighting with its glare and reflection reduction capability. The Lumia 920 had a slight edge over Xperia Z though with its deep colour and black depth, but Xperia Z is no slouch. That said, when I placed it side by side with my Lumia 920, the display did look slightly washed out, especially when viewing at an angle. It could be the choice of TFT display, but after seeing the contrast difference between the two screens, I think Sony can further improve on its display feature, given its rich visual entertainment heritage.
Sony Mobile has a great track record of producing excellent cameras in its Xperia series, at least with the Xperia Arc and Xperia S that I had owned previously. Xperia Z didn’t disappoint me with its 13MP exmor r sensor with f/2.4 aperture. Technical specification alone does not guarantee quality shots, as evident in the Galaxy SIII. Thanksfully, Xperia Z camera lives up to its specifications. It is capable of taking photos under dim lighting conditions, or video record fast moving subjects with high quality. I have not tried its HDR video recording capability but from some of the sample videos posted on youtube, the results are mixed. If there is any imperfection, it is the lack of a physical shutter button and shortcut to quickly get into camera mode from the lockscreen. The former might be a constraint due to the Xperia Z’s water resistant feature but the latter is a huge inconvenience for me, as it means I have to hit my 8 digits pin code before I can take a candid snapshot.
NB: The lack of camera shortcut issue is probably not applicable if you are not subjected to Exchange Server policy which enforces pin lock security to the phone. Also, I was advised by Sony Mobile that there’s actually a workaround for this: you can select Screen Lock as Swipe and slide to the left to activate the camera. Please let me know if this workaround works especially if you are subjected to your office’s Exchange Server policy enforcement
I never had strong opinions about Office integration in Android until I experienced it in the Windows Phone and could see a contrasting experience between the two. In the Windows Phone, the office client is so complete that Powerpoint slides, Excel spreadsheets or Word documents can be reliably opened regardless of the sophistication in smart arts, formulas or text formatting. Outlook emails and appointments can be sent or edited as if I am doing it from a desktop. The same can’t be said for Xperia Z. But to be fair to Sony Mobile, this is a prevalent issue in Android, and I think it is something Google and Android phone makers need to seriously look into if the aim is to push Android phones into both the consumer and business market, and in the mobile world, there is really no clear distinction between the two. That said, there were some bugs or lacking PIM features in the Xperia Z which I think Sony Mobile can and should resolve. The calendar app stopped working when I tried to edit or cancel a meeting invitation while I could not look up email contacts in the Exchange address list when I tried to send an email to a colleague.
Not withstanding some of the issues highlighted, Xperia Z still ranks among the best, if not the best, in the list of smart phones that I have owned so far, which includes the likes of HTC One X, Galaxy S3 and Nexus. Not only is the phone highly spec-ed with top notch build quality, there are clear signs that Sony Mobile is listening to its customers’ feedback. I had previously provided feedback to the local team on Sony’s implementation of its exchange policy as well as the power off lock security feature, and they were all addressed satisfactorily. I was even asked to test my reported feedback after the product development team implemented the fixes. I could be naive, but at least Sony Mobile gave me the impression that they are acting on my feedback, and I think that’s what a consumer always likes to see or hear.
For all of the above, the Xperia Z had won over my heart. Unfortunately, it did not win over my head as work productivity remains a key selection criteria for me, especially after I’ve experienced what I can achieve work-wise while on the move. So while it has been a
fantastic 2 weeks of flirtatious rendezvous with the Xperia Z, I am reluctantly going back to my normal but boring relationship with the Nokia Lumia.
And my search for a fun and serious phone (no it’s not an oxymoron) continues …
1 Month Takeaway on Nokia Lumia 920
It has been more than a month since I bought my Lumia 920 Windows Phone. (I did had two weeks of break to have a hands on on the new Sony Xperia Z, more on that later).
Instead of the usual review, i tweet about my takeaway of the phone as I use it. Total of 12 key takeaways (see below of the details), 7 minuses, 4 pluses and 1 neutral view. While it might look like a very ‘negative phone’ to use, two of the pluses are big pluses for me. The office and outlook capabilities, and the camera photo quality. That’s good enough for me to keep my Lumia, even though Xperia Z flirted with me for 2 weeks. What’s your take?
WindowsPhoneTake #12: feeling bored with look and feel of the interface, change the theme color and “suddenly” I have a new interface. Duh! #minusone
WindowsPhoneTake #11: Windows Phone 8 soft reset is volume-down + power button. So much for being intuitive. And best of all, all SMS doesnt work after a soft reset, and suddenly I saw a steady stream of “new” messages just to realise they are actually old messages. Turned out the date/time setting was wrong, after a soft reset. #minusone
WindowsPhoneTake #10: What was Microsoft thinking when it designs the outlook mail functionalities? I can only attach photos and not documents? Please tell me my eyes is “stuck with stamps” #minusone
WindowsPhoneTake #9: Bing still can’t make it. Not only it does not do a good job searching with location context, it returns result with the news that are days olds, and in one instance 4 months old, as their top/first result. Its quite disappointing that other than a colorful search page, there isn’t much improvement since it first attempt to seriously challenge Google. #minusone
WindowsPhoneTake #8: (thisisprobablyanokiatake) Nokia Carl Zeiss lens does not just wow me with its big f2 aperture lens (which gives a very nice dof and bokeh) but also its flash capability. I always avoid flash photography especially with pns camera, but Lumia 920 seems to have good algorithm to avoid over exposure which created harsh lighting. With bulb mode in videography, you no longer take silhouettes when you are in an indoor party hall. Coupled with the impressive Windows photo sharing capability, Facebook and Instagram should invest their resources on this platform, if they are evaluation their next strategic step. You would wonder what had Microsoft been doing given the elementary abilities of these two social networking apps in Windows Phone. #plusone
WindowsPhoneTake #7: I lamented about the lack of apps, perhaps it is because the store has not completed its renovation so they are not ready to sell more apps? While I am just being sarcastic here, the fact is Microsoft seems to be doing little to make its store as friendly as its competitors. First off, there’s no way for me to tell if I have installed or purchased the app, until I click the app itself. I can’t contact the app developer, unless I install the app and hope that the app has some contact informatiln about the developer. As a matter of fact, I had some problem with an app, there was no way I could contact that developer because he used dummy email address! Windows phone support site was cumbersome process and it took me awhile before I can get the billing team to reverse the billing. In google, the moment I find the app is defective I can ask for refund immediately. Store in Microsoft is nothing just a place to download app and nothing more. #minusone
WindowsPhoneTake #6: Internet surfing on Windows Phone is so fast, that it is almost a saving grace for the lack of internet connected apps, like posb/dbs, Facebook (yes, the official one is useless), etc. I suspect Microsoft has put 90% of their r&d resources to engineer a near perfect data connectivity and page rendering capability. Of course I am just joking but kudos to the product team in this regards. But people should remember that app is still the king to make or break the experience. #plusone
WindowsPhoneTake #5: Live tiles concept is good, but at the moment it is nothing more than expandable square icons with notification counts, something you already see if Apple and Android (albeit not expandable). I would love to see tiles like scrolling marquees, that flips random or latest messages (or related notification message). #noplusorminus
WindowsPhoneTake #4: While I mentioned that Microsoft “cheats” in its claim of blazingly fast photo upload feature, it is still an amazing experience because most of the people probably care less about resolution when they upload to Facebook. I was impressed when the phone took less than a minute to upload a 1 min video to Facebook! #plusone
WindowsPhoneTake #3: (thiscouldbejustnokia) phone signal band switching (e.g 4g to 3g) seems to be lagging, and can take up as long as 5 minutes just to find the next available band. #minusone
WindowsPhoneTake #2: The geomapping feature is clearly at infancy stage otherwise we would have a Bing map app to compete with Google map app. It didn’t help that the market store has no established navigation app like Garmin, Tomtom or Sygic. Oh wait, it has Navigon (but not for this part of the world) and it costs an arm! Nokia drive+, is slick but very elementary in its features and map coverage. Its recommended route always attempt to bypass highway for some weird reason, and you have no choice between fastest or shortest route. The most ironical part is I had to use Google map to locate my destination, and enter the street address in Nokia drive+. #MinusOne
WindowsPhoneTake #1: the ability to manage your work documents and productivity (appointment scheduling, etc) is definitely the most robust and rounded feature I have come across so far. #plusone