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Cortana, Action Center, Swype, new themes: Microsoft pours on improvements, but is it enough?

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) this week announced the next generation of its smartphone platform, Windows Phone.  Windows Phone is currently the world's third largest smartphone platform by sales volume, behind Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android and Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iOS.

I. Windows Phone Gets Inspired

While Microsoft has a lot of ground to gain before it can come close to matching the app catalogs of Apple and Google's platforms, Windows Phone 8.1 does creep Windows Phone much closer to complete feature equivalence to its rivals, while adding some features its rivals lack.

In other words, this is the bottom line, take it to the presses message about Windows Phone 8.1:  Microsoft has finally transcended the stylish, but "me too" feel of Windows Phone 7 and 8, and delivered a release that does many things its competitors can't, or do far worse.




II. Virtual Buttons

"Hard buttons" have long driven smartphones, with either pushbutton (rubbery) or haptic button (e.g. capacitive button) designs. Apple's iPhone arguably started the great hard button culling, claiming phones only needed 1 hard button.  Android stepped things up even further, doing away with buttons entirely -- instead using on-screen soft-buttons.
Nokia Lumia 630

Both virtual buttons and hard buttons accompany some space.  

But virtual buttons have a couple of key advantages.  First they can shave as much as $20 USD off a bill of materials and reduce the number of failures via incorporating less parts in your design.  Also, they can be hidden at will to add a bit of extra screen real estate.

There are some disadvantages as well -- namely virtual buttons often aren't as responsive as actual physical buttons.

III. Cortana -- the Best Voice Assistant?

Another major addition is Cortana, a voice assistant tightly integrated into the entire Windows Phone 8.1 operating system.  While some may view this as a "me too" response to Apple's Siri (and to a lesser extent, Google Now), remember that Nuance Communications Inc. (NUAN) was the primary developer of Siri, not Apple.

All of these solutions are the result of graph theory and roughly three decades worth of effort by university researchers.  We're fast approaching the 30th anniversary of the Cognitive Science Laboratory of Princeton University's WordNet project.  The 1985 project -- and a couple of similar efforts of the time -- pioneered much of the low-level technology that developed into the Cortana, Siris, and Google Nows of today.

So none of these solutions are really "new".  They're all old hat.  Apple commercialized the technology first.  The natural next question is who can commercialize a product noticeably superior to that first generation graph theory-based assistant -- Siri.

Wordnet treebolic
WordNet predated Siri by two and a half decades. [Image Source: Univ. of Sheffield uSpace]

Apple surely would like to best its own effort.  But if anything, Apple is in the weakest position right now.  Nuance rebuffed Apple investor Carl Icahn's takeover overture last year.  Nuance VP Matt Revis in Jan. 2013 declared that Nuance "want[s] to be completely platform agnostic."

Nuance's Project Wintermute was teased at last year and this year got official as Nuance Coud Services.  In a press release Nuance described:

Brand A might be interested in three unique personalities for its voice assistant, while Brand B may want to lead with a security story bolstered by voice biometrics. Nuance Cloud Services can offer the breadth of capability – voice recognition, voice biometrics, intelligent conversational systems – and the depth of customization to match any brand’s preference.

Most have said that Microsoft's Cortana was developed solely in house.  Google says the same thing about Google Now.  I wouldn't be so sure.  It would not come as a surprise to me if Microsoft is blending its own fledgling Satori knowledge engine -- an evolution and first productization of Microsoft Research's Trinity graph database -- with Nuance's Cloud Services.


But like Google, Microsoft is in a stronger position as it developed at least a substantial portion of its natural language recognition solution itself.  By contrast, Nuance has implied on numerous occasions that Apple played a far more hands off role in Siri's development.

Now, with Nuance straying, Apple -- and Siri -- may be in trouble.  And Cortana is more than happy to cause trouble.

Microsoft's goal with Cortana was clearly to take the best bits of Siri and Google Now, and then add on even more functionality.  Cortana can schedule reminders, set appointments, dial by voice, dictate messages, and perform local and internet searches.

Cortana

Cortana aims to "get to know you" on an even deeper (or creepier?) level than Siri. She learns your interests, your "inner circle" of trusted friends, what hours you want to keep quiet, and other pertinent details.  These details allow Cortana to do things, like control who can access you during your "quiet hours" or help you plan trips (even suggesting locations for sightseeing, for example based on your interests).

Cortana trip planner

Microsoft helps to de-creepify this process, however, by keeping on the details Cortana has gleaned in the Cortana Notebook section of the Cortana app.  If Cortana gets something wrong -- or there's something you're not comfortable with Cortana knowing, you can always go in there and delete away.

Cortana's Notebook

You can even authorize Cortana to scan your email to spot details like flight times.  The information is stored locally, but Microsoft promises it is secure (Sureee...). Cortana can also do unit conversions, count calories for you, and tell you the weather.  It even cracks Siri-like jokes.
 
One of the neatest features shown -- something Siri can't currently do -- is to log a reminder that plays next time you communicate with a specific contact (even one referred to by a familiar title like "mom", "dad", or "my sister").  You can even tell Cortana how you plan on communicating with that contact (what channels to watch on).
 
Cortana is currently a U.S. only feature, as it's still in beta.  Eventually it will be rolled out to other regions like Europe and Asia.
 
One way where Microsoft has an advantage over Google and Apple is that it is utilizing cloud-based natural language recognition technology in multiple products, versus Google and Apple whose use is monopolized by mobile.  The first major application of Satori and the SDKs that underlie Cortana was in last fall's Xbox One
 
Many of Cortana's cool third-party features (via Microsoft's developer SDKs) will sound familiar to Xbox users; you can ask what's up with your friends on Facebook, Inc. (FB) or tell Hulu to add a TV show/episode to your queue, just like you can on your Xbox One.
 
Another way Cortana trumps Siri: it can fully interact with the user via text, perfect for noisy locations.
 
III. Action Center and Word Flow
 
Google's Android is the king of notifications.  Included since the first mass market release of Android in 2008, the Notification Bar has been slowly expanded and diversified into a rich hub for fast access of common settings and alerts -- including carrier messages, messages from Google, and important messages from third party apps.
 
Apple was late to the notifications game.  It first tried to cobble popup push notifications onto iOS 4.0, with relatively poor results.  Then in 2011 it finally "fixed" notifications, with iOS 5.0's new Notification Center.
 
Microsoft is ridiculously late to this game, but at last it has a notifications center of its own -- Action Center.  As with Google's Notification hub, it is accessible via a simple downswipe.  The familiar items – Wi-Fi connections, app messages, system messages, carrier messages, screen brightness, etc., are here.

Action Center

But here comes the twist -- Microsoft actually offers something Google and Apple don't -- the ability to swap out its preferred System items in the notification tray for others.  In that regard Microsoft appears to have taken advantage of its years waiting and watching Apple and Google's Notifications Centers.
Nokia Action Center

Here's a video of the center in action ... er, no pun intended:



Having to go clicking through multiple menu screens to do something simple like discover a Bluetooth device or access WiFi was a major headache, marring the overall polish of the OS.  In that regarding including a notification center was an absolute necessity, but Microsoft delivered and then some.

IV. Word Flow

Word Flow is basically Swype (which Nuance owns and licenses to Google) on steroids.

Lumia 630

Maybe this is something Nuance has been cooking up (after all Nuance has the market on fast predictive typing pretty much cornered between Swype and T9) and Microsoft licensed it quietly.  Or maybe Microsoft developed this itself.  Much like Cortana, while the origin is a bit mysterious, the end result sounds promising.  
 
In fact The Guinness World Book of Records has certified WordFlow as the world's fastest keyboard -- faster than Swype.
 
V. New Looks
 
Windows Phone's Live Tiles (basically widgets) are admittedly a love it or hate it look.  With Windows Phone 8.1 Microsoft doesn't diverge from that look, but it does offer some interesting new additions to try to make it more appealing.
 
First it allows any Windows Phone 8 device to have 3 columns of pinnable tiles, versus the normal two.  In devices with lower resolution screens like the Lumia 630, that might not be the most desirable thing, but customers are free to try it out and see if it works for them.

Windows Phone triple row

Also Microsoft is adding the ability to set a picture as the background to your tiles, instead of just picking a color.  Tiles will sometimes revert to the flat look, but many icon details (in white) and notification animations will overlay, showing off your picture.

We're assuming this feature will work best with darker images (see above) given the white overlays.

Microsoft has also added new themes that freshen and allow customization of the home screen.  Here's one for example.

Windows Phone Lock Screen Themes

To switch up your theme you visit the new "Lock Screen Themes" app.  Previously third party apps offered custom quasi-lockscreens or images to customize your lockscreen with.  But they lacked the tight integration with Microsoft's notification icon imagery that Microsoft's new firsthand solution offers.

Again, darker images work better with the light overlays.  Hopefully Microsoft will add a feature in future versions that allows users the ability to customize the overlay with a different color or even a gradient, to allow more options with lighter images.

Here's an example of what I mean (my modification of Microsoft's example):

Windows Phone themes

... hopefully that will be added in future Windows Phone versions (Windows Phone 8.2 or 9, perhaps?)

V. Honed Core Apps

Nearly every core app in Windows Phone has been amped up or improved in some way.

The dialer gains tight integration with Skype.  

Windows Phone Skype call

Users can now upgrade standard phonecalls to Skype video calls at will.  This is basically Microsoft's answer to Facetime, but do consider that outside the mobile space Microsoft's acquired hand (Skype) has been at the video messaging business for longer than Apple has.

The Calendar app has been heavily overhauled.  Intuitively swipe left and right now allow panning/navigating between weeks and months.  Weather forecasts are included as small icons in each day's tile.  The overall look mirrors the refreshed Outlook 365.

Windows Phone 8.1

An orangle triangle on the top left corner indicates the current day.

One headache in Windows Phone 7 and 8 was an inability to accurately track device storage space usage on the go and to track (and limit) cellular data usage.  A trio of new apps -- Storage Sense, WiFi Sense, and Data Sense remedy that.  Wi Fi sense automatically enters and clicks through authentication pages.  We'll have to see how well that works in the wild, but expect it to eliminate that chore at common/widespread public Wi Fi offerings, such as Starbucks Corp. (SBUX).  

Windows Phone Sense

They're accompanied by Battery Saver, an app that allows things like screen brightness adjustment.  How aggressive the app is able to get in conserving battery remains to be seen.  But Microsoft's rivals -- such as HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) have shown the merits of this approach, and Microsoft should see benefits as well.

Battery Saver

The Music app has received deeper Xbox Music support.  You now have access to videos and can find podcasts via a Bing search.  And you get separate ringer/call volume and music volume sliders.

Windows Phone Xbox Music

The Store app also received upgrades to search and layout.

There's also retouched People and Photo Album Hubs, the latter of which is accompanied by a new Camera app.  The biggest changes in photos are the ability to plug in third party galleries like Facebook's photos, Flickr, or Google's Picasa.  When you take a series of pictures, they're now added to an auto-generated gallery.  The new Photo Album hub is smart enough to arrange separate outings as separate galleries; you can go back at any time and rename these albums and add pertinent details.

Windows Phone 8.1, People and Photos

The People app finally gets access to more third-party content, including larger photos posted by friends on services such as Facebook.

Last, but not least is Internet Explorer 11.  IE 11, you may recall debuted with Windows 8.1 last fall.  Now IE 11 has been upgraded to support flexible screen sizes and with improved touch support -- which is good news for both Windows Phone (newly supported) and tablets (previously supported, but now better supported).

IE 11 cross platform

Unsurprisingly Microsoft focused much of its IE 11 work to making HTML5 and WebGL run smoothly on the smartphone (or tablet).  Probably the biggest addition, though is the ability to sync or transfer tabs between your PC(s), tablet(s), and smartphone(s), allowing for seamless device switching.

VI. Business/Security/Developers

On the business and security front Microsoft is finally moving towards a serious solution.  Support for virtual proxy networks, a staple of the business world, is added, as is optional full-device encryption.

Storage Sense
You can now encrypt your phone's storage.

There's support for more kinds of email, including iCloud and S/MIME (secure, encrypted email).  In IE 11 there's a "legacy mode" of sorts that supports web apps and websites designed to run in aging browsers such as IE 6, IE 7, and IE 8.  The compatibility features are enabled when running Enterprise Mode, which also streamlines user management/website-blocking.

IE 11

And to wrap things up Microsoft has added a built in device management client which it says will play nicely with popular enterprise device management software.  The client features simplified device enrollment for enterprises, as well.

On the developer side of the equation Microsoft has announced "Universal Apps".  This feature is incorporated into Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 (just released).  The new development tools allow you to design new apps that work on both Windows Phone and Windows (PC)... or quickly port an existing app from one platform to another.  

Many features in Windows Phone 8.1 (e.g. notifications) have been brought into line with core parts of the Windows 8.1 PC GUI and its underlying XAML code and APIs/SDKs.  In that regard you can code one simple action that automatically is handled optimally on mulitple platforms without the headache of custom code.

This is a major step on Microsoft's path towards unified apps, a key goal of the company.  Microsoft is aiming to offer an increasing degree of unit between mobile, the traditional PC, and the Xbox.  If it can pull it off, it not only has the potential to increase developers reach and revenue, but its own as well.

Here's a video from one of Microsoft's BUILD talks, highlighting some of the changes for developers:



Developers get early access to Windows Phone 8.1 later this month.  The update will roll out to the public sometime in May, likely.

VII. Outlook

The big question is whether these updates make Microsoft-powered smartphones a superior option to the iPhone on the high end and to Android on the the high end, mid-range, and low-end.

One complicating factor is partner support.  Nokia Devices will soon be Microsoft owned and it is (of course) strongly supporting the Windows Phone platform.  Things appear to be moving along, though, in recruiting outside OEMs.  At BUILD this week Microsoft announced that Prestigio -- a Limassol, Cyprus based firm -- and Micromax in India.

Presitigio specialized in dual-SIM budget smartphones.  To date it's primarily used Android, but it may eye using Windows Phone as a way to differentiate some of its product.  Its phones are referred to as "MultiPhones".

Micromax Mobiles is India's second largest smartphone maker, shipping roughly 13 percent of the nation's handsets:
Micromax market share
Considering that it's also the tenth biggest phonemaker in the world, even modest adoption would be a big win to Microsoft.

Remember, there is cause for skepticism. Microsoft had announced nine partners at the 2014 Mobile World Congress and at least one of them -- China's Huawei Technologies Comp., Ltd. (SHE:002502) -- already appears to be backing out in belligerent fashion, insulting Microsoft by calling it a "low priority."  It's possible Huawei will change its tune now that Windows Phone -- like Android -- is free.  But maybe not.

Returning to Nokia the Lumia 930 is a nice device, and the Lumia 630/635 appear well featured and attractive at such a low budget price point.  But for most, neither device seems capable of convincing users to switch from Android (or iPhone) based on the merits of spec of price alone.  Microsoft needs some sort of boost on the hardware front.

Lumia 930

Overall, my feeling is that most will acknowledge that Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 has several killer features, the biggest of which is proably Cortana.  But the problem is that competitors seem to have as many killer features or more.

The biggest single factor still working against Microsoft is lack of third-party apps. Microsoft has tried a two-pronged approach to scaling this massive barrier, wooing developers while pushing out essential in-house apps.  The Sense Apps for example, go a long way to filling the void of what was "missing" in past releases.  But for those accustomed to Android or iOS sort of volume of fresh apps, the catalog may feel a little sparse.  There's not 200 new RPG games -- theres' a couple dozen -- for example.

This will eventually change (or so Microsoft hopes), but in the meantime the company needs something extra to convince customers to bite.  In other words, while Windows Phone 8.1 is a huge step forward, it's also not enough currently outside of budget devices.  But with the release of new devices that could quickly shift.

Monarch
Nokia Devices is rumored to be prepping a device called "Monarch", which not only packs the best camera on a smartphone, but also could be the first flagship phone with a 2K display.
[Image Source: Steve Burt on Flickr via CC]

Recall that Nokia's rumored "Goldfinger" and "Monarch" devices have yet to be announced (these devices were leaked by @evleaks, who has corrrectly verified nearly every other Nokia device to date early).

Phone Arena spotted benchmarks hinting that the Monarch is the Lumia 1820 (it might also be named the Lumia 1030) and will feature:
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 805
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 5.2-inch screen display with 2K resolution
And other rumor mills are suggesting there's a massive camera sensor derived from the Lumia 1020's 41 megapixel shooter is onboard.  If these rumors hold true, Nokia would enjoy at least a brief lead in terms of spec over its rivals' flagship devices.  If it can use some measure of common sense and add a microSD card to its super-shooter it will likely have the best phone on the market, hardware wise.

That's a lot of if's -- but assuming they're all true, there may be a compelling reason to switch to Windows Phone (or for us early adopters, to stick with it).

Sources: Windows Phone Blog, MSDN [1], [2]



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Windows Phones
By wordsworm on 4/4/2014 10:50:18 AM , Rating: 5
I never thought I'd be an advocate of a Windows Phone, but my recent experience with a Samsung device made me miss some key features that the Windows phone was. Take for instance the camera. For me to take a picture with my phone, I hit one button and the camera did its thing. With the Android, it's just slow to have to swipe, find the icon, hit it, or go to a different slew of apps to find the app I need to use it

There is no good OpenOffice or other mobile app that is any good that I've used. Maybe MS has something, I don't know. But if I had a full OS8 phone I'd be pretty happy.

I don't think Android can stand by itself. It just isn't there yet. For productivity, it sucks. I can't even find an answering machine for it on GooglePlay which about boggles my mind. I mean those things have been around since the 60s and they don't have an easy app for it? I loved Google Earth and all the little games, though...




RE: Windows Phones
By Da W on 4/4/2014 11:08:25 AM , Rating: 2
Will happily give up my HTC one and pay extra to have a new Nokia phone and come back to windows phone.

A simple Nvidia shield will cover my android needs.


RE: Windows Phones
By NellyFromMA on 4/4/2014 11:39:10 AM , Rating: 3
The new details on WP8.1 are very encouraging.

I'm definitely eyeing a Windows Phone as my next.


RE: Windows Phones
By Beefmeister on 4/4/2014 11:51:03 AM , Rating: 3
The second that there is a Nexus equivalent, ie mid-high level device, purchased off-contract, reasonable price...... I will drop Android like a hot potato. It isn't that I dislike Android as a phone O/S, but rather that the integration of Microsoft services is finally up to the standard where it makes sense for me to combine/bridge everything together. It makes no sense for me to bring Google to my desktop.

I know Microsoft deserves a lot of criticism for past and recent boneheaded moves, but the whole 'One Microsoft' thing is still really exciting to me.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/4/2014 4:29:47 PM , Rating: 5
Google?


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/4/2014 4:38:53 PM , Rating: 5
You are so touchy when it comes to any perceived criticism of Google. I knew exactly what you meant. I only posted what I posted because I knew it would get you to respond insultingly, further evidence that you are the deluded fanboi on this site, not Jason. Any time you think Google has been slighted, you start foaming at the mouth and hurling insults.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/4/2014 4:59:18 PM , Rating: 5
Reclaimer, retro, motoman and company are such touchy fanboys. Its funny seeing how mad they get when you say anything slightly negative about Samsung or Google. They take criticism very personally.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/5/2014 3:54:49 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
And how was I being "touchy"? I was just clarifying my opening statement.

You're literally playing the same hand atechfan correctly hypothesized you'd use. Again and again.

You don't know when to cut your losses and shut up.

Epic fail.


RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/5/2014 4:32:43 AM , Rating: 3
Yet Microsoft are the only one of the major tech companies that offers all of its main services on all major platforms.


RE: Windows Phones
By drlumen on 4/5/2014 6:19:05 AM , Rating: 1
What color is the sky in your dream world?


RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/5/2014 6:55:18 AM , Rating: 5
Apple doesn't provide iTunes, iWork, or iCloud on either Android or Windows Phone.

Google doesn't provide Google Play services on iOS, and provides none of their services on Windows Phone.

Microsoft provides:

Office
OneDrive
OneNote
Bing apps
Xbox Smart Glass
Xbox Video
Xbox Music
Skype
Remote Desktop
Lync
Dynamic CRM
A number of games such as Wordament

On iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows, Mac, your web browser.

So please tell me, what is the colour of the sky is YOUR dream world?


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/5/2014 11:52:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple does NOT allow competing app stores on iOS. Google isn't allowed to provide it, plain and simple
Then Google could do what everyone else does and at least provide apps which will allow consumers to access their current content, such as what Amazon does with Kindle.

quote:
That's blatantly false.
Yeah you're right. They offer a half-baked search app.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/6/2014 4:20:48 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
What are you talking about? Even Google Now is available on iOS. So is YouTube, Google Drive...everything else I can think of.
I'm talking about Google Play Movies, Google Play Music, Google Play Books. Read my comment where I said Google Play services.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/7/2014 3:26:41 AM , Rating: 2
Those are all on iOS.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-play-movies...
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-play-music/...
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-play-books/...

http://www.google.com/mobile/ios/

It is BS that they don't support WP though. It makes sense that they'd support iOS since its on the most high end hardware but it isn't like Microsoft is chopped liver either. The fact that they actively blocked Microsoft's native Youtube app is pretty disgusting.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2014 2:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
So things that compete with iTunes?

Gee I wonder why a service that would be competing with iTunes, isn't available on iOS?

And you're blaming Google on that? You're mental! Apple wouldn't allow such a thing in a million years.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/7/2014 8:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
Except that they are available on iOS. Millions of years sure go by fast!

The funny thing is that Google has been the most restrictive company here. They intentionally blocked services like Youtube from native WP apps and don't port their native apps to it either.

They sure as hell make good iOS apps though, because that's where the money and the high end userbase is. It makes them more money than from Android, but I'm certain they wouldn't support it if it didn't mean losing money and users.

Intentionally blocking a possible competitor. "Do no evil" my a**. These are 1990s Microsoft tactics here.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/7/2014 3:21:56 AM , Rating: 2
They do. Pretty much every app Google makes is available on iOS, sometimes before its even on Android.

That evil walled-garden, oooooh!


RE: Windows Phones
By sprockkets on 4/6/2014 3:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
So they don't provide it on MS WP platform. Maybe they will once it gets any form of real marketshare.

But, MS didn't put anything on android up until like the past year or so. That, and MS already screwed people over an entire decade with lock in via WinXP and IE6.

But hey, whatever. Let me know when Nokia Maps gets to Android. That's the only thing I care about, and that probably will never happen.


RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/6/2014 3:23:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But, MS didn't put anything on android up until like the past year or so.
That's because many of the apps, such as the Bing apps, and services such as the Xbox services, were only introduced or developed for any platform in the last 18 months.

quote:
But hey, whatever. Let me know when Nokia Maps gets to Android.
The Nokia X line of devices are Android devices with Nokia Here Maps and Here Drive. As for an Android app you'll be able to download via the Google Play store, probably as much of a chance as Google Maps and Navigation hitting the Windows Phone Store.


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/6/2014 12:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I only posted what I posted because I knew it would get you to respond insultingly
So in other words, you are a troll.


RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/7/2014 6:06:37 AM , Rating: 2
Oh look, Google fanboi number two to the rescue. How is it trolling when you reply to a trollish statement with a different answer than the original troll was expecting? To claim that MS is as locked in as Apple was blatant trolling. Boo hoo, you and reclaimer can go cry on each others shoulders.


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/7/2014 6:32:43 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Oh look, Google fanboi number two to the rescue.
Oh look, a moron making assumptions.

quote:
Boo hoo, you and reclaimer can go cry on each others shoulders.
Blah, blah blah

quote:
In Internet slang, a troll (/'tro?l/, /'tr?l/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally[3][4] or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[5] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[6]
Oh look, it's atechfan...


RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/7/2014 1:45:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
*Cheesew1z69's attack post fail*

So I'm not allowed to voice my distaste towards Android even if I'm actively using it?

Pray tell, what is so freaking special about this bloated slow buggy unresponsive pile of software? Just the other day this gem showed up.

goo.gl/2UHnXK (add http : / / in front, DT's bugging me out here)

Google doesn't use the industry-standard 3GPP's EHPLMN (Equivalent Home Public Land Mobile Network) list. Instead, it uses its own outdated, primitive and sparse list. If your Android phone uses a network that is not found on Google's list, the OS assumes you're roaming - even if you're physically residing in the same country!

The fix is to run third-party ROMs, but if you never run those, you'd be led to believe the device maker effed up on network detection - when the blame rests squarely and entirely on Mountain View and its shoddy programming. Note that both Windows Phone and iOS do not have this issue on their devices.

Your arguments are unfounded and without merit. Furthermore, both you and Reclaimer77 are functionally retarded.


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/7/2014 3:09:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Pray tell, what is so freaking special about this bloated slow buggy unresponsive pile of software? Just the other day this gem showed up.
It's apparent you haven't used it if you actually think this.

quote:
Your arguments are unfounded and without merit. Furthermore, both you and Reclaimer77 are functionally retarded.
Says the one who typed the above quoted bullshit.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/7/2014 7:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
Cheese is definitely the dumber of the two, which is amazing when you think about how low that bar is.

His posts are inevitably some variation of "that's what you think", "no u", or "how ironic" (even when it isn't technically irony).

He's like Beavis to reclaimer's Butthead


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2014 2:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To claim that MS is as locked in as Apple was blatant trolling.


I NEVER said that!!!

Good grief, that's why you're so butthurt? Because you thought I was comparing Microsoft to Apple?

I'm generally not a fan of proprietary all-in-one strategies, true. But I never said Microsoft was as locked-in as Apple!

However one can't deny that ever since Apple started raking in these gigantic profits, Microsoft has tried to "me too" them in a lot of areas. Microsoft should stay true to themselves and what they do best.

Which disappoints me, because I've always been a fan of Microsoft and had great respect for the company.


RE: Windows Phones
By Keeir on 4/4/2014 5:03:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Buying into an ecosystem that demands everything come from that same vendor for an optimal experience..hmmm who else does that remind you of?


Its not really up to Apple's level yet... most people's computers/laptops/tablets/etc wouldn't be the same vendor for hardware.

I think Microsoft would have been very happy to work with many of the existing OEM makers for windows 8.1 phone.

However, I am confused. Almost every product that I am aware of has some form of horizontal preferential integration. That's not really the problem with Apple. Apple often locks out the best features without buying all the stuff from them. Microsoft appears to only be -adding- features if you integrate across platforms, not completely shutting out basic features... for now


RE: Windows Phones
By Krinosy on 4/4/2014 5:04:49 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Just playing Devils Advocate here, but what happens if every single electronic device you own isn't from Microsoft?


If Office for iPad, Smartglass or Xbox Music is anything to go by, Microsoft is moving towards a paradigm where this is less of a problem.


RE: Windows Phones
By cbf on 4/4/2014 5:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto.

But it also has to support enough frequency bands that I can take the phone from carrier to carrier.

The Nexus 5 does this very well -- supporting the required protocols (GSM, CDMA, HSPA, LTE) and enough frequencies to work on Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile in the US, and many other carriers around the world.

iPhones are second best at this. Almost every other vendor sucks. Most produce slightly different models for each of the US carriers.

The Nexus 5 proves that is technically possible. I don't intend to settle for anything less in my future phones.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/4/2014 4:05:39 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
It's bad enough we've gotten 5 different Windows Phone articles this week alone
Considering BUILD was this week, it's only obvious that there would be several Microsoft and Windows Phone based articles. Especially considering there were many big announcements:

Windows Phone 8.1
Windows 8.1 Update
The future of Windows, including the new start menu
Windows pricing announcements
New Nokia Lumia devices
Universal apps

You're starting to sound (read) like a big whiny baby. Every time Windows Phone is mentioned, you complain about something, whether it's the article itself, a comment that was made which praises Windows Phone, or towards Windows Phone users in general.

quote:
Did he post a gigantic article with pics of every single menu and screen for the KitKat update
Yet if he did, there would be no argument from you, would there?

Please give me an example of an article which was posted here with regards to Windows Phone, that wasn't similarly reported at another generic tech site out there?

Honestly, what is it that forces your blood boil about Windows Phone? The fact that it's not Android?


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By wordsworm on 4/4/2014 4:46:43 PM , Rating: 2
Tiffany used to be one of the more interesting writers here. But I haven't seen anything interesting from her in a few months. About a year ago I was bashing Windows phones because I had one. Now that I've had a Samsung Android, I'm on the fence for a number of issues.

Jason is consistent in that he is a writer for the underdog: global warming and Windows phones are two prime examples. He also loves controversy and is entertaining for it.


RE: Windows Phones
By wordsworm on 4/4/2014 4:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
Scratch my first comment... Tiffany's Mozilla article has been quite entertaining.


RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/4/2014 4:51:41 PM , Rating: 5
So if he writes about Google he's doing his job but if he writes about MS he's a shill?


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/4/2014 5:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
Double standards and hypocrisy, what are those? ;)


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/5/2014 4:48:08 AM , Rating: 3
Jason is entitled to have a preference. Because that preference is not Android, that rubs you up the wrong way.

Because Jason is an advocate of Windows Phone, that doesn't mean he's paid by Microsoft. Does it mean you're paid by Google when you're constantly trolling Windows Phone articles?

There's a simple solution - if you find an article you don't like, stop reading and don't comment. You're participating to the articles every time you comment.

Funny that for as little market share that Windows Phone has, this article has almost as many comments so far as the Samsung Galaxy S5 announcement article.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/14, Rating: 0
RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/6/2014 4:29:51 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
He shouldn't, however, allow that preference to spill over into his work. Which undeniably is happening here.
I see it more as letting his experience spill over into his work. Now what's wrong with Jason sticking with what he has more experience and knowledge of? After all, it is a very thorough analysis of the changes to Windows 8.1.

quote:
However if I were in Jason's place, and wrote 10 Android/Google articles every week, you guys would FLAME me into oblivion.
There are plenty of Android related articles on DT. Perhaps it has been different this week due to BUILD, but what do you expect? There have been some huge announcements from Microsoft this week, don't deny that!


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2014 9:51:12 AM , Rating: 1
I can see the concepts of investigatory journalism, being impartial, and integrity are just way over your head.

quote:
There are plenty of Android related articles on DT.


Oh BS. You have to scroll to almost the bottom of the DT mainpage before you can find genuine news about Android that doesn't involve a lawsuit of some kind.

Right now there are some interesting developments going on over at Google, and we have no idea what those are. And you think that's okay because Jason Mick has more 'experience' with Windows Phones....

quote:
Now what's wrong with Jason sticking with what he has more experience and knowledge of?


Well that would be fine if Daily Tech also had writers who "stuck" to Android and iOS so we had some semblance of equal representation here. But I see no such organizational structure in place. It's Jason Mick writing 20 Windows Phone articles a week, and if we're lucky a blurb about something else.

quote:
There have been some huge announcements from Microsoft this week, don't deny that!


I agree. Were they so huge we needed 4 different articles about the same exact thing? That's a matter of opinion I guess.


RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/5/2014 2:21:45 PM , Rating: 2
Except your ideal BALANCE of journalism is "praise Google/Samsung at all times, while attacking everyone else". Your MO on all Tesla articles is "ridicule Elon Musk 24/7".

While many of us have our unbiased thought processes, that is not enough for you, unless we also chip in our support for Mountain View/Seoul as well.

You didn't just "NOT understand the context", you also directly accused Jason Mick for intentional negligence in his reporting, just because he didn't write in praise of Google/Samsung.

Way too easy.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/4/2014 4:55:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Shouldn't I be able to go to a supposed impartial tech blog and get news about Android? Especially considering it OWNS the entire goddamn low end market??


FTFY

Android owns the low end and is a niche in the high end. Who cares?

BUILD was also this week. Of course there's a lot of WP news. Android coverage will resume shortly.


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/6/2014 1:12:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Android owns the low end and is a niche in the high end. Who cares?Text
Android is 80+ percent of the market shares, low and high end, not sure why that scares you so much.

And apparently, you care otherwise, you wouldn't try to spread your FUD.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/7/2014 3:09:54 AM , Rating: 4
It doesn't scare me at all, its just incorrect.

High end Android is a niche. Most of what Samsung sells is low end even though they're the most successful Android smartphone maker. HTC, LG, and Moto are bombing with their flagships. The flop iPhone 5C outsold every flagship Android phone combined and the 5S blows that number away. Internet traffic, developer revenue, and app usage is still mostly iOS. Google still makes more ad revenue from iOS than Android. Low end phones don't get used for internet and apps as much as a high end one. 5x as much hardware doesn't result in lower usage statistics unless its mostly low end, which it is.

FUD and reality are two different things.


RE: Windows Phones
By CaedenV on 4/4/2014 4:26:31 PM , Rating: 2
My god, could Reclaimer77 be any more biased?

A company that the entire tech industry (or at least tech news industry) has written off as dead has a major conference announcing features and updates to bring its products up to speed with the modern world is kind of a big deal. And a lot of the features/announcements have a bit of overlap, so it is perfectly natural to have some redundant information... it still isn't as bad as an Apple release where you literally get the same article recycled 100 times.

This is a massive update that changes the way people view windows phone. It would be like moving from iOS3 to iOS5... big changes call for lots of pictures. Last I checked iOS and Android are a bit more incremental in their updates.

And the worst part of it is that we all know that Reclaimer77 is a shill for the 'anti Microsoft consortium' and is getting paid by Google and Apple for the opinions that he post on this site. I mean seriously, talk about the pot calling the kettle!

/s


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/4/2014 4:44:08 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The Galaxy S5 is about to launch, which will get a zillion times more sales than ANY Windows Phone, and we've barely had a mention of it here!!!


Maybe because a single paragraph can sum up the changes from the S4 to the S5. It isn't just here that the S5 has failed to excite people. I personally think it is a worthwhile upgrade from the S4, but it is hardly exciting, and makes for boring articles.


RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/4/2014 11:20:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Maybe because a single paragraph can sum up the changes from the S4 to the S5.

I summed it in 10 words. Truthfully, it can be less than that.

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=34394...

I wrote:
quote:
Well, the real S5 specs came out. Turned out to be a S4 with some updated internals. Instead of pushing the envelope, Samsung's milking the cash cow.

Snap.

Reclaimer77 immediately went on the insults-laden offensive:
quote:
And when they push the envelope, haters like you slam them for "useless gimicks" and adding "bloat".

This is why Samsung isn't wasting their time trying to please people who never did, and will never, buy their phones anyway. Biased punk ass little haters like you.

This is EXACTLY what we wanted from the new Galaxy. Keep your captive batteries and lack of storage, keep your aluminum bling bling, your opinion doesn't count.

So I replied without being a hot-headed butthurt kid that he is:
quote:
My current phone is not the Apple iPhone 4S, but the Samsung Galaxy S4 international LTE version, and I'm using that with a large extended battery and 64GB microSD card.

Which means my comments are worth more than yours.

Cry harder.

He did a 180 and expected me to be cordial. After being on the receiving end of his hate-filled tirade? Not a chance in hell.

The one biggest pet peeve I have regarding Android is still true today. Whereas other mobile OSes can make do with a slower dual-core SoC and remain highly responsive, Android phones require very fast, very power-consuming quad-core SoCs to not lag.

In fact, in order to have my S4 not lag, I have to void warranties and run third-party code on it. This alone makes Android less awesome than iOS. If I weren't hellbent on software modding in the first place, I'd have kept using iPhones.

Reclaimer77, the world does NOT revolve around Google. Take your "holier than thou" attitude elsewhere.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/14, Rating: 0
RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/5/2014 3:48:39 AM , Rating: 2
You're grasping at straws.

S4 to S5 = S4 with internal updates. Doubly worse as the S5 is Samsung's flagship smartphone offering. What makes you think it deserves more coverage than is really needed?

Oh right, because you hate anyone who has legitimate beef with Google / Android.

Not impressed.


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/6/2014 1:38:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
S4 to S5 = S4 with internal updates.
Like the Apple phones? They all look exactly the same, with updated internals, not sure exactly what point you are trying to get at here but it's failing. Hard.


RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/6/2014 7:09:05 PM , Rating: 3
Are you implying that the S4-S5 jump is different from that of the iPhone, simply because it's an Android?

iPhone 5S gets a few new headline features = "why devote a long article on this thing? it's the exact same thing as last year's!"

Galaxy S5 gets a few new headline features = "why not devote a long article on this thing? this is more important than anything else!"

You lost me with your slanted argument, sir.


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/6/14, Rating: 0
RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/7/2014 1:10:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Did I say that? And because it's Android? That's a ridiculous statement.

Not ridiculous, and it's slanted to one side - particularly, in favor of Android - thanks to your pre-existing biases over these articles and your posting history.

You're like Reclaimer77 in a way - you get overly defensive as soon as someone talks smack against Google/Android/Samsung. You're swearing like a kid throwing rocks against a tank.

Grow up or troll elsewhere, Cheesew1z69.


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/7/2014 6:37:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not ridiculous, and it's slanted to one side - particularly, in favor of Android - thanks to your pre-existing biases over these articles and your posting history.
It's ridiculous.

quote:
You're like Reclaimer77 in a way - you get overly defensive as soon as someone talks smack against Google/Android/Samsung. You're swearing like a kid throwing rocks against a tank.
Wrong.

quote:
Grow up or troll elsewhere, Cheesew1z69.
Ah, I hit a nerve. Boohoo! You don't like my answer so I must be a troll.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2014 12:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you implying that the S4-S5 jump is different from that of the iPhone, simply because it's an Android?


I thought his meaning was quite plain. If you justify the lack of GS5 coverage because it's a GS4 retread, then why do we ever have ANY iPhone coverage? Because every year it's the same goddamn "new" iPhone as the year before. Hell that goes doubly for the iPad's.

I perfectly understood Cheese's, correct, analogy. Then again I'm not a retard.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2014 8:50:21 PM , Rating: 1
You know what? The iPhone 5C is even worst than that, it's just a bunch of old iPhone 5 parts thrown into a plastic case!

And even THAT's gotten way more coverage here than any Android flagship as of late. At least the Galaxy 5S has new internals!


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/7/2014 3:43:20 AM , Rating: 3
Probably because it outsold every Android flagship combined.

Funny how those old parts kept up though: http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph7340/58223...
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph7340/58222...
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph7340/58221...
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph7340/58219...

The much "newer" GS4 isn't much faster (its actually slower in some ways) and is crippled with Sambloat on Android running bad apps. What a ripoff.


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/7/2014 6:39:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Probably because it outsold every Android flagship combined.
Now you are just being ridiculous.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/7/2014 7:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
Quick Google search to double check and here's what I found. The flop 5C sold 13 million units in Q4. 9 million GS4 and only 2 million LG G2 and HTC One were sold in the same time period. So the numbers are about even. Nokia sales were 8 million and Blackberry was 6 million. The iPhone 5S sold over 40 million units in the same timeframe.

Some people here keep denying that Android is a mainly a low end ecosystem, but it is. The GS4 is the most successful Android flagship and even that is a low selling phone in comparison, despite Samsung blowing $14 billion in marketing. You should start bringing facts into a discussion instead of bad comebacks.

On topic, it blows my mind that Windows Phone doesn't have better marketshare. Hopefully it starts taking some from Android. It is a good product that actually deserves those sales.


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/6/2014 1:32:58 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And the worst part of it is that we all know that Reclaimer77 is a shill for the 'anti Microsoft consortium' and is getting paid by Google and Apple for the opinions that he post on this site. I mean seriously, talk about the pot calling the kettle!
You know this for a fact? If so, please post proof, otherwise you are full of shit.


RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/4/2014 4:35:06 PM , Rating: 2
If you think this site is so biased, why are you here? There are a lot of MS articles because the BUILD conference just released a ton of new info. No conspiracy there. Perhaps you should check around the web. Engadget and The Verge, which tend to be very pro-Apple, are also posting many MS articles this week. Maybe MS bought them off too?


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/4/2014 4:59:37 PM , Rating: 5
Funny, you were jumping to agree with me when I criticised the low res on the Nokia budget phones. But you called me a troll when I criticised the low res on the new Galaxy Tab. Who sounds more like a homer, whatever that is supposed to mean?

I can look objectively and find fault even when it is my preferred platform. I also criticized Nokia for not having a micro-SD card slot on their flagships, and praised Samsung for having them. You, on the other hand, leap on every Windows Phone articles, declaring the platform dead and calling its users idiots.

Funny that you, of all people, have the gall to call anyone a homer.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2014 2:59:48 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Funny, you were jumping to agree with me when I criticised the low res on the Nokia budget phones. But you called me a troll when I criticised the low res on the new Galaxy Tab.


There's a big difference between 480p and 800p. I don't even know why I'm having to point that out.

And that's not why I called you a troll, and you know it. The price isn't even announced yet, and you were already calling it overpriced junk...


RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/5/2014 4:15:49 AM , Rating: 2
And 800p is WEAK when both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 easily have more display res than that. Right now.

800p on a tablet? In 2014? Who is Samsung kidding with that launch?

You're a troll, and you're just as frakin awful as BSMonitor. You just don't know it yet.


RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/5/2014 5:26:53 AM , Rating: 5
Reclaimer is such as hypocrite. He criticises Tony Swash for being blindly loyal to Apple, yet he's unable to see that he does exactly the same when it comes to Google and Samsung.

I don't know what it is that makes his blood boil about Windows Phone and its users - he's probably afraid that Windows Phone will continue to gain traction and take some of the market from Android.

After all, Satya Nadella is already doing a fantastic job at Microsoft, and with the Windows Phone pricing announcements which will encourage OEMs to use the platform, Universal Apps which make it easier for developers to share their apps between Windows Phone, Windows, and Xbox, and the Windows Phone 8.1 update, bringing Windows Phone up to speed in terms of its functionality, there's a lot for Google to be afraid of.


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/6/2014 1:45:49 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
he's probably afraid that Windows Phone will continue to gain traction and take some of the market from Android.
LOLOLOL! Oh please, they will take from Apple if they take it from anyone.


RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/6/2014 3:40:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
they will take from Apple if they take it from anyone
Why will they not take it from Google? Because you say so?

Let's look at the facts, shall we?

Windows Phone 8.1 brings Windows Phone up to speed in terms of functionality and features, as iOS and Android.

Windows Phone is now free for OEMs. This makes it cheaper for OEMs to use Windows Phone than it does for Android. Many OEMs currently using Android are paying Microsoft and Apple licensing fees to use the OS.

Due to Windows Phone being free, 12 OEMs recently signed up/re-signed up to being Windows Phone OEMs, which will result in many more Windows Phones being available very soon.

Microsoft has relaxed the hardware requirements for the operating system, meaning that OEMs can create a device for Android, which will work with Windows Phone with little-to-no changes to the hardware.

Windows Phone is steadily gaining market share almost everywhere except the US. In many parts of Europe, it has already exceeded 10% market share, and shows no signs of slowing.

The app situation, whilst still a problem, is slowly getting there. With increasing market share and increasing number of devices from many OEMs, I'm sure this problem will soon come to pass.


RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/7/2014 6:09:02 AM , Rating: 2
Logic dictates that if they are going to get marketshare, more will come from Android. Apple has significantly less overall, and I'd bet a greater percentage of the remaining iPhone user are hardcore Apple fans than what percentage of Android users are hardcore about that platform.


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/7/2014 6:29:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Logic dictates that if they are going to get marketshare, more will come from Android.
Logic says nothing about this.


RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/5/2014 5:40:08 AM , Rating: 2
There is also a big difference between 10 inches and 4.5 inches. If you can't see that 480p on 4.5 inches is pretty actually higher ppi than 800p on 10 inches, I'd suggest remedial math.

I was basing the price on a guess, I admit. But since we know the price of the previous generation Tab, I'm confident my guess will be close.


RE: Windows Phones
By Chaser on 4/4/2014 11:43:32 AM , Rating: 4
If Office related productivity on a 4-5 inch phone display is vital to you then Windows phone is your best choice.


RE: Windows Phones
By WayneG on 4/4/2014 11:54:02 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed on this one, very excited for these new features.

I've currently got a 1520 that is absolutely brilliant. Doesn't bother me about the lack of apps, not to say that I'm not looking forward to them. What I feel the most is the lack of games and entertainment apps that Android and iOS have the monopoly on.

Will definitely be getting either the 930 or the 'Monarch' for the other half, and upgrading to whatever the next 6" phone is for my next device.

Keep going in this direction, unification could turn out to be Microsoft's major advantage (XONE, 8.1, etc.).


RE: Windows Phones
By Just Tom on 4/6/2014 11:36:07 AM , Rating: 2
The lack of games does not bother me, WP has enough games. What I find frustrating is the lack of app from banks, radio stations, businesses, etc. I have a SONY android tablet and an android phone for work so it is only a minor nuisance to me but it would be useful to be able to remote deposit a check with my windows phone or request a song.


RE: Windows Phones
By Mint on 4/11/2014 1:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'd get the 1520 if it only had a stylus and AMOLED. Been a Galaxy Note user since the beginning and I'm hooked on both.

WP looks great and I can get over the app issue, but I love those features. And really, Android was the perfect breeding ground for the kind of experimentation that we see from OEMs, so I have to give a little credit to them. It's a shame that nobody else is even trying to challenge the Note 3 with a proper stylus.


RE: Windows Phones
By dgingerich on 4/4/2014 11:58:41 AM , Rating: 2
I just recently moved from an HTC One S to a Nokia Lumia 925. I really like the change, and I completely understand what you're saying. It's so much easier to do just about everything compared to Android, and it does so much more without extra apps compared to iPhones. (I have an iPhone for work, but I'll be damned before I install that awful iTunes or Quicktime.)

This thing takes great pictures, too. I find I have to take pictures of up close computer components so the developers can know what version of what chip they're dealing with on a server. My iPhone took absolutely horrible pictures, constantly blurred from my hands not holding it as steady as Apple likes, and the One S just couldn't take pictures up close. This phone takes up close crystal clear pics. When I have to get in up close to the back of a server component, between two servers that block nearly all the light, just to get a pic of a connector, that Lumia does the job well.

I do miss many of the apps I had on my old One S, though. The Microsoft store just doesn't have any good tower defense games, and their versions of Sudoku are slow to respond to my commands, so my times to completion are much higher than I'm used to. Seriously, graphics on a Sudoku game don't need to be fancy. It does have Angry Birds, though.

I do hope Amazon comes out with a Windows Phone app for the remote control features.


RE: Windows Phones
By Ammohunt on 4/4/2014 12:14:36 PM , Rating: 3
I couldn't be happier with my windows phone its a no nonsense clutter free OS that performs, The built in Microsoft apps are well designed and i find them easier to use then then the stock Android apps. there is very little crapware all of which can be removed i personally find the majority of the Nokia apps useful. Its a great platform thats only weakness is lack of apps that you are used to on other platforms.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/4/2014 2:38:40 PM , Rating: 3
It drives me nuts whenever I pick up an Android device. Samsung, Asus, LG, HTC all have their hiccups and annoying quirks in how and what stutters or lags or doesn't feel smooth. It's mystifying to me that a lot of people (i.e. owners of those devices) play dumb, don't notice, or defend it at all costs.

I guess when a $100 Nokia Windows Phone is smoother than your $600 Android flagship, feigning ignorance is your only way to save face.

Apps are all I'm really missing from WP. I'm on iOS right now but I'd totally go back to WP if that improved. You're right about Android, its a dud. I'd have a really tough time going back to it when WP has the better UI and iOS has better software.


RE: Windows Phones
By flyingpants1 on 4/4/2014 7:52:06 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
It drives me nuts whenever I pick up an Android device. Samsung, Asus, LG, HTC all have their hiccups and annoying quirks in how and what stutters or lags or doesn't feel smooth. It's mystifying to me that a lot of people (i.e. owners of those devices) play dumb, don't notice, or defend it at all costs.


I agree totally. I've been an Android user since the beginning, for lack of a better alternative. I don't think anyone is really an Android "fan". It's laggy, sloppy and disorganized. Everything is hidden everywhere. iOS and iPhones are smooth, but tiny and featureless by comparison. WP8.1 is closing the gap.

Android has always been laggy. Remember the fiasco when some developer posted something on Google+ about "The technical reasons why is Android still laggy".. How many iterations did it take to get to "Project Butter"? Now quad-core? And it's STILL laggy? Third-parties like Samsung, multi-billion dollar companies, they can't make a skin/ROM that doesn't introduce extra lag? LOL. They should get rid of the entire Touchwiz UI team and hire one guy from xda to redo the whole thing from scratch.

I used to be held back from trying WP8.1 by the hardware specs and app selection. But nowadays every company has a S800 5", and I realise I only use about 3 apps anyway.

I would give the Lumia 930 a chance today, if it weren't for the Nexus 5 being nearly half the price.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/4/2014 9:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think anyone is really an Android "fan".


I disagree, Android fans are the most deluded, aggressive, and insufferable ones right now.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/4/2014 9:26:47 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Remember the fiasco when some developer posted something on Google+ about "The technical reasons why is Android still laggy".. How many iterations did it take to get to "Project Butter"? Now quad-core? And it's STILL laggy? Third-parties like Samsung, multi-billion dollar companies, they can't make a skin/ROM that doesn't introduce extra lag?


Its an architectural issue. Low app revenue and slower hardware aside, basic issues with Android prevent certain kinds of apps from being technically possible: http://www.androidannoyances.com/post/tag/low-late...

It isn't just UI. High quality music and video editing apps aren't really doable on it either. Even John Carmack talked about why he couldn't get a regular 60fps with games on Android on high end hardware while he easily could do so on iOS.

From other developers:
quote:
The CoreAudio team at Apple knows what they are doing and soon Google will be 3 or more years behind. It is entirely possible that the Android team just doesn’t understand this issue at all — this is sad — it doesn’t just effect the music production market, it has an adverse effect on the obviously larger gaming market as well.

...

as a pro music production company in hollywood, i just came back from the NAMM show and there were a hundreds of I-os apps shown and few for android. and every software designer says that the sdk and latency issue with android is holding them back from porting their apps.


WP doesn't have these issues either, mainly because their OS isn't held together by paper clips and scotch tape. All it needs is bigger marketshare for more high end apps. Hopefully it gets it because its actually a good platform.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/14, Rating: 0
RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/5/2014 4:11:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Music and video editing on a smartphone?

How about:

Music playback on my SGS4 is NOT smooth. I get distinct "skips" as if the song is not ripped properly. Except I never get these "skips" on Windows, Mac or iOS. There is only one conclusion to draw from that experience - Android just isn't good enough for music playback, period.

You can harp how wonderful Google's stuff is, how it's a gift handed to you by God himself. The ugly truth is it just isn't all that good.

If music playback on Android is this big of a mess, I shudder to imagine the high hell that is music production. Never mind, you're blind to anything that isn't coming straight outta Mountain View.

By the way - I'd rather hit "Not Worth Reading" against every single one of your posts, even if what you say have any sense in it, simply because you're a butthurt Google fanboy. You cannot form level-headed rebuttals to arguments you don't like, without including a pointed personal attack somewhere in the reply.

Drive off a cliff with your Google Maps-enabled Android device please.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2014 10:26:28 AM , Rating: 1
Do you honestly believe your experience is average? My old ass Razr can play music without skipping, why doesn't your GS4?

quote:
You can harp how wonderful Google's stuff is, how it's a gift handed to you by God himself.


Oh please, I'm no Tony Swash. I don't do that and you know it.

quote:
By the way - I'd rather hit "Not Worth Reading" against every single one of your posts,


Yeah I've noticed. Do you see me caring?


RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/5/2014 2:06:14 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Oh please, I'm no Tony Swash. I don't do that and you know it.

Says the guy who gets super irritated whenever someone puts Google in a negative light.

Now you're trying to move goalposts and claim how you're right and everyone else's talking ojt of their ass.

You support Google with the same degree of fervor as Argon18 with Linux and Wazza1234 with Apple. You cannot take any dissenting arguments without, like twice-banned testerguy, treating it as a personal attack. Then you finish your rebuttals with "your opinion doesn't count"... as if you're somehow more knowledgeable than the rest of us.

You don't know when to cut your losses and shut up. Pathetic human refuse.

I'm going to switch my phone over to WP8.1 this year, just so I can destroy every derisive attack you'll ever throw at me and others. You stained your own bed. Now sleep in it.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2014 8:38:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm going to switch my phone over to WP8.1 this year, just so I can destroy every derisive attack you'll ever throw at me and others.


LMAO Now who's pathetic?

You're going to buy a WIndows Phone because of some guy over the Internet...

What a loser!


RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/6/2014 4:40:12 AM , Rating: 3
Regardless of his reasons, if he does buy a Windows Phone, he sure as hell won't regret it.

I just hope that the announcements made by Microsoft, and the changes in Windows Phone 8.1 are the beginning of a painful decline for Android. The only thing holding Windows Phone back now is the number of apps.

Perhaps Google can then stick to what it does best, and provide its services across all platforms. There's no denying that Google's services are exceptional. They're the only thing propping Android up. Without those services, the underlying OS is a complete turd.


RE: Windows Phones
By Just Tom on 4/6/2014 11:41:25 AM , Rating: 2
You have to admit buying a brand of phone simply to piss some guy on the internet off is pretty silly. And I am saying that as a very happy Windows Phone owner.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2014 9:53:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You have to admit buying a brand of phone simply to piss some guy on the internet off


And it wouldn't even do that. As long as people aren't patronizing Apple, I'm fine.

Now if he went and bought an iPhone, that might get the blood pressure going up a tick :P


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2014 3:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just hope that the announcements made by Microsoft, and the changes in Windows Phone 8.1 are the beginning of a painful decline for Android. The only thing holding Windows Phone back now is the number of apps.


The only thing declining is Windows Phone. Which had a horrible holiday season, sales wise, and actually lost marketshare at the end of 2013. The platform is stagnating, withering on the vine, and you're talking about it killing Android? Ha! You should just be happy they're, finally, beating Blackberry.

This is a great update, true. But like all updates to Windows Phone, it's too little too late. YEARS too late.


RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/7/2014 4:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only thing declining is Windows Phone. Which had a horrible holiday season, sales wise, and actually lost marketshare at the end of 2013.
First of all, the US != the rest of the world, where Windows Phone is making some significant gains, especially in Europe, South Africa, and South America.

I don't know where you get your figures from, but Windows Phone market share grew 0.1% in the US over the last quarter. Whilst this gain is indeed negligible, it has not declined.

Furthermore, Windows Phone market share didn't move at all during the holiday period, so I'm pretty sure you've pulled that out of your ass:

http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/07/windows-phone-sur...

quote:
The platform is stagnating, withering on the vine, and you're talking about it killing Android?
The sign of a stagnant platform would be one in which there is no change. The changes we've seen during BUILD will have a significant impact on the platform. Although I will agree somewhat that the platform has moved very slowly during the past 18 months, however the platform is scheduled to have a faster update cycle.

I said nothing about it killing Android. I said decline. Windows Phone deserves to be a market leader, and competition from Google and Apple is finally starting to bring out the best in the platform. All of the signs are good. Now we'll see if this next year brings more significant gains.

quote:
But like all updates to Windows Phone, it's too little too late. YEARS too late.
Do you really think Microsoft are going to give up on what is the future of computing? It's far from being too late. We'll see how this next year pans out.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2014 8:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
So Microsoft's home market doesn't matter? Okay..whatever.

And are you seriously going to stand your ground on 0.1% marketshare? Which is less than the margin of error!!

Okaaaay.

quote:
Windows Phone deserves to be a market leader


I agree. I would love nothing more than for Windows Phone to crush Apple from the market. Sadly, that doesn't appear to be a possibility.

quote:
I said nothing about it killing Android. I said decline.


Then why did you specifically target Android and not iOS?

I think it would be a sad day when the top two market leaders present the consumer with proprietary, closed source, walled off solutions. Android needs to remain a strong force to break the usual paradigm imo.

quote:
Do you really think Microsoft are going to give up on what is the future of computing?


Well they certainly haven't approached it with much zest! What have they been waiting for, exactly?


RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/8/2014 2:09:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So Microsoft's home market doesn't matter? Okay..whatever.
Again, please state where I wrote, or even implied that it didn't matter. The US market matters a lot, but it is very different to the rest of the world.

quote:
And are you seriously going to stand your ground on 0.1% marketshare? Which is less than the margin of error!!
No, what I'm standing ground on is facts, unlike you, who pulls figures out of his ass and expects others to believe him.

quote:
Then why did you specifically target Android and not iOS?
Because Android is the market leader, and by a huge margin. Android controls over 80% of the global market. It is also my opinion that Android is an inferior platform, and the only things that have been propping the platform up are its price, Google's services, and the amount of apps. The underlying OS is a mess.

quote:
I think it would be a sad day when the top two market leaders present the consumer with proprietary, closed source, walled off solutions.
Whilst AOSP is open source, Google's services are not. It's those proprietary services which make Android a dominant force.

Being open source allows for an all-round inferior experience. OEMs and cariers alike fill their phones with bloatware and laggy UI's, all of which is non-uninstallable. Yes, you can root your device and put a custom ROM on it, but seriously, it's a sad day when you have to that to your device to make it functional.

Furthermore, the open nature of the Play Store allows things like this to happen:

http://www.dailytech.com/Texas+17Year+Old+Scams+Th...

I'm sorry, but I fail to see how the OS being open source benefits the overall UX one bit. It benefits carriers, OEMs, and crapware/malware creators. Unless, of course, you are of the minority and spend more time modding and rooting your phone than you do actually enjoying it.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/7/2014 3:19:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You support Google with the same degree of fervor as Argon18 with Linux and Wazza1234 with Apple. You cannot take any dissenting arguments without, like twice-banned testerguy, treating it as a personal attack.


Him, Cheesewiz, motoman, and retro are just as bad in their refusal to accept any criticism at all with "their precious".


RE: Windows Phones
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/7/2014 3:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Him, Cheesewiz, motoman, and retro are just as bad in their refusal to accept any criticism at all with "their precious"
How ironic.


RE: Windows Phones
By LRonaldHubbs on 4/7/2014 11:42:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is only one conclusion to draw from that experience - Android just isn't good enough for music playback, period.

I would draw a different conclusion: YMMV.

I don't doubt that you and others have had trouble with audio playback on Android devices, but my experience is different. I have a Sony Xperia Pro, which at this point is quite dated. You can see the specs here:
http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_ericsson_xperia_pro-3...
I have no trouble at all with audio playback on this phone. The music I'm playing is ogg, mp3, or m4a, depending on where it originated. I frequently use the phone as an audio source in my car via stereo line in and it works just fine. I only wish my old version of Android had the media player shortcut on the lock screen so I wouldn't have to enter my password just to pause or change songs.

My girlfriend recently got a Sony Xperia M:
http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_m-5497.php
She too users her phone for music in the car and it also works perfectly.

Maybe Sony has done some extra work to enable this? My phone, as far as I can tell, has the stock Android music app, but my girlfriend's phone instead has a Walkman music app. I'm guessing that given their background in music players, Sony may have put a bit more effort into this than a company like Samsung would, especially since they're associating their Walkman brand with it.

In any case, I don't think your blanket statement about Android music playback is justified. I would say at minimum that it depends on the phone manufacturer and whatever tweaks they may or may not have made.


RE: Windows Phones
By flyingpants1 on 4/5/2014 11:43:25 AM , Rating: 2
It's not an "Android hate-fest". We both pointed out our specific grievances.

There's absolutely no reason to be an Android fanboy. There's nothing amazing about the OS itself. Android phones just had more features and better hardware than Apple phones.

It's a shame Microsoft took so long to catch up. They've had 4 years to mature the Windows Phone OS, an absolute eternity in the smartphone market, and it's just now getting good.


RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/6/2014 8:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Music and video editing on a smartphone?


There is the root of your problem. You seem completely unable to imagine that other people use devices for completely different purposes. Sure, watching porn and playing Candy Crush may be enough for you, but other people with lives want a phone that can do a lot more.

You have a sadly small imagination if you can't see how being able to edit audio and video on a phone would not be useful. Picture some guys out camping, and they brought their guitars, bongos, or whatever along with them. They start to jam and find they've come up with a great tune. One of their buddies pulls out his phone and starts to record them, then edits it into a nice video, complete with music track, which he then uploads to his music sharing platform of choice. All without leaving the campfire.


RE: Windows Phones
By KoolAidMan1 on 4/7/2014 3:51:21 AM , Rating: 5
These operating systems also run on tablets. I've cut video and audio on phone and tablets but everyone is different. Unlike you, I actually have a choice since iOS is a more capable platform with better software.

The important point you missed is that these latency issues are global. It doesn't just harm frame-critical applications like audio and video, that is just where it is very obvious. It affects games, user interface, literally everything.

Are you really this willing to defend a fundamentally defective operating system because it lets you install a custom theme and a giant clock?

As for John Carmack, he is one of the most unfiltered, least politically correct developers out there. If he has a problem with something then he will lay out the reasons with cold and brutal analysis. He's pissed off every major tech company at some point, Apple included and is most recently AMD.

As for his relevance, the most responsive shooters with the lowest latency are still based on his engines. His focus on high framerate and eliminating latency explains his problems with Android, and it explains his current focus on VR with Oculus Rift since that is a major problem to be overcome.

Saying he's a "homer" because he's said positive things about iOS says nothing about his technical expertise and everything about your extreme and irrational bias. Your anti-Apple/MS posts are hilarious, especially because Google does not provide a good product in comparison.

These are hard facts about technical limitations and disadvantages and you can't let your inner fanboy accept them.


RE: Windows Phones
By inperfectdarkness on 4/4/2014 3:22:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think MS gets it with respect to mobile. Their desktop/laptop offerings have languished though. And I wish to GOD they'd do away with dubbing every feature they have with some form of the "xbox" moniker.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/4/2014 4:08:08 PM , Rating: 3
Seek help.


RE: Windows Phones
By Myrandex on 4/4/2014 4:20:27 PM , Rating: 3
On every Windows Phone 8 model released today, no shortcuts need to be placed anywhere. That handy camera button on the side is there and is quite nice. I do not want to purchase a phone without one I like it so much. I don't even need to enter my security code to take a picture (but it is still secure, asking for the security code afterwards if you want to view the picture etc.)


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Windows Phones
By wordsworm on 4/4/2014 4:51:36 PM , Rating: 3
Smartphone cameras used to be retarded. But when I need a quick shot of something like say a UFO or some surf chick losing her bikini in a flash, I like it to be a single button that gets the shot rather than ah crap it's too late.


RE: Windows Phones
By themaster08 on 4/4/2014 6:05:16 PM , Rating: 3
Man, stop clutching at straws, Reclaimer! Do you realise how ridiculous your comments are becoming?

I guess we should rid all phones of power buttons too, because, after all, buttons break.

Quit while you're already behind.


RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/4/2014 4:26:06 PM , Rating: 2

quote:
Productivity on a smartphone? I mean, you're joking right. Nobody makes a smartphone OS that enables actual "productivity"


I thought one of the supposed benefits of the Galaxy Note was that the s-Pen aided productivity. Guess not, since reclaimer says no smartphones are productive.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/2014 4:40:53 PM , Rating: 1
I bet you think you're cute, don't you?

Even the productivity of the Note pales in comparison to a laptop or desktop.

Let's get real for a second here. Smartphones aren't very good at TRUE productivity, obviously.

Of course he didn't really define "productivity".


RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/4/2014 4:45:55 PM , Rating: 3
You really hate it when your own words are used against you, don't you?


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2014 3:16:09 AM , Rating: 2
Yes because you're intentionally twisting my words out of context. And you know it. I don't think anyone really "likes" that.


RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/5/2014 4:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
Your posts are full of inconsistencies, often full of hypocrisy even. You also frequently twist others' words out of context.

You have less mental faculty than a dead hooker on the street.


RE: Windows Phones
By atechfan on 4/5/2014 5:41:35 AM , Rating: 2
I don't have to twist your words. You do it fine by yourself. You contradict yourself so many times, you'd get destroyed in a real debate.


RE: Windows Phones
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2014 9:20:08 AM , Rating: 2
Please find it where I ever said the Note line was for "productivity". I'm quite sure I never made such a statement in the first place.


RE: Windows Phones
By ritualm on 4/7/2014 1:26:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Please find it where I ever said the Note line was for "productivity". I'm quite sure I never made such a statement in the first place.

Yes you did, even if you pretend to think you didn't.
quote:
Seriously?? With Android you can access the camera from the LOCKSCREEN! You don't even need to navigate anything. How can you not know this?

Or you can put the camera shortcut on the bottom bar, so it's there at ALL TIMES! How much more easier can it possibly get?

Productivity on a smartphone? I mean, you're joking right. Nobody makes a smartphone OS that enables actual "productivity".

quote:
Even the productivity of the Note pales in comparison to a laptop or desktop.

You're claiming how no smartphone OS makes people productive. Except... "no smartphone OS" here actually means "no smartphone OS other than Android". You wouldn't brag how Android, and therefore the Note, is more productive than (insert other mobile OS/device here) if you really meant what you claimed.

And before you accuse me of taking your words out of context, I don't have to do it at all - you're providing, by your free will, all the ammunition I need to decipher your true intentions.

Loose lips sink ships.


RE: Windows Phones
By anothermax on 4/4/2014 7:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
Android (4.2+?) you just swipe from the right from the lock screen to get to camera. No buttons needed. No unlock even needed. just swipe and tap to focus and take picture.

and what the heck is answering machine app??


Notification Hub - ARTICLE CORRECTION NEEDED
By ammaross on 4/4/2014 2:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But here comes the twist -- Microsoft actually offers something Google and Apple don't -- the ability to swap out its preferred System items in the notification tray for others.


Poor research for the article. The Galaxy S phones has been able to do this since at least the Galaxy S3. (On the S4): Settings -> Display -> Notification Panel.
Here's the help description: "Set the quick setting buttons. You can customize which quick setting buttons appear at the top of the notification panel. Press and hold, then drag buttons [below] to reorder them."
Granted, this may be just a TouchWiz feature, and not Android as a whole, but it most certainly wasn't pioneered by Microsoft.




RE: Notification Hub - ARTICLE CORRECTION NEEDED
By CaedenV on 4/4/2014 3:53:43 PM , Rating: 2
But that is a feature of Samsung, not stock Android.

That would be like saying that Microsoft fixed the notification issue with the Glance screen feature... which was developed by Nokia, and is only available on some Nokia phones. Sure, Glance is the best thing ever... but just because a phone maker adds a feature to their device, does not mean that it is a feature of the phone OS.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/4/2014 4:05:11 PM , Rating: 1
Since Samsung phones pretty much define the Android experience for the majority of all users, it seems like you're splitting hairs here.

Honestly I never really thought that feature was all that important anyway. More of an eye candy thing.


Unclear
By inighthawki on 4/4/2014 11:46:12 AM , Rating: 3
>> 5.2-inch screen display with 2K resolution

For anyone else who may have thought it was unclear, since it's not immediately clear what resolution 2K is, the source article indicates that it is referring to a 2460x1440 display, not 1920x1080 as some might expect to be "2K"




Voice
By Wererat on 4/4/2014 5:13:34 PM , Rating: 3
I hope (even without evidence) that there's some user adjustability in Cortana's voice. Ideally, I want her to sound like a certain insane neurotoxin-dispensing OS from a fictional laboratory...

... without the neurotoxin.




missed the two main improvements
By CSMR on 4/5/2014 6:59:31 AM , Rating: 3
Good article, but missed IMO the two main improvements in WP8.1:
1. Universal apps which will run on WP8.1 and Windows (both in tablet mode and in a window on the desktop).
2. File management. Now apps can use a file picker, allowing read/write access to user documents and folders with user consent. This takes WP from a toy OS without the ability to work with user files (iOS is still here) and puts WP ahead of Android where apps put their files everywhere and make a huge mess.




Pretty excited
By CaedenV on 4/4/2014 4:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
For those who currently have WP8 devices and do not want to wait for carriers to update their phones to 8.1 (or fear that carriers like T-Mo will never update devices like the Lumia 810), it is free to sign up for a developer account. If you wait for the carriers then you should not expect WP8.1 until June or July, but with a Developer account you will be able to get it in the next few weeks. You may want to wait an extra week after the dev release 'just in case', but this is how I got my last 2 updates, and the system works very well.

On another note, there are a few things that are either not being highlighted, or are simply missing from the leaks last month. We were told about getting a file picker built into the OS. This would allow us to upload files for submission on websites, or pick something other than a picture within the email client, and other such things. This is sort of a big deal feature for business users, and as this update seems to be mostly geared toward business functionality I am a bit surprised to see it dropped, or at least not highlighted if it is not dropped. There were a few other minor features that appear to be missing as well... but then again we may see it in the fall update.

Best feature every (other than Cortana) is the update to IE11 on WP, and the ability to share bookmarks and tabs between Windows devices. Cant tell you how many times I look something up on my phone to research later on my PC and wished for this feature! The other welcome addition (for myself at least) is a dedicated podcast hub/app. The stock one in WP8 is pretty anemic, and gets very confused if you are listening to a whole series of podcasts from beginning to end and want to download it incrementally. Hopefully this will improve on things.

Another surprise is the lack of a major Nokia firmware update. With each OS update up until now Nokia has added a fairly substantial update which provides support for additional Nokia-specific modifications or features. This enables some of the more advanced camera features, the Glance screen, and a bunch of other little goodies. This time around there is a firmware update (Cyan), but it appears to just be a minor camera adjustment for some devices, and a software package with apps that seem oddly useless compared to their normal offerings.

Lastly, as much as I am thrilled to have WP8.1 finally catch WP up with the rest of the world, I am a little disappointed in the Icon/930. The understanding was that the 920 lacked SD card support because WP had horrible SD card support in the first place... but now that functionality has matured and their flagship still does not have it. The aforementioned Glance Screen feature is missing because they cheaped out on the display, saving a few $$ to get a display that does not have display memory that Glance relies upon... an odd choice for such a great feature. Plus it does not even look like a Lumia. I mean, it does not look bad... and it is certainly lighter and thinner than my 920... but it looks like a modern version of an old iPhone or an old Samsung Galaxy. I was hoping the Icon was a weird one-off and that the 930 would look like a tall 920 or a smaller 1520. Oh well, my contract is not up yet anyways, so I am not sure why I am complaining.




Kudos for a great article
By BZDTemp on 4/6/2014 7:40:09 AM , Rating: 2
Well done, Jason.




Impressed
By laviathan05 on 4/7/2014 9:23:58 AM , Rating: 2
This looks like a serious improvement in Windows Phone. I'm excited to try it out and see if it meets expectations.




By kamiller422 on 4/7/2014 2:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
"Microsoft's goal with Cortana was clearly to take the best bits of Siri and Google Now, and then add on even more functionality. Cortana can schedule reminders, set appointments, dial by voice, dictate messages, and perform local and internet searches."

How does this add functionality? Google Now does this and much more.




"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














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