Google is rumored to be launching a direct-to-consumer store for “Nexus” tablets. Is it doomed, given how Nexus phone experiment failed? Not so much.
It is about 6 weeks and here is my update on my windows phone.Two most common questions/gaps first: have not missed multitasking yet
because of most of the apps being able to tombstone while inactive,
and have missed copy/paste once when I wanted to tweet a link. Having said that, I am really happy with the rate at which apps are
being added, and am hopeful that the bigger missing properties like
ESPN and Amazon will come soon with their version of the WP7 apps. In the past ten days, I have walked through this phone with about 20
people who had never seen a Windows Phone before, some of whom had
heard about it, and some of whom are already heavy Blackberry users.
It was unanimous that the phone rocks. All of them were impressed with
the Focus’ screen, and how snappy the phone was. Not too many “got”
Metro but all of them appreciated the aggregation (hubs) idea and how
Facebook is deeply integrated into the phone. Cherry on top was the Zune Pass, unlimited, on-demand streaming of music. Here is a list of the apps I have on the phone as of today: Adobe Reader
AT&T My Wireless
AT&T U-Verse Mobile
Cricket World Cup
HSN Shop App
Metro Web Browser
MSN Money Stocks
Now (Samsung app)
Photo Sharing (Samsung app)
Photogram (Samsung app)
Send to WP7
Top Cities 2011
National Geographic Atlas
More on recommendations later…
I wrote on Friday about my switch from iPhone to Windows Phone 7. I am now a proud (really proud) owner of a Samsung Focus Windows Phone from AT&T. (side note: see how easy it is to refer to Windows Phone? No need to say Windows 7 Phone, Windows Phone 7 Phone, Windows Mobile 7, Windows 7 Mobile, etc. Just go with Windows Phone. That easy)
I had talked about what I use on the iPhone and here is my list of things I have done on my Windows Phone:
- First and foremost, I cleaned up my hotmail contacts and also hooked up facebook, flickr, linkedin, yelp, wordpress, and more. (This was done earlier, in anticipation of my move to Windows Phone.)
- I signed in with my Live ID and set up my personal account (google apps) for email, hotmail for contacts and email, facebook for contacts, photos and feeds, other gmail for email and calendar. All went well and in a few moments my phone was being “lit up” with information from various places that I did not even have to care about.
- I downloaded the common, popular apps like:
- Adobe Reader
- Breaking News
- Slacker Radio
- UStream Viewer
- Then I went and downloaded a bunch of games from the Marketplace – happens to be that most of the games (perhaps all) are XBOX Live enabled. I am not an XBOX user yet so I was aslo able to set up my own XBOX Live Avatar.
- Most of the games I downloaded, had a trial mode and I did go with the trial mode for those games. I have converted to paid on a few games already. Trial mode is simply fantastic, especially for games and especially for kids games where I can see if it is going to fly with the kids or not and then decide to put the $ down.
As you can see most of the big, common apps are already there and I am really not missing a beat.
I can say my needs are completely met (and exceeded in a lot of cases) except the following apps/scenarios:
- Corporate email. Of course, my iPhone was a huge factor in my corporate email/calendar management. I am going to miss this feature the most. However there are multiple things to consider here – I have an iPad which is provisioned for corporate email and calendar, so I can use that when I am not at work. Also, it is only a matter of time before Windows Phone gets the at-rest encryption which will then make it feasible to get corporate email on it. Not a huge concern, in general.
- Notifications. Even though Windows Phone provides multiple types of notifications (toaster alert like the SMS app does, Live Tiles like the Weatherbug app does and push notifications), common apps like facebook and twtter/seesmic have not implemented any notification method yet. This is an app maker’s problem so I am positive the next iterations of these apps will take care of this issue. However I like the simplicity and features of Boxcar and I hope they get their app over to Windows Phone.
- ESPN. I did not realize how much I used the ESPN ScoreCenter app on the iPhone. This weekend I wanted to keep track of multiple close Pac-10 football games and the website was simply not as efficient as the app is. I wish this app comes really fast and given how cutting edge ESPN has been until now, I don’t doubt at all that a sexy-looking app is coming soon.
- HippoRemote. For now I am not concerned much because the iPad takes care of it.
- Amazon. Again, like ESPN I feel the app is much more efficient to use than the website and again, I am pretty sure these guys will release the app soon.
- In-browser videos/flash-HTML5. This is quite an annoyance because even browsing to the ESPN website for example, from the iPad, plays videos in the page because they have made those videos HTML5-compliant. But the mobile IE browser does not support HTML5 and Windows Phone does not support flash or silverlight in the browser. So this is truly something I have to wait for Microsoft to deliver, hopefully in their next update.
- Another big problem in the OS is that it cannot connect to wireless networks that are hidden. I do not broadcast my SSID and now I have to, hopefully again, only up to the upcoming update.
On the other hand, there are plenty of small things on the phone that made my smile. Simple stuff like the back button – I opened twitter, clicked on a tweet which had a link, clicked on the link and opened the browser. After I was done reading, I closed the browser and clicked the back button and I came back to the opened tweet in twitter. Small thing, but so cool.
Another thing – the voice command and voice search is FANTASTIC. I have not had a single incorrect interpretation of my voice command. Love it.
I could go on and on about how awesome the phone is, but this post is not about that. As you can see, the switch from the iPhone is going to be a good one and hopefully in the upcoming WP7 update as well as some of the app updates (or releases) most of my pending concerns would be addressed.