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All posts tagged Nokia Lumia

Microsoft BUILD Kicked Off Yesterday

… and the opening keynote was huge in terms of content and impact.

Joe Belfiore, Satya Nadella and a cast of others delivered an engaging, high octane presentation with a grab-bag of goodies about the Windows ecosystem.

Where To Begin?

I managed to catch most of the colossal keynote and sat scribbling notes as I went in my Moleskine notebook (I’m old school that way, don’t judge me).

I decided after reading some of my earlier posts and conversing via Twitter with the awesome @LiorYe to keep things in the context of the Windows ecosystem.

BUILD 2014 - Windows 8 Ecosystem

Outline of major feature updates announced in the Windows Ecosystem.

Explanations

The major points of interest and impact are: –

  • Universal Apps: can I finally say well done Microsoft? One app works on any device and will display responsively.
  • Windows Phone 8.1: each of the features here deserve a post in their own right but the highlights are: –
    • Cortana:
      as expected we had Cortana introduce herself (albeit not at MWC). The electronic Personal Assistant can speak, recognize speech, scan your email and proactively respond to events e.g. tracking a flight whose itinerary is in a mail. Joe Belfiore displayed a slew of features and tasks ranging from Live Tiled App, replacing Bing behind the search button, access to 3rd party data feeds (e.g. Yelp) interaction and activation of Apps, and more. Everything that adds incredible value to the Windows Phone by having an intelligent, learning “AI” aboard.
    • Windows Phone Enterprise we were presented with a narrow selection of power features taking Windows Phone into the Enterprise with VPN, S-Mime encrypted email options and MDM control for BYOD where enrolled device policies/apps/settings are defined by a group policy until the phone owner opts out.
    • Start screen customization  both the width of Live Tiles and the Start Screen background will allow for greater personalization.
    • Action Center slide down to access the new Action Center.
    • Shape Writing: akin to Swype on Android this is a faster, more efficient way to interact with the phone.
    • New Devices: Steven Elop announced 3 new phones the Lumia 930 (a beautifully designed, flagship Windows Phone 8.1 handset with a large HD display), the Lumia 630 / 635 (respectively 3G & 4G/LTE Dual SIM phones at a budget price-point). In addition these new phones will support 2 new SDKs: Imaging SDK v2.0 and Sensorcore, a feature to measure motion.

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  • Windows 8.1.x: the update for Windows 8.1 is touted as bringing enhancements for mouse and keyboard users: –
    • In fact the thrust of the update indicates a convergence of Modern Windows UI (Desktop and Apps) with Classic Desktop. By allowing Modern UI Apps to interact with the Windows taskbar and giving these apps the familiar close X button much of the trolling against Windows 8 has been made redundant.
    • Device Responsive Boot: preset defaults for boot based on device type e.g. Desktop PC boots to Classic Desktop and Tablet to Modern Windows Desktop.
    • Combine these with the return of the Windows Start Menu and Windows 8.1.x is upping its usability game once again in response to consumer issues with the OS.

The Warptest POV

Obviously we can expect new development tools to support these features but if everyone at BUILD went home today there would still be a gargantuan amount of information to digest.

As I have stated in several past posts the Windows 8 ecosystem is a revolution and it’s time for the trolls and h8ters to step aside and let the consumers decide if this delivers. IMHO many of the improvements to Windows 8.1.x are winners and Windows Phone has a glorious year ahead with 9 new OEMs, Cortana, Enterprise and new Lumia devices too.

For my money, the biggest news was Universal Apps that will run cross-device from one store purchase. This may well be the holy grail of the Windows Ecosystem.

I’m excited to get these updates and try them for myself and I’m looking forward to lengthy interaction with Cortana.

Well played Microsoft for putting the WIN back in Windows.

Windows Phone…

Most of us know all we need to know about it. Microsoft, nuff said.

That said, last week I got a reminder from the universe how some products are undersold and all you really need to do is put them out there on display and they can sell themselves.

I Was Sitting Drinking A Double Espresso…

How many of my posts could begin with that? Probably all of them. Anyhow we had a visitor, we’ll call them Tom; at Warptest HQ who inevitably they began to tell me their tech problems to see if I had any suggestions.

Espresso - Windows Phone

In a nutshell, they were between cellphones and the smartphone they had wasn’t working for them. They told me it was an Android smartphone and they weren’t entirely sold on it but it was the best device for their work requirements that they had been shown in the store.

As Tom is a reasonably good friend I told them I could loan them a Windows Phone 7 HTC Titan.

I fished the phone and charger out of a drawer and proceeded to show them how Windows Phone works and at one point they asked to try it and amazed told me they had no idea Microsoft made a smartphone, let alone such an intuitive one. Score One for Metro New Windows UI.

We moved onto the issue of apps and supporting Office, email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. I was quick to point out that certain apps are not supported in Windows Phone 7 but are coming to Windows Phone 8 levelling the playing field between iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Cue: the Windows App Store, stage left…

After importing their SIM contacts, setting up mail, connection to their Office 365 and the major social apps they were blown away. After looking at my Windows Phone 8 they simply couldn’t understand why the vendor hadn’t offered this phone to them. We spent an extra five minutes going through the various Windows Phones (Nokia Lumia, HTC and Samsung) along with their prices.

Needless to say had this been a sales pitch I would have closed the deal right there. This was a case of a product selling itself on demo. No more, no less.

The Warptest POV

Any frequent visitors to this blog or friends are aware of my unresolved belief in the Windows Phone platform (I’ve been using Windows Phone since it was Windows Mobile and am working on developing apps these days).

I was surprised and pleased to see an article in Israeli Newspaper, Yediot Acharonot this weekend on How to Change Smartphones to Winter Time; that included Windows Phone 8.

Article courtesy of Israeli newspaper: Yediot Acharonot.

It’s good to see the local press are aware of and including Windows Phone in their tech articles. The real challenge is to encourage vendors and the public to greater awareness of a strong, viable alternative to iOS or Android and to encourage App developers to continue to embrace the Windows Phone platform.

So before you dismiss Windows Phone for you or your family, take a chance and go hands on. Who knows you may decide you like it.

The Nokia Lumia 1020…

… Some disagree on it being innovative but for sure it’s making people think. My thanks to insightful, gentleman tweep @BrianSHall for stimulating my grey cells this morning while I was on the train. He posted a tweet about Apple needing to compete with the Nokia Lumia 1020 which led me to totally rewrite this post, thanks Brian.

My response was two words Retina Camera.

Don’t Make Me Repeat Myself

I’ve already written my opinion of the Nokia Lumia 1020 shortly after the launch event. This is more about market ramifications for all the other Smartphones out there but especially Apple.

Nokia Lumia 1020

What are HTC, Apple and all the others doing in response to the Lumia 1020 raising the bar?

Word of the day is once again, “opportunity”.

The Warptest POV

Tim Cook and Apple had a wake-up call last year with the Nokia 808 PureView. This was truly the shape of things to come.

Nokia Pureview 808

Anyone who didn’t realize this technology was being integrated into the Lumia Windows Phone was asleep at the wheel.

Is a year plus long enough for Apple to build the iPhone 5S/6 with a Retina Camera, associated Apps and an SDK like Nokia has?

That depends on a combination of ego and policy more than development and testing. The bottom line is, which is more important to Apple: seeing their product spec driven by competitors’ innovations and not their own or maintaining a competitive edge?

iphone

With thanks to Apple for the image.

(My hope is companies like HTC read the writing on the wall too but that’s a different kettle of fish).

After the “so-so” reception of the iPhone 5 can Apple afford not to deliver their next iPhone / iPad with a Retina Camera? The Smartphone wars may be flaring up again and the consumers are the ones who will benefit from this.

tim meh

Are you on the fence over which Smartphone will be your next and does the idea of having the best camera on your phone make the difference to your decision?

Nokia Lumia Image

The Nokia Lumia 1020 has gone and done it…

Over the past year I have been hard pressed to find interest in much in the field of Smartphones. The wave of innovation seemed to have run its course and each new phone or OS version was an iteration or homage to the last. Some borrowed from other platforms but at the end of the day I had to ask, had smartphones reached their peak of development?

This afternoon Steven Elop demonstrated what having a poker face means by pulling a colossal rabbit out of Nokia’s hat against expectation. I read the live tweets from the Windows Phone account as he presented the live demo of the much anticipated Nokia Lumia 1020 and I was excited and captivated once again.

Video courtesy of Nokia YouTube Channel

Contrary to the predictions of the pro-blogging Naysayers and Prophets of Doom (whose editorializing was sparse on fact and laden with agenda and negativity) Nokia and Microsoft together delivered a phone that exceeds all expectation and not simply because of more photographic punch (still and video): 41 Megapixels, Zeiss optics, Oversampling, OIS and more.

Nokia Lumia gallery 2

It’s Not Just the Hardware Mate

Hardware and spec aside for a moment, Nokia and Microsoft had tied the Lumia 1020 to the announcement that big name apps like Path, Vine and Hipstamatic would be joining the Windows Phone App family (for Windows Phone 8). Once again both companies demonstrated their new receptiveness to consumers by understanding that an awesome OS is not enough without competing over the same popular Apps as are on Android and iOS.

The Warptest POV

Was this due to some wheeler-dealing by Nokia and Microsoft? I don’t think so. These companies get it;

The Nokia Lumia 1020 has pushed the boundaries of photography providing a holistic platform made of OS + hardware + apps. What’s more they have done it without compromising the fundamental form factor of the phone. This isn’t your camera with a phone glued on, right Samsung?

Nokia Lumia gallery 1

One hopes that these apps are not going to be limited to the Nokia Lumia but available for the Samsung Ativs, HTC 8s and any other Windows Phone 8 handsets.

However, the underlying idea of oversampled, day or light, 41 megapixel photography and video is a stimulus to app designers to find innovative ways of harnessing this unparalleled resource.

What are issues to be aware of?

  • Onboard storage: 32 Gb is going to fill up with 41 megapixel photos, over-samplings and videos fast. The obvious solution should have been more onboard storage, a micro SD slot and a bundled upgrade of 1 Tb of SkyDrive cloud storage with each purchase of the phone.
  • Appreciating the full beauty of these images and videos: what device can support viewing or printing to full resolution? Possibly not even a Retina enabled Macbook. Otherwise just a HD TV and as such the Nokia Lumia 1020 should have a micro USB to HDMI cable in the box and the ability to connect up and use the TV screen.
  • Wireless charging is an add-on, not built in. Still there is only so much horsepower you can fit under one hood. I will be interested to see how battery life measures up though.
  • If you take this phone and are planning to upload your photos to the cloud in full resolution I’d make sure you have a well-priced, unlimited data package.
  • Carriers: so far the phone is only being carried in the US by AT&T, hopefully this will change with time.

So my advice to anyone developing mobile apps that are built on Smartphone cameras – it’s time to accept that if you don’t want to be left behind with a humdrum low-resolution app, you need to be developing your App for Windows Phone and especially to exploit every last one of those 41 megapixels.

Don’t listen to me though, listen to Path, Vine and friends.

not carl zeiss

Samsung Gives Us Their Take On The Cam-Phone…

… And with it TechCrunch throws an absolute wobbler and decides that this is the Lumia PureView Killer.

Their title “Samsung Just Killed Nokia’s ‘True PureView’ Windows Phone And It’s Not Even Unboxed Yet” drew my attention and so I hit the link in Twitter.

Techcrunch S4 ZoomI didn’t need to so much as scroll to see the image of the Galaxy S4 Zoom which for all intents and purposes looks like a point and shoot camera which apparently has a phone built in.

With thanks to YouTuber Tracy80sGirl for the clip

Apples and Pears

My suggestive title aside I decided to see what it feels like to treat a point and shoot as your phone: –

  1. I really hope my jeans pocket stretches back to original shape and thankfully I didn’t accidentally hit the zoom button when it was in there; the rest I leave to your imagination.
  2. Yes, there needs to be an equivalent term to Glasshole for people who walk around talking into a point and shoot camera.
  3. I have more comments from my brief behavioral testing run but let’s progress…

With thanks to Samsung Mobile Press for making images downloadable

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TechCrunch’s article indicates that “serious” photographers will take a point and shoot form factor camera over Nokia’s Lumia PureView whilst at the same time deriding the comparison of Samsung’s 16 Megapixels versus the PureView’s 41 WHOPPING Megapixels as nerdy. Sounds like someone wants to have their blogging cake and eat it too.

The bulky argument cancels itself out because both phones are bulky in different ways. The Galaxy S4 Zoom protects the zoom lens housing by building a protruding base to the phone across the whole width whereas the Lumia has a consistent form factor except for the bubble shape of the lens housing.

I will say one more thing regarding technical spec. TechCrunch, anyone who is remotely serious about taking photos will see one thing that differentiates the two lenses: –

Who’s got a Carl Zeiss lens?

carl zeiss anyone?

The Warptest POV

In a nutshell the Samsung looks good for what it is but the Nokia looks better. The promise of the competitive technical specs of 10X Zoom versus WHOPPING Megapixels may cancel each other out.

Really it comes to this, do you want Windows Phone 8 or Android 4.2 (Jellybean)? Whichever, you had better make sure you have unlimited data and unthrottled bandwidth for uploading these undoubtedly large photos or simply sending resized copies until you can use a wifi connection.

Sorry to burst your bubble TechCrunch but I don’t think Nokia is under much threat from this specific model especially when you factor the promise of Lumia’s low light abilities, Wireless recharging and some amazing proprietary apps.

So whilst I may be happy to see you Samsung Galaxy Zoom, you won’t be in my pocket.

How about you?