Windows Phone 8- My Reaction

So guys, Its the last post describing my first encounter with Nokia Lumia on Windows Phone 8, and I am going to describe what I felt for the new OS, comparing to that of WP7.5 and WP7.8. This is going to be a bit Bitter one…..Windows Phone 8

Warning, No offences please, these are JUST MY VIEWS.

First thing First, The UI :-

1. Start Screen:- as we all know that Microsoft made the customization even more personalized by introducing different size of tiles on Start Screen. While, I already updated my L610 to WP7.8 with the same start screen, I was not that excited and didn’t explored it much due to lack of time. So from the experience of WP7.8, I can say, this change was needed and I appreciate it the most. This new feature gives more freedom to make our Start screen more Intuitive and informative at same time.  While Small tiles are best way to introduce a shortcut on Start, Medium and Large screen tiles does the same job what they do in WP7, giving latest tweets, Status, Notifications on start screen itself. Larger tile for 3rd party apps is the Best new feature in my view, because it was limited to just Photo and calendar app previously. I really want to see new apps coming with new ways of using this new add-on but for now, except for few apps like Nokia Drive, CNN, Facebook, etc. this new feature is useless., but is having big potential.

2. Lock Screen-  Lock screen now features a new bunch of Notification icons like that of Facebook, Xbox, twitter, etc., Auto changing wallpaper as Bing pic of the day, and also allows 3rd party apps like Facebook, CNN,etc. to auto change the wallpaper and show personalized Data like FB pics, News, etc. and I was happy to see that.

3. Misc.- In the UI section, except the new start screen and the Lock screen, Nothing has been changed. I was shocked to know that the left side of the start screen was still not used, there was no central Notification system, No new background ascent colors, Nothing was changed in Music+video Player, Multitasking menu and in other apps. Being it a big lap from WP7 to WP8, expectations were high but still, there are few necessary things left, which should have been covered.

The Features:- This is the area where Windows Phone 8 really pleased me. While windows phone 7 already had a great amount of signature features like Social network and Email integration & Linked accounts, Live Tiles, Xbox Live Games, etc. but it was still lagging behind in checklist of some important features Like Bluetooth File Sharing, Micro SD card support, High End gaming support, Offline installation of apps, etc. So here are a few new features who pleased me a lot.

1. Micro SD card support and Storage mode on PC:- Windows Phone truly came to India when Nokia Launched Lumia here, but we Indians had hard time when we got to know that our NOKIA phone do not support Micro SD card though it had a lot of memory and we cant transfer files to phone by just Copy and paste via PC. This main reason for WP’s failure in India is now solved, and I am really happy to see this. This new feature brings one more feature along with it, called Manual app installing. keep reading to know more about it.

2. Bluetooth File Sharing and NFC:- Though Nokia already bought this feature to its WP7.8 Lumia range by giving an exclusive app, this feature was needed to be deeply integrated. In WP7.8 one has to open the app first in order to send/receive file. But I was more than Happy to see that one can share files as easily as they used to do it on Symbian/ Android by just long pressing any  file and sharing and receiving do not need any app to be opened first. But there are some glitches here which are unexpected and should be solved as early as possible. I will discuss them later in this post, keep reading.

3. Manual app Installing:- In this feature, one can download the  whole app to their PC in .xap file format, transfer it to SD card and then in Store, install it manually. It is really helpful to download large game files at high speed on PC and installing it in phone. Also helpful for those who don’t have a WiFi home network to download Big files to phone directly. But this feature is a bit complicated as to install app manually, one should have a phone with MSD card support. Phones like Nokia lumia 920 may not be able to do this as they do not have MSD card support. Don’t know if there is any other way or not.

***If you are thinking to download .xap file of a paid app and install it in phone, let me tell you its not that easy. The file should be downloaded with your live account logged in and if its a paid app, the payment should be completed. The phone checks the authorization on net before installing it.

4. Universal  Connectivity support:- we all know previous windows phone can only support a rare no of headsets, and manufacturers had to make special cable for windows phones. But it has been changed. Now every Windows phone support every kind of Headphones and headsets, even the previous windows phone ones too. This made me so happy that i cant  explain. So now, one do not have to worry if his high end headset will support any these windows phones or not.

5. Hindi Keyboard support:- Previous version of Windows phone did not support Hindi language, and if anyone gets a message in Devanagari font, it appeared as small Boxes. But the WP8 firmware for India not only have support to read Hindi, but it also features two special keyboard. One for writing in Hindi Devanagari font along with lots of prediction and a special keyboard to write in Hinglish. The Hindi (Latin) keyboard has the same English keyboard but with ad-on prediction of Hinglish words like yaar, tu, abhi, vahan, etc. So if we talk about best typing experience on any Mobile OS, Windows phone is surely the winner, until BB10 comes with something very unique for India, which, probably not going to happen.

There are many features in Windows Phones which could make anyone happily go for it like bunch of colorful live tiles, Simple UI, Microsoft support, etc. But i want to mainly focus on the Loopholes of this potential OS. Here are a few :-

1. No shortcut to Dial-er :-  As in the previous version, user still has to go to phone and then tap on dial-er in order to make a manual call or Ussd request. while there are app to directly go to Dial-er from home screen, but they do not support USSD service, and one has to go to default dial-er for that. The space tn left of the Start screen could have been used for this purpose or any other one, but shockingly, its been left as it is.

2. Minor Glitches In Bluetooth Sharing:-

(a)Like, if you receive some file via Bluetooth, its hard to recognize at first that where we will find that file. Like if i transfer Music, it will be found in my music section of Music+Videos, Pics will be found in Saved files album, but when it comes to Videos, it was expected to be found in Videos section of Music+Videos, but it goes to Saved files album of Photo app. I mean who would think that a video file will go to Photo section? Even the Bluetooth Share app for WP7.8 do this job better than the integrated one in WP8. It saves Video files to Music+Videos.

(b) Now WP8 have ability to select multiple files in Photo/Music  album, but that feature is only available to Delete files and to add to playlist, but not for sharing. one has to send each file one by one.

(c)If your phone is not connected to any other phone via Bluetooth, the BT share option will not even appear. What happens normally in other phones that is if we want to send a file, and we choose via BT, it asks to select a phone to send it to. But on WP8, util you go to BT menu, turn it on, and select a devise first, you will not even see Bluetooth Share option in share menu of a file.

3. No Xbox Music for India:- Though we have Nokia Music but Xbox Music service is needed in India. Due to the lack of this service, other services are also affected like Music recognition in Search (Bing Music), good quality music download, Smart DJ etc.

4. No advanced camera setting option:- What a photographer need is, full control over his camera. But unlike Camera UI in 808 Pureview, this Windows Phone Pureview do not  have creative Mode which include options like saving more than 1 custom settings for quick access, Changing photo resolution to take photo according to its use (Lower MP to upload on social network, Higher MP for offline saving.), Capture Modes (Normal, Bracketing, Interval, Self-Timer), Viewfinder Grid, Option to On/off video stabilisation, etc.

5. File Manager:- This is the most missed feature in Windows Phone 8. File manager is needed to see where in the phone, our data actually exist and to know Details about a file like File Name, Size, Date created, etc. If not a file manager, they should have provided any way to see details of the files, that isn’t really that hard!

6. Advanced Video Player:- Androids have MX player which has so many good Features like new Codec, Subtitle and gesture support, but in Windows Phone, we even don’t have a simple Video player app which could play stored videos. If not app, MS should have made the default player equipped with tons of features. Now if MS can’t, i really wanna see any app called Nokia Video!!!

7. No proper Notification Management like found in android, ios, Symbian:- Windows phone 7 was badly criticized for its lack of central notification management system, and was expected to be solved in new version, but it didn’t happened.

Here a brief explanation about what i happens now and what is a Central Notification. For now, if you get a notification from some app say Facebook/Whatsapp, it will be shown as toast notification if you opted for it and will be shown on live tile if you placed it on start screen. You can directly go to the app from toast notification when it arrives, but ones it disappear, you have to go to the app yourself in order to see the new notification. If there was a Central Notification manager, like in android, you could see all the happenings at one place like missed calls, messages, emails, FB-twitter-whatsapp Notifications.

***But if you watch carefully, its already there. What live tiles do is, Notify Us. In simple way, the start screen itself is a Notification Manager, in fact the best one i have ever seen. But i don’t know why people cant see this, Maybe MS didn’t say it that way!  Anyway, what are your thoughts? Do you really want a traditional Notifier or You are happy with Live Tiles?

phew, that was all i found interesting and irritating in Windows Phone.

Thanks for reading my posts…………

If you missed the previous 2 parts of this series, here are the links.

Part 1 Part 2 

And if you want to know more about “whats new in windows Phone!” Follow these links—-> Wikipedia & Microsoft

Here are some useful tips & Tricks surely not to miss—> Link

By:- Ayush Mathur

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5 thoughts on “Windows Phone 8- My Reaction

  1. Pingback: Nokia Lumia 920 and 820- First Reaction, Pics, and My views on Windows Phone 8 (Part 2) « Mobi Halo

  2. Pingback: Nokia Lumia 920 and 820- First Reaction, Pics, and My views on Windows Phone 8 (Part 1) « Mobi Halo

  3. The push notification system in WP in combination with live tiles is the best, as you mentioned. But the problem is that many apps that give push notifications don’t keep live tiles to continue giving the feedback when notification is gone. Developer implementation issues!!

    • Thanx for your feedback.
      Developer implication issue can be solved in many other ways. If you are following Microsoft, you should know that how much they support developers. They organise so many workshops, training programs and other meets and competition for only one reason, engaging more developers and make them aware of potential of this os. In order to bring some changes they have to take different way. Just because developers dont know how to, changing whole system and implementing a copied system is not the solution……

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