• Category Archives Smartphones
  • I think not (or: Desperate times….)!

    It is no secret that I am generally not a great fan of Microsoft.  There used to be two exceptions to this:

    1. Microsoft Flight Simulator
    2. Windows CE

    Yes that’s right – Windows CE.  I actually bought one of these little beauties just when it came out:

    wpid-IMG_20130501_102925.JPG

     

    And that was quite an awesome little device.  Later when HP moved into Mobile phones, based on what had then became known as Windows Mobile, I also bought one of those.

    The problem with these devices was not the hardware, nor was it the Windows operating system.  The problem was in each case that Microsoft made an operating system, sold the device and then promptly moved on to something else.  As a customer or user of these devices you never had the feeling that Microsoft was interesting in driving the product experience forward.  And that is precisely why I, when Nokia announced they were going with Windows on their phones, went out and bought myself an Android phone.  And I haven’t looked back since.

    A few days ago, Microsoft came with a bit of a surprise announcement – an Android Application.  Yes that is right – Microsoft actually went ahead and created an Android Application – known as Switch to Windows Phone, and they made the application available in Google’s application store – Google Play.

    According to the description, the purpose of this application is to aid the move to Windows Phone:

    Are you thinking about switching to Windows Phone and want a convenient way to migrate your app experiences over? Look no further, Windows Phone has an app for that!

    Use Switch to Windows Phone to see how many of your Android apps are available on Windows Phone. Just run Switch to Windows Phone on your Android, and this app will check to see if your installed apps are available in the Windows Phone Store. It’s that easy.

    Then (if you choose) Switch to Windows Phone can save your results so you can retrieve them later on your new Windows Phone and install the apps. You don’t need to remember every app you had on your Android, and you download only the apps you want.

    Features:

    • Scan the installed apps on your phone
    • Find the Windows Phone equivalents
    • Save the personalized match results to retrieve later on your Windows Phone

    I am fairly happy with Android at the moment, so it is not as if I plan to switch to a Windows Phone, but still – I am a curious sort of person, so I did want to check this out.  Unfortunately:

    windows phone

     

    A few of these devices are no-name Chinese tablets, but my primary phone at the moment is a Samsung Galaxy S2, and that is still a fairly common phone (reaching it’s end of life, which is exactly when someone might consider buying a new phone).

    Needless to say I am not impressed, and it would appear I am not alone:

    windows phone1

     

    So, do I consider switching to Windows Phone?  Nah, I think I’ll stick with Android.



  • Quit Wasting my Time Facebook

    As if Facebook wasn’t already a massive waste of time it would appear that they – with their new Facebook Home application for Android – want to reach new heights.

    I have absolutely no doubt that I will dislike Facebook Home.  I like my Android phone just as it is and I have put in quite an effort to tweak the thing just as I like it.  Apparently Facebook Home is essentially a replacement Android Launcher where Facebook itself become the center of the phone GUI, with the ability to launch external applications too.  At launch it appeared that I wouldn’t have to worry if I liked Facebook Home or not since they only made it available for a select few Android phones (none of which I own).  Because of this very limited availability I was much surprised when the notice the following on Google play:

    Facebook Home - Google Play

    I currently have 5 different Android devices registered: A Samsung Galaxy S II, a Samsung Galaxy, a Barnes & Noble Nook Color and a couple of Chinese no-name tablets.  The device listed as compatible was no other than the oldest of the lot – the Barnes & Noble Nook Color.  I went on to click Install and it happily installed itself on my Nook.

    The Nook is essentially an E-book reader but I also own a couple of Kindles and therefore these days the Nook is mostly used for playing games.  I therefor did not really have Facebook installed on it, so I went ahead and installed that too.  All in all quite a massive download and all that on a rather marginal Wifi connection – so it definitely took a while.  I went through logging into Facebook and finally I felt ready to launch Facebook Home.  This was the result:

    Facebook Home - No Go

    Let’s see that again:

    Facebook Home - No Go - Cropped

    Excuse me!  That is a bit like saying, “Thank you for spending time and energy (and possibly money) to check out our product, now piss off!”. If Facebook’s application is not able to run on my device, why in the name of all that is holy do you state that it is compatible in the first place.  

    Facebook Home Compatible

    You just wanted about half an hour of my life!

    The rating is interesting:

    Facebook Home Rating

    It would appear that I am not the only one that is utterly disappointed by Facebook Home.  I think they need to rename it Facebook Away.