It's fair to say that I've been critical of some aspects of Windows Phone in the past, all documented on these pages and in the various audio podcasts, but at the same time I find myself using a Nokia Lumia 1020 on a daily basis. Yes, the camera is super, but away from that I'm still finding that Windows Phone does, more or less, everything I need a smartphone OS to do. Which got me thinking about why other mobile enthusiasts have ended up with a far more negative view of the OS. What exactly didn't they like and how valid are their criticisms?
As the Windows Phone user base continues to grow, so does the number of applications available through the Windows Phone Store. As the land-grab for apps continues to gather pace, there is a growing undercurrent of applications that push the edge of morality in terms of naming, look, functionality, and cost. Is this an issue that has to be tolerated, or should Microsoft take a more proactive stance to keep the Windows Phone Store as safe and habitable as possible?
You may remember that we produced a feature last week pointing out the similarities between the new Google Nexus 5 and the year old Nokia Lumia 920? The reasons are summarised below, along with a focus on the imaging side of these smartphones. There's a stills and video shootout, aiming to compare both the quality of the optics and image processing, and the effectiveness of the OIS implementation.
The journey to podcatching nirvana on Windows Phone has been long and hard, as anyone reading my series of podcatcher round-ups may realise. The goal is to have a podcast application auto-check feeds and auto-download new episodes, whether the application is on the phone screen or not. This may sound easy enough, but with Windows Phone's heavy restrictions on multitasking, it turns out to be very hard.
The battle to preserve personal and secure data across mobile platforms goes on. You may remember that I went on an exploratory trip around every secure database system recently, with no satisfactory conclusion. Is it too much to expect to be able to take my PINs, my ID numbers, my software serial numbers, my secrets, from platform to platform? It may be too early to call off the search completely, but a solution is emerging that looks future proof and promising.
Google's recent release of version 4.4 of Android has many goals, but one of them is to address Android's suitability for lower spec handsets. While Android has built up market share on low end devices, this focus on a slick experience at the low end is something that Microsoft and Windows Phone have already got under control. Now is the time for WP to drive that advantage home.
Hot off the international device press, we have a camera comparison between the brand new Google Nexus 5 and the established champion, the Nokia Lumia 1020. Now, we're not expecting the Nexus 5 to get close to the 1020, but the margin is an interesting November 2013 data point in this popular facet of smartphone functionality.
"Find some nice stories, please", was the comment from the All About team as I boarded the flight to Dublin and the Digital Web Summit earlier this week. And what I found was disheartening. Not that I was expecting anything else, but the app development gap between Windows Phone and iOS was ridiculous.
I wrote, a while ago, about possible showstoppers for people moving from Symbian to Android or Windows Phone, but a lot has happened in the intervening months, not least the arrival of the Nokia Lumia 1020, offering a more or less direct equivalent to the camera-centric flagships in Nokia's previous Symbian world. What I wanted to explore here was each aspect of smartphone functionality, from the point of view of matching what each generation did - and does. The overall picture may surprise you, though (as usual) there are a few caveats along the way.
The Nokia Lumia 1520, announced at Nokia World last week, has one of the best screens we've seen on a smartphone. The headline feature of the six-inch IPS LCD display is its 1080p resolution screen (1080 x 1920 pixels), which is a first for Windows Phone, but what really stood out for us, during a brief hands-on, was the improved implementation of Nokia's sunlight readability enhancement mode.