Engagement? This is not the platform you are looking for

by Shane Perris on Friday, 10 December, 2010

in Uncategorized

Or how the little things destroy the big picture

I have written this post over the course of a few days. There are a lot of ideas half-formed in my head, and two weeks has not been long enough to tease them all out. As much as I would have liked longer, I suspect I simply would have procrastinated further and watched the deadlines fly right on by regardless.

I have tried hard to like Windows Phone 7 (hence forth to be referred to as WP7 – don’t get me started on the name), I really have. It’s a likeable platform and operating system, and it does get an ‘A’ for effort. However, I just couldn’t warm to it. While it sure is pretty, and the phone’s hardware is top notch, I found myself turning back to my iPhone 3GS time and time again. I simply could not bring myself to fully commit to the Mozart. For an anti-social shut-in, my life is somewhat complicated and certain features like subscribed Google calendars, the TripView app or even a half-decent Twitter app or an app marketplace with, you know, apps in it, proved too hard to let go. In contrast, when my wife took part in the first social review with the HTC Desire, she was using the Desire almost exclusively by the end, despite her well documented struggles with the device at the time.

Regular glances at the official #telstrawp7 hash tag seemed to show a number of the other reviewers really getting into their phone and enjoying the experience. I certainly feel like I’m a minority of some sort. I don’t like to think that I’m “that guy”, the Apple fan boy, particularly as I’ve raged against platform fundamentalism for so long. Yet, I found myself constantly comparing WP7 and the Mozart to my 3GS, which is particularly odd given that the 3GS is yesterday’s technology, the shininess of iOS 4.2.1 notwithstanding.

Perhaps the failing is mine? I would not be surprised. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

Really?

The Microsoft ad campaign that accompanied the launch of WP7 was an interesting and uncharacteristically brave one. It went out of its way to point out the thing that every good self-hating smartphone user already instinctively knows – we spend too much damn time looking at our screens and not enough at what is actually going on around us. Living in Sydney I see this a lot – people walking through peak hour pedestrian traffic staring at their phone instead of looking where they are walking, people at social media events who will experience the entire event through Twitter while physically sitting in a room together, and douche bags on the phone in public toilets.

Microsoft’s angle seems to be “You’re not like those other people. You want a phone that does fancy things, but on your own terms. You own the phone, not the other way around”. It’s clever, and it is a point of differentiation in a consumer smartphone market that is rapidly becoming a two-horse race between Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS (keeping in mind that it is still early days and who knows if either platform will still be around in 5 years).

On this level, WP7 is a resounding success. I found when I deliberately spent more time using the Mozart as my primary device, I actually spent less time using the phone. There are different reasons for this, of course. The selection of apps is woeful at this point in time, and of those that are available, most don’t look that great to me. There are serious issues with battery life, even with the APN workaround (although as of Thursday this problem has now been fixed after Telstra pushed through an update). Ultimately though, the phone is just not fun to use. It does not engage you the way that an iPhone or high-spec Android phone does. The user experience does feel very much “get in, get out”. It doesn’t invite you to stay a while, do a little surfing, tweet a bit with your friends, maybe take a few retro-filtered photos from the camera app du jour and put your feet up for a while. Apart from the selection of Xbox Live games (which generally are a fucking awesome experience on the phone, let’s not beat around the bush here), there is very little to stick around for.

It’s the little things that kill

I spent a couple of days in anxious self-examination (yes, yes, that’s what she said, very clever), trying to work out what it was about the phone I just couldn’t engage with. The interface is sound, the phone is responsive and what apps I did purchase did the job with little fuss or bother.

Then while shopping with the headphones tucked in my shirt, it hit me. The attention to detail just isn’t there, and it is neatly encapsulated in the headphone experience.

First off, who the hell did HTC test the feel and fit of these headphones on? They are large, uncomfortable (with or without the foam), oddly shaped, badly lacking in clarity (even with the fancy audio Dolby and SRS WOW equalisers) and with a cable that is way to god damned long. A Mozart doesn’t give you a lot of change from $1,000. I don’t think some decent bundled headphones is too much to ask.

But wait, there’s more. Although the headphone remote is a good addition, and clearly someone has been watching the success of the iPhone, it is not very responsive nor does it allow for much control. Maybe it’s all tied up in patents, and maybe my cognitive pathways are already set in treacle, but I don’t see the point of a remote control if all you can do is play/pause, and change the volume. Where’s the skip track, or scrub through options? Maybe i missed these options. I did try experimenting with various combinations Also, pressing pause should stop the audio instantly, not wait a second or two before stopping the sound.

And while I’m on the subject of the microphone and remote, whoever designed its placement should be summarily beaten with a clue stick until their bruises are black and clue. The microphone rests at the headphone cable “fork”, where it splits in to two. This places the mic somewhere around nipple level, which is hardly conducive to hands free use. Sure, a clip is provided that you can add on if you want, but a clip dangling off the wire adds extra weight that my already overloaded which my giants’-ear-buds-jammed-in-my-skull ears can’t take, not to mention the extra bunched up cable dangling around. Given the absurd length of the headphone cables, I had intended to run the headphones under my shirt while wheeling through Woolies but this was also a bust as the remote was buried deep within my shirt instead of neatly nestled near my jawline. As a consequence the ear buds were ripped out of my head with monotonous regularity as the cable got caught on shelves, other people’s over-sized handbags and my own shopping trolley.

You’re probably wondering why have I wasted hundreds of words talking about headphones? “They’re not even part of the phone so stick to the point!” The headphones are my point. They are a symptom: a symptom of a larger disease. It looks pretty but in practice it doesn’t feel like it’s been tested on actual people at all.

External volume buttons are a great idea but they are too easy to bump, either blasting your ear drums or accidentally turning off all notification sounds. A camera feature where you can take photos when the screen is locked via the hardware button, but it only seems to work half the time (probably operator error, but why is it even possible for me to stuff this up?). Having apps either as annoying large tiles of my choosing or an absurdly long alphabetical list of every damn thing installed on the phone, both with only vertical scrolling and with no ability to neatly scroll a screen at a time. A “photos” hub that doesn’t seem to show any photos that are on my camera roll, but really does if you look at it in just the right way. Capacitive touch buttons that meant I was constantly accidentally going back, home or launching the okay-but-it-ain’t-no-Google Bing.

I could go on but I’ve already complained long enough. Needless to say, the usability finish just has not been applied.

Wow, really :-D

In amongst the gripes, there are still some things that I love and that I will miss.

The lock screen is actually useful in that it shows the next upcoming event from my Outlook calendar. I can’t do that on the iPhone without jail breaking it.

The auto correction experience is first rate (look at my typing in my testing Word video to see it in action). It is much closer to Android’s system than Apple’s. I would like to see Apple implement something like this rather than the current method which has spawned creations like damnyouautocorrect.com.

Notifications are done right in the same way that they are on Android. In iOS notifications are very obtrusive. You can’t ignore them and you have to decide immediately whether to address them or dismiss them. In WP7 they appear in a bar across the top of the screen. You can ignore them and look at them at your leisure. Another thing that Apple can learn from its competitors.

Wireless syncing. Sweet zombie Jesus, wireless syncing. Once you set up the Zune for PC, you can sync wirelessly between your computer and WP7. It happens automatically if the phone is connected to your network and the phone has been plugged into an AC charger for 10 minutes. Word of warning though: even if you are finished syncing and have closed down Zune, the phone will still re-sync on a regular basis. It does get tiring have to shut down a relaunched Zune every 10 minutes. I’m sure there is a setting I’ve missed (or maybe not – it’s an attention to detail point after all).

Ring tones and notification sounds. There are dozens of them, and most of them sound more modern and less harsh than what is available on the iPhone. In face, there are too many sounds. I gave up scrolling through them all and just settled on something pretty.

The way that press-and-hold menus appear like a sci-fi stargate before the little drop-down menu appears. It’s purely chrome, but it’s a nice touch.

The Mozart comes with a startlingly large supply of stock alarms, ringtones and notifications sounds. Many of them are much nicer than on iOS. I will especially miss waking up to Alarm 04. I may have to try and rip it and turn it into a ring tone.

Games. Oh, the games. Xbox Live has made some really tasty looking games available. I’m not much of a gamer and didn’t even own an Xbox before the review (disclaimer: Microsoft gave each of the reviewers an Xbox Arcade edition. I still haven’t taken mine out the box nor do I have any games. I guess it can sit and gather dust next to the Wii I haven’t played in months). I haven’t tested any of the funky sounding stuff like racking up achievements on the go, editing your avatar and so forth. If you’re an existing Xbox gamer, this will be way more use to you than Apple’s GameCenter. There’s no Angry Birds or my favourite tower defence game The Creeps, but there is ample choice and some big looking titles, too.

Word and OneNote integration is fantastic. The apps are stripped back with few features, but they work very well and get the job done. I am experiencing some trouble integrating these notes with Office web apps on Skydrive. At this point I’m prepared to blame operator error as I haven’t looked at it closely enough.

I didn’t test proper Exchange support beyond integration with Google services. From what I could tell from the #telstrawp7 stream, it worked very well. I don’t have sufficient seniority for remote access so this is not something I could test. I did notice that the WP7 Exchange support only imported my main Google calendar. iOS on the iPhone imports my subscribed calendars as well. This is important to me as my wife and I organise our lives through Google Calendar. There’s no point if I can’t easily access her appointments as well as my own.

The Zune media player is a competent if unremarkable built-in app. A big negative for me is that I can’t play podcasts at double the speed like I can in later versions of the iPod app on the iPhone.

Final thoughts

WP7 is both impressive and disappointing. It has the slickness of Apple, the alternative attraction of Android and the history of Nokia’s Symbian. It also has the freedom of Apple, the attention to detail of Android and the app quality of Symbian.

WP7 is a first generation product. I have read the arguments that the underlying technology builds upon previous versions of Windows Mobile. It is still a v1.0 philosophy – new interface, new hardware, new branding, new marketing. Despite the “Really?” campaign, the phone is squarely in the same market as Android (now at 2.3) and iOS (latest version 4.2.1). The smartphone market is not yet a zero sum game and Microsoft still has time to carve a profitable niche out for itself. This is a Good Thing. Competition breeds innovation after all.

But (and there is always a but), it is not there yet. The operating system is still a little crash happy. The apps simply aren’t there. The interface is not minimal but simple, which will frustrate many existing advanced smartphone users. There is no tethering (Android and iOS have this). There is no wi-fi hotspot capability (Android and a jail broken iOS device have this). I remain unconvinced about the tiled home screen or the list of apps that doesn’t allow for any meaningful sorting or grouping.

The Mozart is an excellent phone that is a joy to hold and interact with. WP7 is a phone operating system whose time is yet to come. It could be worse. It could be Blackberry desperately clinging to relevance with terrible touchscreen phones that no one wants.

Would i recommend a WP7 phone to someone else? Absolutely. If someone doesn’t want an iPhone and isn’t “techy” but still wants to buy a smartphone for the first time, WP7 is probably the right choice, and the Mozart is a nice piece of kit.

Will I continue to use WP7 myself? God no. This operating system is not the right one for me. I have too many iOS apps that are an essential part of my life that simply don’t exist on his platform yet.

Would I use WPx in the future? Maybe. It depends. I choose my tools for what I think will get the job done in the easiest way possible. Whether that includes Windows Phone in the future is in Microsoft’s hands.

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A face made for radio…

by Shane Perris on Thursday, 9 December, 2010

in Uncategorized

…and a voice made for blogging. While you may not get to see my face (some things are best left unseen), you can still have the dubious pleasure of listening to me um, ah, interrupt, be distracted and not get around to saying what I was going to say at the start of the sentence here – FulltimeCasual’s Windows Phone 7 roundtable.

Peter Wells (@fulltimecasual) hosted Daniel Olivares (@themonkeyboy) and myself (@smperris) for a roundtable chat about WP7, the Mozart and how the two compare to the iPhone and Android.

The conversation was an interesting one. Pete and Daniel were great with a lot of interesting things to say. I apologise in advance for being me.

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It makes calls, too?

by Shane Perris on Thursday, 9 December, 2010

in Uncategorized

It is easy to lose sight of the core functionality of the Mozart in amongst the noise and excitement of the devices’ “smarter” capabilities. Apparently it also makes phone calls. Who knew, right?

It took me nearly a week before I had the opportunity to use the phone as, well, a phone. It doesn’t help that the Mozart had a special “Live! Two weeks only!” SIM card in it so it had a number that no one else knew about apart from my wife. Given that the bulk of my phone calls are with either my wife or my parents (who live interstate), this is probably less of an issue for me compared to some of the other reviewers.

The phone is fiddly to answer. You have to first swipe the lock screen up and decide whether to answer or to dismiss. If you push the answer button (which is narrow and impossible for my fingers to correctly tap first go – seriously, not once did I manage it) it unlocks the screen and you have to tap another button before you can answer it. If you want to put the person on speaker phone, you have to press another tiny button, which pops up another menu for you to choose the speaker option. Not impossible, not entirely unfriendly, just … fiddly.

Contrast that with the iPhone. When someone rings, you swipe to answer. You can answer the phone in one action, whether the screen is locked or not. Also, the menu for things like speaker phone automatically comes up so you don’t have to hunt around for it. On the downside, you need to have read the manual to know which hardware button to push to divert the call to voicemail.

If you’re wondering about my obsession with speaker phone, it’s because my wife often calls me from the car using the speaker phone so that our 4 year old son in the back seat can join in the conversation. I figure if she does it, other people do, too.

Call quality is just fine and, like the iPhone, it supports the 3G feature of being able to use data while on a voice call. This is a very useful feature when someone calls asking you to look up something. I’m not sure how much of this has to do with the Telstra network specifically but, as I’ve stated previously, the Telstra network has been flawless during the review period.

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The missing pieces

by Shane Perris on Wednesday, 8 December, 2010

in Uncategorized

As the review period draws to a close, I have noticed that I have already started to use the Mozart less and less.

In my own view, the make or break for a smartphone operating system is the number of quality apps it has available. “Quality” is clearly a subjective term, and it is unlikely that any two people will want/need exact same things.

I was able to replace some things. For Pulse Mini, I used NewsRoom. For Instapaper, I used InstaFetch. For Reeder I used Flux. For the official Flickr app (which is a terrible app anyway), I used Flickr Manager.

Below is a quick look at some of the apps I use on a daily basis in iOS that I have not been able to find equivalents for in WP7.

TripView
Trip view is a Sydney-specific app (as far as I am aware anyway) that pulls in data from Cityrail, Sydney Ferries and Sydney Buses and reformats the timetables into something much easier to read. It also adds the ability to plan trips, either within or across the different modes of public transport.

TripView is the one app I show to anyone I meet who is curious about the iPhone and wants to know what it can do. It has never failed to impress and amaze people. I love TripView. I could not around in Sydney without it. There is no equivalent on WP7.

Pocket Informant
Pocket Informant (PI) is a powerful to-do list/personal reminder/”Getting Things Done” app. I’m terrible at remembering stuff, and the context in which I’m meant to be doing it. PI let’s me set reminders without clogging up my calendar (the iOS really needs a reminder/task list built in) snf lets me look up related tasks, upcoming tasks and overdue items. I haven’t found anything that comes close to the power of PI on WP7.

Kindle
There’s no Kindle app. In fact there aren’t any decent ebook readers at all. The closest I came was the WP7 app Freda, which loads ebooks onto the via Calibre and is somewhat analgous to Stanza. I already have Kindle on my iPhone, iPad and (until it died recently) my Windows7 laptop. I guess the Kindle will move to WP7 as the platform grows but until then, the ebook reader situation is a little grim.

A decent PDF reader
PDF support on WP7 is dire for something that is an open standard (there are OSI specifications for some versions of the PDF file format). It doesn’t even have a basic built-in viewer. I had to download an official Adobe Reader app instead. There is nothing like Goodreader available, which not only is an excellent .PDF and .doc reader, but can also pull down sources from URLs or log into a number of file storage services (Dropbox, MobileMe, anything WebDAV) and store locally, too.

Dropbox
Oh. My. God. I did not realize how much I used Dropbox until I stopped using the iphone as my primary device. For the uninitiated, Dropbox is a cloud-based file storage service that has an API that lets third party apps and desktop programs access your account. It’s the standard for moving files around within iOS. I can’t live on a platform without Dropbox. It’s actually a little scary how much I have to depend on the service.

And the reverse?
Apart from the games, I have found nothing on WP7 that can’t be replicated, with the exception of the strong games collection. Since I’m not much of a gamer, this isn’t a deal breaker for me. OneNote? Evernote. Word? Office2. QuickDocs. Pages on the iPad. There’s always at least one option, as good if not better.

Apps. Apps are what is going to make or break WP7. It’s not a zero sum game yet so Microsoft has time, but it has a long way to go to catch up.

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The Telstra network

by Shane Perris on Monday, 6 December, 2010

in Uncategorized

I’m supposed to be reviewing the Telstra NextG network as part of this Telstra Social Review thing.

It works damn near everywhere. Every time I compare the Mozart on NextG next to my iPhone on the 3 network, the Telstra network always appears to be stronger (for what that’s worth anyway, given bars of reception are a visual representation easily tweaked to make the network look good).

I haven’t had to think about the network at all. It just bloody works, even in places I wouldn’t expect it to (like in my elevators at work). The fact I rarely even think about it is testament in and of itself.

I have already used a Telstra pre-paid SIM while travelling for work. This review process has cemented in my mind a need to swap away from the dire coverage of Vodafone and 3, and switch across to Telstra. What once looked expensive no longer seems too bad. The price for actual “always on” connectivity is starting to look like one worth paying.

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Testing Word

by Shane Perris on Sunday, 5 December, 2010

in Uncategorized

Microsoft has two of the world’s strongest software products in its line up. One of these is the Windows operating system, in use in every office I’ve ever worked in, and in use in most homes, too.

The other is Office, which is just as ubiquitous and all pervasive. Obviously, if a smartphone is running Windows, the integration with Office must be pretty good, too. Right?

The software

The Mozart comes with a version of Office pre-installed. This includes mobile versions of Word, Excel and OneNote (the finest piece of software ever to come out of Redmond). It also has a PowerPoint reader, although I haven’t tested it yet. It seems that you can only create new OneNote, Word and Excel documents. I must remember to test if you can edit existing PowerPoint documents.

The Acid Test

I originally drafted this blog post in Word on the phone. For the curious, I’ve made the .docx file available for download so you can see for yourself how it handles formatting.

Word is a very friendly app to scratch out ideas. I wouldn’t want to have to write anything too large or complex, but the editing is nifty, responsive and unobtrusive.

I haven’t tried reading anything complex in the app though. I don’t have a need for that functionality. If you have a document you would like to see rendered on the WP7 interface, just drop me a line in the comments.

Below is a quick video of Word in action. Filmed on my iPhone 3GS in low light under a desk lamp. The only audio should be movement rattle and the annoying high-pitched whir of my PC fans.

Download the .docx : Testing Word blog post

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Impressions of the Mozart Hardware

by Shane Perris on Thursday, 2 December, 2010

in Uncategorized

The Mozart is a sexy beast. It is slim and lightweight. The screen is a silky pleasure to touch. The processor is beefy enough that the operating system is generally responsive (sometimes a little too responsive). Coupled with Telstra’s NextG network, apps that require an Internet connection are snappy and “always on”. Apart from a section deep within the tunnel beneath Town Square in Sydney, I can maintain a healthy connection along my 45 minute commute down the Western line.

The external speaker is tiny yet packs a punch. It sounds as good to my cloth ears as the speaker on the iPhone 3GS, which is more than I can say about the previous popular HTC handset the Desire (which if you don’t know, runs the latest version of Android and was the subject of the inaugural Telstra Social Review). When I get the chance, I’ll try and do an A-B-C of the external speakers.

Here’s a taste of the two speakers…

(Music is from The Atomica Project. Get on it, kids. Seriously. Free “Best of” download at http://theatomicaproject.bandcamp.com.

The brushed aluminium shell makes the Mozart feel solid without the heft of half a brick.

The screen is gorgeous. Or did I mention that already?

It’s nice that it includes a 3.5mm headphone jack instead of stupidly insisting that people need use mini-USB port with proprietary headphones. Speaking of proprietary headphones, the Mozart comes with a set of headphones that include a mic and remote. While any old headphones will work (and as the phone has bluetooth, any old BT headphones will work, too), only the included HTC headphones let you control music playback or use the handsfree. Since the headphones are hideously uncomfortable, one can only hope that a vibrant 3rd party accessory market springs up or Mozart owners are going to miss out.

It’s light. I believe it’s about 10 grams lighter than my 3GS (yes, many things are going to be compared to my 3GS – it’s my major reference point – deal with it). Subjectively, it feels noticeably lighter, but it certainly doesn’t feel flimsy. On the contrary, the brushed aluminium means at it feels strong and sturdy, as well as light. I remember feeling much more afraid of breaking my 3GS than I have felt handling the Mozart. Some of this is probably due to the fact that the Mozart provides a healthy amount of friction when sitting in your hand. By contrast, the iPhone felt desperately slippery and I was not comfortable until I had a case on it. Unless you are paranoid about the screen, the Mozart does not need a case.

The Mozart has a flash (Xenon apparently, whatever that means). It’s very bright. In fact, it’s a little too bright for my tests. I try to avoid using the flash when using a point-and-shoot camera. I don’t see myself changing this attitude with on-phone flashes based on the results of the Xenon flash on the Mozart.

The camera does take some pretty handy photos, and they sure look great on the phone’s screen (have I mentioned that the screen is gorgeous? I have? Good. Carry on). The thing i dislike the most about the camera is that it has a mechanical autofocus that only works in the middle of the frame. The iPhone touch to focus has spoiled me I fear. I find myself wondering why this isn’t more common. Patents, I guess.

I’ll upload some photos and do a proper A-B comparison in the next couple of days. My first impressions are though that it is a fairly even split between the 3GS and the Mozart – it just depends on how much control you need over the where the lens focuses.

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Testing the Mozart video

by Shane Perris on Wednesday, 1 December, 2010

in Uncategorized

I wanted to see how the Mozart coped with poor light, loud ambient noise and high levels of movement. Not too bad, actually.

Yes, the rushing water really was that loud.

The autofocus and automatic light balance causes a few issues, particularly when panning. The light balance correction doesn’t cope too well with rapid changes in light. Then again, no camera I’ve used that does auto light balance does.

All up, I think this is a competent little camera that shoots video by default at 640×480 and seems to take full advantage of the 8 megapixel camera at its disposal.

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Setting the scene

by Shane Perris on Monday, 29 November, 2010

in Uncategorized

I sit here at the kitchen table typing on my iPad, iPhone 3GS on it’s charger in the bedroom, new HTC Mozart charging on my desk  in the front room while syncing wirelessly with my ageing Windows XP desktop which boasts a single core AMD CPU from 5 years ago and a gig of RAM spread across three sticks that are even older. Two weeks ago my ageing Dell laptop from 2007, running Windows 7 very nicely, and Vista before that, quietly died without fuss or ceremony when I turned the surge protector on at the wall while the laptop charger was still plugged into it. As such, I’m looking to replace my desktop with a shiny new iMac (to match the one we bought for my wife a little over a year ago). It goes without saying that that new iMac will run Windows in Boot Camp and/or a virtual machine. I don’t see the point of tying myself down if I don’t have to.

In the next room my wife is working on her iMac with her HTC Desire running Android 2.2.

Why am I telling you this? Im reeling off my life story because it helps set some context to why I applied to be part of this social review process, and perhaps is part of the reason why Telstra decided to choose me as one of the 25 social reviewers. I love to see how things work outside my own little bubble.

I have been a relatively happy iPhone user since September 2009. Before that I owned a Motorola Razr V3x for three years. Needless to say, going from the POS Moto to an iPhones 3GS was a revelation and opened my eyes to what was possible with a computer in your pocket that was plugged in to the network at all times (although I am with 3 so total connectivity is more a goal than anything else).

Since acquiring an iPad in June, I have adopted the  iOS as my mobile lifestyle system.

  • my point and shoot camera is my phone
  • I do freelance writing work on my commute on the train with the iPad perched on my knee
  • train timetables, calendars, reminders, multiple email accounts, casual gaming, alarm clock, weather, file transfers via Dropbox, reading technical text books, taking notes via Evernote … the list goes on. It’s all primarily conducted on one or both iOS devices.

To make a short story long, I’m not a fan boy but I do have my biases. I’ve adapted my workflows to suit the idiosyncracities of a particular type of device.

Why become a social reviewer?

The iOS, through the iPhone and the iPad, has become very dominant. While Android is competitive, it appears to me to be pitching itself to telcos and consumers alike as being just like the iPhone, only less controlled, more open. The market needs competitors and new ways of approaching old problems. Android is an alternative to the iPhone, but it’s not “new”.

Blackberry? My work doesn’t require 24 hour access to email (shoot me if it ever does) so I know very little about it. I’ve yet to see anything from RIM that demonstrates it is anything more than a one trick pony, albeit one that executes that one trick with devastating effectiveness.

The Palm OS? Ha! Until it’s released in markets outside North America with any level of marketing support it is doomed to be an bit player in a crowded space. Maybe HP will take it to dizzying new heights, but I feel safe in ignoring it for now.

Which brings me to Windows Phone 7 (forever to be known as WP7 since there’s no freaking way I’m writing that out every single god damn time). Microsoft appears to be shaping up to grab that large part of the market that has never owned a smart phone before and isn’t enamoured with the idea of being addicted to their phone like all those people they see bathed in an LCD or AMOLED glow.

Who would have predicted Microsoft would be the ones to “think different”?

Different means trying things another way. Learning from what has gone before and what is going on now. Approaching problems in new ways.

And that is why I applied to be part of this process. I want to see what is different.

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A quick experiment…

by Shane Perris on Monday, 29 November, 2010

in Uncategorized

I just wanted to test how easy it would be to write blog posts within the WordPress admin interface using the mobile browser on the Mozart.

It’s tolerable, but a WordPress app or other standards-based generic blogging app would be better. This is too fiddly for anything more than a sentence or two.

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