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  1. DaveDash's Avatar
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       #1  
    Hi all,

    I've been using iPhones since 2nd gen (pretty much the first ones available in Australia), for the simple reason that back then, they were simply the must have device. I am not an Apple fan by any stretch of the imagination, I just found the competition phones to be lacking in interface, usability, user experience and especially performance. Now finally with the Lumia 920 and WP8, I finally feel there is another handset out there that is on par with the iPhone, if not better.

    A bit of background, I own an application development company which mostly works in the enterprise app development space (creating mobile frontends for backend systems, or even mobile AND backend systems). We also create HTML5 based cheaper applications for smaller businesses with less functionality, but being a more cost effective solution. I also consult for an IT integrator, and I work with a lot of Microsoft enterprise mobility and deployment products. At heart, I am a Microsoft guy.

    When Windows 8 and the new Windows 8 Runtime was announced, I did my research. I found out some very interesting things that most consumers probably are not aware of. Namely, the new Windows Runtime (Windows RT) supports a very wide range of native programming languages (Javascript, HTML5, C#, c++, visual basic, etc etc). Not only that, but it is extremely easy for developers to publish applications across multiple devices, from the desktop to tablet (which share the same store), and easily port applications across into the mobile world. What I found most interesting was that the traditional desktop was going to get its own app store. This means that creating apps for Windows means you can use whatever language you're most comfortable with as a developer, AND you're going to be targeting a wide audience (PC's, tablets, and phones) with minimal effort.
    After getting the phone, I created a Microsoft developer account, and I've started work on a few apps for the store myself.

    It has to be said that Apple broke into Microsoft's market through the smartphone, now this will enable Microsoft to break into Apple's market through the good old PC. So for the first time in YEARS, I thought now is the time to jump on the Microsoft mobile bandwagon. And since the Nokia 920 was WP8's flagship device, and it had some cracking reviews, I thought I'd give it a go.

    I picked up my phone earlier in the week, and I must say, it exceeded my expectations. Without a doubt, the Windows Phone 8 interface is the slickest interface I have used (I knew this already from the emulator, but having it in person is another thing). Apple, KNOWN for well put together software, has been going backwards in this regard with iOS 6. Yes, it has lots of functionality, but the OS looks and feels like patchwork. It's like the company has gotten too big and different departments creating different parts of the OS are not in communication with each other. Not only that, it's riddled now with bad use of screen real estate, and really just doesn't have the shine it once did. Android, despite its popularity, is horribly clunky and kind of geeky, like all things Google (I own a Nexus 7 tablet, for the record). Great functionality, poor user experience.

    My Nokia is not without it's flaws;

    • I am still waiting for the Portico update to be rolled out by my local Telco.
    • It seems to have battery issues at random (it's constantly switching from H to E to 3G to 4G due to being in a bit of a reception black hole). It's about on par with my old iPhone 4S, which is somewhat disappointing.
    • IE10 is by far the weakest mobile browser at present. It has that old 1998 wap feel about it. This is a shame given it's so nice in Windows 8 desktop & tablet.
    • The camera on auto settings doesnt get skin tones right sometimes, and just seems to be off the mark more than the iPhone camera. It seems it has the potential to take much better photos, but it is more inconsistent out of the box.


    Having said that, it's still an exceptional phone, and it goes without saying my old iPhone was not without it's flaws either.

    The hardest part however has been leaving Apples ecosystem. Apple is without a doubt the king of content. I am not a huge app user, but there are some things I miss (Android isn't much better, yes there are more apps, but most of them are horrible quality). Leaving the iTunes ecosystem has also been a bit of a sacrifice, and I miss the ability to be able to airplay from my phone. I was a big podcast fan, and also used iTunesU quite a bit.
    I also really hope there is more support from Google for WP8 devices in the future, as at the moment it seems sorely lacking.

    Despite these sacrifices, I am happy I made the jump. I see bright things for the future of Nokia and WP8. More apps will come, as more people develop for the windows platform in general (Windows 8 has not been doing anywhere near as badly as some of the doom and gloom press would indicate). Two of my colleagues have also purchased the 920, and I know two more are looking at trading in their iPhones for them as well.

    That's my first impression so far.
    Last edited by DaveDash; 01-26-2013 at 11:58 PM.
  2. #2  
    Welcome to our community! I genuinely appreciate the post, especially the bit about developing for WP8, W8 & RT. It's encouraging for people like me who are cheerleaders for the platform to read things like that.
    Thanked by:
  3. James8561's Avatar
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    #3  
    you should try nokia xpress as an alternative browser.
    google won't support windows phone so i suggest you switch to all-Microsoft. try outlook.com
  4. AJS_2010's Avatar
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    #4  
    Hi. New to the forum so be gentle
    I am waiting for Three UK to make the 920 available in February. Like Dave, I am a podcast heavy user, so I need to ask you guys, what is your experience on this field. Normally get podcasts from the BBC and ESPN ( US sports nutter) and they are all available in iTunes...

    Thx
  5. iRS73's Avatar
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    #5  
    Welcome to the light side :)
  6. DaveDash's Avatar
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       #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by AJS_2010 View Post
    Hi. New to the forum so be gentle
    I am waiting for Three UK to make the 920 available in February. Like Dave, I am a podcast heavy user, so I need to ask you guys, what is your experience on this field. Normally get podcasts from the BBC and ESPN ( US sports nutter) and they are all available in iTunes...

    Thx
    At the moment I can still access all that old content through iTunes on the PC, and manually move it across to my Windows phone. It's not as elegant as streaming content directly to your phone, but at least you don't lose access to that content entirely.
  7. DaveDash's Avatar
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       #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by freestaterocker View Post
    Welcome to our community! I genuinely appreciate the post, especially the bit about developing for WP8, W8 & RT. It's encouraging for people like me who are cheerleaders for the platform to read things like that.
    Microsoft has done a fantastic job with creating a unified development platform in WindowsRT. It took them a while to jump on the bandwagon, but they are finally there. For example, you can now write native Windows 8 Desktops programs (formally known as Windows Store Apps) in HTML5/CSS if you want, which is an easy language to support multiple devices with, and the Windows Runtime manages all the code, optimises it, and translates it into a language that Windows understands.

    Not only that, writing good quality applications in Windows 8 is actually pretty easy. Firstly, it's a heavily managed environment - "managed code", which makes it a lot harder to create code filled with security bugs or memory leaks (this is one of the reasons Windows 8 runs so damn fast). Secondly, the UI and tools used to create UI's are streamlined, giving apps that clean, consistent look and feel. Thirdly, there is and will be a big boost in target audience due to the general Windows 8 release, but it's not at the point it's oversaturated. Getting your apps noticed is easier on the Windows store right now, but it is growing, and I think that Windows users will be more willing to pay a little bit of cash for applications, compared to say Android users.

    It really is a good platform to develop for at the moment.

    The big problem for Windows Phone 8, and Windows 8 in general, is Microsoft's lack of presence. It's harder for them because they haven't fully transitioned into being a vendor that supplies the full solution (hardware + software + services), but they need more on the street presence. They spent a massive budget on the Surface advertising campaign, huge, but where can you actually buy one (except online?). It's a brand new product with a fairly hefty price tag, and most consumers are going to want to SEE one before they buy it. Outside of the US, there are very few Microsoft stores, and these things are not on display anywhere at local retailers. Apple meanwhile has dedicated tables and displays all over the show.
    Windows Phone faces the same problem. I don't even think I've seen a single Nokia Lumia 920 commercial.

    The features and functionality in what we have now is great, the platform is great, now it's just getting the message out there that's the problem.
  8. AJS_2010's Avatar
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    #8  
    So no decent podcast app in windows store?
  9. asmith02's Avatar
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    #9  
    try Podcatcher
  10. Bill McGee's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by AJS_2010 View Post
    So no decent podcast app in windows store?
    Short answer - No. I sync with iTunes, but player is poor.
  11. textomatic's Avatar
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    #11  
    I use PODCASTS!
  12. manicottiK's Avatar
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    #12  
    I think that the IE10 problem may be chiefly with the sites themselves and not the rendering capabilities of the browser. Lots of sites use CSS media queries to check width then send mobile-optimized markup with webkit-specific functions. They do this because webkit covered iPhone and Android. Although Windows 8 will make some sites fix their desktop-optimized markup, I don't know if that will automatically flow down to their mobile markup. (Our site's fixes for IE10 desktop did flow down to the mobile, but that's because of how we architected the stylesheets.) Still, the issue isn't with the browser, it's with the markup being fed to it.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by James8561 View Post
    you should try nokia xpress as an alternative browser.
    google won't support windows phone so i suggest you switch to all-Microsoft. try outlook.com
    I concur about switching. Trueswitch.com makes it easy. If it wasn't for YouTube I would've already terminated my Gmail account. I would also like to recommend UC Browser. It's loaded with features.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by AJS_2010 View Post
    Hi. New to the forum so be gentle
    I am waiting for Three UK to make the 920 available in February. Like Dave, I am a podcast heavy user, so I need to ask you guys, what is your experience on this field. Normally get podcasts from the BBC and ESPN ( US sports nutter) and they are all available in iTunes...

    Thx
    I use podcatcher.
  15. scubus's Avatar
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    #15  
    I see a lot of people making the iPhone to Windows Phone switch. I have a post around here somewhere; I made the switch after using the iPhoine since day 1 of the very first iPhone release. It is also tough going outside the Apple ecosystem for me as well, having been an Apple developer and using Macs since 1986ish, I am firmly entrenched.

    But I am quite happy with the Nokia. I don't find the build quality any better, or worse than Apple's, but even though the iPhone was and remained cutting edge for a number of years, it needs a revolutionary rather than evolutionary change going forward. It is simply behind in many ways that really impact how people use the device. I actually traded my first 920 back for an iPhone 5 and a couple days later went back to the Nokia (the AT&T gang thinks I am out of my mind). The screen difference alone is a huge factor, but to be honest, I was getting bored with the iPhone.

    I actually hated the form factor of the iPhone 5 compared to older iPhones (for the record, the iPhone 3 was my favorite form factor). However, I find the bigger Nokia much more difficult to use with one hand. My hands aren't particularly small, but I can't get my thumb all the way across the screen. I also prefer the iPhone's physical switch to silence the phone and the power button on top of the phone.

    I have not found a suitable means to move music and photos to the Nokia and my Mac.com emails act flakey. Apps are not an issue for me with the aception of Runkeeper which is not available for Windows 8.

    You might want to give UC Browser a try. I have found it a much better overall experience than IE 10.
  16. Tjalsma's Avatar
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    #16  
    Welcome to the WP community! It's always great to hear from people with knowledge in regards to different platforms and development. Keep us up to date if you end up creating any apps we can take a look at.
  17. eortizr's Avatar
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    #17  
    you will go back to iphone in a couple weeks, I promise....
  18. marcinaldo's Avatar
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    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by eortizr View Post
    you will go back to iphone in a couple weeks, I promise....
    I agree. I thought that Nokia was cool for about a month. But then everything started to annoy me. Podcast support is a joke (no app is even close to Downcast or Instacast, lack of apps - I thought that it will not bother me, but it is really poor, and the phone is simply unreliable.

    I wanted to wait for firmware upgrades because I thought that everything will improve, but after another week of wonky battery life, I ordered iPhone 5. It is boring, but it works :(
  19. scubus's Avatar
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    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by marcinaldo View Post
    I agree. I thought that Nokia was cool for about a month. But then everything started to annoy me. Podcast support is a joke (no app is even close to Downcast or Instacast, lack of apps - I thought that it will not bother me, but it is really poor, and the phone is simply unreliable.

    I wanted to wait for firmware upgrades because I thought that everything will improve, but after another week of wonky battery life, I ordered iPhone 5. It is boring, but it works :(
    As I have told people, you have to use what works for you.

    I had my first Nokia for 14 days and took it back, only to take the iPhone 5 back a few days later to get back the Nokia. I also suggest that you get an iPhone 4s rather than an iPhone 5 - the 5 simply adds very little for the added cost. Physically, the dimensions just seem "wrong" to my hand and eye.
  20. vlad0's Avatar
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    #20  
    It depends what's important to you.. I would rather have a phone that is easy to handle with one hand, than a larger screen..

    The iPhone 5 has almost perfect dimension for one handed use (well.. the UX is not really friendly in that regard since you have to reach to the top to go back..) but overall is very comfortable and its the best balance between screen size and one hand usability.

    There is only one phone that is better in that regard, and that is the Nokia N9.. the dimension are almost the same, but ergonomically the body is shaped better, and most importantly.. the UX was meant to be used with one hand.
    Alex Kj likes this.
  21. spaulagain's Avatar
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    #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by vlad0 View Post
    It depends what's important to you.. I would rather have a phone that is easy to handle with one hand, than a larger screen..

    The iPhone 5 has almost perfect dimension for one handed use (well.. the UX is not really friendly in that regard since you have to reach to the top to go back..) but overall is very comfortable and its the best balance between screen size and one hand usability.

    There is only one phone that is better in that regard, and that is the Nokia N9.. the dimension are almost the same, but ergonomically the body is shaped better, and most importantly.. the UX was meant to be used with one hand.
    Ya, my Lumia 800 was/is perfect. I still love that phone.
  22. #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by vlad0 View Post
    It depends what's important to you.. I would rather have a phone that is easy to handle with one hand, than a larger screen..

    The iPhone 5 has almost perfect dimension for one handed use (well.. the UX is not really friendly in that regard since you have to reach to the top to go back..) but overall is very comfortable and its the best balance between screen size and one hand usability.

    There is only one phone that is better in that regard, and that is the Nokia N9.. the dimension are almost the same, but ergonomically the body is shaped better, and most importantly.. the UX was meant to be used with one hand.
    I have no problem using my Ativ S one-handed. Like I said, the iPhone is too small for me. And I'm only about 5'9. My hands aren't huge or anything, but I can't type on it in portrait. And using landscape defeats the one hand argument. (even then the iPhone keyboard is no better) I tried a Lumia 800, however, and had no issues. The WP keyboard is just that good. So I guess for the iPhone it's a two-part problem. Size + software = fail.
  23. DaveDash's Avatar
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       #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by marcinaldo View Post
    I agree. I thought that Nokia was cool for about a month. But then everything started to annoy me. Podcast support is a joke (no app is even close to Downcast or Instacast, lack of apps - I thought that it will not bother me, but it is really poor, and the phone is simply unreliable.

    I wanted to wait for firmware upgrades because I thought that everything will improve, but after another week of wonky battery life, I ordered iPhone 5. It is boring, but it works :(
    iPhone (and Mac in general) reliability is a bit of a myth.

    I've had plenty of problems and aggravations with iPhones in the past, and I have used (and replaced) a lot of them:

    1. Call dropouts.
    2. Easily scratched before iPhone version 4. Lot's of 5's came out of the box scratched.
    3. Home button on quite a lot of iPhones requires a fair bit of mashing to get to work.
    4. Battery life probably the weakest out of all handsets, especially since the introduction of iMessage and iCloud services.
    5. Extremely aggravating predicted text. I can't tell you how annoying this can become on iPhone, especially if you're trying to text with one hand. Android and WP predictive texting is VASTLY superior.
    6. Slowdowns, brief lockups happen quite frequently.
    7. Quite poor Safari performance, especially when typing in forums.
    8. Apple maps.
    9. Did I mention Apple maps?
    10. Ton's of space mysteriously disappearing on your phone to "other".
    11. Can't copy media from workstation to phone over USB. Aggravating at times.
    12. Sometimes the alarm doesn't go off.

    So while Apple does have a lot of content, and a lot of apps that work well, the phone itself is not without it's problems. In terms of software, iOS 5 and iOS 6 were released notoriously buggy.

    People tend to gloss over these facts I find. And don't forget, despite their slick design, iPhones are made by cheap Foxcon labour like a lot of cheap consumer products.

    Also my Google Nexus 7 which is barely 6 months old is starting to lock up, reboot at random, go unresponsive playing video, etc.
  24. Jazmac's Avatar
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    #24  
    On an iPhone since the 2nd gen? That is a lot of time and money invested. I have to say the 920 is a good place to start.
  25. scubus's Avatar
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    #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveDash View Post
    iPhone (and Mac in general) reliability is a bit of a myth.

    I've had plenty of problems and aggravations with iPhones in the past, and I have used (and replaced) a lot of them:

    1. Call dropouts.
    2. Easily scratched before iPhone version 4. Lot's of 5's came out of the box scratched.
    3. Home button on quite a lot of iPhones requires a fair bit of mashing to get to work.
    4. Battery life probably the weakest out of all handsets, especially since the introduction of iMessage and iCloud services.
    5. Extremely aggravating predicted text. I can't tell you how annoying this can become on iPhone, especially if you're trying to text with one hand. Android and WP predictive texting is VASTLY superior.
    6. Slowdowns, brief lockups happen quite frequently.
    7. Quite poor Safari performance, especially when typing in forums.
    8. Apple maps.
    9. Did I mention Apple maps?
    10. Ton's of space mysteriously disappearing on your phone to "other".
    11. Can't copy media from workstation to phone over USB. Aggravating at times.
    12. Sometimes the alarm doesn't go off.

    So while Apple does have a lot of content, and a lot of apps that work well, the phone itself is not without it's problems. In terms of software, iOS 5 and iOS 6 were released notoriously buggy.

    People tend to gloss over these facts I find. And don't forget, despite their slick design, iPhones are made by cheap Foxcon labour like a lot of cheap consumer products.

    Also my Google Nexus 7 which is barely 6 months old is starting to lock up, reboot at random, go unresponsive playing video, etc.
    Having used literally hundreds of Apple products, I'm not sure I agree with many of the points made here, but if the Nokia works for you, then that is what matters.
    sravanv likes this.
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