Get over the Windows 8 release already!

There are too many people whining about the fact that the Nokia Lumia 900 has been out for about half a year, and they’re already coming out with the next handset. The Nokia Lumia 920 has better specs and will run the new, supposedly non-backward compatible Windows Phone 8 OS. And ya, its coming out soon. So, that means people like myself have to bare with the fact that my awesome Lumia 900 will soon be outdated. However, despite all the coolness which is the Lumia 920 you won’t see me crying like a little girl who got pushed down on the playground by her future ex-husband.

Let me give you all a history lesson: decades ago someone came out with a handheld computing device. I forget what it was called. Then Apple released the Newton. It was an atrocious device with laughable handwriting recognition, and very difficult input methods otherwise. It bombed hard. Then the company known as 3com developed handheld computers most people would confuse with Palm Pilots nowadays. Not surprising since 3com sold to US Robotics who would later turn their mobile department into Palm, Inc. Then, the PalmPilot and the PalmOS was born. For many years Palm and Microsoft (with their many mobile offerings including Windows CE and the phone OS based on it, Windows Mobile) both held dominance in the mobile category becoming known as smart phones. Palm, Dell, HP, and a handful of others were the only ones making smart phones. Nokia had Symbian, and they did very well (what, with, like 1,000% market share in the cell phone world), but then came Research in Motion, or RIM for short, along with the BlackBerry smart phone. They soon overtook the smartphone market since they were easier to use, at least without a stylus, and much adored by IT departments and the large corporations they worked for.

At this point, Apple had lost the smartphone battle. Also at this point, Google was beginning to work on a little project known as Android… That is, they began Android before Apple began working on the iPhone. If that’s true, then why was there (and why does there continue to be) such fanfare over the Apple iPhone? It has very little to do with Apple or the “innovations” of the iPhone, and more to do with the iPod. The iPod was probably the best thing to happen to music (at least from the consumers point of view). It was simple to use, simple to control, and simple to load with your favorite songs. The mere idea of an iPod phone was nothing short of fantasy, though. It was impractical for Apple to make a smartphone. However, as you well know, they did it anyway. It wasn’t the fact that it was an Apple device, though, that made it such a success. It did have intuitive navigation, and nice first party “apps” as they came to be called. But the thing that drove iPhone sales was the fact that this was the much anticipated iPod phone. The entire Internet community had envisioned every possible concept for an iPod phone. It was talked about before Apple began actually working on it (supposedly). This is a device people had been waiting for: an iPod that is also my phone. Not even a year later, the iPhone was no longer “my iPod that I can make phone calls with.” It was now THE go-to smartphone for everyone who wanted to latest, most coolest… app (ha, you thought I was going to say “technology”). Why no fanfare over Google’s offering?

Even though Google had many strong points in it’s Android operating system, besides beginning work on the OS before Apple did, Apple got their device to market first. Once the Google Nexus was finally released, on a small network known as T-Mobile no less, everyone wanted the “iPod phone.” Google also had to suffer from the envy of Apple lovers who wished for the open-ness of Android. Apple fan boys favorite retort was “Google stole that from the iPhone.” To this day, this argument makes no sense. Palm was using icons arranged in rows and columns for years before the iPod, much less the iPhone. They also allowed one to use the stylus to “slide” web pages up or down instead of using a scroll bar or arrow key. They also sold applications, played music and videos, browsed websites, synced e-mail, and had touch screens. Not to mention, Google began work on the Android operating system before Apple, and released the Nexus not long after. There was no time for Google to re-craft Android to mimic the iPhone. And why would they want to anyway. Android is running under a different philosophy.

If you don’t like the stock messaging app, you can replace it with a third-party app from the Marketplace (now Play store). You can do this with the browser, email, calendar, and even the home screen or the app market. You can also access root folders (the folders with all the system information in them) and change nearly anything! Of course, this comes at a price: you must be a Linux¬†genius¬†(or at least think you’re one) and if you mess anything up, you could ruin the whole phone. The iPhone, on the other hand, is locked down so neither you nor app developers can mess with system files. Android proponents will claim you lose functionality with this kind of software Nazi-ism. However, if you are unsure of what you are doing, and want something that is simple and just works, you should go with the iPhone.

Now, the whole reason for this post: the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 device. It’s coming out soon; too soon for some Lumia 900 owners. Lots of people are whining and complaining about this apparent oversight on Nokia and Microsoft’s side of things. But the facts remain the facts:

  • Microsoft is playing catch-up, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Windows Phone 7 OS is butt-kicking awesome.
  • The Windows Phone 7 devices are a little short on the specs when compared to the top of the line Android devices, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Windows Phone 7 OS is sleek, and (unlike the desktop OS sometimes) it just works.
  • If Apple had done this before (you can’t tell, but I said that sarcastically) no one would be whining about it. Sure, they’d be a little upset, but not so upset as to write a letter to Nokia and AT&T telling them they’re going to drop them for eternity.
  • You can’t compare Windows Phone 7 (or 8 for that matter) to Android devices or the iPhone. You have to compare the WP7 OS to the Android OS and iOS. Why people keep saying the hardware sucks so they went with Android, and then call Android better belittles their own intelligence, apparently without them knowing. That’s like comparing a netbook to OSX. It’s not Windows fault the Netbook has low specs. (although, as I stated earlier, the lower specs don’t seem to make much of a difference)

The most important fact of all: my opinion. Not because I’m better than you, but because I have owned all three devices, and thus have used all three OSes. I love the Nokia Lumia because A.) it’s the lovely, snappy, simple, elegant Windows Phone 7.5 OS, and B.) because it merges with my Live, Bing, Xbox, Hotmail, Windows, Office, SkyDrive, and all around Microsoft-centered life. Here are some other things I have noticed:

  • Angry Birds runs great on my Lumia, and obviously ran great on my iPhone. However, not so great on my HTC Aria or my Samsung Galaxy Captivate, both Android phones.
  • I could make my ringtone whatever I wanted on my Android phones, along with messaging tones, alerts, alarms, etc. On my iPhone I found this very difficult, although I could do it. On my Lumia, it’s similar to what I had to go through for the iPhone, ¬†but unlike the iPhone I have to use the stock alert sounds. Only custom ringtones for me.
  • I replaced my messaging app on my Android phones, along with my browser. That is, I changed the default app to a third-party app to handle all that kind of information. My messaging app (Handscent) also allowed me to set custom text tones for individual contacts. Neither iPhone nor my Lumia allow this.
  • I gotta say, the fact that I would sync the iPhone, and to some extent the Lumia, to my computer made me feel much better about my data. Sure, I could sync my HTC with my computer using their (very limited) software, but it just wasn’t the same. I never hooked up my Samsung… and that made me sad. However, I don’t really need to hook up my Lumia. The Lumia will start syncing after 10 minutes of being on battery, assuming I’m on my home network with my computer and the computer is on and the Zune software is running. But still. Yes, now the iPhone syncs some stuff with the iCloud, but my sister doesn’t use it because it doesn’t seem to work well. But that’s not first hand info, so we’ll just say “I guess they have that, too, tho…”

Really, in all honesty, neither phone OS is worse than the other. The only thing I can think of which is holding Microsoft back is the low (usable) app count in their marketplace and the apparent lack of any announced backward-compatibility. Putting Android on the Lumia hardware is not an answer to Nokia’s problems. This is all just head games where no one really wins. You are free to like any OS you choose, but you must keep two things in mind: 1.) technology changes faster than you can make up your mind about purchases, so stop whining about updates and upgrades and you’re lack of ability to get them for free; and 2.) quit shittin’ all over my favorite OS until you spend at least a week using it. I’ve read many reviews and blog posts from people who have tried Windows Phone 7 devices only to find out they don’t care about the other phones, because this phone does exactly what they need it to do, and it does it simply and beautifully. Just because you’re an expert on what WP7 lacks that Android or iOS contains, doesn’t make you an expert on WP7.

Now, if that didn’t work, I order you to stop whining about the Lumia 920!

Please.

Good day.

Windows Phone 8 and the Coming Apocalypse

I just bought the Nokia Lumia¬†900, a Windows Phone running version 7.5 of the Microsoft mobile OS; affectionately called Mango. Today I learned Apollo, that’s the code name for Windows Phone version 8, will not be installed on my phone. No matter how much I want it, I won’t get an update to WP8. I will however get an upgrade to WP 7.8.¬† What does this mean? It means I will get some visual enhancements as well as a few new features, but nowhere near the functionality of a Windows Phone 8 device. And let me tell you: I… am… furious…ly… annoyed by the idiots who keep acting like this is a big deal.

Let me enlighten you:

Every time¬†Apple put out an update to iOS, the older models have NEVER received¬†all the features of the newest device. NEVER! iPhone 4S¬†gets Siri. Siri is not a hardware upgrade for the 4S. It is basically a piece of software, or app if you will, which adds a new type of functionality. Why couldn’t all the iPhone models get Siri? If they all got Siri, Apple wouldn’t have an impressive reason for people to buy the 4S. Do I smell marketing? That’s all it was. Even still, not too many people were upset about it. Even the all-powerful¬†Woz¬†stated that the Siri software was much better before Apple purchased it. But still, nobody cares. Even if you just bought the iPhone 4S¬†and all of a sudden Apple shows off the iPhone 5 with all these features and functionality upgrades you wouldn’t get because you only have the iPhone 4S and there’s nothing you can do but take the phone back and buy the new one when it comes out NOBODY would care!

Why do people care when Microsoft does it?

In this article, a man writes an e-mail to Nokia’s Stephen Elop¬†and AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega threatening to drop AT&T, Nokia, and Microsoft from his life. Why? Because his new Nokia Lumia¬†900 Windows Phone will not get an update to WP8. Instead, as I said before, the Lumia¬†will get the 7.8 update. Oh, poor, poor me with my Nokia Lumia¬†900 with no upgrade path to WP8. Damn you Microsoft and Nokia. Damn you all to hell!

NOT!

You want to know the difference between Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8? Here it is: hardware. That’s really it. Right now Microsoft has very strict device specs for the Window Phone 7 family. Manufacturers must keep to these or they don’t get the license for Windows Phone 7. The same holds true for Windows Phone 8. The new Windows Phone 8 devices will have different hardware specs, and as such they have the software to utilize the new hardware features. If you have a Windows Phone 7 device you wouldn’t be able to use any of those features anyway, so why would you want that software on your phone? And what exactly does this guy expect? Is Nokia supposed to take his phone, install an NFC chip, a couple or processor cores, and an SD card slot, and then give it back with that functionality? As if! Apple didn’t take people’s old iPhones and install a Retina display in them. If you wanted a Retina display, Siri, or any of the other upgrades on the newer iPhone 4S then you had to buy the newer iPhone 4S.That’s just the way it is. And that’s always going to be the way it is.

When I bought my first Android phone from AT&T, the HTC¬†Aria, I was annoyed¬†by the news of MUCH¬†better phones being announced¬†for the very near future. The HTC Evo 4G, the Motorola Droid X, etc, etc. Was I mad, livid even, to the point of yelling out in frustration at the drizzling sky while the camera backs away, spinning to show my grief and confusion about “why, oh why is this happening to me”? No. That’s what happens. You buy a car, and a better car comes out. You buy the best computer and it’s outdated in a week. You finally shell out for that awesome phone everyone is talking about and your favorite fruits release a new one.¬†Welcome to¬†the universe of technology! Companies make new, better¬†devices all the time. OR would you prefer: Welcome to the world of business! Companies put out new devices to make more money all the time.

Either way, that’s how it works. You save your money, finally buy the item you always wanted, and something better comes out.¬†The other option would be to¬†save your money and¬†wait. If the newer device comes out you hold off and save a little more money so you can buy the new one. But if you save and wait and save and wait you’ll never make that purchase and never get anything. You’re always going to risk ending up with an outdated device especially when making a technological purchase.

So, get over it Luke! They are giving you most of the upgrades with Windows Phone 7.8. But since your Lumia 900 doesn’t have a bigger screen, or an NFC chip, a multiple core processor, or an expansion slot for an SD card you won’t get those updates. What good would they be to you anyway? Think about it before you get so damn upset.

Sent from my Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone.*

A phone I won’t be giving up any time soon.

*this post was not really sent from my Windows Phone… although that would have made this more compelling, I already wrote the article before thinking about it. Oh well.