Friday, July 19, 2013

Why you should consider a Windows Phone for your next phone - part 2

In part 1 of this article I outlined a few of the reasons why I am really starting to enjoy my Windows phone.  In this followup I'll continue that and describe a few more of those reasons.  I'll reiterate here that this is not a review of Windows Phone 8 nor is it a treatise on why it's the best phone OS.  I happen to think that each of the 3 major phone systems are great and have their target audience.  I'm only intending to outline what makes me smile about Windows Phone.

Office and Sky Drive

The next area I'd like to highlight is Office.  Like it or not, the world runs on Microsoft Office.  My company slings around Excel and Word documents.  My daughter complained the other day that she didn't have Office on her computer and that meant she couldn't interact properly with her college professors.  Office runs business, plain and simple.  And Windows Phone has Office built right in.

Samsung and the other Android phone makers often do include office suites that do a remarkably good job with office compatibility however all it takes is one bad experience with formatting or losing a page or two in your power point for you to realize that "almost 100% compatible" can be very frustrating.

You combine Office with the seamless integration with SkyDrive and you get a very nice mobile workplace.  I'm not spending much time talking about Office as it really "just works" and is one of the best spreadsheet and document editor experiences you'll find on a mobile phone.  Where it really shines is when you mix in SkyDrive.

When you open up Office on the phone you are met with a Recents list that spans documents on your phone or in the cloud.  No differences are made and opening a document from the cloud will check that you have the latest before opening and automatically save it back to the cloud when done.  You don't ever have to worry about manually syncing a folder.  Trying to set up something similar on my Galaxy is harder.  You can install an office suite (like KingSoft) and even open documents right from sites like Dropbox however saving the files didn't appear to push them back to Dropbox automatically.  Yes, I could setup some auto syncing of Dropbox with a folder but none of this is automatic and can be challenging for a new user (like your mom!) to setup.  And, even once you got it running, you still have something that is "mostly compatible" with Office.

Being 100% compatible with Office and seamless integration with the cloud makes Office and SkyDrive a killer story for Windows Phone 8.  Windows 8.1 is making the story even sweeter with even better integration of SkyDrive with Windows on tablets, laptops, and desktops.  Installing Office on these other computers now means that you can edit your Office files wherever you are without any concern about breaking compatibility or that you are editing an older version.  Peace of mind is worth a lot!

Photo Integration, Automatic Uploads, and Live Tile

Windows Phone does a great job of pulling photos together from several different sources into a single location.  Everyone manages their photos in a different way.  On my Lumia you can go into the Photos app and  choose Albums and you'll see all the photo albums I have on my phone, on my SkyDrive, and on Facebook all in one location. No need to open each of these apps separately.  And, while it hasn't been utilized a great deal, I think other apps can take advantage of this as well.

The next call out here is automatic, full resolution, upload of your photos and videos to SkyDrive.  It's a ton of fun to take a bunch of pics, come home and grab some dinner (while your phone uploads all the stuff you shot as soon as it hits your WiFi), and then grab your Surface RT or tablet and swish through all the shots you got right there on SkyDrive.

The last thing I want to mention here is how the Photos app updates the Live Tile.  It's always fun to unlock you phone and see a fresh, rotating, set of pictures from your camera roll right there on the Live Tile.

Facebook Integration

There is a lot to say about Facebook integration in Windows Phone so I will just highlight a few of the areas that I particularly enjoy.

In the Me tile I can post a status update to all of my social networks at one time.  I can update my status on Live Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all at one and in one place.  This is great time saver.  Yes, I know that Android has apps that can do this but anything integrated and built in is better in my book.  Also in the Me tile I can Facebook check in and see all my Facebook and Twitter notifications and interactions.  Very handy!

I've already highlighted that I can see all my Facebook photo albums just by opening the Photos app and looking in my albums.  However, as you can see in the photo above, the Photos app has a What's New section that shows you all the photos that your Facebook friends are posting.  Want to see that cool photo  your sister posted this morning?  No need to open Facebook. Just open Photos and hit What's New and there it is!

One pet peeve I have of the Facebook app on Android is that I keep having to search for my family members I want to tag.  No so on Windows Phone.  Right from the picture I can choose share to Facebook, then click the add tag button to see a list of most recently used tags.  No need to search.  Love this feature!  And if I want to do something more complicated I can always just crack open the Facebook app.

The last thing I want to mention about Facebook integration is one of favorites.  I originally didn't think I would like it but boy have I changed my mind.  Windows Phone allows you to specify that an app will control what the lock screen looks like and Facebook supports this.  When you install Facebook and run it the first time you are given the choice to have Facebook manage the lock screen and how it should look.  Now, every time I wake my phone I'm greeted with a new photo right out of my Facebook photo albums.  I really can't tell you how many times I've chuckled or smiled at a photo that was on my lock screen.  It rotates them many times throughout the day too so it's always fresh.

Contact Handling

Contact handling on Windows Phone is really quite nice.  It has all the same features you would expect such as grouping contacts from Facebook, Google, and others into a single directory, the ability to set custom ringtones for a contact, and edit details like birthdays, spouses, etc.  However there are a couple things that really make it stand out.

The first is contact grouping.  You can create groups of contacts with a given name.  Once you have the group you can then go into the group and email them as a group, SMS to them as a group, or see what they have been posting to their Facebook or Twitter accounts as a group. You can view their shared photos as a group.  You get all the same functionality as when you are looking at all your contacts but it is filtered down to just that group.  This can be very handy!

And my favorite is contact profile pics from social networks.  Yes, I know that some Android phone makers have done this for Facebook but I have never seen anyone do it with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and have that information flow everywhere in the system including SMS and email.  It's very cool to get a phone call from your wife, see her picture full screen on your phone, and realize that she has changed her profile picture.  Yes, I can manually set her contact photo to anything I like but I enjoy getting having my contacts set their profile pictures.

And that wraps up part 2.  In the next (and likely last) installment I'll finish up going over my favorite features with two of the best, battery life and voice commands.  Talk to you soon!


  1. Cool staff! Thanks fro sharing.

    Candy Swift
    Creative Biolabs

  2. I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.  bypass android lock screen without google account

  3. Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. buy facebook recommendations

  4. Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work. spy phone

  5. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. learn more

  6. Superlative style of writing that every new blogger aspires to have.
    spy phone app

  7. This post is very simple to read and appreciate without leaving any details out. Great work! blue screen

  8. i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful. spy phone app

  9. Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading. buy instagram likes uk review

  10. When you use a genuine service, you will be able to provide instructions, share materials and choose the formatting style. WhatsApp GB 2020

  11. I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You. buy international calling card online uk

  12. Make the most out of Jump Lists so you can without much of a stretch access any organizer or windows that you generally use. download audacity for windows

  13. cookies, and so on) and start eating greater veggies. Now, I recognise what you is probably Pure Dietary Keto wondering. You may also nevertheless be traumatized through your mom not letting you stand up from the dinner desk until you completed all of your broccoli but let me inform you, your mom changed into right. If you can fill half your plate at every meal with high fiber and nutrient packed vegetables you're well on your .

  14. Your medical do Keto XP
    ctor, instructor or dietitian may have given you a weight value based at the regularly man who advised me how he preferred to assist people sporting groceries to their motors and the usage Sometimes your weighing machine won't display you whatever however your body will appearance all drugs and patches except you have discussed it together with your Keto XP practitioner. Remember one fundamental rule: Do no longer consider a diet plan as being standard for a few days. These techniques .

  15. irritation standard medical treatment for skin rashes and nappy rash is cortisone cream. Fortunately, checking its ingredients. I cannot stress enough how important it is to fully read a Lush Lift products flush out toxins, dirt, and bacteria from the skin that would otherwise cause the skin to look dull and weathered. Start drinking more water and I promise you'll see a noticeable change in the coming weeks. So, now that you can properly identify some of the things your Lush Lift skin needs and doesn't need, you should .

  16. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. iPhone 12 Screen protector

  17. Hello, I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject. download windows 10 product key

  18. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. Thanks for sharing.SKETCHUP PRO 2020 CRACK

  19. I am very impressed with your post because this post is very beneficial for and provide a new knowledge to me. Thanks for sharing.

    Elmedia Player Pro Crack

  20. Commenting on a blog is an art. Good comments create relations. You’re doing great work. Keep it up. render farm

  21. Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. onmovies for PC

  22. It is now possible to buy doors and windows New windows that are energy-efficient.

  23. We often hesitate to download apps that ask for access to images, contacts and more from our phone. We hesitate because we are concerned about the safety and security issue. mobile tracker free

  24. I admire this article for the well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so involved in this material that I couldn’t stop reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thank you so much. CRM for Outlook

  25. Thank you for sharing,
    and nice articles you have here buy painkillers online
    moreover the admin of this
    site has really worked hard for all this
    once more thanks for sharing your articles.
    We decided that the "stroad" bike lane on Delaware
    Ave was not good for families
    so we used the river route to the park
    mobile price in bd

  26. I am very impressed with your post because this post is very beneficial for me and provide a new knowledge to me mobile price in bd

  27. This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice can see

  28. Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here.Macbook Pro gebraucht