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PowerUp Toys has introduced a new form of play by meshing origami classics with technology. This time we took a big leap forward, by integrating state-of-the-art Bluetooth Smart technology into our PowerUp design. Now you can easily control a simple homemade paper airplane with your smartphone. Say hello to the World’s First Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane - PowerUp 3.0.
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I'm thinking about getting a mobile phone.
I'm not sure what type of phone to buy.
I know next to nothing about these phones.
I've impressions and I'll share them here.
Don't get upset if you're a cultist of one sort or another - I've already admitted that I don't know.
My impression is that these guys have a bit of improvement to make and that the experience isn't as polished as the iPhone. That said, I like the tiles - the UI, oddly enough, seems cleaner to me and I find that appealing. I also like the idea that I'll learn a bit about the Windows 8 way of doing things which might come in handy in the future.
The more mature, polished experience - and yet, the UI seems clunky to me. There might be TOO much going on here and I'm not really excited about buying into the whole Apple ecosystem. Probably the better over all phone but I don't need a new religion either.
Sadly, WP isn't a supported platform. Actually, (although I have a WP and like it) that's a pretty good argument for iPhone. If you want an app for controlling your paper airplanes (or some other new thing), you'll need iPhone.
I've had a couple of iPhones over the years (3GS, 4S), and they are good, solid products. I dislike Apple's closed eco-system, amongst other things, but I can't levy criticism against the iPhone product that you haven't already heard before. It worked, did what I needed to do, and didn't fuss too much.
For various reasons and disagreements with how Apple does things, I decided to switch to a Windows Phone last year. I got a Nokia Lumia 1020 (the one with the goofy big camera in the back - it's an AWESOME camera though, MUCH better than any other phone camera I've used.). It was interesting to me how different it did everything than iOS did. But more or less the same comments as the iPhone - it does everything I need to do, and does it well. I especially enjoy the ability to write apps for my own phone in C# (I tried once to write an app in Objective-C... I'd rather chop off my fingers than try again - I find it to be an unpleasant language and eco-system to develop in). I also get more freedom with my Windows phone - it's not nearly as locked down as the iPhone is.
You may hear some people say "but AppleStore/Android store has more apps than Windows!", but at this point they're all mature enough that all the major functionality you may desire will be there. If something isn't there, then as noted earlier it's pretty easy for me to write up an app to do something I want.
Regarding the "polish" query - I was surprised at how "polished" WP8 was - it has some rough edges, no doubt, but it feels like the lack of polish critique is overstated. I have just as many critiques about iOS as I do about WP8, they're just different critiques. WP8.1 looks to address most of them, and I'll download and install it to my phone soon (waiting to do so until it looks like it's solid).
Personally I would consider the platforms nearly on par for most everything you would want to do with your pocket computer/phone - it's really a matter of preference about which eco-system you would like. I for one love my Nokia. My wife has an iPhone and is keen on changing over to a WinPhone for her next one after playing around with mine a while - she prefers it to her iPhone.
I had a Windows phone and then switched to an Android, I prefer the windows UI. I agree the argument about the size of the app store is silly, home many more dancing monkey apps does one need? But when my bank and other businesses I use did not come out with a Window Phone app that made me change to Android when the contract was up.
Don't know what I can add to this other than "well said"!
I have a Lumia 920, and prior to that a Samsung Focus, and prior to that (only briefly before my daughter inherited it) an LG Quantum.
Early on, as one would expect, the OS definitely had some maturing to do, but a solid first effort. I'd consider it to be pretty mature now though there is always room for improvement. Fortunately, I believe we are seeing a sincere effort from Microsoft to address this with reasonably frequent updates. If I were to pick 3 things, off the top of my head, that are negatives they would be:
1. MS abandoned Windows Phone 7 users too quickly. There are too many features that are available only on the Windows 8 platform and a number of the new apps (such as Snapchat and Pinterest just recently released) require v8. This isn't the end of the world as I have WP8, but my daughter has WP7 and this is a major annoyance for her because she's a bigger app user and there are some apps that she likes ("needs") that just aren't available on WP7. MS has been more loyal to WP8 users (so far). In the very least they should have done what Apple does from a marketing perspective - tell everyone they're getting the WP8 upgrade, but just make some features unavailable .
2. Make sure the apps you expect are available. You absolutely don't need the gazillion apps that the Apple or Android stores have, but there may be some apps that you absolutely rely on or expect that aren't available on the WP platform. My bank (major Canadian bank) didn't have a WP app until last month. And, as someone else mentioned, always expect that apps are available to WP last (can't blame anyone, this is just the way it is when you make up 5% of the market).
3. Misc "polish" items... I still can't believe that the phone does not track call length in your call history. My old 1997 Nokia did that! Of course each phone platform is going to have its flaws in this category.
As for the hardware and the UI - the Lumia's kick butt! And I really do like the tile-based UI, though there are some (I think) obvious improvement that I'm surprised they still haven't made (such as tile grouping or pages - like you see in Windows 8 on PC, or that appear to be in the next GDR).
Edit: I meant to mention - the integration of the ecosystem is awesome. Between your PC, phone, tablet, x-box, the ability to share settings, preferences, profile is fantastic. OneDrive and Office Apps also great. And while there aren't as many games as the other platforms, there is certainly a decent quantity and quality (about 90% of the ones I've seen on the other platforms are either crap or copycats anyway). Plus there are some great xbox exclusive games. I don't have time to game, but my son does and really enjoys the selection (he also has a Samsung Tab).
I have used Symbian (remember?) and Android. I have colleagues using Windows phone and iPhone. Last OS upgrade from Apple created chaos. So the guys I know hate it. Still, they are entrapped in "Look, I got iPhone!" feeling. I don't get it. Windows phone guys compare it with Android and talk of performance. I have Nexus 5 and I do not see any significant differences. I do not care about that ever valuable nanosecond.
I will recommend Android as the market is good and you can get almost any app you want on the phone. Windows and iOS are lacking, I feel, on that front.
You mentioned you like tiles so, latest Android upgrade switched contacts view to tiles.
I have a Nokia Lumia 920 and like it a lot. On the downside, it doesn't play well with my car electronics, since apparently they tested the system only with iPhone and Android, so that's a bit of a disappointment.
Some people dismiss the apps issue, and for most people it won't be a problem. But it is true that if someone is developing a new product that has a smartphone component, it's only rational that they develop for Android and/or iPhone first. For example, I thought about sending that link for the smartphone controlled paper airplane to my wife (thinking it would be a fun birthday present), but checked out the "Supported Smartphone" section, and realized it would be useless without an iPhone.
Recently, I upgraded to WP 8.1, which isn't generally available but you can follow the instructions here[^] to perform the upgrade. I have to say I really like the new OS.
How did that go? On my phone (Lumia 920) it's called 'Connect in a different way to use Speech with Bluetooth in my car', and since messing about with it, I don't get text messages read out, so I'll tick it again and see what happens, it used to work.
Didn't seem to make a difference. The main problem has to do with selecting and playing music from my phone. I can get one song at a time, but can't even play an album. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
Oh right, that is rubbish. Have you tried a 3rd party app? I can't imagine why it would help, but you never know. I use Podcast Picker, and it has options in it's settings along the lines of 'when you press skip forward in your car, what do you want to do? skip track, skip forward 10 secs, etc.'.
You'll be needing an app with really big buttons then so you can use it in the car!
If you have an apple computer or an ipad stick with iPhone.
If you have Microsoft products such as a laptop or desktop go with Windows Phone.
If you have a chrome book, or android tablet stick with android.
There is a massive benefit with cloud technologies when all your devices are the same brand
agreed, I really like how OneDrive/SkyDrive and one note all just 'work' across my Win8 and WinPhone8 devices... All my pics etc... It actually makes the Win 8 start screen 'photos' tile pretty good, since it shows my recent snaps from my phone
Have you had a look at the new Windows Phone 8.1 update? For me (long time user since the first WP 7 Lumias) this update brings the platform up to par with Android and iOS. If you do not fancy converting to the Google or Apple ecosystem, WP 8.1 is now a great way to go. Only if those App-Nazis (like those with the paper-planes or home automation systems) would produce more apps for WP...
I strongly prefer WP for a huge variety of reasons, I own a Lumia 920 myself and even the small things like Wireless charging and Glance make me tingle
But from a developers point of view I personally say working on WP is a better choice. There's obviously dozens of pros/cons to both platforms but here's a small sample that make me say WP.
Developing on Windows phone can be done in many languages besides C#; and C# is pretty much a global standard for many environments. With your new found C# skills you could make a program for windows desktop, phone, RT, Linux, Android AND Apple products. However if you picked iPhone you will either use Objective-C or Swift, which are both locked languages to apple usage only.
If you look into iPhone development you pretty much need a Mac product to work with, such as a MacBook or iMac. You can't do iPhone programming on any other environment unless you spend a lot of money.
While you are allowed to WP development on pretty much any machine.
If you plan to get into the app market to make money, you will find it extremely difficult to succeed in the apple Appstore because of the millions of apps and developers lingering on it for years. I know of, and seen countless companies, indies, friends etc. Try extremely hard to get anywhere in that Appstore and failed. At least in the Windows app store its still fresh and it's steadily growing.
Windows Phone 8.1 update is now available to use and develop on. They've added plenty of features and improvements which make WP stand out quite well from other platforms, such as Access to the Cortana API to integrate voice tools into your own app.
That's all the thought I can spare atm, feel free to correct me if I got any details wrong etc.
It all boils down to your ecosystem of choice. Both are great phones and are pretty much on par with their features (give or take a few on each side). In my case, I'm heavily invested in the Microsoft stack(Windows 8, Windows Phone [Nokia Lumia 920], Xbox, Bing, Office, OneDrive, ...). Therefore I can confirm that the integration between them is awesome.
A bonus point for windows phones is the free navigation and augmented reality apps.
I suggest you take a look on the new Nokia Lumia 930. It should be released soon and from what I've read, it looks like a high quality phone.
I'm an iPhone user, and a regular Apple fan, but if I was starting from scratch would go for a Windows Phone - probably a Lumia.
I'm not sure how I would sum up the difference between the two, but all of the people I know who have switched to WP seem pretty happy with it.
I think the big problem with the iPhone is that the UI is now so mature it's starting to go a bit stale - and it's not easy for Apple to change the UI to something newer or fresher like you see on the Windows phones because it's too big a step, design wise.
Are you into - or thinking about getting into - mobile app development? If so, I'd recommend Windows Phone, and here's why:
1) Xamarin. As an indie gamedev with an XNA background, the ability to continue using my XNA knowledge (with Monogame) for WP8 and port to Android and iOS while still coding in C# is absolutely amazing. I can't speak for apps, but the latest version of Xamarin (v3) looks very promising for making cross-platform apps in C#, right up to the interface level. Moreover, there are very encouraging signs between Microsoft and Xamarin at the moment, so while there is currently a licence fee, things may yet change.
2) Nokia. Here in the UK, Nokia have been incredibly supportive of the efforts of small developers like myself, to the extent of even helping out with test devices. They have also been great helping promote my games on the marketplace.
... plus, as expected, the basic WP8 SDK tools can be downloaded for free, and it's only $19/year to publish to the Microsoft marketplace. And if there's an app you need that's not on the store - just make it!
Full disclosure, I've been using Windows Phone since v7 (it wasn't great) and I'm currently running the latest Dev Preview version of the OS so it's possible not all of the features I mention below will be immediately available. Also, I have a general dislike for Apple, though not as much as my growing hatred for Google.
You're really choosing an ecosystem. As somebody pointed out, if you have a Mac and an iPad it's really a no-brainer to get an iPhone. If you're pretty well invested in the Mircrosoft ecosystem, then Windows Phone is the clear winner.
If you are truly on the fence. The live tiles are great and if you get a Nokia the free Nokia apps are fantastic. I didn't think I'd really use Cortana that much, but I've found her very useful and she's really starting to grow on me. The downside is apps, there a few that I wish would port to Windows Phone, but no deal breakers for me.
The best feature has to be the WordFlow keyboard. That thing is one step away from reading my mind. It's to the point where if it doesn't get the word I was swiping the first time I assume I've done something wrong.
I've been using the iPhone line for a few years now and it works fine. As a Windows developer I tried to go with Microsoft's solution back when it was Pocket PC, etc. but became frustrated because they kept changing the rules. I also didn't care for the Metro system so I quit trying to work with it. I simply decided that in the Microsoft ecosystem I'd remain a developer so far as Windows was concerned but for my mobile usage I became "just" a user. I feel like I chose correctly. The whole thing works fine. I'm not a fanboy of either ... just got used to Apple's mobile solution that's all. Microsoft is very strong in Enterprise level solutions, not so much in mobile. I see Apple the opposite way; strong in mobile, not so much in enterprise level. MS should stop trying to be "another Apple" and just keep doing what they do best which is not so much consumer level, IMHO.
I have a Lumia 920, Wife as an iPhone 4s.. my view.
as other have said, stick with your chosen ecosystem. But if you're unsure,
the advantages I get for having Windows Phone
*Glance - see texts/emails/missed calls without actually turning screen on/off all the time
*Wordflow - the keyboard is WAY ahead of iPhone, many times I can just tap on the list of words at the top...
*Tiles - similar to glance, why do I want to open apps for every bit of info? I don't.
*OneDrive/One note syncing, I really really like this.
*Xbox integration/apps... these are almost always of very good quality, so saves a lot of time finding a game that's actually worth playing
Advantages she has for having iPhone
*App for our bank to check balances etc. I would really like this (they did a blackberry app FFS!!)
*siri everywhere... he's built into the keyboard, which is great if you can't spell something, he's there... the Win Phone mic isn't always shown/isn't on the keyboard. Maybe Cortana will address this.
*always first to get the latest apps.
*always first to get the latest apps. <- takes up 2 points!
And finally, don't believe what people say about a) iOS is simpler to use, or b) it just works.... I often need to figure stuff out for my wife and get emails etc. to work.
Oh yeah, I forgot about Wordflow. It's amazing how intuitive it is at figuring out what I'm going to type, often without having to type even the first letter of the next word. I've created many a long text message by only typing in one or two letters of the next word before I can choose it from the suggestion list, and sometimes no typing is needed at all because the right word is already there in the suggestions.
If you think 'goto' is evil, try writing an Assembly program without JMP.
As others have said, those aren't your only two choices. I got a Galaxy S4 when they came out and quite like it.
Disclaimer: this is the first smart phone I've ever owned, so I can't give a comparison review for you. I think I'm pretty unusual in that I helped develop a phone app at work before ever running one myself.
Also I'm not a heavy-duty user. Seems like it makes doing things like email, texting, calling, etc easy, and their store has the apps I need for banking, credit cards, etc, so it's quite sufficient for me.
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