I reckon it’s a nearly unsolvable problem, but I’m hoping we can get to a point where a service, like Facebook or Tumblr, can recognize that a push notification has been acted upon, dismissed, taken care of, etc.
I get all of these icons throughout the day on my phone, I get home, turn on my tablet, and I get to relive them all over again. 
Yesterday was especially talkative.

I reckon it’s a nearly unsolvable problem, but I’m hoping we can get to a point where a service, like Facebook or Tumblr, can recognize that a push notification has been acted upon, dismissed, taken care of, etc.

I get all of these icons throughout the day on my phone, I get home, turn on my tablet, and I get to relive them all over again. 

Yesterday was especially talkative.

Let’s talk Windows Phone 8

I’ve had this Samsung Ativ S Neo for a few weeks now and I genuinely love using it. As a whole, I don’t miss having an Android phone I don’t have any problems living an iOS free life.

Let me list of some of my annoyances.

  • I couldn’t be more disappointed in Xbox music. It just doesn’t work well. The tool to sync songs to the device is garbage. I moved a few hundred songs to the phone and they somehow multiplied themselves. Some tracks added themselves 7 or 8 times and some of those tracks are missing album art. Or artist name. Or the album name. It’s a mix and it doesn’t make any sense.
  • More on music. Xbox music is supposed to work like Spotify. On Sprint’s 3G network, I get silence. That’s a Sprint issue, not the phone’s. Where the app does goof up is that it’s not immediate. If I add a song on my desktop to listen on mobile, I’ve had to wait hours for it to show up. Google does the same thing in seconds with Google Music. Microsoft needs to fix music 
  • Apps aren’t as much of a problem as I originally thought. I’m not missing out on anything. I don’t have an official Instagram app, but 6tag is pretty amazing. It nails everything Instagram does and it’s never given me any trouble. What I have noticed is that the Windows Phone apps are not as well supported as their iOS and Android counterpoints. The Tumblr app is a great example of this. It’s there, it works, but lacks a huge chunk of it’s sister applications.
  • I do miss Android’s ability to share anything to any app. 

Things I love

  • The Live Tiles are pretty great. The commercial from a year or two back where people just glance at their phone and get an idea of what’s going on— it’s really like that. I feel less beholden to my phone and a little less into checking it nonstop. I still do, but it’s because it’s so pretty.
  • It’s so pretty. I read a review of Windows Phone 8 as an OS it was knocked for not being more customizable. First of all, anything next to iOS is a box of legos in customization. Second, it gives you enough to play with and make the phone yours with out overwhelming, you with options. My phone feels like mine and I feel like I have a lot to play with. Plus, with whatever I do, its still usable.
  • Setting are intuitive. I didn’t think this was a big deal until I moved around iOS 7’s settings. Hoo boy. A lot going on there.
  • My battery life is awesome. I get a full day and change with this thing and I’d consider myself a power user.
  • I love taken pictures with it. 

I think everything will be okay for the next two years.

Two Days with a Windows Phone 8 Device

I have the Samsung Ativ S Neo, which is the worst phone name of all time.

I’ve owned under represented mobile OS’s before, so I’m not terribly intimitated by the dozens of low-scoring Windows Phone reviews. Most of those reviews just talk about how the app marketplace isn’t there yet.

But the phone is just so pretty and the OS is a real pleasure to use. Plus, I’m a sucker for “new” stuff. So I’ve dived in.

I’m loving it so far, but I have some annoyances. Many of them are from the people developing apps for the phone, as opposed to the OS or Samsung. Many, but not all.

  • This is more on Sprint than Samsung, but DC doesn’t have great LTE yet. My old phone, an HTC EVO 3D [Android], used an older form of 4G called Wimax which is all over DC. So there are some gaps in my high speed internet. Hopefully that will get better.
  • The Tumblr app doesn’t do comments or messages.
  • The Facebook app doesn’t respect your Newsfeed settings. I’m seeing posts from people I know I’ve hidden.
  • The power button is in the vertical middle of the right side. It’s easy to hit by accident.
  • I can’t find a WMATA Nextbus app.
  • I can’t find a decent Car2Go app without reviews that say, “It displays cars that already reserved.”
  • Because the data speed issue, I need to drop some money on a big SD card for music. Minor annoyance.
  • Quaility free apps are hard to come by, something I’ve gotten too used to from Android.
  • A decent Instagram client isn’t out yet.
  • I miss having a dedicated Facebook Messenger app. I can use FB Messenger in Microsoft’s People app, but it can’t handle group messages, which is the only thing I like Facebook Messenger for.
  • You know Gmail’s Inbox switch? I erased all of my filters and labels so I could use their new inbox categories. Well, since there is not official Gmail app for Windows Phone, I’m stuck using IMAP. Which means all new emails end up in my Inbox according to my phone. Gmail categories don’t work as folders in IMAP, so yeah, I get everything now.
  • There are cool features I can’t use because I don’t know anyone else with a Windows Phone 8.

Fucking Mashable.

Munster’s team spent two hours outside the Microsoft store and eight hours outside the Apple store on Black Friday, which hardly constitutes a comprehensive report.

Emphasis mine. If it’s not comprehensive, why publish it?

I have a whole rant under this that I just don’t have the energy to write up, but the end point is that Mashable is an awful website.

Folks that know me are well aware of my increasing level of fanboy-ism with Microsoft products and software these days.

Starting with the Zune hardware and software, through Xbox 360, through the Windows Phones, and now Windows 8 and Surface, I feel like Microsoft is on the edge of really taking computing into the future. Apple’s done it with the iPhone and iPad for mobile computing. My bet is on Microsoft to take it the rest of the way for for that tower and clunky laptop you have at home. The one you’ve considered giving to your father-in-law because you spend all your time on your phone or tablet.

I’ve been reading every review I can find about the Surface running Windows RT because it’s meant to be Microsoft’s example to the world on how to present Windows 8. I’ve been salivating for one since it was announced alongside it’s still-to-come brother, Surface Pro, and I’m disappointed at some of the scores I’m seeing.

As a accidental fan of every mobile OS underdog (remember all those WebOS posts), I knew what some of the reviews were going to say. The number and quality of apps is lacking. Fair point. Windows 8 is new, and the Windows Phone hasn’t launched quite yet, so developers aren’t about to devote resources to the marketplace, because the user base just isn’t there.

But what I’m surprised to hear is the occasional sluggish nature of the device. It seems to me that Microsoft has more or less being doing everything right in the lead up to this device. Secret announcement, big marketing, low on details but high on sexy images— they’ve taken those pages right out of Apple’s playbook. They are being fair to all their OEM partners with pricing, so you don’t have HP or Lenevo writing anonymous articles about how Microsoft is going to crush the PC industry.

So I’m shocked to hear that didn’t follow through on the hardware and or the software that runs that hardware. The problems do sound small, and likely fixable with a few patches and updates, but something like this, a new (kinda) form factor and radical redesign of our computing habits from the past 17 years— it just HAS to work, and work, really well.

I had a feeling I wouldn’t buy this device from the start. The Surface Pro sounds like the way to go, because it has the same shape and design, but it’ll actually run Windows 8. A full-fledged version of Windows 8, meaning I can have full access to the billions of programs out there in the world alongside the tablet interface.

I’m likely going to upgrade my Windows 7 laptop to Windows 8 as well. I’m aware that there are some issues with using 8 on a standard laptop, but my fanboy-ism is getting the better of me.