Friday, 20 June 2014

1520— it's also a great games machine

I've played games on various phones and phablets (smash hits, temple run, more cerebral games...). However,  I've usually reached for my tablet if I want or play games.  Last night I played fifa 2014 on the Nokia 1520  (a subconscious reaction to England going out of the world cup perhaps). It was an excellent experience (the 1520) and every game I've tried on it has been enjoyable; better than any other phablet,  and better in some ways than tablets I've used. The 1520 has a gorgeous screen:  it feels great to the touch,  colours are natural and have depth,  and there's no sign of pixels. The external speaker of the 1520 is very good (the HTC one max being one of the few phablets to better it), and the 1520 feels great in the hand and the size works well for using two thumbs.
I'm surprised at how many decent games are free. And Windows phone has a longer 'before you buy' than Android or ios.
The gflex is still more practical. It's lighter and I can easily use it one handed... But there is something special about the 1520-which is more towards the tablet end of the phablet spectrum.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Parallel's is a great app for running Windows on a mac, and more

After years as a windows pc user I decided to give the macbook pro a go. I've been blown away by the hardware quality. And MacOs is easy to use and integrated. However, there are some apps that I need to run on Windows. So I installed parallels on the mac. I can now run Windows on my mac. And the experience is better than on any of my previous pcs! I gave parallels a go on my ipad and it works very well indeed.

Parallels Access remote access app jumps from iPad to iPhone, gains Finder-like functionality

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Monitoring mobile phone usage

Using the break free app. It also shows you the top 5 apps used in a day. (number one for me Evernote -  1.53hrs)- handy for deciding to rearrange home screens.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Nokia 1520 - early impressions of this gorgeous device

The Nokia 1520 is one of the most mouth watering devices that I've used. However,  is it practical to use? I've spent a few days just using it and my conclusion so far is that for me, it's brilliant as a weekend phone,  and as a tablet in the evenings. For the working day the gflex is still the most practical,  comfortable device for my needs (especially when used alongside an iPhone 5s). However, I still get a certain 'wow' and feeling of luxuriance that I don't with any other phone or tablet. Part of that is helped by the vivid and fresh windows phone ui.

-it feels lovely to hold (could be a bit wide for some. It's noticeably wider than the gflex,  though both are 6").
-the display is lovely. Indoors and outdoors (the flex is difficult to read in bright sunlight, unlike the 1520- especially using the increased contrast setting).
-the camera is great for fiddling with and takes very good photos (if a bit slower than the iPhone 5s and requiring more set up than the iPhone). I'm getting better and better at taking decent photos with this. And the large,  gorgeous screen that is fine in bright sunlight makes it great for showing photos to people.
-The windows phone ui makes a refreshing change after so long with Android & ios. I like the ability to set up live tiles for specific podcast subscriptions, and see how many unplayed episodes there are.
-kids corner: this is one of the better implementations of kids account. I've just specified which games, music albums, video clips and apps my daughter can access.
-audio is very good on earphones. The external speaker isn't the best but it's pretty decent, and I like it especially for vocal (bbc iplayer,  audible,  podcasts...).
- Nokia car navigation (Nokia here) is NOTICABLY better than using Google maps to give directions. Trying it over the same route I was surprised at just how much better Nokia is than Google maps. It could do with pausing other audio when giving directions though (not just reducing the other app's volume).
-I'm enjoying Nokia radio. I've found more new music that I like with this than using similar apps on ios and Android.

-the squared corners make it less pocket friendly than the gflex.
-most apps I need are on Windows phone, or on their way. It's not as seamless a Google app experience as android or ios but it's good enough for me.  And some apps that I use are better on WP than Android or ios.
-I haven't yet managed to get a lower case ' i ' to automatically change to upper case (good reason for not using I too much!)
-the buttons on my hands free sets don't work (yet). The 3 buttons sets work fully on ios,  and partially on Android. I'll look for a decent one that works fully on Windows phone.

Misc notes
-it's heavier than the gflex but the weight is manageable.
-audio and call quality were fine. Though the gflex is clearer.
-using the same sim card on the flex and in the Nokia, the flex seemed to have more success in finding a signal.
-battery life of the 1520 is decent, though not as good as the gflex.
-not all of the apps I want are on Windows phone (eg citymapper). However, most are there or there are usable alternatives. 

Did I say how gorgeous a device this is?

Not misleading people through use of numbers

The BBC more or less podcast is an enjoyable breathe of fresh air in a world of misuse of stats/use of inappropriate figures. Topical and interesting eg will Scots be better off in/out of the UK; world cup odds; misleading figures used to drum up bad feelings...
This week has a great selection including the coin tossing when making major decisions and risk taking.
If there were just three podcast subscriptions I could have this would be one of them.