Tag Archives: biggest

Skype, the biggest villain on 2012/2013 Windows Phones

Published by at 14:12 UTC, September 7th 2014

One of the biggest bug-bears on Windows Phone in recent times, for me, has been the performance of Skype, especially in light of the emphasis on the application in hardware launches, e.g. for the Lumia 730/735 here. The issue is that, when returning to Skype on anything but the newer 2014 Windows Phones, even if we only just let the screen timeout and unlock it again, or even if we use the multitasking carousel, we still see completely unnecessary ‘resuming….’ dots, as shown in the video below.

First, some video proof. This shows the high end Lumia 1520 and the low end 630, both with ‘modern’ Snapdragon chipsets and hardware ‘families’, plus the Lumia 1020 and 920, both with the older Snapdragon S4 powering things, all running Windows Phone 8.1. Why do I mention the processors? You’ll see.

Having started up each phone from scratch and then loaded up Skype, I then:

  1. switched away to the Windows Phone Store
  2. locked the screen
  3. unlocked it again
  4. used the multitasking carousel to switch back (resume) Skype.

In the latter case, I do it a pair of devices at a time, for clarity and practicality reasons.

Notice the difference? It seems that Skype resumes immediately and perfectly on any device with a 2014 chipset and skips back into having to effectively reload from scratch on anything older. In the video above, the delay was only a couple of seconds every time, but I’ve seen delays as long as 10 seconds in cases where Skype hadn’t been used for a few hours, on my 920 and 1020.

The very fact that Microsoft is promoting Skype as a hero function in new device launches, lead me to suspect that the company isn’t testing it on enough handsets. A phenomenon through the whole computing world since the dawn of time is that programmers tend to code and test on cutting edge monster PCs and then wonder why regular users with far less capable gear complain about application speed. The same seems to be happening here – it’s clear that the Skype coders at Microsoft are testing on the 1520, Icon, 930, and the brand new 730 and 830 prototypes. Even the new low end 630. But I doubt whether any of them have tried using Skype recently on a Snapdragon S4-powered Lumia from 2013, otherwise this issue would have surely been picked up sooner in every day, real world use.

I’d love one of the Skype team to get back to us with an official comment. Is there a technical reason why Windows Phone applications can’t resume in quite the same way under the Snapdragon S4 and its hardware family? Comments welcome if you can shed any light on this.

In the meantime, those of us struggling along with Skype on a Lumia 1020, 920, 925, 820, 720, 620 or 520 (etc. – so the vast majority of the Windows Phone installed base) will just have to wait. Multiple times a day.

… Resuming… … …

PS. Are there any other Windows Phone applications which you find almost as frustrating in terms of resumption speed? I’d hazard a guess that Twitter might be a candidate too?

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: How To, Software
 

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All About Windows Phone

Apple unveils iOS 8 – the biggest release since the launch of the App Store

Introduces iCloud photo library, new Messages features & new health app

Press Release

amazing new developers tools – federighi

June 2nd 2014. Apple has unveiled iOS 8, the biggest release since the launch of the App Store, giving users incredible new features and developers the tools to create amazing new apps. iOS 8 delivers a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience, including iCloud Photo Library, allowing you to enjoy your photos and videos more easily across your devices; new Messages features to easily share voice, video or photos with just a swipe; and an entirely new Health app that gives you a clear overview of your health and fitness data all in one place. iOS 8 also includes predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard; Family Sharing, the easiest way to share purchases, photos and calendars within the same household; and iCloud Drive, so you can store files and access them from anywhere.

“iOS 8 offers simpler, faster and more intuitive ways to use your device with incredible new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and an entirely new Health app,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s svp of software engineering.

He continued, “We’re also giving developers amazing new tools to make managing your health and your home from your devices an integrated, simple and secure experience.”

In iOS 8, the Photos app and iCloud Photo Library give users access to all of their photos and videos anytime, anywhere.

Your photos are easy to find and are organized consistently across your enabled devices. The Photos app can automatically straighten horizons and with smart editing tools, you can quickly adjust light and colour or access individual tools for deeper fine-tuning.

With iCloud Photo Library, every adjustment and effect is automatically updated across your devices.

Conversations in Messages become more immersive with the ability to communicate with just a swipe.

Tap to Talk allows you to share your voice and the same simple gesture also works for sharing videos and photos within Messages.

Group messaging now gives you the ability to add and remove contacts, leave a conversation and the option to not be disturbed.

Users can easily browse through all of the photos and videos within a conversation and share multiple photos and videos at once.

You can choose to share your current location from within Messages for an hour, a day or longer.

The new Health app gathers the information you choose from your various health apps and fitness devices, and provides you with a clear and current overview in one place.

iOS 8 offers developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage your health and fitness.

For example, the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance.

New predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard is smarter and more personalised, and intelligently takes context into account, such as who the recipient is and in which app you’re typing.

QuickType understands the way you communicate, suggesting favorite phrases, so you can write entire sentences with just a few taps.

What the keyboard learns is encrypted on your device and never sent to the cloud.

iOS 8 introduces Family Sharing, making it easier than ever to communicate and share purchases, photos and calendars within the same household.

Family members can browse and download each other’s iTunes, iBooks or App Store purchases. Up to six members can participate, each with their own Apple ID.

Parents can create Apple IDs for children, which includes Ask to Buy, requiring parental permission for purchases.

Family Sharing automatically keeps everyone connected by creating a shared family photo stream, shared calendar and provides an option for locating family members and their devices.

With iCloud Drive, documents of any type can be safely stored, accessed and edited across your devices.

Make edits on one device and the most up-to-date version of your documents will be available across all devices, whether an iOS device, Mac, Windows PC or on www.icloud.com.

iCloud Drive brings a whole new level of collaboration between apps, providing seamless access and the ability to work on the same file across multiple apps.

For enterprise users, iOS 8 builds on the new IT model for a mobilized workforce by improving the way users are informed of how their devices are configured, managed or restricted.

iOS 8 offers expanded security and management improvements as well as new productivity features, including an expanded level of data protection for key built-in apps, the ability to set your out of office response, see your colleague’s availability when scheduling a meeting and support for configurable Thread Notifications in Mail.

Additional iOS 8 features include: –

  • Design enhancements that build off the stunning interface of iOS 7, bringing interactive notifications, quick access to key contacts, the ability to quickly switch back and forth between the inbox and drafts in Mail, as well as intelligent suggestions
  • Extended Spotlight capabilities that give you results beyond what’s on your device, including articles from Wikipedia, findings from the news and results from places nearby
  • Greater continuity between iPhone, iPad and Mac, including Handoff to start an activity on one device and finish on another, along with Instant Hotspot and the ability to make and receive calls and send SMS and MMS messages from your Mac or iPad.

The iOS 8 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at http://developer.apple.com.

iOS 8 will be available this Fall [2014] as a free software update for iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display.

iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Drive use your iCloud storage with the first 5GB free.

Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.


GoMo News

Apple unveils iOS 8, its biggest release since the launch of the App Store

apple-ios-8-650

Apple today unveiled its iOS 8 operating system, which includes new features for users, and new tools for developers to create better user experiences. In addition to new Messages features and and a focus on a more intuitive user experience, Apple has unveiled the iCloud Photo Library, Family Sharing, Apple’s QuickType keyboard, iCloud Drive, a new Health app, and more.

To start, the iCloud Photo Library allows users to access all of their photos anytime and anywhere. Photos are organized and accessible across enabled devices, with the photos app offering improved editing tools for creating the perfect shot. For one, the Photos app can straighten horizons in tilted photos, while users can fine tune the light and color of their photos with new options. Using iCloud, these adjustments are automatically updated to all of a user’s devices.

The iOS Messages app will receive some hefty improvements, including the ability to share voice clips, remove or add contacts from group messages, leave conversations, toggle an option to not be disturbed, share multiple photos and videos at once, and share a user’s current location from within the app for an hour, a day or longer.

apple-ios-8-650-2

The new Health app provides a one-stop-shop for health information, gathering information from a user’s favorite health apps and fitness devices. iOS 8 supports the ability for these apps to communicate with each other, and with user permission, information from one app can be shared with another to provide a complete view of a user’s current health and fitness.

Elsewhere, users can take advantage of Apple’s QuickType keyboard, which offers smart recommendations based on a message’s context. That is, QuickType recognizes the recipient of, and the context of the message, and offers suggestions for popular phrases, which can be selected and sent without the need to type individual words. The keyboard learns over time, with this “intelligence” remaining encrypted on a device and never sent to the cloud.

Finally, Family Sharing will make it easier for groups to communicate and share purchases. Up to six members can participate in a single family unit, using the same credit card. These users can browse and download content from each other’s iTunes, iBooks and App Store libraries. In addition, parents can toggle the “Ask to Buy” option for children, so parental permission is required for those users before any purchase can be completed. Plus, Family Sharing offers all users a shared family photo stream, calendar and the ability to locate others and their devices.

ios-8-650-3

“iOS 8 offers simpler, faster and more intuitive ways to use your device with incredible new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and an entirely new Health app,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We’re also giving developers amazing new tools to make managing your health and your home from your devices an integrated, simple and secure experience.”

iOS 8 is now available in beta for members of the iOS Developer Program. It will launch as a free software update for everyone this fall, and supports iPhone 4S+, iPod Touch 5th Generation, iPad 2+, iPad Air and iPad Mini. More information on the platform is available on Apple’s website.


Inside Mobile Apps

Apple unveils iOS 8, its biggest release since the launch of the App Store

apple-ios-8-650

Apple today unveiled its iOS 8 operating system, which includes new features for users, and new tools for developers to create better user experiences. In addition to new Messages features and and a focus on a more intuitive user experience, Apple has unveiled the iCloud Photo Library, Family Sharing, Apple’s QuickType keyboard, iCloud Drive, a new Health app, and more.

To start, the iCloud Photo Library allows users to access all of their photos anytime and anywhere. Photos are organized and accessible across enabled devices, with the photos app offering improved editing tools for creating the perfect shot. For one, the Photos app can straighten horizons in tilted photos, while users can fine tune the light and color of their photos with new options. Using iCloud, these adjustments are automatically updated to all of a user’s devices.

The iOS Messages app will receive some hefty improvements, including the ability to share voice clips, remove or add contacts from group messages, leave conversations, toggle an option to not be disturbed, share multiple photos and videos at once, and share a user’s current location from within the app for an hour, a day or longer.

apple-ios-8-650-2

The new Health app provides a one-stop-shop for health information, gathering information from a user’s favorite health apps and fitness devices. iOS 8 supports the ability for these apps to communicate with each other, and with user permission, information from one app can be shared with another to provide a complete view of a user’s current health and fitness.

Elsewhere, users can take advantage of Apple’s QuickType keyboard, which offers smart recommendations based on a message’s context. That is, QuickType recognizes the recipient of, and the context of the message, and offers suggestions for popular phrases, which can be selected and sent without the need to type individual words. The keyboard learns over time, with this “intelligence” remaining encrypted on a device and never sent to the cloud.

Finally, Family Sharing will make it easier for groups to communicate and share purchases. Up to six members can participate in a single family unit, using the same credit card. These users can browse and download content from each other’s iTunes, iBooks and App Store libraries. In addition, parents can toggle the “Ask to Buy” option for children, so parental permission is required for those users before any purchase can be completed. Plus, Family Sharing offers all users a shared family photo stream, calendar and the ability to locate others and their devices.

ios-8-650-3

“iOS 8 offers simpler, faster and more intuitive ways to use your device with incredible new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and an entirely new Health app,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We’re also giving developers amazing new tools to make managing your health and your home from your devices an integrated, simple and secure experience.”

iOS 8 is now available in beta for members of the iOS Developer Program. It will launch as a free software update for everyone this fall, and supports iPhone 4S+, iPod Touch 5th Generation, iPad 2+, iPad Air and iPad Mini. More information on the platform is available on Apple’s website.


Inside Mobile Apps

Apple unveils iOS 8, its biggest release since the launch of the App Store

apple-ios-8-650

Apple today unveiled its iOS 8 operating system, which includes new features for users, and new tools for developers to create better user experiences. In addition to new Messages features and and a focus on a more intuitive user experience, Apple has unveiled the iCloud Photo Library, Family Sharing, Apple’s QuickType keyboard, iCloud Drive, a new Health app, and more.

To start, the iCloud Photo Library allows users to access all of their photos anytime and anywhere. Photos are organized and accessible across enabled devices, with the photos app offering improved editing tools for creating the perfect shot. For one, the Photos app can straighten horizons in tilted photos, while users can fine tune the light and color of their photos with new options. Using iCloud, these adjustments are automatically updated to all of a user’s devices.

The iOS Messages app will receive some hefty improvements, including the ability to share voice clips, remove or add contacts from group messages, leave conversations, toggle an option to not be disturbed, share multiple photos and videos at once, and share a user’s current location from within the app for an hour, a day or longer.

apple-ios-8-650-2

The new Health app provides a one-stop-shop for health information, gathering information from a user’s favorite health apps and fitness devices. iOS 8 supports the ability for these apps to communicate with each other, and with user permission, information from one app can be shared with another to provide a complete view of a user’s current health and fitness.

Elsewhere, users can take advantage of Apple’s QuickType keyboard, which offers smart recommendations based on a message’s context. That is, QuickType recognizes the recipient of, and the context of the message, and offers suggestions for popular phrases, which can be selected and sent without the need to type individual words. The keyboard learns over time, with this “intelligence” remaining encrypted on a device and never sent to the cloud.

Finally, Family Sharing will make it easier for groups to communicate and share purchases. Up to six members can participate in a single family unit, using the same credit card. These users can browse and download content from each other’s iTunes, iBooks and App Store libraries. In addition, parents can toggle the “Ask to Buy” option for children, so parental permission is required for those users before any purchase can be completed. Plus, Family Sharing offers all users a shared family photo stream, calendar and the ability to locate others and their devices.

ios-8-650-3

“iOS 8 offers simpler, faster and more intuitive ways to use your device with incredible new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and an entirely new Health app,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We’re also giving developers amazing new tools to make managing your health and your home from your devices an integrated, simple and secure experience.”

iOS 8 is now available in beta for members of the iOS Developer Program. It will launch as a free software update for everyone this fall, and supports iPhone 4S+, iPod Touch 5th Generation, iPad 2+, iPad Air and iPad Mini. More information on the platform is available on Apple’s website.


Inside Mobile Apps

Apple unveils iOS 8, its biggest release since the launch of the App Store

apple-ios-8-650

Apple today unveiled its iOS 8 operating system, which includes new features for users, and new tools for developers to create better user experiences. In addition to new Messages features and and a focus on a more intuitive user experience, Apple has unveiled the iCloud Photo Library, Family Sharing, Apple’s QuickType keyboard, iCloud Drive, a new Health app, and more.

To start, the iCloud Photo Library allows users to access all of their photos anytime and anywhere. Photos are organized and accessible across enabled devices, with the photos app offering improved editing tools for creating the perfect shot. For one, the Photos app can straighten horizons in tilted photos, while users can fine tune the light and color of their photos with new options. Using iCloud, these adjustments are automatically updated to all of a user’s devices.

The iOS Messages app will receive some hefty improvements, including the ability to share voice clips, remove or add contacts from group messages, leave conversations, toggle an option to not be disturbed, share multiple photos and videos at once, and share a user’s current location from within the app for an hour, a day or longer.

apple-ios-8-650-2

The new Health app provides a one-stop-shop for health information, gathering information from a user’s favorite health apps and fitness devices. iOS 8 supports the ability for these apps to communicate with each other, and with user permission, information from one app can be shared with another to provide a complete view of a user’s current health and fitness.

Elsewhere, users can take advantage of Apple’s QuickType keyboard, which offers smart recommendations based on a message’s context. That is, QuickType recognizes the recipient of, and the context of the message, and offers suggestions for popular phrases, which can be selected and sent without the need to type individual words. The keyboard learns over time, with this “intelligence” remaining encrypted on a device and never sent to the cloud.

Finally, Family Sharing will make it easier for groups to communicate and share purchases. Up to six members can participate in a single family unit, using the same credit card. These users can browse and download content from each other’s iTunes, iBooks and App Store libraries. In addition, parents can toggle the “Ask to Buy” option for children, so parental permission is required for those users before any purchase can be completed. Plus, Family Sharing offers all users a shared family photo stream, calendar and the ability to locate others and their devices.

ios-8-650-3

“iOS 8 offers simpler, faster and more intuitive ways to use your device with incredible new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and an entirely new Health app,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We’re also giving developers amazing new tools to make managing your health and your home from your devices an integrated, simple and secure experience.”

iOS 8 is now available in beta for members of the iOS Developer Program. It will launch as a free software update for everyone this fall, and supports iPhone 4S+, iPod Touch 5th Generation, iPad 2+, iPad Air and iPad Mini. More information on the platform is available on Apple’s website.


Inside Mobile Apps

Apple unveils iOS 8, its biggest release since the launch of the App Store

apple-ios-8-650

Apple today unveiled its iOS 8 operating system, which includes new features for users, and new tools for developers to create better user experiences. In addition to new Messages features and and a focus on a more intuitive user experience, Apple has unveiled the iCloud Photo Library, Family Sharing, Apple’s QuickType keyboard, iCloud Drive, a new Health app, and more.

To start, the iCloud Photo Library allows users to access all of their photos anytime and anywhere. Photos are organized and accessible across enabled devices, with the photos app offering improved editing tools for creating the perfect shot. For one, the Photos app can straighten horizons in tilted photos, while users can fine tune the light and color of their photos with new options. Using iCloud, these adjustments are automatically updated to all of a user’s devices.

The iOS Messages app will receive some hefty improvements, including the ability to share voice clips, remove or add contacts from group messages, leave conversations, toggle an option to not be disturbed, share multiple photos and videos at once, and share a user’s current location from within the app for an hour, a day or longer.

apple-ios-8-650-2

The new Health app provides a one-stop-shop for health information, gathering information from a user’s favorite health apps and fitness devices. iOS 8 supports the ability for these apps to communicate with each other, and with user permission, information from one app can be shared with another to provide a complete view of a user’s current health and fitness.

Elsewhere, users can take advantage of Apple’s QuickType keyboard, which offers smart recommendations based on a message’s context. That is, QuickType recognizes the recipient of, and the context of the message, and offers suggestions for popular phrases, which can be selected and sent without the need to type individual words. The keyboard learns over time, with this “intelligence” remaining encrypted on a device and never sent to the cloud.

Finally, Family Sharing will make it easier for groups to communicate and share purchases. Up to six members can participate in a single family unit, using the same credit card. These users can browse and download content from each other’s iTunes, iBooks and App Store libraries. In addition, parents can toggle the “Ask to Buy” option for children, so parental permission is required for those users before any purchase can be completed. Plus, Family Sharing offers all users a shared family photo stream, calendar and the ability to locate others and their devices.

ios-8-650-3

“iOS 8 offers simpler, faster and more intuitive ways to use your device with incredible new features like iCloud Photo Library, a new Messages app, the QuickType keyboard and an entirely new Health app,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “We’re also giving developers amazing new tools to make managing your health and your home from your devices an integrated, simple and secure experience.”

iOS 8 is now available in beta for members of the iOS Developer Program. It will launch as a free software update for everyone this fall, and supports iPhone 4S+, iPod Touch 5th Generation, iPad 2+, iPad Air and iPad Mini. More information on the platform is available on Apple’s website.


Inside Mobile Apps

The biggest mobile mistakes of the decade

It’s impossible to deny the multitude of amazing things we’ve been given from the sheer idea of mobility – smartphones, tablets, agile operating systems, literally millions of mobile applications, amazing time-waster games, digital movies that can be watched from literally anywhere, and instant access to Internet from practically anywhere on the globe.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The last decade, from a technology standpoint, has been one of the most impressive in recent human history. The things manufacturers have accomplished were mere fantasy just decades ago. And the potential for changing and improving lives with the technology we have today is immense and undeniable.

That said, no market, manufacturer, technology, product, or anything else for that matter is without flaw. And in the last decade, the mobile market has been home to many blunders.

Below you will find the biggest mobile mistakes of the last decade, from the perspective of the Pocketnow team. Enjoy!

___________________________________________________________________________

biggest mobile mistakes

adam-d

Adam Doud

Senior Editor

The abandonment of expandable storage

So here’s the thing. Streaming is the shizzle right? We all should just put our stuff in the cloud and stroll on with our lives streaming movies, streaming music, uploading all our photos and we can get away with 8 GB on our phones right?

Wrong. See, there’s this thing on your phone called a battery. And one of the most complained about aspects of a phone, whether it’s iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Bada, etc. is: “Why can’t I get more than a day on a charge?” Well, it’s because you’re streaming your life through the air all the freaking time, and your battery hates that.

Once upon a time, I used to keep all my media on an SD card (and then MicroSD card) and I played movies and music from that. Battery performed like a champ. It’s because I didn’t have to pull down data over WiFi or LTE (or back then 3G) and kill my battery doing it. These days, MicroSD cards are so small and so cheap, you could turn any phone into a 64 GB phone for $ 20 and an Amazon account. But alas, they are sacrificed in the name of “thin” and “unibody”. Smartphones had a good thing going for a while there, and suddenly, it just stopped. And we all had the sadz.

___________________________________________________________________________

Windows Mobile Marketplace

adam-l

Adam Lein

Senior Editor

Microsoft letting Windows Mobile stagnate

I’d say Microsoft’s biggest mistake with Windows Mobile was not putting more effort into it and into marketing it during 2005-2010.  Windows Mobile was a very powerful and customizable mobile operating system 10 years ago… in many of the same ways Android is today.  If Microsoft had made more commercials to tell people how much better life is with a smartphone (like Apple did when they released their iPhone), then Apple and Android would have had a much harder time breaking into the market.  In addition to letting Windows Mobile stagnate and not putting enough effort into it, I think another mistake was when all of the Windows Mobile smartphone OEMs switched to TI OMAP processors instead of the faster ARM processors they were using previously. The TI OMAP processors had a lot of power-saving features, but that also came with huge slow-downs, stability problems and lag.  The old HTC Magician with its fast processor, stable smartphone operating system, and expandable features could have been the device to get the world on the smartphone bandwagon if it was marketed at all.

___________________________________________________________________________

lens

tony-nAnton D. Nagy

Editor-in-Chief

HTC’s UltraPixel

In a world where everyone is starting to push for better imaging quality delivered by mobile phones, everyone is participating in the megapixel race, where Nokia and Sony are leading with their 41 and 20MP sensors, respectively. HTC wanted to be different, and the marketing label attached to the UltraPixel camera — that four megapixels might be all you need — could have worked if those four megapixels would have been good enough to satisfy imaging aficionados. However, the “UltraPixel” camera was not ready, in my opinion, for prime time, and that’s not because of the low pixel count, with which we could all have lived happily, but because of algorithms used to generate the images. Better low light performance is indeed present, but the sensor is not capable of producing good enough pictures in all the rest of the scenarios. This, of course, through my eyes, and not the regular users’ eyes who have no chance but to be happy with whatever the camera on their phone — with which they’re stuck with for a couple of years — outputs. In my book, HTC made a mistake with this camera on its 2013 flagship and I can just hope they won’t repeat it with the 2014 signature HTC phone. A regular 8 or 13MP sensor, like on the S III or S 4 could have done a better job on the One. Use that, or completely rethink your UltraPixel system (sensor+lens+software) for 2014.

___________________________________________________________________________

palm pre unboxing title

jaime-rJaime Rivera

Multimedia Manager

Failure to evolve

There’s a very famous saying: “All empires die from within.” And in the world of mobile technology, this is one of the harshest realities. Just a couple of years ago the top players of the industry were Nokia, BlackBerry, Microsoft through Windows Mobile, and even Palm. Where are these companies now? If you think of it, all of these giants have lost the battle to the top, or have lost the ownership of the top because of the same thing, and that’s software.

If we gave it a name, these companies chose a “Lipstick on a pig approach to milk dead cows” approach. All of these players had the infrastructure to evolve software into the next generation of mobile devices that was pushed by Android and iOS, and instead of using these resources to choke the new competitors, they decided to sit on their laurels. Palm’s Garnet OS, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, Nokia’s Symbian and the old BlackBerry OS are all examples of a great company stuck on their comfort zone. When things got tough, we got newer and flashier versions of the same thing, but nothing powerful enough to stop the momentum that Apple and Google had already begun.

Sad but true, the worse mistake that any mobile company can do, is wait and see.

___________________________________________________________________________

Image: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer holds a Wind

joe-lJoe Levi

Senior Editor

Microsoft abandoning Windows Mobile

The biggest mobile mistake of the decade was Microsoft abandoning Windows Mobile. At the time, Microsoft and Apple were the only two serious players in the mobile space. Android came along and Microsoft jumped ship. Yes, the Windows Mobile UI was completely out-of-data, and yes, Microsoft needed a change, but by cutting ties to Windows Mobile, the company lost precious years trying to recover and playing catch-up.

Android and Apple both did well with consumers, but Microsoft had the enterprises of the world backing its mobile products. When it was announced that Windows Mobile was being discontinued there was a vacuum left. Enterprises were forced to make a choice: Apple or Android. Due to Apple’s better integration with Exchange (at the time), a significant number of corporations made the jump to iOS.

Once Microsoft introduced Windows Phone, many of the features that enterprises needed were not available. What’s more, the new “Metro” style didn’t look “corporate” at all. It was even further from what the suits considered a “professional” user interface than iOS. Apple became even more entrenched in the enterprise.

In retrospect we can all suggest how Microsoft could have made the transition better, but in the end, Microsoft voluntarily exited the enterprise business — at least with its smartphones. Whether or not it will make a resurgence with phones and tablets remains to be seen. In the meantime, a lot of investment in iOS apps has been made — which would have to be reinvested in a Windows solution.

____________________________________________________________________________

candybar-form-factor

Michael Fishermichael-f

Editorial Director

The decision to embrace boring design

It might seem misguided to characterize the rise of the world’s most popular smartphone form factor as a mistake – and to say it’s one of the worst mistakes of the past ten years seems to border on the ludicrous. So I should clarify, right up front, that this “mistake” has only served to grow the smartphone world. Explosively, in fact.

The misstep is in the price we’ve collectively paid for that growth. Namely, the transformation of the entire smartphone landscape from a lush jungle of diversity to a beige expanse of dull sameness. Just blur your eyes a bit: look past the powerful spec sheets and tiny details, and the smartphone shelf at your local carrier store starts to look real repetitive. Today’s choice in form factor comes down to which dull “minimalist” pocket box appeals to you the most.

And look at the world we traded for this one. Portrait and landscape QWERTY sliders. Futuristic dual-fold messaging phones. Clamshells of all varieties. Dual-direction sliders. We even had twin-display swivel-screen devices and taco phones, for Chrissake. Were all of these a good idea? Hell no – but they were at least interesting. These days we’re so starved for diversity that we go ape over something as small as a finger dimple or a curved display – and then people in the comments complain that it’s not “practical.”

So this mistake isn’t the industry’s; rather, it’s on us, the consumers. Nearly every time the OEMs have offered something new, we’ve rejected it as too unconventional. Sometimes that’s been for good reason, but other times we just haven’t been willing to accept something different. And that’s a shame. Because I’d sure love to get my hands on one of those Android flip phones they only sell in Asia. Where they don’t mind being different.

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att-note-3-review-s-pen

stephenStephen Schenck

Chief News Editor

The untimely death of the stylus

There’s this enormous pressure in the mobile space to always be innovating, and companies fear being pegged as slow to respond to trends. As such, they’re quick to adopt new technology, but even quicker at abandoning anything viewed as a relic from the past. And I fear this mindset ended up depriving us of maybe the single most useful tool for interacting with hand-sized screens: the stylus.

To this day, I’m continually frustrated by the imprecision inherent in using broad, stubby fingertips to interact with mobile displays. Samsung is admirable for its efforts to restore the stylus to prominence with the S Pen, but I’m still sore that manufacturers gave up on them en masse in the first place.

Why did this all happen? Sure, Windows Mobile was already headed down that road, but Apple positively forced everyone’s hand with the first iPhone: instantly, the stylus was no longer “cool.” Have we gained a lot from the move to finger-based interactions? Sure, multi-touch is great, and resistive screens still send chills up my spine, but the loss of input precision that came with the fall of the stylus is one loss I’ve yet to get over.

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optimus-3d

taylorTaylor Martin

Senior Editor

3D

The comical notion of 3D outside theaters still makes me chuckle … and cringe. It was never something I wanted to experience outside an immersive silver screen. I still don’t. I never wanted a 3D television for my living room, 3D video games, 3D televised sports, and especially a 3D smartphone. In fact, I have to be in the mood to see a move in 3D.

Alas, whether it was (and is) actually a ploy to cut down in-theater piracy or not, it briefly caught on elsewhere, too. I’ve seen countless 3D movies, and even watched some at my mother’s home, and rarely do I walk away without rubbing my eyes and experiencing the slightest headache.

HTC and LG jumped on that bandwagon, then fell off … hard. The HTC EVO 3D and LG Optimus 3D were the first of their kind, demanding attention from press and potential buyers because they were different. They could capture images in 3D! And they had glasses-free 3D displays! Never mind the displays were horrid, even by the standards then. And the effect of the 3D pictures and video was entirely moot, unless you also had a gimmicky 3D television in your home.

3D technology itself isn’t … bad.  Nor is it great, amazing, or mind-blowing. I just couldn’t figure out why someone would want or need it in a phone, especially so prematurely.

A lot of gimmicky things have hit the mobile market since 3D, but many of them have proven useful over time or evolved into something much more – better. 3D, on the other hand, lasted a few months, at best. And that’s why it was the biggest mobile mistake of the last decade. It was a feature that was immediately seen for what it was: a gimmick.

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mistakes

“The biggest mobile mistake of the decade was …”

We all have our different takes on the mobile industry – what’s great, what could use some work, and what’s downright terrible. Many of the above mistakes we can agree on. Some of them are debatable. But we’re curious in hearing your take. What do you think the biggest mobile mistakes of the decade were? Join the discussion and share you thoughts below!