This gallery contains 4 photos.
This gallery contains 4 photos.
So, my stint at Windows Phone 7 was short-lived indeed.
While Bing search in Mango was fantastic (hands down, best integrated search/search tools I’ve seen), they have yet to integrate it with the rest of the OS. As of right now, its integrated with the browser and camera, and works REALLY well for what it does, however to search a contact I still have to tap the “People Tile” then the little search button (on screen, mind you, if I tap the big Search hardware button, it’ll exit the app and launch Bing).
I must admit that the Live Tiles are a MUCH better idea than widgets. They’re just so much more refined, organized, and consistent. I like the idea of widgets, but I hated the implementation on Android. I feel like WP7 solved that issue. I also LOVE the idea of app wallpapers being fluid. The fact that the pictures app uses a picture you took as the wallpaper, or the music app uses a picture of an artist whose music you listen to as the wallpaper. I think that’s brilliant.
Since I have an endless amount of good things to say about WP7, why did I ever switch back to webOS?
This is why:
That’s pretty much why. The UI, throughout, is fantastic. Multitasking is TRULY unmatched. I don’t want to press back or home, I want to minimize the app I’m working on, see it minimized while I work on another. Its called TRUE multitasking and it makes a GIGANTIC difference. It works like a PC does. Not like a UI mod on a 10 year old Symbian device. Its so natural. Search is available throughout the OS, truly universal. Everyone else copied Synergy, but this is where it was born.
Switching to WP7 and then returning to webOS was kind of like getting a brand new pair of shoes. Its great because they’re shiny and new, but after a while you realize the pinch on the toes, and the uncomfortable lump under the sole. Then you slip on your old beat up sneakers and just get this “aahhhhhhhhh” feeling. Its so wonderful and comfortable and it works the way you do. It really does.
So, i recently switched to AT&T. For those of you following/curious, i didn’t use Google Voice. I had a small list of options to chose from. Since I refuse to use any device preceded by the letter “i” (no self respecting device would be…), after playing around with a few phones I decided to go for a Windows phone 7. Here’s why:
I find Android to be exceptionally ugly. Its too generic, every phone is the same, except for a number or two in the stats, or a UI tweak by each manufacturer which makes the OS unrecognizable.
Windows Phone 7 seemed to be the most logical choice. I’ve also always been a fan of the Live Tiles so I figured I’d jump right in.
I must admit, I REALLY like WP7. Its very clean and polished. Response time is instant. My only complaint is I can’t take screenshots of how beautiful it is.
I love the concept of personalizing your device with live tiles that are animated. Its so much cleaner than pieces of an app running on your screen (Widgets). Widgets seem like a rough beta of an idea after looking at and using live tiles. Having pictures of my friends, my own pictures, and pictures for artists I listen to is phenomenal. It REALLY makes you feel like the device is yours. I could eventually find another person who would have the same webOS icons I would have on my quicklaunch bar, and the same wallpaper in the back. However, it would be impossible to find someone with all my friends, my musical tastes and the same apps/pictures. Now that’s personalization and it doesn’t need any sideloading/patching or anything of that sort.
Speaking of which, Chevronwp7 selling out is pretty lame. I wish someone would come up with a reliable way of side-loading. I am, and always will be a developer at heart. A poor one, so can’t really afford the 100.
We’ll see how this plays out…
Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone
Some reasons why I love my Touchpad:
That’s right. What you’re seeing is fullscreen Google Street view. It works pretty perfectly. For some reason, what didn’t get captured is Google’s overlay, but rest assured, you can see streets (yellow lines), street names, and when you tap you can zoom in, etc. It’s pretty nice.
Amazon Instant video. With my Prime account, I can watch tons of free HD content from Amazon for free. It works perfectly well on the Touchpad, looks and sounds great on the Beats speakers (whatever that means).
There are some caveats to that. As you can see, I’m watching it in a browser window. I can’t fullscreen because the video will scale up perfectly for the whole screen, but the controls look like this:
Now this image doesn’t show the video being played (being in fullscreen and all) but its playing, right behind the controls, which are cutting across half the video in the most annoying way possible. Everywhere you see white in that screenshot is actually where you see the video, everywhere you see black is where you see black (in front of, and blocking the video) and where you see the controls is where they come up on the video. I’m pretty sure this has to do with Flash detecting the browser/screen type and trying to rescale itself to fit the video and just messing up, but I really hope it can be patched up and fixed by Homebrew soon. It would be nice to reliably fullscreen any video I desire.
Another good thing I REALLY must repeat praise for is the PDF reader on the Touchpad. I had a lot of qualms about the PDF reader on webOS 2.1 (and before)to the point of it being useless, but the one on here is fantastic. Short of a find on page feature, the PDF reader is just fantastic. It works so well and never crashes and opens PDFs of all sizes. I’ve opened restaurant menus to a few hundred paged books, and it opens them all perfectly.
One last thing to complain about:
Oh cool, a PDF restaurant menu. Let me just download and open it… *taps on green “Open” button* only to see this:
Really Touchpad? You can’t open that file? The one you drew a PDF icon next to? The one you have a PDF Reader from Adobe for?
I had to end up opening the directory with Internalz and adding a “.pdf” to the end of the filename manually for the PDF Reader to detect and display the file.
Here’s me complaining about the Touchpad’s browser:
So, I decided not to port my number to Google Voice. A few online blog posts and op ed pieces made me decide against it. There doesnt seem to be a benefit other than to receive calls on my Google Voice number and confuse people when I call them back from a different number.
Anyway, while the initial wow factor of the Touchpad is slowly waning away, its actual practicality is slowly emerging. I may end up actually taking it to work soon… I will definitely write up some database interface apps in enyo to use on the tablet (at work) so it will actually be useful to me. This will definitely validate the device and may help validate the 80 dollar charger for it .
Here’s what it looks like to respond to the first ever comment on my blog:
No, not switching to Android, but I am porting my number permanently to Google Voice. I’ve read a few blogs and a few opinions from people who have switched. Aside from some call quality problems, and maybe text delays, it seems like a good idea. I might just switch over for the fun of it.
My primary decision came from the desire to not give people my new number (switching from Sprint to AT&T, number porting is impossible due to circumstances). However, I can absolutely port my number to Google Voice and then overwrite my AT&T number with my Google Voice one. I guess we’ll see how it goes. I’ll also blog my progress as it goes along. I’ll be doing that starting next week. As a side note, it would be awesome if we had Google Voice integration in webOS 3.0, kinda like Skype. That would be pretty awesome…
I will also, eventually, stop being lazy and redesign this site and actually put it up for the purpose I created it for… Eventually…
As another side note, here’s Google+ loading on a Touchpad (aside from dragging friends into circles, it works pretty well):
Here I am working in landscape:
So I found a few more bugs in the WordPress app. I mean it’s hard to complain since it’s free, but it should at least remember my login info after a reboot…
It also manages to not popup the virtual keyboard when I’m writing a new post and the cursor is in the title field. You have to go down to the body field and come back to the title field. *sigh*.
As I said, not dealbreakers, but definitely annoying. Also, even if they were dealbreakers, only other thing I could do is use the browser to make updates. No thanks.
Not much else has been going on here. I still love using the Touchpad for my daily life. Still haven’t managed to take it in to work, even though I only have to go in for a few hours on the weekend. I’d definitely take it if I could read something on it *cough* Kindle *cough*. I really hate HP for making those promises about releasing with a kindle app. In case you were wondering, HP, this doesn’t count as releasing with a Kindle app:
On the other hand, the Time magazine apps (which actually DO work) are just fantastic. I have the Time magazine app and its truly beautiful. I love having an interactive magazine to read whenever/wherever.
It just looks and works so perfectly, its a pleasure to read/use.
It perfectly rearranges for landscape or portrait orientations and renders a page individually for each orientation:
After having my Time Magazine subscription for over a year, I finally find myself actually reading as opposed to lightly skimming the articles and guiltily chucking the magazine in the trash.
So, typing away on the WordPress app… Takin’ up all that 9.7″ real estate:
I typed this nice long post about how awesome it is to have Internalz all grown up for the Touchpad etc., but then disaster struck! Apparently, the WordPress app doesnt like it when you say you want to attach a picture, but then hit Cancel… *sigh*. It gets stuck like this:
Here’s some more shots of the old post:
I’m a little embittered by the whole situation, so I wont elaborate tonight. Maybe tomorrow…
As a researcher, the Touchpad comes in quite handy. Though not as handy as I’d like it to be… (but I’ll help make it so… *hint hint*), one can still get a fair bit of “science” done with it. Take, for example, an email I received earlier today from a colleague. It included an attachment of a recent journal article about implantable neural recording/stimulating devices. Well, I wanted to get it on to my Touchpad, so I saved the attachment, I then wanted to upload it into my free 50 GBs of box.net so I could read/access it later. I set box.net to upload while I launched the PDF reader and began reading it. I then realized it was similar to another paper I had recently read, and found the paper in my PDF Reader app and opened that one up also. Keep in mind I’m doing this all simultaneously…
Email app opens a PDF
Box.net app uploads PDF
PDF Reader opens another PDF
Reference/read while I upload.
Thank you true multitasking!
To top it all off, I got a notification letting me know my upload was done.
To some, True multitasking/notifications aren’t that big of a deal. I wouldn’t be half as efficient as I am without them.
Proof of what I’m talking about:
Obligatory post typing screenshots:
There’s some nice stuff planned for this site in the distant future. I’ll be working on making this a front end for my development work. I’ll have a showcase of all my apps there, help/info on each of them there, maybe a video over there… Who knows, I may even throw in some contact info about myself there! We’ll see how this progresses.
In the meantime, I plan on always dropping a screenshot or two to each post just because I think the webOS 3.0 UI is beautiful. The Touchpad is a fantastic device, and it looks and works beautifully!
Warning: I do not endorse or condone any app or service by including its screenshot in my posts. I only put it there if I like the way it looks…
I think I’ll always start with a screenshot of myself writing the post:
And here’s one of Amazon Cloud Player on the Touchpad:
More to come, Promise!