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back to article Windows Phone 8 stands a chance as Apple, Android dither

The markets have delivered their verdict on Nokia. Failure is priced in, and the company is deemed to be worth little more than its intellectual property portfolio. The Finns may as well pack up their bags, go home, and whip themselves with birch twigs in the sauna – there’s no future to compete for. That’s also the conventional …

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Paris Hilton

Yet another fart app.

Is it only me that wonders what the attraction of a massive, poorly indexed/searchable, dominantly useless/low quality app store is a "must have" for a phone?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yet another fart app.

Because even the world's best designed app store with fantastic indexing and search is useless if there aren't any apps in it.

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Flame

Re: Yet another fart app.

It's probably not only you, there are usually a few other luddites hanging around here for some reason, but that doesn't mean you have a point. You're obviously either a) in the camp that just wants to use their phones to make phone calls, and spurns apps entirely, or b) one of those people that has too much time on their hands, and is therefore happy to deal with purchasing apps from all sorts of different sites, dealing with all sorts of different payment mechanisms, giving your payment and contact details out all over the place etc. For everyone else though, the benefits of the app store model, with a single central portal to purchase apps from, a single payment mechanism, a single entity getting your details, a consistent installation and update mechanism etc, are just too obvious.

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Mushroom

Re: Yet another fart app.

The point you missed was "are a lot of bad apps really of worth?" A good number of good apps that you can find without too much trial-and-error are indeed worth it. A morass of badly implemented me-too clones that hide the gems is not. The clue was in the title: but it seems you are keen on hot air, so at least we now know who's downloading them.

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Re: Yet another fart app.

I don't think he's arguing against download sites, just that it's stupid to rate a platform by things like raw numbers of applications. Since who cares how many fart apps or website wrappers there are - it tells you nothing about quality. And if you can find what you want, why does it matter if there are 100 more irrelevant apps? Isn't that what Apple Mac users have been saying for years - why does raw software counts only matter when all of a sudden it's something that Apple are winning at?

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I agree with tony72

It's better that you need to search out the gems from thousands of apps in an app store than the previous alternatives which were (on Symbian as I remember):

- Google for one that probably doesn't exist.

- Stick with a handful of manufacturer sanctioned apps which aren't much good.

Wonder all you want, about the usefulness of apps, or the quality of them in general but the fact is app stores are popular with the people who buy phones and therefore *are* a must have if you want to sell phones.

I've never found a fart app incidentally, but then I've never searched for one...

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Re: Yet another fart app.

I can't believe some people are still ranting on about how Apple has 800 million billion apps in their store, Android has a trillion and eight apps while windows phone has Angry Birds and three dumb HTC apps. Apps, as far as I can see, have been put out to pasture. Yes. The latest and greatest idea is the live tile.

You no longer have to search for an app in your Apple-esque, desktop-like rows and columns of static picturesque icons for the right app, tap it, wait for it to load and then click through to find the information you need. No. Now, with live tiles you look at your screen and the information's there already. You don't have to find your camera icon, press it and wait for it to load. No That Kodak momement has passed. Instead you push the camera button and click the shutter.

So apps are dead. And while it's true Apple and android have more apps than all the atoms in the sun, how many live tiles do they have?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yet another fart app.

No, it's not you. What's more, most of the "Apps" will disappear as HTML5 standardises, browsers improve, and an "app" is therefore no longer needed to look at a website that doesn't render properly. A few good developers will make money, but I suspect that most of them will end up out of pocket. History is repeating itself - this is exactly what happened with Windows: loads of shareware applications to get round the weaknesses of DOS and early Windows, almost all of which either become OS features or part of popular applications. Remember the guy who got rich with a DOS app that enabled you to use the £ sign because Bill & co. had never been outside the US and didn't know not everybody in the world used the dollar?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yet another fart app.

"A morass of badly implemented me-too clones that hide the gems is not. "

The point is, without an app store, how are you going to find these gems on the Internet? You need to know about them before hand. An app store is no different. Go read some reviews to find the best apps, then download them from an app store, exactly as you would if there was no App store, except see the points Tony72 made about multiple payment mechanisms.

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Facepalm

Re: Yet another fart app.

Dunno how many Live Tiles Apple and Android have, but Android (and Symbian with one foot in the grave) have got widgets. Live Tile sounds cooler though.

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Anonymous Coward

wrong...

"The company's new Lumias, announced last week in New York, are unexpectedly competitive. "

No they aren't. They are broadly comparable to 2011specs, but with a suite os that lacks decent apps and developers.

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Re: Yet another fart app.

"What's more, most of the "Apps" will disappear as HTML5 standardises, browsers improve, and an "app" is therefore no longer needed to look at a website that doesn't render properly"

The best apps integrate with features of the phone and are not just UIs, although admittedly there are plenty of bad apps which are, and do it badly too (Facebook springs to mind).

A website for example won't let you listen to music with the screen off, or sync offline in case of signal loss.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yet another fart app.

>What's more, most of the "Apps" will disappear as HTML5 standardises, browsers improve, and an "app" is therefore no longer needed to look at a website that doesn't render properly.

That's the exact opposite of what's actually happening - browsers on mobile are moribund other than for static and very basic RIA. IRL people don't get excited about their web presence, it's necessary work, full of chores and frought with inevitable compromise on design....on the other hand app publishing excites the same kind of reckless enthusiam and optimism as the early web gold rush.

What your analysis also fails to include is that however wacky and dumb the publisher's idea, they pay developers to write their free apps. Characterising iOS developers as self-publishers spinning code in their lofts doesn't account for the serious money currently pushed into the development of free apps which are downloaded in their billions every day.

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Mushroom

Re: wrong...

You obviously didnt read the specs. The Lumia 920 has the best screen (Higher res and brighter than Apple Rentina), the best camera (F2.0, Optical stabilisation), the best touch capability, the best maps, the best navigation app, and the best augmented reality app of any phone. Not to mention the best, fastest, newest and most secure OS.

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Stop

Contact cards

Mildly surprised about your comments on contact cards. My Lumia 800 pulled in my Google, Facebook, Twitter, LInkedin, "Live" and Outlook contacts and calendars and synced them up extremely well. No cases of over linking, even in the case where I have contacts who share a group email. I linked a half dozen accounts, maybe ten. The calendar syncing is particularly awesome.

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Re: Contact cards

agreed - the way that they linked up on my phone is pretty slick. Yesterday i added a new person to my contacts in hotmail. click save on the web interface. I immediately picked up my phone and her card was already in there... .quite impressive.

That's not to say that vcard support would nt be a good thing (though i believe that is coming in WP8).

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Thumb Up

Re: Contact cards

Yup same here.

My 800 is serving me well, but I just can't help myself..

920 here I come :)

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Silver badge

Re: Contact cards

It took a little bit of effort to get Google calendars to sync with my Lumia (the phone needed to be set to American English for m.google.com to recognise it as a WP7), but since then it has been spookily good. Since my last experience was the 'will it? won't it?' syncing of iCal, this has been a breath of fresh air.

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Re: Contact cards

Agreed

I have facebook, gmail, hotmail and exchange/outlook accounts on mine and have no problems. Editing the contacts is easier because they're cloud based. If there is a limitation in editing those contacts it's not the fault of the phone but the cloud provider. The gmail tools for editing are pretty decent and support import and export to csv for more complicated edits or transfer between systems. I've never noticed a problem with editing contacts via outlook and owa is pretty decent.

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Re: Contact cards

Yeah, you lost me on the contacts thing too. Not only is it really easy (and mostly automatic) on Windows Phone, I think I had two or three cases I had to add manually, but if (when) you go to Windows 8 all that translates directly into the People hub there too. It's the first time I've ever known a contact sync process that is so reliable and seamless, regardless of which computer/device you're accessing it from.

And, in my experience, it errs heavily on the side of caution when it comes to the initial auto-linking (which is only done when you first add an account), so managing to have all the contacts linked to one is either the sign of an exceptionally strange set of contacts or something done deliberately .

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HMB
Bronze badge

Re: Contact cards

Is it just me or has someone down voted all your Contact card posts because you're talking about a Microsoft product with enthusiasm?

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Pint

Re: Contact cards

No it's not just you.

Talk about anything except Android and Linux in a favourable way, you will get downvoted.

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Silver badge

Re: Contact cards

Even though all the posts ended up with even or positive votes. I love El Reg.

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Re: Contact cards

I dropped and broke my Windows Phone - leading to it being wiped when it was repaired. No problem to relink it to my Gmail contacts/email within a couple of minutes, including it's ability to use nicknames for people. And what is even better is that my photos are automatically synced to my skydrive account.

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Re: Contact cards

@ Boris Winkle, HMB:

Just thinking the exact same thing. Seems some commentards will downvote you simply because of your choice of handset.

Wonder what it would take to create a bunch of native apps to detect and downvote/upvote all comments in these threads automatically, and would it be worth developing one for W8?

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Re: Contact cards

Sorry, WP8

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The advantages of a reboot

Nokia have done a hard reboot of their business, and now they have a more or less blank sheet of platform to do whatever they want. Apple had that advantage in 2007 with the original iPhone, but now the roles are reversed.

The thing with the Lumia 920 is.. well, it's so *compelling*. It looks great, the camera is very desirable, every single component seems to have been made without compromise. Sure, the application pool is nothing at all at the moment (a problem that early adopter will have to deal with), and it's a damned heavy handset too. But for the first time since I had an E90, the Lumia 920 looks like a device that I would want as my main phone.

NOK shares took a dump when the Lumia 920 was announced for various reasons, but now they've bounced back to pretty much where they were and AAPL stocks have been dead flat. I think the markets are waiting to see what happens next..

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Windows

Re: The advantages of a reboot

OK, so that is the high end sorted...

From the original article... "We have not seen how well the revamped operating system translates to smaller screens and smaller batteries – for punters with smaller hands and slimmer wallets."

Nokia sell a lot of S40/S60 phones in India, Africa and parts of the far East.

A lot of people in the UK like to buy phones around the £100 mark (or get them 'free' on 10 quid a month contracts), that territory is Android/Blackberry at present.

Any guesses as to what a £100 Windows 8 phone will be like?

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WTF?

Re: The advantages of a reboot

Any guesses as to what a £100 Windows 8 phone will be like?

Maybe, and this is just a wild stab in the dark you understand, a bit like the £120 Lumia 710 and £100 Lumia 610?

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Re: The advantages of a reboot - NOT

AAPL stocks dead flat? They have doubled this year. Doubled from $350 to $700.

Nokias 'hard reboot' was flirting with the end of the company. For Nokia to get a hold in the market is almost impossible, because once Apple had set the standard for ALL future smartphones in 2007, there was never going to be any more new ideas. Not for a very long time.

We are now in a mature Smartphone market, and the leaders will stay in the lead. NFC and wireless charging and a higher spec camera will not shake the world at all.

In fact, as wireless chargers use up to 30% more electricity for the same effect, I expect them to die out on the wings of a Greenpeace attack...

Now its down to smaller smartphones for less money to get all the people who cant afford one in on the game.

Dont bet against Apple - that would be foolish.

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Silver badge

Re: The advantages of a reboot

> Maybe, and this is just a wild stab in the dark you understand, a bit like the £120 Lumia 710 and £100 Lumia 610?

You mean 'remaindered in the bargain bin' then.

That's unlikely to happen until, oh, mid 2013. They will actually try and sell them at full price until then.

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Silver badge

HD Voice isn't new to anyone else, just Apple.

In terms of mobile calling(*), what Apple are calling "HD Voice" appears to be nothing more esoteric than support for the 3G AMR Wideband codec.

This isn't new. I believe my two-year-old Nokia N8 supported it out of the box, which is natural enough, as they invented it. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6HsGyKU46c is PR bumpf, but has a sample audio sequence about a minute in). My mobile network, sadly, does not offer the service.

I don't think it's a case of Nokia being "left in the cold" on this one, rather that it's such old news that they didn't consider mentioning it as a "new technology". It'd be like someone in 2009 claiming MMS as a-- oh, never mind.

(*) Apple are using a different codec for FaceTime audio, and putting that under the same "HD Voice" brand umbrella. Also, Apple being Apple, nobody's entirely sure *which* codecs they support on the mobile interface, but based on carrier support it appears to be AMR-WB [ source: http://hdvoicenews.com/2012/09/12/apple-delivers-hd-voice-on-the-iphone-5/ ]

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Facepalm

Re: HD Voice isn't new to anyone else, just Apple.

Here's a linky to a story about the Orange launch of this new innovation from Apple: http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/01/orange-hd-voice-service-and-handsets-go-live-in-the-uk-we-go-ea/

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Re: HD Voice isn't new to anyone else, just Apple.

Perhaps what's new is that Apple are managing to "persuade" carriers to implement it. I too remember Orange announcing it back when, but don't recall anyone else, which makes it of limited use.

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Imaging

Nokia needs to leverage its strengths in imaging asap and get that camera from the 808 into a Lumia. Imaging has been huge for the iPhone but Apple has done relatively little to evolve this while Nokia has gone from strength to strength. As for WinPho 8, I'm sure it will be fine. Microsoft can usually be relied on to get something right enough by the third attempt.

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WTF?

Re: Imaging

Microsoft can usually be relied on to get something right enough by the third attempt.

Like ... Vista?

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DJV
Happy

@Julian Taylor

"Like ... Vista?"

No, they never got that right!

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Re: Imaging

Vista? Let me see:

Version 1: that would be NT

Version 2: the so so 2000

Version 3: the unputdownable XP

Version 4: oh dear oh dear.

Unless I'm missing something.

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Def
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Headmaster

Re: Imaging

There were four versions of Windows NT.

Windows 2000 was version 5.0 of the NT kernel.

Windows XP was version 5.1.

Windows XP64 was version 5.2.

Vista was version 6.

Windows 7 was version 6.1.

Windows 8 will be version 6.2.

So yeah, missing quite a lot, really. :)

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Anonymous Coward

WIndows 8/Nokia

Wow, yet another article extolling the virtues of the Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone 8 from Mr Olowski. If the phone is good it won't need this many editorials, surely?

The point of the article seemingly suggesting that because it has a slightly stabilised camera lens and good low-light photography it's got a winner on its hands?

However Sony had similar results for low-light image capture with some of their Xperia range the Exmor R lens which seems to have been forgotten about.

AT the end of the day, if the phone is great, the software is great and people are prepared to forgive Microsoft for the way they treated customers, suppliers and the industry in the past then it will sell. I've yet to be convinced of that but we will see.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WIndows 8/Nokia

Wow, yet another article extolling the virtues of the Apple Iphone and IOS 6. If the phone is good it won't need this many editorials, surely?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WIndows 8/Nokia

i think its called topicality

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Re: WIndows 8/Nokia

So you don't have an xbox then?

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Re: WIndows 8/Nokia

"people are prepared to forgive Microsoft for the way they treated customers, suppliers and the industry in the past"

A big gamble, unfairly or not, for many people, Microsoft==bluescreen.

When my wife and I were talking about her next phone, our thoughts were:

iPhone - "If my Macbook is representative of their build quality, it or the charger will fall apart if someone looks at it wrong."

Android - "OK, I guess."

Blackberry - "..." (Aren't they for chavs and suits?)

Windows Phone - pause, then simultaneous burst of laughter from both of us

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Anonymous Coward

Counting to 12 on 2 hands?

"can be counted on the fingers of two hands. (I challenge you to get past a dozen"

Good to see long traditions of ancestral inbreeding bearing fruit among Reg staff.

Sadly readers without such adventurous (unadventurous?) forbears are likely to struggle to get past 10 with only two hands (and a conventional decimal counting strategy... though using a lower base would seem to remove some of the punch in the initial statement)

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Counting to 12 on 2 hands?

"Two of Julian Assange's hands"

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Re: Counting to 12 on 2 hands?

I can count to twelve on the fingers of one hand not including my thumb.... there are three fleshy bits on the inside of each of my (four*) fingers, separated by the knuckles... It also leaves my right hand free to prod them as I count, if I needed to.

I think I've heard of this being put forward to explain why many units are based around 12 or 24, or maybe, as Issac Asimov noted, 12 is conveniently divisible for the purposes of sharing things out.

*Still four, despite the ambitions of a spirited angle grinder. Had it been successful in its objective, I would have been left like a Spinal Tap guitar amplifier...

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Re: Counting to 12 on 2 hands?

It's also utterly wrong.

I can get to more than twelve just counting music and media apps without unduly stressing my brain on a Friday.

Ironically, a lot of open source projects run on all platforms.

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Mushroom

Re: Counting to 12 on 2 hands?

Is he from Norfolk then?

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