I wanted to transfer my existing phone number to my new phone, but there’s no way to do it online and the first customer rep just dumped me on an automated activation system. That got me pissed. So I fought with the computer until I got a human who was willing to try. She got me a temporary number and of course got my money. Then came time to transfer the number. I was calling on my office phone, which meant I still had my old phone working and my new phone with a temporary number. Three phones at my disposal for use, but she kept fussing about my office phone not being loud enough. She could’ve called me back on one of the other phones so we could continue that way, but instead she just kept bitching about not being able to hear me. So, after 20 minutes of futility, I gave up and said I’d just keep my new number. Not sure how long it will last, as the account she setup for me doesn’t have my name on it. But I guess as long as the payments go through, it should work.
So yeah, AT&T are boneheads.
Now on to reviewing the phone itself!
Apps – Functionality & Availability
I’ve had the phone for 30 days now and contrary to what others have told me, I am finding that I get plenty of satisfaction from my Windows Phone 8 Apps. Sure I’m still missing a small handful that I’d really like to have, but I have faith they are coming soon. Although, Microsoft isn’t scouring the app store strongly enough. There are a good handful of apps I’ve found that serve little to no purpose or cause users issues. Still it’s not nearly as run away as the Android store is. You can find all sorts of apps laden with malware and poor coding. While I’d like to say the Apple Store is crap free, it’s not either. Some of the apps I found when I owned a MacBook Pro that were complete crap as well.
A side note about an app that is going away. MetroTalk: I was going to use it for Google Voice. Google doesn’t have but one official app for Windows Phone 8 and that’s just for search. Not for Gmail, not for Google Voice, or maps, or any of their other products. It’s not that they can’t, they just don’t. However, it’s not necessary to use an app to receive Google Voice calls or voicemails. Only to make out going calls using your Google Voice number. I can do that from the Google Voice website. So it’s only a few extra, not too painful steps. I’m so glad I didn’t buy the MetroTalk app. It handles Google Voice, but after I installed the trial version, it informed me that as of May 1, it was going away due to a request by Google. So it kind of sucks that Google is not providing software but also not allowing it by someone else. This makes me a bit annoyed at the third party developer now. As they are still trying to sell an app that will be useless soon. That seems a bit underhanded in my opinion.
This thing integrates your cameras pictures with your Facebook photos along with all your friends Facebook photos. You an view, share, like and comment directly on photos right from your photo gallery. It is very handy and super easy to navigate.
Live Tiles (Metro)
As I said on Facebook when I posted about Windows XP going away:
Metro can kiss my ass. It’s brilliant on my Windows 8 Phone, but has no place on a desktop or laptop PC. Especially in a work environment. Should only be on tablets and phones.
And that is very true. Metro as far as I’m concerned should’ve never been part of the desktop OS. But on Tablets and the Windows Phone 8? It’s flippin’ brilliant! They keep me informed and I can arrange them any way I see fit at any given time.
On my desktop, I don’t have a touchscreen. I don’t want one, as I wouldn’t want to reach over my desk to touch the screen that I yell at others for putting fingerprints all over on it. I don’t want that in my desktop or laptop computer. I prefer a mouse. Millions of other dissatisfied Windows 8 desktop and laptop customers agree with me completely. I’ve lost count on how many people I’ve turned on to Classic Shell to bypass Metro and get back to a working computer.
But hell yes, I love the tiles on my mobile and would love it on a tablet. If Microsoft would just get that through their pointy heads. Keep the two separate. Let me multitask in “windows”. You know those things you can have 50 open and all over your screen? Yeah those, they make life productive and gee, seems that’s how the OS got it’s name in the first place.
People and Groups
One of the best features is that when you put in all your accounts for example: Windows Live, Google, Facebook, Skype and Twitter. The phone then combines them all under People. From there you can see all your friends and family’s updates, it pulls in pictures to your Photos area. You can post updates to all your social networks from one simple place. You can create groups and then text, message, email and share on all the different methods you’ve added. It’s a very handy way to keep certain groups of people in the know and they can share back with you. You can even do it with the various calendars (i.e. Google, Live, etc..) and everyone can keep track of all events and gatherings.
For all you social networking and text junkies, you just can’t deny Windows Phone 8 is a great social tool. It combines your SMS and Facebook in the message center you use for texting. You can set your online availability, message and view who’s where. Plus as mentioned already, you get a constant feed in your photos of things on Facebook as well. You can comment and share without having to log into the Facebook app. One interface and you can post to all your social networks at once. No need to open the various apps.
Not just status updates but faster at taking and sharing photos as well.
Office Mobile and OneNote
Having these included, make my phone incredibly useful. No more specialized or purchased apps to handle my financial files or keep track of my medications. I can quickly make a note to remember things later and no more need for forgetting my shopping list as it’s on my phone with me. Also handy for when I think of something but may forget to write it down. Just open the phone and pop it on my list.
What makes it even handier, is that MS Office file formats are much more common than Open Document Format. This way I can keep things in MS file formats and not have to remember to convert files from one to another if I want to share the files for whatever reason.
Turns out I’m more of a Microsoft fan than I had realized before. I’m a PC, even on my phone 😉
There’s a rant for another day. The whole “I’m a PC”, “I’m a Mac” thing. PC stands for personal computer regardless of the operating system software on it. Therefore, everyone is a PC unless they don’t have one. So take that you Mac bastards!! 😈
The phone is still very zippy quick and incredibly comfortable to use. Hope it stays that way. I think Microsoft did it right this time. Just need some developers to jump on board. While Android still runs about 80% of the market, perhaps Windows can put the squeeze on iPhone.
Need to find useful and good Windows Phone 8 Apps? Click this link and you can see the ones I’m currently using and am happy with. (List may change on occasion.)
Point of Interest: I haven’t had to reboot this phone once since I did my last write up.