Episode 067

On this week’s episode, Stefan forgets how to use a computer, James strangles the person responsible for creating Windows Phone, BlackBerry does the impossible and becomes even more irrelevant, and Microsoft unveils two new products that only three or four people will buy.

As always, feedback is appreciated, and if you use iTunes to listen to the show, please do rate the program since it helps attract more listeners.

[Episode 067, 32 minutes, 17 seconds, 29.6 MB]

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Episode 067

31 thoughts on “Episode 067

  1. robin says:

    Not sure which voicemail I heard James complain about WP store that doesn’t show what you’ve already paid for. Agreed, but it does show you that info when you log in via a computer etc. It’s only WP that doesn’t have it. Which is where it should, I suppose. Part of the upcoming WP8 “mature” update?

    1. robin says:

      Just found out that I am wrong. I went online and my Paid-for apps are indeed listed but not the ones I have installed. Android has spoiled us?

  2. The Nokian says:

    I see the bashing of WP continues.The MS Surface is so far superior to the iToy on so many levels that I wonder if you have ever actually used one.
    I also see that you have conveniently forgotten to mention the announcement from Jolla that Sailfish will run your little Crapdroid apps you love so much.
    Read the news much?

    1. Stefan Constantinescu says:

      I have a confession to make. I can’t read.

      Oh and I’m actually a wild boar, so typing is hard without any thumbs.

      Luckily, my iToy recognizes my snout.

      OINK!!!

      1. robin says:

        It’s really not about you, Stefan. As a listener, I value your opinion but want you to give the good and the bad, not just the ol’ “it sucks”.

    2. I have a Windows Phone device and, as a modern day smart computer that I need to rely on for business imperative issues, as well as *actually staying in touch with my friends* – it sucks pretty hard at that. I’m not saying that because I like and/or get off on bashing Windows Phone, I’m saying it because it’s my personal opinion. We’ve regularly spoken about our admiration of the Lumia 925 and in fact, two weeks ago we went into great detail about the whole ‘personal preference’ thing. We all have one, that’s why it’s personal.

      Moving on – you can’t *see* a podcast. However, if you had listened to last week’s episode (66), you would have HEARD Matt Brian and I discuss the Jolla/Android news you mentioned.

      Finally, we really appreciate all of our listeners but there’s no reason to get silly in the comments is there? I mean, we’re all fans of technology, why can’t we just be nice to each other? ‘Crapdroid’ apps? Are you 12 years old?

  3. Kai says:

    Sadly, I have to agree with many of your opinions about WP (though many faults are Google’s and not Microsofts), however, I use a 64GB Lumia 1020 as my daily device for two weeks now, and besides the missing wireless charging built-in, it is as reliable as my 920 is. Maybe James just got bad luck with his. Concerning the shot-to-shot time of ProCam: quality needs time, and Rome wasn’t build in a Day! Sureley, it can be improved, but the software itself is just convenient to use and it’s a pleasure taking pictures.

    1. I agree with your points, Kai. I do believe that maybe I’ve got a bad one. But when you’ve got ‘a bad one’ from Nokia as many times as I have, you become a little more unforgiving.

      You’re right about the time to shot – quality does take time. I guess I didn’t expect it to be *that* slow.

  4. Hi guys; Thanks for entertaining my question, but you guys didn’t go as far with it as I thought you would.

    Nokia once postured themselves as the great connector. If they could not see Android getting them there, or being the catalyst to doing what their internal teams couldn’t, then that speaks to them as a company. Much of which Elop weeded out.

    Nokia (and others) had the talent to do what Amazon is doing with Android. Its not about hanging onto Nokia, but looking at how Google has trouble steering the Android ship because of their lack of vision for content engines, LBS companies, and even governments to create an Android that isn’t attached to Google at all (have you seen what some companies have done to patch Android for verticals). IMO, Amazon’s play is exactly what Nokia could have done, and what Sony has dropped the ball in doing. Android could be better than Windows CE ever was, but only if Google is/was purposeful in making a platform that anyone can use. Google is interested in owning how the web is organized (see how I did that). Amazon took what they were already doing in terms of being a services and logistics engine and put that energy into being a better Android than Google. Nokia could have done the same, and I wanted your views on that, especially given how the both of you once were fans of Nokia’s services play.

    I wish I could say that I’m hanging onto the past. I prefer t think (and code/act) like I’d rather build the present and future. If there’s anything that I’ve learned from the both of you (I’ve learned quite a bit), is that our choices in life and tech either build us up by ourselves, build us together, or just build things for a few. I don’t see Android or iOS as empowering as [we] would like to believe they are – at least, if you aren’t Amazon, Google, or a neatly revealed department of a global superpower.

    1. It’s sad to say (especially as I knew a bunch of people working on it) but I don’t think Nokia ever had the chops to get content right. It tried, many times, but nothing ever came of it.

      Logistics? Maybe. Content? Nah.

  5. The SurfaceRT is awesome, I use it all the time when I travel……unfortunately it pretty much only gets used for watching Netflix on (so not all that awesome)

      1. I bet you can download and run programmes and stuff on there though.
        I’d use my Surface more if I could use Garmin Connect on it

  6. Keni says:

    I have a few separate questions that I’ll ask in separate posts, starting with:

    James, the 1020, how do you find the speed of it versus the 920?

    I personally find it much faster…

    How does it compare to the HTC One?

    1. In what areas? My 1020 is buggy as hell and has frozen up a bunch of times. I can compare the two when I get my 920 back if you’d like? (it’s currently with a friend of a friend).

      Vs the HTC One, again – in what areas? Browser wise, the HTC One kills it.

  7. After listening to the cast I joined Spotify to try recreate one of James’s experiences… I’ve not been able to recreate the not moving to the next track in a playlist when the app is in the background. Can you let us know the circumstances around the error, i.e. playlist playing, connection status etc, so I may try recreate more accurately.

    I however don’t intend on using Spotify much and certainly won’t be paying for it after this month. I’m happy to use the free Nokia Music (based in Bristol) and I may even upgrade to the £4 a month cross platform pay monthly service. But I do understand your reasons for your choice.

  8. In respect to the question around GD2 and App switching. GDR2 doesn’t update the App switching, I know the guy specifically asked about GDR2, but I personally think it would have been nice to mention that in GD3, or WP 8.1 depending what they call it, they will (hopefully) release a close option, that should improve it.

    *Apologies to be nitpicky* just thought it’d be nice to clear up a bit.

  9. I have a theory around some of your issues around WP8, when you say you’ve had “resuming” & blank screen crashes, is it possible that you were not connected to a network?

    I must admit, I’ve had something similar, but only when I’m connected to a “free” wifi service instead of the 4G.

    How does Android or Apple fair with walled gardened WiFi hotspots?

    1. 1. Why should it matter if I’m connected or not?
      2. I was above ground and should’ve had connection wherever I was.
      3. Either way, would this non-connection excuse the crashing?
      4. Android is great at walled-garden wifi hotspots (eg: Virgin on the underground). It remembers my log in and auto connects, requests for one-click sign in, and I’m away.

  10. you make me so angry sometimes… This time especially so that I ran red lights to get to work early to vent* MNBT 🙂

    You are winding me up around your collective hatred for Windows Phone, I completely understand you when mentioning earlier in the cast about how you feel connected to your device, I have that same feeling when I was forced to use both Android and iOS in a previous business role. I just couldn’t wait to get back to my trusty Windows Phone, *YES* even Windows Phone 7!

    All of this relates to the Windows Surface discussion too… In short, you like the Google ecosystem I like me Windows…

    For both of you to keep slamming it, your choice and it is your podcast after all, it is only alienating them like us 😉 – I’m only thinking of balance, plus I do get a lot from you both re all other things mobile, I wouldn’t want to stop listening because you keep making me want to break traffic laws 🙂

    1. robin says:

      “I’m only thinking of balance…”
      Well said. We KNOW they don’t LIKE wp. But I for one expect a podcast about phone tech to mention that fact as one part of a more robust discussion. Who dismisses an OS because of some weakness that might easily be addressed in an update, as it has for all current OSs?

    2. As I’ve mentioned before:
      it’s a personal thing.

      For me, being able to trust Windows Phone with basic things such as music playback and y’know, NOT crashing is something I am simply unable to do. All of this is based upon personal experience.

      It isn’t: ‘Oh I’ve taken a look at Windows Phone, and I think it’s crap’ (like some alleged experts)

      It’s: ‘Having tried Windows Phone, in many variants – from the HTC HD7 back in 2010 through to the Lumia 800, Lumia 900, the Lumia 920, and the now, most recently, the Lumia 1020 – I can safely say: I just don’t get on with it. Every time I’ve used it, I’ve been left unsatisfied.’

      Be it a broken Facebook app or a browser that doesn’t load, there are VERY SIMPLE yet ultimately fundamental core features that it can’t get right.

      There are many things I DO like about WP. There are. But when push comes to shove, if I need a phone I can rely on, both personally and professionally, I’ll reach for my Android every time.

      There’s a great blog post that we referenced a few episodes back, about a guy who moved from iOS to Android, I’d recommend taking a look. If you ignore the iOS references, the Android wins laid out chime quite nicely with the reasons why I prefer the platform.

      Look, maybe I’m unlucky with my devices. Maybe. But if I am, and if WP really is the amazing OS that certain parts of the Internet think it is, then great. Let the sales prove me wrong.

      Thing is: I WANT Windows Phone to be better. Choice is GREAT, Duopolies are not. Symbian is long gone, Blackberry is on its way. Baidu is a whisper, Jolla is a joke, and Mozilla OS is a minor success.

      WP has the opportunity to be AMAZING. But when Nokia’s own execs are telling Microsoft to speed up with their OS development, you HAVE to see that something isn’t working.

      YES it’s a latent OS, and it’s only been around a few years. But it won’t mature on its own and, when put next to the other main players, it falls short.

      So can we stop with the ‘Why do you hate WP so much?!’ now please?

      We don’t hate it. Hell, both Stefan and I have both gone on record and said that hardware-wise, it can’t be touched! But at a software level, we know it can be better.

      Thanks.

      1. Stefan Constantinescu says:

        You’re such a fucking fanboi, James. Go move to California and make love to the Google brothers.

  11. I know you’re a reliable guy James so I don’t discount your experience. I just haven’t seen what you have, despite heavily using multiple WP devices. That said, I’ve had other issues… none insurmountable. For the most part, very dependable — especially lately (assuming due to updates). And along those lines, my youngest son’s Android devices were highly problematic. Talk about crashes! Almost unusable…

  12. I feel like I need to jump in with something James has said. I desperately want Windows Phone to be good. Choice is a great thing to have and the last thing we all need is to have our decisions whittled down to a toss up between Samsung and Apple.

    Furthermore, these Nokia handsets deserve a platform that is as good as the hardware. This Lumia 1020 in my hand right now feels wonderful, it’s a simply gorgeous device.

    Windows Phone just isn’t that platform though.

    Like James said, I’m not just saying this from a perspective of a guy who looked at his friend’s phone for 5 minutes and decided it wasn’t for me. I’m a guy who paid money for a Lumia 800 and a Lumia 920, one who is now trialling a 1020.

    I can’t trust it to be my main device. Apps regularly crash, or just seemingly close for no apparent reason. I can’t trust there to be an app that fulfils a required function and, even if there is one, I can’t trust the Store to make it readily visible. Nokia Maps (or Here or whatever it’s called) isn’t anywhere as effective as Google Maps, at least in my area.

    What worries me most though is that it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. It’s still as frustrating to use as it was back in the Lumia 800 days.

    I wanted to love the Lumia 1020, I really did. I thought that the camera would make me cover up some of the cracks in the system, but even that is frustrating to use. Which camera app should I open? Camera, Nokia Pro Cam or Nokia Smart Cam? Why is their three different apps? Why is is so slow? Why do I need to fiddle through numerous settings to get a good picture, surely ‘auto’ should be able to do that for me? It comes to something when I had to rely on using the Nexus 4, with it’s notoriously awful camera, at a recent event I attended for the simple reason that it was simpler and easier.

    Would I have wanted a Nokia with Android? Of course. Honestly though, I’d prefer a Nokia with a good Windows Phone operating system, if only to keep the others on their toes.

    1. themobileguy says:

      Matt, I too have a 1020, I have set my standard camera to Nokia Pro Cam and left all settings on Auto (As I do with my compact camera)… Sometimes I like to play with the settings to get a better picture, sometimes I don’t. I use Smart Cam for the times I know I’m going to need it’s special features by choosing it as a lens via the arrows icon. I personally find that icon a little confusing, but hey thats all…

      I totally understand that it’s a personal choice around OS’s and all that, hence why I have mine.

  13. Imo the problem is partly with a buggy ui, partly an unimaginative approach to features (come on, if you knew Android had placed an option to make a Skype call in the native phone book, and you OWNED SKYPE, surely you do the same thing?), and partly with makers of apps just not seeming to care about developing official Windows phone versions that work. My guess has always been, as it works fine on Windows Phone 7 but not 8, that spotify just couldn’t be bothered to clear up the crash bugs in its app, knowing most users would just say, “it’s a Microsoft issue”. Until developers are incentivised to fix issues with their own apps, Windows Phone will not get the credit it is due, for what is actually the basis of an effective phone OS.

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