Jan 19, 2012

My World of Mobile Devices

I have been asked to blog about my experiences with my mobile devices quite many times. I will be blogging about different apps and features separately, but before I get into those details, a small overview of what I play with, and what I think of them.

As for the devices in my current life, Galaxy Tab is the oldest. It has traveled with me to the other side of the world and back. For a year, it was my primary tablet - my only tablet - the device I relied on when I didn't take a laptop with me, or when I simply didn't want to open one, at home or elsewhere. It fits in my purse, it's easy to hold even with one hand, and I like the Android platform.

In a comparison, Galaxy Tab has a rather small and smudgy screen than the iPad. It is more fun surfing the internet with the iPad because of this. It is also more fun to play games with it, according to my daughters, for I don't really play games. But I like to read books rather on the Tab than iPad, because of the pocket book -like size, which also makes it more lightweight and easier to hold. And, it seems, the Kindle in iPad does not have the Amazon store integrated, so all purchases are also made on my Tab Kindle.

The iPad, the newest of my devices, has been as good as I expected. Not superior to Galaxy Tab, other than in the size and quality of the screen, that is, both are good and have their own purposes and best for usage cases. E.g. for a blogger like me, the keyboard possesses a problem. The full one is too wide for my small hands, so I like the split one, really do. But the split keyboard came with the iOs5, and is in no way taken into consideration by most of the applications: it slides on top of the field where I'm supposed to be writing in.

The again, iPad has the Flipboard. There is nothing like it! Though in a way the People feed of the Windows Phone Mango comes actually close. Flipboard is awesome in the way it makes otherwise streaming data into a nice layout magazine. It is for sitting in my armchair or in my bed, scanning the news and the tweets and the FB shares. It is for reading articles when I've got time to read. The WinPhone People feed is a quickie. It combines the Twitter and FB feeds into one stream, allowing me to easily scan through the highlights when I don't have time for more.

That Windows Phone. I got a Lumia 800 a couple months ago, and loved it at once. Well, ok, the initial sucky battery life was a nuisance, but it improved on the maybe third full charge, when I let it be on the charger for maybe 16 hours overnight plus, without touching it while it was on the charger. Ever since the battery life has been much better than it used to be on my previous phone, the HTC Desire, an Android that I did like a lot too.

I love the Mango, I love the Lumia! The UI is nice, I like the (live) tiles. The screen is bright and sharp and sleek, the touch experience very fluent and easy - as is on the iPad. The Galaxy Tab loses this contest, unfortunately the touch experience on that one (mind you, the original 7" one!) is far behind. Lumia still lacks applications like Skype and Kindle (ok, I'm not even sure I'd like to read a book on the small screen), and it lacks the battery life percentage display and the WiFi hotspot I so loved on Desire. Let's see what improvements the upcoming update brings! Hopefully that hotspot as has been rumored.

To be fair, I like all these devices. They all have their good features and they all lack something. As said, I don't really take sides or discriminate. I don't hype about one over the other either. I'm glad to have all these different ones, they more or less complement each other.

And the cloud? I love the cloud too!

I share my OneNote notebook(s) over the internet, one via SkyDrive, other two via SharePoint, plus I use some community ones. I love it that I can easily access them from my iPad and my Lumia. I store some files in Dropbox and love it that they too are accessible from all of my mobile devices. I can read my gmail on all of them, I can combine my two Outlook accounts on my Lumia. I have my Outlook calendar (which is for private appointments as much as for work, all in one) available on each device.

When I take pictures on Lumia, they are automatically uploaded to Skydrive from where I can easily download them to my laptop. And on iPad, to iCloud from where they even automatically drop down to my Pictures folder on my laptop. Although, this creates a new problem: does it make things easier or more difficult for me for real? I archive my photos on a USB hard drive, in folders in a very old fashioned way. To keep up with all these photo streams can be a task! Maybe I should change something in my photo archiving? But so far, I haven't been at home with Lightrooms and such.

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