I still love my Windows Phone 7 after 30 days

15 12 2010

I admit that I like shiny things.  I also admit that I don’t like the iPhone very much.  I also have looked forward to owning this phone for quite some time.  So I knew what I was getting into.

However, as a v1.0 product, I also knew that there would be some warts.  After all, it’s v1.0.  But, did Microsoft learn from Windows Mobile 6.x?  Could it match Steve’s app phone thing and Google’s mobile thing?

A short bit of background

The only phones I haven’t used for over a few months WebOs and Symbian phones.  They both looked alright, but I wasn’t in the position to ditch what I had to try them out.

However, I have used Windows Mobile since the very first incarnation in 2003.  Wow, that was not great.  Though, I did like the Motorola clamshell form factor at the time.  It also did so much vs. the other phones, it was OK to overlook the warts.  But, WM2003 basically remained the same until WM6.5.

The phone I stuck with, and modded the heck out of, for 2 years was the HTC Kaiser / TyTn II / AT&T Tilt.  It got flashed with every new Windows Mobile 6.x that saw the light of day.

And then, some wonderful people at XDA Developers put together a few builds of Android for testing.  And while that phone’s CPU wasn’t the strongest, I did use Android 1.x and 2.x for several months as my primary phone OS.

As my Tilt’s battery just couldn’t hack it anymore, and new batteries were basically dead on arrival, a good friend of mine loaned me his iPhone 3G for use.  So, I used that in iOS 3.x and 4.0, 4.1, and finally 4.2.1 for several months.

So, have I used enough of the available market to be informed?  I hope so.

What I like about Windows Phone 7

It’s different.  And not just arbitrarily or just because it’s shiny and new.  It’s different in that someone thought about how to use a phone to do their job, and took a good stab at it.

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An SXGA+ article to get me back into the game

25 05 2010

Yup… I should have been posting for the past few months.  Hopefully I can get back into the habit!

I don’t need a new laptop yet.  Yet… however, the screen size trend in industry really bothers me.  Wider is not better if we’re sacrificing vertical pixels!  Yet, every manufacturer is basically training us to accept low vertical pixel density by hiding behind the “HD” moniker.

Today, you will be hard pressed to find anything functional with a vertical pixel count of 800 or more.  I’m not talking about netbooks (although I have one).  I mean most new laptops in general.

We’re just taking a step backward to the 90’s… 1024×768 (VGA) is really close to 800 pixels tall!

Now, I’ve been a user of Tablet PC’s for the past 5 or 6 years now and I find them incredibly useful.  I do mainly 3 things with my tablet:

  1. Draw User Experience Prototype Sketches
  2. Take down whiteboard sketches of architectures and the usual “ideation” work therein
  3. Retouch, enhance, and correct photos I take (portraits especially)

I find the tablet’s interface to be as natural as we can get for work in photography.  For example, there’s a big difference (in my mind) in the look of a brush stroke made with a pen vs. made with a mouse.  This guys seems to agree with me about screen size and art.

I can draw something in OneNote quickly, and then go into SketchFlow and redraw the same thing and make it function.

I can retouch a photo using an airbrush that actually almost works like an airbrush.

Yes, I could use an external tablet like a Wacom Bamboo, but it’s so much nicer to see exactly what you’re doing on the screen.  Moreover, you don’t have to carry one more thing around.  I’m sure that anyone who’s seen Microsoft Research’s Project Gustav will agree that more pixels will be better!

As a backup plan, I have one of these Hantech Stylo pens that will work with any PC.  But, it’s probably not quite the same (I have yet to really try it out in earnest).

Size is everything, actually

My criteria for picking a Tablet PC has been pretty simple:

Get the one with the highest screen resolution possible!

 

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