Setup your new Nokia Lumia or any other Windows Phone

Back again after a year… ;)

OK. So you bought a new Windows Phone (probably a Nokia Lumia) and you have to get started. I assume that you already have a Microsoft Live account with your contacts, calendar and OneDrive (SkyDrive) files. Let’s begin:

  • As the User’s Guide says, first fully charge your smartphone – hahaha I’m just kidding…
  • If it is bought outside Greece, you need to change your regional settings at Settings/system–> region, your language (probably) at Settings/system–>language and add your keyboard at Settings/system–>keyboard (needs reset after download/installation and you can have as many keyboards as you want).
  • Connect it to a WiFi hotspot because you’ll need to download and setup everything over the internet.
  • Check if there are any OS or Firmware updates at Settings–>phone update – 99% there will not be anything since it’s a new device, but you may be lucky to buy it just after Microsoft issued an update.
  • Connect your Hotmail/Live/Outlook/whatever_MS account to bring your contacts/calendar to the phone.
  • Connect to a Nokia account (you only need to give your Live account to go on) – you will need this account for Nokia apps like Here Maps where you can save your favourite places.
  • Setup backup of photos/SMS/videos.
  • Enable Battery Saver at Settings/system–>battery saver.
  • I also enable SMS notifications at Settings/applications–>Messaging.
  • And of course download the Greek map for offline use (or any other country you will need) at Settings/applications–>maps–>download maps.
  • When you finish with the installation of apps, go back to Settings/applications–>background tasks to check if there apps that you don’t want to waste energy…

What are the essential apps to start working?

  • Nokia camera (and then switch to this app as the default camera app at settings/applications–>photos+camera)
  • Nokia Car App (and setup your speed dial contacts)
  • HERE Transit (incredible flexibility if you also have a data connection – I took a night bus in London directly to my hotel and skipped the taxi!)
  • HERE Drive – the difference with HERE Drive+ is that in plain Drive you can only navigate with your country’s map (your SIM defines your country), but you can still use ANY online/offline map to show you the way in HERE Maps
  • Skype
  • Facebook
  • Messenger (by Facebook)
  • MeteoGR
  • PDF Reader (by Microsoft)
  • Battery by Semenov (not needed in WP8.1)
  • ConnectivityShortcuts (not needed in WP8.1)
  • Εορτές
  • Calculator Toolbox Free
  • World Clock (by Microsoft)
  • Unit Converter
  • Fotor
  • Nokia Creative Studio
  • Bing Health & Fitness (it also has a very nice GPS Tracker)
  • Bing Food & Drink (with an impressive list of Greek wines)

And what I also use for my work/life:

  • Whatsapp (Viber is also available)
  • Evernote
  • OneDrive
  • Office Lens
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Amazon Mobile
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Kayak
  • Translator (by Microsoft – you can download offline dictionaries)
  • TeamViewer
  • Nokia Beamer (amazingly simple app)
  • Nokia Video Trimmer
  • Nokia Video Upload
  • Instagram (beta)
  • SophieLens for Nokia or SophieLens HD
  • Picture Perfect
  • CamScanner
  • Bing Weather (or Accuweather)
  • Shazam (with Cortana in WP8.1 it’s now useless)
  • MusiXmatch lyrics player (mainly for the lyrics)
  • TuneIn Radio
  • Free GPS Speedometer
  • Speedometer by Sygic
  • Adidas miCoach (not that I’m running, but I have paid for the miCoach hardware)
  • Currency (xeCurrency)
  • ATHAirport
  • Audio Recorder
  • Flightaware
  • How far from?
  • HubiC (another cloud storage solution – check it, it’s European)
  • IMDb
  • Is it down? (for a quick look on the status of your websites)
  • Lufthansa
  • Network Tools
  • NFC Writer Reader or  Nokia NFC Writer
  • Office 365 Admin
  • Office Remote (it’s not very stable for big presentations but it’s a good start…)
  • PassWorld (with WiFi hotspot passwords around the world)
  • Remote Desktop
  • Smart Resize
  • Softlayer Mobile
  • SpyCamera (it’s funny)
  • TouchDevelop (check it – it’s amazing…)
  • Trellizzo (an unofficial app for Trello)
  • Weave News Reader
  • Windows Phone App Studio
  • WordPress
  • YouSendit

Final tip: Playing with the regions (avoiding setting up the Greek region actually) gives you Nokia MixRadio which is amazing

Laptops in Classrooms

Andreas Tsouchlaris:

Big problems with technology in classrooms – unless we teach students proper behaviour…

Originally posted on The Buttry Diary:

My distracting laptop

My distracting laptop

I’ve updated this post after discussing the issue with my class. 

I can think of no journalism professors I admire more than Clay Shirky and Jay Rosen. But I (so far) disagree with them on the subject of whether to allow students to use laptops and mobile devices during class.

Clay has explained in a blog post why he bans computers from his classroom. Jay chimed in his agreement:

They both have notably more classroom experience than I do, and they might be right. I encourage you to read Clay’s full explanation and won’t try to summarize it here, but he cites research about how multitasking can interfere with learning.

My limited experience is different. I was very…

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Fifty Years of BASIC, the Programming Language That Made Computers Personal

Andreas Tsouchlaris:

For BASIC it’s 50 years – for me it’s 32…

Originally posted on TIME:

Knowing how to program a computer is good for you, and it’s a shame more people don’t learn to do it.

For years now, that’s been a hugely popular stance. It’s led to educational initiatives as effortless sounding as the Hour of Code (offered by Code.org) and as obviously ambitious as Code Year (spearheaded by Codecademy).

Even President Obama has chimed in. Last December, he issued a YouTube video in which he urged young people to take up programming, declaring that “learning these skills isn’t just important for your future, it’s important for our country’s future.”

I find the “everybody should learn to code” movement laudable. And yet it also leaves me wistful, even melancholy. Once upon a time, knowing how to use a computer was virtually synonymous with knowing how to program one. And the thing that made it possible was a programming language called BASIC.

John Kemeny John…

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Nokia Lumia 920: No buy until further notice… (Update + 720 info)

Update 22/7: I finally agreed to repair the 920 with a charge (changing the main board or something similar…) but I’m waiting for it from somewhere in Hungary for 2 months now. For the last 5 months that I can’t use the 920, I’m using a red 720 which is a worthy replacement. Bought it for €250 in Abu Dhabi (but now I know that I don’t have a warranty). It does everything that the 920 with just two things to be aware of: the optical stabilization that helps 920 take incredible low light photos is not there and a restriction of the Here Drive+ app that can work with only one downloadable map (for the country that the SIM is “connected”). The amazing microphone (and the technlogy that supports it) is still there, so you can capture a live show like never before. And its battery keeps it alive for two working days! I completely ignore the 512MB “limit” because I don’t use my smartphone as a gaming console… Waiting for the 1020!

A major mess (in my opinion) on the way Nokia handles warranties and repairs/replacements makes all Lumias a no buy for me now.

I bought a Lumia 920 (an amazing black device) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia while working there. The 920 model wasn’t available in Athens yet and getting it through my MO wouldn’t offer something special in price. After exactly 5 days of the best experience I had with a smartphone, things turned bad. But I wasn’t there. I was already in Peru and starting my 3 weeks in Latin America. A typical life for a modern nomad. Mobility is what keeps us connected to work and family… Right? Nokia has another idea of mobility.

The details of the problem can be the content of another post, a problem that has hit (as far as I understand from the fora) A LOT of users of 920. But this problem made the device unusable: overheating and an empty battery in a couple of hours, a camera that is actually destroyed. I contacted Nokia support online to check how I can visit a Nokia service center in Greece, the country that is my base for most of the time and the only place I can drop a device and pick up a repaired or replaced one after a couple of weeks. The “online” response was that my lumia was not covered by warranty in Greece because it was bought outside EU! Wow! I thought duty free shops at airports all over the world try to sell you something that can only be fixed in their country. You have to go back there. And not just at the airport (airport shops will not accept a device to fix) but outside in the city to find a Nokia service center…

I’m not talking about a TV or something for home use. I’m talking about MOBILE DEVICES. Smartphones that we buy somewhere to use somewhere else in the world. Some of us even spend most of the time outside the country which may be our home country and the country that we bought the device. I didn’t contact Greece because I’m Greek. I contacted Greece because this is the place I can drop the device for a fix. If I was planning to stay for a month in Malaysia, I would be contacting their service center because I would expect my smartphone to be fixed there. I need my smartphone. It’s part of my life. Isn’t it true?

I know another friend (he’s or was an MVP too) who had the same problem but buying a device in Europe and travelling to North America. If Nokia insists on this warranty policy, a “non-mobility warranty” that will make their power users, the ones who travel a lot and truly rely on these devices, switch to other manufacturers not because of Windows Phone 8 which is amazing, not because of the smartphone itself which has technology that really surpasses everything else, but just because of a silly decision of someone in customer services…

Nokia, I’m waiting. Till then, Lumias are perfect but their warranty works only where you bought it. Let’s say the Guadalahara airport while on honeymoon…

PS1: I don’t know how HTC or Samsung handle such a situation. I hope they treat their customers in a better way.

PS2: The criticism above is about a smartphone that costs more than a base salary in my country. I wouldn’t expect Nokia or anybody else to provide the same support for eg. Nokia 100 which sells for €27. I would just throw it to the bin…PS3: I accept that a Lumia sold outside EU is covered by 12 months while in EU by 24 months. I believe this is also reflected in the price difference.

Access all Flash sites through IE10

Read everything here: Microsoft changes default Flash behavior in Windows 8 and RT

Microsoft’s official announcements say the change is based on an ecosystem that has gotten better at developing Flash content. But I suspect the real reason is more pragmatic. This behavior was confusing to users and frustrating to developers. For Windows RT in particular, it had a devastating effect on some sites, which simply wouldn’t work, and the fact that you can’t install an alternative browser on RT eliminates that workaround. And at this point in its life, the last thing Windows RT needs is another reason for potential buyers to reject it.