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

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.

Install Nokia Drive+ for free on any Windows Phone 8 device

drive

Αν έχετε ένα Windows Phone 8 οποιασδήποτε εταιρείας (π.χ. HTC), η Nokia ξεκινά το 2013 με το δωράκι που περιμέναμε από τις παλιότερες ανακοινώσεις. Microsoft και Nokia κράτησαν την υπόσχεσή τους και μπορούμε πλέον να έχουμε το Nokia Drive (με τα offline maps και τα άλλα καλούδια) δωρεάν. Προς το παρόν είναι beta, αλλά σύντομα θα έχουμε και το τελικό.

Πληροφορίες από τη Nokia εδώ: http://www.nokia.com/us-en/support/product/nokia-drive-plus/

Το κατεβάζετε εδώ: http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=9a0f7585-9f16-47d5-8041-28018fcea606

 

Smartphones, Silly Users | Harvard Business Review

Very interesting (and frightening) reading…

First, we don’t remember anything anymore. Research shows that we’re increasingly outsourcing our personal memory banks to Google and other search engines, effectively wiping our own brains of easily accessible information. But as the growth of apps per device skyrockets and user interfaces simplify, we’re relying on more cognitive crutches than ever. Can’t recall the name of your coworker? Don’t worry; their LinkedIn profile is just a few taps away. Forgotten the name of that Japanese restaurant down the street? Yelp it up! Look for our memory gaps to grow as we train our brains to recall where information is located, rather than remembering the information itself.

The rest is here: Smartphones, Silly Users at HBR.org.

Find your way without a car…

Nokia Transport (older name was Transit) will tell you when the next train, bus, or tram is arriving, right to the nearest minute. It’ll guide you to the nearest stop or station, listing transfers and changes on the way, with step-by-step walking directions. And it’ll even tell you when to get off. The amazing part is “live routing” for Berlin and Potsdam in Germany! For Greece, even timetable routing is useless…

You can also find the same information on the web: maps.nokia.com/directions. An updated list of the cities is always here: Nokia Transport City Coverage

Austria

Public transport routing

Graz, Salzburg, Vienna

Belgium

Timetable routing

Antwerp, Bruges, Gent

Public transport routing

Brussels

Croatia

Public transport routing

Dubrovnik, Zagreb

Czech Republic

Public transport routing

Prague

Denmark

Timetable routing

Aalborg, Aarhus, Copenhagen, Odense

Estonia

Public transport routing

Tallinn

Finland

Timetable routing

Helsinki

France

Public transport routing

Amiens, Avignon, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Colmar, Cote D’Azur, Lille, Lourdes, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nancy, Nantes, Orange, Orleans, Paris, Rennes, Saint Tropez, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Tours, Versailles

Germany

Live

Berlin, Potsdam

Public transport routing

Aachen, Bremen, Cologne, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Lubeck, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Wurzburg

Greece

Public transport routing

Athens, Kos, Rhodes, Thessaloniki

Hungary

Timetable routing

Budapest

Ireland

Public transport routing

Dublin

Italy

Timetable routing

Brescia, Padua, Turin

Public transport routing

Bari, Bologna, Catania, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Penisola Sorrentina, Pisa, Rome, Venice, Verona

Latvia

Public transport routing

Riga

Lithuania

Public transport routing

Vilnius

Luxembourg

Public transport routing

Luxembourg City

Netherlands

Public transport routing

Amsterdam, Rotterdam

Norway

Public transport routing

Oslo

Poland

Public transport routing

Czestochowa, Gdansk, Krakow, Poznan, Torun, Warsaw

Portugal

Public transport routing

Guimaraes, Lisbon, Porto

Russia

Timetable routing

Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Rostov on Don, Samara, Saratov, Ufa, Volgograd, Voronezh, Yakaterinburg

Public transport routing

Moscow, St Petersburg

Slovakia

Public transport routing

Bratislava

Slovenia

Public transport routing

Ljubljana

Spain

Timetable routing

Barcelona

Public transport routing

Bilbao, Cordoba, Elche, Granada, Madrid, Oviedo, Palma De Mallorca, Salamanca, Santiago De Compostela, Segovia, Seville, Tenerife, Valencia, Zaragoza

Sweden

Public transport routing

Gothenburg, Stockholm

Switzerland

Public transport routing

Bern, Geneva, Zurich

Turkey

Public transport routing

Ankara, Bursa, Istanbul, Izmir

UK

Timetable routing

London

Public transport routing

Bath, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham

Ukraine

Public transport routing

Kiev

South Africa

Public transport routing

Cape Town, Johannesburg

UAE

Public transport routing

Dubai

Canada

Timetable routing

Brampton, Burlington, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, Mississauga, Montreal, Oshawa, Quebec, Toronto, Vaughan, Winnipeg

Public transport routing

Niagara Ca, Ottawa, Vancouver

USA

Timetable routing

Arvada, Atlanta, Aurora, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Boulder, Burbank, Cambridge, Carlsbad, Carrollton, Centennial, Chicago, Chula Vista, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Coral Springs, Dallas, Denver, Downey, El Monte, Elizabeth, Escondino, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Wayne, Fort Worth, Garland, Glendale, Hartford, Henderson, Hialeah, Hollywood, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Inglewood, Irving, Jersey City, Lakewood, Lancaster, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Miami Gardens, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Miramar, New Haven, New Orleans, New York City, North Las Vegas, Norwalk, Oakland, Oceanside, Palmdale, Pasadena, Paterson, Pembroke Pines, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Plano, Pomona, Pompano Beach, Portland Oregon, Richardson, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, South Gate, St. Louis, St. Paul, Tampa, Thornton, Torrance, Westminster, Yonkers

Public transport routing

Charlotte, Detroit, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Memphis, Nashville, Niagara Usa, Orlando, Washington DC

Argentina

Public transport routing

Buenos Aires

Brazil

Public transport routing

Belo Horizonte, Bertioga, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo

Chile

Public transport routing

Santiago

Mexico

Public transport routing

Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey

Venezuela

Public transport routing

Caracas

China

Public transport routing

Ankang, Anqing, Anshan, Anyang, Baicheng, Baise, Baishan, Baoding, Baoji, Baotou, Beihai, Beijing, Bengbu, Benxi, Binzhou, Bozhou, Cangzhou, Changchun, Changde, Changji, Changsha, Changzhi, Changzhou, Chaohu, Chaoyang, Chaozhou, Chengde, Chengdu, Chenzhou, Chifeng, Chizhou, Chongqing, Chuzhou, Dali, Dalian, Dandong, Daqing, Dazhou, Deyang, Dezhou, Dongguan, Dongying, Erdos, Fangchenggang, Foshan, Fushun, Fuxin, Fuyang, Fuzhou1, Ganzhou, Guangan, Guangzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Haikou, Handan, Hangzhou, Hanzhong, Harbin, Hebi, Hefei, Hegang, Hengshui, Hengyang, Heyuan, Heze, Hezhou, Hohhot, Hong Kong, Huaian, Huaibei, Huaihua, Huainan, Huangshan, Huangshi, Huizhou, Huludao, Huzhou, Jiamusi, Jiangmen, Jiaozuo, Jiaxing, Jieyang, Jilin, Jinan, Jingdezhen, Jingmen, Jingzhou, Jinhua, Jining, Jinzhong, Jinzhou, Jishou, Jiujiang, Jiyuan, Kaifeng, Kunming, Laiwu, Langfang, Lanzhou, Lasa, Leshan, Lianyungang, Liaocheng, Liaoyang, Liaoyuan, Lijiang, Linyi, Lishui, Liuan, Liuzhou, Longyan, Loudi, Luoyang, Luzhou, Lvliang, Maanshan, Macau, Maoming, Meishan, Meizhou, Mianyang, Mudanjiang, Nanchang, Nanchong, Nanjing, Nanning, Nanping, Nantong, Nanyang, Neijiang, Ningbo, Ningde, Panjin, Panzhihua, Pingdingshan, Putian, Qaramay, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Qiqihar, Quanzhou, Quzhou, Rizhao, Sanmenxia, Sanming, Sanya, Shanghai, Shangluo, Shangqiu, Shangrao, Shantou, Shanwei, Shaoguan, Shaoxing, Shaoyang, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Shijiazhuang, Shiyan, Shuozhou, Siping, Suqian, Suzhou1, Suzhou2, Taian, Taiyuan, Taizhou1, Taizhou2, Tangshan, Tianjin, Tianshui, Tieling, Tongchuan, Tonghua, Tongliao, Tongling, Urumchi, Weifang, Weihai, Weinan, Wenzhou, Wuhan, Wuhu, Wuxi, Wuzhou, Xiamen, Xian, Xiangfan, Xiangtan, Xianyang, Xingtai, Xining, Xinxiang, Xinyang, Xuancheng, Xuchang, Xuzhou, Yanan, Yanbian, Yancheng, Yangjiang, Yangquan, Yangzhou, Yantai, Yibin, Yichang, Yichun1, Yinchuan, Yingkou, Yiyang, Yongzhou, Yueyang, Yulin1, Yulin2, Yuncheng, Yuxi, Zaozhuang, Zhangjiajie, Zhangjiakou, Zhangzhou, Zhanjiang, Zhaoqing, Zhengzhou, Zhenjiang, Zhongshan, Zhoushan, Zhuhai, Zhumadian, Zhuzhou, Zibo, Zigong, Ziyang

Australia

Public transport routing

Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

India

Public transport routing

Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Surat, Vadodara

Indonesia

Public transport routing

Jakarta

Malaysia

Public transport routing

Kuala Lumpur, Penang

New Zealand

Timetable routing

Auckland, Wellington

Public transport routing

Christchurch

Philippines

Public transport routing

Manila

Singapore

Public transport routing

Sentosa, Singapore

Taiwan

Public transport routing

Kaohsiung, Taipei

Thailand

Public transport routing

Bangkok, Pattaya

Canonical unveils Ubuntu phone OS that doubles as a “full PC”

Canonical just unveiled a version of Ubuntu that has a smartphone “skin” converting it to an Android-like OS. When the device is connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, it works as a normal PC (with Linux). I wonder how it works with the touch-enabled screens and how it handles interrupts from voice calls and text messages. Battery management is another big concern…

Read more here: Canonical unveils Ubuntu phone OS that doubles as a “full PC” | Ars Technica.

Check your WP8 apps with Simulation Dashboard

clip_image002The most difficult part of testing a mobile application is to simulate problems with the network and conditions that emerge during actual use of the smartphone or tablet during real use. Until now it was very difficult or impossible to simulate network interruptions in flow of data, slow or high-latency networks under phone calls received while using your application.

The new Windows Phone SDK 8.0 addresses all these types of conditions through the introduction of Simulation Dashboard. It lets you validate in advance how your app will behave in real life conditions. You can simulate various network conditions and phone interruptions from the dashboard and tweak your app to ensure that it behaves well under these conditions.

I copy the following list of scenarios from the blog post Simulation Dashboard for Windows Phone Apps you should check:

  • Handling phone interruptions while scrolling in an e-book reader app
  • Buffering large media to help in low network speeds for a video app
  • Validating a location-based app with network changes in the middle of use
  • Validating a wallpaper changing app’s functionality using Lock Screen simulation on emulator
  • Ensuring that a location tracking app runs even under Lock Screen deactivation on emulator
  • Testing a network app to ensure it does not crash in cases of No Network
  • Ensuring that data transfer resumes gracefully in case of network interruptions
  • Validating whether calls to a web service will fail with timeout in cases of poor network
  • Using network simulation to identify energy consumption of an app in different network conditions

“If this doesn’t work to build sales momentum, however, I’m not sure where else Nokia can find new Lumia opportunities going forward. And in many respects, that’s a shame because the Lumias are a solid line of smartphones that are plagued more by their timing than their actual features and functions.”

Gigaom

Nokia(s nok) introduced two new smartphones on Wednesday, the Lumia 620 and Lumia 920T. These represent the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to handsets: The low-end 620 carries an unsubsidized $249 price tag while the 920T will retail at more than $700 minus any carrier subsidies. Yet, both together represent what may be Nokia’s best chance to gain market share on its peers.

The budget-priced Lumia 620 is aimed at the first-time smartphone buyer and perhaps that’s a good audience to target. Most who have a smartphone have already invested in either iOS or Android apps for their phone, making it a barrier to switch. Some surely will give up their iPhone(s aapl) or Android(s goog) for a Windows Phone(s msft), but so far, relatively few have based on market share and sales figures.

Consider a feature phone owner that hasn’t bought apps tied a…

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