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

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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.

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.

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…

View original post 448 more words

Mobile flexibility for you or your employer?

I was reading an older article at the online edition of MIT Technology Review about mobility and productivity. An experiment at Boston Consulting Group with Deborah Lovich, a consultant and head of staff, and professor Leslie Perlow from Harvard Business School turned out to have very interesting results.

In one survey of 1,600 managers from multiple companies, Perlow found that about half checked e-mail continuously while on vacation or just before bedtime. Some didn’t stop there: 26 percent admitted to Perlow that they brought their mobile device into bed with them.

Perlow even wrote a book on this issue: Sleeping with Your Smartphone: How to Break the 24/7 Habit and Change the Way You Work.

I liked this part:

Some companies, particularly in Europe, are starting to enforce time away from e-mail during nonwork hours. Volkswagen has programmed its e-mail servers to stop sending messages to many of its German employees after their shifts end. Atos Origin, a French IT company, has plans to end internal company e-mail entirely, claiming it is a waste of time—only 15 of the 100 e-mails its average employee received each day were deemed useful.

How can we do this? Especially when you work for a company that handles customers from different timezones and different cultures. Weekend is not Saturday and Sunday for everybody out there…

Read everything here: How Is Mobile Computing Good For Productivity?

Nokia Lumia 920: Detailed specifications (with highlights)

Nokia Lumia 920

A lot of people ask me about the new Nokia flagship with Windows Phone 8. So, I highlighted and underlined all the specs and features that I believe are worth pointing out. Lumia 920 is not an ordinary smartphone. It carries a number of innovations that will be available in the future on other smartphones like the super sensitive screen that can be “touched” even with gloves or the optical image stabilization (you don’t even have this on most of the dedicated cameras…).

There are also many things that can not be described with technical terms but give you the experience of using this device like the fluidness and responsiveness of the Windows Phone software. So don’t get this as a review, it’s a copy of the device specifications from Nokia’s website.

Ah, it also comes in 5 colours…

  • Design
    • Dimensions
      • Height: 130.3 mm
      • Width: 70.8 mm
      • Thickness1: 10.7 mm
      • Weight: 185 g
      • Volume: 99 cm³
    • Display and User Interface
      • Display size: 4.5 ”
      • Touch screen technology: Capacitive Multipoint-Touch
      • Screen height: 1280 pixels
      • Screen width: 768 pixels
      • Display features: Polarization filter, Light time-out, Ambient light detector, Brightness control, Corning® Gorilla® Glass, Orientation sensor, Proximity sensor, High Brightness mode, RGB Stripe, Sunlight readability enhancements, Pixel density 332 ppi, Luminance 600 nits, Aspect ratio 15:9, Super sensitive touch, Color boosting, IPS, Refresh rate 60 Hz, Sculpted 2.5D glass
      • Display height: 97.0 mm
      • Display width: 58.0 mm
      • Display colors: 16.7 million
      • Display technology: PureMotion HD+
    • Keys and Input Methods
      • User Input: Touch
      • Dedicated hardware key: Camera, Power, Volume, Search, Back, Windows Start key
    • Form factor
      • Phone form factor: Monoblock
  • Hardware
    • Connectivity
      • Dual SIM: No
      • Connectors: Micro-USB Charging Connector, Micro-USB Data Connector, Micro-USB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio connector
      • Wireless connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0, Near Field Communication, Wi-Fi Channel bonding, WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n, Qi Wireless charging
      • Syncronization: Windows computer companion application, Mac computer companion application, Exchange ActiveSync
    • Data Network
      • Data bearer2: HSPA+ (3G), EDGE/EGPRS (2G), FD-LTE (4G), HSUPA (3G), GSM (2G), HSDPA (3G), WCDMA (3G)
    • Operating Frequency
      • Operating band3: GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA Band V (850), WCDMA Band VIII (900), WCDMA Band II (1900), WCDMA Band I (2100), LTE 800, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
      • Data speed – Upload: LTE Cat 3 – 50 Mbit/s, HSUPA Cat 6 – 5.76 Mbit/s
      • Data speed – Download: EGPRS MSC 12 – 236.8 kbit/s, HSDPA Cat 24 – 42.2 Mbit/s, LTE Cat 3 – 100 Mbit/s
    • WLAN features
      • WLAN Security: WPA2 (AES/TKIP), WPA, WEP, PEAP-MSCHAPv2, EAP-SIM, EAP-AKA
    • Power Management4
      • Battery: BP-4GW
      • Battery capacity: 2000 mAh
      • Battery voltage: 3.7 V
      • Removable battery: No
      • Maximum 2G standby time: 460 h
      • Maximum 2G talk time: 18.6 h
      • Maximum 3G standby time: 460 h
      • Maximum 3G talk time: 10.8 h
      • Music playback time: 74 h
    • Processor
      • Processor name5: Snapdragon™ S4
      • Processor type: Dual-core 1.5GHz
    • Memory
      • Internal memory: 1000 MB
      • Mass memory: 32GB and 7GB in SkyDrive
  • Snapdragon™ S4 Processor
    • Performance
      • Do more. Wait less: Tap into faster performance. The Snapdragon™ processor CPU cores enable extra performance when you need it and puts you in charge of running the most demanding applications, including gaming, photography, as well as business and personal productivity.
    • Power consumption
      • Less charging. More doing: The Snapdragon™ processor’s unique asynchronous technology enables each core to power up and power down independently, resulting in maximizing core performance level without wasting battery power.
    • Technology
      • Beyond mobile. And beyond all expectations: Snapdragon™ S4 processor is a highly integrated, mobile-optimized system on a chip that delivers dynamic, immersive experiences and powerful, battery-friendly performance that can put new possibilities in your hands.
  • Software and applications
    • Personal Information Management (PIM)
      • Features (Personal information Management): Calculator, Clock, Calendar, Phonebook, Notes, Reminders, To-do list, Phonebook with integrated social networks, OneNote, Wallet
    • Other Applications
      • Gaming features: DirectX 11, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Touch UI, XBox-Live Hub
    • Software platform & User Interface
      • Supported amount of phonebooks: One integrated Phonebook
      • Developer platform: Windows Phone 8
      • Software release: Windows Phone 8
      • Development technology: Silverlight, XNA, Visual Basic, DirectX, Java Script, XAML, C++
  • Communications
    • Email and Messaging6
      • Email solution: Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook Mobile, Windows Live / Hotmail / Outlook.com, Gmail, Mail for Exchange, Office 365, Nokia Mail
      • Email protocol: SMTP, IMAP4, POP3
      • Email features: Viewing and editing of email attachments, Email with filtering, Always up to date, Multiple simultaneous email accounts, HTML email, Text-to-speech message reader, Email attachments, Conversational view on email
      • Instant messaging: Twitter, Facebook chat, LinkedIn, Windows Live Messenger
      • Messaging features: Integrated text messaging and chat, Instant messaging, Concatenated SMS for long messages, Multiple SMS deletion, List of recently used numbers, Audio messaging, Text-to-speech message reader, Conversational SMS for chat-style SMS, Text messaging, Common inbox for SMS and MMS messages, Unified MMS/SMS editor, Automatic resizing of images for MMS, Distribution lists for messaging, Multimedia messaging
    • Call management
      • Features (Call Management): Voice dialling, Voice Commands, Conference calling, Video calling, Call waiting, Voice mail, Call diverts, Video sharing, Integrated hands-free speaker, Call forwarding, HD audio, Call history
      • Contacts: Unlimited
  • Device security
    • Security
      • Enterprise security features: Remote security policy enforcement
      • General Security features: Remote device locking via Internet, Application sandboxing and integr check, Secure NFC, Track and Protect via internet, Firmware update, Remote wipe of user data via Internet, Application integrity check, Device lock
      • Device startup security: Device passcode, Secure device start-up, PIN code, Firmware and OS integrity check
      • Advance security features: Lost device tracking, Anti-phishing protection
      • Data encryption: User data encryption for device
  • Sharing and Internet
    • Browsing and Internet
      • Internet sharing: Use as a Wi-Fi Hotspot for up to 5 Wi-Fi-enabled devices
      • Supported web technologies: XML, CSS 3, HTML 5, HTML 4.1, CSS
      • Browser: Internet Explorer 10
  • Navigation
  • Photography
    • Main camera
      • Primary camera sensor size: 8.7 megapixels
      • Camera Flash Type: Short pulse high power dual LED
      • Carl Zeiss Tessar lens: Yes
      • Camera resolution: 3552 x 2448 pixels
      • Camera Focus Type: Auto focus with two-stage capture key
      • Camera F number/aperture: 2.0
      • Camera digital zoom: 4 x
      • Camera focal length: 26.0 mm
      • Flash operating range: 3.0 m
    • Main camera features
      • Camera feature: Nokia PureView camera, Touch to Focus and capture in a single tap, Landscape orientation, Geo-tagging, Auto and Manual White Balance settings, Still image Editor, Optical Image Stabilization, Lenses applications, Sensor type: BSI, True 16:9 sensor, Pixel size 1.4 µm, Sensor size 1/3″
      • Camera image format: JPEG/Exif
    • Image capturing
      • Flash modes: Off, Automatic, On
      • Scene modes: Automatic, Night portrait, Sports, Night, Close-up, Backlight
      • Capture modes: Video, Still
      • White balance modes: Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Automatic
      • Photos viewed by: Camera Roll, Timeline, Photo editor, Favorites, Album, Photos from Social networks
    • Secondary camera
      • Secondary camera resolution: 1280 x 960 pixels
      • Secondary camera minimum focus range: 35.0 cm
    • Graphics
      • Graphics format: JPEG
  • Music and Audio
    • Music
      • Music package: Nokia Music Store, Nokia Mix Radio
      • Noise cancellation: Multimicrophone noise cancellation
      • Music features: Music player, Media Player, Audio Streaming, Dolby Headphone
      • Other Features (Music and Audio): Selection by artist, album and genre, Cloud music playback, Podcasts, Cloud music offline playback, Playlists, Album graphics display, Music recommender
      • DRM support: PlayReady
    • Music format
      • Codecs: MP3, AMR-WB, AMR-NB, WMA 10 Pro, WMA 9, AAC LC, AAC+/HEAAC, eAAC+/HEAACv2
      • Audio format: ASF, Wav, MP4, AAC, AMR, MP3, M4A, WMA, 3GP, 3G2
    • Voice and audio recording
      • Recording: Voice Commands
      • Audio recording file formats: Wav, 3GP, 3G2
      • Audio recording codecs: AMR-NB
      • Speech codecs: AMR-WB, GSM FR, AMR-NB, GSM HR, EFR
      • Audio recording features: Mono with high dynamics
  • Video
    • Main video camera
      • Video playback frame rate: 30 fps
      • Video camera resolution: 1080p (Full HD, 1920×1080)
      • Video recording features: Video Light, Video zoom, Optical Image Stabilization
      • Camera video frame rate: 30 fps
      • Camera video zoom: 4 x
      • Video white balance modes: Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Automatic, Daylight
    • Main video camera features
      • Video streaming: YouTube browsing and video streaming
      • Video feature: Video recorder, Video call, Video sharing, Video player
    • Other features (video)
      • Video sharing and playback: Video sharing to social network, Video sharing to Facebook, Video sharing to Skydrive
    • Secondary video camera
      • Secondary video camera resolution: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Environment
    • Environmental features
      • Eco content and services: Available at Store, Nokia Maps: pedestrian navigation
      • Energy efficiency: Automatic screen brightness adjustment, Battery Saver feature
      • Materials: Free of BFR, rFR as in Nokia Subst. List, Free of PVC, Contains recycled metals, Free of nickel on the product surface
      • Product is recyclable (up to): 100% recoverable as materials and energy
      • User guide: Small printed guide, full on nokia.com, In-device user guide