Sunday, March 31, 2013

Smartphones Getting Smarter

Like many of us, I have been using Nokia phones and Microsoft operating systems for a long time. Honestly, I am a great fan of Nokia and Microsoft. With minor annoyances here and there, my experience with both these companies has been very fulfilling. These are two smart companies that changed the world around us completely. Microsoft made PC a household device and later Nokia repeated the history with mobile devices especially in countries like India which still have a wide gap between rich and poor.

I remember returning my first Windows phone back to AT&T and switching back to my Nokia smartphone almost a decade ago and using a bulky HP Windows phone a later for quite some time. Technology has matured since and Windows phones are not any worse than the competition any more, especially when Windows 8 OS runs on Nokia.

Not only Nokia is the pioneer in smartphones, they have real functional apps that kept them far ahead of the competition. For example, when iPhones navigation apps were sending people in the middle of an endless forest in Australia or getting clueless when the road ends all of a sudden at Hoover dam, Nokia users preferred using their phones over an expensive navigation device because of higher reliability.

Now after shaking hands with Windows, Nokia could provide features such as multi-lingual keyboard natively which require installation of some kind of plug-ins or add-ons in most other phones.

नोकिया लुमिया हिन्दी
I replaced my Nokia E73 with a Lumia 810 last year. I am happy to retain most Nokia features blended with Windows ease of use. I have faced minor issues. I have seen this smart phone not being smart enough to handle storage well. Users can set new music and photos to use additional storage but unlike Nokia (Symbian) phones, applications and updates still use the phone storage and keep complaining about the storage. Especially, the mysterious "other storage" folder keeps growing fast reaching to a stage where you are out of luck. No updates will be installed and most applications won't work due to lack of space in phone storage even if the phone has a newly formatted storage card.

Some apps claim to help you clean "other storage" but after installing "Shrink Storage" app and following it's time consuming steps of "filling" storage, restarting the phone and finally, "clearing" storage, nothing happens and the only step I had to take was to uninstall the app.

Even if you keep uninstalling every application at this stage, you are not getting any storage back unless you reset the phone to factory resetting. You may backup your phone before resetting but this all is unnecessary trouble that should have been avoided. I reset the phone, restored from backup, installed a few new apps and I still had 5GB free space besides an almost unused memory card. I hope that Microsoft or Nokia will come up with a storage solution before all free space on my phone is eaten up by this "other storage" malfunction again. There are rumors that Nokia Lumia 620 is already shipping with a built in "Storage management" option provided under "Settings". If that is true, the same needs to be provided to existing phone models as soon as possible.

Collaboration of two companies globally renowned for building user-friendly products has resulted into a healthy competition and a win-win situation for Nokia, Microsoft and ultimately the end user. Overall, it's a great phone which still needs fixes for a few issues.

Pros
  • Excellent "People management" integrating various profiles
  • Great Nokia navigation - neighbor's envy, owner's pride
  • Professional camera apps from Nokia and Microsoft, such as Blink, Photosynth etc.
  • Windows 8 ease of use.
  • Wireless charging option
Cons
  • Absence of a storage manager to move, copy, paste, or delete documents, mp3 etc.  
  • Lack of a functional Explorer similar to Windows Explorer
  • No App Manager. It's difficult to access installer files on SD card or install apps from an SD card. 
  • Missing Task Manager.
 (Anurag Sharma)

2 comments:

  1. It is good to see how communication technology has evolved into something that can easily be used by everyone.

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