Windows Phone 7/8 Catch All

The Nokia/HERE Maps app is absolutely worth it for offline maps alone.

Playlists on WP8 suck. I can't believe they are so bad. I have an Xbox music account so my collection changes. I don't download songs to my computer and I have Windows 7 at work (which is the computer I use most). So dealing with playlists has been a terrible experience. I looked for playlist managers in the app store and found none (all the ones I found could only play music in the app and didn't deal with the WP8 play lists). Yesterday I found a post on reddit about them and a user (mateo909) posted the following solution:

"This is the easiest way to make a playlist.

Make a playlist on your phone. Start an album or song playing. below the album art tap the song name. On this page tap the save icon on bottom and give your playlist a name. Stop the player

Connect the phone via USB to the PC.

With windows explorer open the music, playlist folder.

Right click the playlist file, select properties, resources tab.

You can now, add to the playlist from songs on your phone using drag and drop into the resources tab window.

From the recources tab window you can also delete songs from the playlist and set the play order."

Now I can edit the play lists on my computer and it works. Just a couple things. The playlist folder is hidden and it is the references (not resources) tab.

I've been copying playlists from iTunes via Windows Phone Connector for the Mac with no problem.

The whole sync'ing scenario in WP8 is a f*cking joke.

It's my biggest gripe about the platform. Why they didn't patch Zune to allow it to write to WP8 devices I will NEVER know.

I suppose there is no better topic to ask this question...

Any Goodjers with Windows Phones who play some XBox Live games?

As I don't own a 360, my leaderboards are quite empty at the moment...

My XBL ID is pl MsbS.

MsbS wrote:

I suppose there is no better topic to ask this question...

Any Goodjers with Windows Phones who play some XBox Live games?

As I don't own a 360, my leaderboards are quite empty at the moment...

My XBL ID is pl MsbS.

What games are you playing? I'm always looking for more Alpha Jax players.

I'm a brand new WP7 player. So far I am playing:
- Wordament
- Orbital
- Cut the Rope
- Feed Me Oil
- And a few non-XBL games, including Angry Birds (for the missus)

I am just installing Alpha Jax, but from the looks it seems really familiar

Bear in mind, I'm in Europe (different time zone), and non-native English speaker (which makes me easy prey )

MsbS wrote:

I'm a brand new WP7 player. So far I am playing:
- Wordament
- Orbital
- Cut the Rope
- Feed Me Oil
- And a few non-XBL games, including Angry Birds (for the missus)

I am just installing Alpha Jax, but from the looks it seems really familiar

Bear in mind, I'm in Europe (different time zone), and non-native English speaker (which makes me easy prey )

I keep meaning to check out Feed Me Oil. I looked for Orbital, but it is not available in WP8.

I do Wordament, although many times it is my wife playing. You can tell if the scores are good or horrible. She kicks my butt in it. But since iOS got Wordament, she borrows my phone less to play it.

I have an unhealthy addiction to Yahtzee. The new EA version is really good. I've been playing it on iOS and the normal dumb phone version. Unfortunately it does not have multiplayer, but it does have leaderboards.

I sent a friend request along.

I only got Orbital yesterday and it's really neat. I wish it had more game modes or a bit more variety, but I can see it turning into a real time-sink Oh, and the Multiplayer mode is surprisingly fun too - my wife and I had a few quick games today and I really liked it. Somehow the '2 players on 1 screen' mode reminded me of WarioWare for GBA.

Is Yahtzee any good? I remember playing a Yahtzee game back in the old Palm days, but there was very little game there except beating your own scores...

After some really, really questionable "headlines" on my lock screen, I uninstalled the CNN app from my 920. Can anyone recommend a news app that also has lock screen headlines?

I've been obsessed with Gravity Guy for the past couple of days, highly recommended, and it's free! http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/gravity-guy/4f930d12-2350-4c01-91e8-f46b8bd1d884

So I have a question with regards to backing up Windows Phone 8. My girlfriend's Lumia 920 had the gyroscope quit in it and one of the things she was advised to do by Rogers (who have provided an abhorrent customer service experience but that's another rant) before trying to get it serviced was to do a restore on it. She has the internal backup through the OS set up but it turns out that it's kind of a steaming pile compared to what Android, iOS or even BlackBerry offers. All it appears to have backed up is her contacts, application LIST (not the applications themselves or their associated data) and it put any unsynched photos onto SkyDrive. That's it. Her Live Tile configuration wasn't backed up, her camera roll is gone and everything has to be reconfigured again from scratch. She went to the Windows Phone Central forums and found out that this is basically the normal backup experience. A lot of die-hard users there are pretty pissed about it.

Is there any kind of third-party backup option for Windows Phone 8 that covers more than just this piddling amount of basic stuff? Can back up to a PC or "the cloud" doesn't matter. I'm guessing there isn't but since we have a decent Windows Phone contingent here, I figured I'd ask.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

So I have a question with regards to backing up Windows Phone 8. My girlfriend's Lumia 920 had the gyroscope quit in it and one of the things she was advised to do by Rogers (who have provided an abhorrent customer service experience but that's another rant) before trying to get it serviced was to do a restore on it. She has the internal backup through the OS set up but it turns out that it's kind of a steaming pile compared to what Android, iOS or even BlackBerry offers. All it appears to have backed up is her contacts, application LIST (not the applications themselves or their associated data) and it put any unsynched photos onto SkyDrive. That's it. Her Live Tile configuration wasn't backed up, her camera roll is gone and everything has to be reconfigured again from scratch. She went to the Windows Phone Central forums and found out that this is basically the normal backup experience. A lot of die-hard users there are pretty pissed about it.

Is there any kind of third-party backup option for Windows Phone 8 that covers more than just this piddling amount of basic stuff? Can back up to a PC or "the cloud" doesn't matter. I'm guessing there isn't but since we have a decent Windows Phone contingent here, I figured I'd ask.

That's my understanding of how much get's backed up.

I haven't seen any backup utilities or anything, but then again, I haven't been looking.

I've been shopping around to replace my damaged HD7, and as much as I love Windows Phone, I might be jumping to Android for a current phone. (Zero interest in iOS.) Looking around, it just looks like Windows Phone is dead in the water. Most of the carriers I'm looking at have either dumped their models already or appear to be in the process of doing so. I'm seeing a lot of deep discounts on WP8 devices when they're still listed at all.

I read an article the other day that says Windows Phone is doing quite well in certain parts of the world but usually with their cheaper, lower end models and in countries where there's no such thing as subsidised phones. So it's making a dent but not in the higher end segment where the 920 and the HTX 8X are placed. That's a real shame. My girlfriend still loves her 920 but she not a heavy app user at all and even she's complaining how there's never anything of interest in the store for it. And given the horrendous service experience she recently got from Rogers (whose "customer service" reps don't appear to even know anything about this model, despite having the Canadian exclusive for it), it's not giving good vibes off. Microsoft does have a tendency to stick with stuff like this and building up interest in the long run. Given how it appears Apple's fashion growth is finally plateauing, this would be the time for them to make another Windows Phone push if they're going to. I hope they can make it work. More competition = better. Not sure we would like an environment where the only two viable options are iOS and Android.

I'm not sure what you mean (well, your girlfriend) by "never anything of interest." I see new stuff constantly. New games, new apps, new photo lenses.

For instance, I just bought Monster Pinball HD, Gravity Guy 2, and Modern Combat 4, and Cut the Rope Experiments. GG2, CtR:E, and MC4 are XBL games. My recent apps are Chronos Calendar, myappFree (an app search tool with a free app of the day), MSN Auto, speak reminder, and MyFitnessPal. Most of the time I have more apps/games (esp. games) than I can really try/use. There are still missing apps, though (notably instagram) but alternatives are popping up (such as instagraph). Nokia recently released Monopoly Millionaire and Da Vinci Pinball. I can see where someone used to the hundreds of releases a day of iOS would be bored with what comes out daily on WP. Hopefully, that translates into less crapware but who knows.

Nokia is actually doing well in just about everywhere except the US. Other companies are not doing as well with their windows phones. Nokia's success in other markets DOES help with getting new apps here, though. Most app releases are not region limited so having success in India still helps me.

Overall there has been improvement all around for wp8. That said, if it weren't for nokia I think WP would be in trouble. My wife remarked the other day (with no asking from me) that she really loved her new phone. I mentioned the camera (she takes half a dozen pictures a day) and she said it was more than that. She likes the interface and the way it integrates with facebook and thinks the keyboard is excellent (better than the iPhone). It's a great platform and Nokia really does know how to innovate and make great phones.

Anyway, each person is going to look at different things that are important to them. I'll be honest and say that if the 920 was an android phone I'd probably have Android today. I prefer WP8 so luckily the phone I wanted came with the OS I wanted. The biggest deterrent for me right now is that we switched from Exchange to Google and google support on Windows isn't good. Email is fine but the rest is not.

I wouldn't jump ship just because of the discounts. Nokia's line was released already overly discounted and I'm curious what happens with the new 900 series on Verizon. Sure, HTC has abandoned W8 as far as I can tell, but that seems to be because they're laying everything on the line with their new Android device.

EvilHomer3k wrote:

That said, if it weren't for nokia I think WP would be in trouble.

Yup.

EvilHomer3k wrote:

I'll be honest and say that if the 920 was an android phone I'd probably have Android today.

And I'm almost there with ya. W8 phones need to compete with the upcoming S4 and I don't see that happening just yet. I'm not sure if it'll ever happen, unfortunately, but I think W8 is a much better phone platform than older Windows phones ever were.

EvilHomer3k wrote:

Overall there has been improvement all around for wp8. That said, if it weren't for nokia I think WP would be in trouble. My wife remarked the other day (with no asking from me) that she really loved her new phone. I mentioned the camera (she takes half a dozen pictures a day) and she said it was more than that. She likes the interface and the way it integrates with facebook and thinks the keyboard is excellent (better than the iPhone). It's a great platform and Nokia really does know how to innovate and make great phones.

Anyway, each person is going to look at different things that are important to them. I'll be honest and say that if the 920 was an android phone I'd probably have Android today. I prefer WP8 so luckily the phone I wanted came with the OS I wanted. The biggest deterrent for me right now is that we switched from Exchange to Google and google support on Windows isn't good. Email is fine but the rest is not.

I should say that her comment about a lack of apps was made kind of off-handedly and I don't know how much she's really looked. I keep telling her to look for more photo stuff as she bought the 920 largely because of it's camera too (she's a huge photo nut.) She also doesn't play games at all (even phone games) so that might be why she doesn't look very often.

She also agreed that the interface and overall feel of the OS is fantastic. She tried a Galaxy S3 before this and returned it because she couldn't stand how complex Android was (I can't speak to that as I've not had much time with anything but company BlackBerries and client iPhones the last while). Live Tiles are slick as Hell though and I really like how the phone never stutters at all. The reliability of this particular phone has not been great (between the gyro and now screen issues but I think both are a fluke and she's getting it swapped anyway) and the backup system is frankly embarassingly bad. That is something Microsoft could improve though and I hope they do.

Truth be told, simply because I'm a tech nerd who likes hyper customisability and a wide app selection, I would probably still go Android if I could justify taking myself off my employer's subsidised phone plan which requires me to use a BlackBerry 9900. But for people who don't care about that or don't want to deal with it and don't just shun anything that isn't Apple, I can and do recommend Windows Phone 8. I really do hope the platform can find its legs to the point where more app developers release stuff for it day and date with Android and iOS.

They still haven't baked notification lights into the OS? Or am I missing something here?

Noob warning.

Mac user 20+ years, iOS eco system across two iPads and an Ipod touch.

We 'welcome' a couple of Nokia Lumia 820s into the house in the next couple of days, and then the SIMs will arrive from my ISP 5-7 working days later. I've grabbed a couple of 8GB MicroSD cards as well for additional storage space on the devices.

What do I do with this phone to make it functional with minimal heartache?

Do I use the Windows Phone App for Mac (although that means updating from a stable OSX 10.6.8 to an unknown 10.7.X) or do I boot up into Windows 7 on my Mac as I have a dual Boot setup (will that even work, 7 talking to 8)?

Can I transfer information from any of Apple's existing apps (address books, etc) or should I spend the next 7-10 days transferring to a Google based system for import/implementation (if so, which ones)?

Primary function is a phone (crazy, I know), so numbers and contacts would be of significance. My focus is also games linked in to my 360. My wife, she likes it a little less complicated, but "Facebooks" a lot, so if that is easy, she'll use it, but I need to explain it first (story of my life).

Android just gave me too much choice and flummoxed me, iOS was not an option as I wanted a "greater than 12 month" device life business model. Price was also a factor. I got both of the 820s for $50 more than one iPhone would have cost me, via import, fully unlocked.

For the initial boot and setup, you don't need to connect it to a computer. The only time I've needed to connect my 920 to a computer is to download videos I've shot and sync over music from my computer. Unlike an iPhone (had two models over the course of 4 years), WP8 doesn't need to be "tethered" to a computer (which is good, since I'm frequently jumping from one computer to another).

The way I went from iPhone to WP8 was to pretty much to export everything from anything Apple or Google related and import them into Windows services. I recommend Outlook.com over Gmail if you're generally a basic email user. If you have Xbox Live, I think you're pretty much all set with a Microsoft account.

Exporting from OSX Address Book was a bit of a pain for me, from the OSX App Store I bought, aptly named "Export Address Book" by Stefan Keller to import into my Outlook.com email. The People hub/app on WP8 makes it easy to "link" Facebook friends and Twitter contacts to their respective entries in your address book.

Thanks T-Prime.

My wife pretty much has 'nothing' that she's using at the moment for contacts, it's all in her phone, so I'll check out if there is an address book she can set up for herself through a Microsoft account, or through outlook.com.

EDIT:
Looks like I just need to hook her up with a MS id then she can just add in her phone contacts via people.

Is it simply a process of logging into your phone with your Windows Live ID (or whatever they are calling it now) and it just syncs that info up?

Yep! Log into your phone with your MS account and all of your contacts from your account magically appear.

Same story with your Facebook account, IIRC.

My girlfriend got her swapped Lumia 920 today. The backup managed to restore the entirety of our text message history, going back months and hundreds of messages but she had to reconfigure her entire home screen from scratch. Very odd what they choose to save.

After a few days with my Lumia 820, I must say, I couldn't be happier.

Day one usage saw me needing to recharge after only 14 hours. I consoled myself with the fact that the iPad only has 8-10 hours usage, and that was 'just part of having a phone that could do everything'.

I expected massive criticism from the wife for lumbering her with a device with such crap battery life, but when she returned from work, hers was still 80% charged at the end of day 1...

A bit of research, and some great battery saving tips here, and I am now enjoying 2-3 days, all the functionality I need, and a good amount of mobile gaming.

As she has been 'playing' with hers more and more, her battery life has dipped a bit, but with the same mods, we are now looking at good life, and all the functionality we need.

Got myself a 928. I already liked the OS from my time with Windows 8 phones before, but I wasn't sure I wanted to actually own one. While I wish this phone had higher specs (quad core, more ram) it doesn't matter right now as the OS is designed for these specs. Anyway, this is my first time with Nokia's apps and holy hell have they made some good ones. The maps/navigation is even better than Google maps. I'm surprised I feel this way. If it ever leads me off the edge of the earth I'd be upset, but right now it's awesome.

Think I've decided on the phone I'm getting in July. Probably going to go on the lower budget end and opt for the Lumia 620. The extra monthly charge on the fancier phones is just too much to swallow.

The 620 has a nicer screen and an LED flash over the 520 and I have found myself wishing for a camera flash many times in the last couple of years without one. I was considering the HTC 8S, but then you lose out on the extra Nokia features, and the picture quality is worse.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Think I've decided on the phone I'm getting in July. Probably going to go on the lower budget end and opt for the Lumia 620. The extra monthly charge on the fancier phones is just too much to swallow.

The 620 has a nicer screen and an LED flash over the 520 and I have found myself wishing for a camera flash many times in the last couple of years without one. I was considering the HTC 8S, but then you lose out on the extra Nokia features, and the picture quality is worse.

Can you get the 620 any cheaper through valuebasket.com? I found the 820 for $30 more than I could get the 620 in Australia. Very good international delivery, and phone is fully unlocked so it works under any carrier (check locally of course).

Just a thought if you're looking to save a few pennies, etc.

Interesting thought. I'm up for contract renewal anyway so the 620 is basically $3 a month on top of the contract price I'll be paying anyway.

If I do need to buy a phone down the line I'll bear valuebasket.com in mind though. The prices are basically 1/2 of what we pay domestically. That's wild. Although I'd probably get hit with duties.