The Big Switch!

Lumina_928

It has been quite some time since I have blogged or posted about things in a while, and many apologies to those who read my blog. But, now I do have something to write about and it is about making the #switch to a Windows based phone.

A Connected World

A little history here. On my Verizon account, I have been carrying 2 separate phone lines. One for personal and the other line for my small business. In the beginning, both lines were Android, but then I switched one of them to the Apple iPhone 4S. Now, initially, I was impressed with the 4S from Apple. This was my first foray into using Apple products, and I must say that they do possesses a certain level of simplicity of use and fluidity of motion. And, I in no way will take away from them the fact that, for the most part, the mobile world does revolve around Apple. And therein lies the problem. Because my world (both personal and business) has always been Microsoft, and not Apple.

Mixing Apples and Oranges (in a manner of speaking..lol!) 

Microsoft Operating Systems have always been on any PC or laptop that I have owned, so there is a sense of familiarity about it. Working with it as long as I have, either just as an end-user, government employee, or a  college instructor, there has always been a version of Windows that I have used to be productive, entertained, and organized. With that being said, when I added the Apple iPhone 4S into the mix, it was not a matter of a poor choice, but rather a “seeing what is out there” type of choice.

Apps, OPs. and Oops!

For my social networking life, there are just three apps that I use with any amount of frequency. They are: Facebook, Google Plus , and Twitter. And with any search in either Android, Apple, or Windows Apps store, you will find these three apps. So, why the switch? Simple. Office 365 and One Note. With Android and Apple mobile OPs, you have One Note, but, no Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. With the large amount of my documents being in MS Word format, having a way to bring them up in native format was a BIG PLUS. Now, I would not propose to create an entire document on my mobile phone, however being able to edit it, make small changes, and save it in native MS Word format is a wonderful thing! Also I tend to toss my phone around a lot, and with an iPhone, this is not a good habit to have..lol.

In the end, its all about the movies…

The final selling point for me, I didn’t actually find out about it until I came home with the phone. And that is – 32 GB internal storage and Carl Zeiss lenses. From my early days of photography, I was the proud owner of a Contax brand camera. Excellent camera, beautiful pictures, and the Carl Zeiss lens made your photos look outstanding. Now, take that lens and put it in a mobile device coupled with 32GB of internal storage for all my music, videos, and movies? You have got me sold! So now on my daily commute, I can chose to either listen to music, watch music videos, or any one of my favorite movies that I have downloaded to the phone (“Smokey and the Bandit” anyone?) Oh, and the looks I get from my fellow commuters is priceless because not everyone has a Windows Nokia phone. So, is any cell phone the perfect cell phone? No, not really. But having tried all three platforms, I can say that the Windows 8 phone fits perfectly into my life, my media, my social networking, and in my pocket!

Rainy Days and Wednesdays

Grey skies over Port Huron.

Grey skies over Port Huron.

Well, as you can see from the photo, it was quite a grey, dark, and rainy day today. Storm clouds never really did let up! But the good news is that I took some time to sit down and read all my “techie” and “geek” news feeds and found some good stuff to pass along.

Free Money!

That phrase is always an attention getter! But, from this article I found, in a way it is actually true. A new app from the folks at Google will let you earn “credits” toward games, apps, movies, and music that is offered in the Google Play store. Couple of caveats – 1. Only US citizens for now and 2. Only for android phones (at the moment) The gist of the app is that you take surveys and get to earn credits. So, hey! let your phone do something for you for a change!  Here is the link to more about the app!: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2013/11/06/google-opinion-rewards-offers-google-play-credit-opinions/

Windows 8.1

Love it or hate it, the Windows 8.1 format is here to stay. My first experience with the Metro UI came with downloading the consumer preview of Windows 8. And actually, I was hooked! Became a fan of Windows 8 when my old laptop power supply went belly-up, and had to purchase a new laptop. My concern was that I had lost all my class coursework, research papers, and accounting spreadsheets. Was overjoyed to find that when I logged into my new laptop, all my files had been automatically backed up on SkyDrive! So, as far as the new MS Windows was concerned, I was a big time believer. So, along comes Windows 8.1 and there were even more features that I enjoyed. One of them – the new Facebook native app! For me, (and I imagine) a large number of individuals, the addition of a native Facebook app for Windows 8.1 was the icing on the cake. However, like all things being “non-equal” there are some differences in the Windows 8.1 version. To help make more sense of the app, take a look here! http://www.windows8core.com/control-customize-official-facebook-app-notifications-windows-8-1/

More Windows 8.1

If you are like me and enjoy using Windows 8.1, you might be asking yourself – “Hmm, wonder if there are neat tricks I can do with Windows 8.1 that I haven’t figured out yet.” For that answer, you may want to take a read thru this article. Business Insider writer points out some good features, hints, and tips that you may have not found in Windows 8.1 yet. Go grab a cup of hot chocolate, or a cappuccino and have a read. http://www.businessinsider.com/7-hidden-features-in-microsoft-windows-81-2013-11

Google +

Most people who use the Internet are also users of social media platforms. And the leader in social media sharing is Facebook. But, starting to gain ground in its own right is the “new kid on the block” – Google +! (Google Plus). What is Google+ you say? Just the most awesome social platform in the world!..lol. Just kidding!! Although, Google+ is quite amazing in its own right, it may not be the right platform for you. Currently, for my needs I am doing a “social media tri-fecta” consisting of Facebook, Google+, and Twitter! The biggest difference between Facebook and Google+ for me, is the level of sharing and content is so much more diverse on Google+ than over on Facebook.

If you already have a Gmail account (which you probably do if you have an Android phone), use Google Docs, Google Drive, or any other number of Google-themed products, wouldn’t be a bad idea to go and activate your Google+ page and see what all the hubbub is about. Found a guide of sorts, for all you Google+ page “newbies” http://mashable.com/2013/10/27/google-plus-beginners-guide/

And if you like what you see in Google + and start to think about switching, then here is a little info graphic from the folks over at Mashable.com as to why you should switch to Google+ (or at least build a page on that platform as well).

That’s it for me tonight fellow bloggers!

Take care and may your tomorrow be a great day for you!