Monday, October 10, 2011

A Week with Windows Phone Mango

Microsoft released their mobile operating system Windows Phone Mango on September 27th with little talk from the tech community, even though it deserved it. In my opinion Windows Phone has been one of the most well-integrated phones you can buy. With the new Mango upgrade, this point gets even more proven.

While some of the new features to Mango are just catching up to iOS and Android, like voice control with more commands and in more of the apps, and a unified inbox, but most of the new features are things you'd expect from iOS and Android. One example is sharing photos. Instead of just having SMS, and email, Windows Phone allows you to share to Facebook out of the box. If you have any apps installed like Twitter or Wordpress, they automatically get added to your Sharing list in the photo menu. Another example are the new features to Bing. Bing isn't just a search engine anymore. With the new Scout feature, you can find places to eat and drink, see and do, shop and the highlights of an area you aren't familiar with. Or find places you didn't even know were there. You can also Music search with Bing. Like Shazam, you can place your phone to a speaker and Bing will search for the song. Finally, there is no need to download a QR scanner, it's built-in to Bing. With Vision you can use your camera to search for barcodes, QR Codes, Microsoft Tags, books, CDs and DVDs, all by placing the object in front of your camera. The last example is the internet on Windows Phone. Internet Explorer is powered using HTML5, like IE 9. With hardware acceleration, it is the fastest mobile internet browser. And if you want to bookmark a webpage, it can be placed in the bookmarks menu, or have it pinned to the start screen.

I was hooked on Windows Phone even before the Mango upgrade. I liked how everything just worked together, and how the UI looked and performed. But what do you think about Windows Phone? Would you buy one? Leave a comment below.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs will never be forgotten

Today, October 5th, 2011, Steve Jobs has passed away. The man who helped pioneer and revolutionize the personal computer, reinvented the music, phone and tablet industry, and started a company that creates amazing movies that remain in our hearts.

In 1977, he and his friend Steve Wozniak started a company in his parents garage. Making computers that were easy to use and that ordinary people would want to use. In 1984, Apple released the Macintosh, the first commercially successful computer with a Graphical User Interface, otherwise known as the GUI. After being fired from John Scully by the board, Steve left to create another computer company called NeXT and to buy LucasFilms animation division now known as Pixar. NeXT is a less-known company that created an advanced operating system that blew away Windows and Macintosh System 7.5. By creating the dock, and many visual effects we take for granted today like a window that moves with the mouse as you move it. After Apple began to sink into bankruptcy, they bought Steve's company NeXT for their advanced operating system. In 1997, he hosted the Macworld event and introduced the iMac, an all-in-one that helped bring Apple out of bankruptcy. In 1999, Apple released the iBook, Apple's first consumer notebook computer. In 2000, he was named the iCEO of Apple. Not a play on the iMac or iBook, but Interim Chief Executive Officer. In 2001, Apple released the iPod, a hard-drive based MP3 Player that revolutionized the music industry, by creating an MP3 player that was easy to use, fast at importing albums and creating iTunes. In 2007, he introduced the iPhone, which revolutionized the way we use phones and touch screens of all devices. In 2010, he introduced the iPad, which revolutionized the tablet industry. And now we are here today.

Steve Jobs was an incredible man. He will be missed dearly, and never forgotten. Rest in Piece, Steve. 1955 - 2011.