Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nokia Lumia 800 and Windows Mobile 7.5

CPIT has now replaced blackberrys with windows phones. I picked up my Nokia Lumia 800 at the beginning  of the week and have been evaluating its performance with regards to usability, availability of apps and options for mlearning. In general reviews for the Nokia Lumia have been positive as per this post and also in this one.

Takes 10 seconds to boot. Battery use is high compared to the blackberry or ipad. I usually charge up the blackberry twice a week and get over 10-11 hours use out of the ipad from full charge (so sometimes only charge once a week).  The Nokia seems to require daily recharge if it is left on standby all day and used intermittently to web surf or check emails/calendar. Having access to wifi most of the time will assist with the data plan $$ aspect. Tried out the tips on the official NZ Windows phone site and also picked up a couple of hints from the maximumpc site.

CPIT has organised synchronisation between phone and PC using skydrive. A windows live account needs to be set up first. I found the process to be relatively painless. Once set up, docs., photos and items on ‘personal web’ are accessible between phone and PC. The personal web is also linked to onenote on my PC. The first time I dropped a pdf journal article into the PC skydrive, access on the phone was almost instantaneous. Skydrive then asked if pdf reader needed to be installed to read the pdf. So generally intuitive for this aspect. Synching with contacts on outlook also straightforward.

However, going back to reading on the small screen after enjoying the larger screen on an ipad takes some getting used to. Landscape mode works a bit better and font size can be increased by ‘pinch and open gesture’ although continued scrolling will mean my preferred mobile ereader is still the ipad.

Took an hour or so to get used to the various ways to access apps. The touch screen is sensitive, so had to get into the habit of light touch in middle of screen to scroll up/down through the tiles. Otherwise, heavier touch on a tile would launch the app. 

A range of apps recommended on honeytechblog. Kindle app synched into my existing archive and I was able to download selected books speedily. Readability better than with the Adobe pdf reader.

A nifty app is the NZ radio – providing the ability to tune in to radio stations and listen to music while also working on other tasks.

Other apps relevant to NZ is the NZ Herald (the ipad version is more visually attractive) and Air NZ to process etickets. The Maps app works well and I tried out the Nokia maps while driving. I am not a great fan of using GPS but found the Nokia map app to work well. The app marketplace seems to have a reasonable selection of apps, with many familiar iOS and Android apps featuring in their Windows form. 

There is NO front camera.
Access to Moodle was straightforward but the login page came up minuscule! As did the course pages.

There is a smaller selection of apps for 'education' and this site, provides examples of apps to increase learning capacity.

NO screen shot capture!! This is one feature I use to copy maps in to my ipad photo gallery for reference when out of wifi range. Will be able to use mobile data but sometimes good to have a couple of maps for reference as well.

In general, our students tend to own Android smart phones or have ipad touches. Iphone with dataplan still expensive on a student budget. Have not come across any student with a Windows Mobile phone as yet. So Windows phones might be a similar category to blackberrys, mainly a corporate / business phone rather than one used as a personal phone. iphones and Android phones seem to be more for personal use.We need to continually be conscious of what our students use as bring-your-own device is now pretty much the norm.

The phone is perhaps just a tad large for my small hands and weightier that the blackberry pearl I have had since mid-2009. Getting used to a slightly different way to accessing apps and working through them was relatively straight-forward. With skydrive and access to Kindle archive, I can use the phone for reading and editing of documents on the hop. Will play with the camera over the weekend, especially to try out app options for panoramas, a list of options on this blog.

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