The Basics: Navigation And Bing Searches
Microsoft requires that every WP7-based smartphone have dedicated back, home, and search buttons. Their functions are all self-explanatory, although the search button operates a little different than what you'd expect from Android or iOS.
Previously, the search button allowed you to look for something within an application. The Mango update changed that behavior, though, limiting searches to Microsoft's Bing engine.
Hitting the search button and using Bing is not the same as a search performed in Internet Explorer. However, punching in a query brings up a list of results that, if clicked, does open a Web browser.
Finally, there are some added Bing services in WP7 that you won't find on your desktop:
- Local Scout: Provides information on restaurants, shops, attractions, and events near your current location.
- Music: Allows you to identify songs that are currently playing.
- Vision: Scans barcodes, QR Codes, Microsoft Tags, books, CDs, and DVDs.
- Speech: Voice recognition function (powered by Microsoft Tellme) that allows you to perform a Bing search, call contacts, or launch applications.
I'll continue waiting until I can buy a phone with a complete, PC like OS on it.
As for Android, iOS, and WP7. I love Android with all the roms you can flash to, that's not for everyone and try new things. I think iOS has a huge platform, apps and all. It's reliable no doubt and it's simple for people who don't worry about roms and stuff like that. WP7 looks like it'll be a solid challenge. It's fast, simple and I'd expect it to grow even more.
Something like... "My brain sees the lil blue tiles and alot of them are missing!"
Search is also bad. Apart from being forced to use Bing instead of Google, it's difficult to search sub-areas of the phone. When you want to search for something on the phone, it keeps taking you back to Bing for a web-wide search.
While the Lumia 800 seemed to get out the door OK, the Lumia 900 launch seems like a disaster, with defective phones and people getting their data connections cutting in and out. Nokia's share price has just gone into freefall. Can it survive?
Windows Phone 8 is also soon to be released, and it won't work on current Lumias.
1) The ENG key on the keyboard will only appear if you have more than one language selected under the keyboard settings menu.
2) On the camera mode, you can scroll between the live camera feed and the last photos you took; in essence, you can have both on screen at the same time. I suspect this isn't just a Nokia thing.
3) If you tap the left-hand edge of an e-mail in the list, it will invoke the select function.
4) Office can explore Excel, Word and PowerPoint, however it cannot create documents for the latter.
5) I can't believe you missed this one, unless it's not an issue on your end... the Toms site glitches to hell and nearly crashes the phone!!! This was present on the 8500 update as well as on the current 12070 update on the Lumia 800; unsure if it's just a Nokia thing.
In response to beta tester, I wasn't aware of Apollo not being available on the 800/900. Ah well!
Correct and fast app switching is down to the app developer to implement correctly. This is because Mango introduced new features for app switching but many developers haven't updated their apps yet.
Any sub-areas of the phone that offer search capabilities will display a search icon. When WP7 was first launched, the hardware search button was context-aware. However, they changed this in Mango because of all the extra features integrated, such as local scout, barcode scanner, text scanner and translator, music ID service etc.