Right before my last trip to Spain, rumors of a laptop ban in flights from Europe to the U.S. started appearing. I didn’t want to take my Surface Book and risk being forced to throw it inside my luggage on my way back (we all know how airlines treat luggage).
So what options did I have? Either leave my laptop at home, or travel with a device that I could live without, in case it broke after being handled like a sack of potatoes.
That’s when I thought of my old Surface RT, abandoned in a shelf for years. I wasn’t sure it would be “enough of a tablet” for my trip but coincidentally, that same week happened to be the 5th year anniversary of its presentation, so it was perfect timing for a test.
Would I be able to use my email? Write a little bit? Upload pictures to Facebook? Read Twitter? Buy tour tickets and make trip reservations? Would any of the old apps work?
The answer to all of those questions was, surprisingly, yes.
When Panos Panay announced the Surface Book on October 6, I was immediately intrigued by it: could Microsoft really make a great laptop on its first attempt? The Surface line needed 3 iterations to reach maturity, so would it be different this time?
I preordered the Surface Book knowing that there would be quirks here and there (it’s a first-generation device after all), but I was excited to see if it was a true convertible. Would it feel like a real laptop while typing on the physical keyboard? Would it feel like a real tablet while holding it with one hand and tapping around with the other?
Have you already upgraded to Windows 10? If so, you probably experienced how easy it was: click, download, install, done. Or perhaps you are one of the few people who, like me, run into one of the 16 hexadecimal error codes that you can reportedly get in the process.
I love Windows 10 and I truly believe it’s one of the best editions of Windows ever released. I upgraded my little 8″ Dell Venue 8 Pro and I’m loving it, so I honestly recommend you to get it as soon as you can. However, the upgrade experience wasn’t simple in my case, and that’s why the #1 thing I’d change from Windows is Windows Update.
After watching Her last night (the Golden Globe winner for the Best Screenplay category) I was captivated by its amazing performances and its delightfully depicted technology. What motivated me the most to watch the movie was this article from Wired: why Her will dominate UI design even more than Minority Report.
In the movie, technology is almost completely transparent for the user: most of the interactions between Theodore, the main character, and his “smartphone” happen through the earpiece and the virtual assistant, and he only touches the little screen when he wants to watch a picture. This is what his gadgets look like:
Visual user interfaces are almost nowhere to be seen, and that’s the message: human interactions are the future of personal computing.
This is a follow-up post to a comparison between the Lumia 920 and the iPhone 5s and you can also find a similar list of opinions about the iPhone 5s and the iOS ecosystem here.
Windows Phone 8 is a great product, there is no doubt; unfortunately, there are several issues that might drive people like me to try other mobile environments. The following list is a compilation of personal opinions about what things I’d change from the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem.
Some of my beloved friends at Microsoft mentioned that the comparison of the Nokia Lumia 920 and the iPhone 5s wasn’t fair because I compared a 2012 device with a 2013 device.
Well, I disagree. The 920 happens to win and loose in exactly the same categories that the Lumia 1020, which is a 2013 device: it’s still bulkier and heavier than the 5s and it still has a much better camera than the 5s.
However, I’ll go a step further and expand the comparison with a list of things I’d change from the iPhone 5s and the iOS ecosystem.
Three years ago, I switched from an iPhone 3Gs with iOS 4.2 to a Samsung Focus with Windows Phone 7 and I wrote a series of posts about the changes (here’s the translation, powered by Bing: part I, II and III).
Things have changed a lot since 2010: Android has surpassed iOS and is now the market-share king, Google bought Motorola, Blackberry has “disappeared”, Windows Phone has evolved quite a bit and Microsoft is in the middle of the process of buying Nokia’s devices & services business.
Two months ago, iOS 7 was introduced, Apple’s new mobile operating system. If you watched the official keynote, all attendees welcomed the news by cheering, but not everyone ended up convinced.