Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

My first days with a Windows 8 phone

  1. #61

    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7

    Steve, no need to be emberrassed. This is my first smartphone too and I did not even set up a T-Mobile service. Their minimum service for calls only (no data) is $30 and that is not worth it. Their mother company in Germany (Telecom) offers a minimum for E9.95. That is stiill a lot but more reasonable.

    The VoIP works well, but I have only set it up for outgoing calls because chances are that incoming calls will not reach me anyhow because either the phone is switched off or I am no near a WiFi. The caller can leave a message at my Gmail account which I then can read and call back. That way I can work it at my pace.

    This phone may be the cheapest, but it does everything I need. I use it more like a little tablet. Playing music an videos is great and I can get to any website. All the usual information sources like Weather Cannel, etc. are there and I made myself a .docx document with the URLs of my favorite Radio and TV stations in Europe and start this right from the .docx. That is the advantage of having Office included.

    But you will see - this thing is a lot of fun.

    PS: This is the first program you need, else it is hard to get to your files. I have tried a few of the free file managers. They are all no good. With this one you get a real file manager for $1.99. That should not break the bank. But buy it from accessing it via the phone at the MS store using the store app.

    Pocket File Manager | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States)

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  2. #62

    NW FLA.-Redneck Country
    Posts : 154
    Windows 7 Enterprise X64/ Windows 10 Pro X64

    Thanks. I think it will be fun too. I'm looking forward to it. Now, to convince my Wife may be harder than working the phone.
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  3. #63

    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
    I am hereby subscribing to this thread. There is a lot of good information here, at least the little I understand is good. I am waiting on MS to deliver my W8 Lumia 521. As much as I am embarrassed to admit it, this will be my first smart phone and I am not sure what to expect. And yes, I am aware this is kind of the bottom of the barrel when it comes to smart Phones, but it will be great for me. I have no intention of connecting it with T Mobile. The service where I live and need it is almost non existent. So, I'm sure I will have a lot of fun trying to 'fix' that issue. Hope I can learn much here, and already have.
    If a Windows Phone will be your first smartphone, it'll be a good first step in that direction for sure. It's a pretty easy OS to learn and not overwhelming like android usually is.
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  4. #64

    NW FLA.-Redneck Country
    Posts : 154
    Windows 7 Enterprise X64/ Windows 10 Pro X64

    Thanks Coke Robot, I sure hope you are right. Just the idea of a smart phone is a little overwhelming to me. LOL. I'm kind of old as well as old fashioned, but I'm not afraid to give it a good try. Thanks again and keep any tips coming.
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  5. #65

    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Very good to hear you're finally trying out a Windows Phone!

    The 521 is a pretty solid device, it's a perfect low end handset that does the job and does it well. If you haven't gotten the Nokia Black firmware update, you should but in all honesty, the 521 doesn't get a whole lot in terms of features like the 1020 or 920 would but that's mostly because it's a lower end handset.

    Apps have been the major pain the crotch since 7. Luckily though, some third party developers have been delivering certain apps of interest and typically don't have the actual name of the official version due to obvious copyrights. Instagram for example, there's an app on Windows Phone called Instance. Another called Latte Locator uses the official Starbucks API to locate the nearest Starbucks nearest you, although they've said they have a Windows Phone app in the works. There's this one developer in the community that's been hammering out top notch quality apps of official ones like no other. He has a list of several in the works he's going to be doing from a OneDrive app to the ACTUAL official Tinder app. It's basically just a work in progress, albeit slow. It's something of such I'M actually going to be taking up soon and get a couple of apps developed for Windows Phone because I ain't got no time for slow progress!

    The HERE+ app is fairly decent, although it annoys me how it doesn't show interstate exit numbers versus how it shows highway routes instead. I've had it be weird and have gaps in the route even though it was connected to data... I disabled the voice since I don't like to be patronized when I drive.

    On the 521, it should have a neat feature called Data Sense that actually will show you a map of wifi hotspots. It's freaking cool! I know the Lumia 925 has this, but I don't know about the 521, but it has wifi calling so you don't even need a SIM card to call someone.

    System imaging of Windows Phone is a non-needed thing. When you have your Microsoft account set up on it, it saves a list of your downloaded apps. So if you needed to do a reset, the easiest way to go on the Windows Phone site and just hit reinstall on that app list and your phone will reinstall what you want back onto it. It uses OneDrive, like Windows 8.1, for image, settings, and text back ups. The nice thing about WinRT is that it doesn't dive deep into the system, so there won't ever be system slowdowns like "WinRot" as on Windows PCs. The ONLY thing will obviously be many background running tasks that will ever slow you down. I've seen an issue on a Lumia 928 where doing a mass deletion of music causes a screw up with Xbox Music where it doesn't play new music you added back onto it. That required just deleting the artist list cache, but no need to reset or reimage it. Windows Phone is like ios in the way that it's VERY secure, much more than android. You can side load apps if you have an SD card hooked up and with a company profile, but it's pretty rare if you need to sideload apps if you're not in an enterprise environment.

    google is being a little turd in regards with Windows Phone. They'll gladly develop for Windows, but Windows Phone they'll throw a hissy fit if Microsoft makes a better YouTube app ON THEIR OWN. They'll gladly try to cut off gmail account access on the Windows Phone Mail app. They'll gladly prevent google calendar users from syncing calendar items to Windows Phone. They'll gladly claim it's sad that Microsoft is trying to add google chat support to while at the same time claiming they're "not" being evil. Basically, google and Windows Phone are much like Microsoft of the mid to late '90s. Arrogant and pissy. Almost everyone in the Windows Phone community shuns away from google ever since all of this drama. Even Microsoft lets you use google search over Bing on the platform, but google won't even let them make their own YouTube app... Wow.

    The OneDrive app has been claimed by Microsoft as being the File Explorer app for Windows Phone. It's really not much at all, but that's because the platform doesn't allow deep access into the system like Windows 8 does in the WinRT side of things. The Xbox Music app is like opening File Explorer on the Desktop and going to the Music library. So on and so forth. But again, not terribly necessary as again, there isn't a need to dive into the depths of the system. After all, it's just a simple smartphone!

    The PowerPoint issue you had might be due to the fact you're at the limit of what it can handle. PowerPoint on Windows Phone is a very simple version of it. You can do some light editing, but that's mostly it. Viewing things like advanced animations and advanced things won't display right. It bugs me too as I have an Excel spreadsheet of finance tracking and I can't really use it on mine since I have formula links spanning different sheets on it and I can't edit it at all. This I'd like to see them fix in 8.1, make Office more powerful.

    Speaking of such, if you're liking Windows Phone 8 so far, 8.1 is going to make your pants blow off! Wow! From Cortana to better syncing between it and Windows to hopefully MUCH more Start Screen customizations and colors, it will quite literally be a baby PC! The Xbox Music+Video app will be split into two and be constantly updated as on Windows. Interwebs Explorer will get a nice update and InPrivate mode as well.

    My app suggestions are these...

    MetroTube (best Youtube app there is along with MyTube)
    Amazing Weather HD (for the lockscreen support)
    Bing News and Weather
    HERE Drive and Maps
    MPATool (for artist and album cover picture editing/adding for Xbox Music)
    Nokia Camera (set as default camera)
    Nokia MixRadio
    PDF Reader
    Shortcuts4All (adds Bluetooth and Battery settings tiles to Start among other things)

    OH! Before I forget, Windows Phone's metro style differs a tad than Windows meaning it's VERY uber metro style based. It's incredibly detailed oriented (example, when it's like 4:10 or 6:10 or usually when it's 10 after, go to Start and scroll the tiles up and down, notice how the 1 is aligned right next to the tiles) and very text based. When you're playing music, you can turn on the screen, tap the song name and it goes to the Now Playing view of Xbox Music. Tap that artist name, it goes to that artist and the albums you have of it. If you're texting someone but decide to just call them, tap their contact name in that view, and it goes to the contact card of the People hub and from there you can call, text, email, facebook chat, or whatever them. apple stole this in ios 7 by the way...

    And also, use your freaking live tiles please! The reason why Windows Phone doesn't have a notification center up until soon is BECAUSE your Start Screen should be used as your notification center!
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  6. #66

    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7

    Thanks Coke for the very informative input. Here are my observations.

    The 521 may be low end but it's a perfect little tablet.

    Nokia black is already in.

    Android is not complex. Even I could learn it. W8P is a bit like a reduced Android.

    Who needs more features and what other features could old folks like us want.

    Yukk, who wants to drink the Starbucks brew. That is awful stuff.

    Here+ is great. Don't knock it and you don't have to be on data. The GPS does it all. And it does not show exit numbers because in Europe we don't go by those numbers - and it is a European product after all.

    The only file manager that's worth having is the Pocket File Manager for $1.99. All the freebies I tried are useless.

    I am looking forward to 8.1. I need no sync functions and the startscreen colors are fine. I hope they'll come up with something useful.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #67

    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7

    I had an off-line conversation with Steve where we touched on a few points. As they may be interesting for other Lumia 521 beginners, I post them here.

    1. Here is a useful introduction series to the Lumia 521 which you may want to study.

    Nokia Lumia 521 - Support, Updates, Downloads and User Guides, Troubleshooting - Nokia - USA

    2. I find that the small screen is easier to operate with a stylus. If you have small fingers, the finger touch is OK - it works well. But sometimes the links are really tiny and a stylus is handy. You should be able to get one from your nearest brick and mortar store. I paid $7 and change for mine.

    3. I don't know whether you saw my suggestion regarding the MicroSD card. I have a 32GB model (class 10) but if you have less music, videos, etc., a smaller one may also do. The phone does not have a lot of storage that's why the SD card is handy. Once you are halfway setup, you are left with appr. 3.5GBs of phone storage and that I want to keep for future apps. With the SD card you can direct e.g. photos or videos that you take with the camera to the SD card - so that is saving me internal storage space. Plus I have a ton of stuff I copied from my desktop. There are a few caveats regarding filetypes that we have to discuss later.

    4. Preferred music filetype is MP3 but WMA works too but with a different player.

    5. For videos WMV but if you convert beforehand, use the Freemake converter. The Format Factory played quite an act on me and the bitrate was all wrong and did not play on the phone - although it played on the desktop.

    6. If you have PowerPoint shows (I have a lot), make sure the embedded sound is in WAV. If you outsmart yourself like me and use MP3s with WAV headers, PP 365 refuses to play the sound.
    If you have radio and TV stations you like to watch, make a docx file with the URLs and put it into a folder on the SD card. That works well for me.

    7. Make sure your SD card folders are not called Music, Videos, etc. because the phone will create it's own set with those names. I called them sdMusic, sdVideos, etc.
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  8. #68

    Android is a thousand times better than WP8.
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  9. #69

    Quote Originally Posted by jupit3r View Post
    Android is a thousand times better than WP8.
    What makes you state that?
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  10. #70

    Had a major update on my Lumia 1520 this morning. Could someone shoot me the numbers on their phone with the model number. Just curious as to what the Black update version is.

    OS: 8.0.10521.155
    Firmware revision number: 1028.3562.1407.1001
    Hardware revision number:
    Radio software version: 1.0.26055.0001
    Chip SOC version: 8974
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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My first days with a Windows 8 phone
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