04-23-2012 09:14 AM
41 12
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  1. Joelist's Avatar
    I am just starting out on WP7 (using a Trophy because paying VZW a $350 ETF is not something I want to do). What I propose to do is list observations as I go here - sort of a user diary. Hopefully it will be of use to other newcomers and also experienced users - they may know answers to things that may flummox me...

    So far, I like the overall experience. The email experience is superior and the whole hub concept is extremely user friendly. The Live Tiles give me lots of information without needing to click anything and the lock screen even contains good information.

    As to apps, I came in thinking I needed a bunch. Well, it turns out not to be so. Unlike iOS and Android this OS really does not need apps for everything. I have discovered that the only apps I actually wound up using were Adobe Reader and Weather Channel - everything else is right there already. So whenever you hear the whole "not enough apps" argument get the person to actually use the phone.

    On to issues so far. Mainly I am having two interrelated issues:

    1) There appears to be no way to control the size of fonts on the phone. And on the smallish Trophy screen this is making it hard to read stuff. But this is minor compared to #2:

    2) No Text Reflow in IE. This is MAJOR. I was expecting a MS mobile browser to support text reflow as they did before in Win Mobile. Am i missing a trick here? Because right now all I can find is pinch and zoom - double tap just zooms out until the text fits in the page. Without reflow web pages are hideous to read because you have to scroll in both the X and Y axes.

    And is there a third party PDF reader besides Adobe? Adobe for mysterious reasons has no reflow support here. Thankfully Word has reflow, but this means I have to convert PDFs into Word before reading them - not good.


    So that's where it is so far. More to come but on balance things are good; however the reflow thing is close to a show stopper with my use cases.
    04-16-2012 04:18 PM
  2. eric12341's Avatar
    2) the fit the screen works alot better than reflow to me. I don't really miss it since leaving WM last march, and btw IE in WM didn't support it either. I haven't had to horizontally scroll on any sites I visit to read.
    04-16-2012 07:36 PM
  3. Joelist's Avatar
    I verified that IE in Win Mobile did support reflow by doing it on my old XV6900. So it was there. And really fit in screen is nowhere near the equal - on text heavy sites or forums it shrinks stuff so small it is unreadable.

    I am liking a lot of WP7, but they really need to fix the text reading features. Ideally Office should add native PDF support too so we can dispense with Adobe's cruddy app.
    04-16-2012 08:56 PM
  4. oldpueblo's Avatar
    I generally find double-tap to zoom in and auto-fit a paragraph to work well, I can't think of when I've wanted to zoom in further and re-flow. I can see why that might be a problem though if your eyesight is bad. Do you turn the phone sideways at least to get more width?
    04-16-2012 11:39 PM
  5. Joelist's Avatar
    It's not working like that for me strangely - maybe I have a bad OS install on this phone?

    I am having to turn it sideways to get better readability, but that then spoils the ability to work it easily in one hand - a key advantage text reflow gives. And all Androids have reflow which is all the more aggravating - a lot of stuff WP7 does much better but in this area Android smokes it at present.
    04-17-2012 12:30 AM
  6. oldpueblo's Avatar
    It's not working like that for me strangely - maybe I have a bad OS install on this phone?

    I am having to turn it sideways to get better readability, but that then spoils the ability to work it easily in one hand - a key advantage text reflow gives. And all Androids have reflow which is all the more aggravating - a lot of stuff WP7 does much better but in this area Android smokes it at present.
    Do you always pinch to zoom in or have you tried double-tapping in the middle of a paragraph? The difference between Android and WP7 is they actually use different browser technology. Android uses webkit and WP7 uses something different which is why it's HTML5 speed is so good or something.
    04-17-2012 04:04 AM
  7. ninjaap's Avatar
    They're trying to get mobile IE standards as close as possible to its desktop counterpart to get as much websites as possible to work without problems on both your phone and desktop. Now since the desktop version doesn't reflow, I don't think we can expect the mobile version to. But that's why there is mobile mode in settings, so we can view pages better suited for mobile phones.
    04-17-2012 04:23 AM
  8. gapost's Avatar
    If you are interested in some hacking/custom roms, check out xda-developers. There is a section for the Trophy and you can get things like Opera browser and many other tweaks. I don't see one for changing the font, but there are lots of others, including many variations on colors/themes.
    04-17-2012 05:56 AM
  9. ubizmo's Avatar
    On to issues so far. Mainly I am having two interrelated issues:

    1) There appears to be no way to control the size of fonts on the phone. And on the smallish Trophy screen this is making it hard to read stuff. But this is minor compared to #2:

    2) No Text Reflow in IE. This is MAJOR. I was expecting a MS mobile browser to support text reflow as they did before in Win Mobile. Am i missing a trick here? Because right now all I can find is pinch and zoom - double tap just zooms out until the text fits in the page. Without reflow web pages are hideous to read because you have to scroll in both the X and Y axes.
    Amen. These are my pet peeves as well. As you say, the two are related. On my BB I can set a system font size and a browser default font size. Both are important options. I'm 58; I wear glasses. It's ironic that I have a better web browsing experience most of the time on my BB than on my Radar simply because I can read things more easily.

    I consider this a major shortcoming of the OS, especially if they plan to market it to people over the age of 30 or so! Screen sizes vary, so the user must be given options to compensate for those variations.
    04-17-2012 08:38 AM
  10. eric12341's Avatar
    I verified that IE in Win Mobile did support reflow by doing it on my old XV6900. So it was there. And really fit in screen is nowhere near the equal - on text heavy sites or forums it shrinks stuff so small it is unreadable.

    I am liking a lot of WP7, but they really need to fix the text reading features. Ideally Office should add native PDF support too so we can dispense with Adobe's cruddy app.
    I verified that it didn't on my TP2 with stock sprint rom installed. Point is I can read just fine on WP and because of that I really don't miss reflow.
    04-17-2012 09:02 AM
  11. inteller's Avatar
    Amen. These are my pet peeves as well. As you say, the two are related. On my BB I can set a system font size and a browser default font size. Both are important options. I'm 58; I wear glasses. It's ironic that I have a better web browsing experience most of the time on my BB than on my Radar simply because I can read things more easily.

    I consider this a major shortcoming of the OS, especially if they plan to market it to people over the age of 30 or so! Screen sizes vary, so the user must be given options to compensate for those variations.
    So get a Titan II....and get off T-Slobile
    04-17-2012 10:05 AM
  12. ubizmo's Avatar
    So get a Titan II....and get off T-Slobile
    Is that your idea of a constructive comment?

    Here's the deal: We're talking about a feature that Android devices and BBs have, that WP so far lacks. It's important precisely because phones that have it don't require users to buy different hardware or go to a different carrier to meet their needs. You don't care about it; that's fine. I do, and I'm not the only one. If you go to the Windows Phone Suggestions page or app, you'll see that there are a number of requests for this feature, with a significant number of votes.

    It's interesting that you're also the author of the "Swype is a gimmick" comment.

    We're talking about mobile devices. The human-device interface occurs when we try to do any input and output. For input there's voice and hands. Voice is pretty much the same across platforms, although Apple is trying to extend that with Siri, with mixed results so far. Input by hands comes down to physical keyboard or touch screen, and touch screen comes down to virtual qwerty or something like Swype. There just aren't many other ways to do input. For many people, tapping on a glass qwerty is just fine, but for many it isn't. So it's better not to shut those people out, if you can avoid it.

    The same goes for output. It's visual and auditory. On the auditory side, it's about speaker quality, which comes down to hardware. On the visual side, it's about screen resolution, but not only that. A lot of what we do with the screens is read written text. A system that lets the user configure that interaction to his or her needs is inherently superior to one that doesn't. If the only available solution is "get a different phone", then that's a failure for that OS when there are other OSes that don't require the user to do that.

    Getting basic input and output right is not a frill. It's core functionality in a mobile device. And really getting it right means giving the user some control over how it works.
    04-17-2012 11:41 AM
  13. inteller's Avatar
    Windows Phone puts typography first....moreso than any other platform. IE strives to maintain the original fidelity of a website as much as possible. increasing the font size would destroy that which is why you have zoom. If you change your font size in android or BB it makes the same site layout look like complete rubbish.
    04-17-2012 11:53 AM
  14. eric12341's Avatar
    So get a Titan II....and get off T-Slobile
    T-Sloble as you call it, has been declared the 2nd fastest carrier by PCMag last year and this year they're still considered to be the fastest non-LTE network so far. Also not everyone likes paying the astronomical prices that AT$T charges for less minutes and data so jokes on you.
    04-17-2012 11:59 AM
  15. ubizmo's Avatar
    Windows Phone puts typography first....moreso than any other platform. IE strives to maintain the original fidelity of a website as much as possible. increasing the font size would destroy that which is why you have zoom. If you change your font size in android or BB it makes the same site layout look like complete rubbish.
    In BB (I'm more familiar with it, since I have one), the zoom-reflow only affects text frames. The overall layout of the web page is unaffected. So if, for example, you're reading a site such as Chiff and Fipple, you'll see it on the BB exactly as you see it in WP. The only difference is when you tap in a text frame. In WP it'll zoom to fit the text frame to the edges of the screen, but that's all.

    But why does anyone do this? Why does anyone tap a text frame? To read the text, of course, not to admire the layout of the rest of the page. So for this purpose only, the BB zooms to the font size chosen by the user and then reflows the text so the user doesn't have to scroll horizontally to read it.

    It is completely false to claim that this functionality causes the rest of the web page to look like rubbish. In both WP and BB, when you zoom on a text frame the rest of the page is essentially excluded, which is exactly what you want and why you zoom in the first place: to focus on the text. The difference is that BB does it better by letting the user control the size of the zoomed text. In WP, the best you can do is turn the phone to lanscape. If that's not good enough, you must zoom and scroll horizontally.
    04-17-2012 12:06 PM
  16. Joelist's Avatar
    Do you always pinch to zoom in or have you tried double-tapping in the middle of a paragraph? The difference between Android and WP7 is they actually use different browser technology. Android uses webkit and WP7 uses something different which is why it's HTML5 speed is so good or something.
    Tried double tap also - all it does is position the text in the screen, and then the text size is microscopic. I also checked and I am in Mobile View mode.

    I am not suggesting that Microsoft radically change things - just add in the Settings a "reflow" selector for those of us who need it.
    04-17-2012 02:12 PM
  17. Joelist's Avatar
    In other observations...

    The "People" hub is great. I am really enjoying just going to one place and doing any number of different things relating to a particular contact. Android does this a little if your Android is an HTC and uses Sense but Windows Phone takes it to a whole different level. It basically allows you to think and act differently on your phone.

    In iOS/BB/Android you think "what" and then "who". If I want to call, email, update Facebook or go to someone's web page first I open the appropriate app and then within that app go to the person(s).

    In WP7 you think "who" and then "what". For the operations listed above (and others no doubt), you just go to People (single click) and go to the person either by scrolling or searching. Once there I can choose to call, email, Facebook, go to their web page and so forth. This is simple, intuitive and takes the focus off of apps.
    04-17-2012 02:22 PM
  18. oldpueblo's Avatar
    Yeah I loved that about HTC Sense and it's why most of my Android devices were HTC by choice. It's also what made it even easier for me to move over to WP7.
    04-17-2012 02:25 PM
  19. Joelist's Avatar
    New observations - text messaging.

    I am liking the texting interface on WP7. The colors make stuff easy to see and typing is pretty fast on it. The one thing I am having to get used to is hitting the "enter" key does not send the message - you have to press the little "send" icon instead. It's not an issue just a new thing to learn - and I understand the rationale as it makes composing a multi-line text easier to do.
    04-18-2012 01:20 PM
  20. Joelist's Avatar
    And another New Observation - Toast notifications.

    This is one I had to adapt to as I am used to the Android system with the Notification Center up top that you swipe down to see all the notifications and if you click one it takes you to the app in question.

    WP7 notifications are more like simple alerts to check because something new is afoot. Because they do not link to their source you can't just tap to go to the source. However, I have discovered that it is not a big deal because all I am doing is when I see a toast I just visually scan my start screen (where I have SMS, email and the like pinned) and the tiles themselves tell me if something is there I need to look at.

    That said, I for one would find a Live Tile that collected all the toasts and let me see them in order of receipt if I clicked on it useful. Not essential but useful.
    jbjtkbw007 likes this.
    04-18-2012 01:31 PM
  21. oldpueblo's Avatar
    The toast notifications will take you there if you catch them while already on your phone. If your phone is locked, you have to unlock it then tap it. Yeah they are meant just for a heads up then you're supposed to see a number on the live tile that coincides. Some prefer that to on Android where you'll have a huge list of things waiting to be cleared.
    04-18-2012 04:44 PM
  22. PAC757's Avatar
    I also just switched over to WP7 from using Android phones and before there was Android, BlackBerry. I must admit, even though I like many things about WP7, I do still find it lacking in a few areas. IE is just ok, definitely not as easy to use as the many different web browsers Android offers, app selection is not that great, but I knew that going in, and I really don't know if MS is going to get the big app devs on board or not. All in all, I have only had my Focus S for a little over a week, I am going to hold on to it, and use wp7 for the next 6 months and see what becomes of the growth of WP.
    04-18-2012 09:32 PM
  23. Joelist's Avatar
    Hi Pac!

    I am discovering that the more I use the phone the fewer scenarios there are where I even need apps. The hubs and the deep integration of a lot of services makes a lot of typical apps unneeded (for example I downloaded the FB app but have yet to actually open it because just working in the People Hub is giving me everything I use).

    As stated in an earlier post, in order to really get the benefit of WP7 you need to think "who" then "what" as opposed to the iOS/BB/Android paradigm of "what" then "who".

    As to IE, aside from lacking reflow I am finding it just as easy as the Android browsers.
    jbjtkbw007 and jfa1 like this.
    04-18-2012 10:23 PM
  24. Joelist's Avatar
    Well I have a negative to report, although it is more a negative of the phone than the OS in a way.

    To be honest I am starting to think that WP7 needs at least a 4" screen to be truly easy to work in. The screen on the Trophy is a 3.75 (I think) and the result is not only that text is crazy tiny to read (and with no reflow that is a killer as resizing it opens you up to having to scroll in both the X and Y axes) but even a lot of the bottom screen software buttons are so small they are hard to push properly in a single touch. An example is the "send" button in text messaging.

    MS either needs to make a 4" screen a minimum spec or alternately update the OS to add text reflow and also dynamic resizing of controls to adapt to the screen size. Just my opinion but it is proving to be a usability hinderance.
    04-21-2012 05:33 PM
  25. oldpueblo's Avatar
    Yeah the trophy sadly is considered a budget device, I wish Verizon had more options for you. They seem to be onboard now for a new device later in the year.
    04-21-2012 06:01 PM
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