1. Parallax Abstraction's Avatar
    Hey everyone! So a little bit of background here. I work in IT for a small, local environmental services company. Our company has been on the BlackBerry platform for several years now and I myself have been a user of the platform exclusively since 2005. It came time for us to consider new phones last year and after a ridiculously long time of going back and forth and testing every platform, we decided to go with Windows Phone 8. iPhone was too expensive and fragile (I also can't stand Apple), I liked some Android models we tested but our executives had heard stability horror stories that aren't really current any more and well, BlackBerry is sadly doomed and we didn't want to hitch to that. I quite liked my demo experience with Windows Phone 8 so that's what we're going with. Our carrier (Bell Canada, blech, not my choice) only carries the Samsung ATIV S so that's the model we got. My girlfriend has a Lumia 920 she loves so I've also had some experience with her phone too

    So far, my experience with the platform has been pretty good but I am furious with Google Apps because I can't push sync my two personal e-mail accounts due to their stupid feud with Microsoft and I'm pretty annoyed at Samsung for disabling things like Google search and FM Radio for seemingly no good reason. Samsung is clearly an Android house first but yeah, Nokia is not an option right now. I also didn't like how hard it was to close apps but an install of the GDR3 preview fixed that right up. :)

    After using the platform for a while, I've come up with a bunch of questions I hope you find enthusiasts can answer for me. Not all of these are a big deal but some of them would be great for me, especially since they involve replacing things my BlackBerry 7 device did that Windows Phone 8 doesn't yet. I did some searching and didn't find any clear answers to these but if they have been covered elsewhere, my apologies.

    1. I was shocked to find out you can't set different notification types for different e-mail accounts. On my BlackBerry, I had it do nothing for my work account, make a tone for my personal and make a tone and vibrate for my side business address. On this phone, it's the same notification for all accounts. Originally, I used a third-party BlackBerry app called BeBuzz to handle this but in BB7, BlackBerry added it at the OS level. Does anyone know if there's a third-party app for WP8 that allows something like this?
    2. Is there a way to easily make the phone go completely silent, either in the OS or with a third-party app? BlackBerry had Bedside Mode which just silenced all notifications on demand. I only seem to be able to make it go to vibration, not silent.
    3. Does anyone know if there's a solid Gmail app for WP8 that still works with push syncing? I tried MetroMail but I don't care for the UI. For that matter, is there any way to restore real-time sync with Google Apps without paying $50/year/address? I'm annoyed enough about this that I'm considering moving both my domains and all the e-mail over to Outlook.com.
    4. Even with 15 minute delayed syncing, I have a problem with my Google Apps account where if I send a message, the sent item gets tagged to appear both in Sent Items and in my main inbox instead of just Sent Items as it did with my BlackBerry. Is there any way around this?
    5. Do third party music players exist for WP8? I haven't found any but maybe I'm not looking for the right things. The internal player's OK, just curious if anyone has something they like more. I'd especially like something that just allows me to browse folders and play that stuff because I have several soundtracks with multiple artists that don't display right in the built-in player.
    6. On my girlfriend's Lumia 920, she has the ability to have it show a very dimly lit clock at all times, even when her phone is locked. This isn't on the lock screen, it's separate from that. It has minimal impact on battery life and it really handy. She thinks this is a Nokia specific value added feature but isn't sure. Does anyone know if this is the case and if so, if there's a third-party app to add such a feature to the ATIV S?
    7. Is there any way to change to Google as the default search for Internet Explorer and restore FM Radio capability on the ATIV S? From what I've read, Samsung disabled this which is infuriating. I've read some information on this site about editing the registry and sideloading stuff to get around this but as I understand it, getting a device interop-unlocked requires an unlocked phone (this was just purchased from Bell on a contract) and a lot of stuff that is currently not recommended for those who don't want a decent chance of the phone getting bricked. I am in IT and am prepared to try it if it's possible on this phone and doesn't have a strong chance of killing it but I thought I'd ask anyway. FM Radio I can live without (though I'd really love it to listen to CBC One when walking my dog) but the lack of Google search is driving me crazy.

    That's all I can think of right now, though more stuff may come up. Honestly, I quite like Windows Phone 8 so far overall and I think this is going to be a good fit for most of my users at my employer. Pretty much all these questions are for my own use because well, I'm an enthusiast and thus super picky. :) Even if some of these features are expected in Windows Phone 8.1, I can live with that as at least that's coming this year.

    Anyone able to offer some advice on these? Thank you all for your help! I hope to be around here quite a bit more in the future.
    Last edited by Parallax Abstraction; 01-25-2014 at 03:38 PM.
    01-25-2014 03:24 PM
  2. xandros9's Avatar
    So far, my experience with the platform has been pretty good but I am furious with Google Apps because I can't push sync my two personal e-mail accounts due to their stupid feud with Microsoft and I'm pretty annoyed at Samsung for disabling things like Google search and FM Radio for seemingly no good reason. Samsung is clearly an Android house first but yeah, Nokia is not an option right now. I also didn't like how hard it was to close apps but an install of the GDR3 preview fixed that right up. :)
    Yea, I used to miss Gmail push as well.
    1. I was shocked to find out you can't set different notification types for different e-mail accounts. On my BlackBerry, I had it do nothing for my work account, make a tone for my personal and make a tone and vibrate for my side business address. On this phone, it's the same notification for all accounts. Originally, I used a third-party BlackBerry app called BeBuzz to handle this but in BB7, BlackBerry added it at the OS level. Does anyone know if there's a third-party app for WP8 that allows something like this?

    I can't say because I never had a need for different alerts per account, but I'm thinking the best possible option is using different apps for different accounts. Not very pretty, but I think it'll work. I heard of a good email app, but I forgot the name. (oh you mentioned MetroMail, does that have different tones?)

    2. Is there a way to easily make the phone go completely silent, either in the OS or with a third-party app? BlackBerry had Bedside Mode which just silenced all notifications on demand. I only seem to be able to make it go to vibration, not silent.

    If you go into settings, then ringtones+sounds (first item), you can turn off the vibrate. (also currently, using the volume button ringer controls, it either toggles between ring and silent, or ring+vibrate and vibrate.)

    3. Does anyone know if there's a solid Gmail app for WP8 that still works with push syncing? I tried MetroMail but I don't care for the UI. For that matter, is there any way to restore real-time sync with Google Apps without paying $50/year/address? I'm annoyed enough about this that I'm considering moving both my domains and all the e-mail over to Outlook.com.

    I'm pretty sure Google has finished stomping its EAS support into the ground by now, so I think we're out of luck.
    If you can do that, I'd spring for it because at least MS has to play nice with other OSes. (Even got Outlook.com and Onenote apps on Android that aren't too shabby.)

    4. Even with 15 minute delayed syncing, I have a problem with my Google Apps account where if I send a message, the sent item gets tagged to appear both in Sent Items and in my main inbox instead of just Sent Items as it did with my BlackBerry. Is there any way around this?
    That sounds weird, but I don't know what could cause that, in any device. (Maybe you're CC'ed?)

    5. Do third party music players exist for WP8? I haven't found any but maybe I'm not looking for the right things. The internal player's OK, just curious if anyone has something they like more. I'd especially like something that just allows me to browse folders and play that stuff because I have several soundtracks with multiple artists that don't display right in the built-in player.
    Yes they do, Nokia phones have Nokia's MixRadio, and everyone has a so-so Spotify app, Pandora and a couple others i believe.
    As for locally stored music, most apps I think, aren't allowed access. MixRadio can, but it doesn't let me skip songs by swiping.

    But ultimately, I end up going back to the stock player on my 920.


    6. On my girlfriend's Lumia 920, she has the ability to have it show a very dimly lit clock at all times, even when her phone is locked. This isn't on the lock screen, it's separate from that. It has minimal impact on battery life and it really handy. She thinks this is a Nokia specific value added feature but isn't sure. Does anyone know if this is the case and if so, if there's a third-party app to add such a feature to the ATIV S?
    That is the Glance screen (I'm in love with that feature), it is something Nokia-specific and isn't on other Windows Phones. (its actually not on a couple low end Lumia's)
    I'm pretty sure there's a 3rd-party option, but its not practical as I would hope.

    7. Is there any way to change to Google as the default search for Internet Explorer and restore FM Radio capability on the ATIV S? From what I've read, Samsung disabled this which is infuriating. I've read some information on this site about editing the registry and sideloading stuff to get around this but as I understand it, getting a device interop-unlocked requires an unlocked phone (this was just purchased from Bell on a contract) and a lot of stuff that is currently not recommended for those who don't want a decent chance of the phone getting bricked. I am in IT and am prepared to try it if it's possible on this phone and doesn't have a strong chance of killing it but I thought I'd ask anyway. FM Radio I can live without (though I'd really love it to listen to CBC One when walking my dog) but the lack of Google search is driving me crazy.
    I don't understand this. My sister changed her Lumia 521's search to Google and my 920 has the option. I don't understand why it would be disabled on Samsung's.

    Sounds like an interop-unlock is the way to go, but I can't advise on that because I'm not as knowledgeable as I'd like to be on that.


    That's all I can think of right now, though more stuff may come up. Honestly, I quite like Windows Phone 8 so far overall and I think this is going to be a good fit for most of my users at my employer. Pretty much all these questions are for my own use because well, I'm an enthusiast and thus super picky. :) Even if some of these features are expected in Windows Phone 8.1, I can live with that as at least that's coming this year.
    Welcome aboard!

    Anyone able to offer some advice on these? Thank you all for your help! I hope to be around here quite a bit more in the future.
    My two cents is in bold above.
    01-25-2014 04:36 PM
  3. Gawain's Avatar
    Hey everyone! So a little bit of background here. I work in IT for a small, local environmental services company. Our company has been on the BlackBerry platform for several years now and I myself have been a user of the platform exclusively since 2005. It came time for us to consider new phones last year and after a ridiculously long time of going back and forth and testing every platform, we decided to go with Windows Phone 8. iPhone was too expensive and fragile (I also can't stand Apple), I liked some Android models we tested but our executives had heard stability horror stories that aren't really current any more and well, BlackBerry is sadly doomed and we didn't want to hitch to that. I quite liked my demo experience with Windows Phone 8 so that's what we're going with. Our carrier (Bell Canada, blech, not my choice) only carries the Samsung ATIV S so that's the model we got. My girlfriend has a Lumia 920 she loves so I've also had some experience with her phone too

    So far, my experience with the platform has been pretty good but I am furious with Google Apps because I can't push sync my two personal e-mail accounts due to their stupid feud with Microsoft and I'm pretty annoyed at Samsung for disabling things like Google search and FM Radio for seemingly no good reason. Samsung is clearly an Android house first but yeah, Nokia is not an option right now. I also didn't like how hard it was to close apps but an install of the GDR3 preview fixed that right up. :)

    After using the platform for a while, I've come up with a bunch of questions I hope you find enthusiasts can answer for me. Not all of these are a big deal but some of them would be great for me, especially since they involve replacing things my BlackBerry 7 device did that Windows Phone 8 doesn't yet. I did some searching and didn't find any clear answers to these but if they have been covered elsewhere, my apologies.

    1. I was shocked to find out you can't set different notification types for different e-mail accounts. On my BlackBerry, I had it do nothing for my work account, make a tone for my personal and make a tone and vibrate for my side business address. On this phone, it's the same notification for all accounts. Originally, I used a third-party BlackBerry app called BeBuzz to handle this but in BB7, BlackBerry added it at the OS level. Does anyone know if there's a third-party app for WP8 that allows something like this?
    2. Is there a way to easily make the phone go completely silent, either in the OS or with a third-party app? BlackBerry had Bedside Mode which just silenced all notifications on demand. I only seem to be able to make it go to vibration, not silent.
    3. Does anyone know if there's a solid Gmail app for WP8 that still works with push syncing? I tried MetroMail but I don't care for the UI. For that matter, is there any way to restore real-time sync with Google Apps without paying $50/year/address? I'm annoyed enough about this that I'm considering moving both my domains and all the e-mail over to Outlook.com.
    4. Even with 15 minute delayed syncing, I have a problem with my Google Apps account where if I send a message, the sent item gets tagged to appear both in Sent Items and in my main inbox instead of just Sent Items as it did with my BlackBerry. Is there any way around this?
    5. Do third party music players exist for WP8? I haven't found any but maybe I'm not looking for the right things. The internal player's OK, just curious if anyone has something they like more. I'd especially like something that just allows me to browse folders and play that stuff because I have several soundtracks with multiple artists that don't display right in the built-in player.
    6. On my girlfriend's Lumia 920, she has the ability to have it show a very dimly lit clock at all times, even when her phone is locked. This isn't on the lock screen, it's separate from that. It has minimal impact on battery life and it really handy. She thinks this is a Nokia specific value added feature but isn't sure. Does anyone know if this is the case and if so, if there's a third-party app to add such a feature to the ATIV S?
    7. Is there any way to change to Google as the default search for Internet Explorer and restore FM Radio capability on the ATIV S? From what I've read, Samsung disabled this which is infuriating. I've read some information on this site about editing the registry and sideloading stuff to get around this but as I understand it, getting a device interop-unlocked requires an unlocked phone (this was just purchased from Bell on a contract) and a lot of stuff that is currently not recommended for those who don't want a decent chance of the phone getting bricked. I am in IT and am prepared to try it if it's possible on this phone and doesn't have a strong chance of killing it but I thought I'd ask anyway. FM Radio I can live without (though I'd really love it to listen to CBC One when walking my dog) but the lack of Google search is driving me crazy.

    That's all I can think of right now, though more stuff may come up. Honestly, I quite like Windows Phone 8 so far overall and I think this is going to be a good fit for most of my users at my employer. Pretty much all these questions are for my own use because well, I'm an enthusiast and thus super picky. :) Even if some of these features are expected in Windows Phone 8.1, I can live with that as at least that's coming this year.

    Anyone able to offer some advice on these? Thank you all for your help! I hope to be around here quite a bit more in the future.
    I can't answer all your questions, but I can address some of them, and I'm sure the peanut gallery will correct me where I may be wrong:

    1. This is something that has been a sore point for many users. Some are expecting that it will be addressed with the Windows Phone 8.1 upgrade, but nothing has been confirmed as far as I know. Frankly, since giving up my BlackBerry devices a few years ago, I have not missed the differing notifications (even on my non-Windows Phone equipment).
    2. Go to settings >> Ringtones + Sounds >> turn vibrate off. Then when on the home screen, when adjusting volume, touching the "bell" icon will create a full silent. Keeping vibrate on means the phone will always vibrate.
    3. If your Gmail accounts date back to pre-2013, Gmail said it would grandfather EAS support for those accounts. Set up the account as an "outlook" account, use "m.google.com" as the server address, use "google" as the domain and use full email address as the user name. edit to add: That should allow you to set email to push, sync activities, etc.
    4. I need a better description of what you mean here because I cannot recreate what you describe.
    5. Don't know.
    6. That is a Nokia specific feature. Not sure if Samsung or third party variant exists.
    7. Don't know, but to address your addiction to Google, give Bing a chance. On Windows Phone, the updates have really shined through some neat features. For the browser, go to settings, then advanced, it should show an option for default search engine. For CBC, are there no apps like TuneIn radio available in Canada?

    Of course, I'm in the US, so I don't know what whacky rules may exist in your neck of the woods. For the radio part, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that internet radio apps like TuneIn or IHeartRadio are not available up there, but that's what I would look for.

    Hope some of that helps. I always liked the ATIV S, it wasn't available down here (not widely anyway) and I prefer the Nokia devices though.
    xandros9 likes this.
    01-25-2014 04:44 PM
  4. Parallax Abstraction's Avatar
    Thank you both for your responses!

    1. This is something that has been a sore point for many users. Some are expecting that it will be addressed with the Windows Phone 8.1 upgrade, but nothing has been confirmed as far as I know. Frankly, since giving up my BlackBerry devices a few years ago, I have not missed the differing notifications (even on my non-Windows Phone equipment).
    This is something that will continue to annoy me. I get tons of personal e-mail and work e-mail during the day I don't need to see urgently, but e-mail to my side business I often need to address as soon as it comes in. Having the same notification for all 3 accounts is really aggravating and it amazes me that this is an issue as every other platform solved it years ago. But such is how it goes. Hopefully 8.1 will resolve it. I have a feeling that third-party apps just don't get access to that part of the OS or surely someone would have written one by now. :)

    2. Go to settings >> Ringtones + Sounds >> turn vibrate off. Then when on the home screen, when adjusting volume, touching the "bell" icon will create a full silent. Keeping vibrate on means the phone will always vibrate.
    Well, that's what I'll do I guess. Too bad there's no quick way to just silent the whole thing.

    3. If your Gmail accounts date back to pre-2013, Gmail said it would grandfather EAS support for those accounts. Set up the account as an "outlook" account, use "m.google.com" as the server address, use "google" as the domain and use full email address as the user name. edit to add: That should allow you to set email to push, sync activities, etc.
    Both of my Google Apps accounts were created in 2010. So I've done some reading on this. As best as I can tell, EAS was originally grandfathered on a temporary basis for old accounts but was shut off for everyone on December 31, 2013. Maybe someone else can confirm this. When I was demoing this phone a few months ago, EAS was working for one of my accounts and not the other but now it works with neither. I tried a workaround to manually configure the accounts for that and it throws an error when it tries to sync. I think I might be out of luck.

    4. I need a better description of what you mean here because I cannot recreate what you describe.
    OK so, let's say an e-mail comes in from someone and I reply to it from my phone. This screenshot shows what happens: http://i.imgur.com/WLGiRu9.png
    As you can see, it tags the entire conversation thread to be in both the inbox and sent items folder. Normally in Gmail, this doesn't happen so a thread will look more like the second entry. It shows the starting e-mail of that thread and if I click on it, I see the conversation. The way stuff from my phone is working is it shows my latest reply as the thread title and also makes the entire thread appear in sent items, instead of just the elements of it I've replied to. Back when I first demoed this phone, only my personal account did this, not my side business account (which was using EAS, this account refused to be setup that way at the time.) I can't figure out how to change this.

    6. That is a Nokia specific feature. Not sure if Samsung or third party variant exists.
    That's too bad but what I expected. Nokia just seems to offer much better value added features than Samsung but yeah, our carrier has no Nokia models available.

    7. Don't know, but to address your addiction to Google, give Bing a chance. On Windows Phone, the updates have really shined through some neat features. For the browser, go to settings, then advanced, it should show an option for default search engine. For CBC, are there no apps like TuneIn radio available in Canada?
    I've tried Bing and there's no other way to put it but its results are awful, at least for the way I use a search engine. I seriously gave it a chance for several days but it's just bad for me. The option to change the search engine doesn't exist on my phone. Apparently that's Samsung's doing and requires interop-unlock to do which is supposedly quite risky and also can't be done on locked phones? On my BlackBerry, TuneIn worked great for CBC One but it also murdered the battery and the data plan. Our corporate plan is only 1GB pooled through the company so while I can likely go over 1GB a month, I probably can't go that far over. I doubt using TuneIn for 45+ minutes every night work keep me within that limit. :).

    I like the ATIV S a lot from a hardware standpoint, I just find it's restrictions infuriating.
    01-25-2014 05:10 PM

Similar Threads

  1. Nokia Lumia 1020 holds its own with DXO Mark Testing
    By WindowsCentral.com in forum Windows Central News Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-09-2014, 04:55 PM
  2. Molome, JAZZRADIO, Cinemagraph and more are your app highlights of the week
    By WindowsCentral.com in forum Windows Central News Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-09-2014, 04:54 PM
  3. Manage your 'home cloud' with the official QNAP remote storage app for Windows Phone
    By WindowsCentral.com in forum Windows Central News Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-09-2014, 04:53 PM
  4. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-28-2014, 10:27 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD