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My Mind’s Debate: Android Phone v Windows Phone. Windows Phone v Android Phone.

I’ve spent a little over a week researching, talking with Android fanbois, and talking to coworkers and my wife. Why? I’m trying to make the point to myself that a move to the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge from my Nokia Lumia 925 Windows Phone is the right thing to do.

I’m having a hard time with this. Every time I put five checkmarks on the Android side, a feature that I have now with the Windows 8.1 environment pops up as one that I’ll lose. And we can’t have that!

I know that I need to go to the more popular platform. I know. But it really is hurting my soul to move to a tech solution with less features, less security, less environment (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone) integration, and less comfort.

Hey, here’s a bright spot maybe: Windows 10 launches in a few short weeks, and T-Mobile is coming out with the Lumia 940 this Fall. Damn, now I sound like my old Blackberry self–always waiting for the new device that never came, or came out too late to keep up with the competition.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Coca-Cola says, Don’t Leave a Message

Finally, I get backing from a Fortune 100 company. My friends have been joshing me for years for my voice mail message that says, don’t leave a message. The Coca-Cola HQ offices now have the same voice mail message, don’t leave a message. The world of tech has moved on and understands that voice mails are so inefficient. Don’t leave a voice mail–shoot me an email or contact me here on my blog.

coca-cola building

Android is King in Smartphone Global Market Share

Think your iPhone rules the world? Uh, no! I can’t talk too much though because my Windows Phone’s worldwide market share is even worse. Android: ~85%; iOS: ~10%; Windows: ~5%. Blackberry: off the chart, way off the chart.

Here’s a quote from a recent article on Business Insider:

Microsoft’s mobile Windows Phone operating system is over four years old. In that time, it’s only managed to grab between 3% and 5% of the global smartphone market share. And in that time, Android has exploded to grab ~85% of the market. iOS has ~10% of the market. Windows Phone may be more popular than BlackBerry now, but given the state of that company, that’s hardly anything to be proud of.

Google Android

Get Around Town Faster on Public Transportation with Bing Maps

Nicole and I just returned from a week in Chicago where we relied on public transportation exclusively–subway, bus, taxi, boardwalks and street walkways (shared bicycles were also an option). Our experience was glorious for many reasons including efficient, clean & timely transportation options, our Windows Phone apps for scheduling and tracking (GPS) our trips, and the cleanest large city I’ve ever explored.

Since that trip is fresh in my memory, I was excited to stumble across this announcement of a new app from Microsoft, the Bing Maps for Public Transportation. I can’t wait to try it out in Hampton Roads.

Let’s face it. Sometimes using public transportation can be a bit nerve wracking. Am I taking the fastest route? Will I miss my bus? How long will it take me walk to the nearest subway stop? This is especially true if you’re just in town for the weekend and particularly so if you’re not familiar with the local routes.

With our latest release of the Bing Maps Preview app for Windows (8.1) we set out to take some of the hassle out of public transportation. In select cities in the US, Canada and the UK, we are shipping a trial experience to see if you find this useful. Now you can plan your journey via bus, train or subway in a few short clicks. We’ll give you route options, estimated departure and arrival times overlaid on a beautiful maps experience. If the next bus is coming up in a couple of minutes, we’ll let you know that you need to start hustling to the stop.

Let’s take a look at how this works.

Say you are planning for an upcoming visit to New York City soon and want to find the quickest public transportation option from JFK airport to your hotel in Times Square. On your Windows 8 PC, simply pull up the transit experience within the app and enter the airport and destination. We’ll beautifully render a layout showcasing all the different options overlaid on a timeline. Now you can see how many transfers might be involved, how long the walk is to and from each stop and the overall travel time. Armed with this you can pick the best option for you. If you click into one of the listed options, you can learn more about the particular route – walking directions to your stop and estimated walk times.

Search for Directions & Compare Routes

Bing Maps for Public Transportation

To make it easier to plan your trip, we display the directions to the left of the map so you can see every turn, stop and transfer.

Bing Maps for Public Transportation

Later while sightseeing through New York, you may be at a café and planning on what to see next. On your Windows 8 tablet you can explore the city and how to get to your next destination. If you’re looking for stops nearby, simply pull up the “Nearby transit” view, which shows you the closest transit stops by distance, the trains and buses that they serve, and their schedules updated in real time so you know if your ride is late or on time. This is particularly handy if you’re exploring a new city or a part of town you’re not familiar with.

Search for Nearby Transit Routes

Bing Maps for Public Transportation

Search for Nearby Transit Stops

Bing Maps for Public Transportation

A Faster Way to Explore the Streets

Our Streetside imagery lets you explore places in extraordinary detail. We’ve given the experience a turbo-boost allowing you to move around within the experience more quickly. If you hover with your mouse over roads further away, Streetside icon changes to “running” clicking it will quickly take you to that portion of the road. We’ve also done work to ensure that labels now keep you informed at all times about the streets that you are navigating on. You also have greater control over how quickly you navigate the streets.

Bing Maps for Public Transportation

This alternate transit experience is initially available in the US, UK, and Canada. We’re excited to share the updates so head out to the Windows Store and download the bits for the Bing Maps Preview app. And please do provide feedback about this trial experience.

You can let us know what you think on Twitter (@BingMaps.)

Full article with pictures and full descriptions:

Disclosure: Keith Parnell is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hampton Roads Public Transportation Alliance.
Hampton Roads Public Transportation Alliance

T-Mobile Offers Music Streaming Free of Data Charges

I love T-Mobile. I’ll say it again, I continue to love T-Mobile. Free music streaming. That’s right. Pandora for free, no data charges. That’s a company that cares.

T-Mobile Offers Music Streaming Free of Data Charges

Here’s the article from re/code:

T-Mobile has decided to set music streaming services free.

The “Un-carrier” said it will offer subscribers unlimited access to the top six music streaming services including Pandora, Slacker, iHeart Radio and Spotify without incurring data charges on their 4G plans. Samsung’s Milk Music and the forthcoming Beatport music app from SFX – will also be offered to customers free of data charges.

The announcement recognizes the growing popularity of streaming music as well as the fact consumers have a tough time knowing how much data such services will use.

Consumers increasingly are tuning in Spotify and other music services to listen to millions of songs on-demand. Global revenues from music subscription services exceeded $1 billion for the first time last year, according to the IFPI, the music industry’s international trade group.

T-Mobile cited the results of a CivicScience poll in which 37 percent of mobile phone users said they avoid streaming on their phones – the majority out of fear that they’ll use up their data and run into overages.

“We want people to enjoy their music worry-free – the way it’s meant to be,” T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert said in a statement.

Some in the music industry expressed skepticism that data limits are restricting mobile consumption, noting that songs don’t take up as much data as video — and most consumers tend to use Wi-Fi for such services.

Read the full article from re/code here.

Skype adds video messaging to its Windows Phone 8 app

Skype updated its Windows Phone 8 app today, and version 2.10 adds a much-loved Skype feature: video messaging.

Video messaging is another handy way to keep in touch with the people that matter most—and the ideal format for birthday messages, long-distance goodnight kisses, and anything else that demands to be seen. Once you‘ve updated the app, just open a conversation and tap + to create a new video. New to Skype? You can download the latest version of the app from the Windows Phone Store.

There’s more about the new update on the Skype Garage Blog:

View the source article:

Feed: Windows Phone Blog
Author: Michael Stroh

Overall, Android is on top, but wealthiest consumers likelier to own an iPhone

According to a report from eMarketer on a study by Pew Internet & American Life Project, wealthier Americans are more likely to choose the iPhone over Android, BlackBerry and Windows smartphones.

In May 2013, Android was ahead of iOS  by 3 percentage points; Android ran on 28% of mobile phone owners’ smartphones,  compared with 25% on iPhones running iOS. BlackBerry and Windows took very small shares by comparison, at 4% of mobile  phone owners and 1%, respectively.

But among the wealthiest consumers, the iPhone is still No. 1. Two out of five  mobile phone owners with incomes of $75,000 or more owned an iPhone. And  similarly, among those with college educations or higher, iPhone ownership  reached 38% penetration, compared with 29% for Android.

Smartphone Survey

To understand more about small business websites and serving the ever-growing mobile consumer, hop on over to these articles on on mobile website development.

Does it surprise you to hear that less than half mobile phone users are smartphone users?

NEW YORK, NY (May 29, 2013)—According to new figures from  eMarketer, several markets worldwide reached a milestone in mobile usage last  year. By the end of 2012, over half of mobile phone users in each country had  made the switch from feature phones to smartphones. The coming years will see a  domino effect hit regions around the world as smartphones become the norm in  more places.


Reason #1 (of many to come) that WIN8 Phone Stole My BlackBerry Heart

Perfect integration across my laptop, tablet, smartphone, Xbox and whatever else I decide to buy. Perfect integration = Efficient!

BGR reports:

One of the most appealing things about the direction Microsoft (MSFT) has been taking with Windows 8 is the prospect that applications downloaded on the PC platform could be transferred seamlessly to tablet and smartphone form factors. Or put another way, imagine how cool it would be to download a new Angry Birds game onto your smartphone and have it automatically downloaded onto your Windows-based tablet and PC as well.

Firefox Phone. I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but Mozilla is releasing a Firefox Smartphone

From the Mozilla Hacks website:

Firefox OS is a new mobile operating system built entirely using open web standards. In Firefox OS, HTML5 apps can do “phone things” – they can make the phone vibrate, make a phone call or send a text message.

This week we are announcing our new Firefox OS developer preview phones because we believe that developers will help bring the power of the web to mobile. These developer phones are being developed by Geeksphone in partnership with Telefonica and Geeksphone.

  • CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 1Ghz
  • UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA)
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE)
  • Screen 3.5″ HVGA Multitouch
  • 3 MP Camera
  • 4GB ROM, 512 MB RAM
  • MicroSD, Wifi N, Light and proxmity Sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB
  • 1580 mAh battery
  • Over the air updates
  • Unlocked, add your own SIM card

Firefox OS smartphone

iPhone Users Get Free Minutes with Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messengre Free iPhone CallsMike writes:

The new calling option is a rather streamlined affair: Simply open up a conversation with one of your Facebook friends from the app’s menu, select the “i” icon in the corner and then hit the “Free Call” button. The recipient will get an alert window letting them know that you are calling.

The calls won’t count against your phone’s minutes, but it will eat up some mobile data if you’re not connected to WiFi, so while the call may be free as far as Facebook is concerned, it’s important to keep an eye on your data usage.

The Gov says you need to be “mobile ready” before our next disaster

I can’t say that I agree with him but for what it’s worth, below is the press announcement from Governor McDonnell on the new Virginia mobile app. I wonder who talked him into paying for this. Thanks for wasting my tax money on an app that is the same information that’s on the Virginia website.

Ready Virginia

Commonwealth of Virginia, Office of Governor Bob McDonnell

January 17, 2013

Office of the Governor
Contact: Jeff Caldwell
Phone: (804) 225-4260
Email: Jeff.Caldwell@Governor.Virginia.Gov

Virginia Department of Emergency Management
Contact: Bob Spieldenner
Phone: (804) 897-6510

Be Mobile Ready
Virginia launches free emergency preparedness mobile app

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today a way for Virginians to become “mobile ready” for disasters. The Ready Virginia mobile app, developed by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, gives Virginians a new way to prepare for disasters and also to stay informed during emergencies with the latest information.

The free Ready Virginia app for iPhone® and Android™ mobile devices provides emergency planning and preparedness guidance along with several other important features, including:

  • Location- specific weather watches and warnings as well as flood information issued by the National Weather Service
  • Disaster news from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management
  • Maps with open American Red Cross shelters, hurricane evacuation routes, hurricane storm surge zones and stream gauges
  • A template for creating a customized family emergency plan that can be easily shared
  • Local emergency manager contact information
  • Links to register for local emergency alerts

“Mobile phones and tablets quickly have become a primary way for people to stay informed during disasters. Last year, social media and web-based information were critical to informing the public and keeping individuals updated with important information during the severe derecho wind storm and Hurricane Sandy,” said Governor McDonnell. “The new Ready Virginia mobile app gives people another way to stay informed and quickly identify services and other valuable resources regardless of their location.

The Ready Virginia app is available for download in the App StoreSM and in Google Play™ for Android™.

In addition to the mobile app, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management launched a mobile version of its website at The mobile site contains all the information available on VDEM’s regular website, but with easier navigation for those who use smart phones and tablets to access websites.

“This new app is one of the most important ones Virginians can install on their mobile devices. Now our citizens can get ‘mobile ready’ and ensure that their families are prepared for emergencies and stay informed with official disaster information when an emergency occurs,” said Governor McDonnell.


Fry’s Selling Windows Phone 8X For $49 for T-Mobile

Wish we had a Fry’s near us. I’d be on this today!

If you’re a Windows Phone 8X fan and you live near or around a Fry’s retail location, check out this special offer. Good through January 17th, Fry’s is offering the WP8X for with a new two-year service agreement. The price is good for both new and existing customers. Compare Fry’s special offer against the 9 after mail-in rebate on and you know this is one deal you shouldn’t pass up.

What’s New for Business Users in Microsoft Windows Phone 8

I ran across this article from Mary Jo Foley and the key features of the WIN8 phone for business users. I thought you may find this of interest. The link to the full article is at the bottom.

At its Windows Phone 8 launch on October 29, Microsoft unveiled a few additional business-focused features in the newest release of its phone operating system.


Back in June of this year, Microsoft disclosed a handful of business-tailored featuresthat it had built into the Windows Phone 8 operating system. Among them: Device encryption and UEFI secure boot; private application sideloading and inclusion of a custom company hub.


Here are a few of the other just-disclosed business capabilities in the platform, listed in no particular order:

More payment and delivery options: Users can pay for Windows Phone Store purchases using credit cards, PayPal, Microsoft gift cards and/or via monthly mobile-service-provider bills.

Redesigned Office hub: Microsoft has shifted things around in the Office Hub with the goal of making it easier for users to find documents.

Voice notes: Users can dictate their notes and have them automatically transcribed and added to OneNote without having to type them in by hand.

SmartScreen Filter: Internet Explorer 10 on Windows Phone 8 includes a Smartscreen Filter, just like IE 10 on Windows 8 does.

Nokia Map technology: Nokia maps are built into all Windows Phone 8 devices.

Over-the-air updates: Updates are now delivered over the air, eliminating the need to plug a phone into a PC.

Improved Skype client: The new Windows Phone 8 Skype client keeps users signed in even when the app is closed, allowing users to be always reachable.

Improved multitasking: In some cases, Windows Phone 8 will automatically pause built-in and third-party apps when users do other tasks, preventing users to have to start from scratch when they return to the apps later.

New Windows Phone client for PCs/Macs: There’s a Windows 8 Phone app; a version of this app for Windows 7 and Windows 8 desktop and a Windows Phone app client for Mac that’s similar to the current Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac.

Phone wiping safeguards: The new Windows Phones are less likely to allow users to accidentally wipe their data.

Windows Phone 8 devices will be on sale starting in November.

source: Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8: What’s new for business users

Who is really the most popular mobile handset in the world?

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

No propaganda. No advertiser infused fake numbers. It’s Nokia. Then Samsung. Then everyone else.

Apple is not in the discussion. Nor is Android. Nor is BlackBerry.

Here are the numbers:

  1. Nokia – 417.1M sold in 2011.
  2. Samsung – 327.4M sold in 2011.
  3. Apple – 93.0M sold in 2011.

This is exactly why I tell my friends that I’m excited about Nokia coming to T-Mobile in the United States. The Nokia running Windows Mobile 8 or Windows Mobile 9 will be the smartphone that gets me away from BlackBerry.

* source: Strategy Analytics

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I’m listening to Destiny Blues by Eric Bibb right now.

Christmas Day was Huge for iOS & Android New Activations

It looks like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile operating systems were the big winners on Christmas Day this year with almost 7 million new activations.

iOS & Android activations

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I’m listening to Serenade by The Steve Miller Band right now.