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Nokia Windows Phone 8 App Collection

I recently upgraded to a Nokia Lumia 920.  Along with it came the availability of a number of Nokia developed apps or apps that Nokia has made available from other developers.  Below is a summary of some of the ones that I have used to this point.  There are quite a few of them so I won’t be covering everything that is available.

Nokia Maps

I am quite pleased with the accuracy of Nokia Maps and not having to tap the screen for each turn any more.  The information on the screen is quite good as well.  The couple of improvements I would like to see are for the voice directions to include which street or exit you need to use and improve the search accuracy.  Bing maps had much better search results in my opinion.

Nokia Drive

This one really had me confused when I first setup the phone.  I was driving down the road and suddenly I am getting notification tones, but there were no visual notifications on the phone.  It seems that in their infinite wisdom Nokia thinks I don’t know when I am going over the speed limit and need to be told.

ESPN

I really liked my ESPN app on Windows Phone 7.5, but I am not getting the type of experience I was looking for out of this app.  While it allows me to pick my favorite teams, but there isn’t a pivot page or panorama page that shows a summary of my favorite teams.  I have also found that the live tile don’t update very often.  Over all I am rather disappointed compared app produced by ESPN.

Smart Shoot

I really need to get the kids to let me use this on.  I like the concept, but I need to spend more time with it.  The idea how running the camera through a continuous shooting mode and then picking the best is something that I have done with my DSLR and am glad to see it available here.

Cinemagraph

Here is a fun filter.  It doesn’t have the most accurate editing features, but it is fun to stop certain parts of a scene and let other parts move.  As a test I stopped the traffic on the highway and let the traffic on the frontage road flow.  It makes for a fun effect.  If nothing else it could be great for sending prank animations to your friends.

YouSendIt

I have only briefly touched this application.  What I don’t understand is why it is needed.  Most of the functionality seems to be similar to SkyDrive and it gives you less storage.  They only feature that seems to differentiate the app is the signature capability.

Creative Studio

This app has some nice quick edits, but it is not very comprehensive.  I am also not to thrilled with the user experience.  It puts you though an initial color cast series that I’m not sure why it is there.  Discovery of the remaining adjustments isn’t that great.  In the end I found myself wanting Thumbia back.

Panorama

This is one of the apps that I like.  I found it easy to use as it guides you with a target circle that you center for it to take the next pictures.  It also stitches the images with amazing speed.  The one thing I wish it had was the capability to turn the phone into portrait orientation and do a taller panorama.  Perhaps we will see this in the future.

Nokia Music

After getting over the missing album art I found that there were a number of missing features with this app as well.  I have a Zune HD and I am used to being able to go through my collection and adding songs, albums or artists to my now playing.  There also doesn’t seem to be a way to manage playlists that I have seen yet.  Other than that the UI is familiar and it give

Nokia City Lens

Augmented reality is a cool concept, but I still haven’t seen it implemented in a compelling fashion beyond a demo at TED a couple of years ago.  The app still leaves me wanting as well.  It does give an interesting toy.  It gives you the ability to look for general categories and see general direction and clusters of locations.  I think as this concept is better thought out it will become more compelling.

Nokia Trailers

I don’t know how often I will use this app, but I do like being able to see what movies are being promoted.  I can’t wait for The Hobbit to come out and the trailer was just what the doctor ordered.  I can see coming back to this app from time to time.

PhotoBeamer

PhotoBeamer is a strange beast that needs a better instruction manual.  It seems a lot like magic but very confusing.  I need some more testing, but I don’t think this is something that most people are going to understand quickly and may give up before getting it to work.  I may put an update here after playing with it further.

Ringtone Maker

The app was just published and it didn’t work very well for me. It couldn’t find 95% of the songs that Nokia Music was playing for me and crashed several times.  It also had songs named wrong that when I checked them in Nokia Music they were fine.  This app looks like it has a long way to go.

Summary

In all I think that Nokia is offering a well rounded set of initial applications that can get any new owner started.  There is definitely room for improvement in all of these apps.  The main need is usability upgrades.  I would guess that with feedback from users they will come up to acceptable levels.  Try them out and see if you agree.

posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 3:03 PM Print
Comments
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# re: Nokia Windows Phone 8 App Collection
Ben Barreth
12/6/2012 1:35 PM
Nice to see a review on the apps for the Lumia 920. How's the hardware? Does it live up to the hype?
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# re: Nokia Windows Phone 8 App Collection
Tim
12/6/2012 1:51 PM
I really like the phone. My only complaint is really the weight. Strangely that is something that iPhone users seem to like.

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Tim Murphy

Tim is a Solutions Architect for PSC Group, LLC. He has been an IT consultant since 1999 specializing in Microsoft technologies. Along with running the Chicago Information Technology Architects Group and speaking on Microsoft and architecture topics he was also contributing author on "The Definitive Guide to the Microsoft Enterprise Library".



I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program



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