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From the Forums: Windows Phone stuttering and the best available weather apps

From the Forums

It has been a busy few days on our Windows Phone forum (when isn't it busy?) and we're going to continue to bring you the latest and hottest threads our community is engaging in. Expect to see a steady stream of "From the Forums" update articles, which will aid you in joining heated debates, receive support and voice your much-sought-after opinion.

 

Windows Phone still slow to catch on?

Our readers have been discussing reasons why Windows Phone hasn't quite taken off just yet, with baileystein revisiting the topic which was last covered many months ago. This time he explains how he pushes Windows Phones out to his friends and classmates, but reiterates as to why he believes the platform is progressing slowly as a whole.

"I have 40 people in my class. Although that "one" person has an iPhone, Windows Phone is getting out there. Thanks to me, I've pushed out 4 Windows Phones. Okay-10%. Big deal? Right? Nope. HUGE deal. The word got out-WP are fast, pretty, and sexy. The problem is requirment. And Android. And refusal to jump platforms. And people. Why can't we win more people? Because they simply don't want to join."

Pretty much hits the nail on the head. We've continuously asked this question internally and have managed to publish a fair few articles that touch on the thoughts of the average consumer. Why hasn't everyone jumped on the Windows Phone train yet? Marketing, hardware specifications, the "Microsoft" brand, previous experiences with Windows Mobile, lack of apps, expensive games, there could be a number of reasons why the iPhone and Android are still climbing.

Should you wish to read up more on what baileystein is attempting to put across, be sure to check out the "Why Windows Phone hasn't caught on..." thread to respond with your comments.

Weather Apps

 

Need an umbrella? What's the best weather app?

Moving swiftly onto weather apps - what's your favourite? Socialcarpet decided it was time the community voiced their most loved weather apps they use on their Windows Phones. Could it be the Weather Channel or WeatherFlow? Members appear to be torn between a variety of available options, which is a good sign of quality apps being developed and updated. Some are even using Microsoft's sturdy Weather app. Sdreamer explains why he chooses to go with Weather for Windows Phone:

"Just the plain ol' "Weather" from Microsoft. I choose this because it has offline access. If you try to access the weather on any other weather app, it will give you some error about not being connected. This is important to me because I keep my data off, especially when I'm nearing my cap. The other thing that got me is the solid live tile support. I couldn't find this working well for other applications, especially if data is on and off; other apps would just stop working or just turn blank because my data would be off instead of just caching the last known weather stats."

Of course with any Microsoft developed app, there are a few issues that have a negative impact on the experience, as sdreamer points out:

"The problem I have is the lack of details and a live tile that adjusts by GPS. In regards to details, hourly forecasts is more like trihourly (which I've come to the conclusion is just enough), you can't click anywhere to find more details as well, like to open a webpage to a more detailed page for finer things. This trend follows into alerts as well."

If you're proud of the weather tools you utilise on your Windows Phone, head on over to the "What's your favourite weather app" thread to add your favourite(s). Remember to perform searches on the main website when attempting to find apps that you can download and enjoy. We've taken a look at some of the highly rated weather apps and have some strong recommendations to pass on.

 

Miscellaneous: iPhones and Bros with Guns...

Lippidp has been having some fun with "iPhone" he got from work. If you're in the mood for some humorous banter then you'll want to check out "iPhone. I got it but I don't get it.". Here's a snippet of the opening post:

"I was just given "iPhone" for work. It's not "The iPhone" or "an iPhone", it's "iPhone." I'm already annoyed with that little nugget of pretentiousness. One of the first things it says in the cutesy "Finger Tips" guide is that iPhone is fragile and iPhone has glass on the front and back. I immediately went to the IT guy and asked if I was liable for iPhone when iPhone gets damaged. He said yes so I requested a case for precious iPhone. I was given this huge tank-like military-grade case that took me 15 minutes to get the damn phone in it."

Have you used an iPhone? If so, you may want to join in this heated debate / funny story exchange thread to voice your experiences, whether they're positive or negative.

Wrapping up today's From the Forums is v10type-r with his Gun Bros thread.

"Just downloaded it last night, played for a while. Not sure I like the free games where you have the option to spend $ for items tho. (read on for my reason why lol). The gameplay on my Lumia 900 was pretty good, smooth, fast and fun. But on my wifes 1st gen Focus it was a little slower to load and got choppy at times. I actually bought some items with some xbox points I had on my account from over a year ago, but when I bought a couple top level items, I realized that I had pretty much spent the equivalent of $50 on items! ouch! This was obviously my own fault for not knowing what the point to $ ratio was."

While he puts forward his opinion of the game, v10type-r also reminds us of the potential danger regarding Microsoft Points. One has to remember that these little pests can accumulate quicker than expected, so keep an eye on not only your child's Windows Phone, but also your own. Let us know in the comments if you have any thoughts on these threads, and be sure to head on over to our forums to join in the conversation!

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Reader comments

From the Forums: Windows Phone stuttering and the best available weather apps

28 Comments

Why don't people jump train? Lets see, how about people just don't have the money to throw away for a new phone platform. That makes sense. I mean come on, its not like money is pouring like rain right? Then there's also the issue of crowd flow. This isn't just about stigma, I'm pretty sure people can't be bothered with that "Microsoft is not cool" issue. Its more like, "where the herd goes, there's safety".

I think, the WP population is a case of WP users being currently innovators and the open-minded. We want to have an extremely satisfying smartphone experience, so we did our research and founded one in WP, not in others. As for the case of innovators, what I mean is just in terms of population. Innovators in general are usually quite small in population, and they're the ones trying the "new" things. We're them, and we're not afraid of trying new things (regarding the new WP users).

I think we need to stop thinking in black and white here. Stop thinking why is the WP population isn't going from 0 to 30% of global smartphone users in a weeks time. Its just as ridiculous as those who were expecting Nokia to rule the mobile world back in a month's time (if that happened, then Elop is a WIZARD). It needs time, maybe a period of years, but hopefully not decades to achieve a sense of dominance.

OK, let me start by saying that I first used WinCE about 10-15 years ago, then it was a handheld (about 6 years ago), then htc wizard with win mobile 6, then htc diamond running win mobile 6.1 if i am not mistaken, then htc hd2; now i'm using lumia 800. What imho doesn't help MS is poor customer care, the "let's sell as many items as possible and move on". Htc hd2 could run and does run WM7, MS decided to abandon. Lumia 800 could run a light version of WM8, the decision was... Let's abandon (throwing WM7.8 to wipe some tears, T-Mobile UK will probably delay its implementation for weeks if not months as it is delaying Tango update now).

It is true that most consumers know little about operating systems, hardware specs etc., BUT they often rely on the opinion of their "computer geek" friends. These might be very few, but the policy MS chose the moment it started abandoning WM6.5 users is biting back. Phone dealers don't care about promoting WM. More sophisticated users, except for some extreme fanboys are at least reserved about the "leave them behind" policy and MS is not doing great. This might lead MS down the path Kodak went and prior to their failure Kodak had been around for much longer than Microsoft has. MS, love your customers, don't swap Vista SP3 for Windows 7, don't leave new phones with a 2nd class update/upgrade and they will love you! Treat them as your source of immediate income and you may be immediately abandoned as you are gaining the reputation of leaving customers behind. Some of them may not catch up with you again. I recently put ICS 4.0.4 on my old HD2 and... am caring less about T-Mobile UK delaying my Tango upgrade for weeks and MS denying me Apollo. MS should listen to people like me, but they'll probably say they'll make up for their loses introducing Surface. Well, I am not so sure... Many potential customers, after a short research, may wonder if their latest and greatest will not become obsolete in 5 months when/if no Win8.1 but WinX or whatever the name pops up, with its specs making it "incompatible with our revolutionary new operating system"...

Really the people who go with the crowd for safety were perfectly right. They're not the ones that ended up paying to be beta testers for WP7 while Microsoft worked on the real project of WP8 in the background.

Weather is only available in English, it can't spell some locations right, and you can't set how often it should update. Otherwise its a clean experience.
Here in Sweden, still people don't know about WP. There is a constant spam of Android phones making sure of that. Thouse who bought Lumia 800 complains about bad respond in the screen and no internet sharing. Also there is still some pretty importent apps missing. These local problems that occur are a bigger problem that anyone thinks, why buy a phone with so much mixed languages that have no consistency and can get there apps in Swedish on iPhone or Android?

I would go as far as saying that Windows 8 will suffer the same fate if there isn't good language support, and that will continue down to WP as well. Doesn't matter what I think when regular Joe can't get what they want. The Metro experience is a smaller part then these other issuess that is holding Microsoft back. Stop the inconsistent experience and for people in other countrys where Microsoft products is official and the company might have at least a chance to get back in to markets. It just should work.
And about weather apps by the way, the one that works in respective country is different and therefore there isn't one weather app to rule em all.

It is a chicken and an egg problem. If my free app gets 3 downloads a month in Sweden why would I care about making swedish version. Phone users could be more active as well. Want translation for the app? Contact the developer and help with translation.

Why is there so many apps in Sweden for other platforms if there so few downloads? It's the Swedish companies not making anything for our region, stuff we use.

That seems to be the way here. You rant, and you'll get the pre meditated answer of a) stop threatening to leave wp and leave, or b) we love our wp and found it very nice as it is, your problem is just you being wrong.

Oh and on the weather app, HTC Hub.

Or (c), your rant sounds like a child who says play my way, or I'm taking all my toys and going home. I get it, there are parts of WP that are annoying. I have a list myself. But if you express your displeasure the way a child would, don't expect to be treated like an adult.

That said, there are too many who respond like children to well-written complaints.

One of my favorite weather apps is Weather Radar. When you need to know if the storm is headed for you or that the skies will be clear in half an hour, this is the app to launch.

Now, WP IS great. But it could be better. Even though I am not Russian I know the history of that country quite well. The last tzar, quite a decent guy, decided not to listen to his critics even though they were originally his big fans. We all (should) know what happened next.

Android XDA forums also have a big problem, it's the "we won't tell you, it has already been discussed, use Google to find that thread and don't litter the forum with your questions". But as buggy as it is, Android is developing and winning. As stable and polished as it is, WM remains a niche operating system. And with the customer care similar to the attitude often seen on Android discussion websites (accept the status quo or get lost") it will probably remain a niche OS.

Zune HD was great. And in my opinion a gazillion times better than the iPod.  But it's dead now.  If Microsoft doesn't do something drastic for Windows Phone 8 it will follow the same path of the Zune.  Doesn't matter how awesome your product is if noone buys it.  Microsoft needs to spend the money and advertise Windows Phone 8 to the point where it becomes anoying, just like those DROID commercials that sucked. 

I also use the HTC Hub for weather, which means I'm in trouble because my HD7 permanently burned me on HTC...

Mainly came to comment on "iPhone" though. That post was pure genius. Balls out hilarious.

If nobody's gonna read long comments why do you care? Or did you read it and didn't like the contents?

One of the drastic things MS could do would be officially stating that porting WM8 to Lumias is not considered by them illegal as long as it's non-commercial activity and stating MS cannot promise it won't brick phones, advises against it etc

I think they almost did it with WM7 on HTC HD2

I have been a windows phone user for several years (wm 6 on) . Love my Lumia 900 and Mango. Seems to me that it is a problem of market presence in a few ways. First, when I walk into a carrier's store I have a tough time locating the one or two WP models amongst the sea of Android models and large Apple displays. When I see the apps advertised on newspapers, magazines and those announced by TV stations it is always for "your iPhone or Android", never a mention of WP. I have a plethora of apps on my phone (>300) but you would never know by the media. WP seems to be summarily ignored by the media, only being mentioned briefly when MS or Nokia put on a big event. Second, integration of hardware into vehicles is lacking. Sure I can plug a cable into the headphone jack to play music in my car but think how many vehicles can control an Apple device with car controls. Does the MS software in Fords control your Zune?? Now I read that car companies will be integrating SIRI into their vehicles. I don't know how to overcome the massive numbers of Apple and Android users in order to gain some market clout to bring these abilities for WP users.

The accessories and capabilities may be overrated for some, but the main effect of their availability gives the general public the message that iPhone is what everyone wants/has and other phone options won't be able to do what you want them to do. Again, as was mentioned before there is a herd mentality in this market, and MS has a monumentally difficult task of changing the direction of that herd. We WP users understand the beauty and functionality of the WP OS and are not a part of that large, unthinking herd.