Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Best Ways To Blog From Windows Phone

As a Wordpress user, Windows Phone offers a great App to start that blog. As a Blogger user, Windows Phone leaves quite a bit to be desired. Blogger is a Google product. With deep linking to all things Goog like YouTube and Picasa. Unfortunately, this means for users of non-Android devices, the publishing Apps are usually a bit dull, if not non-existent. 

Since Focus on Windows Phone is hosted at Blogger, how did we get around this? Post by Email. You simply check one little box on the settings page of your blog and create a custom email address to post your topics to. The subject line becomes the blog title. The attached files are placed above the body text.

While formatting is a bit tough from the device itself, as you can tell by the posts so far, it more than works. If you do have a blog hosted at Blogger, don't let the lack of a quality Windows Phone client scare you off. Just enable post by email and you are off to the races.

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What Windows Phone Does Better

I highlighted a few of the short comings of Windows Phone, but would a few bad points keep someone from buying in? I certainly hope not, but it really depends on what you want from your device and why it is, or isn't the best fit for you.

It fits well if...

You need a mobile office. If you are an office road warrior, WP is where you should start. Need to access that PowerPoint presentation now? Just hit the Office icon and you are there. Need that corporate email account at 11:00 at night, it is there with one touch. Group message your entire budget team with one touch and be ready for that meeting in 10 minutes. It is all one touch away.

You are a scrapbook fiend. If you go everywhere and want to scrapbook your life, Windows Phone and One Note is the perfect solution. Simply make a list of the topics you need, and flip through that list on the go wherever you are. Take photos with the amazing camera software and print them right from your PC at home with HP ePrint.

Your gym membership needs a vacation from you. With Zune music to keep you going during those long workouts and MyFitnessPal to track your progress, WP will keep you on track and get you closer to your fitness goals. While the slim designs may not drop the pounds for you, the music player will keep you inspired to do more.

If you can't wait to keep in touch with your friends and family. With group messaging, you and your friends will keep keep in touch with one simple tap. Share your photos via messaging or SkyDrive and post them directly to Facebook or Twitter.

If you are an XBox gamer that just loves more achievements. With XBox Live built in to the Windows Phone gaming hub, you can get all the action of the XBox platform on the go. Whether you play freebies like Wordament or download the latest Need For Speed release, Windows Phone games will pass the time for you while earning you more cred on your XBox Live account.

There's 1000 more reasons why I no longer carry an Android device, but the most important is that Windows Phone just works. Phone calls, text messages, emails and games, they all work smooth and without those pesky 'force closes' that those other phones tend to have.

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Monday, May 21, 2012

Something's Missing...

Blogging from a device really was eaiser from Android than Windows Phone. At least from my rooted EVO it was. It made it simple to do something called a screen capture.

For the average user, a screen capture is nothing important. To those of us trying to show what we are doing on our devices in a blog, screen captures are very important. While we can bed a bit and take a photo of our device or even download the demo screen shots, it isn't like having our own screen.

This brings up a few interesting tid bits that the competition is doing just a smidge (or lots) better. It is almost a "What's missing from Windows Phone" style of questions here. Let's take a peek.

1) Screen Shots or Screen Captures: Ok, honestly, nobody really uses screen caps, except tech bloggers and those wanting to embarass friends on that Auto-Correct website. Not a big loss, but it is a major feature for those that need it.

2) Turn By Turn Navigation: Android has this under control and the iPhone does pretty well also. Windows Phone is stuck in 'Tap for directions' mode so don't bank on it being perfect. Sure there are third party apps, but who wants to pay $30 for a good GPS program?

3) Full size photo uploading. We don't care where this happens, bit without having it built in to the OS, how do we know where its going? Fortunately, there is the mini file upload to SkyDrive option to help ease the load.

4) Differing keyboards: I'm not the only one that would like a few options.

5) Differing browsers: Sure the original works, but who doesn't way more choices?

So this is my short list of why did they skip out on this stuff in Windows Phone and hopefully they will build in into the next one.

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Taking Note

One of the strongest features of Windows Phone is its ability to integrate with other Windows products. One Note is an organizer software that is found in Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010. It is also a key component of Office365.

One note is a personal scrapbook, note taking software and web reminder all in one. Windows Phone allows you to quickly punch in thoughts, ideas and important information and save it over the internet to share with your other computers. Whether it is notes for the next business meeting or a recipe from a friend, One Note makes it simple.

One Note's operation couldn't get more simple than pressing the + sign at the bottom to start a new note, then saving and exiting back to the home screen. To reopen the note, click office, then select the file. Pretty simple.

One Note is available in the Office program on your Samsung Focus S.

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Let's Talk Cameras

The Windows Phone software has an amazing camera software. There isn't much more to say. The Focus S takes full advantage of this with a solid 8MP rear camera and its 1.3MP front facing camera.

The rear camera features two focal modes, contrast and saturation adjustments and even a Wide Dynamic Range setting to balance images that are over or under exposed. The last feature of the Focus S is the anti-shake setting, that allows those with less than steady hands to capture images with full clarity.

The images that the Focus S is capable of capturing are downright amazing. The colors are vibrant, the sharpness is fantastic. While it definitely won't replace your DSLR, it will take the place of that point and shoot you used to carry with you.

For an added bonus, under the settings menu, swipe to applications and select camera and photos. The last selection on that menu is a check box to automatically upload a smaller resolution version of any photos you take to a private folder in your SkyDrive account.

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Local Scout Does It All

When you are out and about in an unfamiliar area, there are plenty of Apps that can help you out. This is one of those "built-in" features of Windows Phone that really shines though. Local Scout is Microsoft's tell all about the area you are in.

With Local Scout, you can find restaurants, activities, movie times, local hotspots and more with just a single click. Putting the Local Scout tile on your home screen makes access even faster.

Need to know reviews of the restaurant you just pulled into, they are a tap away. Need to know how far it is from your hotel to the movie theater, just click. Want to know if there is a store that sells screen protectors for your Focus S? Just go to shop and select a category.

Local Scout is broken up into 4 quick find screens. Eat+Drink specializes in restaurants, bars and coffee stands. See+Do has one touch access to local attractions. Shopping is pretty self explanatory. Lastly, Highlights has a special section at the bottom for your favorites.

In your favorites, you can save those restaurants you love, the theater you usually visit and even places where you normally go to concerts. Local Scout can give you directions, reminders and more.

While there are plenty of Apps that do what Local Scout does, there are very few that do it as well.

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Friday, May 18, 2012

Socialize Faster With Live Tiles

You have to love getting things done faster. Whether it's doing work or checking your Facebook page, speed makes it all better. That's the basis for Windows Phone, doing more, faster.

With Live Tiles, your life is laid out in a few squares with one touch access to your friends and family. Of course, for you dedicated professionals, your family probably includes coworkers and partners too. With one touch, you can text your bowling team, email your fantasy football league or even let the entire family know you are off work and hour early and taking them to dinner.

Live tiles don't stop there. With Accuweather's App installed, you have the current weather on your home screen and the forecast a tap away. With the integrated inbox tile, your corporate, personal and junk emails are all in one simple place. With ESPN's live tile, you'll never miss a score again!

Push updates mean you don't miss a beat. Text and picture messages update on your messaging live tile instantly. Missed a call? Just tap the phone tile to see who it was. Live tiles make life simple and live tiles on the Focus S are vivid and bright.

Check out the Focus S at our Amazon store by clicking the link to the right. If your carrier doesn't have the Focus S, checkout for a Windows Phone that your carrier does offer and see how live tiles can free up your time for better things.

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Welcome To The Focus S

Welcome to the new blog dedicated to Windows Phone functionality and getting more from your Samsung Focus S smartphone. We'll be covering the basics of how to use your device, the must have Apps and most of all, how to take advantage of all the power that the Focus S.

Let's start with the basics on this first post. Welcome to your Focus S. The first things to look at with your device is the physical layout. The top of the device features the 3.5mm headphone jack. The right side features a lock button near the top and the physical camera button near the bottom. The bottom of the device features the micro USB port for charging and syncing your device. Finally, the left side features a volume rocker.

The glass front panel houses an amazing display and the trio of Windows Phones control buttons. The 4.3" 800x480 display is also stock for Windows Phone 7 devices. The front also houses a 1.3MP camera for video chats and self portraits.

The rear of the device houses an ultra thin battery cover and an 8MP camera that also captures 720p HD video.

The internals of the device include 512MB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. There is only 13+GB available for the user, but with 25GB of online storage, it is more than enough space. Finally, the Focus S is powered by a 1.4Ghz processor that keeps Windows Phone running smoothly.

Lastly, the best feature is the amazing design of the Focus S. The Samsung Focus S is only about 8.5mm at its thinnest point, which makes it stylish, beautiful and very easy to slip into the pocket of your tightest jeans.

Sent from my Samsung Focus S Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info