However Google wants to package it, to any Outlook.com user it should be fairly obvious Google’s Inbox is an answer to Microsoft’s oft lauded, newly rebuilt webmail. Both share some very good quality, namely some level of automation, control over said automation, and a far cleaner interface than what they respectively replaces.
But I could not help but notice something in Google’s behavior concerning Inbox. Google could be called “The Internet Company”, so I find it pretty weird that they rolled out Inbox in an invitation only method. While Google has more than once used invitation in past, I would have imagined they have moved past it, specially that invitation is often associated with limited backend capability, such for Ello, or in case of hardware, OnePlus One. Add to the fact that, when Microsoft launched Outlook.com, all I had to do was go to Outlook.com.
Second thing I find weird is that even when I got my invitation, I had to activate by logging into Inbox app, specially when the app is not available on Windows Phone. Hmm. Google might try its hardest, but Windows Phone or soon just Windows, is here to stay. So making it hard for Windows Phone users such as myself is pretty pathetic.
Last but not least, Inbox’s web interface is only available on Chrome. Come on! That’s just sad. The open standard loving Google is nowhere to be found nowadays.
I like Inbox, I really do. I am unlikely to switch as it does not seem to offer anything Outlook.com does not, but Gmail users should be happy. I just wish Google would stop taking potshots like I mentioned.
Bigger phone size is very welcome. Still a pity that the small size no longer here. There’s a real market for small flagship device.
iPhone 6 Plus’s real purpose is probably to give a better option to 9.7” iPad users.
Brilliant on Apple’s part to have extra button’s on the bigger iPhone’s keyboard.
Apple Watch’s hardware looks gorgeous. I am only liking the steel band though.
The default watch face on Apple Watch is also very pretty, but the rest of the UI looks very non-pretty in a original iOS look way.
Loved bringing back the “One more thing…" in a appropriate manner.
If you play a Pay to Win game, you are a stupid person. It’s blunt, it’s offensive, but it’s also the truth.
Let’s put it into perspective. I have always said, this particular model is like authorized cheating, and people agreed. But so far I have struggles to pin down a perfect metaphor. Let’s say you’re playing Football, and you’re up against a team at their home ground. There’ll be definitely be some officiating favor going for the home team. But that’s part of the game right? That’s how it has always been for sports. So what’s wrong with cheating at games? That’s because the official favoring a home team is like those old day game cheat codes, nobody likes to talk about it, and it happens under the radar. Pay to Win is like FIFA announcing because one team paid them a handsome amount, the game shall begin at 5-0 to them.
If you’re playing a Football match that started as 5-0 against you, you’re a mentally disabled person. And whatever you’re doing, it’s not sport. And same way, if you’re playing something that’s Pay to Win, whatever that is, that’s not a game. And don’t say it’s fun nonetheless. Would you enjoy a football game starting at 5-0? Stop giving those developers your money.
Windows Phone 8.1 brings a host of improvements. Most notable and consumer facing among them are the Action Center, Cortana, improved start screen, all the Senses etc. But the feature that might end up being the most useful to the users without them even knowing is the introduction of Universal Apps, the compile once and run on all devices apps. Since its introduction, there have been a lot faster app additions to both Windows and Windows Phone store. Previously you’d have to wait for developer to do both separately, if ever; but now cool apps from Windows store appear on Windows Phone store simultaneously, and vice-versa.
So what’s not to like?
The problem with Universal Apps are a bit low level. Literally. While they make great sense for indie developers and even bigger publishers to take advantage of it to maximize their usage of resource allocation, Universal apps are all managed code apps, and will always be slower than their native cousins. Improvements to platform itself will keep bringing down the performance hit associated with managed code, but a gap will remain. So while these apps are very good, and even desirable in cases like TV apps and the likes, if an app requires maximum performance possible, developer probably should stick to native apps.
Especially if the developer is Microsoft itself.
It’s downright depressing to see a loading screen on a first party app. I don’t want to see a loading screen on my music app. Ever. Not a resuming screen either for that matter. I don’t want to see those screen on my podcast app, on my videos app. These are core functionality app, and people try them, a lot. If a platform loyalist like me is outraged by it, think how someone trying it in a store would feel! An iPhone or top end Android devices will be there to rescue from the terror that is loading screen. That cannot be too great for the already tiny Windows Phone market share.
So dear Microsoft, you have the resources. Please use it to kill those loading screens. Universal apps are great, and should help Windows Phone a lot in coming days. But don’t use it on places where it will bring more harm instead. There are places for it, first party pre-installed apps is not among them.