Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I am Almost Speechless

For Windows to come out with an easy to use smartphone at $90 without any contract was--- well it is hard to find the words.

First, the Win Blu Jr is the easiest to use smartphone yet and maybe among the best music players on the market.

Second, it runs Windows 8.1 , which has been a disaster on tablets and laptops because of its complexity.

So how could that be?  How could the same system work easily in one device and not in others? And how could Microsoft abandon its jack of all trades to come up with something very simple?

Anyway, take it from me that it did. The home screen has tiles for all the functions and main apps. Swipe to the right and all your apps are listed. Nobody has done that better.

Now, it is not perfect. Especially, you cannot use voice recognition in a word processor. Also, apps are somewhat limited. I was nonetheless able to find workarounds to do almost all the things I regularly do.

I believe voice recognition will be expanded as Microsoft even scraps Windows 9 and jumps ahead to Windows 10.

The phone also has memory expansion available on far too few phones and it is a major benefit.

In fact, that is how I came across this device. I wanted a device simply to be able to take my music and library elsewhere than home, such as the exercise room and the car.*

If you need to use your phone away from WiFi or where WiFi is unreliable, it is nice to have your whole library of books and music and movies available.

As of the end of the month Microsoft is bringing out a gadget to project the phone screen to your TV or large monitor. Add a wireless keyboard, and Voila, a big computer.

I should also mention that this phone is extremely fast and has a remarkable battery life.en

But am I about to give up my Republic Wireless Moto G phone? Certainly not, it does many more things than the basics. With my monthly cell plans costing $5 for the one phone and $10 for the other, I will carry both.

* After I got the phone, I coincidentally received another device to accomplish the same result.  My internet hotspot carrier, Freedompop, sent me a new hotspot capable of operating like my home internet router, and alternatively to it but now anywhere and with enough memory to hold music and books. It can pinch hit for my home service when not working reliably and support wireless printers.

Note: to deal with the paucity of apps for windows 8 .1, Microsoft has an app called Appswitch which will find apps which may not otherwise be obvious as alternatives to Android and iPhone phone apps.

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