Hello World. Welcome to the age of social networking. Where everything you do is for the world to see. And enjoy.
Ever since I got the Android phone, I have been wondering how to get the social networking working across all my apps but I have been clueless about some things.
My first android phone two years ago has a supposedly wonderful feature – acquire all your contacts from Orkut, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. and show them in the address book. Seemed like a boon, but no sooner had I tried the feature, I rejected it as it didn’t work like I thought it should. First, it mashed up and duplicated my contacts and only seemingly merging method was to merge them manually. The so called contact manager utilities helped but not so beautifully. The worst part was losing the "nicknames". I wanted my phone to store my dad's no. as "dad". But because of his Facebook's profile as his name, his Google account as his Company's name and his Orkut Profile as his nickname mashed up the contact on my phone and I was no longer sure how to search him, as - "dad", "Vijay Kumar", "Computer Ghar" or "Bamba". Bad thinking, reverted back to keeping contacts where they belong. Facebook friends in Facebook, Gmail contacts in Gmail (which I never use, but have to have an account for my Android phone to work) and phone contacts in contacts. Revert, don’t merge. Period, end of discussion. Social Not Working.
In fact, another sad experience with Android: There is no “best” way to synchronize it with Outlook. I am heavily dependent on Outlook for my calendar, email and contacts. It is not an easy task to synchronize it with Android phone, something that existed since donkey years. Even my Casio digital diary in college would synchronize with it. Sad. Finally I had to purchase a utility which takes 5 minutes to synchronize Outlook with Android, but the dream of Bluetooth or over-the-air sync remains distant.
Learning from the story: Something missing, maybe next versions of OS will solve this issue and help.
Whizz past and two years later, things seem to be just where they started. The social networking - contact merging blues still haunt me. The world has moved from Gigabytes to Terabytes, I get full version of Windows 8 in my hands. (This is the release version provided as part of my MSDN subscription and not a beta/RC). Consumers will get the same version when it is launched next month.
Installation blues - none. It installed fast, picked up drivers, updates, whatever needed to work, worked. Asks you to punch in your Hotmail account, Google account and other accounts to do, guess what, merge contacts. If your guess is as good as mine, what happened was history repeating itself. A total mash up of contacts, once again. I still do not understand, what is the use of mixing my phone contacts (which includes mechanic, electrician and plumber), LinkedIn (business) and FB (friends)? Firstly, "Ramu bhaiya aka Ram Singh Yadav" is found via his profile on Facebook (using phone no. matching), his photo pops up (wow!) and he is prompted to be my "friend". What the f***? Same with "Genset Mechanic aka Prem Tyagi" and other names I can never guess. "Dad" gets his formal name back in my contacts and "Buddy" my friend is lost because I don't know what name to search him under.
Good part - contacts get photos, I get plumber's email into my contacts (so that in near future when I need to email him to come and fix the leakage). Bad part - you guessed. Mash up.
Now looking at the Windows 8 desktop, er, dashboard aka Metro UI tiles or whatever you want to call them as. First impressions - too big tiles, too big fonts. They could have just been gadgets on desktop like Win 7. Office 2013 (beta/preview) does not integrate with Win 8. If you want to check your emails on Tiles, keep staring at them till they cycle the subjects one by one. A smaller font widget with subject and 2 line preview of 5 messages would have been better, right? Same with news. Keep staring and wait for headlines to cycle. :(
3Dness, aero, glass effects, rounded corners - all vanished. Microsoft wants it to be simple, direct and clear. Ok, digested, but why then have My computer/Explorer with a thick ribbon/toolbar with 20+ buttons/icons hamper the minimalistic approach?
My initial remarks:
- Windows 8 UI is a total wastage of screen real estate.
- Supposedly FB integrated but poor execution.
- I am typing this comment from CONTACTS APP and there is no way to attach screenshot/photo in my comment.
- Contacts tile shows mash up of contacts' photos from FB. Try recognizing your friends/contacts from 32x32 pixel thumbnail of their family. Who got these brilliant ideas at Microsoft? Wow!
- Saved a screenshot on desktop. Doesn't appear on Photos.
- There's no easy way to share it on FB. Actually till now haven't been able to figure out how to share it using Win 8 only (without opening FB site). Shouldn't it be a right-click and share??
- Super buggy mail app. Wrong & missing FROM names, sync problem, my 10 year old Nokia had a better emailing client.
- Good bits - mount CD/DVD built in, combined file copy status bars and much faster than win 7.
There is nothing that had impressed me till now. Actually bugged. Maybe it changes tomorrow, well let's hope so…
My impression: Win 8 downgrades, demeans and demotes your PC to a full HD mobile phone with an interface/usability worse than my 10 year old Nokia.
Sad sad sad. :(