Windows Phone App for Desktop
It’s been over a week now with the Nokia Lumia 920 and one thing I hadn’t done yet is plug it into my computer.
So why would I connect the phone to computer? Well it not only charges it whilst it’s connected via USB but also means you can add music from your iTunes and transfer photos/videos in a more traditional method compared to uploading them to SkyDrive or social media sites.
Here’s what I came across whilst plugging in the Lumia 920.
- The standard ‘Installing device drive software’ balloon popped up on my Windows 7 laptop.
- The Windows 8 Phone comes up as a Portable Device as in your Computer window.
- Soon after plugging it in my internet browser sent me to the Windows Phone website and suggested that I installed the ‘Windows Phone app for desktop (Preview 2)’. I was slightly concerned that it had ‘Preview 2’ in the title. Had they not finalised the desktop app before sending the device out into the big, wide world?!
- Everything seems normal as I go through the install dialogs.
- The first time you connect the device, it asks you to name it and which media library you want to use on your device. I noted that the name of the device here is now also the name of the phone on Bluetooth. There isn’t a way to change to change that on the device itself.
- After choosing the iTunes media library on the previous page, iTunes was launched and the Windows Phone app gathered all the information required.
- You can select iTunes playlists, music genres and artists to sync to the device. Then when you’ve selected all you want then simply click Sync in the bottom right.
- The photos and videos screens both have a simple list of all the images on the device. To transfer them you tick them and click Save to PC. What I was surprised at is that there is no thumbnail view. Windows Explorer is certainly a better way to transfer images!
- On the settings page you can change some of the previous things you’ve set, including the device name and which media library you want to use.
- In my Windows 7 taskbar a phone icon appeared. Upon clicking it Windows Explorer showed me the device screen, its name and how I could transfer information. If you haven’t installed the Windows Phone app, there’s a prompt for that. In ‘Change general settings’ you can change what happens when you connect the device.
All in all, the experience was what I expected, however I didn’t want to choose a media library and wanted to see the photos and videos in a thumbnail format. But there are ways around the second one!
The Whole 8.7 Megapixels
The 8.7 megapixel camera on the Lumia 920 is fantastic, however the results can be a bit mixed. This is probably due to the user interface.
There is a dedicated shutter button on the right of the camera, however when you use this it doesn’t always focus correctly (sometimes not at all!). The other way to take a photo is to simply tap the screen, it will focus upon that point and take the photo. I usually forget that it does the focusing upon where you tap and just tap the centre of the screen just to take the photo.
Below are several photos that I’ve taken over the past week, including some snaps of Christmas presents, a trip to Scunthorpe beach on Boxing Day and also one photo taken with the front facing camera. These images have been resized for easy viewing.
The camera also does HD video. Interestingly the settings only allow you to choose between 720p (default) or 1080p. The most annoying thing about the video is the way that you can’t set a focus point as in the photo mode, nor the video mode of iOS devices. Again you can use the shutter button to start/stop the video, or you can tap on the screen to do the same.
One thing I do like about the video mode is the way the duration of the video is overlay on the view finder.
Here is a video of Clocky, a Christmas present from Amy. It demonstrates the 720p quality of the video, but also the fluctuating focus which seems to happen when I do a moving video.