Outlook.com just taught me a neat new trick that it has with the ‘Sweep’ drop down at the top. I opened one of my alias inboxes to see only a couple of spam-like emails that I would never want to see. Outlook.com was nice enough to have a little tool-tip that tells me I can easily get rid of unwanted emails with it’s sweep function.
Outlook.com Sweep To Clean Out Your Inbox
When you are looking at an email from a sender that you don’t really care to be getting emails from anymore you can click on the ‘Sweep’ link at the top of outlook.com. When you select Sweep you will have 5 options which are, ‘Move all from…’, ‘Delete all from…’, ‘Unsubscribe’, ‘Schedule cleanup’, and ‘Manage rules’. This appears to be the typical ‘Move to’ and ‘Spam/Junk’ options that we typically see and of course the manage rules link. While I don’t think that there is any really new innovative ideas here, I do like how they have it packaged.
Move all from…
I can easily move everything from that sender to a new folder and have the option to send any new content from that sender to the same folder.
Delete all from…
I can delete all of the messages from this sender and also block any more from coming in from this sender.
Self explanatory but an easy way to unsubscribe from emails from that sender.
Schedule cleanup is one that I do not think we see quite as common or at least not as front facing. When we click on Schedule cleanup we get a few options.
We can keep only the latest message
We can delete all messages older than X number of days
We can move all messages older than X number of days in Y folder
This schedule cleanup function under the Sweep tab seems like a very useful tool to keep out inboxes clean and with an easy and intuitive way to do so. With this we can easily just auto archive messages from some senders that we might not want to delete per se, and we can have others that we just delete. I know all of this isn’t really new as we have been able to create rules for ages now. But I am impressed with the presentation and ease of use for those not so familiar with setting rules.
Lastly you can go and look at the rules that you already have set and set more as you please.
Obviously the iPhone 5 announcements are going on right now. And while a lot of the things I have seen are very welcome updates; mostly better maps and a bigger screen. However, why the funky screen resolution? 1136 x 640. Sure it has the high pixel density that we are coming to be used to in phones and even laptops (eventually televisions and monitors), but it is just under 16:9 aspect ratio and is a bit away from 720P.
Apple Markets to Non-tech
One of the reasons I see that Apple doesn’t bother with relating anything to standards is that they advertise to people that do not understand the specs anyway and like buzz words more. But still, I mean why not make a 720P screen when many of the competitors are up to that and some even more.
Apple doesn’t need to compete in specs or performance as much as any other company does. Apple is this generations starlet of a company and as long as they use the words ‘Most Amazing Yet’ in any product they push it will sell well. Not saying they don’t make great products, because they do. They always have solid hardware and flashy design. But, they do deserve much of the ridicule that they receive because marketing is their strongest point and to the people that understand standards, specs, etc. see exactly how they manipulate people into wanting what they offer instead of offering what a user wants. Many people that have never used another smartphone are not willing to even try because they just think that the iPhone is the best.
Oh ranting. Fun sometimes, yet futile. Either way, enjoy your iPhone 5, but open your mind to other things once in a while. Brand loyalty can really make you miss out on great products. Just think of the people that were brand loyal to MS and got Vista, or just that were not educated enough to know that there were other options.
Want to customize the web tiles on your Windows Phone?
I have been working on a small application to allow users to add some customization to tiles of websites that they choose to pin to their home screen. With this small web app you will be able to set some main text, sub text, font size, and color to the website tile that is on your homescreen. With this you will be able to easily make a pinned website tile match your theme or make it a color that stands out.
I would eventually like to add more features to this web app like; font selectors, image upload, and more colors to choose from. For now you can use this tool at Custom Tiles. This has mostly just been tested on my HTC Titan and recently the CSS file was erased somehow so I had to redo it without as much testing. Please submit any bugs or requests in the comments below.
Microsoft has just announced it’s own line of Windows 8 tablet/ultrabooks, the Surface RT and Surface 8 Pro. The Surface RT is geared towards competing for tablet money while the Surface 8 Pro is a full fledged, high powered, Windows PC that has a form factor more like a tablet.
I like the presented features of Smart Glass. Although, I can’t help but feel that most of these features should have developed nicely through DLNA. DLNA as a group set out to make home media experience a nice seamless cross-platform experience, but so far has not been fruitful. Airplay on the other hand is a successful product but, it completely locks you into the Apple ecosystem so you have to buy a Mac, an AppleTV, and a iPhone/iPad/iPod to really get much out of it.
UPDATE: I did not go through with the install last night because I was on my work laptop and the only option in the upgrade was to keep NOTHING. My IT department would likely be angry if I wiped everything off of there and I am not 100% positive I would be able to get back up and running with my work VPN setup. At any rate, I plan to install Windows 8400 on my netbook which currently has 8250 build also.
I was excited about all of the rumors of Windows 8 Release Preview being rumored to come out early. When I checked for updates on my Windows 8 8250 machine I saw that I had 23 updates. Excited, I thought that maybe the 8400 update would come like service packs usually do just in big updates.
Just ask Siri on your iPhone 4s and she will certainly tell you what the best smartphone ever is.
For those of you who do not know, the responses that you get when you ask Siri what the best phone is usually is just a programmed response meant to be funny and will never actually tell you anything helpful. However, the programmers seemed to have let a few queries slip through the cracks. More or less just adding the word “ever” to the end of your query seems to give you a real response instead of some forced programmed response.
Nokia Lumia 900 – Best Smartphone EVER
The numbers don’t lie. For the average user the Nokia Lumia 900 is the best smartphone ever. Obviously for some people there are reasons to choose a different device but many are doing themselves and injustice by not considering a WP7 in their smartphone choices. Not just the Lumia line have awesome customer reviews. Almost every single WP7 sold has been in the top customer reviews on many different sites. Because it is simply awesome. The Windows Phone 7 operating system is beautiful, fast, intuitive, and just a joy to use.
So go get your hands on one and see for yourself. If you don’t like it all the carriers have easy return policies.
Well maybe I am just being a bit cynical but, tablets do not bring anything to the table. Seriously think about it for a second. What does a tablet do that either the phone or laptop can’t do. Not only that they can’t do but that they can’t do better than a tablet does. Today’s “tablets” are less portable cell phones that generally don’t make calls and have crappy cameras. Or if you try to compare them to a laptop then yes they are more portable but with very limited functionality and a need for extra peripherals to perform tasks almost as efficiently as a laptop.
Today’s Tablet is Nothing More Than A Status Symbol
It might sound a bit ridiculous but I honestly think this is a big part of the reason. Steve Jobs was absolutely insane and this is exactly the kind of thing that he would have done and completely forced everyone to agree with him. The small screen on the iPhone forces users to get something with a bigger screen. Personally I have no need for a tablet. I use my phone for general browsing and gaming, my desktop for work, gaming, research, and usually for blogging. Once in a while I might pull out my old Asus Eee netbook while sitting on the couch but not often.