It’s inevitable, but I have to upgrade from my Lumia 950 running 10.0.15254.527

It drains my battery so it does not last for a day anymore. I believe it is because the Twitter app is deprecated and they moved from a UWP to a PWA type. Since that moment my battery drained faster. I even ordered a new battery. That’s how dedicated I am to UWP apps and the win10 ecosystem.

I thought that I did not care that I missed some apps. But just yesterday I broadcasted my session of Super Lucky Tale’s on Xbox with Mixer and I needed a Mixer app on my mobile which redirected me to the Google/Android store!

During my holiday there was an issue with Azure. So I needed to borrow the iPhone from my wife to use the Azure app… I am on a Microsoft phone and cannot have an Azure app. That is just brutal!

So I have 2 options: the Apple eco-system or the Google eco-system. Option 1 is not an option for me. Because I don’t like the phone’s price. For instance there was an issue in the Netherlands with the new ID cards. You would receive a letter from the government that you need to scan your ID card with an app. This was only possible with Android because of the NFC chip and because of the iOs SDK limitation it was only possible on Android.

Microsoft also launched it’s own Android Launcher. So I am moving to Android. There are then two options (imho) a Samsung or a Nokia. I have been a Nokia fan for ages. (5110, 3210 etc. Lumia 920, 930, “950”)  Samsung has been in the news a lot about staying behind on the updates and not having a vanilla Android. So I will move to Nokia.

Next step: decide what Nokia. Wait for a 6.1 release in Europe? Or go for a 7 or 8 or even the Sirocco? Because of the price, I think that I would go for the 8. I am out the Android eco-system for several years, so I have not a lot of hands on experience with perf and the effect certain hardware can have on the UX.

I had to lookup how long it was ago. My first Android app release in the Google store was in 2010 (8 years ago!) The last person who bought it was in 2014. I took it offline not much after.

I am slowly getting a bit exited about moving to the Nokia+Android eco-system. Would prefer a Surface phone though, but you can’t wait forever! I blogged in 2013 about moving to Windows Phone 8.x and Android custom roms in 2011 http://jphellemons.nl/category/android reading back the app list makes me want to move even faster. An official Sonos app would be great! Miss it on a daily basis. And Android will give me the option to switch my bank to Bunq!

Thanks for reading my 2¢!

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Apple’s keynote was yesterday and revealed the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, Apple watch and Apple pay. (Note: no iPay and iWatch) But I was a bit disappointed about the iPhone 6. It is not that high end as you would expect for the price that they charge. I know that in the USA about 30% of the people have an iPhone, but in the rest of the world it is about 10% market share. iOs is at this moment the number two mobile operating system and in Italy is it nr 3. Please do not get me wrong, I really like apple products and the fact that they make a lot of not technical people think about options. Before Apple was popular in the Netherlands everybody just went with Windows and did not consider other options (mac, bsd, linux etc.) So let’s just compare the iPhone 6 with the Lumia 830:

iPhone 6Lumia 830
iOs 8Windows Phone 8.1 with Denim update
4.7 inch5 inch
4g lte4g lte
1334 x 7501280 x 720
8mp10mp
f2.2f2.2
no ois
Optical image stabilization
1.2mp front cam0.9 mp front cam
no wireless chargingwireless charging
fingerprint readerno fingerprint reader
nfcnfc
16 gb16 gb
no expansionmicro sd
799 usd426 usd

A few questions you have to ask yourself

There are a few questions you have to ask yourself when you are spending at least 800 dollar.

A 64gb micro sd is available for about 26 euro and 128gb is 88 euro. Retail price that is. How much would Apple pay for the extra storage? Is it worth 100 dollar to double the storage?

The camera of the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 plus is only 8mp. The plus has optical image stabilization, but the regular iPhone 6 has not.


If you do not want Windows Phone, you can Also consider Android (of course) 4.4 with the Samsung Galaxy S5. It has a fingerprint reader, can have wireless charging with an extra cover. has a 16mp camera and you can expend the storage with micro SD. It is (in the Netherlands) available from 450 euro. Which is almost half the price of an iPhone 6 (800 dollar minimum).</p><p>As I said before, I really like Apple products, but I believe that Apple has out priced themselves. I would have expected more hardware or lower prices or a combination of both. What do you think dear reader? Don’t compare the CPU and RAM, because that is tied to how a mobile operating system manages it and can only be “measured” by a lagging interface, which is not the case at either iPhone6, Nokia and Samsung models mentioned above. The iPhone 6 was just announced yesterday, so I do not have hands on experience and if I have missed a thing or two, let me know!
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QR Code on a buildingHave you ever seen QR codes? QR means Quick Response. It’s has a Japanese origin. Created by Toyota initially to track car parts during manufacturing.

These days it’s getting more popular each day because of the mobile internet and the increase of maturity among mobile operating systems. Almost each mobile operating system has one or several QR Code scanners enabling the consumer to ‘mobile tag’.

[more]

 

Here is a simple workflow of mobile tagging:

 

Workflow of Mobile Tagging

Now there is this old post from 2007 about a .Net QRCode library here: http://twit88.com/home/opensource/qrcode 

But I have found this updated and extended version here:

http://twit88.com/platform/projects/show/mt-qrcode

Their last update is from 18 April 2010. So I grabbed their 1.1.0.0 version and installed it.

After installation I copied the DLL MessagingToolkit.QRCode.dll from

C:\Program Files (x86)\MessagingToolkit\MessagingToolkit-QRCode\QRCode\

to my Bin directory of my Asp.Net C# project and referenced it. Please note that the DLL is quite large; it’s over 6 MB.

Now you can generate a tag easily with:

string yoururl = "http://www.jphellemons.nl";
MessagingToolkit.QRCode.Codec.QRCodeEncoder qe = new MessagingToolkit.QRCode.Codec.QRCodeEncoder();
System.Drawing.Bitmap bm = qe.Encode(yoururl);

 

I made an handler (.ashx) for it so that I can get QR codes by placing this html

<img src="GetQRCode.ashx?code=abcdefghijk" alt="the code" />

on my website and use the following in my ashx:

public void ProcessRequest (HttpContext context) {
    string prodCode = context.Request.QueryString.Get("code");
    context.Response.ContentType = "image/gif";
    if (prodCode.Length > 0)
    {
        MessagingToolkit.QRCode.Codec.QRCodeEncoder qe = new MessagingToolkit.QRCode.Codec.QRCodeEncoder();
        System.Drawing.Bitmap bm = qe.Encode("http://www.yourdomain.com/product.aspx?code=" + prodCode);
        bm.Save(context.Response.OutputStream, System.Drawing.Imaging.ImageFormat.Gif);
    }   
}

The possibilities are endless now that you can generate QR codes. You can provide the marketing department of QR codes which they can embed on posters they spread on the streets enabling customers to scan and go to your specific offer landings page.

Happpy mobile tagging!


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Calvin Klein's QR Code in New York

Edit 12 April 2012: I have received an email from Reynoldo who told me that the twit88.com website is down. So you can download the DLL here now, it's almost 6mb: MessagingToolkit.QRCode.dll (5.91 mb)

Edit 18 April 2012: The 1.3.0 package is now available on NuGet

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