At the Crossroads of Media, Culture and Technology

What’s in an App? How Dropbox killed the Nokia Lumia 928

Verizon Wireless: 1 point.  Samsung Galaxy/Android: 1 point.  Windows Phone: 0 points.

My phone (Droid X2) was making my life miserable. Lost calls, random crashing, battery drain, internal storage malfunction, failure to start apps or even start calls! Yes, seriously, I had the smartphone that did everything BUT send or receive calls.  I’m not due for an upgrade until August, but I’m on the job hunt and I need to be able to pick up the phone for interview calls.  So week ago Friday we went to the Verizon store to see if we could convince them to give me that upgrade early because I need a phone that works.

While corporate was being pissy on the help line, the manager of the local store chose to be a saint and used some magic to get us not only the option to upgrade, but also to switch our plan to something better suited to our needs and cheaper. Double win!

Nokia Lumia 928
Nokia Lumia 928

I’ve been on Android for two years now, but kind of wanted to try something new.  After very detailed testimonies of the manager and other staff, and a thorough test run with the Nokia Lumia, I was sold. That phone is seriously fun! The basic functions are just cool.  I loved it!  The app store was missing some of the apps I love, but I could use alternative apps or find other work-arounds.

I took it home and had all kinds of fun playing with it that night and the next morning.  Until I discovered that there is no official Dropbox app for the Windows Phone.  The apps they have aren’t made by Dropbox, and while they let you see your files, you can’t do anything useful with them!  “But SkyDrive?!” say all the Windows Phone people.  I know!  I use SkyDrive too and its… okay.  I also use G-Drive.  The thing with all three of these services is that they have different strengths in their functionality and which I use depends very much on what I’m trying to accomplish (much like Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/G+).  G-Drive I use if I need to have a team of editors on the same file at the same time.  Dropbox and SkyDrive don’t allow that and things get super chaotic if you try. Dropbox is my primary cloud storage service. ALL my current projects and files are on Dropbox.  SkyDrive I use when I have to share things with someone who is on SkyDrive and isn’t on Dropbox but not otherwise.

But here’s the killer: there are a LOT of people on Dropbox. More importantly more of my people are on Dropbox than on SkyDrive. A lot of what I have on Dropbox I have shared with other people, and we use those files, constantly.  I’m within two months of D-Day planning a wedding and all the other key players live out-of-state: we do EVERYTHING in a Dropbox, and I can’t ask all of them to switch to SkyDrive just because my phone doesn’t have a real app. And I can’t wait for a real app to maybe come, maybe not.

Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4

So despite loving so much about the Lumia, I took it back the next day and got a Samsung Galaxy S4.

O. M. G. Do I love this phone! It’s so fast, cool, convenient, smart, connected! I… it just… wow.  As soon as they activated it, it started syncing my installed apps; didn’t even have to look them up in the Google Play store. The Air Play touch free controls are really fun–though they don’t work in every app.  Voice activation/controls are promising, though I need to keep playing with them.  The basic features and organization are super convenient! It’s really easy to find anything I need.  And I am really excited to have an NFC device! So cool!

Now that I have the SG-S4, I’m so glad I switched because it is a better device than the Lumia, though the Lumia was pretty spectacular.  However, it’s very telling that even with 4+ of my core app library missing from the Window’s App store, only one app had the power to completely kill that phone for me. My banking apps?  Nah.  My fitness apps? Nope. But shared cloud file storage?  Heck yes! That, apparently, is the most important thing in my digital life right now.

Go figure!


PS.In case you haven’t fully comprehended my excitement, Lizzie Bennet expresses my joy and rapture in the experience of the SG-S4 in the first minute of this plot crucial episode of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

YouTube Preview Image

Fortunately, so far my phone doesn’t come with mega family drama.


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This post is categorized in: What the Cr(app)

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