Tag Archives: ease of use

Why Choose a Windows Phone?

lumia650
The Lumia 650, the current replacement of my first Lumia 620

In a recent blogpost I wrote that a smartphone was a good candidate as a computer for seniors and I showcased my Lumia 830. Some readers commented that nobody uses Windows phones anymore. But is that true?

In this post I will make the case for why you should consider a Windows phone.

Not Popular
Firstly, it is really true that Windows phone is not popular, it has a 1% market share. You would have a hard time finding a Windows phone in many of the big box stores, and if you do, the sales people are not very knowledgeable about the phone. They will probably discourage you from considering a Windows phone lamenting the cliché “there are no apps”. Surely they must be right…

My Story
Everybody I knew had a smartphone, so I decided I wanted to be “with it” and get one too. So off to the Telus store I went and they recommended a Samsung Galaxy. Oh my, was it ever confusing! So I dutifully got a book (300 pages) on the Samsung Galaxy. Many coffees later and a well-thumbed manual, I was not really more clued in—but at least I had worked out how to make phone calls.

Then I saw an interview on TV with Kevin O’Leary and he mentioned a Windows phone – I had not even heard of it up till then. So I ordered a cheap Lumia 620 on Amazon just to try it I out. I was amazed at how easy it was to use! Even though it was a low end phone, it did everything I really needed in a way that I intuitively could understand. My expensive Samsung ended up in desk drawer where it still remains.

The App Gap
When I bought my first Windows phone, I had not even heard of the “app gap”. What is it? Most articles on Windows phone will state something like this “Apple and Android have 1,500,000 apps but Windows has only 500,000”. And that is probably correct, give and take a few thousand, but what does it mean? Does it mean that one will have a less satisfying experience when using a Windows phone? Not at all. The core apps that people use 90% of the time are available on all three platforms.

In real life, people don’t spend a lot of time perusing the app store and downloading a suite of apps—it would take a lifetime to check even just the 500,000 Windows apps. Research shows that most people use Facebook 50% of the time, and a few other apps, the rest of their time on their phones. So the app gap is not a real factor when considering a Windows phone.

Finally
Don’t let technical review articles, or incompetent sales staff quoting the app gap ad nauseam, put you off. Windows phones are readily available from the Microsoft store, as well as online from Amazon.

You will appreciate just how easy it is to learn and use the phone. Your real life experience with Windows phone will be a pleasant surprise.

This old video, dating from the time I heard Kevin O’Leary mention Windows phone, still explains it well.

Adobe Elements for Small Business

Adobe Elements 13 LogosWe have shown in our many online courses that you can do a lot with MS Word and the graphic tools that are included with Windows.

However, if you have found that you often wished you had more graphic power in your projects, then you should consider the Adobe Elements suite.

What is Adobe Elements?
Adobe Elements Suite consists of Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements and the Organizer. The reference to “elements” reflects that these programs contain all the essential elements of the full Photoshop and Premiere—but at a greatly reduced price.

Advantages
The main advantage for small business, besides the price, is ease of use. Adobe has really succeeded in making everyday graphic tasks easy and fast. And in business, time is valuable.

Both programs have a Quick View where you can do many tasks with a single click.

For more complex projects there is the Guided view, where the program guides you step by step through the specific task—this is particularly handy for those tasks that you don’t do often.

The Expert view gives you access to the more advanced features when you need them.

What is eLive? This view gives you access to Adobe’s online resources Elements website where you can find many tips, inspiration and tutorials. Ideal for when you are hard at work, but feel you need a bit of a break.

If for example, you have a photo taken at the tradeshow, and you want to put it on your website, but it is not so nice. Click on Smart Fix in Photoshop Elements and chances are it can be rescued. Or you have a video of the mayor visiting your booth – but you used your smartphone and it is shaky. Premiere Elements can fix that too with one click.

These are powerful programs but Adobe has made it easier to master them. You don’t have to use all the advanced features all the time, and certainly not in the beginning. The more you use the programs though, your skills will grow progressively. You will still use the Quick and Guided views often, but you will be glad you also have the Expert view when you need it.

Finally
Once you start using Adobe Elements, you will certainly fall in love with the program, both for at work and at home.

If you are not sure if you should spend the money, we encourage you to take our free online course, Introduction to Adobe Elements.

In this course we show you have to do many common business tasks and it will give you a feel for both the ease of use and the power of Adobe Elements (see the completed course project below).

The course is fun and free – so what are you waiting for,  click here to go to the course home page…