Officially cancelled gym today

This process was so painless, I’m so glad that I chose to do it on the phone. We were planning on going to gym last night but after my husband said he didn’t want to, I decided that I would cancel my membership today.

The contact centre agent was very helpful, informing me that the cancellation fee is 40% of the remainder of my contract (8 months), which came to a very reasonable ~R600. I have until end June to visit the gym if I wish (I don’t).

Now I can return to my previous workout strategy. Conveniently, Makro is having a health equipment sale, so tonight after we pick up a home gym for the SO, he’ll be able to cancel his membership as well.


Leaving Windows Phone was the right choice

Today Mary Jo Foley posted an article which mirrored a post I wrote a few weeks ago. She articulated what I had been struggling to say.

A few key points:

I didn’t come to this decision lightly. I actually really liked Windows Phone and figured I’d be one of the last to go down with the ship…

Windows 10 Mobile, in many ways, feels like a step backwards from Windows Phone 8.X,

…I am not interested in Apple products…I am not interested in Apple products

I missed my Windows Phone Live Tiles…

…I’m not much of an app person…I’m not much of an app person

My interest in all flavors of Windows, including Mobile, remains…

I think she said it better than I did. While I am still keenly interested in the future of Windows Mobile, I am perfectly happy with my Android phone now. Although now that the Mate 8 came out (and bundled with the Huawei Watch), I am a bit annoyed that I didn’t wait 2 months.


My experience using Windows Phone: An analysis, and why I left

After defending and justifying and praising and sighing for 3 years, I’ve finally let go.

I tried. I really did. From the first time I laid eyes on the Lumia 1020, I knew I needed one. I could live without apps, and did live without apps, for 2 and a half years.

I loved the Modern/Live tiles concept – Windows 8 was refreshing to me, as was Windows Phone 8. 8.1 on both platforms just polished off all the rough edges of 8. In fact, that is what kept me holding on for so long – I quite simply prefer the UX of Windows Phone over that of Android (and I won’t even mention the other one because I would sooner return to a 3310 than cross over).

What it ultimately came down to was, even though I was used to the “app gap” and quirks in the Windows Phone OS, it was the hardware in my phone which caused me to switch. I had this beautiful 41MP camera when Samsung was touting an 8MP camera on their flagship.

I would cringe when trying to use it, because with each subsequent OS/Lumia Camera app update, the camera would become even more unusable. More often than not, it would take about 5 seconds for the camera to spin up. That is an absolute age when trying to capture those “in-the-moment” photos.

The 3 second wait while the phone tried to save the photos was also unbearable. The OIS on my Nokia N8 was better than the OIS in my 1020. I put the blame for all of this on the previous gen dual core processor they jammed in there to power this beast of a camera.

It’s a crying shame. It’s also pathetic that of the apps that were available, one could see which ones were carefully thought through (Fitbit) and which ones were just thrown onto the platform without optimisation (Whatsapp).

When I saw the 950 series, I thought, maybe I can try again. I then realised that I no longer wish to be part of a dying breed.


Apps I’ve given up on: OneDrive for Business

It was only a week ago that I first posted about the rough time I was having getting OneDrive for Business and OneDrive to work on the same computer. I ended up removing OneDrive completely and changing my files in the webapp instead, so that I could have 1DfB sync my work files.

It turns out that was the wrong move. I was unaware of the 20 000 file limit on 1DfB. For reference, I have 21GB of data in my Asset Management GIS data folder, but over 50 000 files, because GIS does like to create many, many files.

It’s laughable really. I had everything synced perfectly with my personal OneDrive, and was simply trying to do the right thing by moving my work files to my Business account.

The cherry on top is that because I installed the app as part of the Office 365 bundle, I can’t uninstall it. I have to “permanently stop syncing” the folder, remove the Explorer shortcuts and delete the files manually.

I have also since discovered that I cannot reinstall OneDrive. There seems to be a group policy or something in effect, because my colleague can no longer install it either, and he did not have it on his computer before. So now I have a laptop full of data and scripts, not being synced to anywhere.


Apps I’ve given up on: MyFitnessPal edition

I chose MyFitnessPal as my food diary of choice because they have a Windows Phone app. Despite all the complaints, I didn’t seem to be having any problems. How wrong I was.

A few weeks ago, I was trying to log food using the app. It then started asking me to login. No matter how many times I entered my credentials, every time I went back into the app, it would ask me to login. This persisted over a week or so before I stopped trying.

The live tile has never consistently updated either. It’s a shame, because the app adheres to Windows Phone design principles so nicely. I really hope that MFP will be making a universal Windows app for 10, because I really don’t want to have to switch to FatSecret.


Apps I’ve given up on: MyStudyLife Edition

I started using MyStudyLife over a year ago, to keep track of my MOOC assignments. It was also preparation for my studies again.

I would have loved this app, had I still been at university and attending classes and such. I tried to make it work by adding all my MOOC assignments, adding reminders and so forth, but the effort required to open the web app and do all of that, without calendar integration with Outlook was such a pain.

I really did want to love it – the Windows app matched the Android one while sticking to Windows design principles, and I’m all for supporting a developer who actually cares about Windows Phone – but I just ended up scheduling my tasks on my Calendar again anyway, so that I could actually get a proper reminder.

So, I’ve officially given up on it, in keeping with my current strategy of going standard.


Apps I’ve given up on: GroupMe, or DON’T TAKE AWAY ROOMS MICROSOFT

I’ve been ranting about apps on Windows Phone for a while, so I’ve decided to do a new series of posts about apps I’ve given up on. I really believe that I do not need more than a few apps beyond the native ones.

This first rant though, is directed at Microsoft. They announced that Room support would end on 31 March, but they carried on working. Instead, support will now end in June. I’ve mentioned before about how using Rooms has been an integral part of my daily phone usage.

I don’t want to go back to Whatsapp. All the alternatives – Line, WeChat, KakaoTalk, Telegram, Threema – all have something I don’t like. Cyber Dust appeared intriguing, and with a nice looking WP app, but honestly, I just don’t feel like it.

Microsoft’s suggestion is to use GroupMe. The problem is, the app is wack. I don’t like it. I honestly thought Microsoft would say “Hey guys, guess what, we’ve actually improved Skype for Phone since we’re trying to integrate back into the system, so use that instead!”

Sweet dreams are made of this…


So, when June arrives and the Room stops working, I’m not sure what the SO and I will do. Probably Whatsapp.