Windows Phone 8 and Android 4.2: the really short reviews

Here's the skim-able version of today's Windows Phone and Android announcements

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  • Worth noting: I think Windows Phone is very slick, quite different, and often very revealing of innovations we could be making in mobile devices, especially on the interface side. But it’s hard to recommend to friends who want to use and enjoy many different kinds of apps, rather than just email, web, and Facebook.

Android 4.2 and the new Nexus phones & tablets


Nexus phones, neatly stacked

What’s new: Android’s official list is a perfectly fine list. But let’s recreate it anyways:

  • Photo Sphere: It’s panoramic photos, but with more vertical coverage. How often do you actually take panoramics that you want your kids to see someday?
  • Gesture Typing: Google is straight-up “borrowing” this from Swype (which I really, really like). I’m really eager to do a side-by-side comparison.
  • Multiple user accounts for tablets: This is just straight great. A notable, if maybe slightly geeky, advantage over the iPad.
  • Wireless television mirroring: In nerdier terms, Android 4.2 has built-in support for Miracast, which is coming soon as a plug-in adapter, and as a built-in technology.
  • New Google Now data: Among the new, new Now things that show up based on location/time/alert context: Hotel, flight, restaurant, package, and other confirmations found in your Gmail (basically, an in-house version of TripIt); movies, concerts, and news headlines you’ve searched out; and nearby attractions and photo-heavy spots.

The Nexus 4, the Nexus 10, and the Nexus 7 with 3G

Read about all three new Nexus devices at the official Android Blog. But here, again, is a shorter list:

  • Nexus 7 with 32 GB and 3G: It’s the Nexus 7, but with 32 GB storage and HSPA+ (sometimes a.k.a. “4G”) built in, for $299 for both.

  • Nexus 10: A 10-inch tablet with “the highest resolution … on the planet with a 10.055-inch display at 2560-by-1600 (300ppi).” Google’s pushing the built-in user account switching of Android 4.2 with this one, arguing it as a great living room device.

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