Score:74% In this part of our in-depth Nokia Lumia 800 review, we take a break from the device and look at the online services offered by Microsoft to all Windows Phone devices. The majority use case for adding applications to a Windows Phone is via the native Marketplace client.
Instead, the Windows Phone Marketplace offers the ability to install applications remotely. The very fact that this service exists at all is to be applauded – it's a step in the right direction, albeit limited, to make restoring and setting up a device a little less painful. The service is missing an option to expunge applications from your history, and there's no way to select multiple applications for en masse reinstallation either. It's not a perfect solution, settings, files, or saved states are not preserved, and you will need to use the same Windows Live account as you had on the older phone, but it certainly reduces the workload and frustration. Running the app gives you a checklist of all the applications that you have downloaded from the Windows Marketplace, including those you have downloaded and deleted from your phones.
The 'Find my phone' service is perhaps the biggest unsung value added feature to the Lumia 800 and other Windows Phone 7 devices. It may set your mind at rest to know that Microsoft isn't constantly tracking your position, so the map will only show the location of your device the last time you used the service (if at all). The 'Find my phone' service can use either push notifications or SMS to contact your device. If you've lost your phone and want to prevent anyone from delving into your personal data, you can remotely lock the device.
To make the lock screen more effective, you have to supply a 4 digit PIN, so only authorised persons can unlock the device, and you can opt to have the phone ring as you lock it, in the hope of getting it discovered and returned to you. Be aware that if your phone does not have a data connection, remote locking will not be able to work. The Bing Search magnifying glass button on all Windows Phone 7 devices links you not just to Microsoft's web search, but to a range of services that allow you to find information about your local area; and the products and content around you.
The initial screen of Search mimics the Bing website with a search box and a photo of the day.
Search queries can be entered via the text box at the top of the screen, or by tapping the microphone icon on the toolbar for speech recognition.
It isn't possible to change search provider, which might be seen as a bad thing since there is a degree of subjective preference between people for Google or Bing.
In results terms most recent studies seem to agree that there's not a lot to choose between Google and Bing. Each location has its own panorama including an 'About' page which gives its address, road directions from your current location, and a link to call the establishment.
The next part of the panorama is a reviews section allowing you to see an average rating out of five, and user reviews.
There is also an 'Applications' page in the location panorama, listing both applications already installed, and suggested applications.
Tapping the music icon in the Search screen launches the music recognition system where a short sample of music by your device is streamed to Microsoft which then identifies the track.
Tapping the eye icon in the Search screen takes you to Windows Phone 7's optical scanning system, which can handle text, barcodes, QR Codes, Microsoft tags, and even cover art.
Text recognition works surprisingly well, but is nowhere near as good as, the OCR software supplied with most contemporary flatbed scanners.
With barcode scanning, I found that Product Search wasn't just limited to the above categories, various domestic products were listed too – one assumes it will find anything listed on Ciao.


QR codes and Microsoft Smart Tags are generally used as a way of optically passing a URL to your device. All About Windows Phone provides an independent source of news, reviews, apps and more to the Windows Phone ecosystem. However, if you're working at your computer, and your phone is across the room or charging, it isn't always convenient to fetch it or to remember to install an application later on. Once you've found an application on the Marketplace website, and clicked the red "Get application" link (plus a couple more click-through pages) Microsoft sends a download link to your device via SMS – don't worry you'll never see these messages though.
Most importantly, though, is a list of everything you've ever installed – spread across several pages as you could easily have hundreds of applications. There is a third party solution to help with the latter problem; 'Reinstaller' makes the process somewhat easier by giving you a tick-box list of all your past applications. One of the headaches might be grabbing all your older apps from the Windows Marketplace, one at a time, with lots of confirmation dialogs.
The refresh link will make the service send a location request through to your handset, and then display the received location on a Bing map. Push notifications are faster, and may save you the cost of receiving SMSs but will drain your battery faster. Whether you've lost it around your house, or you've become separated from the device while out and about – having your phone call out for attention is a good way to make someone find it and pick it up, which doesn't guarantee a return, but let's hope there's more good people than bad people out there. You don't have to worry about forgetting the PIN either, as Microsoft will email it to your Live ID address too. Again, this depends on your phone being reachable, and if you do this there'll be no more location tracking, as it will have lost its association with your Live account. Some users might see this changing photo as a bit of fluff, however, a changing background keeps things visually interesting, and there's no other use for all the empty space, so nothing is lost – since the images load quickly.
A quick survey reveals that all the All About team default to Bing on their Windows Phone devices, despite using Google as their desktop search engine of choice.
You can also pin a location to your start screen, send its address via SMS or email, and add it as a favourite, which will be listed in the Highlights page. There's no option to add a review, and it's not clearly stated where the reviews are coming from.
The idea is that tapping on an installed application will intelligently deep link into that application for the location you're currently viewing. Regardless of how well each of these scanning methods works, it's a value-add to have these functions built into the operating system. By holding your camera up at some foreign text, and tapping the translate button, the Lumia 800 will consult with Microsoft services, and overlay a translation over the image of the text.
The service is primarily aimed at books, CDs, and DVDs, where users can scan the barcode or cover art.
There's little to go wrong with these, and recognition is fast and works at fairly oblique angles too.
The marketing focus on live tiles tends to miss out the mundane but consummately useful features behind Windows Phone 7. This is therefore limited to devices with a SIM card – which usually isn't a problem unless you're a phone collector or a reviewer! Once you click the 'reinstall' link, you'll be sent through the same process as above for remote installation applications.
However, you will still be dropped into the Marketplace client for each individual application that you selected.


If that's the case, then step forward Reinstaller, a handy little tool from WPfied which will help automate the recovery. This mirrors the same functionality that was introduced to the iPhone, while Symbian and Android have similar solutions implemented by third parties for a price. You can, however, set the phone to cache and upload its position every four hours to improve the chances of recovery. It uses a unique ringtone, and vibrates, without lighting up the screen; and the only way to stop it is to press one of the hardware buttons.
This final act is something that should be done to protect your data, rather than trying to recover your property, as it is effectively giving up on recovering the device. Viewing each of these lists creates a set of points of interest (POI) on a map at the top of the screen that can be expanded.
Identified tracks are saved in a 'Music History' list and are all deep linked to the Marketplace client. The immediacy of accessing it via the search button truly fits an application which, more often than not, needs to be used in a 'quick draw' scenario. As match results are listed on-screen, superimposed over the live image, you can tap through and launch Internet Explorer on the corresponding Ciao page.
For example, in my impromptu tests, a poster for the Avengers movie was recognised, but various covers of William Gibson's Nueromancer were not.
This could be anything – I'd recommend instructions on how to return the phone to you. However, I would wager that most people opt for convenience rather than security, so it's great that the option to add a PIN after the event of a loss is available. However, there are always going to be times when an alternative set of search result will be needed - so the Google Search app is a recommended download for all Windows Phone devices.
Then going on to integrate with the built-in Marketplace client perfectly rounds things off (and is how it should be). While the success rate of the various scanning methods could be better, it's just high enough to make it worth trying to use the built-in services before a third party alternative. You can find plenty of QR codes to install apps onto your Windows Phone device in our AAWP application directory. Because your device isn't always online, the install service will sometimes say it has failed; however, I've found that the Lumia 800 (and any other device) will install the application once it (eventually) makes contact with the Microsoft mothership. When the service cannot locate your phone, it offers to keep trying and send an email notification when it receives a location. If you don't supply a message, a default message with your Live ID email address is added; which is a smart move, as it provides some form of link back to yourself for any good Samaritans out there who would try to return your property to you.
Yes, it might be too late in terms of someone viewing your personal data, but it's better than nothing. Recognition only seems to work with actual words – for example, when attempting to scan a Special Delivery receipt to get the tracking code, Bing Vision will pick up everything BUT the alpha-numeric code. Note that if you've disabled push notifications (via your phone settings); there is a limit of 15 texts in a three day period. Anecdotally, for the area around my home, I found that Local Scout was better for places to eat, but Nokia Maps was much better for shops.



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