When Microsoft introduces Windows Phone 8 in June, it was still an unfinished product. Many were excited about the new Windows Phone 8 screen and Live Tiles integration then. Now, towards the end of October 2012, Microsoft surprises everyone with even better features that is not found on other mobile phone OSes. Check them out.
In today’s Microsoft Windows Phone 8 event, Joe Belfiore, Corporate VP of Windows Phone, walked us through some exciting new features of the Windows Phone 8.
Apart from announcing that Windows Phone 8 has 46 out of the top 50 apps on other OSes (I presume iOS and Android), Joe shared with us these new features.
- New Lock Screen powered by Live Apps
- Data Sense
- Skype seamless integration into Windows Phone
- Kid’s Corner
New Lock Screen with Live Apps
I think this is really interesting. Apart from a static photo or some notifications like other OSes, Microsoft decided that the Lock Screen should be customizable. With Windows Phone 8, you can now customize the lock screen with things that you like. For example, you can show Facebook photos and etc on the lock screen. It is no longer just notifications and things that you do not want to see.
For people who are too busy to even unlock the screen, you can see a lot more with Windows Phone 8 lock screen.
This is an app. For the start, I thought it is just one of those apps that monitor your data usage. Microsoft has made it better. Microsoft works with Telcos to provide the best way to minimize data usage.
With the supported Telco and Data Sense turned on, Windows Phone 8 can save up to 45% data usage while browsing the Internet. How it does that is that it compresses the webpages to reduce the data. It can also help to identified WiFi hotspot so that your phone can take advantage of them.
More telco partners will be added in 2013.
Skype seamless Integration to Windows Phone
Finally, after a long wait, Skype is finally integrated to Windows Phone. Although you will still need the Skype app to perform a Skype call, Microsoft has integrated Skype into the OSes. That means it will be able to notify you with incoming call or messages without running the app in the background. Nice!
Here is a video of Skype on Windows Phone 8
Parents will love this. I believe many parents are worried that when they hand over the phones to the kids, they will not be able to control what the kids will do with the phone.
With Kid’s Corner, children will have their own start screen and your information will be safe with a password protected home screen. To do this, you can activate and customize the Kid’s Corner at the Settings. Once done, the children will be able to swipe the lock screen to the left to reach the Kid’s Corner.
From there, they can swipe it up to access those controlled apps or games. Nice touch from Microsoft.
If you think Group on People Hub is amazing, you will definitely love Rooms. In Group on Windows Phone 7.5, you can monitor your favorite people as a group. However, interaction with them is limited.
With Rooms, you can do a lot more. You can set up Rooms in People Hub. Choose the members and you can immediately share calendar events, private photos, messages and even notes with them. What a great way to share information.
If the members are not on Windows Phone 8, they can also have limited access to common items such as Calendar events.
I love Windows Phone since the day they announced it. Many people do not agree with them. However, I think it is about time that Windows Phone 8 will shine among other mobile OSes. With Windows Phone 8, we can see a brand new Facebook App, Twitter App, Pandora App and features that are not seen elsewhere.
Currently, as of October, there are 120,000 apps in Windows Phone Store. I hope there are a lot more quality app than quantity in it. Can’t wait to get my hand on one of the Windows Phone 8.
My only gross right now on my Windows Phone 7.5 is that I cannot see embedded pictures on Outlook mail. I believe Microsoft thinks that it is a security risk. I hope that there will be an option on Windows Phone 8 to allow us to decide.
Overall, I like what I see so far.
Here is a video on the all new Windows Phone 8
If you want to see the new features, there is a 18 minutes video on Joe Belfiore with the latest Windows Phone 8 features.