Following hotly on the launch of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 has been revealed today.
Microsoft’s Anthony Doherty, Operator Channels Executives, discussed Windows Phones 8 unique new features which are based around “personal smartphone”. Its all about personalising your phone for you – its your “true finger print”.
We are all different, so why should we be forced to have the same icons, in the same order, showing the same things. You can pin any app to any location and resize it to suit you. Luca Decour, Operator Channels Business Development Manager, confirms that “if you are a heavy SMS user, simply put your SMS tile where you can get to it. Make it large too. If you are a Social Network person, make your Social feed tile big and center it”
As Windows Phone 8 shares the same core architecture as Windows 8, it makes it the perfect companion. Documents are synchronised using SkyDrive so you can work on a document, shut down the computer and carry on working on the same document on your phone and then on your Windows 8 tablet. The User Interface is the same too.
I really liked the “hero” features that the Windows Phone 8 has.
Information is simply available on the screen without having to open apps. Weather,news headlines, Facebook, Twitter etc. can be delivered to the screen.
Lock Screen Apps: whilst strictly not an official “hero” feature, you can set up to 5 apps to appear as icons on your Locked Screen. At a glance you can see how many unread emails you have, how many new Tweets etc. Great for those who suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
With smartphones it ultimately boils down to apps. The Windows Phone Store has 120 000 apps to choose from. Microsoft cleverly identified the top 50 apps that people want and use across the other platforms and made sure that these are available for the Windows Phone user. Smart. So from the first time you pick up the Windows Phone 8 device you have all your favourite apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Angry Birds Star Wars, Cut the Rope Experiments and Disney’s Where’s My Water to name a few.
Furthermore, Microsoft approves and inspects each and every app to make sure that there is no viruses or malware in the application. The also localise the apps so in South Africa News24, Daily5 and DSTV will be available.
If you have kids, you know that they play with your phone. Allot. Besides ringing up a massive data bill you don’t want them updating your Facebook status or “by mistake” sending rude messages to your entire address book.So now exclusive to Windows Phone 8, Kid’s Corner is a worry-free way to share your phone with your kids, so they can have access only to the apps you want them to have access to. Parents can now hand over their phones to the kids without worrying about deleted photos, misdirected emails, unapproved purchases or accidental phone calls.
Rooms allow you to create private groups of people who have Windows Phone 8 to easily connect with just them. In these room you can chat, share calendars, share notes, or photos in an on-going conversation where only those invited can join in.
Rooms also works with people who don’t have Windows Phone but not all features are available to them.
Skype is built into the hardware so now you can tap a contact and decide if you want to make a Skype call or a regular call. What is cool is that Skype doesn’t need to remain open all the time as was in the previous versions.
Noakia, Samsung and HTC have announced an array of phones for Windows Phone 8, featuring large, vivid screens, new camera innovations, NFC capabilities, and bold colors. Each phone offers unique features and comes in a variety of price points.
I got to play with the Windows Phone 8x by HTC which had a superb feel to it. It is purple (and comes on other colours too) and these really makes it stand out. Unfortunately these will not be available so soon in SA as HTC will start with traditional black only. Network rules I’m afraid…
HTC phone has amazing cameras with a great f2.0 aperture (perfect for low light conditions) and a dedicated HTC ImageChip on the main 8-megapixel camera and an ultra wide-angle lens on the front camera that lets you fit up to four people in the frame. The 8X and its smaller sibling, the 8S, both boast a killer music experience with Beats Audio and exclusive built-in amps that pair perfectly with Xbox Music. You gotta hear the sound to believe it !
Nokia: The Nokia Lumia 920 offers state-of-the-art photography that fits in your pocket, and it is the world’s only smartphone to include Optical Image Stabilisation. The Nokia Lumia 920 offers wireless charging.
Samsung: The Samsung ATIV S brings the biggest screen to Windows Phone, with a bright 4.8-inch touch screen and large battery for extended battery life. Wrapped in brushed aluminum, the ATIV S balances high-end materials and technology with a hairline design and light weight. The ATIV Odyssey was announced today as the latest Windows Phone from Samsung with more details to come.
Windows Phone 8 devices will go on sale in November in South Africa across all cellular networks.