Microsoft’s newest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8, was presented to a friendly audience at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium by Joe Belfiore, a Microsoft executive not too long ago. Jessica Alba joined him for a while and at the end, their chief executive Steve Ballmer. Microsoft has showcased their latest phone OS for quite some time now but here’s a run down of some interesting features.
Out of all the apps on the Windows Phone, Pandora has been one of the most noticeable absentees. Microsoft worked to get Pandora into Windows Phone 8 and managed to offer a whole year of free music sans advertising. It will be available sometime in early 2013.
The new Windows Phone 8 is able to access all the music through the company’s Xbox music service. Although it was already announced previously, it is still a feature that is worth mentioning. It is said to now include a library of 30 millions tracks that you can listen to using your phone, Windows 8 tablet, PC and Xbox.
Customizable lock screen
Since Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone users have had customizable tiles which can deliver bits of custom information like appointments and Facebook photos straight to an app’s tile on the phone’s home screen. They have now extended that level of customization to the phone’s lock screen and if an app supports the feature, the user can customize their lock screen with data from the compatible app.
To make sure that you do not overuse your allocation of wireless data, the Windows Phone 8 has a feature that compresses web page data while you browse. This is said to enable 45% more web browsing while using the same amount of data. Data Sense also assists you with finding Wi-Fi hotspots and switches you to them as soon as it is possible.
If your children often borrows your phone just to play games, the Windows Phone 8 has a feature that allows you to set up a dedicated login screen for them. The tiles are much larger and more colorful, allowing you to specify which programs they can access from there.
Voice notes in OneNote
OneNote, the Windows Phone’s application for taking notes, has been upgraded to include a voice transcription tool. Simple press and hold the Start button and say “note,” and it will record your voice, convert the audio to text, and save them both to SkyDrive.
Microsoft’s People hub added a new feature that allows users to create “rooms” for different groups of people. They include a shared, private string of messages, a shared calendar, and shared notes. Calendars may be shared with users of the iPhone but other features are exclusive to Windows Phone 8 users only.
Integrated into the Windows Phone 8 is Skydrive, Microsoft’s storage service on the cloud (we all know that cloud services are scalable and flexible when it comes to file storage). You will be able to store various files on your phone and be able to retrieve from a PC or Windows 8 tablet.
According to Joe Belfiore, “No other phone works this seamlessly across your phone, your PC, and your home entertainment system.”
We think Joe’s right, Windows Phone 8 is fluid, intuitive, seamless. Go give it a try!
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