There’s been great excitement at Chitter Chatter HQ as the Nokia Lumia 920 has hit our stores bringing with it the all new singing and dancing Windows Phone 8 operating system. Launched at the end of October after an investment of millions by Microsoft, mobile phone fans have been eager to get their mitts on it to see what all the fuss is about.
Microsoft has always liked their operating systems to be different and to stand out from the crowd. Windows 8 has built upon and enhanced on the Windows 7 OS with some great improvements which should prove popular with Microsoft fans.
First up is the new-look Start screen which still features their iconic Live Tiles but with the option to customise the size of the tile depending on the importance of that particular app to you. So if you need to keep a close eye on your appointment diary for that day, you can make it 4 times the size of the smallest tile and reduce the size of some of the other tiles which aren’t used so often or don’t offer live updates and information.
You can also arrange your tiles however you like and choose from 20 different colours to make your own unique and personalised Start screen. The lock screen is also customisable – you can choose a selection of your photos for the display and also choose your lock screen widgets which include Facebook updates, events in your calendar and score updates from your favourite sports teams.
The Windows 8 browser has also been improved with quicker downloads and capabilities along the same lines as Internet Explorer 10. Online security has also been enhanced with real-time phishing protection and is also comparable with that found with IE10.
The touch screen camera app is a great Windows phone design. There is a choice of lens tools which allow you to take pictures with different effects such as a 360-degree panoramic shot and you can now zoom in and out by pinching the screen. In the photo album app, there’s now the option to select more than one photo to share online and pictures can be uploaded to SkyDrive via wifi.
Windows 8 has also seen changes to the entertainment available on their operating system. Zune music and videos have been replaced by Xbox Music where you can buy music tracks, try previews or purchase an Xbox Music Pass for unlimited streaming and downloading of tracks for offline listening. The Games collection has also been revamped with the Xbox SmartGlass app which gives you the option to use your phone as a controller for your console.
The touch screen has also been improved and is super sensitive (see our blog on the Nokia Lumia 920). The Windows Phone Keyboard is a great asset for those who find touch screen typing frustrating and of course the MS Office applications including Word, Excel, Power Point and Outlook mean that keeping updated with work on the move has never been easier.
If you don’t mind your kids borrowing your phone, the new Kids Corner tool will keep your little ones amused with a selection of apps, videos and music. There is a great parental control feature where you choose the apps and features which you want your kids to access and it’s secured by a password so your kids can’t cause havoc with the rest of your phone!
In a nutshell, Windows Phone 8 has some fantastic new features and improvements over its predecessor and is available on a great new selection of handsets. It offers a range of excellent apps compared to its smartphone peers, the ultra useful desktop Windows software, a super-quick and effective browser and probably the best touch keyboard around. Click here for our Chitter Chatter packages featuring Windows 8 for the Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X and HTC 8S.