They demoed quite a number of new functions including a new child-safe area of your phone called ‘Kid’s Corner’ which is designed to be locked down for use by your child to help keep them quiet at home or on a long car journey. You can customise the space allowing them access to specific gaming apps and music that you deem safe for them to play with rather than allowing them into the main section of your phone where they could cause no end of mayhem. As a new parent, I found this an extremely clerver and needed tool. It’s surprising that no one’s thought of it it before and I think will go down really well with parents who use the device.
Another new feature is Data-Sense which allows you to monitor exactly how much data is being used by your phone allowing you to also drill down to each app individually which is an extremely handy tool if you’re on a limited data plan. Data also works like Onovo compressing any data you download by around 45% meaning you can download more and do more just by using the phone as you normally would.
More information on other features are available in the official press release below. These new features are looking really good. As an iPhone user, I am intrigued to see the new live titles features on the phone work and if the customisable kids corner are just a gimmick. Kudos to Microsoft though for trying to be innovative and different in their designs and for offering consumers something which they may actually use and love more than they do other smartphones on the market.
More info below.
Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 8
Latest smartphones from Nokia, Samsung and HTC go on sale in November.
LONDON — 29 October — Microsoft Corp. today launched Windows Phone 8, the latest version of the company’s smartphone operating system. Windows Phone 8 offers a truly personal phone experience, connecting you to the people and things that matter most.
As part of the announcement, Microsoft revealed new features, including Kid’s Corner and Rooms, along with details and pricing for a range of beautiful new smartphones from Nokia, Samsung and HTC, each with their own differentiated designs, colours and features. Windows Phone 8 devices will go on sale in November at AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon in the U.S., as well as at carriers and retailers around the world.
“We can’t wait for the world to meet Windows Phone 8, the most personal smartphone there is,” said Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of the Windows Phone Division at Microsoft. “Windows Phone 8 comes on a range of phones that are stunning, colourful and unique.”
Most Personal Smartphone
Live Tiles are the heart and soul of Windows Phone, and no other phone has them. People can arrange the iconic Start screen however they want by pinning their favorite people, apps, music, games, photos and more. Three sizes of Live Tiles and 20 bright colour choices including cobalt, crimson and lime, mean you can personalise your Start screen to be unmistakably yours.
In addition to Live Tiles, Windows Phone 8 offers a range of new features to make your smartphone experience even more personal, including these:
- The only phone with Live Apps. Live Apps bring information right to the Start screen, such as the Groupon deal of the day, flight information and news headlines. With Windows Phone 8, Live Apps such as Facebook can even deliver real-time information right to your lock screen with updated wallpaper.
- Top apps. The Windows Phone Store has 120,000 apps to choose from, with hundreds added every day and hits coming this holiday, such as Angry Birds Star Wars, Cut the Rope Experiments, Disney’s Where’s My Water, LivingSocial, Temple Run, Urbanspoon and many more. Today Microsoft announced that Pandora, the leading Internet radio service, is coming to Windows Phone in early 2013 with one year of ad-free music.
- Kid’s Corner. Exclusive to Windows Phone 8, Kid’s Corner is a worry-free way to share your phone with your kids, so they can play Angry Birds without texting your angry boss. Parents can now hand over their phones to the kids without worrying about deleted photos, misdirected emails, unapproved purchases or accidental phone calls. After a simple setup, parents can activate a specialised place on the phone for kids to play — complete with their own customisable Start screens — where they can access only the apps, games, music and videos picked by parents.
- Rooms. Sometimes you want to share and chat with one group, not your entire social network. Rooms allow you to create private groups of people who have Windows Phone 8 — like your family members best friends or fantasy football league — and easily connect with just them. Chat, share calendars, shopping lists or photos in an ongoing conversation where only those invited can join in. You can share some aspects of Rooms with friends and family on other smartphones as well.
- Data Sense. This new feature helps you surf more and do more — without worrying about going over your data limit. Data sense helps conserve your data allowance by compressing Web images, deferring data tasks to free Wi-Fi and automatically adjusting your usage as you get closer to your plan limits. Data Sense also shows how much data is used per app. As you approach your limit, Data Sense notifies you so you can get the most out of your plan. Data Sense will roll out to select mobile operators this holiday and additional partners next year.
- Wallet and near-field communications. Windows Phone 8 brings together the best of new wallet technologies, including payments via near-field communications (NFC).1 The Wallet can also store your debit, credit, loyalty and membership card information on your phone.
- Always-on, premium Skype experience. With the new Skype app, coming soon to Windows Phone 8, you can make and receive Skype calls just like a regular phone call. Simply tap a friend or family member’s contact card in the People Hub, or just pick up when the phone rings. Skype is always on and available so you can choose how to connect with people.
Leading up to today’s launch, Nokia, 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 such as red, yellow, blue, black and white.2 Each phone offers unique features and comes in a variety of price points.
- 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 822, 820 and 810 offer a ClearBlack display and removable back exchangeable shells in a range of vibrant colors.3 Both the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 offer wireless charging.
- HTC. The Windows Phone 8X by HTC was designed with sleek lines and radiant colors to match Windows Phone’s new Live Tiles. This phone also breaks new ground in optics with 1080p video recording, f2.0 aperture and a dedicated HTC ImageChip on the main 8-megapixel camera and an ultrawide-angle lens on the front camera that lets you fit up to four people in the frame for a premium Skype™ experience. 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.
- 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.
Perfect Companion for Your Windows Devices
With a similar look and feel, the same technology core, and the same built-in SkyDrive cloud service, Windows Phone 8 is built to work seamlessly with Windows 8 PCs, Microsoft Surface devices and the Xbox 360 console. For example, now you can edit a document on the go with Windows Phone 8 and pick right up again on your PC when you get home. Or access your music including your albums, songs and playlists, wherever and whenever on Xbox Music.4 Create a playlist from your PC, walk out the door and cue up that same list from your phone. It’s all possible with Windows.
Pricing and Availability
The launch of Windows Phone 8 is being marked by the most comprehensive support from Mobile Operators and retail partners that Windows Phone has ever had within the UK:
- EE will be exclusively offering the Nokia Lumia 920. It will also be offering the Nokia Lumia 820, Windows Phone 8X by HTC and the Windows Phone 8S by HTC. EE’s first handsets will be available from the 9th of November;
- O2 will be offering its customers the Nokia Lumia 820, Samsung ATIV S, Windows Phone 8X by HTC and the Windows Phone 8S by HTC;
- Three will be ranging the Windows Phone 8X by HTC and the Windows Phone 8S by HTC;
- Vodafone is offering its customers the Nokia Lumia 820, the Windows Phone 8X by HTC and the Windows Phone 8S by HTC;
- From November, people visiting Phones4U stores will be able to purchase both the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia Lumia 820; the Windows Phone 8X by HTC and Windows Phone 8S by HTC, as well as the Samsung ATIV S;
- The Carphone Warehouse will be offering the Nokia Lumia 820, Windows Phone 8X by HTC and the Windows Phone 8S by HTC.