Your Windows Phone is a smartphone, but it’s more than your average smartphone. It has unique capabilities and features that put it in a category all its own. In this section, I fill you in on the details. But before you read on.. I would like you to understand what actually is a smartphone.
A ordinary mobile phone can make and receive telephone calls to and from the public telephone network which includes other mobiles and fixed-line phones across the world. But the question is, what you know about Smart Phones.
I would recommend you to read my earlier post to really understand what is expected from an Ordinary or an Average Smart Phone and keeping that as a base, we will see what other things that Windows Phone supports.
People and social networks
One way that Windows Phone 7 is different from other smartphones is the way it allows you to put all the information on your contacts in one spot. Your Windows Phone ties together all the methods you use to communicate with the important people in your life into a single access point. There are two ways the Windows Phone allows you to keep in touch with the people who are important to you:
✓ You can set up a tile on your Start screen for each of the most important people in your life. You can even set it up so that each person’s image is on his unique tile. Then, when you tap on a person’s tile, you see all the current messages from and to that person (whether those are e-mails, texts, voicemails, or Facebook updates, and so on). You also see all the ways that you can communicate with that person.
✓ You can use the People hub. One way to look at the People hub is like a contact database on steroids. The People hub is a way to keep track of people, presumably those who are somewhat less important than those who have their own tile on your Start screen.
The People hub is your introduction to an important concept of Windows Phone 7: the hub. The hub is like a personal Web site on the Internet where all your sources of information are set up in a format that’s easy to view on your Windows Phone.
After you’ve set it up, the panorama shows that there are three sections to the People hub:
- Recent: All the new contacts whom you’ve recently added to your People hub
- All: All your friends whom you’ve set up to be on your People hub
- What’s New: All the latest messages and social network updates from any of your friends You access the People hub from a tile on your Start screen.
When you see a friend you want to communicate with on the People hub, you’re shown all the options you have for communicating with that person.
The Photo hub helps you use the digital camera on your Windows Phone to its full potential.
Studies of cellphone users have found that we tend to snap a bunch of pictures on our phones the first month. After that, the photos sit on the phone (instead of being downloaded to our computers), and our picture-taking rate drops dramatically. When we upgrade to new phones, sometimes we lose the photos on our old phones, or only then do we take the time to download the images onto our home computers.
The Windows Phone is different. With the Photo hub, you can integrate your camera images into your home photo library, as well as photo-sharing sites such as Flickr, with minimal effort. Plus, you can integrate these photos with your People hub and social networking sites.
Music and video
Sure, your Windows Phone can take advantage of all that Zune has to offer, but Windows Phone 7 also has the Music + Video hub, which offers you more information than just what multimedia files are available on your phone. The Music + Video hub gives you rapid access to your new tracks and the tracks that you’ve been listening to most recently. There are also applications that can introduce you to music that is similar to what you’ve been playing.
In addition to the games that you can download from the Windows Phone Marketplace, the Windows Phone offers integration with the Microsoft Xbox LIVE Web site. This integration takes place through the Xbox LIVE hub.
The Xbox LIVE hub brings all your gaming assets together in one spot. You can access them whether you’re on your Xbox console, a computer, or your Windows Phone.
The capabilities of the Xbox are such that no self-respecting Xbox fan should use any cellphone other than the Windows Phone. Sure, there may need to be a transition period while previous cellular phone carrier contracts expire, but after that, the gaming experience will be so well integrated among the different platforms that there will be no excuse for Xbox fans not to begin using a Windows Phone.
Business and e-mail
Whether your company gives you a Windows Phone to use for work or you buy your Windows Phone yourself to improve your own productivity, the Windows Phone Office hub gives you the tools to keep on top of what happens in the office. A panorama view of the Office hub is shown below.
The Office hub integrates the information on the Microsoft SharePoint system with the Microsoft Mobile Office applications on your Windows Phone. This allows you to access the latest version of any Microsoft Office file. In addition, you can access your office’s Outlook e-mail system and integrate it with your e-mail on your phone.
These capabilities are truly unique to the Windows Phone.
Well, as we have seen now, Windows Phone has every feature that each one of us need. But it does not mean that you need to implement every feature of your Windows Phone the very first day you get it.
Once you get your Windows Mobile Phone, pick one hub that you want to set up before you tackle more. I recommend starting with the People hub. If you try to cram it all in on the first day, you’ll turn what should be fun into drudgery.
No matter how you tackle the process of setting up your Windows Phone, it’ll take some time.