Windows Phone 8 has just launched and looks set to offer consumers an exciting alternative to a market currently crowded with iOS and Android device. Here’s a look at some of the new features that help it stand out from the crowd
Windows Phone 8 is the first iteration of the OS to feature screenshot functionality. It’s simply a case of pressing the lock key and tapping the home key simultaneously and you’ll notice the phone’s display flashes. Your newly captured screenshot can then be found within the Photos app.
For discerning parents who worry about the possibility of their kids texting their boss or buying expensive apps without their permission, Windows Phone 8 features a service called Kid’s Corner.
You can select which games, albums, videos and apps can be accessed from Kid’s Corner within the phone’s Settings menu simply by ticking and unticking as you go. The idea being that provided your main lock screen is protected by a pin, the only other place your kids can navigate to is Kid’s Corner.
Once you’ve configured which apps and services you want to appear, swiping to the right from the standard lock screen will reveal Kid’s Corner and behind it, your child can only use the apps you previously set as safe for their use.
Windows Phone’s Live Tiles have always been a distinctive feature on the home screen, but heading to Settings and looking under the lock screen options, now offers access to Live Apps. Each application can interact with the lockscreen in a different way, with Bing offering a photo carousel and Facebook showing updates and image from your friends. When you’ve decided what additional information you want to populate your lock screen, choose your app and it’ll feature every time you check your device.
Windows Phone 8 is the only mobile operating system which offers a fully loaded Microsoft Office suite. Users can create, edit and then store documents in an array of locations locally and in the cloud with services like SkyDrive. Key file types such as Excel, PowerPoint and Word documents are supported, with full editing tools in each app. Once you’ve made or edited a document, it’ll then sync to other Microsoft systems like Windows 8 and Windows RT.
A simple and hotly anticipated feature of the newest edition of Windows Phone are its resizable live tiles. With Windows Phone 8, users can place small, medium and large tiles on their home screen, allowing for far greater flexibility over Windows Phone 7, which only offers the latter two size options. Previously users could only pin or un-pin apps, however this arrow in the bottom right now allows for switching between the three sizes with varying degrees of information on display, depending on the tile size.
Are you using Windows Phone 8? What do you think of it? Perhaps you're eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get your hands on the Lumia 920, or maybe you've been lucky enough to find one already? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.