Android and Apple have been leading the smartphone race for a couple of years now.
The Operating system, customization, social and productive applications, all these features made one throng to the retail/online stores and buy one of these smartphones. It would have been difficult for another company bring a new operating system embedded into a smartphone into the market with already most common features available. But Microsoft has unleashed the Windows Phone 7 and recently updated to Windows phone 7.5 named Mango.
Here is how Microsoft celebrated their launch of the Windows Phone
Microsoft earlier had the Windows Mobile 6.5 version which didn’t impact the smartphone rivalry with Android or Apple. But since the release of the latest Windows Phone OS, the smartphone race got more interesting with buyers getting more options and features to look into. Microsoft has infused many of its applications into one unit. The user interface (UI) – Metro UI is similar to the one seen in Windows 8 OS for the computers which has live tiles which are linked to apps and hubs. These live tiles bring new notifications like new message or email to the home screen so that the user can directly view them instead of navigating to the app.
We look into the best features that Microsoft has put in that will help you decide on whether to buy a Windows Phone or not.
The Windows Phone comes with several hubs which makes your social life easier and connected. The People Hub accumulates your friends from all the social networks into multiple screens. You can also update your status from the People hub.
The Picture Hub lets you see all the pictures on this hub, the recent pictures captured by you, pictures uploaded by your friends etc and allows you to share your pictures on the social networks.
With the Office Hub you can easily sync documents between your phone and the PC. You can use the OneNote, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Sharepoint with the office hub. You also get access to the Outlook mail application. This hub helps you a lot while you are travelling and you need to make last minute changes for the big presentation.
The Games Hub provides access to your Windows phone games collection, your XBOX Live account, your achievements and gamer profile. The games hub is also referred to as the XBOX Live hub. The Music+Videos Hub also referred to as Zune Hub provides you a perfect Multimedia experience. Listen to music, podcasts, radio. Watch TV shows, movies. You can also access 3rd part media services like last.fm. The Marketplace Hub provides your access to all the applications, games and music purchases similar to the Android Market or the Itunes Store.
Microsoft provides you cloud hosting facility called Skydrive where in you can upload your documents, music, pictures and then access them on your phone or a browser. You can stream your music playlists directly from the Skydrive.
2. Voice Control
You can now dictate voice messages to your Windows Phone. The utility is accurate if you speak clearly and slowly. You can dictate any text message that needs to be sent as an SMS or take down some notes.
3. Social Integration
You can integrate your Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts all into one. This means, even your contacts will get integrated with the social networks you login to on your Windows Phone. Facebook Chat is now integrated into the Messaging hub. You can set your chat status to Online or Offline from within the SMS menu.
4. Linked Email Accounts
You can setup multiple email accounts on to your phone like your Windows Live, Google, office accounts. The phone will provide you a single window with all the accounts added.
This gives you the ability to switch between apps. Suppose you are listening to music and you receive a message during that time. You can minimise the music player, check the message and reply to it if needed and then get back to the music player. During this time, you will be able to listen to your music track and view the SMS window simultaneously.
You won’t have to close or restart the app anytime.
6. Internet Explorer 9
One of the major advantages of the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango is the integration with IE9. This mobile browser is very good in terms of rendering Web Pages and is very smooth to use while scrolling. The browser will have native support for HTML5.
Though Google Maps is fully featured and widely used, the Windows Phone comes with Microsoft’s own Bing maps which works like a charm on the phone. One can access satellite images, real time traffic information. You can pinch-zoom to view the location clearly.
Microsoft has powered its Windows Phones with Bing Search. One can run voice search which works perfect. The searches not only provide you web pages as results but also news, and if you have turned on the location function, the search will provide you nearby accurate results. These are some of the major features packed on a Windows Phone. Though, the Windows Phone 7 OS is new in the market, it has had initial hiccups, which of course every other mobile OS has had. But, with the recent update to Mango, Microsoft has resolved many issues and brought together a whole new experience on the Windows phone.
If you are devoted to Android OS, Apple’s iOS or Blackberry, then moving to Windows Phone 7 would be difficult, yet, the Windows Phone deserves a chance to be looked at. It’s all upto one’s personal opinion as to what makes the phone better than the rest.