Windows Phone is Microsoft's newest mobile OS. Unlike previous releases of this OS, that have been aimed more at a business market, Windows Phone is geared toward the consumer audience (instead of just the business world). With this new OS came a new UI. Microsoft's 'Metro' user Interface integrates many other Microsoft services like Xbox Live and Zune as well as popular social network sites.
When it comes to multimedia Windows Phone 7 has two hubs, Music/Video and Pictures. From the 'Pictures' hub, you can view Facebook and Windows Live photo albums. You can also upload photos to popular social network sites. Interesting thing about this Pictures hub is that you can view and comment photos from Facebook without actually leaving that hub, so there is no loading separate Facebook app or a page in the web browser required.
Windows Phone has a specific user interface that goes by the name of Metro that is similar to Zune HD's interface. Metro has a very minimalist design, focusing on big clear menus that are easy to select thanks to the phone's touch interface.
Metro is also customizable. Most of the customization can be done on the main screen. You can select anything from the phone, be it an application, website, a picture album or even a contact and put it on the home page. Whatever you have selected materializes as a big square or rectangle, called a Tile. Tiles can be moved around to suit your preference and some Tiles are connected to the internet, which are know as Live Tiles, and can receive real time updates.
Specific functionalities are separated into different hubs, which are accessible through the home screen. There are six different Hubs: Music + Video, People, Photos, Games, Microsoft Office and the Marketplace.
Microsoft introduced its new start screen on June 20th, 2012 at the Windows Phone summit. The new interface allows the user to adjust the live tiles to small, medium, or large (double wide) views. Windows Phone 8 brings more accent colors.
Music + Video
The Music + Video part of Windows Phone is Xbox music. Here you can listen to music, podcasts and watch videos, including movies. Your music collection is wirelessly synchronized from your PC and you can download new songs from the marketplace as well as stream digital radio off the internet. You can also listen to FM radio. The radio works only with headphones due to using the wire as the antenna. WP is also compatible with the Xbox music Pass.
To access Music Video you must select it from the home screen. You will arrive at the Xbox music menu where you will have the following choices: Music, Videos, Podcasts, Radio and Marketplace. After selecting any of these (a white arrow shows up next to whatever you have selected) you can scroll from left to right using your finger. The first screen that will show up is what your listening to, the second is your music library where you can also scroll up and down and the third screen is the Marketplace that shows you things that are relevant to what you have been listening to. You can also share your music with your friends and use KidsSafe Tunes, an app that keeps explicit music away from young children. You can control the volume by pressing the volume buttons on the side of the phone.
The People hub is comprised of your phone contacts, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn friends, and contacts from your Windows Live Account. Each contact has a profile picture which is usually pulled from their Facebook profile picture. By selecting the Hub, your recent contacts appear. Slide your finger to the left and you can browse your entire contact list. You can quickly find contacts by hitting the letter beside his or her name (for example, the letter A) and the entire alphabet shows up and selecting a letter will bring you to all the contacts on your list that start with that letter. You can also sync contacts from a Gmail account.
In your contacts there is the Me section, that groups all your personal information. It groups your Facebook and Windows Messenger info. It's also where you can find your own number and can be accessed from your contacts page.
Photos can be taken and stored on the phone in the Picture hub. You can view these photos in the hub in different ways. You can view them by most recent or you can sort them by date or by place, you can tag people and add pictures directly to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also check your friend's pictures, view Facebook and Twitter, and caption your photos.
Xbox LIVE is incorporated into the Windows Phone OS, aiming to bring an Xbox 360-like gaming experience to a mobile platform. Games that support XBOX Live can make use of Xbox LIVE achievements, avatars, leaderboards, etc. The game hub has 4 different screens. The first is My Collection where you can view and easily select any of your games. The second is a What's New screen showing you all the hottest releases. The third screen is your Xbox Live profile where you can view your avatar, your friends list and your achievements. The final fourth screen is your Xbox Live inbox where you can accept invites.
As of 2/1/2012 there are 100 Xbox live game titles, with a new game added every week.
WP7 has a Microsoft Office hub. Office Mobile is meant to be an extension of the user's workplace. In this hub, you can find mobile versions of Word, Excel and Power Point. OneNote Mobile lets you edit and save your personal notes by adding pictures and recordings. SharePoint Workspace Mobile lets you share documents with colleagues while on the go.
This final hub lets you download content directly onto your phone. You can download music, movies and apps. Apps can be free or cost a certain sum but there are usually demos for the paid apps. The Marketplace can be accessed from both your phone and the Zune PC software. Purchases can be paid for through your credit card or the cost added to your monthly phone fee. Apps are developed using Silverlight while games are developed with XNA. Both operate under .NET Compact Framework. Before being launched in the Marketplace, apps must be certified by Microsoft. As of December 2011, the marketplace has over 50,000 apps available for download.
WP7 is equipped with Internet Explorer Mobile 9. It uses the same core browsing engine as IE9 for the desktop. You can open multiple tabs and add websites to your favorites and even pin websites to the start screen. At launch, WP is not compatible with Adobe Flash Player but it has been announced they are working on it.
|Image||Device||Release Date||Processor||RAM/Memory||Display||Camera||Carrier(s)||Differentiating Feature(s)|
|Dell Venue Pro||November 8, 2010||1 GHz||512MB / 8GB||4.1" AMOLED||5MP||AT&T, T-Mobile USA||Vertical Slide out QWERTY|
|HTC 7 Pro||January 17, 2011||1 GHz||576MB / 8GB||3.6" LCD||5MP||Sprint, US Cellular, Cellular South||Horizontal slide out QWERTY|
|HTC Surround||October 21, 2010||1 GHz||448MB / 16GB||3.8" LCD||5MP||AT&T, TELUS||Slide out speaker with surround sound|
|HTC Trophy||October 21, 2010||1 GHz||576MB / 8GB / 16GB||3.8" Super LCD||5MP||Vodafone UK, Australia, and NZ, Verizon|
|HTC 7 Mozart||October 21, 2010||1 GHz||576MB / 8GB||3.7" LCD||8MP||Orange U.K., Telstra||Metal unibody design|
|HTC HD7 / HD7S||October 21, 2010||1 GHz||576MB / 16GB||4.3" LCD / SLCD||5MP||T-Mobile USA, O2 UK, Bell / AT&T||Largest 1st gen WP7 screen|
|LG Optimus 7||October 21, 2010||1 GHz||512MB / 16GB||3.8" LCD||5MP||TELUS, Vodafone UK, Optus|
|LG Quantum||October 21, 2010||1 GHz||512MB / 16GB||3.5" LCD||5MP||AT&T, Bell||Horizontal slide out QWERTY, DNLA|
|Samsung Focus||October 21, 2010||1 GHz||512MB / 8GB||4.0" Super AMOLED||5MP||AT&T, Rogers||Expandable storage with microSD, thinnest 1st gen WP7|
|Samsung Omnia 7||October 21, 2010||1 GHz||512MB / 8GB||4.0" Super AMOLED||5MP||Orange UK, T-Mobile UK, 3 UK, Optus|
|Image||Device||Release date||Processor Speed||RAM Memory||Display||Camera||Carrier(s)||Differentiating feature(s)|
|Nokia Lumia 920||November 4th 2012||Dual-core 1.4GHz Snapdragon||1GB||4.5" IPS LCD full RGB (non pentile)||8.7MP||AT&T||Super sensitive touch screen|
Floating lens image stabilization
Low light Pureview sensor
No motion blur scrolling
Comes in glossy yellow, matte grey, matte black, glossy red , matte cyan, or glossy white
Windows Phone 8
|Samsung Ativ S||N/A||N/A||N/A||4.8" Super AMOLED HD||8MP||2300 mAh battery|
Comes in Grey or black
Windows Phone 8
|Nokia Lumia 820||November 4th 2012||Dual-core 1.4 GHz Snapdragon||1GB||4.3"||8MP||AT&T|
|Swap-able color battery backs. Comes in yellow, orange, cyan, red, white, or black|
Windows Phone 8
|Minimum Hardware requirements|
|Capacitive, 4-point multi-touch screen with WVGA (800 x 480) resolution|
|Snapdragon QSD8X50, MSM7X30, and MSM8X55|
|DirectX9 rendering-capable GPU|
|256MB of RAM with at least 4GB of memory|
|Accelerometer with compass, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and assisted GPS + optional gyroscope|
|5-megapixel camera w/ LED flash + optional front facing camera|
|3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB 2.0, WiFi 802.11 b / g support (n optional), FM radio tuner, Bluetooth|
|6 dedicated hardware buttons - back, start, search, 2-stage camera, power/sleep and volume up and down|