During the official Windows Phone 8 launch event on October 29th, Microsoft announced several new features for Windows Phone 8 and even stated that this is the time for Windows Phone 8. Lets recap the event and go over some of the new features of the new platform!
During the keynote, Microsoft went over the "standard" method of having rows of icons on the homescreen. During the keynote, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore stated that the iOS app grid was a "tired old metaphor." Apple may have standardized the row of icons and Android may have copied it but Windows Phone 8 is designed to put people at the center of the experience. "We've introduced what we think is our most beautiful and innovative line of hardware yet," states Joe Belfiore during the Windows Phone 8 launch event. According to Belfiore, there are now 120,000 Windows Phone 8 apps available in the Store. Microsoft is also doubling language support to have support for 50 languages and 191 countries will have access to these apps.
Windows Phone 8 comes with new Facebook, Twitter, and Skype apps as well as a new lock screen that's powered by Live Apps. On top of that, Windows Phone 8 will have 46 of the top 50 apps on all mobile platforms. Microsoft is also planning on bringing over more of the top apps to Windows Phone 8. Microsoft is even bringing Pandora to the platform, with one year of free ad-free music. Pandora will be available in early 2013, according to Microsoft. Interesting to see that Microsoft is bringing Pandora on board, considering the company is competing with them with Xbox Music. What is Microsoft up to?
Kids Corner is a new feature for Windows Phone 8 that acts like a pacifier for mobile-addicted kids. The new "kids corner" feature partitions a kid safe environment on a parent's Windows Phone 8. Basically, it prevents a kid from messing around with the parent's social media accounts among other things. Another feature that will come with Windows Phone 8 is Data Sense, which Microsoft claims this feature will allow for 45% more web browsing on the same data consumption. "As you get close to your monthly limit Data Sense can automatically adjust the way that the phone behaves so that you won't go over," Microsoft's Joe Belfiore stated.
Windows Phone 8 will come with a new Rooms feature, which lets you create groups in the People app. It's a pretty cool way to share photos, notes, and calendar with people who matter to you. With Rooms, you can invite anyone using any phone into a Room. On top of that, Windows Phone 8 will use SkyDrive to move music, photos, and files from your PC, to your phone, to your Xbox. The Windows Phone 8 also allows you to sync your photos to your PC. "When you're on your PC, your phone photos are automatically available in their full resolution right there on your PC," Microsoft stated during the keynote.
Steve Ballmer, who closed the Windows Phone 8 launch event, quickly mentioned that preliminary demand for Windows 8 has exceeded Windows 7. As for Windows Phone 8, "We had a very different perspective on what a smartphone should be," Ballmer stated. According to him, there's one more thing that sets Windows Phone apart and that is killer hardware. Windows Phone 8 to go on sale this weekend, with US customers to have more choice that ever, with a wide range of devices and a wide coverage of operators. The Microsoft Store will also carry every single Windows Phone in every single color. "This is the time for Windows Phone 8," Ballmer adds.
- AT&T will have the Nokia Lumia 820, the Lumia 920, and the 8X available in November.
- Verizon will carry the Windows Phone 8X and the Nokia Lumia 822, in stores by Thanksgiving.
- T-Mobile will carry the Lumia 810 and the HTC 8X
Microsoft has also announced during the Windows Phone 8 launch event that that the Windows Phone 8 SDK will be available to the public starting October 30th. It will be announced at the BUILD event, where we assume they will talk and give an insight on some of it's new features.