Microsoft organises content in Windows Phone around a series of hubs. We like the convenience of hubs, but can't help but feel a big part of their function is to act as ballast, bolstering the OS in an area where it lags behind other smart phone operating systems -- apps. From the home screen, tap on a hub Live Tile and, if you've correctly hooked up your Windows Phone to all your social feeds, you'll find yourself in familiar surroundings, high-fiving your email contacts, and poking your Facebook buddies. Think of Windows Phone as a house you've just moved all your stuff into -- the more you settle in, the more it feels like home.
The People hub is a social repository that collates info from your Facebook you are magic - pt2 iphone case friends, email contacts, Twitter account and so on, depending on what you choose to connect (Windows Phone also supports LinkedIn, Yahoo Mail, Outlook and more), Swiping left and right within the hub segues through different slices of your data -- such as only the latest updates or a comprehensive list of all your contacts in one gigantic alphabetical mash-up, regardless of the medium through which you talk to them, We like how hubs make getting to swathes of content straightforward, packaging related info into handy buckets where you can quickly dive in, The Pictures hub, for example, lets you browse photos you've taken with the phone's camera and also view a feed of snaps you or your mates have posted to Facebook, There are some great touches -- we especially like the date view with the Pictures hub, It displays all the snaps you've taken with the phone for each month, like a photo diary..
There's a Music + Videos hub for multimedia content; an Office hub, where Microsoft's productivity apps live, including OneNote for note-taking and Word for word processing; and an Xbox Live games hub where your games and Xbox Live avatar hang out. Apps that don't obviously fit into any of these buckets land on a secondary screen, where every app and phone function is stacked alphabetically in a long vertical list, making it easy to flick down and quickly locate a specific app. If you want to access the full range of services offered by the Lumia you'll need a Windows Live ID. This is in addition to signing in with your Facebook, Twitter and email, so prepare for a spot of registration fatigue during setup.
For example, a Windows Live ID is needed to link your phone with Microsoft's Xbox Live gaming system, This is in order for it to display and track your Xbox Live gaming achievements and avatar, and to use SkyDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage system, You also need a Windows Live account for syncing with Twitter, because the OS asks you to link your Twitter account with your Windows Live account, Microsoft has sweated buckets recruiting developers to Windows Phone and recently gave a shout out to the platform's 60,000th app, Lots of app basics are here -- from Spotify to YouTube and the you are magic - pt2 iphone case ubiquitous Angry Birds, But there are still notable app gaps, including no iPlayer or Instagram..
There is also a fair amount of overlap with both Microsoft and Nokia bringing their 'assets' to the handset -- so you get Bing Maps and Nokia Maps, for instance. The Music + Videos hub taps up Microsoft's Zune music marketplace, but the Nokia Music app hooks into Nokia's MP3 store. Having two ways of getting the same stuff is confusing, but it does mean you can choose your favourite. Nokia Maps has the edge over Bing Maps, thanks to the helpful addition of public transport routes. For sheer quantity, Windows Phone can't match up to the might of Apple's iOS -- which is rapidly heading for 600,000 apps -- or Android Market's 400,000-plus. One feature of Windows Marketplace we do like though is the ability to try before you buy. Shelling out £3 for an app that laughs in your face before crashing your phone gets old very quickly.
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