If you don’t want to get an Android or Apple smartphone then there is a third way: Windows Phone 8. Launched 18 months ago Microsoft’s mobile operating has come along way in a short amount of time. Their latest version, Windows Phone 8, represents massive step forward for the fledgling operating system.
Windows Phone has been making a name for itself with a stunning user experience, giving users a plethora of customisation options and the latest version gives users ever more choice when it comes to the look and feel of their operating system.
Live Tiles customisation
The popular Live Tiles, one of unique features of Windows Phone’s, can now be fully customised with a range of sizes to let user create their very own personalised mosaic of interests, social networks and feeds. It improves the interface and the general aesthetics of an already attractive platform. Elsewhere there’s now an increased range of “accent” colours, so users are able to choose up to twenty shades to match their mood and personality.
Windows Phone Store
Other big improvements come in the form of a completely redesigned Martetplace, which has now been renamed Windows Phone Store and has been given a decent lick of paint which really shows off apps in the best possible light.
Microsoft reckons 46 out of the top 50 apps will be arriving on the new platform soon – as Windows Phone 7 apps aren’t actually compatible with latest version. Microsoft has also added a try before you buy button which gives users the chance to try apps before they buy them – which is a fantastic option and something all app stores should offer.
Connectivity has seen a significant improvement, with Internet Explorer 10 now substantially quicker than it was before, it even come with built-in malware making online shopping a lot more safer. Users can even pin their favourite web pages to the customisabe home screen via their Live Tiles. They’ve also included a new wallet app that offers a safe place to store your credit cards and coupons for easy-to-use contactless payment.
For those of you looking for a wealth of music and entertainment Microsoft has rebranded their Zune marketplace to Xbox Music. It’s a similar system to Spotify and offers subscription-based streaming with unlimited listening for a flat rate of £8.99 a month – and it’ll work on your Xbox, if you subscribe, too.
Parental controls are incredibly important on smartphones and Window Phone 8 has created a section called “kids corner”, it allows you to customise a special space for kids to roam around – you can select some kids-friendly apps, while important functions like text messaging or app purchases are locked-out.
One really nifty inclusion to the camera functionality in Windows Phone 8 is “Lense” – it’s Microsoft’s take on instagram and allow you to add post-production filters to pictures. Lenses include “smart shoot” which is a clever way of splicing the best elements of an image together, and there’s “cinemagraph” which allows you to animate your pictures.