One of my main criticisms about iOS has always been that it’s the same user interface that the Palm Pilot had back in 1999. Just a wall of apps. Nothing that can tell me anything useful, just here are the apps you can get to. Windows Phone 8 takes the home screen and personalization to a whole new level.
First, let me introduce you to my lock screen. I was able to connect my lock screen with my Facebook account. I can mark any (or all) of my photo albums to be my lock screen. Windows Phone 8 will cycle through the pictures in that album. Every time I turn my phone on, I’m greeted with a different picture from my Facebook to enjoy. Since I have my instrgram tied to Facebook as well, it also cycles through the photos I’ve uploaded to my instagram album on Facebook.
From the lock screen you can swipe the picture to the left to access Kid Mode…
I can pin any games/apps/playlists/etc to the Kid Mode section. The kids can change the color, move things around, and generally mess with the settings in their own little area, without destroying the settings in YOUR area. Totally genius, given that the majority of moms will hand their phone to their kid at some point during the day. The way to get out of kid mode is the toggle the phone’s screen off and it will set you right back to your lock screen.
Now, onto my home screen…
The fun thing about Windows Phone is that no 2 home screens are alike. I can change the size of any of the tiles (3 sizes to choose from), or move them around so that the things that are most important to me are the easiest things to get to. Windows Phone 8 not only has links to the apps, they have what are called Live Tiles, which means they update with information from that particular app. So I don’t have to open my calendar to see my next appointment. I don’t need to open an app to see that I have Facebook and Twitter notifications. They are so much more dynamic with how the Xbox Music app flips around and shows the most recent artist or album played, or the RSS reader app shows the image and title of the most recent unread post.
Obviously, based on the picture, my work email and my personal email along with my notifications and text messages are the most important things for me. It’s what I open the most and so it’s right there up at the top. Then the calendar is also front and center so I can know what is going on with my day. I do wish there was a way to allow the calendar tile to show more appointments than just the most recent appt if you have the large version of the calendar pinned to your start screen. If you have Windows Phone 8, what are the apps you have pinned to your start screen?
I’m Sarah Kimmel, Tech4Moms, and this is my Windows Phone
Disclosure: This post was written as part of my participation in HTC’s Troop 8x. I was given an HTC 8x phone, as part of my participation in the program. No other compensation was provided.