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Windows Phone 8 In-Depth Review (Part 3)

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Kid's Corner

We will say this straight; many features we will discuss in this review show that the primary focus of Microsoft is catching up with the fierce competition of Android and iOS. But that does not mean that Windows Phone does not offer anything new or innovative. On the contrary, we believe many of the WP8’s unique improvements are enough to attract new users. One of our favorite things is the Kid's Corner. Parents please note: Kid's Corner is designed primarily for you, not for kids under your arm. Most of us are looking forward to the day when we can own the phone that can provide more than one user account. WP8 addressed this need. This feature allows a regime of "guest" users to prevent children from deleting email every week, calling random people that you do not want to talk and destroys totally everything.

Kid’s Corner

Kid’s Corner

Let's talk about how it works. When you enter settings (or have convenient Live Tile on the Start screen), you can choose from a list apps, games and pictures that you want your child (or your favorite nasty boy) to have access to. You will also need to set the password for you first so they cannot access it. Once you have everything set up, let's get back to the lock screen and swipe. You will be greeted by one new lock screen, and all you have to do now is swipe up and that's it. Kid's Corner still has a Start screen that can be customized as you like, but you will not have the list of applications to take advantage of. This feature is not the first of this type of system: Android users can now take advantage of multiple user profiles with the recent launch of Jelly Bean 4.2, but it is still limited to be used only for tablets, which gives WP8 more advantages on it. We also see one similar feature on the unlocked iPhones. However, the opportunity to provide one "guest" account in the operating system is an encouraging addition to help balance the playing field with Android, even providing a competitive advantage over iOS in this area.

Wallet and NFC

Microsoft Wallet

Microsoft Wallet

Microsoft has responded to Google Wallet and Apple's Passbook by introducing a separate Wallet application, which in many ways is a combination of the two major competitors. It acts as a hub where you can keep your credit card information, and can then be used to shop in stores or for the Windows Phone mobile payment NFC support. Please alert, the carriers cannot be guaranteed to support that feature.

Wallet is also based on membership cards or loyalty cards that you have (including Microsoft gift cards), allowing you to find and save the purchase agreement, you can even add reminders and attach the separate agreements on the Start screen. Since WP8 has not been officially unveiled, we could not find many of these deal providers - mainly provided by LivingSocial, and no agreement attracted us - but if providers were more involved, it would become an attractive feature. Finally, a different panel gives you a list of apps that can be attached to the Wallet, although very few applications are available for us at this time. Like many other aspects of the Windows Phone ecosystem, this feature is dependent on third-party shopping, and will only get better as more applications appear. (By the way, Wallet is secured with 4 digits PIN code you will need to type every time in the application).

We like the direction that Wallet is heading for here, because it combines the best ideas from the options of iOS and Android. To further improve the experience, we would like to see Microsoft include an ability like Google Now in which the phone can learn preferences and your needs based on what you've seen before, but at least this is a start. WP8’s NFC support is useful for mobile payments, but it does not stop there. The platform also allows you to use this technology to share video, music, communications and IE10 links between your phone and other devices. Unfortunately, the map cannot be shared (though at least you can send your current location map via MMS at this time, as an alternative). The NFC transmission does best when connected from the WP8 devices to other WP8 devices, but there are some transactions technically feasible between WP8 and Android, the Android phones to transfer contact is quite easy, but we cannot seem to convey the URLs in the same manner. Pictures and music are not compatible due to differences in the background - they just appear as the tag cannot be accessed. The opposite direction trying to transfer files from one WP8 device to Android has failed. While we are satisfied at the support for NFC, it looks like our dream of one cross-platform solution is not actually made here.

Email

Email

Email

You were expecting big changes in the way WP8 handles its email experience? Don’t, unless you're craving one mailbox with black background. Admittedly, the improvements did not dazzle us on checking email while in a dark room (specifically: lying in bed) and it can provide some improvements in battery life on AMOLED devices. In fact, we liked this one more than the standard white in most cases, but there is a trap - it turned white when you see the real email, thus denying white background problem in low light conditions. There are several other improvements to email besides this function, the Office document will now appear automatically in the Office Hub (previously, you must view the document and choose to save it on the phone before it appears), and you can read the post by voice-to-text email feature. Since email did not experience the significant jump, our opinion about it will not change much. While it has some strong points that you will not find on iOS or Android, for example the ability to link some or all mailboxes to the general style, as well as the ability to pinch-to-zoom, we have frustrations. Some examples: As before, general chat still involves clicking the reply individually instead of having a continuous thread as you will see if it is a chat in your message center. In addition, the number of unread messages disappear from the Live Tile soon as your application, whether you still have unread emails.

Data Sense

Data Sense

Data Sense

Microsoft also introduced an app to monitor the use of personal data similar to what Google does on Android 4.0 or higher, but there are concerns that its design is not just a carbon copy paper. Much like Android, Data Sense will begin by asking you about the packets on the end of the term and monthly payment. Then following the program uses your data, which can be monitored via 1 Live Tile, will even alert you by 1 pop-up message if you are approaching monthly quota. Also, it helps you find nearby Wi-Fi access points and then, once you're connected to a network, it will automatically transfer the task to the required internet connection. Finally, it is also used to compress the IE10 sites in an effort to limit the amount of data through your pipes. We cannot test this service, but Microsoft has confirmed to us that Verizon will be the first carrier in the U.S. with Data Sense, and will have it before the holiday season. If you are using other networks, you can expect it to appear in the next year, although no specific time is found - we will let you know when we have heard the news.

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