Welcome to 2012, what should prove to be a big year for Windows Phone. Every journey must come to an end and this journey is no different. My intentions are not to bore you with semantics, but to show you the flare and beauty being offered by Windows Phone’s newer OS, that is getting people’s attention in the smartphone market. Today we will give our final attentions to the functionality of the HTC 7 Pro. I will be covering the Browser, Camera, Photo Hub, Calendar, Maps, and finally Office. From here on out, I will spend “blog” time keeping you informed of updates, new devices, apps, and pretty much everything involving Windows Phone HTC 7 Pro and WP devices on the way, available at USCC Stores near you.
Internet Explorer 9(IE9) is the stock browser on the HTC 7 Pro. IE9 is a HTML5 based web browser. This is significant because of the recent discontinued development of Flash for Mobile. HTML5 is becoming the unified development format for mobile web browsing. IE9 reflects this with its ability to quickly load pages and play content that previously was unavailable to non-Flash based browsers. There will be no “catching up to the rest”, as the future is already at your fingertips!
IE9 is a vast improvement over the previous versions of Explorer that Windows Mobile offered. IE9 uses your YouTube to replace Adobe Flash, allowing you to view the web properly. Simply hit the thumbnail and your YouTube loads the video or clip. IE9 offers the ability to share, save, share link, and copy link to most photos on web pages by simply pressing and holding image. Bookmark a page, share a page, see recent history, switch between 6 open tabs, pin a page to your Start Screen, or switch between mobile and desktop view, its all 1 tap of your screen away. No apps are needed for any of these options to work, they are just THERE for your enjoyment!
Sharing is a big deal with the social networking frenzy. This is why there are so many options available in IE9 for sharing what you find online. Windows Phone didn’t miss a beat when it came to sharing what you capture through your camera’s eye either, allowing for easy sharing to many of the social networks with 1 tap of your screen.
The HTC 7 Pro comes with a 5mp rear facing camera that can be activated from sleep and a lock screen. To take a picture tap the screen. Once a picture has been taken, that’s when the fun begins. With 1 tap of the screen, quickly tag and upload your photo to Facebook or share your pic via Email, SMS, or SkyDrive. From the same menu prompt you can opt to make the picture your wallpaper, access your photo editing apps, auto fix the pic, or add the pic to your favorites. Your "favorites”, which are located in the Picture Hub constantly scroll on your Start Screen’s Live Tile for the Picture Hub.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with SkyDrive, it is Microsoft’s online storage center, akin to the the Cloud and Dropbox. You can store your documents, pictures, and media. You can access it anywhere you are and recently an app was released for the Windows Phone, making managing your SkyDrive much easier than doing it online from your device. In writing and editing this blog, I have used my 7 Pro and my PC, accessing this document via SkyDrive.
Your pictures are accessed through your Picture Hub. Upon entering the Hub, you can look at photos stored by Camera Roll, by Date, by Favorites, by People(your Contacts), and by Albums. Your Albums consist of: camera roll, saved pictures, mobile uploads from Skydrive, camera roll from SkyDrive, Facebook uploads, and Facebook profile pics. Facebook and Twitter are baked into the OS, so when you swipe your screen you are taken to “What’s New”, where new photos from your FB and Twitter friends are updated. Again no apps are needed to make these features work, less time to spend trying to figure things out and more time spent enjoying your device.
SEARCHING for what we want, MAPPING where to get it once we figure out what it is we want, and then safely arriving to that destination via our turn-by-turn GPS as it guides us, is a big deal in people’s gauge for how effective a device is. Windows Phone listened to what people wanted, as the Mango update truly brought this concept to life. How about a 1 stop shop? How about being able to do all these things without searching for and downloading an app? How about walking out of a USCC Store and just doing it!
Start with a simple tap of the Bing Search button on your device, search the entire web, locally, or by images. Need more? Tap your Search button and you’re met with 4 options. Tap the mic icon(Bing Voice) and your devices awaits your question, how do I get there or what’s that phone number? Tap the eye icon and Bing Vision starts. This is a QR scanner and it keeps history of your scans. Get comparisons and product info quickly on the fly. Tap the music symbol icon(Bing Music) and your phone listens to the song playing and within seconds the artist is identified and you can buy it right there. Lastly, tap the building icon(Local Scout) and get all the info you need for food, events, and shopping near you.
Bing Maps comes with your phone. Step right out and get your directions read aloud as your phone takes you turn-by-turn, showing you the traffic along the way. Have your screen rotate or lock your orientation to the north. Save your favorite places and pin them to your Start Screen to for quick and easy access, saving you time and effort. If Bing is not your thing, WP understands this and has made Google Maps, Navigon, and Garmin Street Pilot available in the Marketplace. Bingle, a combo of Bing and Google maps is also available, the best of both worlds!
Being able to keep our busy lives organized is difficult, however Windows Phone has found some ways to really help you keep it all together with their built in Calendar. It is a hub itself. You can access your Agenda, To-Do, and Day Glance all in this hub. Sync your Windows Live Calendar, your Gmail calendar, your Facebook events, and birthday calendars. You can directly insert dates from your email on invites to events via other Windows Live account users as well. In addition to the daily, monthly, and yearly views available from the hub, you will be reminded of your calendar event on your Start Screen’s Calendar Live Tile. Your lock screen will also show the appt., date, etc., in addition to receiving a notification via your Windows Live Email.
The last thing we will focus on, is Office for Windows Phone. I chose this last because it has stuck in people’s mind that Windows Mobile was pure function with its Office. No frills, no bells, no whistles, just drab ole Windows Mobile. I wanted to try and help you be able to see Windows Phone as Windows Phone, not its predecessor. The fact is, having some form of a document creator and editor is necessary in a smartphone. Windows Phone knew it had to appeal to fun and business, so they put their famous Office back to use. No apps needed to download, just start a new project and decide how and where to save it!
Office is a full functioning program where you can create, edit, save, share, outline, and fully format text. You can save to your phone, SkyDrive, or your office. Available is Word, Excel, Power Point Mobile, One Note, Share Point, Templates, and Office 365. Office 365 allows you to access office docs, emails, calendars, and contacts through your phone. GDOCS is available through the Marketplace if you need to access your Google account.
Microsoft and Windows Phone is making this a SAFE choice of platforms for people to purchase. With frequent Microsoft updates, you won't feel left behind with the constant change in technology. With a rapidly growing choice of apps and a new flurry of app developers coding for Windows Phone, more than 260 apps a day are being published in the Marketplace! Take advantage of the frantic growth of apps available for the shrinking choices in OS’ available in the smartphone market today!
I truly have enjoyed sharing this journey! I hope this has been pleasurable and informative for you all as well. I learned I really enjoy my WP7, even more than I thought. I hope to continue to hear feedback and comments from the Team US Cellular community. Remember if you’re interested in the Windows Phone HTC 7 Pro, it is available at your local USCC Store. Walk in and tell them with confidence, you want to see The Windows Phone 7, and don’t let them dissuade you!