Microsoft held the Windows Phone 8 announcement in in San Francisco today revealing new features for WP8 on HTC, Samsung, and Nokia mobile devices. Phone releases with WP8 (Apollo) include the Nokia Lumia 820, Lumia 822, Lumia 920, HTC 8X, 8S, and Samsung Ativ S.
Here are some new feature highlights:
New Lock Screen/Live Apps:
The new lock screen on Windows Phone 8 will allow you to sync with apps on your phone to surface pictures, alerts, and personalized contents onto your lock screen. It is integrated with the new Facebook app for Windows phone 8, which lets you set Facebook pictures on rotation as your lock screen background.
The Pandora app will be available on WP8 in early 2013 and customers will receive one full year free membership with no ads while listening to music.
The Windows Phone 8 Data Sense feature will automatically compress webpages you browse so that you use less data and helps customers to not exceed their monthly data cap. It is wifi aware and will connect to wifi to cut down on your cellular usage. Data Sense can also display your current data usage. Verizon will be the first US carrier to have this app available on phones. Joe Belfiore, Microsoft Windows Phone Program Manager said their studies have shown Data Sense can provide a 45% increase in webpage browsing capacity.
Jessica Alba took center stage to explain this new feature. Kid’s Corner essentially groups all kids’ games, music, apps, pictures, etc. separately from other content so that no unwanted deletions or editions may happen to your work files.
Rooms is a new feature in the People Hub. It lets you group people together in the same room and can share notes, photos, videos, messages, and calendars. Microsoft plans to let iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7.5 users have access to share the calendar feature, but will probably require a hotmail account.
SkyDrive is a cloud service that syncs all your Microsoft Office documents among Windows 8 devices. You can view and edit PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents on your smartphone, and sync them straight to your Windows 8 PC. This also applies to photos: when you sync photos from your phone with SkyDrive, they will appear on your Windows 8 PC.