There's good in everything, and "everything" includes Windows Phone 8Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
It's hard to find the good in things sometimes, especially when the something you're trying to find the good in is notoriously bad for one reason or another. For smartphones, there's a lot of good and bad to find. In regards to mobile operating systems, the majority seems to favor Android and iOS - the two more "developed" platforms. The other two, Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10, are, for the most part, paid very little attention to. With less abundance of apps and lack of interest for development of key applications, it makes sense that a person who would be considered a "general consumer" would rather get their money's worth from an operating system that developers and manufacturers actually give a hoot about.
While I don't have much to say on the subject of BlackBerry 10, I have recently started my adventure using Windows Phone 8. I've outlined how it has been so far going from Android and iOS to Microsoft's platform from a general standpoint. It hasn't exactly been a smooth ride, but there were a couple of positives that I made mention of in that first article. As time passes, however, I do find that I am overall enjoying the platform a little more as I discover little Easter Eggs of things that I've learned to like about the platform.
The first feature that I wanted to talk about, and the one that I think is the biggest plus I've experienced so far as a parent, is the Kids' Corner application. My very active, very curious 3-year-old son loves nothing more than to play with my phone. Not any other phone that I have laying around. My old EVO 4G or the Galaxy Nexus doesn't cut it anymore. Why? Because he knows that that phone is no longer my phone. He wants to use my phone. While I'm usually keen on telling him "No," because only disasters come out of letting your toddler play with your phone that you use for both personal and business use, I don't necessarily have to do so now with the Kids' Corner application that was already included in the device right out of the box.
You're able to launch Kids' Corner right from the lock screen - simply swipe left and you are greeted with your special lock screen that will take you to Kids' Corner. It's just like unlocking your phone normally, except this takes you to a customized home screen of certain applications that you allow your child to use. It's great because although my son is restricted, he still gets to use my phone, which is all that really matters to him. He can Netflix and Temple Run 'til his heart's content, and I never have to worry about an accidental call to the bosses or 9-1-1. It's fantastic.
I think I've already made plenty of mention of how much I love the camera given that it is a Lumia device (the 928), but I think it's important to mention that even though there are better cameras out now with higher megapixel counts (mine only has 8-megapixels) the Lumia still does a great job of taking photos in all types of situations. Motion, low-light or cloudy usually manges to produce quality photos. Also, I still love that Microsoft makes it a point to include a physical camera button on their Windows Phone devices - it makes focusing and taking photos so much easier.
So if you're not a parent and you don't like taking photos, you're probably wondering exactly what's in it for you when it comes to Windows Phone 8. While it might not be much, I will say that I've found the interface to be pretty intuitive - mostly because there's not much to it. You swipe left or right, up or down. That's about it. There has been no "getting lost" in this phone. Granted I've been using smartphones for a while now, but when it comes to changes and learning how to navigate unfamiliar things I'm kind of a dope. With Windows Phone, not so much. It was a very fast learning experience to navigate the operating system.
The last thing that I've learned to love about Windows Phone is the social integration that they've included in the platform. You don't necessarily need a designated Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or whatever social network app that you would normally use on your phone. Most of your major updates and notifications are available to you once you connect your account to your phone. Given that the Facebook app is still in Beta and, if I may say, isn't all that great, I find that I use the social integration more often than not for reading up on the mundane updates of my friends' lives.
Windows Phone 8 isn't perfect, and it isn't for everybody, but I feel like as much flack as the platform gets for what it's missing there is something to be said about what it does have that's worth mentioning. After all, there is good in just about everything.
Readers who have or have had Windows Phone 8 devices, what are some of your favorite features that you think is worth mentioning? Let us know in the comments below!
Image via Mashable