I’m a bit of a gadget junkie, and there is nothing I like better than getting a new phone. The funny thing is, I was a bit of a late adapter when it came to cell phones.
Back in the early days of my marriage, before we had kids and gravity started to take its inevitable toll, I taught 3rd grade in New Jersey. These were the days before everyone and her sister had a cell phone, but they were beginning to be mainstream. I drove over bridges and across state lines, stayed late at school for meetings, and spent a lot of the time on the road — with nary a cell phone in sight. Can you imagine that today!?
Many of my fellow teachers were starting to carry cell phones at the time, and they used to lecture me about traveling without one, but I brushed them off. What did I need a cell phone for?
Now I have to laugh. I’m definitely a convert. I would get a new cell phone every six months if I could find a way to justify it.
Lately I’ve been trying out the new Windows Phone 8. I got it before Christmas and have spent the last month or so personalizing it and making it my own. The Windows OS is quite clever and unlike any other phone that I’ve used before (and I’ve been around the block — I went from a Blackberry to a Palm Pre to an Android to an iPhone, and now I’m using the Windows phone.)
What sets the Windows Phone apart from the rest is the Start Screen with its Live Tiles and Live Apps. Everyone who asks me about my phone, I have to show them the Start Screen.
For one thing, it’s entirely customizable. Not only can I choose what apps and tiles appear on the Start Screen and rearrange them to suit my purposes, but I can resize them according to importance. Everyone’s Start Screen will be a little bit different — and will represent them and what is important to them.
Each tile can be one of three sizes. Since I use my VZ Nav app often, I have that tile set to the largest size so it’s easy to click on when I find myself, um, directionally challenged.
Then I have some of my lesser used apps in smaller tiles.
If I want to add a tile to the Start Screen, I simply swipe right to get to my entire list of apps.
Then I tap and hold the one I want and it will give me the option to Pin to Start. From there I can resize it and place it where ever I want it.
Also, you might notice my husband’s mug on a tile on my Start Screen. Not only can you pin apps, but you can pin contacts that you use often. If I click on that tile, it will bring up all of his profiles in one convenient location.
If you want to see an example of how the lives tiles work (they are so much more than just static buttons), check out my How We Met story using their How We Met app. I’ll be sharing more about this app in a follow-up post.
Overall, I’ve been enjoying the Windows OS quite a lot. It took some getting used to using the Facebook app, but now I’m a pro at it. Twitter has been easy to use, and while I miss Instagram, one of the perks is that Microsoft owns Skype, so my Skype app works great on the Windows Phone — something I cannot say for the other phones I’ve used.
Life is busy, so we’re all looking for ways to make the most out of our time. The new Windows Phone is reinvented around you including features like Live Tiles, Live Apps, Kid’s Corner, and SkyDrive, making it easy for you to personalize your phone how you want it. Now it is easier than ever to stay in touch with what matters most.
For a chance to win a Windows Phone 8, please click here to take a quick survey!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Microsoft Windows Phone 8. The opinions and text are all mine.