In the middle of the internet being taken over by Instagram photos of Hurricane Sandy, Microsoft held a big unveiling event, showing off Windows Phone 8 and a new line of Windows 8 phones from Nokia and Samsung. In the US, these new phones will be coming to AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Sorry, Sprint.
Some of the new features in Windows Phone 8:
The new Kid’s Corner feature creates a siloed environment where kids can access their favorite games and apps on their parents’ Windows Phone 8 devices. Children can access the Kid’s Corner even when the phone is locked, so parents don’t have to unlock it for them. Parents can dictate what apps and games appear in the Kid’s Corner directly from the Kid’s Corner app.
Microsoft is also expanding its People Hub with its new Rooms feature. Rooms lets users group various shared services together, like lists, calendars, and photos in one place. Data that is stored in the Rooms is only accessible to those that are invited to join the Room. Microsoft claims that this feature works with iPhones as well, but it did not mention Android phones.
Additionally, Microsoft has added automatic image uploads from the Windows Phone 8 camera app. Images captured are quickly uploaded to a user’s SkyDrive account, and they can then be shared out to social networks from there. Microsoft is uploading low-res versions of the photos to maximise speed and bandwidth usage, and it notes that you will have to sync your phone with the Zune Desktop software in order to back up the full resolution images.