Not to be biased, but the (easy) social integration found on the Windows Phone OS is unlike anything we have ever experience before. In this post, we want to provide some great information, originally provided by Nokia, on why the Windows Phone is so great at being social.
Considering the article is written by the Nokia team over on the Nokia Conversations blog, all the content is directed at Lumia Windows Phones. However, only some bullet points in fact relate to unique applications and features to Lumia Windows Phones, the rest essentially applies to the Windows Phone OS as a whole.
The Windows Phone is truly great at keeping you connecting with your social networks, beginning with the built-in features, and moving on to great applications.
1. Account management
Even gadget enthusiasts will tell you that setting up email accounts and signing into multiple social networks can be a real chore.
On the Windows Phone the process is made as painless as possible. You go to “Settings” and then “email + accounts” and from there you can login to all your different email accounts and social networks.
It’s as quick and simple as you could want it to be. No need for repeated logins or constant password prompts, or opening up lots of different applications for different networks. Do it and your Lumia smartphone is transformed into a social networking sensation.
2. People Hub
This is the heart and soul of the social experience on Lumia. It is an address book that doubles as a one-stop social networking HQ.
Click on a friend to call, text, chat, email, mention them in a tweet, or write on their Facebook wall – all without the need for opening a different app.
You’ll also be able to see their latest updates that have been automatically and seamlessly pulled in from social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn. The Facebook photo albums look particularly good.
Furthermore, you can also see the latest interactions you’ve had with your friends on the History screen.
And only the most misanthropic soul, or French existentialist writer, could fail to be delighted as the People Hub Live Tile continuously transforms itself with chequered images of your nearest and dearest.
This is a great feature of People Hub that will make it easier for you to stay in touch and connect with a particular group of your friends, for example family, colleagues or your football teammates.
Once a group is created, you will be able to see all the latest updates from the members of that group and you’ll also be able to message them simultaneously whether by text or email.
4. Live Tiles
If a group is not specific enough then you can go even further by dedicating an entire Live Tile on your home screen to a special someone. As well as super-quick access to their contact information, you’ll see their latest updates and photos.
In the People Hub, scroll to the desired contact, press and hold over their name and select ‘Pin to Start.’
5. Email inboxes
Many people now have several email addresses. I have one for work, a personal email and another one that I use for signing up to mailing lists and newsletters.
Having multiple emails is great but it can also be a nuisance to keep track of them and to be sure that you’re not sending an email from the wrong account.
Your Nokia Lumia solves this by having a different Live Tile for each email account, while at the same time giving you the option to link any of your various accounts into a single inbox. Simple and effective.
It’s all very well being sociable but sometimes we all need a little ‘me’ time right?
The Me Hub shows you, at a glance, your latest tweets and in the ‘notifications’ you can see who has been tweeting about you.
You can also with a single message, send an update that is simultaneously posted to your Facebook wall, Twitter, LinkedIn or Windows Live.
7. IM Apps
Windows Phone actually allows you to chat on Messenger or with your Facebook friends from within the Messaging Hub.
But there are a variety of other Instant Messenger applications to make sure that you are never out of touch with those that are closest to you.
Here’s a round up of the five free IM clients for Windows Phone.
8. Social Games
What are friends for if you can’t beat them up, shove them off the track and cast them away to the dragons every now and again? I’m talking, of course, about video games.
Windows Phone is fully integrated with Xbox LIVE for great social gaming and there’s even more to come soon when the popular Zynga titles Draw Something and Words with Friends arrive on your Lumia smartphone.
With Nokia Maps on your Lumia Smartphone there is no longer any excuse for not knowing where the party is at.
More pertinently, if you’re hosting the party you can easily inform your guests of the exact location.
In Nokia Maps, press and hold down on the spot until the location is flagged up. Tap on the marker and then use the Share icon to message or email the location details with your friends.
10. Photos and Camera Extras
The social experience on your Lumia smartphone is going to be getting even better shortly with the introduction of new Camera Extras.
Already, you can view friends’ albums and easily share the photos you take on Facebook or with a more select group on SkyDrive.
With Camera Extras you will be able to capture great group shots in a single attempt by choosing the best faces from a burst and with the self timer you can put yourself in more pictures with your friends.
What could be more social than taking and sharing great photos of you and your friends?