Update: Microsoft firms up Windows Phone 8 features, announces new Twitter and Facebook apps

Daniel Bader

October 30, 2012 3:19am

Yesterday was a busy day in the mobile world. Aside from Google’s big announcements, Microsoft also had something big to say.

The company held a press conference in San Francisco to give more details about Windows Phone 8, firming up previously-rumoured features like deep Skype integration and a “Guest Mode” for youngsters entitled Kids Corner.

Two major announcements revolve around revamped Twitter and Facebook apps, which are expected to hit the platform in the coming days. These apps integrate with WP8’s new lockscreen notification system, allowing Facebook calendar entries and Twitter replies to be present the moment you turn on the screen.

Deep Skype integration, too, is coming Windows Phone 8. While this was widely expected, and had been talked about before, Microsoft is emphatic that the VoIP app will be virtually indistinguishable from its regular phone dialer, and will run in the background to receive calls, all without draining the battery.

Rooms is a new feature that creates virtual spaces for you and friends or family in which to chat, share photos, lists and calendars. While it works best with other users running Windows Phones, it will be compatible in some ways with Android and iOS.

App developers, too, announced they are jumping on board the Windows Phone bandwagon. Games like Jetpack Joyride, Temple Run, Words With Friends, Draw Something!, and a number of Gameloft games, are coming to Xbox Live on Windows Phone in the coming months.

The company also detailed features we’d seen before, such as the new home screen with adjustable tile sizes, and an NFC-enabled wallet that promises to change the way we perform mobile transactions.

We’ll be getting our first Windows Phone 8 devices in the coming days, so expect a more in-depth rundown of all the new features.

Update: Rogers is going big on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 OS. They’ve rounded up what possibly could be the best of the best of the new handsets from a variety of manufactures. Today, Rogers made the Nokia Lumia 920 available at “select stores,” plus the Samsung ATIV S and Windows Phone 8X by HTC are both launching sometime in November. Below are a couple videos that shows all three LTE-enabled, 1.5Ghz dual-core processor. Something to consider and really feels like there’s new life in WP8. We’ll have full reviews of each shortly. – IH

  • Lemon Pledge

    Looks like a pretty big step up from the Windows phone of old. If coming reviews about the experience are positive, a Windows phone just might be on my wishlist!

  • HighClassFrenchCricket

    Jetpack Joyride, Temple Run, Words With Friends, Draw Something ….yawn

    • Keith

      Along with 46 of the top 50 apps on iOS and Android.

  • Chief

    I have one of their crap windows phone 7 devices, they are complete and utter sh*t, thank you Microsoft for f*cking me over, never buying another sh*t phone OS by you guys. I would rather have a horrid iOS than this…

    • Darth Paton

      U Mad?

  • COLONEL GUSTOV

    I need to get a phone but waiting to see who will be carrying what , everything is so top secret with these phone companies pfffffffff

    • Nick Wilson

      Agreed, I can’t get any straight answers from Bell Mobility as to their plans despite Rogers being tagged now with the preferred carrier status for Windows Phone 8. Bell did very little to support Windows Phone 7 so I am not all that happy with the absolute lack of information being distributed.

    • Big Ang

      Someone from Bell said that Bell will be getting two WP8 devices, and the Lumia 920 will not be one of them.

  • Ants

    It’s called “kids corner” but not that it really matters.

  • Anthony G.

    I feel terrible for that Samsung Model that has to wake up from sleep or from a complete shut down and realize Windows 8 has taken over its mainframe. Oh boy. Kinda like when venom took over Spiderman.. actually its the opposite…since venom made Spiderman look cool

  • zzZZzz

    Hope Rogers will have some live demos on display once they’re out. I really wanna spend a few minutes with each since they all have their +s and -s

  • skinnypig

    So where exactly are these “select stores” for the 920? If they don’t publicize these locations how will people know where to get them? I doubt calling them helps as the CSRs often have no clue *sigh*

  • Keith

    It is mind boggling that Rogers did this much to get a good lineup then sabotage themselves by not offering colour choices. I’m not sure what and when yet but I will have a Lumia 920 and it won’t be black.

  • Xsever

    MobileSyrup keeps saying the phones are going on sale today yet no one at Rogers can confirm this to us customers.

    PLEASE CLARIFY!

    • landragon

      Apparently announcing something isn’t the same as announcing something. where is the announcement? why is mobile syrup spreading lies?

    • Puuper

      A Roger’s rep has mentioned it in the first video at the very end, so that’s what MS is basing their statements on, I believe.

  • Will Maitner

    My understanding is that the Ativ S was *NOT* LTE enabled. Wanna try again?

    • DaRazorback

      Actually Samsung has confirmed it will be HSPA+ for all markets outside of North America and the last time I looked Canada is in North America. This means, simply put for you, it will be LTE enabled in Canada.

    • Sunil

      Its LTE enabled as per Telus’s site:
      LTE: 700MHz (Band 17)
      HSPA: 1900MHz (Band II) / 1800MHz / 850MHz (Band V) / 900MHz (Band VIII)
      GSM: 850MHz / 900MHz / 1800MHz / 1900MHz

      If this is a decent price, maybe my next phone…

  • Geoff

    Does anyone know if the location on an appointment is linked with maps yet? Basically, I want to be able to enter an address in an appointment on my calendar and then just click a button or something to search for that address on the map.

  • gwydionjhr

    Daniel,

    I will give you my first born if you can find out if and when the 920 might be offered in colours.

  • StanLee

    Was at a Rogers in an Ottawa mall today. Rep confirmed they had three Lumia 920 in stock and was ready to sell me one…so they do indeed exist!

  • Elsa

    like Michael implied I’m alarmed that people can profit $9804 in a few weeks on the computer. have you read this web page Buck6.com

    • BD

      @Elsa Please STOP trolling on here with that garbage, thanks.