Windows Phone 7 Feature Focus

Everything You Want To Know ... One Feature At A Time


Windows Phone 7 is an innovative new mobile platform with an all-new user interface, codenamed Metro, a new set of functionality exposed by panoramic hubs and bundled applications, unique and required hardware devices, and a ton of configurable settings. In this series of articles, I'll be documenting everything that's new in Windows Phone 7 ... One feature at a time.


I need your help! In the months ahead, I'll be documenting each of the new and unique features found in Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform. Below, you can find a preliminary list of the features I intend to document, divided into categories. The presentation you see here isn't necessarily final, but it provides an idea of the direction I'm heading. If you're interested, please let me know which features need to be documented first, and whether there are any missing features. Thanks!


Hubs | Applications | Metro and User Interface | Settings | Hardware


Hubs


Games   Marketplace   Music + Videos
Office Mobile 2010   People   Pictures

Applications


Alarms   Bing   Calculator
Calendar   Camera   Internet Explorer
Mail   Maps   Messaging
Phone        


Metro and User Interface

Theme  

Application Bar

The Application Bar can display up to four buttons and provide access to a menu. It's implemented as an overlay and fixed against the same screen edge.

Theme  

Controls

Metro provides access to a rich set of touch-friendly user interface controls, including many familiar old favorites and new Windows Phone-specific controls.

Theme  

Live Tiles and Start Screen

The Start screen provides access to your most frequently-used applications and other objects, each of which is represented by a dynamic live tile.

Theme  

Push Notifications

Windows Phone provides an integrated push notification service that surfaces notifcations on live tiles, on overlay "toast," and within applications.

Theme  

Status Bar

The Status Bar sits at the top of the screen and provides system-level status information such as cellular connection data, battery level, time, and more.


Settings

Airplane Mode  

Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode toggles the phone's cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth radios together. However, you can still independently enable Wi-Fi and Blueooth separately.

Bluetooth  

Bluetooth

Windows Phone supports specific Bluetooth profiles, all of which are related to pairing devices like headsets and sharing audio/video and phone book data.

Brightness  

Brightness

Windows Phone supports both automatic and manual screen brightness settings.

Cellular  

Cellular

This set of settings allows you to configure cellular radio features like the data connection, data roaming, and network selection.

Date & Time  

Date & Time

Windows Phone offers a choice between automatic and manual time, date, and time zone configuration, and can optionally display a 24-hour clock.

Ease of Access  

Ease of Access

Windows Phone supports various TTY (telephone typewriter or teletypewriter)/TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) devices types.

Email & Accounts  

Email & Accounts

You can configure any number of Windows Live, Outlook (Exchange/EAS), Yahoo! Mail, IMAP, or POP3 accounts, and one Facebook account.

Find My Phone  

Find My Phone

You can locate your phone on a map, or ring, lock, or erase the phone remotely if it's lost or stolen, in concert with a Windows Phone Live online service.

Keyboard  

Keyboard

The Windows Phone keyboard(s) can be configured in various ways, including support for five simultaneous languages and various auto-correct features.

Lock & Wallpaper  

Lock & Wallpaper

The device's lock screen can be configured with a custom wallpaper, 4-character password, and an automatic screen time-out of 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

Location  

Location

Windows Phone location services are toggled globally, allowing you to OK access on an application-by-application basis.

Phone Update  

Phone Update

Microsoft will be providing frequent, over-the-air software updates for Windows Phone, and you can choose to be notified when new updates are available.

Region & Language  

Region & Language

Windows Phone provides many locale-related settings, including display language, region format, date formats, system locale, browser & search language, and more.

Ringtones & Sounds  

Ringtones & Sounds

Windows Phone supports multiple ringer/vibrate modes, discrete ringtones and alerts, and numerous sound-related options.

Speech  

Speech

When you press and hold the phone's Start button, the integrated Speech functionality kicks in, allowing you to access certain features with voice commands.

Theme  

Theme

Windows Phone supports multiple color themes, each of which is a combination of a background color (dark or light) and accent color (your choice of 10).

Wi-Fi  

Wi-Fi

Windows Phone provides a simple interface for interacting with Wi-Fi (802.11g/802.11n) wireless networks.


Hardware

Theme  

Accelerometer

The accelerometer is a 3D motion sensor that measures acceleration in the X, Y, and Z planes, whether by gravity or external sources.

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Assisted GPS (A-GPS)

The Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) sensor reports the location of the device to Windows Phone's Location Services. It is used most prominently in Maps.

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Compass

This mysterious sensor works in tandem with A-GPS to provide navigation directions in Maps. It is not currently available to third party developers.

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Keyboard, Hardware

While not all Windows Phones are required to have a hardware keyboard, many will, and Microsoft has specified which keys these keyboards can contain.

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Keyboard, On-Screen (SIP)

Windows Phone's virtual keyboard, or Soft Input Panel (SIP), works as an overlay and features text suggestions, auto-correction, and different layouts.

Theme  

Light Sensor

Thanks to an integrated light sensor, Windows Phone can automatically dim its screen to accomodate different lighting conditions and flash the camera.

Theme  

Power Button

The power button support multiple press types and can respond accordingly in different situations, booting, waking, sleeping and shutting down the phone.

Theme  

Proximity Sensor

This sensor detects when objects are close to the device's screen. It can dim the screen during phone calls, and keep a phone asleep while in a pocket.

Theme  

Screen

Every Windows Phone ships with a multi-touch screen with support for gestures and up to four touch points, and can be oriented to three different views.

Theme  

Steering Buttons

Every Windows Phone includes useful Back, Start, and Search hardware buttons right on the front of the device, below the screen.

Wi-Fi  

Volume Buttons

Each Windows Phone includes dedicated Volume Up and Volume Down buttons that interact with various software services, including system volume and phone.