You are what you pin
Pin the Live Tiles you want, and snap! The things you care about, updating in real time, on your Start screen. You can pin people, apps, songs, websites, directions, games, photos, docs and more.1 Only Windows Phone has Live Tiles, and only Windows Phone lets you pin what you love.
You can pin any app to your Start screen. But when you pin Live Apps, they’ll deliver info and updates in real time – like the latest Groupon deals, flight information, news headlines and more.
Pin your favourite people, then see their latest posts, tweets and pics in an instant. Along with social updates, you’ll also see new texts, emails and missed calls.
Making it your own
Pin, unpin, rearrange and resize your Live Tiles to your heart’s content. With three sizes to choose from and colours from cobalt to magenta, your phone will be unmistakably yours.
All your friends, family and the people you care about.
Windows Phone is the only phone with a People Hub, where you can find your contacts, start conversations (phone, text, IM, email), check out your friends' latest posts and pics, get to your Rooms and Groups, or even make a Skype call from a contact.
Creating your space. Inviting family or friends.
Who's picking up the kids? What do we need from the shops? With Rooms – an invitation-only place on Windows Phone – everyone's in the loop. Invite people to a room, then share notes and to-do lists, a calendar, photos and group chat, all in one intimate space.
Only Windows Phone 8 has the full Rooms experience. But you can invite someone with a Windows Phone 7 or an iPhone – they’ll be able to use the room calendar on their phone.
The shared calendar
Never forget a family event, school concert or romantic dinner ever again. Pin your room to Start and you’ll see calendar updates on the Live Tile.
The latest pics
Hilarious, touching, unforgettable – see those photos and videos the moment they're posted in your room.
Stay in touch with group chat – you can even attach your location to let everyone in your room know where you are.
Child-proof your phone – in a way they'll love
Hand over your phone without fear. Kid’s Corner grants your little ones access, but only to the apps, games, videos and music you choose for them, so you can relax and let them play. They can open Kid's Corner on their own, but your Start screen, apps and info are kept safe by a password you set. Only on Windows Phone 8.
Take your stuff wherever you go
With SkyDrive, your photos, videos and Office docs are always available on your Windows Phone. OneNote on your phone syncs to SkyDrive too, so your notes are always to hand. And once SkyDrive is set up, you don't need to worry about losing your stuff, even if your phone goes missing. It’s all automatically backed up.2
Automatically upload every photo and video you take on your phone to SkyDrive for safekeeping (with a choice of full or lower resolution).1
Take your Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and OneNote notebooks on the road.
SkyDrive gives you 7 GB of free storage that you control: unlike some others, we won’t move or delete your stuff.
Point, click and share in an instant
Launch the camera with the press of a button, then take a photo or shoot HD video – even when the phone is locked. Express yourself with Lenses, photo apps that work in the camera’s viewfinder. Then post or text your creations straight from the camera (no need to open separate apps). Plus, you can set your phone to automatically back up every photo and video to SkyDrive, keeping your memories safe and snug in the cloud.3
The Games Hub is your on-the-go arcade. It's also the place to dress up your avatar, message your Xbox friends and see how your scores and achievements measure up. Add the SmartGlass app to control your Xbox with your phone.4
Music + Videos Hub
Listen to your tunes, watch videos, subscribe to podcasts and create Smart DJ playlists based on the music you love. Add an Xbox Music Pass to download or stream music from a global catalogue of 30 million songs.5 You can listen to your iTunes music on your Windows Phone, too.6
More than 145,000 apps and games, including your favourites
The Windows Phone Store has apps for whatever you're into – and only Windows Phone has Live Apps that put the info you want on your Start screen. Most apps are free, and you can often try before you buy. Plus Microsoft certifies every single app to help protect you from malware and viruses.
Start a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet on your computer, then sync it to SkyDrive as you head out the door. Then you can write or edit a bit more on your phone with Office Mobile – from the back of a taxi, a towel on the beach, wherever. SkyDrive makes it easy to share docs and edit them with another person too.
One press of the Search button takes you to cinema times, local deals, directions and more (plus the search results you want, of course). Local Scout helps you find nearby places to eat, drink, shop or visit. Bing Music can tell you what song is playing, and Bing Vision lets you search using your phone’s camera.
Email on your Windows Phone is customisable and clutter free. You can choose to see multiple accounts (Outlook.com, Hotmail, Google Mail) in one Linked Inbox, group your messages by conversation, and get separate views for flagged, urgent or unread mail.
You can use your phone's Wallet to keep your loyalty cards, vouchers, credit cards, local deals and memberships in one convenient, password-protected place. Linked apps can keep your Wallet up to date with card balances and other info too.