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Ting’s favorite features of Windows Phone 8!

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We recently introduced our first Windows Phone to the Ting device lineup, and after getting our hands on an HTC 8XT, we thought we’d tell you about our favorite features of the new and improved Windows Phone 8!

 


Improve your Battery Life

BatterySaverWhile the battery life of previous generations of Windows Phone may have been criticized, the new WP8 operating system aims to put this issue to rest. Microsoft has developed a nifty Battery Saver tool located inside the Settings menu. This feature can reduce the amount of data transmitted through your phone. When enabled, Battery Saver allows calls and texts but disables the syncing of email and other data-accessing apps. It also shows your remaining battery life and the estimated time before your phone will conk out.

In the (not so) advanced settings, you have three battery conservation options to choose from. Keep in mind that battery life is considered low at 20%.


Lock Screen Notifications

wp_ss_20130906_0005Windows Phone 8 has added several notification features to their lock screen, making it easy to see what you need with a quick glance. WP8 introduces two types of app notifications:

Detailed Status – Notification that gives you a lot of info on one app. You can only enable one detailed status app at a time.

Quick Status – Notification for multiple apps, which shows a small amount of info. You can enable five of these at once.

The apps you can pick are relative to the apps you’ve downloaded, as many third party apps are eligible (such as Facebook and Twitter). Natively supported apps include mail, messaging, calendar, missed calls and voicemail.


New Native Features

wp_ss_20130906_0002Windows Phone has done an excellent job of adding “extras” into the stock version of their new operating system. These preloaded features have been implemented to make your WP8 experience even easier.

Text your location

Instantly send your exact coordinates to others by “attaching” your location to text messages. It’s that easy!

Data Sense

Never accidentally get lumped out of your bucket! Data Sense allows you to set a cellular data cap which will notify you or automatically stop mobile data usage, whichever you’d prefer. You can also choose to restrict background data when you’re nearing your cap, to avoid falling into the next bucket. The hard cap on Ting’s dashboard has been known to have a slight delay, but Data Sense will automatically stop cellular data when you reach the specified limit.

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Flashlight

Pretty self explanatory app that uses your flash as a flashlight. Microsoft has given you three brightness levels to suit your needs (and save your battery).

Finding a song

Similar to the apps SoundHound and Shazam, your phone “listens” to any song and instantly tells you the name, artist and where to buy it! To use this feature, tap the search button and choose the music icon at the bottom.


SkyDrive Integration

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In this day and age, cloud storage is essential for mobile computing. You can effortlessly access your data wherever you want, whenever you want. Be sure to set up Microsoft SkyDrive on your device (and computer) for an easy way to wirelessly access, transfer and share files, along with picking up 7GB of free storage!

SkyDrive isn’t a native app on your device, so make sure to grab it from the Microsoft Apps+Games store.


Tiles

Tiles are live images on the home screen that link to an app and can be customized in many different ways. Your homescreen can support an unlimited number of tiles which can be rearranged (and resized) however you’d like. Here’s a few customization options that we think you’ll enjoy.

Local Scout

Local Scout helps you find stores, restaurants and events in your area, and works much like Android’s Google Now.

You can add Bing’s Local Scout to your homescreen by turning on GPS, hitting the search button, and choosing the house icon at the bottom. Once you’ve opened the app, click the settings button and “pin to start” which will create a tile that you can resize and move on your homescreen.

Groups

Groups allow you to see social updates from a specified selection of people, all in one place. You can add your favorite friends and family into groups that can be pinned as a tile on your homescreen. This way, you can easily find the social updates you care about without having to scan through Facebook or Twitter.

Add a group by selecting the People icon, swiping left or right to find Together, and tapping the plus sign. Here, you can create a Group, name it and add whoever you want! To create a homescreen tile, press the pin icon once you’ve opened the Group.


 

Know of any awesome Windows Phone features we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!