Nokia Lumia 800: People and Messaging hub

, posted: 28-Mar-2012 11:53

In my previous blog post, I wrote the hardware review for the Nokia Lumia 800 and this blog post I will cover some of the social aspects of the Windows Phone operating system which powers the Nokia Lumia 800.  There will be plenty more aspects of the software that I will cover and blog about in a series of blog posts later on.

Windows Phone is a people-centric mobile operating system.  It lets you put your contacts, your favourite people, your favourite apps, your favourite websites or even your folders from your email accounts pinned right on your main home screen as live tiles. These live tiles update in real time as the content inside the tile updates. i.e. a new email, a new tweet you were mentioned in, new post on your Facebook wall  etc.  You can move these tiles around so you can have the stuff that’s most important to you at the top when you bring the phone back from sleep. 

People Hub

When I first turned on the phone, it asked me for my Windows Live ID which is the same as your Hotmail ID if you have one else you can create one on the phone for free. I then went to the People hub and it asked me to setup my Facebook account which I did and it then also set up Facebook chat on the phone as well automatically for me as well.

I also added my twitter account to show feeds in the people hub along with Facebook updates from my friends and family. Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger and LinkedIn are integrated right into the OS. You don’t have to download apps from the marketplace for these social networks as the integration is done very well and the features provided will satisfy most user’s needs.



Three login IDs later my phone was ready to be social. My Facebook contacts downloaded automatically in the background along with my Windows Live messenger contacts. The best part is that Windows Phone is smart enough to link your contacts from Facebook, Exchange, LinkedIn, Gmail or Windows Live into one contact card automatically without you doing the hard part.

I had 95% success rate with this because my contacts on various social networks had same first and family name on their networks so the phone was smart enough to link them together.  The remaining five percent I manually linked their remaining contact information into one contact card which the phone creates for you automatically. The phone also puts a photo next to your contacts card from Facebook or whatever social network they might be on and if they have a photo loaded on their profile so you get quite a colourful contacts list to scroll through.

You can quickly jump to any contact by searching for their name or using the jump lists feature where you tap ‘a’ which is on the top of the screen when you are in people hub and the phone will display you active alphabets that you can press which when tapped will take you straight to the part of the directory with all names starting from say for example ‘n’. 

One thing I hope that gets added later in an update is that where I get the option to choose which Facebook contacts I want in my phone book and which I do not as right now, you either have all Facebook contacts or you have none. This will be a problem for users that have hundreds or even thousands of Facebook friends.



 



You can ‘like’ Facebook posts, you can comment on Facebook posts, you can read other people’s comments on those posts and you can even see photos attached on those Facebook posts. With twitter, you can reply to tweets, retweet and even see the pictures attached by your followers that might host them on sites like twitpic.

I can go to any contact card in my phone directory  and call, text, write on their Facebook wall, tweet, email, go on their website, map their address, see their birthday, job title or even which company they work for from one place providing they are sharing all this information on whatever social network you added them on with. I can then swipe to the right of the screen to ‘what’s new’ for that contact card and will only see updates from that individual.

Swiping it again to the right will show me pictures live from their Facebook or Windows Live feed. Swiping again to the right will take me into ‘history’ which shows any interaction you have had with that contact and this might include SMS, email or even Facebook chat.

The phone also created a ‘Me’ tile on my home screen which is all about me. It’s a live tile which means when someone mentions me in a tweet or responds on the same posts as I posted on Facebook, it notifies me on the home screen and even tells me who the notification is from including the name of the user. It lets me post a message to Facebook, twitter, linked in and Windows Live from 1 tap. I can choose which social network I want to post the message to. I can check in from the ‘Me’ tile on Facebook.

From here I can also set chat status to be online, offline, appear offline, busy and away for Facebook and Windows Live messenger. I can swipe to the right to see any new notifications for me which might be from Facebook or Twitter. I can swipe again to the right to see ‘what’s new’ about me to see any comments made on my Facebook posts which I can also reply to. The social integration in the Windows Phone operating system is done very well with minor annoyances that need to be fixed like contacts filtering from Facebook friends list in your phone directory.

Messaging Hub

This is the place where all the SMS, MMS, Facebook and Windows Live messenger chat end up. The best feature is that the phone creates threads for you automatically from one contact card. So if you were chatting to them on Facebook a while ago and they went offline, you can then send them an SMS and the thread will continue where you left off with Facebook chat so you have a nice history to look at for whatever reason.

I can also quickly set my chat status for Facebook or Windows Live Messenger to see who is online from my friends list to chat to. You can also speak to the phone to type your chat automatically in the chat box and send it without even touching the phone at all. You can also set the phone to read your chat or SMS if you are lazy or are driving in a car which means you can start and end a conversation with someone without even touching the phone at all! I never even once have so far been disconnected on the Telecom XT network when being online on Facebook and Windows Live while using 3G on the road.





The social integration in Windows Phone is done very well and is very easy to use and configure. You will only need to download the dedicated Facebook from the marketplace if you are going to send or read private messages as there is no option in the OS integration to set this up. This brings an end to my part software review of Windows Phone. In the next series of blog posts, I will look into Email and Office hub.

About the author:

Hi. My name is Karan (billgates). I do not work for Microsoft and nor am I paid by Microsoft. I like what they do. I work as a field engineer in Auckland and hop between Auckland and Hamilton every weekend. I love technology and like to keep myself updated with it every day reading various blogs and sites like Geekzone. This will be the first time I will be writing a blog series myself so really looking forward to this experience. It feels good to have been given the opportunity by both Geekzone and Telecom to review a product that I had been waiting to lay my hands on personally. I know the Windows Phone OS very well so will offer great insights into it including any annoyances that I might find in both the hardware and the software. If you have any questions regarding the device, software or the network performance, feel free to PM me or ask away in the blog series.



Other related posts:
Kids and the Nokia Lumia 800
Nokia Lumia 800 Battery Issue
Nokia Lumia 800 as a Remote Office






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