Windows Phone 7 Series Eyes On and Demo - Voice Search Appears!
We just snagged some more hands-on time with Windows Phone 7 Series (can we just call it WP7 yet?). Don't pay attention to the hardware or even the occasional slowdown. The hardware is just a dev unit and not what we'll see. The software has plenty of time to simmer a bit before it's pre-holiday 2010 release date.
What you should pay attention to is the fluidity of the interface and how nice it is that the device can pull in from multiple sources to multiple places. Instead of thinking "I want to go to facebook to look at pictures from my friend," you just open the Pictures hub. Hubs and not apps.
Also, looks like there's at least one unannounced feature here - some sort of voice search. About 2:20 in the video (which is after the break, by the way), the voice search pops up and, well, isn't quite ready for prime time. We're ready for it, though, and here's to hoping it's ready by launch.
(YouTube is still trying to encode the sucker, so come on back in 20 if it looks poor)
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All the rest is looking pretty good.
THIS IS IT! game changing folks game changing... well of course.. if you're an Xbox user like i am.. it's game changing =)
- Can the basic tiles be replaced with more interesting-looking or more functional tiles?
- How much do the consistency requirements limit customization?
- Just what do the folks with current custom UIs plan to do with this new interface?
- Can some elements, like the on-screen keyboard, be replaced with custom equivalents like Swype, FingerKeyboard, etc.?
- Can we disable the social media aspect while keeping PIM data synchronization to ensure a professional environment? We didn't see if the platform is capable of good, old-fashioned laptop-substitute functionality. We didn't see if connectivity to competing services (gmail, yahoo, etc.) will work. We didn't see what form factors would be offered (though I suppose some guesses could be made based on the WVGA spec). So, based on what we did and didn't see, and NH3MAN's handy list which happens to resonate with me (not picking on you... it's really the best list I read here), here's how I read that list: "I already have a Zune media Player. I don't need an I-Zune Media, Social App Phone." - We didn't see how deep we could customize, so we can't see if you can disable what you don't need. "I need a superfast," - We'll have no idea until it ships on actual hardware. "multitasking," - I may have missed whether it will be there or not... I swear I read it being discussed somewhere. "battery saving PDA" - YES! Again, until hardware ships this won't be easy to judge. "that also can play Media (Zune Media player would work ;-)," - Umm, given your list of what you don't need, I'll just say that we don't yet understand the capabilities of the new platform's software. "store and take pics," - Storage was discussed and confirmed, taking pictures was shown in a demo. "sync with my computer online and off," - Synchronization with a PC was mentioned, can't recall if methods were mentioned. "browse the internet," - Shown, quality of experience has yet to be truly judged. "open my docs," - some might say shown, but really it was only hinted at. "runs oodles of apps of various flavors at a flick." - Not shown, and clearly it's very important that this can be done on multiple levels, from widgets (live tiles), to full-on apps, and maybe to UI extensions, depending on the consistency requirements. To sum up, I'd say that this new OS is probably for those who believe that their phone should be able to provide a seamless, integrated experience. For those of us with that interest, it's worth keeping our eyes open to what it might become, and I think it's worth comparing it primarily to webOS and what that will become.
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On top of that, they showed us some of the new media player, the xbox live, and the goal of consistency.