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One of Windows Phone 8’s new features is Over the Air Updates. Its predecessor had to be connected to the Zune application to receive updates. So this is a pretty good feature.

The WP8 update distribution lands somewhere between iOS and Android in terms of availability. When Apple releases an update, it’s distributed to all devices worldwide at the same time, so there is practically no delay. Android is the exact opposite of this (except for Nexus devices), since their manufacturers (Samsung, HTC etc.) has to apply all their features to every update before they can be released. With Windows Phone, the manufacturers (Nokia, HTC etc.) also applies some customizations and firmware. But since WP8 is very strict there isn’t much to customize, so the updates are released somewhat faster than Android updates. Still, they are far behind Apple.

This morning I received my first OTA update for Windows Phone 8, Portico; 8.0.10211.204. So I gathered some screenshots from the update procedure.

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This is the Nokia Wireless Charging Pillow by Fatboy. It’s seriously one of the coolest and best looking phone accessories I’ve ever used. Just plug in the pillow’s power cable and put the phone on top of the pillow and charging begins immediately.

How does it work? My answer would be Magic. But you can read on here for a more conventional answer.

 

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I accidently put an iPhone on top of the pillow, but it melted in tears and vanished… So long, sucker!

Are you afraid of losing your phone? People get robbed or misplace their phones all the time. Since your phone carries everything from family photos to important and classified business information, one great feature (that I hope you will never actually need) is “Find my Phone”.

The feature is not exclusive for Windows Phone. Similar services exists for both iOS and Android.

The first thing you do when configuring your new Windows Phone, is to check the following Settings.

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What to do when misplacing your phone

Go to www.windowsphone.com and sign in with your Microsoft Account. Be sure to use the same one that you used when registering your device. Then go to the “Find my Phone” view.

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From this view you can get information, and a map view displaying your phone’s last known location. If you have several phones, they can all be found using this service.

What to do next?

I consider the phone to be near me

Click on the “Ring” link. If successful the phone will start ringing at a loud volume. If it’s nearby, you should hear it.

I believe the phone has been stolen

If it contains important business information, click the “Erase” link. This will send a signal to the phone, that if successful will erase all information on the phone.

You can also lock the phone using the “Lock” link.

Cinemagraph is an App released by Nokia on its Lumia phones, so it’s not really a Windows Phone 8 feature.

With the App, you record a short video sequence, and then mask with your fingers which parts that should be moving and which parts that should stay still. The results are quite funny :)

My test subject, Kim Gunnarsson (AD at Mindbite)

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Click here for some other cool Cinemagraphs (not made by me nor with a Nokia Lumia phone)

This is my second post about Windows Phone 8, where I explore the rich features of Microsoft’s newly released mobile OS.

Before my first Windows Phone I hardly ever used SkyDrive. Just like (almost) everybody else I used DropBox. But when Microsoft started to put a lot of focus on SkyDrive and released a desktop sync utility (for Mac and PC), a smarter and more easy-to-use web interface, and most importantly a vast integration on Windows Phone, I decided to switch from Dropbox to SkyDrive.

SkyDrive is much like Apple’s iCloud, but with one significant difference. All content (except phone backups) can be browsed on the phone, the computer (Windows Explorer or Finder) and in any web browser. So the score here is about 100 – 1.

Windows Phone Backup

It’s simple to setup Windows Phone backup. Go to Settings and then Backup. You have 3 configurable backup settings; App list + Phone settings, Text Messages and Photos (which includes videos).

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In the Photos setting, you should select “Best Quality”, because “Good Quality” isn’t really that good. It however demands a Wi-Fi connection to be able to backup your photos.

Restoring your phone is even simpler than configuring the backup. Just reset your phone, and after signing on to your Microsoft Account, you will be presented with the option to restore the phone (or to treat it as a new one).

The only strange behavior I noticed here, was when I skipped restoring the phone, and all my text messages was restored anyway.

Office Hub

The Office Hub is a great place for working with your documents (Word, Excel, OneNote) stored on your phone, Office 365/SharePoint and SkyDrive.

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Pictures Hub

From the Pictures Hub you can access all your images stored on SkyDrive. If you take a picture with the phone, it’s synced to SkyDrive and you can then access it from your PC, Mac and Web Browser.

SkyDrive App

The SkyDrive App is in my eyes kind of useless on a Windows Phone, since you can access all information from the phones integrated software. It’s not pre-installed, so if you want to use it, you have to get from the Store.

Closing Comments

Without SkyDrive integration on the Windows Phone, it would only be half a phone. I love the fact that I can work on a document or a “OneNote-note” on my computer or in my Web Browser and then pick it up and continue on my phone.

I also love that I can browse all my SkyDrive stored files from almost any device. It gives me a feeling of control of my information. And I consider Apple’s iCloud to be the exact opposite of that.

If you read this and believe I’ve missed anything good (or bad), you are most welcome to post a comment about it.