A couple of weeks ago I was invited to an exclusive event with Windows Phone with a panel of Mums and Holly Willoughby. Over a rather delicious afternoon tea, we discussed how the latest smartphone technology can help busy parents stay organised and how we can keep kids safe yet entertained on our phones. We were joined by Windows experts, a panel of Mums who have been trying out the phone for the last few months as well as a few journalist. We were in fantastic company, and I could have happily sat there all evening munching on cake and chatting all things ‘phone’.
It’s no secret that I love technology; I’m a blogger, so I guess it’s in my blogging blood to do so. I’m a social media fan and am often found on the latest social networks, and more often than not I use my phone for this kind of activity. I’ve been an Apple fan for many years and had only recently moved over to a Samsung Galaxy after wanting more freedom with what I was doing on my phone. So being asked if I wanted to check out what Windows had to offer rather appealed to my ‘Geek’ side, I was intrigued to see what made it different to the competition.
We were talked through ‘live tiles’, and this jumped out at me, this is why I wanted to escape my iphone. With these tiles you’re able to make the home screen your own, you can arrange it how you want it and make it easy to see everything that’s going on with the people and passions in your life in real time. Trying this out for myself, I was pleased to put my two most used apps instantly – Facebook & Twitter into tiles and place them prominently on my home screen for ease of access and use. Within seconds I had the home screen changed to a colour (bright pink) that would make me smile once opening my phone up and reflect me as the user.
We were shown a feature called ‘Kids Corner’ where we can hand our phones over to our children without fear of them racking up high bills or accessing material we don’t want them to. We can control exactly what apps they use as well as what videos and music they listen to. Now the four-year-old is pretty nifty on the phone and possess that skill where you hand him a new bit of technology, and he instantly knows how to use it. But that doesn’t stop me fearing him deleting my precious photos which I’m yet to back up to the SkyDrive, well you can protect that with a password. This is a feature I need to sit and explore to discover how this can benefit us as a family.
Holly talked us through how she uses her Windows phone and how it helps her stay in control and on top of things with juggling her career and motherhood. Her diary is automatically synced with her outlook calendar enabling her agent to update her phone directly so Holly knows exactly what she’s got upcoming and can stay on top of her busy lifestyle. She also discussed how she used ‘Kids Corner’ to keep her kids safe on her photo and talked us through some of the great educational apps her children play on.
What interested me the most was what the Mums had to say about using Windows phone, there was one mum who I had to question more after hearing her discuss how she used to be rather disorganised until she started to use the phone and put into action the calendar function. My biggest problem in life is the organisation; the Man bought me a Filofax for Valentine’s day in a bid to make me more organised as the iPad just wasn’t working. Like the notifications on the iPad where I just shooed them away, the Filofax just doesn’t even get opened. On the Windows phone, the notifications you get are there to stay; there’s no shooing them away. They just sit there on your home screen being a constant reminder.