Social Integration for Windows Phone is one of the strongest features for the platform , way ahead of Android and even iOS in this category. Even though Android and iOS have dedicated apps for Facebook and Twitter , yet its not inbuilt and native , like in Windows Phone. The fact that it is inbuilt makes it very easy to use and very fast.Â Weâ€™ll talk about it in detail.
Â The People Hub
Â The people hub on Windows Phone is basically your phone book. You can import contacts from all kinds of sources like
- Your old Phone/Sim : Just choose the option of importing contacts from old sim
- Linked in
The phone merges the contacts from all sources and tries to create a single business card like contact for all the entries. Not surprisingly you will still be left with multiple entries for the same person. To resolve this windows provides a great feature of Linking profiles.
- Choose a contact
- You will see a link option at the bottom of the screen
- Choose that option, the phone will provide suggested profiles to link into the contact which makes your job a hell lot of easier.
- Yet if you donâ€™t find the right profile in the suggested options, choose the contact manually and link it.
Â You will ask whatâ€™s the need for all this. There are a lot of advantages of doing this
- You can see all the information regarding a person like his birthday , his phone no etc at the same place
- You can chat with him on Facebook from the contact card and write on his wall and see their latest status
- You can mention him on twitter directly from the card
- You can see his Job , Company Information (generally data imported from his Linkedin Profile)
Â The history tab
Â Every contact has a history tab , which shows all the interaction that you had with the contact in the past, including chats , emails , calls . If you have your gmail account linked to the phone , the history tab will also give you an option to search your google mail and find chats and email from your google account where in the contact has been mentioned.
Â Have a really long phonebook with thousands of entries?? Well , most of us do. You call your family often , or certain people at work or your best friends. You can create groups , like say Family , Work , Friends and add people to the groups , making them easily accessible .
Â Each group has 3 tabs
- People: which basically shows the people in the group
- Whats new : latest updates from facebook, twitter and linked in , particular to the people in the group
- Pictures: latest photos from people in the group
Â Pin a contact to the start
Â Call your girlfriend too often? Even putting her in a group is too much of a hassle to find? Pin her to the start as a live tile . Whenever you select a contact theres an option at the bottom of the screen to pin the contact to the start. Pinning a contact to the start makes a live tile of that contact on the home screen. In the live tile youâ€™ll get all the updates related to that contact and you can quickly call the person from there.
Â The â€œMEâ€ hub
Â The me hub is the place for all your social networking needs. The me hub has 3 tabs
- Profile tab : has your display pic and beside your display pic is your latest facebook status or your latest tweet.Besides this it has 3 other options
- Post a message : With this option you can post a message to any social network(facebook, twitter , windows live) . While posting the message you can choose what social network should it be updated on ( you can choose any or all of windows live,facebook, twitter or linked in).
- Check in : You can check in to the place you are from here. The checkÂ in functions works pretty well even in slow 2g gprs connections and finds the places accurately
- Set chat status: You can set your fb chat status as available or offline , weâ€™ll discuss this in detail in the Messaging Hub.
- Notifications Tab: Notifications from facebook, twitter, linked in and windows live
- Whats new : Its basically shows a stream of all your activity on various social networks
The Messaging Hub
Â Microsoft is light years ahead of other platforms in this regard. Windows phone has a common unified hub for messaging . Be it simple text messages, Facebook chat(yes you read that right, facebook chat right in your messaging hub) and windows live chat.
Â Whatever be the medium , all the chats with a single person are combined in a single thread. Say you are chatting on text with a person , when the person comes online on facebook , the phone will show you that the person is online on fb and you can just switch from text to fb chat and the conversation will continue in the same thread.
Â The phone is already linked with your Windows live id and fetches its mail right away. You can also add a no of other accounts like Gmail, yahoo, and even Microsoft exchange accounts. The best feature is that you can create a linked inbox which combines mail from all the sources and show it all in a single inbox.