Windows Phone was designed on the paradigm of hubs. When I think of hub, I think of channels or stations (junction) where everything “plugs” into. A surge protector, a network/switch hub would be an example. Windows Phone has many of these hubs- People, Music+Video, Games. etc. For Camera features, there is something called “Lenses” which-in a nutshell-is the same thing as a hub but functions a bit differently. For this post, I’ll focus mainly on the People hub and how I use it and what advantages it offers over using individual apps for each task on other platforms. People hub has Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn integration to keep tabs of friend’s activities from all your social network in one convenient place. People Hub on Windows Phone is the best example of how “friends” from different networks should be looked at. They are just friends. Not, friends from facebook, friends from twitter, friends from linkedIn—just friends. I mean that’s how we refer to them in real life. This in itself is an amazingly unique and incredibly useful characteristic The one feature I absolutely love in People hub is the Groups feature.
The key to my Groups experience with People hub lies with Twitter. Twitter is where I follow people with different interests, likes, needs, humor, expertise etc. I follow a vast variety of people on it ranging from actors to news to tech to travel etc. For the most efficient use of this feature, You HAVE to follow the right kind of people to get the desired results. I mean really. In the screenshot below, I have grouped a handful of people that provide me with funny updates all throughout the day. I called them “Tweeps”. And then I have a group called “Best Friends” which keep me up-to-date on what my friends are doing from all social networks- regardless of them being on FB, twitter. To setup a new on, I click on the + icon in the bottom menu bar.
I pinned the group called Tweeps onto my start screen by long pressing and “pin to start”. So now, they show live updates on my start screen without having to open the group. In the picture below, you can see how I get updated information from my “selected and trusted” group of friends to keep me posted on worldly matters or just plain humor, in my case.
Insight: This method can eliminate the need of any news app update(potentially google reader), sports app update, world matter, politics etc. This method updates the tile in intervals of 30 mins and is the most basic form of update but it gets the work done in the most easy and efficient way. It is also, in my testing, light on resources and battery and eliminates the need for third party apps in doing so.
Suggestion for other Groups:
- News group- Get information on world, US news, breaking news by following the respective twitter handle.
- Stocks group- Get information on stocks breaking out or doing well or not so well, again by following the handle that does the best job.
- Family group- To keep tabs of people that you care about the most. Things they do on various social network.
- Sports group- To see how a certain team is doing in NBA, NFL, hockey, cricket etc.
- Celebrity group- To keep track of what your favorite role-models are doing or who recently joined rehab.
- Technology group- To get recent information on what is happening in tech world. follow handles like techmeme, gizmodo, engadget etc.
Hope you enjoyed this post and put Groups to its full use.