Word Flow is designed to reflect how real people talk to each other—and so it knows everything from pop culture to slang. When building Word Flow we reviewed over 2. But we all have our own communication style, so Word Flow is also designed to be a keen student of your writing habits and what you care about.
The Word Flow keyboard in Windows Phone 8 is designed to learn your style over time to help improve the accuracy of its suggestions. If you need proof, just check out the thousands of hilarious submissions on sites like Damn You Autocorrect. What word should the phone suggest next? Office uses a variety of sources—from linguistic research to frequency analysis of documents, books, and web pages—to build their dictionaries.
This happens for two reasons. Second, the likelihood of a word depends on what comes before it. What word should we suggest next? To answer that question, Windows Phone 8 has to know not just a lot of words, but how frequently real people use them.
Windows Phone 8 is designed to solve both of these problems by taking into greater account how real people use language on their phones. In the real world, people use slang, nonstandard spelling, and other casual shortcuts. Thus we needed different dictionaries than what you might find in Microsoft Word.
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How did we build them? You helped us! Remember the little checkbox during phone set up and in Settings that talks about helping us improve text suggestions and build a better product? When someone gives us permission, we collect anonymous typing data—free of passwords, names, numbers, and other personal info—to help create and test Word Flow.
To make the phone smarter about pop culture and slang, we also turned to Twitter and Wikipedia to help inform our dictionaries. That's it.
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It's no secret Microsoft is having a hard time getting developers to make apps for Windows Phone 8. In fact, Microsoft has been paying developers to build apps.
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However, many of the apps that are in the Windows Phone Marketplace are simply gorgeous. In many cases, they look better than they do on the iPhone. Our favorites so far include: Foursquare, Spotify, Evernote, and Facebook.
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Windows Phone 8 has a handy app called People that pulls in updates from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Instead of opening each individual app, you can view all your friends' status updates and notifications within the People app. It's very handy. We don't think Windows Phone has the best multitasking solution. Android wins there. But managing multiple apps on Windows Phone is a lot better than it is on iPhone. On Windows Phone, you just press and hold the back arrow button at the bottom of your device.
This pulls up a slideshow of apps you currently have open. Just tap the app to reopen it.
On the other hand, the iPhone makes you double tap your home button and swipe through rows and rows of icons. It's really tough to find the app you're looking for and probably one of our biggest pet peeves with the iPhone's software.
It's always bothered us that Apple won't allow widgets on the home screen. Widgets are mini apps that provide live information like news and weather without having to open up the full app. Microsoft has a smart solution. Instead of widgets, each app on your home screen acts as a Live Tile. They give you a quick glimpse of what's going on in each individual app. For example, the Foursquare app shows your friends' most recent check ins.
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Microsoft has a different approach when it comes to licensing the Windows Phone 8 operating system. It holds its hardware partners to strict requirements to ensure each Windows Phone device will be able to receive the latest software updates, apps, and improvements. As a result, you have several options to choose from if you want to use Windows Phone 8.
And of course, there's the gorgeous flagship Nokia Lumia It's simply the best platform for those who want more choice in hardware. Like any other smartphone, Windows Phones include basic text messaging. But if you sync your phone to your Facebook account, you can seamlessly switch between Facebook chat and normal text messaging with your contacts. It's a great way to limit how many text messages you send each month. Yes, the iPhone has iMessage for sending free texts, but not everyone has an iPhone.
Chances are just about everyone you know already has a Facebook account. Windows Phone 8 takes contact cards a step further than other devices. Instead of just showing you the name, email, and phone number, you also get a list of recent emails and text messages from your contacts.