One of the most overlooked features of the new Windows Phone 8 is the lock screen. It now carries more information, and even solves that media player bar issue that we all hated on Windows Phone 7. On Windows Phone Blog they did a quick Q+A on it you can check out the info below
Q: So let’s dive right in. How’s the lock screen different in Windows Phone 8?
A: We now let you customize the notifications at the bottom of your lock screen. Before we showed the calendar in the detailed status area. Now you can change that calendar slot to things like your email, your phone, your messaging—so you can see who the missed call was from, or read the first couple lines of a new text message. It’s the same amount of detail you’d see in the large Start tile.
Apps can also register to be on the lock screen. For example, Facebook could show you new comments or if someone posted on your wall. CNN could show you their top story. Skype could show missed calls.
And we made it possible to customize and add new apps to the quick status notification area at the bottom of lock. These are the little icons that show how many missed calls or text messages you have. You can even switch up the ordering of the slots.
Q: That’s cool. Is that all done in the phone settings?
A: Yeah. We figured we shouldn’t be deciding these things for the user because it’s such prime real estate. Users should decide what’s most important to them.
Q: How have you taken advantage of this new power on your own lock screen?
A: I get tons of work email so that status number just constantly goes up. On the weekend, I don’t want to think about it. So I like to be able to take that icon off.
Q: In Windows Phone 7.5 we added an option to show band or artist images when playing music—a fun touch that I don’t think many people are aware even exists. Anything new on this front in Windows Phone 8?
A: Now we’re allowing apps to set the lock screen background photo for you. So Facebook, for example, gives you the option to display images from your Facebook albums. Every 30 minutes or so you’ll see a new picture. CNN shows you a picture of their top story. And since we have Bing on Windows Phone, you’ll also now be able to see the Bing image of the day—something people asked for on Suggestion Box. People love those pictures, so we made a really big push to get the feature in.
Q: A sharp-eyed blogger recently noticed that we addressed another customer request related to the music controls that show up on the lock screen when you’re listening to something. What’s that all about?
A: If you’re listening to music we show you controls to pause and resume the music or skip tracks. But in Windows Phone 7.5, these controls didn’t go away. People thought they persisted too long, and there was the fear of, What if I accidentally hit play in a meeting?
So what we did in Windows Phone 8 is, if you hit the power button, it brings the controls down for three seconds, but then they disappear. This way they’re not always there anymore.
Q: The lock screen can also prevent the wrong people from getting into your phone, by requiring a four-digit PIN to get past it. I hear there’s a new security-related improvement in Windows Phone 8.
A: We made it harder for someone to accidentally erase everything from their phone. Many companies require employees to set up a PIN on their smartphone. If someone taps out the wrong code too many times, some security policies require that the phone be automatically wiped. If your toddler picks up your phone and starts playing with it, you could accidentally lose all your data. Not good.
To help prevent that, we now show you a simple alphanumeric phrase before the final PIN attempt. You need to enter this phrase exactly to try your PIN again. We think this should help prevent people from having their phones accidentally reset.
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