Microsoft details how to use WP8 Rooms on other smartphones

Windows Phone 8 seems to be off to a good start. Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, has claimed a significant increase in sales of the devices compared to their predecessors. Here on Neowin, Tim Schiesser looked long and hard at HTC's 8X and was impressed with what he found.

Just because they're doing well doesn't mean everyone in your life is suddenly going to be sporting a WP8 phone, meaning they could lose the 'Rooms' functionality. For those who don't know, Rooms are essentially groups for communicating with friends who have Windows Phone 8 handsets... and now other smartphones, it seems. You don't even need a hacky little app or a modified phone. Microsoft thoughtfully included support for Android, iOS, and WP7 handsets. The company doesn't claim you'll get the same experience as on WP8, but the base functionality is there.

Having not tried this for ourselves, we can't say much on app quality. Microsoft, while willing to update apps on other platforms, does occasionally release a weak link in the chain. With these apps potentially helping people get an idea of the WP8 experience, we'd trust Microsoft to get them right.

Source: Windows Blog | Image via TechNowDaily

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12 Comments

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Bob Baggins said,
"You doesn't even need a hacky little app or a modified phone"... need I say more?

Nothing more needed to be said. Edited. Thanks mate.

Love the Family Room. My wife and I did this anyways on WP7 with OneNote and Hotmail Calendars, but having all the things for our daughter in the one spot, with the live tile letting us know something changed is awesome.

scumdogmillionaire said,
Love the Family Room. My wife and I did this anyways on WP7 with OneNote and Hotmail Calendars, but having all the things for our daughter in the one spot, with the live tile letting us know something changed is awesome.

It is an awesome feature. One of the reasons I can't wait to upgrade to WP8. If only it had VPN support, I'd already be switched (along with the rest of the company).

I found this article to be poorly written and misleading. Calendars, videos, photos and notes can be shared across platforms as a result of Microsoft supporting their own products/services within WP8 Rooms. This was already possible on other platforms prior to WP8. Sure a WP8 user can share all of that with an iOS/Android user from the comfort of one central location, but it won't change end user functionality on those latter platforms. They've not suddenly released a cross-platform app where it can all be done in one place along with group chat, which I took to be the essence/point of Rooms. So basically there's nothing new to report/note, apart from patting Microsoft on the back for supporting their own stuff and thus reaching a wider audience. I think I'll stick with Whatsapp.

Manish said,
I found this article to be poorly written and misleading. Calendars, videos, photos and notes can be shared across platforms as a result of Microsoft supporting their own products/services within WP8 Rooms. This was already possible on other platforms prior to WP8. Sure a WP8 user can share all of that with an iOS/Android user from the comfort of one central location, but it won't change end user functionality on those latter platforms. They've not suddenly released a cross-platform app where it can all be done in one place along with group chat, which I took to be the essence/point of Rooms. So basically there's nothing new to report/note, apart from patting Microsoft on the back for supporting their own stuff and thus reaching a wider audience. I think I'll stick with Whatsapp.

Here is about Google Play prepaid card availability:
http://www.neowin.net/news/goo...s-now-available-to-purchase

Nope, don't see you pitching a hissy fit in the comments for that article about how cards are available for other stores, demanding that the article should not have been run because it is misleading and not news.

And here is the article about the iPad 4 and mini being released:
http://www.neowin.net/news/app...ini-and-ipad-4th-generation

Nope, don't see your name in there, either, whining about how it is not news because other companies, including Apple, have released tablets before and therefore it should not have been written about.

Here is an article about the Apple Television:
http://www.neowin.net/news/ana...nent-launch-of-the-apple-tv

That rumor has been run here on Neowin numerous times, and Televisions have been manufactured for decades. Nope, don't see you having a temper tantrum there about it not being news and being misleading.

You have complained about these articles a number of times, but you only complain about it being misleading and not news when it is about Microsoft. Wonder why that is?

nohone said,

Here is about Google Play prepaid card availability:
http://www.neowin.net/news/goo...s-now-available-to-purchase

Nope, don't see you pitching a hissy fit in the comments for that article about how cards are available for other stores, demanding that the article should not have been run because it is misleading and not news.

And here is the article about the iPad 4 and mini being released:
http://www.neowin.net/news/app...ini-and-ipad-4th-generation

Nope, don't see your name in there, either, whining about how it is not news because other companies, including Apple, have released tablets before and therefore it should not have been written about.

Here is an article about the Apple Television:
http://www.neowin.net/news/ana...nent-launch-of-the-apple-tv

That rumor has been run here on Neowin numerous times, and Televisions have been manufactured for decades. Nope, don't see you having a temper tantrum there about it not being news and being misleading.

You have complained about these articles a number of times, but you only complain about it being misleading and not news when it is about Microsoft. Wonder why that is?

I think you missed his point, but congrats on taking the time to post all the stuff that he's NOT saying.

farmeunit said,

I think you missed his point, but congrats on taking the time to post all the stuff that he's NOT saying.

What is his point? That he continuously whines about Microsoft news that he doesn't want to see because it does not glorify Apple in the way that he demands? There is no equivalent to this on Android nor iOS, but because Google and Apple has an email service he thinks that this should not be news? Time to stop being the Android/Apple little b**** and recognize that other companies are doing something different.

nohone said,

You have complained about these articles a number of times, but you only complain about it being misleading and not news when it is about Microsoft.

Have I? Since you clearly have nothing better to do, perhaps you could refer me to these numerous articles. Regardless, my main qualm wasn't with Microsoft, WP8 or Rooms, it was with the article and how it was written. I'm sure that there are other poorly written articles on Neowin, but unlike you I don't have time to peruse each one.

That he continuously whines about Microsoft news that he doesn't want to see because it does not glorify Apple in the way that he demands?... Time to stop being the Android/Apple little b**** and recognize that other companies are doing something different.

I find it amusing that you say that. If I had to think about someone who is continuously whining on news articles and bitching at anyone saying anything remotely critical of Microsoft, pleading and demanding for more Microsoft glory, and feverishly making comparisons between Microsoft and either Apple or Android, you'd jump out straight away.

What is his point?

If you don't get the point, then move along. Judging from all the (rhetorical) questions and links, I wasn't the one throwing a "hissy fit" or "temper tantrum".

Since you're very much affected by what I wrote initially, I'll try and reword it. We have an article here about how to supposedly use WP8 Rooms on other smartphone platforms. Yet all of the things that a WP8 user can share with an iOS/Android user, i.e. Calendars, Pictures/Videos and Notes, have all been previously shareable anyway. If said WP8 user does it now via Rooms, an iOS/Android user will not be affected because the functionality at their end has stayed the same. Microsoft hasn't gone out of their way to support other platforms, it's just that they've integrated their own services into Rooms, which consequently allows WP8 users to share items with other platforms more conveniently. Going back to the above article now, how is it "potentially helping people get an idea of the WP8 experience", when others won't even know if someone is sharing items via Rooms or not? Also, how does the last paragraph fit in with what is being said before it? (Those were rhetorical questions by the way.)

Additionally, from reading this article, I feel as if I should be applauding Microsoft as they've "thoughtfully included support for Android, iOS, and WP7 handsets". What they've actually done is hardly praiseworthy. This will probably annoy you (oh well) but, in my opinion, integration of services is something Google/Apple have been better at than Microsoft, which has only recently improved (considerably so) in this area. As I said earlier though, my primary intention was to criticise how the article portrayed this apparent "news" not Microsoft's shortcomings, but if it makes you feel better, when and if Microsoft releases a Rooms app on other platforms allowing true cross-platform support, I'll praise them for one-upping Apple and iMessages.