people hub

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How to merge a contact in Windows Phone

The People Hub in Windows Phone is the center for all your contacts. It goes above and beyond your typical contact list and integrates social networks like Facebook and Twitter (thanks Social Extensibility framework). By aggregating all that data into one, contact card, your People Hub becomes invaluable for keeping your friends all in once place. Windows Phone does a good job automatically piecing everything together, though sometimes it misses adding your phonebook contact with their Facebook profile. Here's how to manually merge and link contacts in the People Hub on Windows Phone.

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As we've mentioned before, the People Hub has always been a pain for Chinese Windows Phone devices, because what's called "People Hub" in the Chinese version of the OS simply doesn't have any social functions. To put it mildly, the module has been nothing but an unnecessarily complicated phone book. The reason for this is quite simple: Microsoft yanked out all the social services blocked by China's national Great Firewall (Twitter, Facebook), and removed the ones that practically have no user at all in China (LinkedIn), without giving any replacements. Finally this is going to change, today.

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Windows Phone 8 Rooms feature

Windows Phone 8 brings with it many improvements to its social abilities, one such improvement is the inclusion of “Rooms”.

Taking some of the ideas from Windows Phone 7’s Groups feature and expanding it out, the new feature allows for powerful social interaction with a selection of your contacts. Windows Phone has always been a powerful performer with regards to its social networking prowess and Rooms is going to take that a step further.

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New Twitter integration with Live and the People Hub. Left (New) and Right (Old).

Microsoft has evidently updated how Twitter interacts with Live services on Windows Phone by automatically pulling down a contact's Twitter profile an merging it into "Notes".

We're not sure when the change occurred but reader Kaush noticed the difference today which evidently happened when Windows Phone auto-syncs back to the server for contact updates. We managed to break out our international Titan (which we last used a few months ago) to quickly compare for a "before and after".

As an example, under Jay Bennett you can now see his Twitter profile integrated into Notes whereas the device on the right does not have that information.

While this is a small and subtle change, it is certainly good use of the Notes area which often goes unused.  So to our readers: is this something really new or have we just missed it?

Thanks, Kaush, for the tip!

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Regular visitors of our site will be familiar with Ronny Gydar, the Windows Phone dev who's behind the popular Trines Hangman game. If you know the quality and dedication behind that app then you'll know what to expect from his latest: People Search.

People Search is what it sounds like: a contact search app. But it's based off of the T9 system instead of a full-QWERTY keyboard meaning you can easily use it one handed. What's more it's chock full of features such as customizations, how much information it should search through (e.g. just names or phone numbers, email, etc.) and the ability to send contacts via email, SMS or copy-to-clipboard.

We've been using the app since yesterday and we're kind of blown away by it. It's smart (auto-indexes your contacts every 24 hours), beautifully laid out and dead simple to use. We're not even kidding when we say we've replaced our People Hub on our Start screen with it (we don't really check up on our friends' social updates, so no big loss for us).

People Search was just released yesterday and today it's getting the special treatment. While normally it will fetch for $0.99, People Search is completely FREE today meaning you'd have to be daft to not even download the trial.

The app was extensively tested right here in our own Forums, so everyone should be happy with it. We're giving the app a huge thumbs up at Windows Phone Central both for creativity and it's super well designed and polished UI. Don't take our word though, go try it yourself and hit us up on comments.

Remember, it's only free for today, so grab it now and think about it later. Make sure to check out the hilarious demo video after the break too...

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Windows Phone Basics: The People Hub

WPCentral's Guide to the Windows Phone People Hub

Our next helpful article for those who are new to Windows Phone covers the People Hub - the one stop for all your social requirements when on the go. The People Hub, as the name suggests, is where all your contacts are available to communicate with. Upon launching the hub from the home screen (tile is present by default - a mosaic of randomly generated photos) you'll be presented with your profile summary with latest Facebook status or tweet (if not simply swipe to the right - we'll keep things simple and start from the contacts list).

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Windows Phone App Review: ScanBizCards

Deal with a lot of business cards from associates, customers, and other contacts? Looking for an easy way to import all that information on to your Windows Phone? If so, take a look at ScanBizCards. Not only will ScanBizCards let you scan business cards but you also have the ability for cloud backup and syncing your cards across multiple platforms (support for iOS, Android and a desktop client).

With support for twenty two languages and the ability to import information into your People's Hub, ScanBizCards definitely sounds promising.

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We covered an app a week ago that filled in a big hole in the Windows Phone OS, specifically you can't save Bing searches to the People Hub. This inability is quite inconvenient as it means you have to manually copy information to your contacts, which if you have a few restaurants to add, can take some time.

Now, Add to Contacts, a different and in many ways a better app,  is available from the developer of "I'm a WP7!" meaning you expect quality from the design and implementation. Very Metro-influenced, the app is fast and has great options including the ability to save photos where available.

"With Add to Contacts, the entire process is automated for you, including retrieving an image for your Contact if it’s available!

PRIMARY USE: Go to Bing Search, get local or Local Scout results, go to the apps tab, then tap 'Add to Contacts'!

SECONDARY USE: Search for local results from within the app itself and add them directly to your contacts!

The app provides integrated Local and Nearby search, with the ability so save your most recent search, but the real power comes from tapping Add to Contacts right from your search result profile!"

The app fetches for $0.99 with a free trial. If you need this feature then we have to give a recommendation for this app as it does its job quite admirably. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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Though we love our Windows Phone, there are certain areas that need work. Certain areas that we know Microsoft will fix, given enough time and feedback, of course.  Such is this scenario: You do a Bing search for a local business, restaurant, etc. Upon glancing over the results, you decide you would like to save this company's information to your People Hub which is when you realize you can't do it.

As it turns out, if you want to save a Bing search result to your People Hub, you'll have to do it the old fashion way: by hand. Very frustrating, to say the least.

Now, a new app landing next week in the Marketplace promises to fix that problem. The app is called BizSaver and is made by BC3 Technologies and we got an early look at the app which you can see in the above video. In short, once you install this app you really don't run it anymore. It simply adds itself to the related-apps under your search results, allowing you to directly save the contact's information to your People Hub with a couple of taps.

It's easy, elegant and just works. The best part? As usual it will be completely free with one-nary ad. Look for the app next week in the Marketplace and we'll of course let you know when it is available.

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Andy Lees: Android copying is flattering

Microsoft's Andy Lees, president of Windows Phone division, has spoken out about Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), particularly the People app. Similarities are present, which was noticeable in the Android ICS video we covered yesterday with Google heavily borrowing from other platforms.

"It's always flattering when someone starts copying you. Fundamentally, their point of view is different. They provide you with a grid of icons and a sea of applications and the more functionality you add, the more complicated and difficult to use the phone becomes."

Even though some parts of Windows Phone are being copied, there's still space for Google to be critical about the platform. Andy moves on to what Matias Duarte said about Windows Phone Metro UI.

"The problem with the Android model is that (when) somebody decides to do something, they hack up the operating system and they make it work. But that puts it (at) a dead end for that device, and that's why phones don't get updated, it's why sometimes they run applications and sometimes they don't."

If you missed the video for Android ICS, check it out after the break. 

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We've received reports from readers that they seem to be experiencing some trouble with the Facebook feed in People Hub where updates aren't appearing from friends and contacts. The good news is that it's not an actual bug or problem but more of the social network viewing the Facebook integration in Windows Phone as a third-party app, not an official app.

As each registered account has control over who can view and access status updates as well as personal details it's up to that contact to set privacy controls accordingly. Should they not allow status updates through third-party apps then you will unfortunately not be able to view when they visit the bathroom or when their mood changes.

Here's an official response from Microsoft in a support thread:

"Facebook considers Windows Phone to be a third-party app, rather than an official Facebook app. This means Windows Phone only has access to information that is shared with apps and websites.

Each individual has control over what they share (Account > Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites: Edit your settings > Info accessible through your friends: Edit settings). If someone disables "My status updates," their friends will be not be able to see the updates in third-party apps. They will, however, show up on the Facebook website and in official Facebook-branded apps. Turning off platform apps entirely makes the user's whole Facebook profile disappear from Windows Phone.

This can be very annoying, but people should be able to control what they share. The ideal solution would be for Facebook to make Windows Phone an official app. Until that happens, updates from some friends may not appear in the People Hub."

Join the discussion over on our forums!

Update: To be able to see your contact updates in the People Hub, that contact will need to alter their privacy settings and enable "status updates" in the following area: "> Privacy Settings > Apps and Websites: Edit your settings > How people bring your info to apps they use: Edit your settings"

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We covered a bug that many of our readers tipped us on that saw the Twitter contact integration in Mango experiencing some difficulty. The problem being that individual contacts and groups were not displaying Twitter connectivity regardless to what settings/filters where chosen. While the Twitter feed is working, there's no way to view contacts who are also on Twitter.

A work around was available that saw users re-adding the Twitter account. The reason why this occurred was due to the social network modifying their API, which broke connectivity with Live. Joe Belfiore has confirmed, via Twitter, that the team has looked into the problem and the fix should reflect across the board within 24 hours. More details below from Microsoft Answers:

"We experienced a hiccup in our Twitter connection for contacts, but the connection is up and running again. Your contacts will reappear in the next 24 hours. Your Twitter feed and ability to post to Twitter remain otherwise unaffected. You may need to re-pin Twitter contacts to Start, re-add Twitter contacts to groups and re-link any Twitter contact links done manually. Sorry for the inconvenience."

Source: Microsoft Answers, via: @JoeBelfiore

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Oh Japan and KDDI, you're sure showing us Yanks up on how to market your phones. In what has to be one of the coolest demonstrations of Windows Phone, KDDI, who has released the Fujitsu IS12T in Japan, made a Flash animation project called a People Hub Generator.

In short, you allow it connect to your Facebook where it pulls in your friend's photos, your info etc. (don't worry, it's for a cool reason). You then watch a bunch of Windows Phone workers running around "making" your People Hub, but on the tiles instead of generic people you'll find all of your friends and even your profile picture within the mini-film itself. Yes, George Lucas would be impressed.

Other than that it doesn't do anything but you can then share the film on Facebook. We think it's a neat way to show off Windows Phone though. Give it a shot here: http://www.au-windowsphone.jp/

via: NanaPho

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LinkedIn updates for PeopleHub [How To]

Do you use LinkedIn for networking with colleagues and co-workers? Would you love to receive updates from this social platform on your phone in PeopleHub, alongside Facebook? Good news – this is easily achievable in just a few steps.

Ensure your Live account is synced to your Windows Phone 7 device before we proceed. To get linked in (get it? heh) on your phone, follow these steps:

  1. From your computer, log-in to your Windows Live account and scroll down to “Messenger Social” on the dashboard/main page, click Add.
  2. Select LinkedIn from the list and fill in your credentials in the newly opened window.
  3. Configure the settings to your preference as to what is to be synchronized between your Live and LinkedIn accounts.
  4. Hit Save, and we’re done!

Simply open PeopleHub on your phone and any status updates from your friends on LinkedIn will now populate the list as well as Facebook. Before you begin experiencing horrid thoughts about your contacts list being imported from the social platform to your phone, fear not, this only synchronizes status updates. 

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Prevent Facebook contacts inclusion [How To]

Have a lot of friends on Facebook? Do you have people added on your contact list that you don’t know, possibly residing in a different continent? If you don’t contact them via the social giant, why would you want them accessible on your phone?

Although Windows Phone 7 performs extremely well with integrating with Facebook, some of us just wish to have a more personal experience with our phone should our social network contact list be rather large. Many potential WP7 users are asking (and have previously asked) about turning the synchronization feature within the People hub in the OS off.

While you can’t completely turn it off without removing the Facebook account, there’s an easy and simple setting within the People configuration section that sets between “Show all my Facebook friends” and “Only add Facebook information to existing contacts”. To achieve the desired alteration, go to the following location:

Settings > Applications > People

If you’d like to have your Facebook friends added automatically again, simply reverse the change. Personally, I began kicking people off my friends list and kept my phone synchronizing everything.

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Have you experienced this problem? You get your new Windows Phone, you sync up your contacts and then you add a few to the Start screen, using those nifty dynamic squares. And then you notice it: the terrible, crappy resolution and blurriness. You think to yourself: "That's not how it looks on the commercial!"

Well, we think we figured it out. It's not Microsoft's fault and it's not a bug. We're going to bet you sync with our frienemy Google, right?

That's the culprit. Google. Don't believe me or think we're alone? See here and here for starters.

What happens is when you take a photo on your phone, add it to contacts and then it syncs back to Google's servers they then downsize the photo and resync it back to you. Awesome, eh?

What is the solution? There are two and we'll detail both after the break...

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