Tips for using Rooms on other phones

[This post was written by Lavanya Vasudevan, program manager for the Rooms feature in Windows Phone 8.]

What if someone I want to invite to my new Room doesn’t have Windows Phone 8?

It’s a good question, and as program manager for the feature, one I often get. As Juliette wrote in her post, Rooms lets you share notes, a calendar, photos, and participate in a group chat with people you choose. As you might guess, the feature works best when everyone has Windows Phone 8.

But it doesn’t mean friends and family are shut out if they don’t. With the exception of group chat, Rooms features are all available on other devices. So even if your mom’s on iPhone, your daughter has a Windows Phone 7, and your cousin has a Surface tablet, they can still join the fun (once they accept the invitation on their phones). Here’s how.

Calendar

On Windows Phone 7, iPhone, or a Windows 8 device: Add your Microsoft account as an email account on your device. Then the room calendar will show up alongside your other calendars, with the same name as the room.

On Android: First get the free Hotmail app from Google Play, and sign in to the app with your Microsoft account. Then go to the calendar app on your device to turn on the room calendar. It will show up with the same name as the room. Note: Due to differences in software versions and devices, not all features may work exactly as they do on Windows Phone 8.

Photos and videos

On Windows Phone 7, iPhone, Android, or a Windows 8 device: Get the free SkyDrive app from your app store, and sign in to the app with your Microsoft account. The room photos will show up as a shared folder, with the same name as the room.

Notes

On Windows Phone 7, iPhone, Android, or a Windows 8 device: Get the free OneNote app from your app store, and sign in to the app with your Microsoft account. The room notes will show up as a shared notebook, with the same name as the room.

See also: Rooms on Windows Phone 8 and iPhone