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Friday, January 11 2013 00:31

I am The Rock Father, and this is my Windows Phone Start Screen... #MeetYours

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Updated September 7, 2014 - After a year-and-a-half on the Windows Phone platform and experiencing problems with devices made by both Nokia and HTC, I can no longer support or recommend the Windows Phone Platform.

When the folks at Microsoft reached out to me asking if The Rock Father would like to be a part of Team Windows Phone, the timing couldn't have been more perfect. After nearly three years as an iPhone user, it was time to ditch the 3G and make a change. My version of iOS was outdated so the new Apps wouldn't run. The hardware was starting to show it's age, and aside from the iPhone, I've never owned another Apple product. In fact, my whole digital world outside the phone has always been powered by Windows. With other choices out there (like Android), I'd been exploring the options, and while Windows Phone is a relative newcomer in the Smartphone realm, it caught my attention.

DSC 0296This is my new Windows Phone 8X by HTC.  You'll be hearing a lot about it in the months ahead, as it is a new weapon in my Daddy Blogger arsenal. As a work-from-home Dad with two young daughters, I take a ton of pictures - and while this will fuel that need, it also has beautiful HD video - a function that my last phone was lacking. All the fun pictures and videos that I'll be posting on The Rock Father for the foreseeable future will all be shot with this device, so get ready. I'm running on AT&T's 4G network with wi-fi connected here at Rock Father HQ. Skype is already installed for connecting with the Grandparents, and my social networks are connected. My point? I'm ready to rock. And it starts with the Start Screen.

Pictured Below: Me and my two girls at the end of a 14-hour day of adventures (pre-bedtime). Yes, my 3-year-old is throwing up "double metal" as she calls it - with "rock fingers" or "devil horns" (the goat!) being shown on both hands.
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teamwindowsstartOn a Windows Phone, your Start Screen is 100% customizable. You size the tiles to your liking, then arrange them however you like. It makes it easy to place the things you use most next to the people you connect with the most. My color scheme is red and black - a KNIGHT RIDER-inspired motif I've enjoyed for years (including in my cars). On the top are essential functions - messaging, mail, Internet, and store... right there above my phone and social networks. The "Me" tile makes it easy to post status updates to my networks quickly, and to see who needs to connect with me. Surrounding that are a few close family members, some photo tools, a one-tap link to the mobile version of this very website, and a little something called "Kids Corner" (which I'll get into in a future post). If I were to scroll down (which isn't pictured), I have my games, more people that I'm connected to, and a host of valuable tools.

While I haven't had the Windows Phone 8X very long, I'm digging it thus far... so much that while Microsoft gave me my phone for free (being The Rock Father is a good gig!), I actually bought my wife one... along with a pair of cases, and a car charger.  Now, the whole family is running on Windows Phone.

Content and/or other value provided to The Rock Father by my partner, Windows Phone.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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