[Editorial] Windows Phone 8 – What’s New?

Microsoft held its Windows Phone Summit this morning, and it was one announcement packed summit. The spotlight , of course, was Windows Phone 8 , and we all get a sneak peak at what’s coming to Microsoft’s latest iteration of the OS, dubbed Apollo. Apollo actually brings a suite of updates mostly related to hardware, with only one major upgrade to the UI. One of the key features of Windows Phone 8 , is the new start screen.

The new start screen has been greatly modified. Microsoft has certainly been listening to fellow WP fanboys. You can now resize the tiles on the start screen , with three sizes available for your choosing. This is particularly useful for apps like Calendar and People, which could be assigned a large sized tile while apps like Twitter and Internet Explorer only require a small icon. Resizing is an easy feat. Getting to the option requires you to hold an icon, and a new arrow like icon pops up, allowing to resize. In the demos, everything appeared buttery smooth , with not a hint of lag in sight. The image on the right provides a good perspective on how this will look on a real world device. Microsoft has also done away with the black void on the right side of the screen. Now  the tiles stretch from edge to edge, which makes good use of the available real – estate.

The second thing about Windows Phone that’s been given a major overhaul is hardware support. Apollo now supports Multi – Core Processors , dual core devices launching first accompanying the Apollo launch . The dual core chipsets will be supplied by Qualcomm and will be its Snapdragon S4 Krait CPU. This has proven to be a fast and energy efficient chipset, as can be seen in the HTC One S. One top of that , Microsoft are now including NFC chips in WP hardware, with new apps introduced like Wallet. Wallet merges the credit card and secure functionality of Google Wallet and the mobile purchasing features of Apple’s new Passbook app for iOS 6. In the demo, the app seem very well intergrated in the OS and the app itself fits well . Hopefully there won’t be any disputes from Google with Microsoft using the “Wallet” name. SD card compatibility is also included in Apollo. No more complaints about your Music Libary now with extended storage of up to 32GB.  Apollo also includes support for two new resolutions , 1280 x 720p [16:9] and 1280 x 768 [15:9]

Thats not all. There is a ton of more new and much wanted features introduced in Apollo. Here’s a few :

-Internet Explorer 10
-Enterprise features: IT management, encryption , secure boot
– default maps app is now  Nokia Maps
– promised devices update support for 18 Months
– OTA updates
– true background multitasking

 

Unfortunately , Microsoft have announced that Windows Phone 8 won’t be coming to older devices, even the newly released Lumia 900. However, there’s a new version of WP dubbed WP 7.8 which brings a couple of Apollo features to legacy devices. Among the updates in WP 7.8 is the new start screen from Apollo as well as a couple of new apps, like Nokia Music 3.0. Keep it locked to CrackTech for more updates

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About TheGadgetGuy

Malaysian Tech Geek and Whizz. Love technology! Im an Android Developer and try to be an iOS dev too. Im the founder of CrackTech ! Feel free to email me anytime about anything! Oh and follow me as well :D

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