Windows Phone 8’s New Features and Highlights

Windows Phone 8 Features and Highlights

As expected, Microsoft used its Windows Phone Summit event in San Francisco to announce the latest Windows Phone 8 OS. And this holiday season, Microsoft will release Windows Phone 8, and next generation of the Windows handsets. Listed below are the Windows Phone 8′s highlights and best new features.

Windows Phone 8 Features and Highlights

New Start Screen

Windows Phone 8's New Start Screen Windows Phone 8's New Start Screen

One of the most impressive Windows Phone 8 feature  to me is the upcoming fully reworked, new Start Screen with multi-sized tiles. Users can add, remove, replace, resize the new Live Tiles that you want. By long-pressing a Live Tile, you can choose three different sizes – quarter, half and full width. WP8 also introduces the variety of theme colors for full customization on the homescreen.

NFC Chip / Wallet Hub

Windows Phone 8's NFC Wallet Support

Another highlight of the Windows Phone 8 is the introduction of Wallet Hub feature, which will let you to scan a code, tap to make transactions via NFC. All WP8 phones will ship with the NFC hub support. The Wallet Hub brings ‘Deals’ with Local Scout integration to let you search for beast deals nearby through web searches, third party apps and they can be also shared with your contacts. Orange France will first debut the Wallet hub feature. Microsoft states that NFC wallet is better than Google’s because the security is handled by the SIM card instead of the phone itself. Wallet supports in-app purchases and it also stores your credit cards with PIN codes to ask you which one you want to use for each payment.

It works with your credit cards, PayPal account and your library subscription. NFC support also allows quick and easy transfer of contact data, pairing of wireless devices.  You can just roll e your WP8 phone in front of a wallet reader and pay for stuff.


Multi Cores, 720p Display, microSD for WP8

The next generation Windows Phones will be powered by multi-core processors (for this fall, dual-core chipsets will be rocking the new phones).

The new Windows Phone 8 OS version also supports new screen resolutions – WXGA (1280 x 768 pixels), 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) and of course WVGA (800 x 480 pixels). There’s no mention of the 640 x 480 resolution. Fortunately, there’s no more limiting handsets to a fixed inbuilt memory storage. WP8 brings support for memory expansion via microSD cards.

Internet Explorer 10

 IE 10 for Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 devices will come preinstalled with the latest Internet Explorer 10, which adopts a lot of pieces from its desktop twin. This browser has got enhanced HTML 5 support, 4x improved Javascript performance. In the above image, you can also see that Windows Phone 8 scores better benchmarking  results than the Samsung Galaxy S III, iPhone 4S with iOS 6 beta OS and HTC One S handsets.

It uses the same rendering, same security features (such as warning users of potentially malicious websites) and layout engine as the full PC release. Smart features, such as an anti-phishing filter, will also be included in IE 10 for Windows Phone 8 powered devices.

Nokia Maps

Nokia Maps for Windows Phone 8

In Windows Phone 8 OS, Bing Maps will be replaced by Nokia Maps, powered by NAVTEQ data. Nokia’s map system also supports offline maps, turn-by-turn directions and the third party applications can also use the map software when you have no internet connection.

Deep Skype Integration For Windows Phone 8

New VoIP features will be coming to Windows Phone 8 OS. All VoIP client on Windows Phone 8 will be allowed to work in the background. Apps like Skype will be able to run in the background and allow you to receive VoIP calls. Windows Phone 8 device will come with deep Skype integration.

Conversation with Apps and Native Code Support

Windows Phone 8's Speech Platform

It seems the Redmond company is working to introduce a new voice recognition app such as Apple’s Siri or Samsung’s S Voice. The company is letting the developers to create specific commands for your interaction with their apps. You can now search for things and listen to ebooks. This feature is expected to be coming to current Windows Phone 7 Mango devices. Microsoft has also introduced the new developer platform in Windows Phone 8.  Using the native code support, developers can write C, C++ code to create Windows Phone 8 games, apps, etc,. Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 have a same shared native API set on both platforms, based on a shared C++ component.

WP* also includes new VOIP platform, background location platform, etc,. Developers can now use XAML with C#/VB code, native C++/C, and HTML5 code in apps. Developers are simply required to write same code for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps and just change the UI, resolution support and other things.

Camera Extras

Windows Phone 8's Camera Extras

Windows Phone 8 devices will get Camera Extras feature with  Panorama, Burst Shot, Smart Group Shot modes.

Panorama – This mode sews several photos together creating one seamless panoramic image.

Action Shot – This mode lets you to capture that brief, one-time moment.

Smart Group Shot – This mode lets you to capture photos of groups, several consecutive images. Your friend’s face can be replaced with a crop from a better shot.

Windows Phone 8 New Logo

The upcoming Windows Phone 8 handsets are expected to feature the new Windows logo on the bottom size, which was borrowed from new Windows 8 OS.

# Windows Phone 8 brings Support for DirectX and porting PC games. NOVA 3 and Asphalt 7 arriving on Windows Phone 8. Havok is also bringing its cinematic game physics engine to WP8
# Support for easier porting of application not only from Windows 8, but also from Android and iOS
# Support for secure storage and remote device management
# Better Multitasking – VoIP apps (read, Skype) and apps using your location are allowed to run in the background. WP8 also lets apps like exercise trackers or navigation aids to run in the background
# It also supports secure boot and BitLocker encryption. Administrators can manage devices remotely and push apps to them
# Windows Phone 8’s new ‘Company Hub’ feature lets a company to highlight apps specific to the company itself and make them easily accessible to its employees.
# Windows Phone 8 will support a total of 50 languages The new platform’s Marketplace will be available in 180 countries
# Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Huawei will bring the new Windows Phone 8 device by the end of this year. It has been confirmed that HTC will launch “multiple” Windows Phone 8 handsets this year

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 processor that will be used in all the upcoming Windows Phone 8 handsets. S4 chipset uses a 28nm process by consuming very little power so that your smartphone battery can last all day. The new Krait CPUs paired with the new Adreno 225 GPU to bring console quality gaming and the latest DirectX 3D games to Windows Phone. Qualcomm S4 chipset also brings 1080p video capture capability, overall speed and image quality enhancements for WP8 devices.

Windows Phone 7.8

Microsoft has confirmed that the upcoming Windows Phone 8 OS will be rolled out for the existing Windows Phone 7 Mango OS powered devices. It is for the upcoming phones only. Instead, the company is gearing up to roll out the Windows Phone 7.8 OS update for Mango handsets to make them look like the brand new ones for at least. WP 7.8 build includes the new Windows Phone 8 Start screen and more features from the latest iteration.

Source: Microsoft

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