What’s New in Windows Phone 8?

Yesterday in Windows Phone Summit, Microsoft announced the new features of Windows Phone 8 consists of some interesting stuffs those coming in the way. Microsoft also announced that the existing devices running Windows Phone 7.x will not get the update of WP8, but there will be a update for those devices which will call as “Windows Phone 7.8”. Check out the post “Can we Upgrade our WP7 Device to Support WP8?” for more details about WP7.8 update.


Many of you might attended the Summit In-Person or Live from web. In this post, I will share the points on “What’s New in WP8” for you to bookmark for future. If you missed the event, this post will give you brief idea about what is coming next in Windows Phone 8. Continue reading.


Latest and Greatest Hardware

Windows Phone 8 will be an exciting time for developers working in Microsoft platform. It will have shared core common with Windows 8. It will have all the finest hardware. It will have multi-core chipsets and faster GPU to run games built in native code.



Windows Phone 8 will have bigger and sharper screens with two new resolutions: 1280x768 and 1280x720. Windows Phone 7 supports only WVGA i.e. 800x480 screen resolution, but WP8 will have those additional resolutions too. Thus it will support three resolution named WVGA, WXGA and 720p. Based on the screen resolution, the device will scale the apps automatically and proportionally.



Windows Phone 8 will also support removable microSD Cards, which were missing in earlier devices. So now you can add additional storage space to store additional data in your phone device and easily move them to your PC.


Support of IE10

Windows Phone 8 will have the same web browsing engine which has been used in Windows 8 i.e. Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) which will be faster and more secure with advanced anti-phishing features like SmartScreen to block unsecure websites.



It will also support HTML5 and improved performance of JavaScript. For a complete range of Windows Phone 8 browser compatibility, visit this page: http://html5test.com/compare/browser/wp80.html


Native Code Support

Native code development will now be available for Windows Phone 8. Developers will be able to develop killer games using DirectX, C, C++ etc. DirectX is now part of Windows Phone 8 (Apollo).



Currently only C# and VB.Net are available for Windows Phone app and game development but this will allow developers to create better and powerful apps, much better quality games.


NFC Support for Better Sharing

The shared core of Windows Phone 8 allows it to support NFC for better sharing between Windows Phone and PCs. NFC (Near Field Communications) is based on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. There are many ways to use this NFC technology. For example peer to peer mode where two devices can exchange data (business card sharing), reader and writer mode (reading NFC enable smart poster) and card emulation mode (phone act as our credit card).


Windows Phone 8 Wallet Hub


Every Windows Phone 8 will include this Wallet Hub. This new Wallet Hub has been designed to support NFC payments and the ability to store debit card, credit card, membership card information securely. It will also have the ability to directly pay using the “Tap to Pay” feature.



Unlike Google Wallet, Microsoft has made sure that the WP8′s Wallet will work with third party and will be supported by all network operators that have secure SIM card support. Sullivan clearly said “Google has the NFC payment part, Apple has the Passbook thing but we'll have both”. Microsoft is also working with ISIS (A joint wallet venture with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile) so that Windows Phone 8 wallet service works with these operators as well in USA. Orange and later MOs will provide the secure SIM cards. In US, the secure SIM card support will come after launch.


Using NFC in Windows Phone 8, you will be able to read business cards and send it back to your PCs using the “Tap to Send” feature. To know more about NFC, tuned in to the Nokia Wiki.


Nokia Maps

Another big advantage of Windows Phone 8 is the full support of Nokia Maps. Microsoft will now work with Nokia to provide a better mapping system as part of this new platform.


Nokia Maps    Nokia Maps    Nokia Maps


This partnership will provide more detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions in many countries. Maps data will be available offline on your phone, so you can work with those without connecting with any career.


Enterprise Support

Windows Phone 8 will support encryption, secure boot, LOB app deployment, device management etc. Sullivan promises to enable some of the key features that business enterprise and IT customers need in Windows Phone 8. To help keep everything from documents to passwords safe, Windows Phone 8 includes built-in technology to encrypt the entire device, including the operating system and data files.



Windows Phone 8 supports UEFI (United Extensible Firmware Interface) secure boot protocol and features improved app and hence the phone will be better protected from malware with multiple layers of security.


Company Hub in Windows Phone 8


Windows Phone 8 will include new Office 2013-based Office apps. Companies can create their own Windows Phone 8 Hub for custom employee apps and other critical business info. IT departments can manage apps and phones remotely, with tools similar to ones they now employ for Windows PCs.


Enhanced Start Screen

Here comes the new and stunning Windows Phone 8 Start Screen. WP8 will have maximum 4 columns application list in the start screen in terms of Live Tiles. User will be able to resize those Tiles manually in three different taste: small, medium and large. The Live Tiles will automatically expand or contract and show more information according to the space available. The small tiles will enable us to fit more on the start screen, and to have things that don't require a lot of real estate to convey information.


Windows Phone 8 Start Screen    Windows Phone 8 Start Screen    Windows Phone 8 Start Screen    Windows Phone 8 Start Screen


There will be a new color palette of theme for Windows Phone 8 which you can use to tune your mood. As existing Windows Phone 7 users can’t upgrade to Windows Phone 8, there will be a Windows Phone 7.8 update for WP7 handset users which will enable the new Start Screen in their old devices.


Here’s a small video of the new Windows Phone 8 Start Screen:



The top-right side arrow is now gone away. Tiles got a new resize arrow when you're changing them on the Start screen and help the user to customize them easily. Instead of just 8 tiles on WP7, you can have up to 28 tiles (4 columns, 7 rows).


If you already have a Windows Phone 7 device and thinking whether you can get this in your handset, check out the post “Can we Upgrade our WP7 Device to Support WP8?” for more details about Windows Phone 7.8 updates.


Integrated Internet Calling

Microsoft now integrated the Internet calling functionalities in Windows Phone 8. Developers will be able to create VoIP applications which will be plugged-in to our existing calling feature to enable answering like traditional phone calls using the same calling interface.



Microsoft is building in the APIs and infrastructure to support generalized VoIP applications in #WP8, including Skype & others. Windows Phone 8 will includes a “revised” Skype app that offers an RCSe-like experience for contacts, so that a “Skype” option will appear next to phone numbers, messaging links, and the like, for those contacts that use Skype.


What Else?

Apart from the above new stunning features, there will also be some additional features in Windows Phone 8 from Multitasking, SQLite to Speech platform. Here are some of them in case you want to know:

    • Windows Phone 8 will have enhanced sets of multitasking framework. It will allow locations based apps to run in the background and let you keep working even when you are doing other things on your phone.
    • SQLite has now been ported for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.
    • Speech platform is now coming in Windows Phone 8.
    • All existing apps in the Windows Phone marketplace will be automatically recompiled for Windows Phone 8.
    • Developers can now choose their application development platform: XAML + VB/C#, C++ and DirectX, HTML - mix and match.
    • Windows Phone 8 hardware will come from Nokia, Huawei, Samsung and HTC.
    • Windows Phone 8 will support 50 languages available in 180+ countries.
    • Microsoft will support all Windows Phone 8 devices for 18 months in terms of update from the date it was manufactured.

That’s all about the new features those are coming in Windows Phone 8 announced during Windows Phone Summit. Connect with me in Twitter, Facebook and Subscribe to the Newsletter or RSS Feed to get regular updates. Share this to your connection and if you have any feedback drop a line below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for reading this post and following my blog. Cheers.

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