Hot on the heels of the Microsoft Surface announcement, the company announced yet another major upgrade for their popular Windows Phone OS. We have posted before about the speculations surrounding the next Windows Phone OS. Many of them came out to be true to our expectations!
Here are some of the features of the new Windows Phone OS-
Multiple Processor Cores
As the rage for multi-core mobile processors continues, Windows Phone 8 follows suit and hence supports up to 64 cores (when that’s actually made). But it will support dual-core processors for now, according to them.
WP7 supported resolutions upto 800×480 pixels. But now the new OS will allow manufacturers to build screens supporting 1280×720 pixels or 1280×768 pixels (with an aspect ratio of 15:9) .
Support For microSD Cards
A major request of many customers was fulfilled today as Microsoft announced the support for microSD cards in WP8. Earlier only internal memory was available to the user.
Shared Windows Core
Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 share a common NT kernel that makes them brothers (kind-of). This means that they will behave similarly and a lot of functionality will be available across a range of devices. We predicted this a long time ago. This may not seem really big now but it will create big repercussions in the future. This will also make the foundations of Windows 8 even stronger.
Internet Explorer 10
NFC arrives in WP8 with an integrated Wallet feature. The wallet feature is touted to have a ‘complete wallet experience’ and will not just deal with the payments. It will include the memberships cards, saved offers etc. You will also be able to make in-app purchases using your Wallet app!
Nokia Maps Built-In
Windows Phone 8 got Nokia’s maps along with their NAVTEQ map data, offline map support and turn-by-turn directions. The maps will also show the deals you can avail in the shops nearby!
Better Security For Admins
The new OS will offer more security to the admins as Secure Boot and Bitlocker encryption will be added.
A New Start Screen
The Start Screen or the default screen of Windows Phone OS also received a major upgrade with the ability to resize the icons. This will allow the users to select and enlarge the icons according to their wish. The sizes available are small, medium and double-wide.
Microsoft announced support for the new internet protocol which was released earlier this month. This will perhaps be the first mobile OS to do so.
Support for Native Code, Shared API Libraries and Direct3D acceleration
The apps for WP8 can be made using native code, which are also used in developing iOS apps, Android apps and Windows 8 apps. This will also make porting apps from iOS and Android easier and faster. Developers will now be able to develop apps for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 with ease, as both the OS share API libraries as well as the core OS as well. Games will be better with more intensive graphics and Direct3D hardware acceleration. Developers can create graphic-intensive games using gaming middleware such as Havok Suite. Titles such as Halo and Assassin’s Creed may be available soon!
Background multitasking will also be introduced in WP8. Two services were announced to be using the multitasking feature now. The VoIP calls and Skype calls will appear like normal voice calls and will run in the background. Similarly the location feature will run in the background and can be used by any app when required.
Windows Phones too can cut the cord from now on as they will receive OTA updates. They won’t need to connect to Zune to receive updates.
Many other features such as Company hub, Nokia’s DLNA app PlayTo were announced too.
But there is also some bad news for current Windows Phone users. They won’t be able to upgrade to WP8. However, they will be able to update to WP7.8. Those who waited a bit longer will now at last enjoy a much sweeter fruit!
And yes, WP8 is codenamed Apollo (though they did not mention that directly)!
Images Courtesy: Engadget