Windows Phone 8 (WP8) or better known as Apollo ‘s details have been revealed, thanks to a video hosted by senior vice president and Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore, and intended for partners at Nokia. The details are very interesting and have been confirmed by multiple sources now. So let us have a look on the most exciting features that Apollo will offer,
- Apollo will add support for multicore processors, new screen resolutions (a total of four, although actual pixel counts weren’t specified), and removable microSD card storage.
- The camera will now be based around so-called lens apps: Microsoft provides a basic camera interface that can either be skinned by OEMs or overlaid with viewfinders from third-parties. Belfiore gives the example of a lens app that combines burst mode with smile detection to capture a perfect portrait shot.
- NFC radios will also be supported, with Belfiore placing specific emphasis on 8’s push into contactless payments. The “Wallet experience,” as he calls it, will have the capability to be carrier-branded and controlled, either by a secure element on the SIM card or utilizing hardware in the phone itself. In addition, tap-to-share capabilities will reportedly work across multiple platforms, allowing desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones to all share content.
- Windows Phone 8, as its name suggests, will also be tied closely to the desktop version of Windows 8 in other ways. They’ll be launched closely to each other. Windows Phone 8 is part of the “Windows Reimagined” campaign that Microsoft announced for Windows 8.
- Windows Phone 8 won’t just share a UI with the next-generation desktop and tablet OS, apparently: it will use many of the same components as Windows 8, allowing developers to “reuse — by far — most of their code” when porting an app from desktop to phone, according to Belfiore. He specifically mentions the kernel, networking stacks, security, and multimedia support as areas of heavy overlap
- It will be based on the Windows 8 kernel and not on Windows CE as are current versions. This will not impact app compatibility. Microsoft expects to have over 100,000 Windows Phone 7.5-compatible apps available by the time WP8 launches, and they will all work fine on this new OS.
- The biggest news on the app front is probably the addition of native code support, which will enable more powerful applications as well as ease the porting of code from programs initially developed for iOS or Android. Also mentioned is support for app-to-app communication, as well as a revamped Skype client that hooks directly into the OS, letting Skype calls behave almost identically to regular, non-VoIP telephony.
- Because Windows Phone 8 apps, like Windows 8 apps, are sandboxed from each other, this new system will provide a Windows 8 contracts-like app-to-app communications capabilities. The Xbox Companion app, currently found on Windows Phones, will see a partner client on Windows 8.
- Skydrive support promises seamless sharing of data between devices; Belfiore gives the example of instantly having one’s music collection available on a newly-purchased Windows Phone, without the need for a PC sync.
- One of the main highlights of the overview was a feature called DataSmart, which aims to reduce, and simplify the tracking of, data usage. Besides providing a breakdown of data consumption, as other platforms already do, Windows Phone 8 will actively attempt to give Wi-Fi connections precedence, going so far as to automatically connect to carrier-owned WLANs when in range. Local Scout feature of Bing Maps will enable the real-time location of nearby hotspots. Data usage will also be made glanceable thanks to a live tile.
- Perhaps most interesting is Windows Phone 8’s planned use of a proxy server to feed pages to Internet Explorer 10. Like Opera Mini and the Skyfire of old, this service uses server-side compression to reduce the amount of data required to view websites — in this case, by a claimed 30%.
Business security features:
- In an attempt to recapture the enterprise, Windows Phone 8 is said to add native BitLocker encryption — the same 128-bit, full-disk encryption found on Microsoft most recent desktop platforms. So-called “line-of-business” applications are also gaining support, allowing businesses to deploy proprietary, tailored software behind their company firewalls.