We don’t have any specifics yet, but we do know that Nokia is making a joint announcement with Microsoft next week, and that it’ll concern the Windows Phone 8 OS. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at the official details that have emerged so far for the new OS and pick out a few highlights.
Microsoft officially unveiled Windows Phone 8 back in June, and it’s looking very good indeed. Here are the five elements we’re most excited about.
Based on Windows 8
Windows Phone 8 shares the same core code as Windows 8 – the new desktop and tablet operating system that’ll be on everyone’s PCs come November. Microsoft intends to make a unified experience regardless of the device you’re using – and it’ll also make app development a whole lot easier. The outcome for Windows Phone 8 users will be more (and better) apps and games and greater synchronisation with your other devices.
Being based on the Windows 8 code will also enable advanced multi-core processors and memory expansion ports to be utilised, just like they are on desktop PCs.
Expanded home screen
We love the Windows Phone 7 start screen, and it’s just perfect for the 800 x 480 displays on the Nokia Lumia 900 and Nokia Lumia 800. Windows Phone 8 will be built to accommodate higher resolution displays, which will allow it to fit more live tiles on the screen at any one time.
These live tiles will vary in size, expanding on the difference between the calendar tile and the rest in Windows Phone 7.
Nokia Maps is great on Windows Phone 7. Wouldn’t it be great if it was the default mapping solution? In Windows Phone 8 it will be! Microsoft has confirmed that Nokia mapping will be built in “as part of the platform.” This partnership will allow for “more detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions… plus the ability to store maps offline.”
We’ve touched upon the greater range and quality of apps that Windows Phone 8 will permit, but let’s hone in on one particular aspect that will really open out the Marketplace. In-app purchases will be possible on Windows Phone 8. This gives developers the ability to make additional content available, for a price, from within each application.
This also opens the possibility for freemium games – free games that offer bonus features for additional money – which are the current trend on other smartphone platforms.
Integrated Skype calls
Microsoft has made it so that internet calling or VoIP apps such as Skype can be integrated into Windows Phone 8’s normal phone call app. This means you’ll be able to make and receive calls much over a data connection in exactly the same way as you would over your mobile network. This of course will mean a nicely integrated contacts list that allows you to choose the best or cheapest way to talk to your friends, family and colleagues.
Those are just a few of the things we’re looking forward to in Windows Phone 8. Roll on September 5th when we can hopefully learn more!