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Windows Phone 8 - What New Features Does It Bring ?

By Simon Thomas on 01st November 2012

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Windows Phone 8 will launch in the UK tomorrow with the Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820, HTC Windows Phone 8X, HTC Windows Phone 8S and the Samsung Ativ S all landing on UK operators.

 

We thought that this made it the perfect time for us to outline some of the major features of Microsoft's new operating system. The previous version of Windows Phone was critically acclaimed , but that didn't help Microsoft sell many smartphones and they'll be hoping that Windows Phone 8 fairs a lot better.

 

Windows Live Tiles


 

Live tiles were probably the trademark feature of Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system , so it should come as no surprise they've been retained in the latest version of the operating system.

 

Infact, Microsoft have improved the "Live Tiles" feature in Windows Phone 8 by enabling users to choose between three sizes and 20 different colours. This enables even great customisation than ever before and should go down well with current users and newbies alike.

 

Live App Updates

 

Even better news is that you can configure tiles which will deliver real-time application updates to your home-screen and even your lock-screen. For example, you can view your Facebook updates direct from your home-screen or view the latest weather updates on your lock-screen.

 

Rooms

 

Windows Phone 8 Rooms

One of the new features attracting the most attention is "Rooms"  which is Microsoft's equivalent of Blackberry's Messenger. With "Rooms" you can invite a friend (or a group of friends) to a chatroom where you can not only send message , but also share photos, send video, shopping lists, share calendars and much more.

 

Data Sense


Are you one of those people always worrying about how much of your data allowance you've used ?

 

Well the good news is that Microsoft have added "Data Sense" which enables users to easily monitor the amount of data they've used.  However, it gets even better because when users get close to your limit (or based on your chosen settings) the feature will compress images and data to keep their  data use as low as possible.

 

Kid's Corner


Kids Corner


Another novel feature included in Windows Phone 8 is the "Kid's Corner" which enables a parent to setup a special-mode for their kids to use.

 

This means they can have their own start-screens and live-times. and even more importantly means parents can limit the applications they can use and the files they can access. This ensures they arn't viewing anything they shouldn't and protects important files and data from being deleted accidentally.

 

 

Support For Improved Hardware

 

Windows Phone 8 adds support for a whole host of new hardware including higher resolution displays, and multi-core processors. This enables a whole range of new premium Windows smartphone to launch which can compete better with Android and iOS devices.

 

One of the major faults with the previous version of Windows Phone is that microSD cards weren't supported , but that has now been corrected in Windows Phone 8. Additionally, NFC support has also been added opening a whole new plethora of possibilities.

 

Conclusion

 

Windows Phone 8 improves on Windows Phone 7 in a whole variety of ways and we were already huge fans of the previous version. In 3G's review of the Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the HTC Windows Phone 8X , we were hugely impressed by the new platform.

 

We really hope the sales match reflect the brilliance of Microsoft's new platform which is more than a match for iOS and Android. The only thing really holding the platform back is the lack of apps available, but that should come if sales of the smartphones take off.

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