Yesterday's Windows Phone Summit gave us a nice serving of what Windows Phone 8 brings to the table. Joe Belfiore discussed platform changes that will expand the capabilities of our Windows Phones. We also caught a glimpse of Microsoft's Wallet app, a handful of new Nokia apps, and learned of Zynga's new interest in the platform. And then there's the new Start Screen.
Winsupersite posted a nice collection of some of the features we didn't see. Here's a few items that stood out.
- Windows Phones will support varying screen resolutions which in turn will give consumers more choices to find which Windows Phone fits their needs and budget the best. We're already seeing this with the leaked HTC Windows Phone 8 specs.
- Data Smart is a feature that is based on the metered broadband connection capabilities in Windows Phone 8. Data Smart will help users get the most out of their data plans by handing off data loads to Wifi whenever possible and by using a cloud based proxy service that limits the amount of data used by IE10 and other apps. The cloud based proxy service compresses web traffic and is reported to save about 30% in bandwith usage.
- The Games Hub will become the Xbox Live Games app and will be modeled after the same app in Windows 8.
- We'll also see SkyDrive support music and video storage that can be accessed directly from the Xbox Music and Video apps.
- The camera app is in store for some under the hood improvements through a Lens app. The Lens app will let third party apps plug into the camera experience by mapping the camera button to an app other than the native camera app.
- Skype will be more integrated with a Skype option that will be included in your contacts phone numbers and messaging links for those that use Skype. Skype will remain a stand-alone app that can be removed not only by the user but also the carrier or manufacturer. This one sounds like it is still a work deeply in progress.
- Windows Phone 8 will not only appeal to to the general public but also the business market. Windows Phone 8 will provide always on device encryption, secure boot, Office 2013 based Office apps, device manageability capabilities and side loading of line of business apps.
We are sure that in the months leading up to the launch of Windows Phone 8 will come to light. As it stands now, the improvements and platform changes the Microsoft has shared with us it's hard to see Windows Phone 8 as anything but impressive.
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