Windows Phone desktop sync app gets an update for compatibility with 'the latest version of Windows Phone'

There's an update to the Windows Phone app for Windows 8 to be had, but what comes with that update? Well, that's an unknown. A good number of you have tipped us that you've downloaded the update, but that, as we've seen, there's no real indication of what's changed. Except for this: "Windows Phone app now supports the latest version of Windows Phone." Huh.

Which is interesting, considering that the previous version of the Windows Phone app for Windows 8 was perfectly compatible with the current version of Windows Phone. So what is this "latest version of Windows Phone" that the sync app now supports? Could it be Windows Phone 8.1?

It's certainly possible that Microsoft's getting things lined up here in advance of the launch of Windows Phone 8.1, and we've reached out to Microsoft for clarification about what's happening here, but they haven't gotten back to us yet. With Microsoft Build 2014 kicking off tomorrow, it might not be too long until we find out what's going on here.

Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • I'd love an app where i can somewhat interact with my phone via PC (i.e. read and reply to text messages) doesn't iPhone have something like this for Mac?
  • Vote for "NARENDRA MODI "
  • oh pls **** off with the political messages. we dont care what your stance is. Take your nonsense elsewhere.
  • Serious it's 1:15 A.M here and you are shouting vote for modi , like users here around the world know him , STAPH PLEASE , you can do this on Facebook or other blogs
  • Chutiye,tera baap hai vo jo uska prachaar yahaan kar rha hai. Means,fucktard,is he your father that you are popularising him here!!?? Idiot,go somewhere else with this shit of yours and for gods sake,just F**K off dork.
  • Yo bro we will obviously vote for Modi, but this isn't a good place for such things.
  • You are also a proven jerk. I agree you love him and want to see him as PM but for gods sake do not spoil this forum with further chatter on politcs,no....not here.
  • Dude, you only commented twice to prove your point.
  • First comment was for Himanshu,this one above your head is for you.
  • You don't say.. :P
  • Dude seriously, stfu and f off.
  • Oh dear god...
  • pop corns anyone?
  • +1520 Blame game will go on longer than expected..
  • Please stop commenting on politics here.....I mean I've got nothing against Modi, but a tech blog?!! Seriously man come on :P
  • Ma va a cagare....
  • I googled this name and was saddened that this wasn't some awesome "mod" for a cool PC game. 
  • Or something to do with Narendra 3 the planet where the Enterprise-C was destroyed protecting a Klingon colony from a suprise Romulan attack, as depicted in the Star Trek The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise." 
  • This
  • iMessage...but we have Skype. Mac can't do anything with SMS.
  • Yeah, Skype isn't really what I want for that. Sure it can do SMS but you have to have them as a contact, and that has to be how the person sends you a text, etc... I want to be able to reply to any text right from my desktop PC or Surface or whatever I'm on.
  • Symbian had this in "PC Suite."  It was awesome.  Makes me sad that my E71 could do so much more than my L920.
  • Even Windows Mobile 5 could at least show itself in an emulator on the desktop where you could interact with your actual phone.
  • Telegram is the answer. I know it's not SMS but SMS is so dead, now.
  • SMS dead.  Yeah, right.  What other service works on every phone, smart, dumb or otherwise, without you having to worry if that person has download this app or the other? Furthermore, Telegram is not the answer.  On Symbian PC suite I could: Send an email from my phone.  Update my calendar, contacts, etc., on my phone.  Read, respond to and answer texts on my phone.  Access my phone's folders.  Manage media -- including playing music and videos on my phone.  Install and uninstall applications.  And do it all over Bluetooth -- no cable needed. Some of that stuff has been "replaced" by the cloud, but sometimes you don't want things going through the cloud.  Why should I give all my SMS messages (not quite dead yet!) to MS if I want to back them up? WP is so crippled compared to smartphone OSes -- including MS' own, by the way -- that it's pretty sad.  I thought that after a few years MS would make WP into smartphone platform, but it appears they are content to make featurephones a la Apple.  They need to wake up and make WP "smart," and soon.  iOS isn't the competition, Android is.  MS know how to make a smartphone platform; Windows Mobile was a smartphone platform but, sadly, WP looks like it is doomed to stay "feature" forever.
  • What phone did you use with the Suite ?
    I never got that pos program to work, from the day I bought my last Nokia to the day I sold it.
  • E71. Sexy, sexy phone.
  • Not only Symbian, the GREAT NOKIA SUITE worked well with all nokia phones, even the non smart phones. I used to love love love the suite !
  • I understand ur concern bro.... But its cloud based.... Comeon man if u have a win 8/8.1 pc u have acces to ur emails,calendar,messenger access and if not u have browsers for the same... U have onedrive for files..... I understand many features are not available... But u need to understand tech has changed.... U do no need to sync manually evrythng is cloud and auto.... U are not restricted with one pc... U can reformat whatever u do with ur phone pc... Ur data and settings are safe... So accept changes and move on bro.... Things are not the same
  • I agree wholeheartedly: they need to update this app so that we can send text messages by typing from our PCs.
  • I wish they had that, too. Android has tons of 3rd party implementations. Maybe a WP developer will make an app -- not sure if the APIs would allow it, though.
  • Android has tons of implementations because android allows developers such access. Do you want such an implementation and want to lose your privacy/peace of mine that your messages etc aren't being hacked ?
  • I would love functionality going both directions.
    I would like to see the phone become an extension of my PC. Have the ability to use my phone as a keyboard/mouse/gesture input for my PC, something easily done by 3rd party apps but would be nice to have as a standard feature. Be able to do simple file management via wifi in transferring files like I can between PCs with shared folders (especially for managing music, videos, and pictures). I would also like for my PC to become an extension of my phone. The ability to respond to text and email from the PC would be cool. The ability to take calls from my PC and send it through the phone would also be neat. At the very least, to have an option to get notifications on my desktop when my phone makes noises would be nice. The ability to show my phone's display on a PC (not just stream some types of content from my phone) would be another great feature. Beyond that there are cloud features that seem like no-briners that would be nice to have. The ability to send web pages between my phone and desktop would be neat because I often pick up a web address while out and about on my phone, but follow up on it later from my desktop. The ability to have a unified podcast subscription service so that I can listen to shows on either platform and keep the progress updated between the two. There is a lot of interesting cross-over that wold be nice to have, and would be great selling points for both win8 and WP8.
  • Yaa man, your list is cool. Maybe we could store our internet favorites on onedrive and have our pc and mobile navigate to the onedrive location for the favorite lists
  • IE 11 on phone is going to have tab sync with that on win8.1
  • If they allow you to sync a playlist natively I would be happy at this point. The desktop sync tool sucks beyond belief and makes you me feel like I am on a mac using a microsoft app. It is said MS continues to allow this to go one this way...
  • Yeah they are making the things ready for windowsphone8.1 . Maybe the new app will be handling the storage more efficiently, especially the OTHER storage section
  • Seems faster
  • Seriously I don't care your opinion and It's getting old now, give it a rest...
  • you are too late. this so-called-jokes is not funny anymore. can't recall which era it started.
  • I'm really sorry, I made you people angry. Hope you enjoy the day and have a nice time watching the presentation later.
  • No, the others section isn't meant for the sync app. It is actually the system cache which makes your phone run smooth. (did a lot of experimentation)
  • Maybe they're finally fixing the song duplication bug when transferring music files to the phone. It's been a known bug for over a year. Given the adoption rate of Windows 8 (desktop), I hope they make a Windows 7 version of the revised app, too. Limiting the new version to Windows 8 would leave a lot of users out in the cold.
  • I'm running Windows 7 and I just opened the desktop app and it said there was an update. It's installing as we speak.
  • Thanks! Notice any changes?  Maybe solving the music duplication bug will also require 8.1 on the phone.
  • Is it still a "Preview" ?
  • I completely agree with you mate. I wish i could attach a screenshot here. My songs have duplicated 50 times. So the native music app is as good as non existent coz i can play the songs or scroll them even. Please MS fix this. This isn't a bug we would expect from MS.
  • This has been fixed for me since GDR2.
  • Glad I'm not the best only person who has experienced this. Getting annoying seeing the same song duplicated 5 times in my songs list & then saying there was an error loading my songs. I just received an app update for my Windows 7 desktop
  • God this issue is common in all. I thought something is wrong with my sd card i formatted it. Shit man lost all my songs cause of this stupid bug. Is there any solution to stop this duplication
  • I have the same problem in my 520 its not only songs but also images and when i am showing those images to others i want to scroll 4 or 5 times to get to the next image.this is so annoying as gdr2 and gdr3 update hasn't fixed it so ms need to fix this asap in wp8.1.
  • Song duplication ? I got all my photos triple ! And even the new photos, they get triplicated too !
    Btw, that issue isn't the issue with the app, it would happen even if you copy paste manually.
    Though i have a solution, which should work for most of you.
    Remove your sd card and put it in some other device. Then connect it and format it (after backing up). Then paste your data back (taking care the folders are correct) and put the sd back into your phone.
  • Did it work for you?
  • Microsoft Built 2014?!? No wonder why it flat out seems faster. (Built = typo in article)
  • Hehe, I get you ;)
  • Ahah, good one.
  • If I'm not the mistaken the Windows Phone app can't even sync over Wi-Fi, can it?
  • Nope. Not like our beloved Zune could.
  • Xbox Music annoys me to no end. Worse in every way compared to Zune desktop. It's almost as if MS is trying to fail..
  • I never could get mine to sync via WiFi, oh well, water under a bridge, I guess.
  • I could.  And it was awesome.  Just one of many ways that WP went backwards from 7.X to 8.X.  Hopefully this update will be all progress with no serious regressions.  WP has a nasty habit of taking two steps forward and one step back with every release.
  • This one?
    BitTorrent Sync for Windows Phone
  • I just updated it and it seems faster.  
  • 2013 called. They want their joke back.
  • Quit replying to your own comments.
  • (SIGH) I'm so lonely.
  • Here, let me give you a hug...
  • A backwards hug?
  • Reach around?!
  • My Name.
  • Does anyone actually use this app? I completely forgot it existed.
  • I just drag and drop from File Explorer and modify music tags with Mp3tag or Zune. I miss Zune compatibility...
  • Same here, I don'teven remember when did I last used this app
  • Me three!
  • Can't use it with my 1020 since the high res pictures aren't copied. Just using drag and drop...
  • Is it still "Preview" ?
  • I literally had not used it for months, but before seeing this article I used it and saw that there was an update for it. I was wondering how long the update had been available. Not for very long, turns out :). I didn't notice any difference. Still a hideous UI and limited functionality. I ended up using WMP instead to transfer files.
  • No.i have to agree nokia ovi suite was much much better than this as i used it to share my c5's data connection through usb, sync pictures only new and many others
  • They should just update it to be a reskinned Zune application
  • we need something like the "old" nokias had... nokia ovi suite. i could read, edit and send messages, manage maps and all the data on my phone. i don't know how could they not include it yet, since the biggest advantage of MS is, that most of people use windows on PC. it would be one of the best things, to have WP syncd to your desktop.
  • +520
  • Euh... this can be a april fool too...LOL !!! Last time this app was updated on my PC was on 02/28/2014 and it's was already saying "L’application Windows Phone prend désormais en charge la dernière version de Windows Phone = Windows Phone app now supports the latest version of Windows Phone.". I didn't have any update today maybe not yet...?! What about you guys ?
  • itshappening.gif
  • Yeah I seen the update on my laptop earlier, now just for the update on my 920 !!!
  • Yay :-)
  • Please give me photo synce.
  • Wireless connection!!! not with the cable.... why we can't connect our WP Phone to Win8 wirelessly?
  • Vote for Congress.
  • Lol
  • I don't know why Microsoft never brought back WiFi sync to Windows Phone 8. It makes transferring music/videos easy
  • The Windows 8 Store version is also getting updated today.
  • I cross my fingers, hoping that it finally supports WiFi sync.
  • Hopefully it actually works now, but I doubt it.
  • Seems Faster !!
  • I tried so hard to use this application to better manage files. Nothing.
  • Good to see you here Derek ! You should come around more often :)
  • There's an update! What does it mean? Who knows! Stay tuned for more and comment with your thoughts!
  • Oh, forgot about that crap. Useless anyway. IF it goes Zune comparable I'll start using it, if not I'll probably never use it. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • It's happening!
  • It sounds like I'm not the only one that has given up on these apps. Straight folder drag and drops, and everything else seems to be fine from cloud services. Maybe I'm over Zune at this point...interesting *rubs chin in thought*
  • Didn't plug my phone into computer for a long time.
  • Hi. I've tried to upgrade it when I"m prompted to but I keep getting this error message about how it's looking for some file to help it install and then it fails. Any suggestions?
  • I think it's 8.1 for the internal beta testers
  • "considering that the previous version of the Windows Phone app for Windows 8 was perfectly compatible with the current version of Windows Phone"
    Really? My experience with this app syncing podcasts from iTunes is that you sync, listen, plug it in, sync, unplug, wonder why it's not removed those podcasts you listened to, plug it back in hit sync and it spews error messages at you. I contacted Microsoft and worked through the issue with one of their support engineers over a year ago. We tracked the issue down to this app not allowing for Music + Video retaining an open file handle on the last file played. When the sync app fails to delete the played podcast file it corrupts its sync information and with subsequent syncs it just gets more & more corrupt. I've tried this latest update and it's still broken in this regard.  I'd switch back from Android in a heartbeat if they could be bothered to fix this.