Windows Phone 8 – what’s new in Microsoft’s mobile OS?
What is Windows Phone 8?
Windows Phone is a mobile phone operating system created by Microsoft. It’s designed to work well with Windows PCs and other Microsoft products, such as its Xbox games console. The current version is Windows Phone 7, but Microsoft has now previewed the latest version, Windows Phone 8. It includes a number of new features, and also some clues to what new phones will be like.
Read the latest Windows Phone reviews to see which of the current handsets performed best in our lab tests.
Windows Phone 8 – top 7 best new features
- Support for multi-core processors
Sharing core computer code with the full Windows operating system, Windows Phone 8 will support dual (or more) core processors. This should help improve performance and bring it in line with its rivals. The shared code should also encourage more developers to make apps for the operating system.
- Higher screen resolutions
While previous versions have been limited to resolutions of 480 x 800 pixels, the new operating system will support HD resolutions of 1,280 x 720 and 1,280 x 768. This means photos and web pages will appear more detailed.
- Removable microSD
Adding the ability to use removable microSD will give users the chance to upgrade their phone’s storage memory. Another useful addition is the option to install apps on the microSD so you won’t have to use all your memory on apps.
- NFC and Wallet
Microsoft has introduced NFC technology for reading smart tags or making payments. For more information, read our post on what is NFC? To make payments you will need a compatible Sim card – so far only Orange in France has announced they will be providing compatible Sims. Windows Phone 8 also includes Wallet which will work with third parties to collect all your vouchers, memberships and accounts into one place.
- Improved maps from Nokia with turn-by-turn navigation
Windows Phone 8 will include Nokia Maps as standard, even when not installed on a Nokia handset. This will allow users to use maps when they don’t have signal as well as providing turn-by-turn navigation.
- More customisation
Adding the ability to change the size of tiles on the home screen Microsoft is aiming to make Windows Phone 8 more customisable and give users the chance to choose what they see when they open their phone. There will also be new colour themes to choose from.
- New, faster web browser
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