Windows just got a facelift a few weeks ago. Microsoft launched its latest Windows Phone 8 operating system in San Francisco during a media event. Several days later, devices from Samsung, Nokia and HTC featured the new operating system. For those who are not familiar with the Windows 8 OS, you might be wondering what new things it has.
Here are the new features of the updated Windows Phone 8.
Windows Phone 8 Interface
The most notable change in the Windows Phone OS is the new Start screen. It now uses the whole width of the screen. The arrow that tells you how to swipe is now gone. Because of this, you can now fit more tiles on the screen. Another change is that you can resize the tiles into three different sizes.
There is also a new Facebook app that shows your pictures from your Facebook account whenever your screen is in Lock mode.
Do you want your kid to enjoy your smartphone without worrying about them messing around with your apps and files? The new Windows Phone lets you activate the Kid’s Corner feature by swiping to the left when the screen is in Lock mode. Your kid can now access his or her own Home Screen with the apps you have chosen. They can resize the tiles too, but they cannot add new ones. The menu buttons will also be disabled.
Data Sense is a new app that automatically compresses Web pages to minimize data usage. It also “senses” Wi-Fi connectivity and connects to another network to minimize cellular usage. The app also has a page that shows you the amount of data your device is consuming.
Internet Explorer 10
Just like its appearance in the latest Windows 8, the Internet Explorer 10 web browser is also on the Windows Phone 8 devices. Microsoft promises that this newly updated browser is faster and has its own malware detector for websites.
Rooms (People Hub)
In the People Hub app, there is a new feature called Rooms. It is a private chat feature for your Windows device. It lets users share calendars, photos, notes and videos. In the near future, this feature will also let Android, Windows Phone 7.5 and iOS devices have access to the calendar, as long as the user has a Hotmail account.
Wallet and NFC support
The Wallet feature is, obviously, your own virtual wallet where you can store your credit card numbers and PayPal information. You can now pay using the information on your Wallet app without having to take out your real wallet. Payment through near field communication (NFC) is also possible.
Word Flow and Voice
Another new feature is the Word Flow that guesses the word that you will type next. So if you type “How,” Word Flow will suggest “are” then “you.” With this feature, you can type faster the more you use it, because it studies your writing style. Another great thing about this feature is that it can even predict made-up words the moment it learns your style, so you can customize words any way you like.
Other than the enhanced keyboard, Windows Phone 8 is also better at recognizing your voice. It also supports more languages, like Mandarin. This new voice recognition feature can also be used to open apps and can even use it within another app.
Bing Maps are now gone. Microsoft partnered with Nokia to have WP8 devices preloaded with Nokia’s very own navigation application. For non-Nokia gadgets, the name of the app is just Maps, while Nokia devices will show Nokia Maps. The great thing about this Maps app is that you can download offline maps so that you will not need any connectivity when travelling.
Those are the new features of the Windows Phone 8. What do you think? Do you think it is better than the previous OS? Or do you think Microsoft should have just stayed with the previous features and improved them? Comment on your thoughts below!
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