Windows Phone 8 'Apollo' officially detailed online

News Ben Griffin 11:51, 3 Feb 2012

The cat is out the bag when it comes to Windows Phone 8, as a video intended for Nokia partners has been leaked online

We now know a lot more about Windows Phone 8, codenamed Apollo, thanks to a video intended for Nokia partners.

The video, which was hosted by Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore, is a treasure chest of details, most of which has now been backed up, PocketNow reported.

Let's start with hardware: Windows Phone 8 will support multicore processors – not that Windows Phone really needs it at this time – as well as four new screen resolutions, removable microSD card support and near-field communication (NFC) technology for the ability to pay for goods with a swipe.

NFC will also mean tap-to-share capabilities will work with desktop and laptop computers, tablets and smartphones.

Considering the usual grumble when talking about Windows Phone is one of memory constraints, even though Microsoft offers 25GB of free cloud storage, the option to expand memory is excellent, although we do worry slower cards could slow down performance.

Considering this was why microSD support was never officially included with the release of Windows Phone, we aren't alone.

The leaked video also confirmed the closeness of Windows Phone 8 with Windows 8. Besides sharing a similar user-interface (UI), both operating systems will actually share the same components, allowing developers to reuse code as they see fit when porting an app from one operating system to another.

Considering Windows Phone and Xbox Live is so closely linked, it looks as if developers get three for the price of one with little effort, as it were. Definitely a plus when it comes to maximising potential reach.

Though Microsoft wasn't specific, it looks like a new sync client will be introduced as Windows 8 is scrapping the integration with Zune. As big fans of Zune and not just because it looks great, we hope it isn't relegated entirely.

Rounding off the big hardware and software changes is the news Windows 8 will have an equivalent of the Xbox Companion app, a way of turning your Windows Phone smartphone into a DVD remote.

According to PocketNow, Belfiore says part of its use will be to stream your entire music collection from a phone to PC, without the need to sync to a computer.

Other changes include:

  • DataSmart - allows you to keep tabs on data usage
  • Data usage will become a live tile for quick glances
  • Wi-Fi connection preference for improved speeds
  • Proxy server use to compress website data by a claimed 30 per cent
  • BitLocker encryption
  • Cloud services will work across all platforms (SkyDrive?)
  • Skype will be an improved app but not integrated
  • Local Scout has personal recommendations
  • Camera will feature 'lens apps' and a more powerful experience
  • App-to-app communication

Perhaps the best news of all, besides learning that Windows 8 will be a significant update? Windows Phone apps will be backwards compatible, according to Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott. No need to worry about your current app collection, then.

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