Well, earlier today Microsoft held a small event to update the developer base for Windows Phone what to expect with Apollo, now officially called Windows Phone 8. There are some major draws to this new OS and many online are claiming that Windows Phone will be ready for prime time with this new OS update. We won’t delay any more and dive right into the goodies we have learned and our thoughts.
Windows Phone 8 vs Windows Phone 7.8
Well, we learned today after much speculation that current Windows Phones will not not able to handle the update and nor will they progress to Windows Phone 8. As it stands current users will get one of the benefits of the new OS; enhanced start screen.
With the coming of Windows Phone 8 there had to be a change from the standard 800×480 screen resolution. We were rolling out with live tiles that looked to be the size double that of our thumb! The two new screen resolution sizes will be 1280×768 and 1280×720 which will allows for High Definition 720p support. We really do not care that it is not 1080p as we wouldn’t notice and anything to get past the current 800×480 is a great thing in our books!
SD Card Support
This is a must and we are extremely excited to see that Microsoft has complied. We had mentioned in our previous post that the only phone on Windows Phone 7 to support this, Samsung Focus, had mangled it so bad that the SD Card was unusable afterwards. We like that this will keep the cost of the forthcoming Windows Phone devices down as the users can add more memory later on. The ability to load applications onto the SD card is a huge draw as currently only Android exploits this awesome feature.
Internet Explorer 10
As with Windows Phone 7 which shipped with the latest Internet Explorer browser, so too is Windows Phone 8. This is not a huge deal but it does prove to be faster than the current generation phones. Tests were run against the HTC One S and the Samsung Galaxy III and both were outstripped by a generic Nokia Windows Phone 8 device. We look forward to seeing for ourselves what Windows Phone 8 and Internet Explorer 10 can really do!
New Start Screen
Joe Belfiore was not as forthcoming about this feature as the others as it represents itself as more of a consumer feature than anything a developer is interested in. We think that this is definitely an improvement over the current implementation for a few reasons. The first, getting rid of the gutter will give the start screen more of a centred look. Second, we had mentioned previously about wanting the live tiles to be able to be resized because lets face it, most of us don’t care that billy’s face takes up half the width of the screen we just tend to call him more often. Making applications a fourth of the size they currently are for applications or games is a huge overhaul and we think will be well welcomed by the consumer base. Check out the video below to the introduction of the new start screen to start drooling!
This is something that we personally do not think that Windows Phone needs but to keep with current developing technology, was mandatory. If we go by what Belfiore was saying in the summit meeting, we could possibly have up to a 64 core machine running Windows Phone. This drastically speeds things up and can only make things more fluid. We are excited to see this in the newest phones coming to market later this year!
This is what most people are acclaiming will make the new Windows Phone OS ready for prime time. Gearing the devices to be business ready. When we say business ready we mean it with things like secure boot and bitlocker decrypting your device on boot. Flexible application distribution will allow for companies to deploy the applications they develop to the devices they manage with ease. We don’t know if this means pushing to the device or if there will be a separate application store but we like it. Integration with software management systems was another big draw for us looking forward to developing for the new OS as well.
This is another must that was on our previous wish list for Apollo. We like that NFC had been included in this this new OS. With the ability to easily share contacts with other people, maybe a to-do list from your office documents to start collaborative editing too? There are limitless possibilities with NFC as it is still quite the emerging technology. The only question is, will we have access to it and how much can we do with it!
Native Code Support
Game Developer, this is for you! Belfiore almost exploded on stage when mentioning this he was so excited. Access to be able to implement native code means that some kick ass games are coming our way. This can only make the platform grow in apps and the quality we come to expect from Windows Phone and the XBOX consoles. We are excited to see what our reader base will do with this one and when the time comes we welcome stories and games for us to try out!
There are plenty more features that we did not mention but these are the ones that have caught our eye. This new OS has us torn on whether to get a new Windows Phone 8 device for development or a Microsoft Surface first. We are excited to hear more about the consumer features down the road but we now start to map out in our minds what we will bring to the developers on Binary Wasteland in its upcoming Windows Phone 8 development 101 series. Give us your thoughts below in the comments section and until the next update, Happy Hacking!