A huge leak this week has revealed a mountain of facts about the upcoming Windows Phone 8, which is currently codenamed Apollo and will be strongly flavoured by the upcoming desktop and tablet version of Windows 8. Read on for a deep dive into what we can expect.
First, Windows Phone 8 will be based on the Windows 8 kernel, rather than Windows CE (on which Windows Phone 7 is based). You might assume that this’ll render a lot of existing apps useless, but don’t worry: there should be at least 100,000 Windows Phone 7.5-compatible apps available by the time Windows Phone 8 arrives, and all will run on the new OS, it’s reported. The new OS will also support a wider variety of hardware, and may be compatible with up to four different screen resolutions, promising higher end phones, as well as the cheaper ones we’ve touched on before.
On the features front, we can expect to see NFC for touch-to-pay, a new Skype app (it will not be integrated into the OS however), major improvements in camera performance, app-to-app communication, Internet Explorer 10 Mobile and Local Scout, a personal recommendation engine.
You can also expect a similar user experience across your Windows 8 PC, Windows 8 Phone and Xbox 360. There’ll be common cloud services across all three for content sharing and the like, and a new sync client – which means no more Zune PC software.
Data Smart is a new feature designed to prevent you using too much mobile data and getting a huge bill from your network. It’s designed so that mobile operators can integrate it into their data plans – so you’d essentially have a much easier time avoiding overrunning your data limits.
Windows Phone 7 will be updated to a new “Tango” firmware before the Apollo Windows 8 Phone update arrives, so these new features could be some way off yet. Keep it here for more Windows Phone news as we hear it.