Microsoft has just made its next-generation mobile operating system official.Â Windows Phone 8, the successor to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, will ship on handsets starting this fall. Here’s what you need to know.Â Â Have a look to all the great features.
Start is the home screen reimaginedâ€”Live Tiles keep you caught up on everything from your sister’s texts to your next meeting and Live Apps dish up news, deals, and more.
These amazing little gems deliver automatic updates on what’s happening in your world, right to your Start screen. Pin the ones you want, then move and resize them as you like.
Customize your lock screen to show upcoming appointments, new calls or texts, updates from apps, and moreâ€”plus a pretty new picture as often as you like.
Give kids a Start screen of their own where they can use only the apps, games, music, and videos you choose for themâ€”and protect the rest of your stuff from their adorable little fingers.
Connect + share
More than just an address book, the People Hub is the place to kick off conversations (phone, text, IM, email, even Skype) and check out your friends’ latest tweets, posts, and pics.
Who’s picking up the kids? What do we need from the store? With Rooms, an invitation-only way to share a calendar, notes, photos, and group chat, everyone’s in the loop.
Your one-stop shop for posting to social networks and taking a quick peek at who’s writing on your Facebook Wall, tweeting about you, and liking your posts.
With NFC sharing, you can tap your phone on another NFC-capable device (like a tablet or your friend’s phone) to share things like photos, contacts, songs, and webpages.
Get the Skype app to make Skype calls right from a contact card and receive Skype calls just like regular calls. That goes for video calls, too.
Messaging Threads switch you seamlessly between text and chat in the same conversation. And you can attach all manner of thingsâ€”videos, voice notes, your location, and more.
You can link inboxes, see conversation threads, and get separate views for unread and urgent messages, making for customizable, clutter-free email on your phone.
No more dialing voicemail just to find out who called. With visual voicemail, you can see who called and whenâ€”and then tap to play the message.
Snap a quick pic (even when the phone is locked), then share, text, or email it, all from one place. You can also back up every picture you take to SkyDrive for safekeeping, at full resolution.
Lenses are photo apps that work right in the viewfinder so you can unleash your creativity as you point and shoot. And they’re only available on Windows Phone.
The Photos Hub houses your collection, including online albums, and even shows a feed of your friends’ latest pics.
Take crisp HD video, up to 1080p. Then share it with friends on Facebook or send it up to SkyDrive to enjoy later.
The Windows Phone Store has the apps you need (many free) from the brands you love. You can often try before you buy, and Microsoft certifies every single app to help protect you from malware and viruses.
It’s your on-the-go arcadeâ€”and also the place to dress up your avatar, message your Xbox friends, and see how your scores and achievements measure up.
Get an Xbox Music Pass to download or stream music from a global catalog of 30 million songs. You can listen to your iTunes music on your phone, too.
Download the Xbox SmartGlass app to control your Xbox with your Windows Phone. Start a show on your phone and move it to your TV, browse what’s on your Xbox, and more.
Surf, search, and navigate
Internet Explorer 10
Open multiple tabs, get search suggestions as you type, and share a web link in just a couple of taps. Plus SmartScreen Filter helps protect you from dicey websites.
Press the Search button to go to Bing, where you’ll find all the web and local results you needâ€”plus movie times, news headlines, and more.
What’s that song? Bing Music listens to whatever’s playing, then tells you the name, artist, and where you can get it.
Scan barcodes, tags, books, and more to search the web or even translate text, like a foreign menu or street signâ€”how handy is that?
Find nearby places to eat, drink, shop, or visit with a couple of taps. Connect Bing to Facebook and you’ll see what your friends are psyched about, too.
Download high-quality country and region maps that you can use offline, find walking or driving directions, and keep a list of your favorite places.
Work the way you want
Start a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet on your PC, sync it to SkyDrive as you head out the door, then edit some more on your phoneâ€”from a cab, the beach, wherever.
With a rich array of device configuration and management capabilities, it’s easy to integrate Windows Phone into your Windows infrastructure.
Word Flow Keyboard
The Word Flow Keyboard learns to predict the next word in your sentence for high-speed typingâ€”and has tons of colorful emoticons for high-speed emotingâ˜º.
Get things done using only your voice: make a call, launch an app, send a text, take a note, find something online, and lots more.
Your stuff, wherever you go
Now all your photos, videos, and Office docs are always available right on your phoneâ€”and also safely and automatically backed up on SkyDrive.
Keep your reward cards, coupons, credit cards, local deals, and memberships in one convenient place on your phone.
With the new Windows Phone app on your PC, tablet, or Mac, connecting your Windows Phone and transferring your stuff is quick and easy.
Track your monthly data plan, use less data while browsing the web, and find Wi-Fi hotspots when you’re out and about. All with Data Sense, only on Windows Phone.
Find My Phone
A free service on the Windows Phone website, Find My Phone can pinpoint a missing phone on a map or remotely ring, lock, or erase it.
Send your app list, text messages, photos, videos, and Windows Phone settings to the cloud for safekeeping.
Update your Windows Phone software and get new features