Another nice touch in Windows Phone 8 is the ability to decide what button you want to show up in the web browser address bar—a prime piece of Internet Explorer real estate. Personally, I prefer my tabs toggle front and center. But if your favorites list or the ability to refresh a web page is more important to you, by all means go that route.
And fear not: If your phone is your primary camera, then you can make life easier by automatically uploading the shots and movies you take to an Internet-based storage locker like Microsoft SkyDrive.
SkyDrive and similar services make sharing easier and provide fast access to your pics from PCs or tablets. I use the auto-upload feature as a safety net in case I ever lose my phone.
X devices were capped at 16 GB. They needed to get updates out and fast. Now with all these social networks, one might think the Windows Phone People hub would become cluttered with updates from here, there and everywhere. Put some art into your Start. It also allowed sharing of WiFi networks between Windows phones without the giver needing to share the access code. Now Microsoft is taking aim at Android by ditching OEM licensing fees on Windows Phone and adding a plethora of new features seemingly designed to counter Android.
If you use Dropbox or some other cloud service, tap Apps to look for an app that supports it. Skip to Content Skip to Footer. Can you read me now? Switch up your lock screen icons Windows Phone 8 gives you much more control over the lock screen that its predecessor. Maps could now be downloaded for offline use, saving data for many users. The OS had a major problem in the form of storage management. When Windows Phones were used, the OS would cache files from apps and pictures that were backed up to OneDrive and not delete them.
Eventually the phone would fill up and be rendered unusable till a hard reset was triggered. This was a problem especially on handsets like the HTC 8S and the Lumia 8XX and below which all had paltry amounts of storage that were easily consumed. OEMs would issue updates to enable better storage management but the problem would not be solved till the Windows Phone 8.
Windows Phone 8 was a continuation of the Windows Phone 7 story, while there were huge under the hood changes, for most users, the experience was fundamentally the same. Not only that, the OS still lacked features like a notification centre, support for manipulation of video files and hardware diversity. On the whole, Windows Phone 8 felt like incomplete, with many good ideas but hamstrung by OS limitations and missing features.
Windows Phone 7 had come out two years ago, iOS6 and Android Jellybean had been launched and Windows Phone 8 was still closer, feature-wise, to its predecessor than its competitors. When Windows Phone 7 launched, Microsoft had a whole group of OEMs with devices ready to go, this number fell to four with the launch of Windows Phone 8. Nokia would grow to dominate Windows Phone market share with and grab attention with devices such as the Lumia and , among others. In , approximately 30 million Lumia devices were sold.
Windows Phone first update, Portico, was a minor update full of minor enhancements and bug fixes. First of all, you could now keep WiFi on when the screen was timed out, a useful feature for saving data and preserving battery life. Staying on the topic of data conservation, you could now choose not to download pictures on IE 10 mobile.
The messaging hub added drafts functionality and the ability to text to multiple recipients. You could also now decline calls with a text. We should note here that the Window Phone team had now begun to work on the next major update for Windows Phone 8. Data management was improved with the addition of a Data Sense feature which allowed a degree of control over mobile data usage. Users were allowed to set monthly limits, as well as restrict background data depending on user preference.
The third and final update as well as final change in minor OS nomenclature , this update was the biggest update for Windows Phone 8. It ushered in the Preview for Developers era which allowed enthusiasts early access to OS builds. These were not beta builds but rather the final builds which would be sent to OEMs for bundling with their firmware.
This also enabled new hardware support for quad-core processors and p screens, allowing new flagship devices like the Lumia Icon, and Samsung Ativ SE. In terms of consumer facing features, a rotation lock feature was finally added to the settings pane. The storage manager was overhauled, with a new manager allowing users to delete temporary files and manage space. The music hub received a speed boost, improving the experience for users of lower specced handsets.
Microsoft also implemented an instant hotspot feature which allowed Windows devices to remotely activate the hotspot function on a nearby Windows Phone if said device had already been paired by Bluetooth. For those who made use of Bluetooth accessories with their device, apart from enhancing the Bluetooth functionality, a driving mode was added for those who made use of Bluetooth headsets while driving. This would limit distractions by ignoring calls and texts with an option to send an auto reply. These were all besides the usual big fixes and improvements of course.
On April 2nd , Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8.
This was made available in less than two weeks using its Preview for Developers program. This new OS was much more an upgrade than Windows Phone 8, with many user facing features available immediately. The Windows Phone UI has, on the surface, remained the same in all iterations. Live tiles, a start screen, huge fonts etc. However, it has gotten refinements in each updates. Windows Phone 8 added the ability to resize tiles and more accent colours and now 8. An elegant parallax scroll was added as well.
Still on the Start Screen, Microsoft enabled support for a user configurable third column of tiles. Another more noticeable change was the size of system fonts. The Blue update reduced the size of the fonts in system apps, making for a cleaner and more information rich UI. Internet Explorer 11 fixed many of the qualms users had with previous versions of it. The UI more or less got out of your way with options like a tab switcher and refresh button being on the toolbar by default. The arbitrary tab limit was removed, with IE now allowing unlimited tabs. A new and highly customizable reading view that stripped pages of all extraneous content was implemented as well.
On the backend, it was now possible for tabs and favourites to sync between computers thanks to Windows Phones improved sync and backup system.
This improved sync and backup system would now allow users to sync more than just settings, with theme colour and Start screen arrangements being synced across as well. One of the biggest additions to Window Phone in 8. She was a personal assistant that handled tasks like reminders, calendar appointments and quiet hours, among others.
She could also be integrated with apps so one could interact with them without opening the app at first. Where Cortana especially excelled was in contextual tasks, she would know where you lived and how you moved around and remind you to get to work or leave the office with a map that showed the route you could take. Reminders could be set based on person, place or time etc. For a more detailed look at Cortana, see here.
In short, Cortana was one of the best bits of Windows Phone 8.
In this operating system you can pin, resize, move or unpin any app or shortcut you want, so that you can truly make the Start screen your own. In this tutorial we will share how to resize the tiles on the Start screen, move them around and unpin them when you no longer wish to. Windows Phone 8 comes with a 3-sized tiles layout on the start screen. It compatible with Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone devices.
Unfortunately she was limited to the US at launch with Microsoft promising to release her to other countries gradually. This was the Action centre. It was designed to host both the quick settings centre and a notifications area which gathered toasts and other notifications from apps. It was a basic implementation, but in this case, basic was enough. It was now also easier to take control of your Windows Phone with the new sense apps. Storage Sense improved the way the OS handled SD cards, allowing users to now store all apps on the SD card along with media files and downloads.
Filling in details without user intervention. It also allowed sharing of WiFi networks between Windows phones without the giver needing to share the access code. Geo fencing allowed WiFi to be enabled by location. Battery Saver handled the background tasks mechanism where you could now disable individual apps or allow them to run in the background even when the battery was low. The Windows Phone WordFlow keyboard was improved with the addition of shapewriting.
You could now swipe over letters in order to type. This, aided by the already excellent keyboard algorithm led to the keyboard being the fastest keyboard in the world for a brief period of time.
Microsoft gave developers a bit more freedom in 8. Well in 8. The much-loved messaging hub from WP 7. Microsoft had begun to change its hub based model to an app powered model and the messaging hub was just the first casualty. The next hubs on the chopping board were the Xbox Music and Games hubs. They were now a trio of store updateable apps and all given a UI makeover, trading the large fonts of WP8 for the more efficient font sizes of Windows Phone 8. What is most remarkable about these apps is how they were the worst of the Windows Phone 8.
The Music app was especially bad with many users reporting issues with performance and app crashes. Other miscellaneous improvements were the addition of a weekly view to the Calendar, the addition of a swipe gesture to close apps from the multitasking view, better memory management and better storage management the other storage issue was fixed.
Conspicuous in its absence here was the Office hub, sans access to the SD card, it went untouched. We understand that Microsoft is testing a new version of its office apps based on the universal app framework. Codenamed Gemini, this should replace or complement the Office hub upon completion. Windows Phone 8. Perhaps if Microsoft had launched 8. The OS was accompanied by the elegant Lumia and its smaller brother, the from Nokia. All in all, Windows Phone was now facing its best hardware selection since Windows Phone 7. Microsoft quickly released an initial update to Windows Phone 8.
The OS also gained support for live folders, allowing you to group tiles not just apps into folders that would animate provide live information. Microsoft added app corner to provide a completely locked down mode where your phone could be set to any number of apps and have disabled buttons. Suffice to say, Microsoft was now refining the Windows Phone experience. After being rumoured for launch in October , it was allegedly cancelled and shelved in lieu of the new Windows 10 for phones update Windows 10 Mobile.
The update brought a few new features to the OS like reset protection, an anti theft feature that prevents your device from being reset by thieves. The troublesome settings menu was also reset and reorganized. Rather than a long scrolling list that was allegedly organized in terms of most used, the new settings menu grouped similar settings under a header and made use of quick jump lists. This new settings menu would eventually be superseded by an the new universal settings menu in Windows 10, but in the meantime, it eliminated a UX pain point for Windows Phone.
The next major feature implemented in Windows Phone Update 2 was app permissions. Users could choose which apps could access certain features of the OS like Location, the calendar etc. Not all Windows Phone devices would get it, but Microsoft promised to plan to bring Windows 10 mobile to all Windows Phone 8. What was most notable about this was that Windows 10 was to run on all Microsoft devices, all the way from Lumias and Xbox, to PixelSense and the Internet of things.
This was the next generation of Windows Phones.
Microsoft started with Windows Phone as a fairly static platform with slick design, but little in the way of customization. This has changed little by little as the company adds more personal touches. This has been one of the main focuses in 8. Backgrounds are a basic thing on most platforms, but it has taken Microsoft a long time to come up with an approach that jibes with the live tile interface. In Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 8. Android only added true lock screen customization in late with version 4.
Third-party developers have made this feature worth using on Android by developing very cool, information-dense lock screen content.
The new OS will add a range of built-in lock screen themes that offer various pieces of information and layouts. Microsoft has made it easier to feel at home with the interface on Windows Phone 8. It only takes a few taps to get a really attractive, customized look. Still, you can go further than Windows Phone would allow with a little tinkering.