8 Great Windows Phone 8 Features We Now Know
By on July 31st, 2012

Windows Phone 7 was Microsoft’s closely guarded secret; Windows Phone 8, however, has been the least guarded one. A while back, a video for hardware partners showed Joe Belfiore talking about some of the upcoming features; last week, the SDK leaked. The software development kit for WP8 has been a treasure trove for enthusiasts and everyone have been going through documents to unearth new features.

Windows Phone 8 will be another reset with several new features not being available for Windows Phone 7 handsets. The primary reason for this being, WP8 has a new kernel—it’s Windows NT and not CE. Here are my top 8 Windows Phone 8 features discovered through the SDK & talked by Joe Belfiore:

  1. Start screen
  2. Data Sense
  3. Bing News & Movies
  4. Offline Maps
  5. Lock Screen Notifications
  6. Bing Local Deals (refer to link #3)
  7. Wallet
  8. SD card data swapping

I have detailed all these features in previous posts that are linked above but a quick short recap of why I like these features:

New start screen:

The new start screen will finally allow me to resize tiles so I can add more tiles. There are several apps on my phone that I don’t want to give prime real estate on the home screen but would like to have them since I want quicker access to them; with the new variable tile size option, I will be able to do this.

Data Sense:

No more do I have to keep going into AT&T app to check how much data have I consumed; Windows Phone 8 will track it & even reduce the page size to be downloaded.

Bing News & Movies:

What can I say, I’m a news junkie and love going to the movies. With Bing having these features, I will be able to get my information without launching third party apps.

Offline Maps:

Of great use and life saving, offline maps will improve the phone use drastically since they’ll save me precious data and conserve battery life while I am in dire need of a map to reach my destination.

Lock Screen Notifications:

Windows Phone 8 will have the Me tile but at this point we are not sure if it will be available to developers to turn it into a Notification Center much like in iOS and Android. Given this scenario if I can customize the lock screen to tell me if there’s an unread message from an app of my choice, it decreases my desire for a notification center.

Bing Local Deals:

I like to travel and when I get an excuse I do travel. It is a pain searching for deals when I am in a new city and to scour the several local deals websites. If Bing can do it for me based on my current location, I can see myself using this to my advantage, a lot.


One feature that I can’t wait to try out in addition to NFC, is the Wallet. Joe Belfiore has talked about this feature at length during the Windows Phone 8 Summit and it looks exciting. The neat touch added to Wallet is Bing Local Deals.

 SD Card Swapping:

Though I personally don’t really miss an SD Card (my Focus supports them), I can see myself using the feature to transfer music and pictures to and from phone and a friend’s PC or mine. It’s a nice to have feature that should reduce the number of critics.

PS: While backup is a good feature, the implementation doesn’t seem great. The one aspect of Windows Phone 8 that is great but I kept out of this list is the enterprise support.

Author: Manan Kakkar Google Profile for Manan Kakkar
Manan is a technology enthusiast keenly following the consumer products from Microsoft, Google & Apple.

Manan Kakkar has written and can be contacted at manan@techie-buzz.com.

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