Windows Phone 8 – What they didn’t reveal at the Summit

By LiveSide | In Featured, Mobile | Posted June 21, 2012 30 comments

Microsoft finally unveiled Windows Phone 8 at the Windows Phone Summit held on Wednesday, giving us a sneak peek at some of the platform changes, new Start menu, new business and developer features, as well as the announcement of Windows Phone 7.8. However, as mentioned by Joe Belfiore, this is by no means everything that is coming to Windows Phone 8, and Microsoft is set to unveil more consumer and developer-focused details during future events later this year (perhaps an upcoming BUILD conference?).

If you’ve watched the 2 hour long keynote, or you’ve read our quick summary, you would’ve known all the details announced during the event. However, this post is not about what was announced, but all about what they haven’t yet revealed.

Windows Phone Apollo

According to Paul Thurrott from WinSupersite, during December 2011 details about Windows Phone codename “Apollo” has already trickled out, and the leak during February this year further confirmed those details. Whilst the Windows Phone Summit yesterday confirmed many of the leaked details, some more consumer and developer focused details were intentionally not revealed. But thanks to Thurrott, who posted all the details from the slides he obtained in December 2011, we can now expect what else is coming to Windows Phone 8. Below is a summary of everything Microsoft didn’t reveal during the event yesterday:

  • DataSmartDataSmart – based on the metered broadband connection capabilities in Windows 8, DataSmart helps users to monitor their data usage on their Windows Phone 8 device, and ensures that users get the most out of their data plans. This is comprised of:
    • Cloud-based browser proxy service in Internet Explorer 10 – which limits the amount of data used by Internet Explorer 10 and apps by compressing web traffic. It is said that this feature saves about 30 percent in bandwidth usage.
    • DataSmart app – allow users to monitor their data usage against their carrier’s data plan. The Live Tile allow users see their data usage on the fly:
      DataSmart Live Tile
    • Local Scout Wi-Fi hotspot searching – a new feature to Local Scout that will help users find nearby Wi-Fi hotspots. Windows Phone 8 can also be configured to automatically offload from cellular data to mobile operator-owned Wi-Fi networks, without any user action required.
  • Xbox Music and VideoCross-screen shared experiences – Windows Phone 8 reimagines Windows, and will provide users the ability to interact with their other devices based on Windows 8, Windows RT, Xbox, and the web. These are achieved by the following scenarios:
    • Xbox SmartGlass – we’ve heard about this at E3, which allow Windows Phone 8 to connect with Xbox 360 to make games and contents more interactive and more engaging. This is also augmented by Play To and Play on Xbox functionalities in the various Xbox Live Games, Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps, similar to Windows 8’s counterparts.
    • Device Management – device management can now be done over the air via a new Metro style sync app or via the Windows Phone website. Users can also share content from their Windows 8/RT based devices to the phone using standard home networking sharing technologies.
    • NFC wireless sharing – using the built-in NFC tap and share feature, you can share photos, Office docs, and contact info by simply tapping with another NFC-enabled device. This was actually shown during the Windows Phone Summit yesterday.
  • SkyDrive storageSkyDrive integration – Microsoft’s own cloud storage service, SkyDrive, will play a big part in Windows Phone 8. The cloud storage will be seamlessly integrated throughout the OS, making it on par with what’s available on Windows 8 PCs. Here’s what’s coming:
    • Cloud Music and Video access – SkyDrive is no longer just limited to the Office and Photos hubs, serving only documents and pictures directly from the cloud to your phone, but also music and videos. Users will be able to access their music and videos stored on SkyDrive directly from the new Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps.
    • Fetch – SkyDrive’s “fetch” functionality, currently available on the SkyDrive application for Windows, will be built-in to Windows Phone 8. You will be able to navigate into your phone’s storage via SkyDrive.com, and copy content (like camera-taken photos) back and forth seamlessly.
  • RCSe and SkypeSeamless communications – This was actually partially announced during the Windows Phone Summit, where developers can create VoIP apps that plug into Windows Phone 8’s existing calling feature so Internet calls can be answered like traditional phone calls, using the same calling interface. Windows Phone 8’s contact cards will also be extensible, such that these apps can hook into the contact cards and register a link to initiate communicate with the contact. A few new details were also revealed:
    • New social networking integration – particularly with those social networks in China, such as Sina Weibo, will be coming. It is said that more functionality to existing and new social networks will also be coming.
    • Rich Communications Suite (RCSe) app – a dedicated RCSe app will be coming, being co-developed with Nokia, and takes advantage of the extensibility features of the contact card and calling interface. It will meet operator requirements and provides cross-communications app integration via the RCSe service.
    • Skype app – a revised Skype app will also be coming which also takes advantage of the extensibility features of the contact card and calling interface, so that a “Skype” option will appear next to phone numbers, messaging links, and the like, for those contacts that use Skype.
  • New way to app – Besides the extensibility features for new VoIP apps, developers can also create new type of apps built around the Camera. And similar to Windows 8, app-to-app communication will also be facilitated by the Windows Phone 8 OS:
    • CameraLens apps – In Windows Phone 7.x, Microsoft allowed individual OEMs to customise the Camera app, but created an inconsistent experience across various devices from different OEMs. Windows Phone 8 is set to change this, and with the help of Nokia, the OS will includes a basic Camera with great new features that provide most of what users are looking for. However, this is now also extensible and Microsoft will let third party apps plug into the Camera experience, letting these Lens apps to be launched when a user presses the camera button (rather than the built-in Camera app). You will also be able to identify in the Photos hub which pictures was taken with which Lens app, and then subsequently edit it within the corresponding Lens app.
    • App-to-app communication – Much like Windows 8’s contracts feature, Windows Phone 8 will also support the same app-to-app communication functionality. An example was actually shown during the Windows Phone Summit, where within a third party app a user is able to quickly check-in via the Facebook app, without even leaving the first app.
  • Enhanced personalization – Windows Phone 8 will help people to learn even more about their surroundings thanks to features like Bing, Local Scout, and Maps. Even the Windows Phone Marketplace gets more personalized, allowing you to quickly surface the apps you care about:
    • Location and context-sensitive recommendation – It is said that Windows Phone 8’s Local Scout will offer a new personal recommendations feature, and other new location- and context-sensitive features will also be coming.
    • Windows Phone MarketplaceBing integrated into Marketplace – The Windows Phone marketplace will automatically list the known good apps that are matched to the user’s buying and downloading habits. You will notice things like “Top Apps for You”, similar to the Windows Store on Windows 8/RT.

Of course, please take into account that the above is based on information obtained back in December last year, so things may have changed since then. Further we’d also expect whole heaps of other new features and enhancements coming to Windows Phone 8 that wasn’t documented in these early leaks (the new Start screen for example, was something that no one has heard of before). So there’ll still be plenty of things to be excited about Windows Phone 8 in the months ahead!

Image Credit: WinSupersite

Posted June 21st, 2012 at 5:59 am
  • efjay

    Stupid move by thurrott revealing all this now, who wants to bet we see most or all of these features on ios or android before WP8 releases.  

    • Jonathan Wong

      If it’s so easy to clone competitor features and bring it to market just like that, why hasn’t iOS copied all of Android’s features yet and vice versa and Windows Phone copied all of iOS and Android’s features?

    • Shameer Mulji

      iOS6 has already been revealed so what you said most likely won’t happen.  Next year when iOS7 comes out is a different story though.

  • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

    Stupid move by thurrott revealing all this now, who wants to bet we see most or all of these features on ios or android before WP8 releases.  

    • Jonathan Wong

      If it’s so easy to clone competitor features and bring it to market just like that, why hasn’t iOS copied all of Android’s features yet and vice versa and Windows Phone copied all of iOS and Android’s features?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

      iOS6 has already been revealed so what you said most likely won’t happen.  Next year when iOS7 comes out is a different story though.

  • Rustam Sydykov

    Hello, fellows.

    The one thing I personally want to know is: how many of these features will appear in WP7.8? WP8 has generated some buzz, but there are more owners of phones running WP7.5 than ones with WP8 :(

    Stupid owner of one month old Nokia Lumia 900
    Cheers,
    Rustam.

    • Jagannath Rao

      Same here :-(

    • Shameer Mulji

      WP 7.8 will include the new Smart Screen of WP8.  Beyond that, we know nothing.  For all we know, WP 7.8 will just be a cosmetic upgrade.

      • Rustam Sydykov

        Shameer, thanks! Then I am f..d! :(

        • Eric

          Your phone does not have a self-destruct feature. Two days ago did you like your phone or not? It’s the same phone today and will get better yet.

          It seems there is only one way to *not* get a phone that will be stomped by a better phone “tomorrow”… don’t get a phone.

          Okay, that’s silly. Outright saying you’re “Never Buying a Phone!!” is sort of dramatic.

          Instead, you could just make sure you wait until the next phone is announced and then you’ll know to skip the current phone. Now when the new phone comes out, be cautious and wait for the announcement of the next phone, because you’re gonna want to wait for that newer one. Etc. See, just keep with that scheme and you are perfectly safe.

          • Rustam Sydykov

            Hello, Eric.
            Thank you for the reply. Let’s say, the reality is a bit more complicated. Smartphones are becoming important gadgets and people expect to get more and more from them. Especially, if they are expensive ones.
            Surely, my phone is not going to self distruct. And I still like it. Nevertheless, my happiness depends on three factors: knowledge that I made a right choice, usefulness of the phone for me now and knowledge that it will be even more useful in the future.
            In retrospect, I think now that I made a wrong choice buying Lumia 900 instead of Samsung Galaxy S III. Better hardware, newest Android OS, lots of applications. I moved to MS/Nokia platform from Android 2.3, so I would be quite comfortable with S III. And I am very confident it would be upgradable in the future.
            Usefulness now. Lumia 900/WP7.5 is a great phone without doubts, but I dare say that I bought it giving it a big credit hoping that its functionality would improve in the future. I have already had in Android 2.3 true multitasking, Skype running in background, xScope Pro as Internet browser with Adobe flash, Amazon Kindle (better one compared with Kindle for WP7), support of MicroSD  and so on.  And that is a phone that is more than 2 years old, running Android 2.3. I would expect Samsung Galaxy SS III to be even better :) So, to be honest, I may say that I lost more in functionality to certain extent than gained. Let me say this again, I bought Lumia 900 hoping that things would improve. If 7.8 brings nothing than only changes in the start screen, I will feel that I am the most stupid person in the world.
            And usefulness in the future. As I said, if the only improvements WP7.8 is going to bring is only visual ones, if there will be no applications for 7.8 as good as for 8, Lumia 900 will be utter disappointment. I think I may wait for WP8 with quad-cores to come and sell my Lumia with a big loss, will buy new WP8 phone, but it will not be Nokia :(
            Cheers,Rustam.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rsadykoff Rustam Sydykov

    Hello, fellows.

    The one thing I personally want to know is: how many of these features will appear in WP7.8? WP8 has generated some buzz, but there are more owners of phones running WP7.5 than ones with WP8 :(

    Stupid owner of one month old Nokia Lumia 900
    Cheers,
    Rustam.

    • Jagannath Rao

      Same here :-(

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

      WP 7.8 will include the new Smart Screen of WP8.  Beyond that, we know nothing.  For all we know, WP 7.8 will just be a cosmetic upgrade.

      • http://profiles.google.com/rsadykoff Rustam Sydykov

        Shameer, thanks! Then I am f..d! :(

        • Eric

          Your phone does not have a self-destruct feature. Two days ago did you like your phone or not? It’s the same phone today and will get better yet.

          It seems there is only one way to *not* get a phone that will be stomped by a better phone “tomorrow”… don’t get a phone.

          Okay, that’s silly. Outright saying you’re “Never Buying a Phone!!” is sort of dramatic.

          Instead, you could just make sure you wait until the next phone is announced and then you’ll know to skip the current phone. Now when the new phone comes out, be cautious and wait for the announcement of the next phone, because you’re gonna want to wait for that newer one. Etc. See, just keep with that scheme and you are perfectly safe.

          • http://profiles.google.com/rsadykoff Rustam Sydykov

            Hello, Eric.
            Thank you for the reply. Let’s say, the reality is a bit more complicated. Smartphones are becoming important gadgets and people expect to get more and more from them. Especially, if they are expensive ones.
            Surely, my phone is not going to self distruct. And I still like it. Nevertheless, my happiness depends on three factors: knowledge that I made a right choice, usefulness of the phone for me now and knowledge that it will be even more useful in the future.
            In retrospect, I think now that I made a wrong choice buying Lumia 900 instead of Samsung Galaxy S III. Better hardware, newest Android OS, lots of applications. I moved to MS/Nokia platform from Android 2.3, so I would be quite comfortable with S III. And I am very confident it would be upgradable in the future.
            Usefulness now. Lumia 900/WP7.5 is a great phone without doubts, but I dare say that I bought it giving it a big credit hoping that its functionality would improve in the future. I have already had in Android 2.3 true multitasking, Skype running in background, xScope Pro as Internet browser with Adobe flash, Amazon Kindle (better one compared with Kindle for WP7), support of MicroSD  and so on.  And that is a phone that is more than 2 years old, running Android 2.3. I would expect Samsung Galaxy SS III to be even better :) So, to be honest, I may say that I lost more in functionality to certain extent than gained. Let me say this again, I bought Lumia 900 hoping that things would improve. If 7.8 brings nothing than only changes in the start screen, I will feel that I am the most stupid person in the world.
            And usefulness in the future. As I said, if the only improvements WP7.8 is going to bring is only visual ones, if there will be no applications for 7.8 as good as for 8, Lumia 900 will be utter disappointment. I think I may wait for WP8 with quad-cores to come and sell my Lumia with a big loss, will buy new WP8 phone, but it will not be Nokia :(
            Cheers,Rustam.

  • http://twitter.com/bart_willeman Bart Willeman

    I have a question. With WP8 and WindowsRT; say you get an email with photos attached. Will you be able to save directly to SkyDrive? So, will Hotmail / Mail app be updated to make use of this?

    • http://twitter.com/MontyGrusendorf Monty Grusendorf

      Absolutely. The save screen quickly lets you pick from any connected service you have including SkyDrive. Apps no longer have to support different features like this, the OS share contracts take care of all of it. That means you could save it to any other service you have connected to like Flickr, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/bart_willeman Bart Willeman

    I have a question. With WP8 and WindowsRT; say you get an email with photos attached. Will you be able to save directly to SkyDrive? So, will Hotmail / Mail app be updated to make use of this?

    • http://twitter.com/MontyGrusendorf Monty Grusendorf

      Absolutely. The save screen quickly lets you pick from any connected service you have including SkyDrive. Apps no longer have to support different features like this, the OS share contracts take care of all of it. That means you could save it to any other service you have connected to like Flickr, etc.

  • http://w1ngnut.myopenid.com/ w1ngnut

    All great features. It would be very interesting to see ‘em all in WP8. I’m really excited about this release. Any great feature missing?

  • http://w1ngnut.myopenid.com/ w1ngnut

    All great features. It would be very interesting to see ‘em all in WP8. I’m really excited about this release. Any great feature missing?

  • Simen Mangseth

    And what happens to Bing Maps?

  • http://simenm.tumblr.com/ Simen Mangseth

    And what happens to Bing Maps?

  • ramesh

    Windows phone 8 looks amazing. I am waiting the first wave of devices to be released

  • ramesh

    Windows phone 8 looks amazing. I am waiting the first wave of devices to be released

  • InstantRunoff

    I’d like to understand these camera improvements better. I’d like to see WP take photos that are even better than the iPhone’s.

  • InstantRunoff

    I’d like to understand these camera improvements better. I’d like to see WP take photos that are even better than the iPhone’s.