On the past several months, we’ve gotten our first look at what Microsoft’s Windows 8 will look like for the PC and tablet platform. The main interface has been overhauled to resemble the current Windows 7 interface and to be more tablet-friendly. Given these changes in the PC and tablet space, it’s only natural that we wonder what the mobile version of Windows 8 will look like. Currently, not much has been confirmed about the upcoming update, other than that its code name is Apollo. Here, we’ll look a little deeper into what’s been said so far and try to imagine what Apollo will be like.
Thanks to the desktop Windows 8′s user interface being overhauled, it’s safe to assume that Windows Phone 8 will retain most of the current Windows Phone 7 interface. As such, it is also logical to conclude that Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 will integrate further with one another. Some of the rumoured possibilities have included the ability to share apps and files. In this unified experience, users would see the gap closed between their home PC and Smartphone with mobile broadband. The gap between the two platforms would be bridged, and transferring content between devices should be a more seamless experience in Windows Phone 8. It’s important to note that this goal of unifying the experience between devices is also the one being pursued by Apple with iOS and OS X, and Google with its Android operating system for smart phones and tablets. It’s also a given that Windows Phone 8 will improve on existing applications, providing a more user-friendly experience throughout the operating system and the mobile broadband apps that ship with phones running Apollo.
On top of this, Windows Phone 8 also looks as though it will introduce a couple of interesting new features. First, Microsoft is said to be adding voice-to-text capabilities similar to what’s found in Google’s Android operating system. Another interesting change that looks like it will be incorporated into Apollo is one-handed typing. Many Windows Phone 7 users have complained that the stock keyboard is difficult to use without two hands, so this will likely be a welcome change. Windows Phone 8 is also said to include a new localization and context engine. All of this was gleamed from a whiteboard in the background of a Microsoft presentation earlier this year. So, while it looks like Microsoft was definitely planning these things at one point, they may or may not be included in Apollo. They all seem like logical upgrades, though, so there’s really no reason not to expect them.
While all of this is subject to change, what we know for sure about Windows Phone 8 is that it’s coming. We also know that Microsoft is betting heavily on it. By switching Windows 8 for desktop from the classic Windows interface that has been used for decades to one that mirrors Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is making a statement. The company is stating that they are sticking by the new Windows Phone platform and will continue to make it better. That alone should excite Windows Phone fans about Apollo.