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Windows Phone 8 screenshot gallery covers many new features

Windows Phone 8 is launching soon and even though it looks much like Windows Phone 7.5, there are a number of updates and new features that you can find when you dive into the OS.

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Topic: Mobility
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Let's get started with Windows Phone 8.

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While you can setup your Microsoft account later, the experience of Windows Phone 8 really requires you to either sign in or sign up for an account.

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A great new feature of Windows Phone 8 is the ability to backup your data. As you can see you can backup photos, text messages, and phone settings.

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This screen explains why you want to backup your device.

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After you go through the setup wizard the HTC connection utility setup the phone for use with AT&T in the United States.

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The lock screen has been modified with more functionality. BTW, do you like my Han Solo Halloween costume?

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This is the default Start screen that appears after finishing the setup wizard. Several Live Tiles are provided in different sizes so you can see how they can be resized.

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The applications panel remains the same as we saw on Windows Phone 7.

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Lots of apps appear in the list. When you get to 41 apps then you will see shortcuts to help you jump to different apps in your extensive list.

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After spending a bit of time with the HTC 8X I customized my Start screen to match my desires.

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Starting to setup the Kid's Corner.

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This is the content you can add to the Kid's Corner. You tap on each one to select specific apps and content.

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You are prompted to setup a password to keep your data safe while your kid uses your phone.

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Select apps that you want your kids to have access to. Note that there are no communications apps.

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Select music that you want to make available.

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Select games to share with your kids.

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This is what the Kid's Corner lock screen looks like after setting everything up.

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Here is a view of the Start screen in the Kid's Corner.

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More apps in the Kid's Corner.

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There are a couple of minor customization options for your kids.

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Another pop-up explaining how things work.

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Finished with the Kid's Corner setup wizard.

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Bing Search continues to be a fantastic looking application.

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New side panels give you access to things like Local Events.

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Local movies are available in Bing.

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Local deals include those from LivingSocial.

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News is available in Bing as well, simply swipe left or right from the main Bing panel.

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Videos are also provided in Bing.

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You can now enable a dark theme in your email instead of the light theme that was the only option before.

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Office Mobile gets some improvements, including the ability to much more easily access locations where you have documents stored.

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Accessing my Skydrive documents.

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Recent documents are easy to access and a great feature is that they will open right where I left them when I was on my PC.

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Excel Mobile now supports charts!

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OneNote Mobile has been pulled out of Office Mobile to help give you faster access.

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Shared lists are supported and very handy for getting things done around the house.

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Rooms are a new feature in Windows Phone 8 and allow you the ability to carry on private group conversations.

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Family room members and their selected profile photos or latest updates.

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Sometimes you really don't want the world to see the photos in your private room :)

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A shared calendar can be setup within your room.

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Improved share options include via NFC with tap+send, Xbox (thanks to Xbox Smartglass), and social networks.

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Internet Explorer 10 Mobile brings several enhancements to WP8.

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When I access ZDNet I end up getting the mobile optimized version of the website.

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There are new attachment options in MMS/SMS as you can see here.

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Your location can be shared in Messaging.

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Context sensitive keyboards are available, as shown by the emoticon one here in a chat in the Family Room.

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There are some new categories to filter apps in the WP Store.

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Xbox Smartglass is fun to play with on WP8.

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A couple new tools for editing photos is included in the updated camera application.

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You can add lenses in the camera app as well.

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Contacts can be filtered by service.

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You can use different backgrounds for your lock screen.

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Detailed notifications for different apps can be selected. Only one service is supported at a time on the lock screen.

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More lock screen settings.

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Lock screen settings for you to optimize what you see.

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You can add different types of data to Wallet.

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You can connect your PayPal account to Wallet.

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Wallet services on WP8. You can also add custom cards using the Other option.

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Wallet explanation display.

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In addition to the lock PIN you have on your device you can setup another for the Wallet.

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A view of the updated Store.

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Browsing for music.

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The Wallet PIN can be accessed within the Store.

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Search settings

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Music and Videos settings.

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You can now download maps for offline navigation for FREE. This is supported even on devices that are not from Nokia, but voice guided navigation is not included.

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Map downloads are broken down by State.

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As you can see the entire US on WP8 takes up 2.5 GB.

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You can download maps from around the world so your WP8 really can be a world traveler, in offline mode too.

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A few Maps settings.

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Navigating with WP8.

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Settings for Applications.

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More Applications settings.

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Thankfully OTA updates are provided.

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You can manage your Skydrive storage on WP8.

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Tap on each backup setting to customize what gets backed up to the cloud.

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NFC (aka tap+send) settings in WP8.

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A view of my phone storage. If an external card was supported it would appear here as well.

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Several more theme color accents were added to WP8.

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More system settings.

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Yep, there are lots of settings available to you.

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System settings includes Kid's Corner.

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More system settings.

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Add an account for email and more.

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