If you use Windows Phone 8 with Windows 8, you know that Microsoft offers two PC sync solutions, the Windows Phone (Metro) app and the Windows Phone (desktop) application. Furthermore, you know that these two sync solutions offer different features sets, making the decision about which to use confusing. This week, Microsoft updated the Metro version of app, adding a few new features, some of which were previously available in the desktop application.
This is particularly good news for users of Windows RT, since that version of Windows 8 can’t utilize the desktop application.
The Windows Phone app has always provided basic sync functionality for Windows Phone 8 devices, in keeping with the “PC free” mantra of the platform. You can see how much storage space you’re using on the device, and how much space is used for each content type (photos, music, and videos). You can easily add photos, videos, or music to the device, or copy that content back to the PC. You can configure it to automatically save photos and videos taken with the phone to the PC (though I don’t recommend using it for that purpose since it’s so basic).
But the new version of the app includes a few useful new features:
Ringtones. Now, you can add ringtones to your phone. This capability was previously only available in the desktop sync application.
Playlists. Ditto for playlists, another feature that was previously only available in the desktop application.
Video preview. Now, you can preview videos taken with the phone’s camera directly from within the app.
Share. Utilizing the Windows 8 Share charm, you can “share things from your phone with Windows 8 [Metro] apps (like Photos, or Search). You don’t even have to open the Windows Phone app to move things around.”
I’ve complained a lot in recent months about the lack of progress with Windows Phone 8 and with Windows 8 apps in general, so even something small like this is really appreciated. More, please. :)