News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday November 07, 2012.
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Microsoft has unveiled a refreshed Windows Phone Store to coincide with the launch of Windows Phone 8, and the new storefront offers users several important improvements. The Phone Store, which is available in 50 languages and 191 countries, offers more than 120,000 apps at the moment. Here's a rundown of what's new.
- Collections is a new portal that creates app packs of six or more titles that have a common theme. The apps are curated by Microsoft and center on current events, like the 2012 election; an activity or interest, like drawing or shopping; or a feature, like cloud storage apps.
- Picks For You is a section that creates recommendations based on past download history, what Facebook friends install, and what apps are associated with each other. In other words, if people who install Puzzle Game A tend to also like Puzzle Game B, the Store will recommend to download one game if a user installs the other.
- Wallet links with secure credit card info to pay for apps in the store and make in-app purchases. It can be locked with a PIN to prevent unauthorized purchases.
- Parental controls are enabled on two fronts. The My Family section on the Windows Phone website lets parents set the maximum maturity rating that their children are allowed to use, and which apps they can buy. This is in addition to the Kids Corner feature that allows children to only access pre-approved apps when a parent lends a child his or her phone.
The Windows Phone Store also improved the search quality for discovering apps. Microsoft already instituted bing to correct typing mistakes, but bing also provides results that are related to an app. It also factors in install and uninstall rates, user ratings, and popularity to make higher-quality apps push towards the top. Windows 7.5 customers will also be able to take advantage of these features by running the Refresh Marketplace app that will appear on their phones in the coming days.source: Windows
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.