Microsoft on Thursday revealed a big update to its Windows Phone Store, adding universal search and the ability to install apps from an SD card. Furthermore, the Web store has opened in 37 new locations.
Universal search means that instead of having to go one place to find apps and another one to search for how-to articles, you can now get all your search results in one place. This is the type of thing that should have been there from the start, especially given how encompassing search is in Windows.
SD card app installation support is pretty straightforward: you can now install apps via an SD card (useful for when there’s no cellular or Wi-Fi data connection), which many Windows Phone 8 models support. App details pages now include a “Download and install manually” link at the top. Click such a link to download the .xap file, copy it over to your phone’s SD card, and then install it (step-by-step instructions).
If you’re seeing the more markets part of this news and are confused, you’re not alone. Yes, the Windows Phone Store did just expand to 42 new markets less than two weeks ago. Yet there is a difference between the Windows Phone Store, which is on your phone, and the Web store, which lets you browse and buy apps from the website.
Microsoft says the Web store is now available in a total of 112 markets worldwide while the phone store is available in 191 markets worldwide. Oh, and the company is still pushing for more.
In any case, here are the new markets in question: Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo (DRC), Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Pakistan, Paraguay, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
See also – Microsoft says Windows Phone 8 increased app submissions by 40%, to keep full staff on for holidays and Windows 8 store adds 7,000 apps in two weeks to pass 20,000 mark, almost 18,000 are free
Image credit: V Fouche