Windows Phone 8 Apollo Plus Update: Release Date Tipped For 2013, Features Include VPN And Wi-Fi Fixes

 @LisaEadicicco on November 27 2012 2:22 PM

Nearly one month after its unveiling, Microsoft is reportedly working on an update for Windows Phone 8 devices known as Apollo Plus. The unofficial news leaked on Tuesday morning when a Twitter user named "Football" tweeted that the update would roll out in the first quarter of 2013.

"MS is going to roll out update for WP8 which is called Apollo+ in Q1 2013..." football tweeted.

Sources have since confirmed to The Verge that Apollo Plus will bring new features and fixes to Windows Phone 8 users. This won’t be the next major iteration of the Windows Phone software, but it will fine-tune some features that users have seen at launch.

Microsoft is reportedly preparing to include VPN support in its Windows Phone 8 handsets, which will allow owners to connect to corporate networks with their Windows Phone 8 smartphones. While this may not sound like the sexiest new feature Microsoft could add to its mobile software, it certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. CNET’s Mary Jo Foley said that a number of business users have told her that the lack of VPN support was a “deal breaker” for organizations when it comes to adopting Windows Phone.

This support may be included in the Apollo Plus update, but it hasn’t been confirmed. A Wi-Fi fix is also in the works that would allow users to continuously remain on a network automatically. Some unspecified audio tweaks may also come with the alleged software refresh.

Apollo Plus will also be the first ever over-the-air update from Microsoft. The previous operating system required users to plug their phones into a computer to download software updates.

The PC software company has previously admitted that it “ran out of time” when working on a Notification Center feature for the Windows Phone 8 operating system, so this could be another addition users may find in Apollo Plus. Microsoft may also throw in some other capabilities that didn’t make it in to the final build of Windows Phone 8, The Verge reports.

More information about Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Phone 8 Apollo Plus update is expected to come at the Mobile World Congress in February. Meanwhile, legacy Windows Phone users are still waiting for the Windows Phone 7.8 update, which is said to closely mirror the experience of Microsoft’s newest mobile OS for previous-gen devices that cannot support the software.

Microsoft officially unveiled its Windows Phone 8 operating system at the end of October following its Windows 8 launch. The flagship models running the new Windows OS include Nokia’s Lumia 920 handset and HTC’s Windows Phone 8X device. While both smartphones received largely positive reviews from critics, some users reported bug and glitches with the devices after the OS was released. Forums posts from Nokia Lumia 920 owners indicated poor battery life and freezing, while HTC Windows Phone 8X users complained of random reboots.

Microsoft has yet to make any official announcements concerning a Windows Phone 8 update, but we’re likely to hear more information as 2013 approaches.

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