While it will be unfair to brand Windows Phone 7 a complete failure, a lot of people ran into problems regarding almost every aspect of the platform. The objections on Mango aren’t just about apps and bugs, as the Zune management suite has never been too popular either. Windows Phone 8 is Microsoft’s attempt to right all wrongs that have lead to the downfall of their previous two forays in the mobile arena. The OS itself is pretty decent, and the management tool that comes with it is way better than its predecessor as well. The Windows Phone desktop app has been in beta until now, but hasn’t been a cause of many complaints. A few hours ago, the tool just came out of beta, and now flaunts a lot of improvements in performance and features. The update is a must-have for you if you like listening to podcasts, since it handles them much better than before. It is also possible to easily change the source folder for syncing podcasts, thanks to the tool’s improved iTunes compatibility.
It has never been too difficult getting your favorite podcast episodes into your WP8 device, thanks to the desktop companion’s beta version, but there was a clear problem that presented itself to a lot of users. If you downloaded podcasts from the WP Store, the desktop app synced them effortlessly, but if you got them from any other source (like iTunes or a website) then most of the times the episodes ended up appearing as music files. This issue has now been fixed, and it is possible to make the tool recognize podcasts separately by placing them in a folder, and then using that folder as the syncing source for podcasts.
In fact, the idea of manually choosing the source directory for the Windows Phone app for desktop is not confined to podcasts only, as there are similar options for choosing a particular library for the rest of your media as well. iTunes users can import all their media from there, while others get the option to point the software to windows libraries.
The current update of the desktop tool is going to be the last that you’ll have to download manually from the Microsoft website, since it contains a new ‘Automatic Updates’ option in the settings section. It is also possible to use the ‘Check now’ button if the tool doesn’t alert you of the update automatically.
The WP app for desktop is not the only tool available for WP8 users on the PC, as Microsoft also introduced Welcome Home to help new users get started on the platform. The management app, however, is something you can’t live without, and getting an improved version for it is really a big deal.