Microsoft has announced a very useful feature for its Windows Phone 8 handsets that feature storage expansion via microSD cards. It is now possible to install apps via SD card. This can be especially useful for those who do not have a data connection enabled on their handsets.

As per a post on the official Windows blog, Microsoft states that its web Store now has support for installing apps via SD card, which many Windows Phone 8 smartphones support. The post states that all one needs to do is just look for the “Download and install manually” link on the app’s details page. Click to download the app’s installation – or.xap – file, which can then be copied over to the phone’s SD card and installed.

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Microsoft has also provided step-by step instructions for installing an app from an SD card. To sideload an app or game, one will need to have an SD card that contains one or more Windows Phone app files, also known as .XAP files. A user can download .XAP files to their PC and then move the files to the phone's SD card.

To install apps from an SD card, insert the card that has the .XAP file into the handset. On Start, tap Store and then tap SD Card. After this, tap Install. One should note that apps that can be installed are listed under Compatible apps and one will need to have the latest version of the .XAP file from the Store on the SD card in order to install it. If this app does not happen to be the latest version, then it will be listed under Incompatible apps.

After the procedure is complete, listed apps will appear in the app list while games will be displayed in the Games Hub.

Recently, Microsoft also rolled out its first update to its recently launched Windows Phone 8 OS. With it, the software giant has added a feature that issues a fix for the Wi-Fi problem that had plagued handsets running on this platform. The OS is now brought to OS 10211 up from the previous build, which was 9905. It brought bug fixes for the device resetting as well as the keep Wi-Fi alive feature, which made the Wi-Fi connection go off when the display was turned off.

The update is called Portico. Those who have recently jumped on to the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon may have noticed that there is a problem with the device losing connection to a Wi-Fi network when the screen is locked. This update was released to fix this issue.

In response to a tweet by a Windows Phone 8 user who said that the Wi-Fi shuts off after turning off the screen on every Windows Phone, Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Windows Phone Program Management, had stated, “Someone is gonna yell at me for saying this, but… fix is coming. :) Sshh. Just promise me a little patience though.”

If one happened to be downloading an app using Wi-Fi, and then locked the screen, the Wi-Fi would suddenly turn off once the screen was unlocked. Users were adopting a temporary fix by keeping the screen turned on till the app was completely downloaded.

Early adopters of the Windows Phone 8 platform have been experiencing some issues with their devices and it is not limited to a particular manufacturer. One of these issues is that some owners of Nokia and HTC handsets are experiencing random reboots. In a statement, Microsoft claimed that the problem has been identified and an over-the-air (OTA) fix will be delivered to addresses the issue. The current update aims to fix this issue as well.

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