Now available: Zune 4.8

Today we’re releasing the next version of the Zune software. As one of the Zune program managers, I wanted to provide a brief look at what’s new in the 4.8 release, which you can download here. To update your current version, click Settings > Software > General, and then click Check For Updates.

If you already have a Windows Phone, you probably know that the Zune software is a key companion for your device. It allows you to update your phone software, sync photos and videos, shop for apps, and more.

You probably won’t notice too many differences in how Zune 4.8 looks: Most of the changes were designed to pave the way for the next release of Windows Phone, codenamed Mango. Our primary goal with this release was to make the Zune software the best companion for your Mango phone, so the team implemented a few new features and made a bunch of under-the-hood refinements and fixes, including several based on your feedback.

Faster Windows Phone updates

One important job of the Zune software is to update your Windows Phone software. In version 4.8, we’ve streamlined the process to help get your phone up and running again faster with the latest features and fixes.

  • Progressive updates: In Zune 4.8, you only have to click the update button once for multiple updates. Once an update is finished, the software automatically checks for more and repeats the installation process until your phone is completely up to date.
  • Streamlined backup. By synching media separately from other phone content, we’ve lowered the overall time it takes to back up your phone. The backup file is also more compact, so it should take up less space on your computer.
  • Skip phone backup: If you don’t have enough room on your computer to store a phone backup file, you’ll now have the option to skip this step so you’re not blocked from updating your phone.

More places and languages

As we’ve announced, Mango will expand the number of locations and languages where Windows Phone is available around the world. We made sure the Zune software would follow. While it may seem small, this is possibly the largest overall change in Zune 4.8. You’ll also notice vast improvements in text entry and sorting for many Asian languages.

Zune 4.8 now supports 22 display languages, including Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (US and UK), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish.

In addition, Zune 4.8 is available in these countries or regions: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Tweaks and fixes

Finally, the team made a lot of under-the-covers changes to improve your overall experience in Zune 4.8, although not all of these changes may be readily apparent. Here are a few you will notice:

  • 48-hour movie rentals
  • Parental Controls now support M-rated (Mature) content
  • Option to hide purchase confirmation dialog for faster app checkout
  • See what apps are compatible with the Windows Phone you own

We’re continually looking for ways to improve the Zune software and Marketplace. On behalf of the entire Zune software team, thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy this release.