Microsoft has finally sliced off the preview (or beta) tag from their Windows Phone sync app for the desktop, leaving a much improved experience for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. Part of the "Sync Suite," the desktop app syncs music, photos, and other media that you choose between your phone and a Windows PC. The preview version has been available since October 2012, so it took quite a while for Microsoft to finalize the application.

Here's what's been updated as part of the official release:

  • Expanded podcast support.Support for iTunes podcasts has been a useful feature in the preview versions of the app, but many people get their podcasts from other sources. Now, as long as your podcasts are saved in a folder, you can automatically sync them to your phone.
  • Simplified updates.Previous versions of the app required you to install updates from Now the app tells you when improvements are available, so you install them with a click.
  • Flexible library selection.To provide more flexibility, the app can now sync files from any library or folder on your computer, even if they’re on an external hard drive.
  • Many bug fixes.We’ve rolled up your feedback on the preview versions and made fixes to improve performance.

You can obtain the app from here: Windows Phone app for desktop

And, if you're curious what file types you can sync, and need a tutorial on how to do it, there's even an online Sync Wizard to help you do it: Windows Phone Sync Wizard