Microsoft has just put out the list of improvements and new features it has added to its Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 on its update history website. Update 1 pushes the Windows Phone build number to 8.10.14141.167 or 8.10.14147.180 depending on what your device model is. If you signed up for the Developer Preview program, you can get Update 1 right away, but if you didn’t, but still want to check out the new features, you can do so here or wait until the update rolls out globally starting September. Meanwhile here is a list of the new features in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 you can look forward to.
New Features in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1
What better way to keep things on your Windows Phone 8.1 Start screen organized than with folders. Since the Start screen has a bunch of tiles, when you create folders, you will basically be grouping together tiles. For instance, you can create a folder holding all your favorite games, while another folder can hold all your fitness apps. Once you create the folder, you can name it, movie it to a preferred location on the screen, resize it, and add or remove tiles from it whenever you want. To create a folder, simply tap and hold a tile and then push the tile on top of the other tile you want to group it with. You can add more tiles to the folder by tapping, holding and then pushing them onto the folder. To remove a tile from a folder, open the folder, tap and push the app back on to the Start screen.
Internet Explorer 11
A number of improvements were made to IE 11 in Update 1 the most striking of which is support for HTML5 features for mobile web. It will also support certain non-standard features that were made popular by the iPhone. Also IE 11 will automatically map popular WebKit-prefixed APIs so that non-standard mobile sites can render correctly on the phone. Most of the updates however, are intended to ensure that users get a consistent user experience as they would on iOS or Android devices.
Now deleting multiple text messages, calls or contacts will be easy as the selection process has been fine-tuned to allow for bulk deletes.
Multiple Text Messaging
You can now take your text messaging in Windows Phone 8.1 to a whole new level. With the new update you will be able to combine multiple text messages and send it to someone as a single text message.
Cortana sports a number of new features such as new natural language scenarios, snooze times for reminders, and personality additions that can make Cortana do impersonations. Cortana can also be used in hands-free situations such as while driving your car (provided the car can connect via Bluetooth and the phone is integrated with the car-based contacts list).
If you are concerned about other people using the apps you have on your Windows Phone 8.1, you can create a custom Start screen where you can share only the apps you want them to use. This is ideal if you are sharing your phone with coworkers, or with your kids.
Update 1 will also now offer support for Smart Covers so users can get a better experience from the screen.
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The Windows Phone 8.1 alarms are now customizable to do more than just waking you up from your sleep. Whether its time to feed the cats or pick up the kids, you have an option that’s handy. The Repeats option lets you set the alarm for everyday you want it repeated. You can also apply a different sound to each type of alarm using the Sound Settings. Just hit Play if you want to preview the sound before applying it. You can also name your alarm and select the amount of time you want it to snooze before it rings again.
Apps for Accessories
If you use a bunch of accessories like smart watches, fitness trackers, and the like, you can make use of accessory apps to receive notifications on your Windows Phone.
New Screen Resolution Support
This one’s for developers who wish to build 7 inch or bigger devices as Update 1 supports screen resolutions including qHD, or 960 x 540, and 1280 x 800.
You can now turn your Windows Phone 8.1 into a mobile hotspot by sharing your cellular connection with another device such as a laptop using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Just head over to your Settings page and select Internet sharing. Tap Share over and then select Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to go ahead with the process.
Update 1 addresses many of the problems that plagued the app in 8.1 and brings new features such as Now Playing showing up on the live tile.
You can now connect to more VPN services thanks to L2TP support on Windows Phone 8.1.
The Narrator feature now allows for touch typing so you can turn off controls and buttons when you don’t want anything read out aloud. Other improvements allow you to unlock your phone more quickly as well as access certain buttons like Back, Start, and Search more easily. It can also tell you when your phone screen is on or off.
Windows Phone Store Live Tile
The Windows Phone Store will now show live information such as new apps, the app of the day, recommendations, and such if set to medium.
Which Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 feature excites you the most and you look forward to using?