windows phone 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1 - Update 1 User Review

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is now available on the Preview for Developers! If you’re not signed up and want to be check out my how to article to learn how. Currently, I am sporting a Nokia Lumia 928 and have been running on the developers preview since the release of the program. So far, I must say it has been great! Not only do you get the newest “greatest” features, but you also get to give feedback to developers, this helps them to put fixes in place sooner for the features that you notice aren’t working quite right. You can also provide feedback for potential future release features.

The release of Windows Phone 8.1 introduced us to many great features and enhancements, most notable is the introduction of Cortana, your very own personal assistant. With the first major update since, its initial release, it seems the development team has packed in even more exciting  features, and a few that have been highly desired for quite a while.


The New Features & Enhancements


Live Folders

These are  folders that allow the user to organize their home screen tiles into groups which keeps your home screen it a little more organized and requiring less scrolling. One of the great features about the Tiles on windows phone is the live tile ability which they made sure to include with folders! This feature periodically cycles through the tiles in the folder showing you the tile and its live tile updates.


How to Use this Feature

Just like most phone operating systems, simply drag and drop the tile you want on the desired tile that you wish to put into a folder together. From there, you can also change the folder name in the top left corner. Keep in mind that to come back later and change the name you  must be in  “tile moving mode” for the edit name area to appear.
 


Selection

With improvements made to the selection function,   a user is now able to select and delete multiple calls, messages, and contacts at a time. For those who are a bit OCD and prefer to “cleanup” their phone’s contents often  this is an excellent improvement.


Messaging

This enhancement to allow users to combine multiple text messages into one, and then forward them to someone else. 
 


Alarms

Enjoy a little more shut eye by using the new ability to customize the snooze time for your alarms.
Internet Sharing
Get more devices connected to the internet now! This feature  gives you the ability to  share your cellular data over Bluetooth.


Narrator

The Narrator now has touch typing and offers a way for you to turn off hints for controls and buttons if you don't want them read aloud. Other improvements to Narrator give you the option to unlock your phone more quickly, find and use the Back, Start, and Search buttons more easily, and it even tells you when your phone screen is on or off.


VPN

Again Microsoft delivers value for the business user. Whether you need to connect to work or a personal connection, the VPN now supports L2TP which allows you to connect to more services easily from your Windows Phone.


Apps Corner

This feature allows you to provide only the essential apps for others to use regardless the situation. This update proves excellent for any purpose whether its work, school, or home. Apps Corner can be found in the “Settings” of your phone. I love how Microsoft is always keeping security in mind with enhancements and feature updates!
 


Accessory Apps

Do you own a smart watch? Windows Phone now allows you to get notifications on a fitness tracker, active phone cover, smart watch, or any other kind of similar accessory.


Cortana

Our favorite personal assistant is becoming better versed in multiple languages with every new update. With this update, it made her available for more markets and even some performance enhancements. 

Bugs?

I have been using this since the release and I am considered a “heavy user” when it comes to my cell phone. Currently, my experience with this update has been great and have not experienced any issues with my day-to-day activities and app usage.


My Final Thoughts

I love this update and the enhancements; but most importantly I love the frequency of these new updates. The Windows Phone team has been pushing out large features in a quick time frame. For any of you who like to see a product grow and improve, now is a great time to use the  Windows Phone platform.
My favorite feature with this new update, would have to be the live tile folders. I can definitely say that the risk of a bug or two is worth the reward of some of these great features.


For all the official information about this update visit the official Windows Phone site:

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/how-to/wp8/basics/windows-phone-8-update-history
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Wiz E. Wig, Mascot & Director of Magic
Wiz E. Wig

Director of Magic

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