I’ve used Windows Phone (Lumia 520) for almost 6 months before switching to the Nexus 5 and there were quite a few reasons to why I had decided to switch to Android. It seems that Microsoft has been collecting the feedback and working on the bunch of features that seriously addresses my concerns. At least, we now know why Microsoft was so busy (and perhaps late) when it came to the speed of Windows Phone development.
Never mind! Few enthusiastic developers (from Windows Phone Lovers Facebook page) have started getting their hands on the SDK and we do have a list of few definitive features that are expected to make their way on Windows Phone 8.1. It could also be possible that some of the features may not show up in the final release of Windows Phone 8.1 but what we do know is the fact that Microsoft has been working hard on bringing these features.
Windows Phone 8.1 Features
Background Wallpapers on the Start Screen
Umm… What? Background wallpapers on the start screen? Hard to imagine..right? Yes, the info is coming straight from the LiveSino which has found some of the unannounced references in the SDK to the start screen customization.
Android has always enjoyed the tag line of being customizable as per the user’s requirements but this feature has definitely surprised me a bit. This would definitely add a different perspective to the Windows Phone if found to be present in the final build of Windows Phone 8.1.
To give you the idea of how it might look like, here’s an image extracted from wpcentral.
During my stay of 6 months, Internet explorer on Windows Phone is what I liked the most. Now, here’re bunch of features that Microsoft is looking to add up to the existing version of IE.
- Ability to upload files from your phone – This will allow users to upload files such as photos, videos, documents, downloads and ringtones.
- There’s a slight possibility of a dedicated downloads folder which will keep the track of previously downloaded files.
- “Remember My Password” – Ability to remember your password and sync it with the Windows 8.1.
Changes to the Windows Phone Store
- Ability to update the store apps only via WiFi
- Ability to update store apps automatically
- Extended support for tickets and membership cards in Wallet
- Apps can sync with the other devices and keep backups of application data.
Emails + Contacts
- Improved contacts layout – This makes it easy for you to save a new contact and switch between accounts.
- Adding contacts – Now, you’ve the full control over importing contacts apart from emails.
- Auto download images – Users can now download the images and full messages from emails automatically.
- Save data – Users will be able to save the data as emails that are often kept unread will never be downloaded.
- Filter contacts – You can now filter contacts on the basis of accounts. For example, if I want to display only Google contacts, I can do that.
- Ability to import contacts from SIM and save them under account.
- Users can now open password protected office files.
- Office lens will help you in scanning documents and simple text on whiteboards so that they are clear and easy to read when saved on the phone.
- You can now uninstall multiple apps in one go.
- You can now erase SD card with simple reset option.
- Starting with Windows Phone 8.1, you’ll be do sharing from within the apps.
- Third party apps can now make use of voice navigation app.
- Mute messages
- Apps can now hook into the People’s hub. Facebook and twitter integration may go away.
- A new dedicated app that will allow you to search and subscribe to the podcast.
- You’ll be able to project your device’s screen.
- Separate language support – This will enable users to select different languages for phone, regional, speech and keyboard.
- Find my phone – Auto-save your phone’s location frequently.
- Data Sense – Operators can now make use of API’s to integrate their data limits. This will ensure that the data collected through your phone and operator is same.
- Calender will now support day, week, month and year view.
- Battery Sense – Apps which are important can now be kept running in the background even if the battery is low.