Update – This is our 1st post on Windows Phone 8.1 leaks
(First question is it really Windows Phone 8.1 ? .. I think it could easily be named higher. Read through the features & new things and you would easily agree with me.)
Today Microsoft started sharing the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK (Software Development Kit) with developers with some strict NDA clauses but that did not stop the developers from leaking new features expected in Windows Phone 8.1 and here are they listed below.
New features/improvements/options noticed in Windows Phone 8.1
- The apps packaging will now be ‘.appx’ in Windows Phone 8.1 similar to what is in Windows 8.
- Windows Phone 8.1 will allow users to select Default messaging application (check screenshot below)
- Inclusion of ‘Battery Power Sense’ to track & monitor Battery life.
- VPN Support
- Separate apps for Music & Video (the Music+Video app will be removed).
- A new podcast app has also been noticed.
- Changes in Multitasking – Back button no longer terminates the app instead the app suspends to background. You can now close apps by swiping from top in the multitasking view (no need to press the ‘X’ button).
- As reported earlier, the default camera app will see a redesigned UI with the top bar giving access to Lenses, Flash, Front/Rear Camera & Gallery and bottom bar having the options of Video, Camera & Burst mode.
- ‘Storage Sense’ in settings point at inclusion one of the most important & requested feature of Storing Apps to SD Card with other options being ‘Store new music, videos and podcasts on my’, ‘Store new photos on my’ and ‘Store new downloads on my’.
- Inclusion of ‘iCloud’ option in account settings.
- Microsoft seems to have removed the ‘Facebook’ option in account settings as well the Photo integration in Gallery is also missing. Twitter however is still present. (It is being assumed that Facebook like in Windows 8.1 will directly be linked to your Microsoft ID and the necessary features would be present except Photo integration).
- Internet Explorer will now upgrade to version 11 in Windows Phone 8.1. You can now play YouTube videos right on the page unlike the current scenario where they open separately (can be seen in the above Screenshot).
- It is known that Windows Phone 8.1 will bring support for on-screen buttons. The new screenshot reveal that you can now even hide them with the help of a down arrow at bottom-left. A swipe up from bottom will bring back the on-screen buttons.
- Users can now set the color of navigation bar in Windows Phone 8.1.
- Also present are improved control over USB Settings.
- The SDK is deprived of the presence of anything related to ‘Cortana’ & ‘Bing Search’ & which means Microsoft is still keeping it a secret.
- Battery Sense – Now track & monitor which apps are consuming battery
- Bing Apps are installed by default
- Not much UI changes in SMS app but introduction of cool new settings
- WiFi Sense
- SkyDrive is now OneDrive across
- Introduction of Grid View and List View
- Lots of new transitions by default (we already love the current ones and this is more than welcome)
- Progress Ring similar to Windows RT is here (representation below).
- No new tile size noticed as of now.
- New File Picker & Saver (pic below)
- Internet Explorer 11
- YouTube on IE11
- WP8 is also referred to as WinPRT in documents.
More findings & improvements
- Audio/Video transcoding – hardware accelerated
- Media editing – both Audio & Video, Audio Effects/Video effects, Slow motion video
- Apps can capture Audio/Video themselves
- Stereoscopic 3D support
- WiFi Direct
- Windows Phone 8.1 apps won’t run on Windows Phone 8 (reverse is true)
- Documentation confirms that all current WP8 devices will upgrade to WP8.1 (Cheers !)
- Single sign-in for all apps with Microsoft account
- Geo-fencing API for location based reminders
- Filter through installed apps via Usage and Install date
- Bing Smart Search (just as in Windows 8.1)
- Re-designed Xbox game hub
- Auto updates for apps (just as in Windows 8.1)
- Improved back-up functionality
- Separate volume controls for Media, Ringer etc