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Developers leak Windows Phone 8.1 SDK, reveal new features

For our full coverage, head to Windows Phone 8.1 SDK leak - All you need to know!

Windows Phone 8.1, codenamed 'Blue', is a forthcoming major update for Microsoft's mobile platform. While we're anticipating an announcement at the company’s Build 2014 conference in April, with new hardware arriving in June, already Microsoft has released the SDK to developers and we're seeing some leaks appear on Reddit, pointing at a handful of new features in the 8.1 update. 

The leaks published by developers who have early access to the SDK show signs of further unity between Windows Phone and Windows 8.1, which Microsoft has previously hinted at. Both JavaScript and HTML is touted as being supported for app development, enabling developers on the desktop+tablet OS to bring across compatible content for smartphone consumers to enjoy.

Some obvious changes have been jotted down, including the rebranding of SkyDrive to OneDrive, not to mention the ability to set up and configure connections to Virtual Private Networks (VPN). A number of other changes have reportedly been implemented in the SDK, making multitasking easier with the removal of "X to close" and allowing users to swipe down on each app tile (much like Windows 8.1) – the back button no longer closes apps, but suspends them.


New File Picker

Here's the list of features noted by the developer with Windows Phone 8.1 SDK access:

  • NEW Audio/video transcoding, Hardware accelerated
  • NEW Media editing:  audio and video; Audio effects, video effects; Slow motion video
  • NEW Apps can capture audio/video from themselves
  • NEW Stereoscopic 3d support
  • NEW Wi-Fi Direct, a Wi-Fi standard allowing direct peer-to-peer connections over Wi-Fi without an access point
  • NEW Windows Phone 8.1 apps won't run on 8.0 devices until they upgrade
  • NEW Documentation confirms ALL current Windows Phone 8 hardware to get 8.1
  • NEW Dev tools: SemanticZoom, DatePicker, TimePicker
  • NEW PlayTo support
  • NEW Single sign-in for apps (like on Windows 8) with Microsoft Account; sign in will persist across devices + apps with permissions prompt
  • NEW YouTube Player (see lede image) including HTML5 video support (video playback doesn't have to be full screen)  And you get custom UI, so YouTube Closed Captions are in
  • NEW File picker (see above image)
  • NEW Geofencing API for location-based reminders
  • NEW Background tasks: Bluetooth signal strength, Chat message notification, Device connection change, Device use trigger, Gatt characteristic notification, Location, Push notification, Rfcomm connection, System event, Timer
  • NEW Slide down to close apps
  • NEW Navigation bar color selection
  • NEW USB choices
  • NEW Updated camera layout, similar to Windows 8.1 (see photo below)
  • Back button doesn't terminate the app
  • No more XAP, instead APPX
  • VPN (Virtual Private Network)
  • OneDrive (previously SkyDrive) with integrated file browser (just like Windows 8.1)
  • Filter through installed apps by usage/install date
  • Select multiple tiles when customising the Start screen [FALSE]
  • More efficient multitasking
  • Ability to install apps on inserted SD Cards
  • Internet Explorer 11 improved with WebGL and Normal mapping support
  • Separate volume controls for ringer, media, etc.
  • Bing smart search (similar search system as Windows 8.1)
  • Xbox Music and Xbox Video as standalone apps instead of the Music + Video Hub (allowing more updates to be pushed)
  • Redesigned Xbox Game Hub
  • Twitter integrated more deeply into the contacts Hub 
  • Facebook account option REMOVED (updated)
  • Quick settings access (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) by doing a quick swipe from the top of the screen 
  • Action Center accessed by doing a full swipe from up to the bottom (separate from the Notification Center)
  • Silent notifications which go directly to the Action center
  • Possibility to mark a Live Tile as read by swiping from the left of said tile
  • Auto-updates for apps (just like Windows 8.1)
  • Better backup functionality
  • Improved keyboard
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE (to non-Lumia Windows Phones)
  • Feature to mirror Windows Phone screens to TVs and/or monitors

Things not included in the SDK:

  • Cortana
  • Action Center + Notification Center
  • new gesture-based keyboard

A final interesting note is how Windows Phone is referred to as WinPRT.

Windows Phone 8.1 Browser

We haven't been able to confirm the above list, so be sure to take each entry with a grain of salt. That said, it's looking likely Windows Phone 8.1 will be an impressive update, bringing across much anticipated functionality. Reddit user DDReaper compiled the sweet list, taking everything from other threads and bundling everything in a easily digestible experience.

Source: Reddit; thanks to everyone who tipped us!

Camera App
New camera app layout


New: USB Connections, Nav bar color, swipe down to close apps

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Comments

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Jas00555 says:

The new Youtube player makes it all worth it :D
Edit: also, what's WebGL? I see it mentioned all the time, but I don't understand its purpose

dhruv07 says:

Seems its worth waiting ...but hard to wait for dese bundle of features cmin up . May microsoft give suprise dat when de announce the update instantly its available on the servers ...!!!! :)

sepatown says:

Well, you can always get it on time via the developer preview program.

Cecewp8 says:

Can we make phone calls with windows phone 8.1? They didn't mention it.^^

OMG55 says:

I don't think they will release it before their upcoming event. Also there an article over on the verge that says they will be releasing an Android phone....I hope Microsoft isn't dumb enough to let that happen, but if so, I hope they will be releasing the surface phone prototype they were working on as a plan B. I don't understand why they won't because the don't have any support from cell phone manufacturers outside of Nokia. HTC & Samsung are just appeasing them, not really supporting their devices, so what do they have to lose by releasing a surface phone?

maclancer says:

WebGL (Web Graphics Library) is a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 3D graphics and 2D graphics within any compatible web browser without the use of plug-ins. WebGL is integrated completely into all the web standards of the browser allowing GPU accelerated usage of physics and image processing and effects as part of the web page canvas. WebGL elements can be mixed with other HTML elements and composited with other parts of the page or page background.[3] WebGL programs consist of control code written in JavaScript and shader code that is executed on a computer's Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). WebGL is designed and maintained by the non-profit Khronos Group.

Jas00555 says:

Lol I could've looked that up on Wikipedia. I meant what benefits will it give us compared to not having it?

maclancer says:

WebGL can bring the use of video streaming support with html5, which right now ie10 does not support it.

StevieBallz says:

Wrong ;) IE10 does support HTML5 Video Streaming which btw is a completely separate API. It so far however openend videos in it's own Windows. With IE11 on WP8.1 it seems to open the videos directly in the browser which should help with implementing a custom YouTube App based on HTML5. This however is in no way connected with WebGL.

WebGL could get interesting for browser based games. So far it is not widely being used. It's more about future proofing than anything else if you ask me.

a5cent says:

Yeah, not really. WebGL allows for interactive and hardware accelerated 3D content on web pages, without requiring any additional plugins. For example, Nokia uses WebGL to render 3D buildings on their maps website.

oolong2 says:

Not sure what you mean....  IE10 does support HTML5 video (progressive streaming).  However I'm sure sure there are some enhanced filters on top of html5 video that are only supported in WebGL.

incendy says:

Well, it will let you browse and use web sites made using WebGL.

lpforthewin says:

I could be wrong but i think google maps and bing maps use it for 3d rendering and things

shmsnh says:

I remember coming across WebGL incompatibility as one of the reasons Google gave for the Google Maps website not working on WP. But it started working soon after, so we all know that's not true.

jbrown9100 says:

WebGL also means the quality of the hardware you're running on can affect the experience you have with regard to graphics rendering in a browser.

3D online games through browser like in PC

Xrzysiek says:

Great news! WebGL = support for the new Photosynth 3D

drozdpatrick says:

Is this used for "truly wireless" charging?

Ezhik says:

Or you could just put in the second link and not seem like an asshole.

Aanze says:

Well it's actually a kind and funny way to show people what they can do by themselves.

You on the other hand, qualifying me as an asshole, are kinda rude. But that's ok, I forgive you, you're just the product of the internet.

Ezhik says:

It's not funny, it's mean. Don't pretend to be the better person because I happened to use a mean word.

barttool says:

Oh hey Ezhik, Regards from Facepunch~

Aanze says:

No. It's not. You chose to feel offended. There is absolutely nothing that can be interpreted as mean, except if you feel yourself stupid for not having used google yourself. I use this link with a lot of people, coworker, its a funny reminder of how to seek information, its actually usefull. You want to be offended, that's your choice, period.

Ezhik says:

Well it's just irritating and mean. Just linking to Google in the first place is not that nice, but this takes it to a whole new level. You could just say that OP should've searched or something, instead of linking to some mean website.

Aanze says:

Man.. You're repeating yourself, you're just stuck. Get over it already.

Ezhik says:

Trying to paint me as the bad guy instead of defending what you did won't work.

Aanze says:

Oh no, not the bad guy, just the saaad, sad embittered guy, so empty that he might at any time turn into a black hole which would suck up every once of humour in this world.

Ezhik says:

What's the humor in taunting people that just so happened to ask a question? 

ololmarc says:

Just shut up already. you lost.

Ezhik says:

I am a mere fanboy surrounded by an army of other fanboys. I can't ever win.

J88NY R says:

To be fair, the effort it takes to put in a link that says let me google that for you (which has been done to death, and isnt funny at all.) is about the same as just posting a helpful link.

Its not offensive, but everytime I see someone post it, I can't help but think, you're a dick.

You've never seen "lmgtfy" before? I think they even might have a Bing equivalent. It's a funny, snarky way to reply to lots of things on the internet. Don't take it too hard. It's the internet! Laugh, keep the site in mind for next time, and use it on your friends and coworkers.

Ezhik says:

Hell, everyone else needs to lighten up. I only called a person an asshole! Don't take it too hard, it's the internet.

Hykyba says:

Because, internets!! (am I doing that right?)

Ezhik says:

You're not allowed to have opinions on the internet!

Joshi Bonner says:

cannot handle you're own medicine eh?  than why mock this person if you cannot take you're own medicin!

Ezhik says:

When did I ever send anyone to LMGTFY?

Joshi Bonner says:

and it is halariouse, lighten up bud, and take a chill pill! its not the end of the world lol

Ezhik says:

Did you know that I can type mean words without being angry?

reefabit says:

Here, take this game as a good example. Hopefully we'll be able to play it on our phones after the update.

albadi88 says:

they should Make IE seperted Just like xbox music and videos so they can update IE with better service.

mikroland says:

I wish they would allow 3rd party browsers so we could get chrome and firefox on WP. As much as I like IE, most websites aren't developed for it (at least not the mobile version). Most websites are coded for webkit which seems not to be a standard...

ScubaDog says:

Good grief! Chrome? Firefox?  WHY?  Those both suck extremely hard.

kabloink says:

Extensions and cross platform support with syncing.

willied says:

I like FF for the most part. The excellent add-on support is the main reason why I use it.

Ezhik says:

Ahahahahahahahahahaha

OsamaAdam98 says:

I don't want to be that twat but, Shut up please. Your opinion is too disturbing to read.

Cruncher04 says:

[quote]Most websites are coded for webkit which seems not to be a standard...[/quote]

This should be enough reason to not support webkit at all!

jsnod25 says:

They do allow them, and there are a few in the store for free...

mikroland says:

3rd party browsers as in allowing the 3rd party browser low level API access to the OS. Currently 3rd party browsers just ride on top of the IE trident engine. So it's basically IE still...

ymcpa says:

Isn't that what Apple does as well?

pedrodg28 says:

But Apple uses the WebKit engine, which is the exact same engine used in google chrome in pc/android, therefor, they only need to make a skin and you have a fully funtional chrome

Nik Rolls says:

Apple's Safari Mobile Webkit is waaaaay behind Chrome, sorry. Safari's Webkit is extremely buggy. And Webkit and Blink (the fork of Webkit now used in Chrome, except Chrome on iOS) is still buggies than Gecko (Firefox) and Trident (IE).

Qazplm632 says:

What? I use Maxthon. And there are other browsers in Marketplace.

albadi88 says:

And they are #$&@ usless lagy and slow.

OsamaAdam98 says:

On windows phone it's probably the only place where IE would beat any browser for once in real life.

neonspark says:

YES. sorry but IE phone edition sucks big time and I say it as a long time fan. do you want to crash you windows phone IE, just browse to cost rica's national newspaper web site and watch IE wp edition crash:
www.nacion.com

ymcpa says:

It doesn't crash if you set it to desktop mode instead of mobile.

neonspark says:

you know what it also doesn't crash on? firefox and chrome for android. it just works...like it should.

TechAbstract says:

It works with UC Browser on WP8 too. Weird that it crashes on IE mobile. Maybe it doesn't like Trident engine and made for Webkit

Lumia 8x says:

For some hardcore fanboy who doesn't change the view mode from mobile to desktop says alot about you. Mine didn't crash on desktop view which I set it to all the time and you should too.

neonspark says:

IT'S A PHONE NOT A DESKTOP. I've heard mediocre excuses but to say you have to use IE mobile on your phone to desktop mode all the time so it doesn't crash is admitting it is a POS.

drozdpatrick says:

Whoa, rookie take it easy. Condemning a whole EU, because it won't pull up the costa nostra website is mean. I like the EU, why not tell your beloved hometown newspaper to sign up to WP instead of making MS adapt to every third party app! Stay positive for the rest of us!

Lumia 8x says:

POS? So you are saying smartphones aren't mobile computers? Btw why would you use mobile, dumbed down, mode when you can have it set to desktop mode that it was intended to view it as? Basically what you are saying is if you have a choice to view your GPS as 2D or 3D mode, you were complaining about how 2d mode doesn't let you see the road close up. wouldn't you set it to 3D even though the display itself isn't?

OsamaAdam98 says:

Dude, Sorry but you're the hardcore fanboy here making lame excuses.

ymcpa says:

i use desktop mode because many website's mobile version is crappy. frankly, this costa rica website is the first I've encountered that crashed ie. i don't know what code the website used that is crashing ie, but my whole point was that if you encounter the problem, there is a solution.

Wow never seen it do that before

vikrant6 says:

What is difference between Action center and Notification center?

backlashsid says:

None. They are the same...good morning

nanoware says:

I think it’s to separate the system/phone alerts, such as running out of disk space, app updates available, problems syncing etc from the actual notifications center. I think this is brilliant and will be unique to windows phone. As it is, I believe ios and android clutter EVERYTHING into one area.

 

 

http://www.wpcentral.com/screenshots-windowsphone-81-app-list-sorting-no...

Bloobed says:

action center lets you respond to notifications within the center, while notification center let's you (at most) start the app with some parameters

walter1832 says:

I think it is simiar to the way the iphone does it.  Swipe down from the top - notification center.  Swipe up from the botom - quick action's center.

radmanvr says:

Notification center informs you have things and action center lets you do things.

ymcpa says:

action center is a bar where you can toggle bluetooth, wifi, etc. Notification center is were you get messages and updates from various apps

nishan1501 says:

Does it mean that we will have an official youtube app for windows phone?

ymcpa says:

No, it will be a microsoft created one. However, Google has stated it won't block it as long as it uses HTML5 instead of native code.

Elitis says:

...If you would take a look at the screenshots, you can clearly see 'http://www.m.youtube.com' in the address bar. Microsoft didn't create anything. All Microsoft did was update IE so that it can use the new updates Google made to the mobile Youtube web app. You will still view Youtube through the browser. Nothing has changed really.

ymcpa says:

that is because that is what google is forcing MS to do. Google said they have to use html5. so, MS is improving the experience.

twelvetudors says:

Tbh it's kinda ugly though.

Nik Rolls says:

Wow, no one here seems to be able to put this simply: WebGL is 3D graphics for the web without plugins like flash.

Jas00555 says:

Thank you! Lol most people are giving me dictionary definitions that I don't understand, but you simplified it for me, thanks.

Thank u microsoft for my birthday gift its 14th april

IceCrush says:

mine if 10th :D

drozdpatrick says:

March 17, better late than ever says someone who's X-mad gifts got delivered Dec. 29! Thanks UPs!

jamzc92 says:

Hey I'm April 14th too! Woopwoop! Looking forward to 8.1

aemehran says:

But fb removed? Not looking forward to that!

Yup i ll miss that and the rewind, FF buttons of video player.

radmanvr says:

There is already a really good 3rd party youtube app that can play videos in windows instead of launching the video playing if that make sense idk. Basically you can hold it verticle and play the video.

elderjlward says:

What do you guys feel about the FACEBOOK integration being removed. Also un update by Mary Jo Foley based on a developers tweet NO MORE simultaneous blasts to Multiple social network accounts. I for one loved these features and they make WP unique. I've used those features, particularly the FB integration to promote to OS to others. The simultaneous "share" to social networks is even something Ben the PC Guy used when pitting WP against other devices. With all of these awesome features coming down the pipe it is very disappointing to see these elements of the OS which are part of the WP identity being eradicated. What are your thoughts. As the largest WP community on the web I'd like to know what we, the users, users feel about this. Share your thoughts.

ymcpa says:

I agree. The integration of apps made wp unique. I guess the problem is it's difficult to update apps when they are integrated into the OS.

Tomasz S. says:

Facebook integration with the Messaging app and People Hub was the soul of WP7.

It's really sad to see it fade away.

Let's hope we'll still get to fetch contacts from FB at least.

Zeroplanetz says:

II don't know if ill update my phone if it doesn't at least integrate the contacts list. That's a lot of contacts that would vanish. Pufffffff gone. :'(

drozdpatrick says:

Mine says sent from a Windows phone!

hyderaly says:

I know I wouldn't be happy if Facebook integration is removed... It would reduce my People Hub to a typical iOS/Android style contact centre... and deprive me of a vibrant LiveTile on my start screen... Luckily, someone has posted a feature request regarding this on uservoice, but it has only gathered 17 votes yet... let's try and make some noise... http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sugg...

sdreamer says:

Not a fan either, it supplied my contacts with their contact photos, heck I rarely even used the Facebook app because of integration. Hope this wont go.

Nik Rolls says:

Also it's not really a new YouTube player, but a new HTML5 video UI. It's part of IE11 and will affect anywhere embedded video is played on a website, not just YouTube.

Elitis says:

Thank you, you seem to be the only one who knows what he's talking about when it comes to HTML5. 

Nik Rolls says:

Developer by trade :)

Jim_MAY says:

Knowing the HTC record, this update will not come to the 8x.

wpn00b says:

Don't say that. Isn't your 8X up to date with GDR3?

twentythreee says:

My girlfriend (HTC 8X) received the GDR3 update earlier than my unlocked 920 ...

nickros182 says:

Yeah I got GDR3 eqy before my friend got it on his 928

stui83 says:

The bigger the story the crazier the comments!

Smart dial, file manager are the top choices

NIST says:

Note to Jay Bennett, the comment counter doesn't seem to accommodate 4 digits very well in the app. Just a fyi.

Hurry up MS, cant wait anymore ;(

Cormango says:

You will be waiting quite a bit longer. "Blue" is supposed to be announced at Build but won't likely land on current Windows Phone devices until mid-summer.

Paulo1300 says:

not if you have the developer preview which i am pretty sure 95% of the users that follow this blog do

Chemilinski says:

Hmm... I'm considering becoming a developer myself now..!
I'm so excited for this update, I'm proud I stuck with my Lumia, it's going to be great :D

wpguy says:

I'd like to see a poll for that. WPCentral Eds?

Cormango says:

I wouldn't say 95%. I'd say 95% of those who are using the developers preview are not actually a developer. LOL.

pedrodg28 says:

True, but hey, it's free, it's legal, and we get faster updates :)

MadSci2 says:

That's mid 2014, except on AT&T, where it will be mid-hell freezing over.

majortom1981 says:

That only happened once. the lumia 1020 on att got the black update before anybody else did.

That is only like one or two months.

TechAbstract says:

Now that Microsoft bought Nokia. The OS development speed has increased 10 times. This feels like WP10 update

Ali Assaedi says:

nope it hasnt, and they havent "actually" bought nokia just yet :P, so another nope :P

Bloobed says:

And they'll be buying the D&S division, not all of Nokia.

blackhawk556 says:

How do you know that?? We haven't received any number from either of them so we don't know.

Cormango says:

Microsoft is moving at a snails pace right now. I'm a huge WP fan, but I'm extremely disappointed that it's going to be nearly two years since WP8 release for Windows Phone 8.1 to hit the majority of WP8 devices.

TechAbstract says:

What has Apple added last two years?

neonspark says:

AN ENTIRE NEW UI for calendar, notes, browser, OS, well just about everything. An awesome notification center and a glance drop down similar to android. Plus everything MSFT is including in 8.1 today they ALREADY HAD.

 

honestly sir, MSFT isn't just behind. they are in a freaking another century.

2tomtom says:

But its still boring Apple with their tiny screens and blobs that do nothing in rows.

Seriously, there is a reason why a recent report on worldwide mobile sales said Apple declined in every market except China.......

neonspark says:

you can try to make MSFT look better by trying to make apple look not as good. but really? shouldn't MSFT just be better? Lowering the bar so MSFT doesn't look pathetic is kind of not facing denial that they remain seriously behind iOS, let alone android and that to this date 18 months later the OS looks nearly identical as the boring 2011 look they shipped with. Heck, think about this:

WP still doesn't have a calendar view for "week". I mean really? it's 2014 and windows phone still doesn't have the concept of a "week" nailed.

2tomtom says:

Apple share price was over $700 and is currently $535, the markets see what is happening, why don't you. Denial maybe!

You assume everyone wants what you want so therefore say WP is behind. Well WP is is perfect for my needs, so I am happy with what is here and what is coming.

neonspark says:

apple's iphone brought in more money than all of microsoft combined. just think about this. one device is bigger than all of microsoft. so before you go praising microsoft for well, not making any money on wp, and surely not brigning in the marketshare numbers the way android does to compensate: take a good hard look at the state of windows phone:

1) distant player to the top marketshare (android) king with no hopes of ever catching up but unlike apple, also brings in no money.

2) outfeatrured by both competitors in every regard. even windows phone 8.1 is but a subset of iOS and Android long stablished functionality. It's 2011 UI, it is loking stale and old having recieved no siginficant changes other than yet another tile size and about 6 new accent colors.

3) nearly 3 years in the market, and still not even averaging 100K apps per year. At this rate, windows phone will have the app catalog to match iOS's current catalog in well 7 years or more given it has slowed down.

So what is the MSFT proposition?

an OS that feature wise is 2-3 years behind the two leaders. virtually zero 3rd paty OEM support with only token devices from samsung which will not even release a flagship galaxy on WP at the same time as android. an app catalog that is 7 years behind. and single digit marketshare world wide.

and who is in denial now?

2tomtom says:

But you miss the point, I like WP the way it is. And with the coming update will like it even more.

Your augment above is irrelevant on this basis.

Apple share price and sales have declined and will continue to do so. Samsung will see to that. Apple market share is under 15% worldwide and they make so much money because they are overpriced and overrated.

If you want more apps then get a Windows computer, currently over 8,000,000 available. If you want innovation then get something not Apple. Phones now have memory cards, wireless charging, 4K video recording, super sensitive screens that work with gloves on, etc, etc. None of which Apple does.

neonspark says:

I have a surface pro. it doesn't make phone calls, it doesn't fit in my pocket. I hear there are these other "computers" which are called...smart phones. maybe I should leave windows phone and look into those...

ymcpa says:

I can get softphone software on my surface pro and it will make phone calls. I could even retrieve voicemails and faxes.

neonspark says:

ask WP central to make an article on how you replaced your phone with a surface pro. I'm sure we're all looking forward to see how you overcame the weight size heat and ridiculous factor.

dalydose says:

It sounds like you've already convinced yourself to leave.

Fritzly says:

I am not sure if you are just clueless about what you are talking about or.... worse. Anyway take a look at Apple stock chart:

http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/aapl/interactive-chart?timeframe=1y&charttype=line

 

neonspark says:

stocks stocks stocks. if wallstreet was a good judge of tech they wouldn't have created the .com bubble and FB and twitter wouldn't be worth what they think they are. BTW, take a look at apple's revenues for the iphone alone. they eclipse all of MSFT combined. this means iphone > windows, office, xbox, sql, erp, ....everything.

Stocks are for the investor. sales and revenue are the only measures of market success. apple has both. at least more than MSFT ever has done with all the WP combined.

2tomtom says:

Declining sales and rising share price = crash. That's what happened with the dot com bubble

3165dwayne says:

Why did you bring in the desktop? It has nothing to do with the current argument which is centered on phones. unless you normally take out your laptop whille walking on the street or something.

So, you're saying the iPhone in its lifetime has brought in more money than all of Microsoft (windows, azure, office etc.) has ever made? Yeah, It'd be great if you could stop talking out of your arse. Thanks.

2) outfeatrured by both competitors in every regard. even windows phone 8.1 is but a subset of iOS and Android long stablished functionality. It's 2011 UI, it is loking stale and old having recieved no siginficant changes other than yet another tile size and about 6 new accent colors.

And what has apple done to its UI? Oh, they copied microsofts ui! Oh, and how long did they sit on theyre previous UI? since Iphone started? Man, microsoft sure takes a long time to update there barely a year old UI huh?

2tomtom says:

The iPhone has a tiny screen with do nothing blobs, its boring.

And why are you iSheep on the WP site anyway, jealous much.

Perhaps you should be referred to as lost sheep

drozdpatrick says:

Its hard to break into an established market, so be patient, competition is good at times!

I concur! The outlook calendar is amazing on the PC...why can't it be just as amazing on the WP?

laserfloyd says:

Looks like a nice update to me. Keep in mind that MS is slowly merging their OSs to work across multiple devices.  That's already done. My SurfaceRT is an extension of my desktop machine. Apps, browsing history, skydrive, etc. Not bad IMO. :)

 

Also, we have Instagram now so what ELSE do we need? XD

Marco Gomes1 says:

They still sell over 50 million smartphones every quarter, roughly 200 in one year.

2tomtom says:

Yes they do, but that is currently.

Sales and share price have declined, so watch the trend continue. Why will people continue to buy an over priced and overrated phone?

To prove my point see the sales growth of Samsung recently, their phoned are half the price and do twice as much......watch the trend.......Blackberry is a fine example, as is Nokia.

neonspark says:

seriously? maybe if you want to highlight windows phone chances of ever being anything more than the thing that beat blackberry for next to last, you may want to stay away from telling us how much samsung loves android and how much android it ships, and how basically all of samsung's huge shipments and increase in shipments are basically ensuring windows phone will never, ever succeed.

If you want to make a case for windows phone.....err actually I give up. there is no case for windows phone, not if this update is any indication anyway.

ymcpa says:

What's wrong with this update? It pretty much covers all of the major, requested features. This will pretty much give it feature parity. Hopefully, the new API will encourage more developers to get on board. It wasn't the features that kept WP down, but the app development. IOS got a notification center and action center way after android and that didn't stop people from buying Iphones. People care about apps. From my personla experience, most people I know that use iphones have no clue what features it has. They know how to get apps and launch them and that is all they care about.  The same is true with PCs. Most people want to know 2 things: how do I install a program and how do I launch it. They could care less about the settings and keyboard shortcuts and right click menus that the os has built into the UI.

neonspark says:

no. wp is kept down by the fact it only just now shipped this as iOS and Android had everything long ago plus 1 million apps each. It has nothing to do with APIs or developer tools. consumers don't give a damn about that. when it comes to it, WP is a feature phone OS competing with smart phones. you may argue IT HAS REACHED PARITY, well with 2012 android that is. And get ready to wait 18 months for another update by which time android will be like walking on water and making you breakfast as MSFT ships a slightly more stupid version of siri.

If MSFT was serious, it would be shipping an update that would make android and iOS like last year news. Anything less and you just can't count on consumers caring. What's going to be MSFT sale punch line?

"windows phone, now with the same features as the phone you have but with less apps".

not exactly sales gold.

TechAbstract says:

"consumers don't give a damn about that. when it comes to it, WP is a feature phone OS"

It's has nothing to do with that. Apple and Samsung spend tons of money into advertising. Those two take up all the marketshares. WP8 with not many phones on the carriers and addition to the high end phones are exclusive to AT&T doesn't help either. Carriers tend to push iPhones and Galaxy phones too.

MaXi32 says:

Windows phone new features = New APIs. Both are related. I'm stuck developing an alarm phone when someone touches the phone it will automatically increase the phone volume to the max. Currently there is no API for that. This is the reason developers, like me not interested much on this platform. Keep in mind that most big companies before they created an app, the first thing they need to search is the availability of the APIs to implement the app. Developers are ignoring wp because of Microsoft lack of implementing new features (or API). Samsung Galaxy S5 with 3GB RAM is coming and I think people will switch to android back.

2tomtom says:

Interesting point but never moving to Android.

2tomtom says:

The iPhone has a tiny screen with do nothing blobs, its boring.

And why are you iSheep on the WP site anyway, jealous much.

Perhaps you should be referred to as lost sheep

dukrem says:

Wow Mr negative, it seems the only reason to be this aggressively critical of an update this big and important for the platform is that you don't want the platform to succeed. And the only reason for that is that you worry that it will in some way hurt your preferred platform.

Newsflash: your opinion is not important. Wp 8.1 will ship with or without your permission and people will buy it. I'm not saying it will be super successful, but it has all the features 99% of users want, it will be genuinely a competitive OS. And there are a couple of unrevealed surprises in store still like what the full capabilities of cortana are. Why not wait and see rather than popping an aneurysm in spite.

JoRdaNeK says:

This guy writes sense, people should have a read

2tomtom says:

Yeah, makes perfect sense.

Personally, I am like the majority if WP users, loving WP and loving the free updates coming.

2tomtom says:

The iPhone has a tiny screen with do nothing blobs, its boring.

And why are you iSheep on the WP site anyway, jealous much.

Perhaps you should be referred to as lost sheep

Fritzly says:

Do you use an Apple device? I do not, I have a Lumia and do not care what the competition does, less than ever when my OS lacks some basic features.

TechAbstract says:

Ok WP9 then

Tom Warren

"There’s a lot more, it would probably be more appropriate to call it Windows Phone 9 if only it had some big UI changes."

Posted on Feb 11, 2014 | 10:31 AM

saket87 says:

I hope they never Change the UI

Fritzly says:

Personally I would not mind if MS could adhere to its own guideline: the only tiles on my screen that do not follow the Accent color are MS ones: Skype, Office, Onenote, Music, OneDrive etc.

ScubaDog says:

Snail's pace?  Seriously?  Did you hear of GDR1, 2 and 3?  Those are OS updates, kid.

polychromenz says:

I actually thought that they were  oving slowly too but now we see why. There is so much in here that they have done an amazing job to get all of this done in such a short time.

neonspark says:

well except if your company name is google, not only did you functionally matched  iOS in just a few years (which WP still can't do) you pass them in a short two, and then you are approaching windows NT level of functionality even as microsoft is kind of just overtaking black berry. amazing job? for micro-slow? yes. for the industry? let's just say this team is only slightly faster than watching paint dry.

wpn00b says:

Actually, it took Android around 4 years to catch up to iOS. Remember Steve Jobs saying that iPhone OS was around 5 years ahead of the competition? Think about that...he was actually correct.

Microsoft didn't just graft touch functionality and just for the sake of it features on top of a buggy, insecure OS. They started with a fast, secure base that's admittedly barebones compared to iOS and Android, and are building upon it.

You did say "functionally match" so I'll give you that, but Windows Phone 7 & 8 haven't been around as long as Android and yet it's more secure and runs better on comparable hardware.

I may not know much about mobile operating systems but I believe Google and Android have more of an uphill battle than Microsoft and Windows Phone when it comes to reaching parity to one another. When WP can do everything Android can, it will do it "better" because it is a better quality OS.

This is all my opinion but its from my experiences over the past 7 years.

TechAbstract says:

I agreed, Android has a weak base. All the hardware fragmentation doesn't help. Still stutters and very buggy. It's becoming Symbian OS.

2tomtom says:

The iPhone has a tiny screen with do nothing blobs, its boring.

And why are you iSheep on the WP site anyway, jealous much.

Perhaps you should be referred to as lost sheep

neonspark says:

they are bug fixes mostly. the only diffence was they put a close box on the task manager...seriously? that was their big innovation in 18 months? apple well, just shipped iOS7 new UI.

adrian1338 says:

You call this a new ui? :O

neonspark says:

you call joe belifore's 4 accent colors and 1 new tile size a new UI and refuse to call apple's revamp of iOS a new UI?

 

leo74 says:

Why do I get the strange feeling you don't like WP? And why in the world would you then be on this site... Not everyone believes that Apples new OS was a step in the right direction. I personally know many Apple users who complain about not being able to downgrade... I rather have a UI I like and am happy to stick with it

neonspark says:

because you don't know. I've owned a WP since 2011. I'm a registered developer, published developer, featured developer. I was there when they shipped nodo, I hacked my device to install the pre-nodo update and had to fix my nearly bricked device. I know what "walshed" phones mean. I was there when nokia joined with my lumia 900. I had access to WP 8 invite only beta. I could have probably received this one. first in line to get a 1020. I could school you on WP. But enough is enough. I'm tired of their mediocre cadence. Windows 8 blue shipped almost a year ago and WP blue still hasn't shipped. and all for what? these features that they should have had?

I love WP, but love has limits.

cesar ruiz1 says:

I'm not a developer but I was the first and only 1 in line to get the Samsung Focus, I was carrying the HTC tilt 2. When I got home and started fooling around with the focus got kinda mad cause compared to the tilt is was a feature phone but i kept thinking with a few updates it'll be good. 2014 has come and with all these new processors and HD screens Windows Phone is still a pumped up feature phone with office. I never understood why Microsoft took all those features from windows mobile.

Fritzly says:

Because, unfortunately, they threw away the baby with the dirty water.....

MaXi32 says:

People who do not agree with you are just windows phone new baby fans. We have been wp users since ages and we have seen much how slow microsoft updates their os. They haven't experienced this because they are just new baby fans. I'm with you on this. We just don't want the next 'major' update of wp will take another 4 years after 2nd April. That time all wp baby fans will experience what we had experienced and they will have a hard time to face another baby fans. We need to kill this baby fans before it's too late.

3165dwayne says:

Thank you! finally some people who get it! I was with microsoft's platform (though I disliked microsoft's business practices) back in the days of the blackjack and treo 750. I also spent time with other mobile os such as palm os, blackberry os, heck even danger, but none of them matched the powerful windows mobile. I even got the HD2. Then windows phone 7 came out and it sucked when compared to windows mobile in terms of functionality. I mean, really, when windows phone 7 came out I dont think it even had copy and paste. something that windows mobile had for a while (I'm only comparing windows mobile to windows phone right here and am only refferring to the loss of a certain feature). I remember windows mobile was so advanced or incredibly flexible at the time that it was the only mobile os that was able to play flash videos at the time through TCMP using a plug in. I didnt mention skyfire because that dealt with server side rendering and most of the time looked like crap anyway. Android is the one that took the spot of king of functionality. If microsoft could ever give that much power and flexibility back to windows phone I would be all over it. I know a lot of people are going to go against me for saying this but I don't think there is any mobile os that can compare to Android in terms of flexibility since the thought of smartphones being like computers died off with windows mobile and is only some what alive in Android. Seriously, why is it that no one wants to give that much power and flexibility to there mobile operating systems anymore? Even with android I must say that the wind just blew into that direction. Windows mobile came with many tools baked in.

Giddora says:

They've had 7 years to make new icons and Vista/Metrofy their UI.

dalydose says:

Apple shipped what should have been codenamed "Infestation" with the amount of bugs in it. I'm not quite sure why you have such iEnvy in a WP site. They have another site where you can gush all over Apple. I haven't been there myself. I hang out in places to talk about thinks that I like. I'd think all of that negativity would get tiring.

rockstarzzz says:

People like you make me want to go out for a walk and never come back again!! Get real, seriously.

Deaconclgi says:

FACT: Microsoft did not and has not announced ANY plans to buy Nokia.

TechAbstract says:

Ok, they bought their phone division? Same with Google didn't buy Motorola.

MikeTheYid says:

They didn't buy Motorola. They bought Motorola Mobility. Motorola Inc ceased existence in 2011. They are not comparable.

TechAbstract says:

That's what I thought too

neonspark says:

boy did you buy the wrong OS.

neo158 says:

Reading your comments made me think the same thing about you as well, why don't you go buy an iPhone and leave Windows Phone for the rest of us!!!

Yangstax says:

No Cortana?  No excitment!

IlkkaV says:

I disagree. Cortana is one of the features I couldn't care less about. I have Siri on my iPhone, and I've used it maybe a couple of times. Can't see how I would suddenly feel excited about talking to my phone.

ymcpa says:

They didn't say no cortana. Cortana probably isn't included in the sdk. So, the developers wouldn't get a sneak peak at it.

That's what I'm thinking too. Especially if they want it to be as big of an announcement as possible.

ktl88 says:

Awesome features. Should have kept the Facebook feature too.
Would have also loved the option to reduce those massive fonts.
This update seems like a wp 9 rather than a 8.1
Thnx MSFT. Finally :)

tmh3593 says:

You can already reduce your fonts check in the settings lol

sosan says:

No, it still huge on my L1520..

OMG55 says:

So you gone to settings, ease of access, and used the slider to reduce the font and it doesn't work?

Jf.Vigor says:

That reduces font for texts but not headers

Switchfoot3r says:

Headers are supposed to be huge. They're part of the Modern UI (a.k.a. Metro) concept.

ScubaDog says:

Exactly!  In fact, that's what I like about the Windows Phone UI.  Sounds like Vigor would be happier with Android.

Jf.Vigor says:

Hey I wasn't the original poster. I'm just clarifying how it works in the 1520 (what I have). Been with windows phone since dell venue pro guy

Jf.Vigor says:

On windows 8 you can link fb to your live ID. Prob doing the same thing here

adrian1338 says:

Maybe the People hub shows ALL information now and maybe the information betwen outlook.com and Facebook and the Phone and WIndows 8 will show the same information. Same as the messaging hub

JPDVM2014 says:

Someone mentioned in the comments on The Verge, that in a previous arrticle by Tom Warren he mentioned allowing even deeper integration into the People Hub. (ie allowing 3rd party apps to patch into it) My feeling is they are removing the built in FB integration in favor of allowing the app to patch into the People Hub. This *should* allow updates to the FB integration without waiting for a OS update. At least this is what my optimistic mind is hoping.

Ali Assaedi says:

hmm thats interesting, "thats" how WP should compete, wasnt this how they wanted to differentiate themselves? ..  "People"

trinkner says:

It would be fantastic if the low-level API changes/additions would allow developers to create automated Sound Profiles, like going to silent mode automatically if there is a meeting on your calendar, or being able to silence your SMS notifications while still keeping your call ringtone active.  Anybody here remember how amazing Sound Profiles were on Symbian phones?

IceCrush says:

That and 3rd party patching to messaging hub would make this OS perfect..

trmnrs says:

Kind of like Skype does with my contacts!

Agent-P says:

Agreed. There are way more features here than I expected. And there's even a possibility more can get added as April comes closer.

I do have a question though. Anyone have any guesses as to how the Action Center will be different than the Notification Center? My impression is that the AC is used to manage the silent notifications and the NC is to manage the regular notifications. If my assumption is correct, it hardly seems necessary to separate them.

They just named their notification center, "Action Center". They are not two separate things.

Agent-P says:

The wording in the article makes it sound like two different things because in parentheses after the AC it says "separate from the NC". That's why I was asking.

thaman04 says:

It actually is 2 separate things.  Action Center is the quick actions on initial swipe down, Notification list is within the expanded Action Center.

Hey, can you solve a doubt to me? 

What's that 'facebook' feature?

Is the option to configure as one of the accounts in the phone ?

If was, Microsoft has made a mistake.

 

thaman04 says:

They didn't remove Facebook, it's just implemented a little differently.  You have to add it to your Connected Services in your Microsoft account (similiar to Windows 8.1).

Cormango says:

Microsoft is likely leaving the integration peice to the developers rather than building it themselves. If this is the case, then the FB app would take care of authentication and using the API's for integration. This is likely the case. This means any app could integrate with the people hub or be uses as a messenging app.

MatsuDano says:

This is what I'm thinking/hoping for. Most if not all social media services rely on the same model with user properties, friends or contacts, notifications, and an application layer. By building "landing pads" for all the data to go, they make it one stop shopping for the end user.

jamzc92 says:

Wow, this could mean that apps like WhatsApp etc could integrate straight into the messaging app! Awesome

neonspark says:

I loved the FB feature and so did my family. it was the one thing WP had that you could show to somebody and not be embarrased you had a windows phone. the live tiles updating with people's new pics and posts were awesome. I suppose that long term makes sense to let FB provide a proper FB experience. But why remove it? it can't be that difficult to do and keep supporting it.

kenzibit says:

I'm getting super-excited already. Oohh Windows Phone, how I love thee :-)

wpn00b says:

Hey, save all the Windows Phone love until after Valentines' day, lest you end up with a jealous partner. Even after the prior post, you're still heading straight for the doghouse! ;)

kenzibit says:

Hahahaha...yes brother, you are right. Have to do all the WP loving in hiding till vals day is over..lol :-)

Chemilinski says:

They won't get jealous.. my Windows Phone IS my Valentine ^-^

Me 2
White and Nerdy song playing
(I only know 100 decimals...)

Sheraz Ahmad says:

What about ability to save login details in IE?

You mean cookies?

Steven Curl says:

I think he means autofill.

yes , just like ie ask on a computer to save passwords , it is very handy to save username/id and passwords which is missing :\ hope 8.1 bring this up

Sheraz Ahmad says:

Yep that's what i meant. It makes life so much easier

Nik Rolls says:

That's an IE11 feature, so I'd be pretty sure that it's included. It's been mentioned as 'coming' in the past.

Edit: I thought you were meaning syncing browser preferences (including autofill) with your other devices.

I think that can be done using lastpass app which is available on store...

Tafsern says:

Actually, you need to open the LastPass app by itself, it's not integrated in the regular IE.

willied says:

Yes, but that requires a subscription, and there's no way to make LastPass the default browser...

adrian1338 says:

Would rather see Tracking Protection Lists there

London Jr says:

this is one of the features that makes wp8 feel like a beta...

MikeSo says:

IE needs an overhaul, and I hope this is one of those things it will allow.

Sheraz Ahmad says:

Wmpoweruser did an article today saying IE11 in WP8/1 will have password manager. Hope they're not lying

The one feature I don't see here, that I'd like to see in the future, is opening up the OS for third party browsers like Firefox, Dolphin and Opera.

Not a big fan of mobile IE, at all.

Jas00555 says:

Well, based on this post, IE11 will be so awesome that you'll want to use it!

Jas00555 says:

No, its IE11 according to the leaks

ie 12 ? windows 8.1 ships with 11 so why would they develop 12 just for wp8.1 ? ie 12 is reserved for next windows and wp updates

zettajon says:

We're on WP 8.0 right now with mobile IE10, so WP 8.1 would logically have mobile IE11

blackhawk556 says:

If drop down menus don't work with IE11, I'll be a little disappointed.

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