Windows Phone 8.1
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Exclusive - Video hands on with Windows Phone 8.1!

It has been nearly 18 months since Windows Phone 8 was released on October 29, 2012. In that time, Microsoft’s mobile operating system has seen three minor updates. That all changes today. Windows Phone 8.1 was has finally been announced by Microsoft. We go hands-on with Windows Phone 8.1 to give you a first look at the new operating system.

Windows Phone 8.1 builds on the NT kernel that was introduced in Window Phone 8. Users can expect to buy devices loaded with Windows Phone 8.1 later this month.

The introduction of Cortana and a notification center are by far the biggest headline changes coming to Windows Phone 8.1. Although you will find plenty of smaller fixes that all together add up to a substantial new experience. Check the video out above and let us know what you think.

WP 8.1 App

Have any questions about Windows Phone 8.1? Hit up the comments below. 

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Reader comments

Exclusive - Video hands on with Windows Phone 8.1!

219 Comments

when will Mobile Nations have an option for showing Most Recent Comments First so losers like you will fall to the bottom of the pile where you belong?

yet some how your comment is on topic...... anyway I wonder if there will be a update for the preview program in the coming weeks

So tempted to download the developer preview app...will be too long to wait for the carrier update on this one :D

What about ability to save games on sd card.?

ND the ppl are lucky dere to get free Xbox one nd 500dollars

Stunning ! But how come you had this article ready ? SO you did actually have a test piece right ? AND a video ready too, to surprise us ! :)

 

Anyone got their tounges hanging out yet ?

Yeah, it's been pretty obvious - they have been TOO quiet about it. :) Personally I am glad they can shut up, that means they can be trusted.

i am the first guy to comment on the official announcement of Windows Phone 8.1 on wpcentral

i think i deserve a new lumia hahahaha

Read the article, at the end they say: users can expect to buy phones loaded with wp 8.1 at the end of this month

I think he means for *existing* devices out in the wild, i.e. when will a downloadable update be available.

Considering that most carriers' goal is to get you to buy a new phone, or re-up your contract, the roll out will probably be slow for carrier branded devices.  Yes, probably end of 2014 or this time next year.

This is why I'm not leaving android. Until the WP world has something equivalent to the nexus line I wont jump ship. I've been following the development of WP since it arrived and now with 8.1 it looks really attractive. My next phone will probably be a WP device but it wont happen until there's a device that receives all OS updates straight from MS like they do for Windows. I think a lot of people, especially those who like me are long time windows users but with android phones, feel the same.

You can get Developer Preview independent of carriers intervention. Only phone specific firmwares have to be approved by the carrier

well we already have that capability...its called developer preview..many expect we will be able to download winphone 8.1 next week. Looking forward to it on my lumia 1520.

Soon this will happen. Nokia's phone division will belong to Microsoft possibly at the end of the month.

Same for me. I actually owned a Nokia 920 but switched over to the LG G2 because there was just so much more things on Android compared to WP8, so now it is going to be my travel phone when i go out of country. I was VERY optimistic, maybe even too optimistic, but i was sure that MS would make sure that WP8 would not be left behind, but look where we are now. There's definitely been improvements since launch, but those improvements are almost nothing really. Nothing to the average consumer at least. Remember, you have to appease them not the people who are already sold onto the platform 

I really agree with you and it doesn't necessarily have to be just straight up MSFT to do the update, they just need someone who is going to be pushing updates fast. My LG G2 came with 4.2.2 and LG announced that in Q1 i would get 4.4.2 and on March 14, i got the update. Hell Nokia should sell the phones like Google and update them the same way Google does to Android. Once they have that, then we can see something.

To the people that are just going to say developer preview is the way to get it. The people who are reading this are probably not the "average" consumer. There needs to be a way to get these updates without having to do some workaround. This is what WP needs, a dedicated line up of devices that are guaranteed to be getting the latest and greatest updates straight from MSFT/Nokia

I just went into Phone Update and it's downloading something. Have they pushed this for devs already?

Can't watch the video at work, YouTube is banned!

Swype, a notification center and personalized start screens are what I thought Android had over WP. Now that 8.1 is on it's way and it's right around the corner I'll not be needing my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 anymore. It's going up on eBay as soon as I can update my Lumias 1020 and 1520.

Nice! Pull down notifications, independent volume controls, wallpaper, voice assistant! Welcome to Android, circa 2009!!!

Don't you guys think, the next 8 days are gonna seem the longest 8 days in your life?? Sure like hell they are gonna be in my life.. ;)

It should be available to all manufacturers that want to make a WP. There are talks that Samsung's bringing us a WP 8.1 device.

It looks like Skype still really isn't integrated into the OS.

Maybe, WP9?

If it's treated like a third party service, what was the point of buying it, again.......?

It is more integrated, hence the Cortana control of it.

Its also much faster, and you can uplift a standard telephone call to Skype, the Skype video.

(It will also auto login now based on your MS account)

Its all good now.

He pulled up a movie to watch on his phone. Is that something that will require an Xbox or will our WP be able to download and play movies independently from Xbox?

Looks great, although not liking too much how e.g. in the photo gallery there is no longer one of the face pics on the background, and in store no app picture/grahpic on the background. Looks a lot more bland/boring now.

LOVE LOVE LOVE that the space key is a little more to the right. As it is now, I VERY often tap the comma instead.

Agreed.  The photo "hub" looks very boring now.  Why did they change it?  That was one of the nicest areas of the OS.

I'm happy that they keep the "hub" integration of social networks, even if it's in a new form. Looks good.

I have a question. Do developers finally have access to recorded videos in WP 8.1? I have been patiently waiting for a video editing app to come along.

Is it possible to have the menu background photo adapted to the Bing photo of the day? Like you can have now with your start screen with WP 8.

Quick question, will I lose my warranty if I use the developer preview? 'Cause I don't want to wait for stupid carriers, but I also don't want to lose warranty.

Go to Nokia Care and revert it back to black. Carrier won't even know. You can do it yourself too - Use Nokia Software Updater for Retail.

Why did you expect that? There has not been any indication or hint of a file manager. I doubt there will ever be one.

I wish they add a Q (quick bar) from the bottom and swipe up to quick view your favorite or most used apps like phone, messaging, email and other apps you prefer.  Easier to access your phone/email/messaging instead of pressing the window key or scrolling back when your doing something like watching a movie or playing a game or browing the web.  So whatever you're doing you can launch the Q to make a quick call without leaving the app that you're on.  Just a thought.

Pressing the window key is now disabled so make something out of it to make it useful and user friendly.  Hold the window key and launch the Q to view the phone/messaging/email or whatever app you want.

So dont forget to tell us what happens with things like Bing vision and music now that cortana takes over the search button

Patience fella. Read though the comments, over the next couple of months for developers. And its easy to sign up as one without being a developer.

Over the next couple of months if you have the developer preview app installed and sign up for it.

So RT apps can be re-coded to use as a universal app on WP8? or can be used as-is on WP8? i was waiting for Build to help be determine whether i'd ditch the 1520 for a Surface LTE, but if RT apps are coming to WP8, then i might just stay with the 1520.

I had the same question and got a yes but nothing to back it up. Dan didn't say anything about in the video so I'm on the fence

so, will cortana be available in the dev preview outside US?..
coz in the announcement joe told that cortana will first be available in US then UK and Canada and then rest of the world!...
 

What about the WhatsApp update!!!!??? It ll b irritating if it still crashes on wp8.1!!!! N Facebook app by Microsoft corporation is bullshit!!! It doesn't have many features like upload photo comments etc etc.. Please concentrate on these issues n fix them...

Well Daniel could you also please do a review on email functionality? I am eagerly looking forward to feature like multiple email attachments.

I really like the Windows 8.android update. The notification center is identical to the Samsung variation of the notification area. And its really the only thing I missed coming from android, so glad that Windows phone will have it now. It was inevitable, but I understand Microsoft's hesitation, they wanted to be different. Now they're still different with the standard interface and unique wallpaper.

there is no chance I'm letting my carrier take their sweet time giving us the official update...an update of this magnitude! I made that mistake for GDR3, but not this time. Just signed up for the developer preview.

 

Such a revolutionary update. The video kept making my pants tighter and tighter.

I hate the seperation into multiple apps, especially if they don't even have the same functionality as they did way before. Like the "swipe to skip to the next song" which isn't there anymore. Great feature implemented by Microsoft, used by others, dropped by Microsoft...

Just had to say that.

When does windows phone 8.1 one come out as an update for Nokias running windows phone 8? (Pls spare me sarcasm, I'm not a techy).

3 tiles for all screen sizez yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Most important question and the most important feature I want to know if they finally added: IS THERE NOW A SMARTDIALING OPTION in the phone? For the Love of Kittens, it's a phone first, can it do that well first? Please let us know, does it now support smart dialing?

 

Thanks.

  When I first read about the swipe feature for the keyboard, I wasn't really all that interested but after watching the hands-on demonstration, I'm definitely looking forward to trying it out. And Cortana looks like it will learn and become more self-aware..., I mean useful, as time goes on. Hopefully, Verizon won't hold the 8.1 update back too long for "testing."

People where like many features are coming.
But where is the File Manager and Wifi Direct? Ability to store apps on SD card?

At minute 17:02 in Daniel's video you can see they have split up "music + videos." It's only "Music" now. No more hub I s'pose. I guess my gut feeling was correct...Music and Xbox Music appear to be separate.

Great video - but why the heck was Daniel filming it in Westborough?! I saw the Starbucks location and was like why does that address sound familiar - oh cause its down the road! Want to toss me that Lumia haha

Very nice features, here are the list im wishing they could have included. But im happy with wp8.1, maybe theyll include this soon.

file manager
universal search
multitasking/multiwindow for 1520
updated office
cortana to work on a bing background and not on a black plain background
data toggle on quick access. I wish i just missed it
actionable notification , clicking email notification will open outlook
usb on the go

Well I was wrong, I thought that Nokia would at least stay true to having the camera button but since this phone does not have it, its all over folks :( RIP dedicated camera button!

Hello Guys.

 

I'm Hiago Lúcio and I have a group on WhatsApp for discuss about Windows Phone and Build 2014.

 

Please follow the group for more news.

+5521997558167

can we create proper playlist on music hub? please someone answer, i really dont want to carry iPod in my pocket anymore.

Storing apps on SD card is the biggest reason why I'm considering switching back to WP from Android! WHOOOOOOOOO!!!

Also, when are the Lumia 630/635 coming to the US? Are those under-$200 prices off contract?

guys, one of the features im looking for is the ability to play media using my micro-USB port, such as connecting to a car aaudio system, which does not have BT. Is that feature enabled in WP 8.1

I CANNOT WAIT! My inner fangirl is going to blow up social media with an influx of happiness when Windows 8.1 releases. ^__^

I'm also glad I didn't replace my broken Lumia 928 with the Icon now that 8.1 adds the extra row of icons. I got another 928 and will wait out getting the Icon until my upgrade next year.

i could not find an answer while searching so i am asking here. Is there any change about vibration settings? Is it still vibrate then ring or will there be also vibrate and ring choice in settings?

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