Start Screen Background Apps

Spice up your Windows Phone 8.1 Start Screen with OneStart

No Cyan until September

Some phones in India not getting Lumia Cyan until September

Cortana for your interests

New video shows how to add interests for Cortana

Lumia Cyan Update

Cyan going to Italy soon for the 1020?

New phone alert

All green Lumia 1520 now available from AT&T

Call me maybe

How to speed dial on Windows Phone 8.1

Cyan on AT&T

Lumia 520 and 925 on AT&T finally get Cyan and 8.1


Microsoft ends Device Hub beta, included in Lumia Cyan

How To

Want the Lumia Cyan update? You need to downgrade your phone first.

How To

Here's how to move apps to your micro SD card


Demo of the Animated Lock Screen for 8.1

Windows Phone News

Here's a sneak peek at Lock screen apps on Windows Phone 8.1

General News

Microsoft launches new training portal to get you started on Windows Phone

Windows Phone News

Lumia Cyan comes to the Lumia 925 on O2 in the U.K. and to the Lumia 625 on Ireland's Meteor

Windows Phone News

Long awaited Lock screen app for Windows Phone 8.1 almost ready for public beta

Windows Phone News

Microsoft releases helpful video to get you started with Cortana


Microsoft's aiming for flagship Windows Phones, killing Nokia X but selling MixRadio

Windows Phone News

O2 UK shares details on the Windows Phone 8.1 update, teases visual voicemail

Windows Phone News

Preview for Developers users need to rollback for Cyan

Windows Phone News

Cortana showing a stock chart is a nice touch on Windows Phone 8.1


What’s your one must have feature for Windows Phone 8.1?

With the light at the end of the tunnel becoming visible with Windows Phone 8.1 an interesting discussion is taking place in the WPCentral Forums.

We are expecting Windows Phone 8.1, codenamed “Blue” to be announced next week at Microsoft’s Build 2014 conference. New Windows Phones running Blue should arrive sometime this summer and current devices are expected to be upgradeable. Rumored features for Windows Phone 8.1 include Cortana, actionable notifications, dual-SIM support, a file picker, and micro-SD card support for apps.

But what if you could only have one of these features?

Windows Phone Central member Coolaaron88 asks that very question in this WPCentral Forums discussion.

 “If Windows Phone 8.1 only had one new feature, which one would you choose?”

So far, the responses to Coolaaron88’s question mirror the rumored features with Cortana and a notifications center being the popular choices. If I had to pick only just one feature it would likely be the notifications center. It would be nice to have a central spot where you can go and review all those toast notifications that disappear before you can read them.

But what say you? If you could only choose one feature for Windows Phone 8.1, what would it be? Ease on over to this Forums discussion and share your thoughts.



There are 617 comments. Sign in to comment

S Vaibhav says:

Updates w/o carrier interference :)

Mestiphal says:

Technically with Preview for Developers Microsoft has that under control, now it's just up to Nokia to get their act together with the damn Black update still awaiting approval in some places.

dcutting says:

Technically that doesn't count. People shouldn't have to sign up for a dev account to get updates without carrier interference

hotraia says:

WPC (in the picture) is a PhotoShop edit zoom in the picture and you will see.
Busted George ponder

pickypg says:

Unfortunately, this does not prevent carriers from blocking firmware updates.

infosage says:

I have to agree on the updates with the carrier, because I am assuming the USB support, Action Center, and Cortana come with that one.

I wish Window Phone 8.1 ran in a split screen on Windows 8 (perhaps emulator style).

Slide down to close apps is very faster than current situation

theroyboy44 says:

And just aesthetically more beautiful!

2tomtom says:

And remove those bloody X's.


Those miniture versions of the apps are little masterpieces and are destroyed with a big horrible X. So agree, if its swipe to close only.


Just saying

muvig says:

as for me, i don't mind the X s' 

traceamar says:

Independent volume control

tribexx says:

This, or for the US folks, the ability to buy the same Nokia device across ALL carriers.

Yugiro says:

+1520! +920!

dcutting says:

+1 would love an icon, but on at&t

2tomtom says:

+ 920 in the UK.

Kacey Green says:

Hopefully MS pulls this one off after the deal goes through. Maybe sell the Flagship and cheapest devices from their stores unlocked too!

TheBadGuy_88 says:

+all the numbers for the new models N̶o̶k̶i̶a̶ Microsoft comes out with combined!!

dalydose says:

How us that an OS feature?

PaulKinslow1 says:

Yes, Independent volume control.

Independent volume control


  • we need this!!!

Donny James says:

Yes, everything. Only that will do. 

duk3togo says:

New Hardware!!!!!!!

jason8957 says:

Copy music from OneDrive to my phone instead of having to cable.

The_Lord23 says:

Yes. I've been wanting that for ages!

ThePKReddy says:

You can transfer via WiFi. There is an app which supports this. I believe its called musicdrop

Novron says:

Universal file manager and WiFi synching

GodlikeNay says:

All the new bells and whistles are nice, but one of the main things I've wanted since switching to WP a while ago is the basic functionality of navigation buttons in the Browser. Give us navigation buttons! I can't believe I even have to ask for that. Its like having a freaking car that only turns left.

The_Lord23 says:

+1 The absence of a 'forward' button irritates me

Yangstax says:

and more.  :-)

mobilejk says:

Bluetooth keyboard and mouse profiles for my 1520's. I can't fricken believe it's taken the WP team almost 4 years to "add" a feature that was standard on WM years ago! Absolutley ridiculous.

Whodaboss says:

The ability to dial a contact in your phonebook by name. I miss this feature. Otherwise I'm good.

LSDigital says:

Or you could ask cortana witch pending notifications you have :)

Asceish says:

Actionable notification would be my choice...

LSDigital says:

Or you could ask cortana witch pending notifications you have :)

shaan sarode says:

Not if I'm in a quiet class!

ThePKReddy says:

Or a business meeting

Rishicash says:

Or in church or while having sex.

hs k says:

Play to from Xbox and PC without smartglass or anything. Just swipe and share from PC to phone if your PC and phone are on a same network

ZX9 says:

Heck yes! ...if it works.

If I may add to that concept with true cross platform play. Start a game on your Xbox One, head out to a buddies place while playing on your Windows Phone, and start play on their Windows 8 rig. I know this is not an announced feature but I do hope this is one of the things they push Azure to do.

LSDigital says:

Problem is, azur still isn't that cheap for a $1 app

VenumX says:

ive been wanting this feature since WP7 i dont understand what the big deal is, you have full control over Windows 8, xbox one and Windows Phone software, why not take advantage of that and build a full ecosystem! At least full screen mirroring for the xbox one needs to be there. and an updated smartglass experience for each individual app / game. 

TechFreak1 says:

For a start you need a consistent, fast and unlimited internet connection which not everyone has. Currently It would only work on the same wi fi network to make it seamless or if it had a pause function that saved the state and resumed when from that state when internet connection resumed or were able to play offline with cached data (Maybe with direct x 12?). But even then you will need plenty of storage to play offline.

unnatixlr8 says:

A feature where "seems faster" messages automatically disappears.

Neo Nuke says:

Still the first one to mention it :P

Mestiphal says:

Fifth comment within two minutes, nice!  Definitely the commenters seem faster

MrSimmix says:

This comment seems faster

theroyboy44 says:

Notification+Action Center

LSDigital says:

You could ask cortana witch pending notifications you have :)

No thanks. Action centre please.

Robert Grant says:

1) Don't copy and paste your answer.

2) Definitely don't do it with a spelling mistake.

DJCBS says:

I think it's the quick settings for me. Not even the notification centre itself. Just really the quick settings.

Yeah, I gotta agree on this. I mostly want the quick-access settings. But there are so many things packed into this update, that it's hard to pick just one. I admit I do want Cortana to be amazing just so I can laugh at Siri and Google Now fans.

Cerif27 says:

That's what I would probably say. Cortana a close second.

DJCBS says:

Yeah it's hard to pick. Separate volume settings came to my mind close to the quick settings. And I can think of a bunch of other stuff too. In the end, I went with the thing that I use the most during the day. And that's the quick settings.

ddewar10 says:

I'm with ya. I hate trying to find the best shortcut to the settings menu to turn WiFi on and off

DJCBS says:

Yeah, I created shortcuts with Skinery Themes. Basically tiles that lead you directly to the desired settings page (not the general settings). It cuts one tap and the need to go through the endless list of settings. But I still have to leave whatever I'm doing to change the settings which is far from ideal.

MrSimmix says:

I don't want to go to a settings page, I just want to be able to turn WiFi on/off then and there.

DanaOira says:

I just use the Battery app from Arthur Semenov. Quick settings for WiFi and airplane mode!

SenneVc says:

Same here. I really hope that you can horizontally scroll the 4 quick settings you chose. So you can have more (just like Arthur's Battery app)

Deamion says:

I don't understand why quick settings are so important.

I get that it would be nice to have a quick menu for these settings (Not everyone leaves Wi-Fi, BT, and NFC on all the time), but out of all the features rumored to be coming, I think the quick settings menu is far from the most important feature.

I can't remember that last time I had to go to the settings menu, so why would I need a faster way to do it?

What am I missing??

2tomtom says:

I use wifi and bluetooth settings every day. I use connectivity tiles for that, so not really an issue. I do also use the equaliser for playing music. Have not found a direct tile for that. So understand both sides of this.

DJCBS says:

I use them everyday to turn on data connection or wi-fi connection on the move. I use them to turn on battery saver. I use them to turn on and off the auto-rotation. So it's very important to me to have a quick way to access those things no matter what I'm doing.

I have to turn WiFi off everytime I go to the mall or I can't get online or download email, unless I want to pay to use their network. Then turn it back on when I leave the mall.

theroyboy44 says:

True the quick settings which I think is the action center but since I see then as a unit I group em

LSDigital says:

What if Cortana could do everything all of you ask here? may She caaaan :D

DJCBS says:

I'll be honest: I have little to no intentions of using Cortana at all...

From my iPad experience, I'd still find it faster to swipe up and toggle wifi / bluetooth than pressing down the home button a few seconds to launch Siri, ask it (her?) to turn off bluetooth, wait a few seconds for the processing and confirmation.

Cortana cannot replace quick settings.

Jackalneck says:

Apps on SD card for my 16GB AT&T 1520.

theboas1234 says:

I have 4gb htc 8s...

8gb 521 so apps on SD card would be my choice, especially with Spartan assault and asphalt 8 taking over a Gb each.

dorkitude says:

I had to give up trying to manage podcasts on my 521 because of the limited system storage. It is crazy that I can put a 32GB sd card in my phone and then have limited access to it.

benlee78 says:

If you can live with the "Xbox Music & Videos" implementation of Podcasts, it will save them on the SD Card. That's what I ended up doing. Plus, it automatically downloads all of the new episodes for you.


If Nokia's MixRadio stored downloaded playlists on the SD Card, I'd be in heaven :)

dorkitude says:

I really can't though. MS's implementation is so broken it makes me want to cry.

Unless something major changed there is a limited amount of content available, they don't let you manage which podcasts to download (so ones that have 300+ episodes try to download all of them and you have to mark them played one by one)... I'm sure there were other things that bothered me, but I just gave up and use my Nexus with pocketcasts instead.

joe_easton says:

This feature is being overlooked because many WP do not have a SD card slot.  But this is a huge feature for the entry level phones like the 8S, 520 series etc.  It will help break into new markets.

And make us 1520 users feel better about our crippled devices ;)

drozdpatrick says:

Yes, give me my new phone Ms.

Robert Grant says:

This. My wife's 8S has about 5 apps and 4 games, and is constantly running out of space. I have to delete everything and remove her accounts (e.g. Facebook) to get enough space to install OS updates.


fishfingers says:

I approve this feature

immyperez says:

I want this feature for my 2520! Tried doing the regedit thing twice and failed! Shouldn't have to go to such lengths to install apps on my 64gb micro SD... that's 3 times I had to refresh my rt...done now!

MrSimmix says:

Yes! Forgot about that.

Better sharing with Xbox one!

cyborg4 says:

Cortana and Action Center

Cortana sounds cool! I still think they should offer Windows Phone vouchers with the Xbox 360 and Xbox one!

theonedunn says:

Lessening "other" storage space

Neo Nuke says:

I don't know how some people say this bug has been squashed when I've deleted over 3 GB of games to make room for photos and video that I later upload to onedrive and delete from my phone only to be told I'm running out of storage again and I have 3.9 GB in other storage. Frustrating beyond belief.

Whodaboss says:

Have you tried clearing out your temp files?  Also, how often do you clean out your History in internet explorer?  And don't forget if you receive emails if you delete those on your phone you should delete everything in the deleted folder.  Those simple tricks work for me in getting additional space.  However, I don't know if they ever fixed the bug in which when you upload photos and movies automatically to Onedrive it actually copies the files in the "other" storage area.  That's why I have never moved photos that way.  But those are just some suggestions.

sharathu7 says:

Yeah same here... Out of my 8gb... 2.3gb goes for other storage... :(

ebin5 says:

We can control what's in other storage by connecting to computer with wp8.1 as revealed by Facebook group wp lovers.

LSDigital says:

Or you could ask cortana witch pending notifications you have :)

shaan sarode says:

Idk if you're being sarcastic or not, but ita just not practical. Cortana is fun and all but not practical always. In a quiet environment or library am I supposed to leave the building to check notifications? Sure in a car I don't mind speaking or while walking outside but action center over cortana BC rather have the ability to operate it always rather than only in special situations.

pukem0n says:

Action Center

App installation on SD card and File manager like in Android and symbian phones.

+520!! and xbox 360 controller support!

DreadVenom says:

+360 for 360 controller support. Come on MS, u own the proprietary comms signal that the controller uses.

File manager!! Tired of having to connect to my comp. To add music/mixtapes.

drozdpatrick says:

Wtf ru talking about? Not sure I know what feature your talking about. Downloading mixplayer?

Like downloading zip files and extracting them. Most mixtapes (HipHop) are uploaded in zip files. I want to be able to download them from the website its hosted on directly to my phone. Can't do that now. It'll just play the songs but not locally save them.

B1zzle says:

I am not sure if it will be possible with 8.1 but I would LOVE being able to designate a different sound notification for each of my (5) email accounts.

apoelin says:

Give it a couple of weeks, and I have a good feeling you'll get an option for this :) However, I am talking about a third-party app; I don't know anything about WP8.1.

LSDigital says:

Why not a pretty lady that does everything you ask her to do? :p

akks says:

Apps on SD card in my 820 with 64GB SD card

neo_sank says:

Background download enabled for all apps even in mobile data

JoeyyDon79 says:

Action Centre!!!!!!!

drozdpatrick says:

Lame! Third party apps take care of that (except brightness, perhaps). Get with it.

twelvetudors says:

No they don't. Making me go to my start screen and clicking another tile when I just want to turn off rotation lock for a video on reddit isn't "taken care of"

LSDigital says:

"-Cortana, turn off rottation lock"

you won't even have to go to the homescreen! :)

I think in most cases people prefer to do it themselves rather than speak to their phone. Ask an iPhone user how often they use Siri.

mikecel79 says:

Action Center/Notification Center!

KickAssLumia says:

Action center has got to be the most important feature. As simple as it may be, its an extremely useful feature. Swipe based keyboard is my second biggest attraction as it sits.

drozdpatrick says:

Like swipe based. Hope it works as I imagined it would.

LSDigital says:

What if Cortana could notify you or set wifi/data/bluetooth state?

"-Cortana, turn off rottation lock"

you won't even have to go to the homescreen! :)

merchan says:

When I was using android, I also thought that hardware toggles were very important but now on windows phone I think they are a waste of time and a gimmick. Not all of them are (like airplane mode, maybe mobile data, access to wifi networks, flashlight...) but toggles for bluetooth, location services or wifi are pretty much useless. It's a smartphone. It manages battery very well for its components. They don't need to be turned off. They are there to be used everytime they are required.

Aashish13 says:

Apps to sd card and cortana, bing smart search.

Joel S79 says:

Glance for the Icon. :)
Individual volume controls

neonspark says:

windows phone 9.

OMG55 says:

8.1 & 9 & surface phone

ebin5 says:

First we may have to wait for wp 8.5

2tomtom says:

Why not really go for it.....WP10

neonspark says:

I don't know of Satya has that much patience.

ttarbuck says:

Action centre. Cortana sounds good but its more of a joke to play with instead of an actual useful feature.

Sean D. says:

A joke? Care to elaborate?

xaeryan says:

A penguin walks into a bar...

LSDigital says:

Or she could do everything for you:

"-Cortana, read my new messages"

"-Cortana, who called me?"

"-Cortana, turn off rottation lock"

you won't even have to go to the action center screen! :)

2tomtom says:

Sounds great to me.

Talderon says:

I will have to completely disagree with you about Cortana being useless. I have an iPhone with Siri and it is cool. Cortana is WAY better and more useful. It's become a very vital part of the phone for me.

Daniel Curry says:

What's the difference between an action centre and a notification centre?

Sean D. says:

Look up Windows PC action center, and it'll make sense.

Rem97 says:

Nothing really, the notification centre is a part of the action centre. In the action centre you have actionable settings and notifications.

97_fuller says:

Absolutely everything!

Aaqib Malek says:

action center nd micro sd card support for apps

OMG55 says:

Scott Croyle from HTC needs to be brought in to the Microsoft fold for design......

neo_sank says:

Bluetooth sharing for all types of file including videos and all that.

Aashish13 says:

Sending multiple files with Bluetooth at once

neo_sank says:

Ohh,that's cool

Montpbm says:

Cortana & Action center. Everything to lol.

OMG55 says:

A surface phone disguised as goldfinged to house wp8.1

Meshal 13 says:

Quick sitting on action center

Ruzzy_wp says:

1 simple thing really when I press the speach button in my car I want my phone to start the speach prompt like it does with every other OS out there (obviously if that includes Cortana thats even better)

my car system is pretty standard the RNS 315 used in many cars but still this simple thing is an issue with WP

thzman says:

Notification LED and action center.

iGeorge23 says:

Notification LED? Isn't that hardware dependent?

Jealy666 says:

Could use the flash.

To clarify, the light - not Barry Allen.

2tomtom says:

This I would love. The Windows symbol flashing when any notifications, emails, texts etc have been received.


The Windows symbol llights anyway...

thzman says:

Yep, that's what I meant. I don't know why, but it should not be that hard to implement somehow.

LSDigital says:

sorry but for at least 40% of people, it doesn't light up!



Rem97 says:

Action Centre.

cmgss says:

Legit multitasking or Cortana. #torn

wraedeo_hed says:

Audio streaming over bluetooth

What do you mean?   I stream music (Xbox music, Nokia Music, Digitally Imported, etc) over bluetooth all the time.  Both to bluetooth headphones and through bluetooth in my car.

My must have WP 8.1 feature? A quality Nokia device available on Verizon.
Sure the Icon is a good device, but without double tap to wake, Glance or microSD, it's a hobbled device in my opinion. Besides I want Nokia device specifically designed for and released with WP 8.1... otherwise, I may reluctantly switch to AT&T.
As for actual 8.1 features, Action Center and Cortana have me most excited, but improvements to music syncing is a must - particularly playlists.

Sean D. says:

Hobbled...? Wow.

apocacrux says:

He literally said in his comment. No double tap to wake or glance screen. Which are just two of the many reasons to get a Nokia WP8

I love Glance and tap to wake, but a microSD slot is crucial to me.
The Icon is last year's device (if it wasn't delayed so long), what I'm really talking about wanting is a Nokia device designed for 8.1 and available on Verizon. However, I'd be shocked if Verizon releases/gets another Nokia within the next month or so.

Sean D. says:

Not having it doesn't make the device "hobbled".

It does to me... that's why I said "in my opinion", even more so when you consider the lack Nokia devices on Verizon. If they are going to offer only one choice, I'd prefer it to have all options available... otherwise, it's hobbled... in my opinion.
By the way, I may still purchase the Icon depending on what the 930 specs are. I'll sacrifice glance & double tap for an SD card, but switching to AT&T will be hard because I love Qi charging as well.

myrandex says:

Eh I would trade my Lumia 1520 for an Icon right this instance due to it not having an SD card slot. Since Microsoft can't get around to supporting SD Card encryption the thing is worthless to me after buying it...

In 8.1 you'll be able to load apps to the SD card and there are apps in the WP Store that encrypt files, so wonder if that would work?

jhoff80 says:

For me it's the file picker / file access for apps.  That covers so many things (whether it's emailing files, getting epubs into a reader without OneDrive as a go-between, or putting videos on the device without the Camera Roll workaround that Moliplayer uses) that it's the biggest priority for me.

ScubaDog says:

Cortana.  The rest is of no consequence to me.

shegg77 says:

Im not too excited about action center except for the quick settings. I love the way live tiles handle notifications

Viipottaja says:

Ability to select multiple videos in gallery to delete.

pawlakpl says:

Action Center + USB OTG

Talderon says:

App2SD is great, but the fact the apps that need additional data will still store something on the internal memory. Apps will need to be updated in order to accommodate this.

myjota says:

Not to wait 2 years for next 8.2 update

Daniel Meek says:

Oct 2012 -> Apr 2014... not quite 2 years. And really it is the end of Oct and beginning of Apr, so that's what 14-15 months? Just over a year? And if you play on Nokia's side of the fence then there have been lots of other fun updates during that time.

There is nothing wrong with MS's rate of progress on WP, their rate of progress has been phenomenal. The issue is that MS is simply behind and is playing catch-up to Android an iOS. But look at iOS which is getting slower and buggier with each release in spite of phenomenally better hardware each and every year. Look at the continued fragmentation of Android in spite of Google attempting to pull the reigns in on it's OS. And both iOS and Android have stagnated in the last year or two, uncertain of what to pursue next and offering largely cosmetic changes with updates. WP may be behind, but it is behind with a roadmap and a goal in mind. I'd much rather stick with the platform that has a plan I can follow and predict rather than the inscrutable ways of Apple, or Google's Italian theory of features in throwing 100 of them at a wall, keeping what sticks, and slowly removing the features that you may like but are not deemed worthy of staying.

crav4speed says:

But first WPC has to tell us if you really have WP8.1 in your hands or if that is photoshopped...

For me, it would be VPN!!

lonerider_wp says:

Edited: just read the article and id like a notification center. :-/ and well a file manager if youre wsking out of whats mentioned :'( A file manager, for godssake MS please give us a file manager. I love WP 8, but please please a file manager would help.