Windows Phone 8.1 'Blue' - Featured Articles

WP 8.1 Volume Controls

Independent volume control finally comes to Windows Phone 8.1

Independent volume controls is probably one of the most requested minor features for Windows Phone. Thankfully Microsoft has delivered. Windows Phone 8.1 introduces the ability to control your ringer volume separately from your media volume. Check it out on in our hands-on video. It’s a...
Cortana announced for Windows Phone 8.1, we go hands on

Cortana announced for Windows Phone 8.1, we go hands on

Microsoft has just announced Cortana for Windows Phone 8.1 at Build 2014. Cortana is the upcoming voice assistant that will compete against Siri and Google Now. We’ve heard rumors and seen leaks over the previous months, but now it’s all official. Cortana will be available soon to users on...
Windows Phone 8.1 Notification

Quick look at the new notification and action center in Windows Phone 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1 is finally here. It brings with it a highly anticipated feature for managing all the alerts from different apps. That’s right. Windows Phone 8.1 now has a notification center to bring all your information into one location. It’s actually a very powerful implementation that...
Windows Phone 8.1’s greatly improved YouTube experience, plays under lock screen and more

Windows Phone 8.1’s greatly improved YouTube experience, plays under lock screen and more

When it comes to video playback on Windows Phone, especially YouTube, things can get a little complicated. We won’t rehash the whole Google-Microsoft tiff over an official app again, but what we can share with you is some details about how Microsoft worked really hard on Windows Phone 8.1’s HTML5...
Windows Phone 8.1 blazes on the Lumia 1520, has five quick-action buttons

Windows Phone 8.1 blazes on the Lumia 1520, has five quick-action buttons

Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8.1 to the world. We gave you numerous videos featuring the OS in action, including Cortana, the Notification center and more. However, that was on a Lumia 630 prototype, one that we weren’t supposed to have in the first place – the risks we take for...

Windows Phone 8.1 'Blue' - Top Articles

The Windows Phone 8.1 Xbox Music team wants your feedback and suggestions

The Windows Phone 8.1 Xbox Music team wants your feedback and suggestions

We recently covered the forthcoming update for Xbox Music on Windows Phone 8.1. Needless to say, the app is chock full of problems. But it also has a ton of potential. The group behind the app has promised bi-weekly updates, which is probably one of the reasons why they tore it out of the core OS...
Xbox Games

Xbox Games for Windows Phone 8.1 updated, fixes woes

One of the complaints cropping up with Windows Phone 8.1 was performance issues with the Xbox Games app. Like Xbox Video and Xbox Music, the Games hub is also no longer in the OS, but rather a separate, updatable app. Some users recently complained that the app wouldn’t load their profile or...
Battery Saver

How’s your battery life after upgrading to Windows Phone 8.1?

Thanks to the Preview for Developers program we’ve been playing with Windows Phone 8.1 for more than three days. It’s been very well received by most everyone in the community. Now it’s time to check out how your battery is doing after upgrading from Windows Phone 8.0 to Windows Phone 8.1. Has...
Do you like that Games are listed along with the Apps in Windows Phone 8.1?

Do you like that Games are listed along with the Apps in Windows Phone 8.1?

If you’ve installed Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, or read about the same, you would’ve observed an interesting change to the apps list. On a Windows Phone device, swiping to the right on Start screen brings up the apps list arranged alphabetically. The games though, are listed in the...
Windows Phone 8.1 Download

Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers is now live

It’s finally here. Windows Phone 8.1 is now available to download for those in the Preview for Developers program. Windows Phone 8.1 is the next big version of Windows Phone that introduces new features like voice assistant Cortana, a notification center, automatic app updates, VPN support and...
Nokia Lumia Icon

Some Nokia Lumia Icon users report unresponsive power button after Windows Phone 8.1 update

We know many of you are really happy about the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, but some people are experiencing issues with it. To be specific, some Nokia Lumia Icon users are seeing problems with the power button not waking up the device at certain times. We are also experiencing this...
Windows Phone 8.1 Xbox Music

Xbox Music for Windows Phone 8.1 receiving first update next week; here are the changes

We've previously looked at how bad Xbox Music is on Windows Phone 8.1 (in the Preview for Developers, anyway), but the experience has never been flawless on Windows Phone. Microsoft evidently knows this as the company is looking to roll out an update next week (April 22nd), which will kick off bi...
Windows Phone 8.1

What are our favorite Windows Phone 8.1 features?

Enjoying the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers? We're sure you all are. We can see there are numerous discussions underway as to what are your favorite Windows Phone 8.1 features. Whether you're a Cortana fan or simply worship Joe Belfiore for adding in the Notification Center (better late...
Windows Phone 8.1 Start screen

Did you upgrade to Windows Phone 8.1?

Today was a very busy day when at 7 am EST the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers went live. That allowed those with developer accounts (pro tip: anyone can become one) to download and install Windows Phone 8.1 on their device. Take a moment to let us know if you upgraded your smartphone...
Can’t set an alarm with Cortana? You are not alone

Can’t set an alarm with Cortana? You are not alone

Of course I’m guilty of almost abusing Cortana, the new personal digital assistant introduced in the Windows Phone 8.1. She’s managing my calendar, search queries, reminders, and lot of other things I’m discovering each time I fire the app.   While all is well between us, Cortana fails to set up...

Windows Phone 8.1 'Blue' - Photos

Windows Phone 8.1 'Blue' RSS Feed

Since Windows Phone 8.1’s preview release this week, you folks can’t enough of the new Start screen backgrounds. And here you thought you’d hate them ;)

We covered a cool little app dubbed Transparency Tiles earlier this week, as it’s used to re-create Tiles for your 8.1 Start screen for native and popular apps. On first release it covered just Xbox Games, Music and Video, but we told you more apps would be coming. Since that time, the app has had a few updates, with the latest just going live a few moments ago.

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One of the complaints cropping up with Windows Phone 8.1 was performance issues with the Xbox Games app. Like Xbox Video and Xbox Music, the Games hub is also no longer in the OS, but rather a separate, updatable app.

Some users recently complained that the app wouldn’t load their profile or worse, games would not populate. (We didn’t see it ourselves, but it was reported in our forums often enough).

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Yesterday we posted about folks being unable to set an alarm using Cortana. They’d try and meet error code 8000ffff. It undoubtedly made a lot of you frustrated as you played around with Cortana. Soft resets and hard resets didn’t fix the problem. What was going on? It’s most likely third-party alarm apps messing with Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1. Details below.

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Windows Phone 8.1 brings a handful of new features to the mix. Cortana and the new Notification center obviously steal the headlines, but other features like Battery Saver, Wi-Fi Sense, Start backgrounds and more all add up to create a wonderful update. Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy these features. Cortana is currently only available as a beta to those in the United States, though you can get it to work internationally with a few tricks.

And it looks like Cortana is also only available to those over a certain age. Seriously.

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Thanks to the Preview for Developers program we’ve been playing with Windows Phone 8.1 for more than three days. It’s been very well received by most everyone in the community. Now it’s time to check out how your battery is doing after upgrading from Windows Phone 8.0 to Windows Phone 8.1. Has your battery life improved or taken a turn for the worst? Maybe is it just the same as it was before. Let’s find out.

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For those of us who love our apps, or have limited storage on our phones, freeing up space can be a concern. Prior to the Windows Phone 8.1 update, we were limited to installing apps directly on the phone, so when things got tight, one might take to uninstalling rarely-used apps to free up precious space. And anyone who has had to uninstall a bunch of apps at once can tell you how much of a hassle it can be to go through the list one by one to clear them out.

However, in this new post-8.1 era, we now have the ability to conserve device storage by installing apps directly to a micro SD card, should our device have one. With Storage Sense, it becomes easy to move apps that are already installed on your phone over to micro SD in a group, rather than individually. Similarly, if you want to uninstall several apps at once, you can use Storage Sense to do that as well.

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The Windows Phone family includes a few devices that are rather impressive but lose some of their appeal due to lower storage space and RAM memory.

Fortunately, most of these low storage Windows Phones have expansion card slots and with the release of Windows Phone 8.1 some relief is in sight that may make these entry level Windows Phones more attractive.

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Enjoying the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers? We're sure you all are. We can see there are numerous discussions underway as to what are your favorite Windows Phone 8.1 features. Whether you're a Cortana fan or simply worship Joe Belfiore for adding in the Notification Center (better late than never), there's a lot in this preview release.

In this roundup, we'll be running you through some of our favorites, just in case you're wanting to know what the Windows Phone Central team likes most on their smartphones. Head past the break to see our favorites.

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We've previously looked at how bad Xbox Music is on Windows Phone 8.1 (in the Preview for Developers, anyway), but the experience has never been flawless on Windows Phone. Microsoft evidently knows this as the company is looking to roll out an update next week (April 22nd), which will kick off bi-weekly releases for the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview client.

This is superb news for Xbox Music Pass holders who wish to have a decent experience on the phone.

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While the vast majority of changes to Windows Phone 8.1 have been a welcome gust of fresh air to our phones, there are some things that take getting used to. The fact that Cortana doesn’t have Bing Vision may be chalked up to it being in ‘beta’, although we hope Microsoft at some point brings the feature back to search. The Bing service is used by many people on this site for scanning our app QR codes at the end of articles, so not having it readily available is a turnoff.

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The more we use Windows Phone 8.1 the more features we discover. Such as re-installing apps and games you’ve purchased in the past.

In the past there were basically two ways to re-install an app or game you had deleted from your Windows Phone. First, you could hunt down the app in the Store and re-install it. Second, you could pull up the Windows Phone Store’s website and go into your account to view your purchase history to find the app or game to re-install.

While those two options still exist, Windows Phone 8.1 now offers you a third option.

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We know many of you are really happy about the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, but some people are experiencing issues with it. To be specific, some Nokia Lumia Icon users are seeing problems with the power button not waking up the device at certain times. We are also experiencing this problem on two of our own Lumia Icons. Are you?

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If you’ve installed Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, or read about the same, you would’ve observed an interesting change to the apps list.

On a Windows Phone device, swiping to the right on Start screen brings up the apps list arranged alphabetically. The games though, are listed in the Games app. That, however, has changed with Windows Phone 8.1, and the games also appear in the apps list.

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Of course I’m guilty of almost abusing Cortana, the new personal digital assistant introduced in the Windows Phone 8.1. She’s managing my calendar, search queries, reminders, and lot of other things I’m discovering each time I fire the app.  

While all is well between us, Cortana fails to set up alarms on my Windows Phone device. A little shout out around, and I realized I wasn’t alone. Lot of our readers have also reported the issue on Windows Phone Central Forums.

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The more we use Windows Phone 8.1, the more we discover such as the changes to our call history. For starters, we now have a Speed Dial page that sits alongside the History and Voice Mail pages. You also have the ability to pull up call details that reveal the date, time and duration of the calls.

Finally, the History page now groups calls from the same caller, based on the date, to avoid repetition. For example if Rich had called my Windows Phone four times today, the history would display “Rich Edmonds (4)” instead of four entries for those calls.

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Cortana is your personal assistant on Windows Phone 8.1. She’s great for finding nearby sushi joints, reminding you to get milk on your way home and much more. You won’t find Cortana confined to her app though, she’s hanging out in other parts of Windows Phone 8.1. Here’s a quick tip for adding events to your calendar from text messages and emails.

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