Windows Phone 8.1 has been released for developers, and will be available for all soon.
Of course you can already find great in detail reviews of Windows Phone 8.1:
or this nice video tour of its new features:
Here I want to focus on the new features that help me boost my productivity since I installed the update on my phone.
- “Show more Tiles” (now for non 1080p phones) increase tiles density on your start screen, more tiles = more tasks done quickly.
- “Sync my settings” across devices, particularly interesting in IE where you can see tabs opened in your other devices.
- “Project my screen” (TV, PC, projetor), this feature *will* allow you to mirror your screen to an external display, wirelessly using Miracast technology and *new* WP8.1 hardware, or via USB but we need to wait for the desktop app to be released by MS first. So it is not there yet, but it sure will be an excellent business feature.
- The long awaited feature, now on your Windows Phone! All your notifications in one place: essential.
- Action center is also available under Lock screen! Yes, just swipe down on your lock screen, even if PIN protected.
- “This week” view is a very nice addition, I already can’t live without it!
- Also includes weather info for each day, perfect to schedule your next activities and movements.
- Swipe keyboard: try it, you’ll love it! See it in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNyteXr3KxQ
- “Speed Dial”, quickly call your favorites contacts.
- Pin both “Battery Saver” and “Storage Sense” to your Start screen, they both are now separate apps which can be pinned with Live tiles, showing actual battery usage and storage info! Battery Saver also shows running background tasks, perfect to efficiently find the culprit if an app drains your battery!
- Mute SMS message threads (no more notifications and Live Tile updates for this thread), go into the message thread you want to mute, check out more options at the bottom of the screen, and tap on mute thread. Also, note that a setting allows you to automatically mute messages during quiet hours (which is automatically activated while you are on a meeting or via different options you can set).
Cortana, the new personal digital assistant, is truly amazing to organize your busy life!!
It is beta and USA only for now, but you can get it if you set both your region and language to english United States.
You can open Cortana with the search hardware button, an try questions like:
- “What’s my schedule like tomorrow ?”
- “Set up an apointment with Joe Black tomorrow at 11am”
- “Directions to the nearest pizza restaurant”
- “Track United Airlines flight 250”
And much, much more… watch this video to learn more about its features and see it in action: