Windows Phone 8.1 Upgraded features

Even if the Windows Phones have climbed a few steps up the ranks, unfortunately for Microsoft, the devices didn’t experience an explosive popularity the minute they appeared on the shelves, like other smartphones have. Their latest smartphone, the Windows Phone 8.1 really needed some upgrades in order to compete with the other smartphones on the market, even if Microsoft wanted its device to outshine all rivals.

So the company listened to the voice of the people and upgraded the Windows Phone 8.1 that’s now said to be “reinvented with you in mind” and “loaded with new features and improvements we think you are going to love”. It’s also said this time Microsoft leaved nothing to chance or hope, and geared up its smartphone so this time it will be a feared rival.

The Windows Phone 8.1 seems to be everything Redmond promised. It features Action Center to display all of your notifications, plus customizable quick toggles, improved multitasking, customizable Live Titles, and what’s more important, a Cortana virtual assistant. These are not the only upgrades Microsoft geared up its 8.1 with, here’s a list of everything the new and improved Windows Phone 8.1 features:

  • Universal Search
  • Internet Explorer 11 with better UI, meaning faster page load, browsing, tab sync across devices and Reader mode
  • Built-in Facebook with real-time notifications
  • Redesigned status bar
  • Quiet Hours mode that gives you control over your notifications
  • You can move or install apps on SD card
  • VPN support
  • Wi-Fi Sense
  • Better sound control (separate Notifications/Ringer and Apps/Media controls)
  • Better Camera with customizable viewfinder
  • Customizable lockscreen
  • Glance screen notifications
  • Support for QHD displays, dual-SIM and fingerprint scanners, on-screen buttons


  • New Dialer app with Speed Dial, providing shortcuts to contacts and call time
  • Automatic app updates in Store
  • Battery Sense app
  • Storage Sense app
  • New Music and Video apps
  • Podcasts app
  • Better backups with app data sync and App data syncing across devices
  • You can change the default SMS app and the default SMS notifications

The list of cons is shorter this time compared to the one the previous Windows Phone had. However, the smartphone seems to lack some features, which might interfere with Microsoft’s plans to compete with the best smartphone makers. A system wide file manager might have been an useful upgrade, as would have been a richer app catalog. Even if it’s considered the biggest upgrade on the Windows Phone 8.1, the Cortana virtual assistant is not at the same level as its rivals, Android and iOS. But considering the first virtual assistant Windows Phone 8.1 came with, the Cortana is a well received improvement.