Windows 8.1 devices started to roll out just a couple of months ago and Microsoft managed to update the OS quite well. The Windows 8.1 which was launched alongside Nokia Lumia 630, Lumia 635 and Lumia 930 has made the Windows experience for users more personal and smart. Here are few of the most significant features from the new update that managed to turn heads around.
Customizable Start Screen
Windows Phone users have always been deprived of a personalized home screen. No way to have Hugh Jackman or Emma Watson in the background while you scrolled through the tiles. Microsoft, with Windows 8.1 has made the start screen more customizable by a adding a feature that enables user to put their favorite image to multiple tiles all at once so it looks like a uniform background. Earlier, the tiles were limited to only solid colors. An extra column of tiles can also be added and the users can turn on or turn off this feature according to need.
Cortana - Windows 8.1 will do the talking
Taking a jab at Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Now is the Windows 8.1’s Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-based virtual assistant. Microsoft’s runaway success video game franchise Halo’s A.I. character is the voice base for Cortana. Powered by Bing, Cortana has transformed the searching experience for Windows Phone users.
All the ‘Action’ at a swipe
The “Action Centre” aka the notification bar shows all notifications for emails, messages, calls and other apps at one swipe. It also gives quick access to settings like Wi-Fi, Rotation Lock and Internet Sharing. A total of four settings can be added. A drop down swipe unveils the Action Centre.
Word Flow = Swype
Microsoft introduced a Word Flow keyboard to Windows 8.1 update which is a Swype-keyboard like feature. The Word Flow lets the users to glide on the surface of the phone display in order to type words. Capable of supporting 16 languages, the Word Flow keyboard adapts and learns from users’ writing styles.
Skype Integration allows you to switch between a regular call and a Skype video call with a touch. The new dialer integration can be used via the new virtual voice based assistant – Cortana.
Apart from these major additions which also include a completely transformed imaging experience via a revamped camera roll and tools like Smart Shots, Cinemagraph and Refocus; and additional senses for the phone in form of Data Sense, Wi-Fi Sense and Storage Sense, Windows 8.1 greets the users with other little yet delightful additions.
Onscreen capacitive navigation at the bottom of the display is now official with Windows 8.1. Microsoft added to the “personal” experience by adding multiple lock screen themes to the OS. There is a revamped calendar, now showing a week view and an integrated weather widget. Music experience has been improved and split into individual apps – Music, Videos and Podcasts. The new Windows 8.1 features Internet Explorer 11. IE1 comes with features like password caching and InPrivate browsing.