If you already know what to expect from the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update, then you might want to read further to refresh your memory, as Microsoft has officially confirmed which of the features now included in the Developer Preview have made it into the final version.Even though the rollout of the update hasn’t started yet, Microsoft has recently posted the official changelog of Windows Phone 8.1 on the update history website.
This is an extensive changelog that contains the new features and improvements that Microsoft introduced in Windows Phone 8.1, but it may not be complete. Lots of tweaking and under the hood improvements may have been added as well, but the changelog would have probably looked ridiculously huge.
That being said, the first and probably most important new feature added in Windows Phone 8.1 is Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant, Cortana.
This is the part where probably lots of you will be disappointed, as Microsoft mentions that Cortana is currently only available in the United States. However, there are hints that Cortana may debut in the UK very soon (in a few weeks).
“Cortana. Cortana is here to help you with your day. She can help you call, text, take notes, find stuff on the web, and more. All this while keeping you updated on the things that interest you.”
Then, there’s the new Action center, which allows Windows Phone users to swipe down from the top of the screen and bring the quick action and notifications on the display. It contains some of the most frequently used functions, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and lots of other settings. Obviously, it’s also customizable, so you can add the shortcuts you want.
The new Word Flow keyboard with shape writing will provide you with a new way of typing by sliding your fingers around it. It simply works great.
With Windows Phone 8.1, you will be able to save Office files to SD cards, as well as install any apps on the memory card. In addition, you can share more things to OneNote now.
Along with the latest version of Windows Phone, you will also get more columns on the Start screen, which means more room for stuff.
You will also be able to personalize your phone by using a background photo on the Start screen. Those who already have Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview installed on their devices know that Tiles are now transparent, so the background photo shows through.
When it comes to enterprise, Microsoft has made major improvements to the Windows Phone platform. Users will finally get VPN support: “use VPN to get a secure connection to your company's intranet and network over a cellular data or Wi-Fi connection. And when you're back at work, there's also support for connecting via enterprise Wi-Fi authentication EAP-TLS and EAP-TTLS.”
There are a lot more Windows Phone 8.1 features confirmed to arrive on all compatible devices as soon as the update is released. You can find the full list of improvements below.