The winds of change are finally here. Some may even go as far to call them windows of change. Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system got rather stale these past few months, no doubt about it.
But the highly anticipated update to the OS is finally here — ready to go live.
Redmond has compiled a handy list of new features in Windows Phone 8.1 on the official changelog on the update history page. Extensive and (almost) exhaustive, it details many of the new features, options and improvements that are part of this fresh new version.
Here is a very brief rundown of 20 amazing ones:
- Cortana. The digital voice assistant is without doubt the most important new addition.
- The new Action Center brings notifications with a simple swipe from the top of the screen.
- Dual SIM phones might not be for everyone, but some don’t leave their homes without them.
- The Word Flow keyboard provides users with a bold new way of typing.
- Office files can now be saved to SD cards.
- Users also have the choice of installing apps on their memory cards.
- More columns on the Start Screen means more room for tiles and styles.
- Speaking of styles, background photos on the Start Screen take personalization to new levels.
- Transparent tiles means background images are now shown through.
- More things can now be shared to OneNote.
- Bluetooth Low Energy opens up limitless options for fitness accessories.
- You can now backup and restore more items now, from Start Screen layouts to WiFi networks.
- Narrator can read aloud onscreen text, text messages, emails, even settings.
- There aren’t enough adjectives to describe just how useful separate volume controls are.
- Calendar now has a brand new look.
- Improved synchronization with Windows 8.1 devices is always welcome.
- Internet Explorer gets a whole battalion of new features.
- Camera now has the option of Burst mode.
- Apps now update automatically.
- VPN support is the proverbial poster boy for several new enterprise features.
There are a whole bunch of others, which you can view at the link above, but as far as updates to mobile operating systems go, this is the biggest one in recent memory. All platforms tallied.
Visually, things more or less stay the same, but in terms of features, we have a winner here!