The grass is particularly greener this week! Microsoft has just unleashed the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview for public consumption, and pretty much everyone now has access to it.
All you need to be is a Windows Phone Developer, or an App Studio account owner.
While the platform will start its global rollout in the coming months, say after May, but users that don’t want to wait can get a taste of what it brings with this developer preview. It does not offer the full feature set of the retail version of Windows Phone 8.1, but it comes very close.
Here is a brief rundown of the steps involved.
First of all you need a compatible device — all Windows Phone 8 handsets play nicely with this update. So no matter if you are rocking a Lumia 1020, Lumia 1520, Lumia 920, Lumia 520 or the HTC 8X, you are invited to the party.
Next part of the equation is either having a Windows Phone Developer Account, or a simple registration with App Studio. The latter option is free, and great for users that are not coders or developers.
You might also want to have the Preview for Developers app installed, which you can quickly and easily grab from the Windows Phone Store here.
In some cases, you might be required to have your handset developer unlocked. Microsoft talks about this here, along with the necessary tools and a step by step guide. Do keep in mind that unlocking your handset this way usually voids the warranty, but the process itself is safe.
With everything in place, all you need to do is head over to Settings > Phone Update > Check for updates to download Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview.
Provided it shows up for you, of course. If not, give it a little while, and it should.
Just make sure you backup all your necessary files before kicking off the update process, and obviously, charge the device well, at least 50 percent. You will also need at least 1GB of available storage space on the handset to deploy this new version of Windows Phone.
That’s it, you’re in town!