Any update would have a hard time measuring up to the richness that is Windows Phone 8.1, but although small, Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 still brings a lot of refinements and new features.
Microsoft is using this refresh to accommodate the feedback and response received for the original.
Internet Explorer 11 alone comes with hundreds of such small changes and enhancements, as the company detailed in a new blog post. These are all another step towards offering a streamlined web experience, one that users get on other competing mobile platforms.
This is what Redmond said on this:
“We pursued a web experience for IE users consistent with what is available on iOS and Android devices – even where this meant we would be adding non-standard web platform features. We believe that this is a more pragmatic approach to running today’s less-standardised mobile web.”
The approach is good, it’s great.
The Internet Explorer team tested the updated IE11 on more than 500 of the top mobile websites, and found that this new version of the web browser improved performance on over 40% of them.
The post also contains details and plenty of before and after screenshots that show the underlying changes that arrive with IE11 on Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1, mostly to do with user agents, and how websites render on handsets — as in desktop sites versus mobile optimized ones.
Long story short, the mobile IE11 is one step closer to how iOS and Android web browsers roll, even if they have to accommodate a few nonstandard HTML features that are widely used on mobile.
Not only are these small changes going to improve the user experience, they are also going to improve the reviews Windows Phone handsets get, going forward.