You’ve got to hand it to Microsoft. While the company has kept awfully quiet on Windows Phone 8.1, with little to no official information released, the hype has been steadily building.

Truth be told, it has been a while since there has been so much excitement over any iOS or Android update, as there has been for this refresh of Windows Phone 8. And all of that has got to do with the sheer number (and variety) of features Redmond is preparing for this update.

We got a look at a handful of them earlier today thanks to the leaked details from the preview test version of Windows Phone 8.1 SDK that the company opened up for developers yesterday.

While the whole count is available at the article (and original link) above, there are still some things that users have been clamoring for probably not yet in the update. Maybe they are, and Redmond is saving them for the official unveil on April 2.

Here is a list of 5 things we’d like to see Microsoft implement in this refresh of its flagship mobile OS:

App Folders

Nokia sprung to rescue with a separate app that brought folders for apps on Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices, but it is long overdue we got a dedicated option to bunch together applications. And while we are at it, extend this on Windows 8.1 for PCs and tablets too. On the double, actually.

Improved Sorting

Improved categorization is, again, something that users would love to have on their Windows powered devices. Take and build upon Windows 8.1 in this regard, and give Windows Phone 8.1 users the ability to sort applications by name, category, date installed, most used, most recently used, and so on.

Accent Colors

Love it or loathe it, there is no denying that Windows Phone could use a splash of color here and there. Right now, on default, it looks like the high contrast black style in Windows 98. More accent colors, similar to what Windows 8.1 brings, will do everyone a world of good.

Contextual Super Searching

More Windows 8.1 magic. There is word that this is coming. Part of the mobile OS in Windows Phone 7, it was one of the features that was removed with Windows Phone 8. Soon you will be able to search for “Star Wars” and get all sorts of data from a variety of apps in a single screen. Or at least we hope so.

X Marks The Spot

For a mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8 sure has a peculiar little way of asking users to close an app. A big and bold ‘X’ button hovers on the top right corner. It is time to get rid of this, and make users swipe down to close an app, just like it is on Windows 8.

Sure this is a small wish list that focuses on usability enhancements almost exclusively — the company seems to be taking care of architectural changes and adding in new features, if the various leaks and reports are to be believed.

Everything from a digital voice assistant to a notification center, even a new YouTube playback application is said to be part of Windows Phone 8.1.

But, as is the case with almost everything in life, it all comes down to small things. They are what count for users, so fingers crossed Microsoft takes care of most of them when Windows Phone 8.1 launches, instead of leaving them for another update later down the road — that would be tragicomic.

Anyway, what about you fine folks?

As a Windows Phone users, what is your wish list? Have any specific features or options that you would like to see? Other than what has been reported coming, up until now, that is!

Sound off in the comments below.

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  • Darlington Jones

    Can’t please everyone – an “X” works just fine. A swipe down would require more energy and time. Yet, sometimes a swipe is necessary. So instead of choosing one, allow both options. A swipe and keep the “X”. Everything else would enhance it. How comes “action center” is left off the list?

    • Fahad Ali

      Agreed, more options. Though if they keep both, it would be great if users can choose or turn them on of off. Some are accustomed to swiping down to close from using other platforms. But I agree, more options never hurt anybody.

      As for an Action Center, this list mostly focuses on small refinements. Besides, Microsoft is already creating a Notification Center, so maybe it will come with actionable notifications, now or later down the road.

      Appreciate the comment. Keep them coming!