Build 2014 – Microsoft Announcements for Windows Phone 8.1

Photo Credit: Tim Andersen

Have a Windows Phone? Then get ready we’ve added a BUNCH of new features that make your smartphone even more a reflection of your personality and desires.

Here is the demo and then read on for the full list.

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Windows Phone 8.1

  • Start screen has 3 columns for more Live Tiles and personalization
  • Start background can contain your favorite picture
  • Lock screen themes and animations
  • Action center will contain items for ANY app, pinned or not.
  • Access settings like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Rotation Lock quickly in the action center.
  • The keyboard will now work as a flow or Word Flow. It will be smart enough to learn your writing style and type extremely fast.
  • Oh yeah, Word Flow beat the world record by 8 seconds.
  • Skype is now integrated with the Phone dialer. So you can “upgrade” your voice conversation to a “video” conversation.
  • The Calendar has been redesigned (thankfully) and adds a week view that makes sense. It looks more like Outlook and with weather built in, it is very much like Outlook.
  • Music, Video and Podcasts have all been split up and is easier to manage.
  • Video app can now buy or rent videos from Xbox music.
  • Podcasts can now subscribe to any RSS feeds.
  • Bing-powered podcast search for every country.
  • Speaking of video and podcast, volume sliders are now different for ringer/notifications and your media.
  • People hub gets larger photos for your social feeds.
  • Email supports S/MIME secure email.
  • Support for iCloud accounts – yes iCloud!
  • Photos organized in groups by date and location.
  • 3rd parties can plugin their services to online photo albums
  • Burst mode for Camera
  • Data sense is smarter to off-load data to wifi and limit cellular service when reaching limits
  • Compression of images when you browse the web when “high savings” is enabled
  • Wifi sense connects to public hotspots
  • Move content arounc using Storage Sense from memory to SD cards.
  • Battery saver allows you to make informed decisions with a breakdown of each app.

Cortana – Still windows Phone 8.1

  • See video
  • Powered by Bing
  • Builds a relationship with you that you can trust.
  • Gets better over time.
  • Looks thourghout your day to help with everyday tasks.
  • Activate by Live Tile or via Search button.
  • Speak to her and she will speak back.
  • Type to her and she will type back.
  • She keeps track of interest, reminders, places and more to make informed decisions
  • Sign in to, perform some searches, Cortana is learning and helping.
  • 3rd Party apps can leverage Cortana, search for a TV show in Hulu, look up a new feed on Facebook, or send out a Tweet.

Windows AND Windows Phone

  •  Microsoft Account and Windows and Windows Phone will now work together by synching themes across devices.
  • Purchases will synch.
  • Wi-Fi passwords for your home and places will synch.
  • Project your phone to a PC or TV.
  • Tabs will fit better on the Phone within Internet Explorer