Windows Phone 8.1 brings a plethora of updates to Microsofts phone platform.  Aside from the obvious user interface changes with wallpaper, Cortana and action center, there are a lot of behind the scenes changes as well.

Windows Phone 8.1 Features

Action Center

  • Microsofts version of notifications, which they did very nicely


  • Apps can capture some audio/video, but can be limited due to copyright
  • Store your Apps and Game data on an SD Card.  The Apss cannot be moved between phones.  Windows Phone 8.1 recognizes this and won’t allow it.
  • Backup your App data to OneDrive if enabled by the developer
  • New Store design making it easier to find Apps and show what’s new and trending


  • New Bing-powered Podcast App
  • Bing smart search


  • Support for Google Calendar
  • New views in Calendar along with the weather


  • New layout with burst mode


  • Background task updates to Bluetooth, Chate message notification, Device connections, Device use triggers, Gatt notification, Location, Push notification, RFcomm connection, System event, and Timer
  • XAP replaced by APPX
  • Hardware accelerated audio and video encoding
  • Actionable or Silent notifications for apps


  • Option to automatically download pictures in email
  • Encryption
  • New Syn option


  • MDM enrolled phones can be remotely locked and be forced to change passwords
  • Password protect Office documents
  • Scan documents with the camera
  • Built-in VPN support
  • Certificat management
  • Better MDM features

Internet Explorer

  • Updated to IE 11
  • Can save passwords for websites
  • Updates to JavaScript, HTML, and WebGL
  • HTML5 Standards


  • Wordflow keyboard (swype)
  • Show emoji’s



  • Edit media
  • Xbox Music and Xbox video are now standalone apps


  • Change the default SMS app
  • Mute a conversation thread


  • New sorting options for contacts
  • Press and hold call duration for more detail
  • Inner Circle contacts
  • In-call voice commands


  • Battery Sense
  • Battery Saver
  • Data Sense
  • Wi-fi sense


  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • Chkdsk for micro SD cards
  • Geofence support
  • Miracast support
  • Mouse and keyboard support
  • Stereoscopic 3D support
  • Trusted NFC app list
  • Virtual SmartCard support
  • Wallet support (allows importing of passbook from iPhone as well)

User Experience

  • Wallpaper with parallax/transparency effects
  • Double-tap to unlock phone or to power off
  • Live Tiles can now be marked as read
  • File picker
  • Quiet Hours – Disables notifications for a select period of time
  • Search button opens Cortana
  • Separate volume control for ringtone and media
  • Swipe down to close apps