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Whats new in Windows Phone 8.1 from BUILD 2014


It was April 2nd the Day 1 of the BUILD 2014 Keynote in San Francisco, where Microsoft kicked off with a three hour long Keynote on Windows phone 8.1, Windows 8.1 updates and launch of few new Nokia Lumia devices. The Keynote started with Windows Phone Corporate Vice President Joe Belfort speaking about the highlights of the new features of Windows Phone 8.1.


Windows Phone 8.1 the upcoming update for the consumers will have the below enhancements and features.

  • CORTANA – The new Personal Assistance for Windows Phone 8.1 which will replace the BING Search button on the device. Cortana searches for information on the device and also over the web which is powered by BING at the background.
  • ACTION Centre – A much awaited notification bar which allows to quickly access the settings and the application information by sliding from the top
  • LOCK Screen – Customizable lock screen with different formats and also option to have your own background image instead of the Accent colours that comes by default.
  • KEYBOARD – A newly customizable workflow keyboard with Swipe interface (Now Windows Phone Keyboard break the Guinness book records for quickest keyboard available in the market)
  • WIFI Sense – Like Data Sense, Battery Sense now comes the WIFI sense which has your Wifi information stored across devices and each time you no need to add the Wifi hot spot from a new device.
  • DUAL Sim – Here comes the killer one, the much awaited dual sim card support will be available with the different tiles and support for each sim card. Also we can assign the contacts to each sim card separately so while making the calls the respective sim card will be used automatically.
  • MARKET Store – Now with this new WP 8.1, the Market UI will be completely changed with an awesome look and feel and with much more intelligence to showcase the apps based on Location and frequent use.
  • VPN Support – Here comes another killer feature is the VPN connectivity, with which you can connect to the corporate and have the apps related to the corporate with providing restrictions to the apps and games that should be running on the device.
  • EMAIL – Now we have the encrypted and signed option to have your email protected.

Finally we had Stephen Elop on stage showcasing the new Nokia Lumia devices (930, 630 and 635) which will be available in the market from June 2014. Later he showcased the devices that runs 8.1 update and it was mentioned clearly the new devices will be running the 8.1 update immediately and the old devices will be getting the update pretty soon in the upcoming weeks from the operator.


These are some of the overall features that are showcased in the BUILD, but there are quite a lot of enhancements and features that are added to the recent release which we will be seeing one by one in the upcoming posts. For the developers, my next post will be speaking more on the developer perspective on the new SDK features and enhancements that are going to be available with the next release of the SDK.

About Author: Karthikeyan Anbarasan, Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) in ASP.NET/IIS Architecture. He is the Founder and Chief Editor of the www.f5debug.net website and has authored books on Windows Phone and Business Intelligence(SSIS). He is also a Passionate Speaker and a Blogger on Microsoft Technologies.

You can Join Me On: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn

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