Microsoft has finally put up some real competition against Android and iOS with improved Windows Phone 8.1 features that fixe many flaws of older Windows phone operating system. The much needed changes show that Microsoft is getting serious about its mobile business and driving more of its resources to make Windows Phone a competitive operating system.
Cortana (Voice Response System)
Microsoft borrowed the voice of its famous female figure Cortana from X Box game Halo and turned it into an voice assistance on the new operating system. Cortana is Windows answer to Apple’s famous personal voice assistance Siri. Cortana, reads you notifications like calls, emails, messages and play music and works with Microsoft’s search engine Bing to help you find things from the web.
One Touch Action Center:
The new Windows 8.1 gives you one touch access to notifications like missed calls, unread massages, app updates and shortcut to settings like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The fresh addition Action Center works much like Android and iOS with just one vertical swipe on the screen.
Word Flow Keyboard:
Windows 8.1 take advantage of the experience with its Word Flow feature that lets you chose word with a swipe on a letter. The key board feature is designed to help writing on small virtual key board.
Theme on Lock Screen:
The new Windows Phone operatind system lets you chose two custom themes for your smartphone, one when the smartphone screen is in active mode and another when the screen is locked. The theme for locked screen still shows time, date and other important notifications. However, the theme options are limited to custom theme provided by Windows for now.
Updated Sense Feature:
The new Windows Phone operating system lets the user see the data usage and download details over a certain period of time. So you know which is app is eating up more data and the other way around. The Wi-Fi function now automatically searches all available networks to cut mobile data usage and let you share your Wi-Fi network with other without revealing your password.
Turn on the data sense before downloading an image from the web and it will compress the image before downloading to reduce data usage.
Internet Explorer 11:
The new web browser from Microsoft is making its first appearance in Windows 8.1 where it will have a touch task to win back IE users. The new IE11 browser will be competing against Google’s Chrome and Fire Fox’s Mozilla in the web browser segment. The new Internet Explorer now comes with feature that sync you data, passwords to different devices so you can pick up where you left off on any device.
Improved App Store:
The weakest link in the old Windows Phone platform was its deserted App Store that needed some serious attention. Microsoft has put in some serious efforts to change that perception with hundreds new and improved app in its new OS. Honestly, the Windows App Store still has a long way to go before it could compete with Android or iOS but its way better than before.
A lot needs to be done before Windows Phone OS would become a real threat to dominating Android and iOS but WP 8.1 is sure a large leap in the right direction.