Since the Windows Phone 8.1 release date on April 2, 2014, several speculations already took place. Its general availability was announced on July 15, 2014 wherein all Windows Phones running on its previous system will be upgraded to Windows 8.1. It was named Phone Blue, indicating a series of updates to the mobile operating system coinciding with the release of Windows 8.1.


In the Halo series of Windows Phones, a personal assistant was made and termed as Cortana, which is the artificially intelligent computer. Clients can access Cortana through Live Tile offering help on sending messages, making calls, performing searches, and of course, music on phone. Cortana can personalize your phone as well, which involves interacting with third-party applications such as Facebook and Twitter. It shows a blue circle interface, search bar, and swipe on screen for lists of weather, news, and contextual help. Cortana also has a notebook keeping track of interests and things you frequently search. If something comes up and you think is useful in the future, you can ask a note stored and referred at another time.

Revamped Apps

Redesigning Windows 8 phone to 8.1 made it information dense. The apps collections previously visible in a different page are now fully featured at the front column of the store. There are also no distinctions between the games and other applications. Below are other apps redesigned or added to Windows Phone Store:

  • WiFi Sense. Signs in Windows Phones automatically to hotspots. This also shares the WiFi credentials with contacts and friends without compromising security. You can also share the connection without telling the password.
  • This offers a week view with the present weather and similar to the Microsoft Outlook calendar on desktop users.
  • Storage Sense. Lets the users move apps and files between their phone’s hard drive and microSD card. This also incorporates the features previous available at the Settings section giving users the capability of deleting temporary files.
  • Battery Saver. Adds the capability of tracking battery use and determines profiles that lower the power consumption. In addition, you can also stop the background task from running where users can set profiles preventing some apps from running when the battery level is just below the designated percentage.

Apps Available for Windows Phone Store

Apps for Windows Phone 8.1 can now be made using the same application model. Based on the Windows Runtime and the file extension for WP apps, it is now named “.appx” which is used for Window Store apps instead of Windows traditional “.xap” file format. This invokes semantic zoom as well as access to single sign-on with the Microsoft account. The phone store of Windows also updates the apps automatically. It can be manually checked for updates available for device applications along with the option to update even on WiFi.

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