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Thread: Windows Phone 8.1 Update Review

  1. #1
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    Apr 2012

    Windows Phone 8.1 Update Review

    Windows Phone 8.1 update is released for mobile platform. A new update with many modern features will add many handy features on your device. This update fails in the list of few big updates of this year. Windows Phone 8.1 extends your phone usage and also stabilize the phone performance. Unlike Android, Microsoft never hurry to release new updates after a regular time interval. This new update will give you many straight forward features. Windows Phone platform is not very pleasing but when it comes with serious work then this device is more trusted compared to others. IT gives you less complications and simple to use option.

    You get a more optimized OS but also this update has altered many regular features that can give you pain. Like the notification system is wiped out. Notification panel is one of the prime need of a mobile UI is a better notification panel that can give you instant info of new updates. But Windows 8.1 has came with major changes where the old panel is wiped out. I am bit use to the old update. But still the new one brings many things that can be handy. The new update add Live Tiles on the Metro UI. Most of the things are same. A few tweaks will help your device to work more faster. You might notice more power in your phone after adding the update. One of the biggest changes that comes with Windows 8.1 update is Cortana.

    Similar to Siri or Google Now, Cortana is the voice assistant service making its way from this Windows Phone 8.1 OS. Microsoft took a long time to finally provide voice control on mobile phones. And thus Cortana came into existence. It is programmed to respond you on different commands. And you can also request to do a few basic task. Cortana is in its earlier stage. But as the time goes on the update will bring more new stuff. It give you easy way to change phone settings, you can find movies info or you can just ask Cortana to find the best nearby restaurant.

    The notification panel is replaced by Action Center. If you had used a Android or Apple devices then you can easily understand this Action Center. It give you notification details and many more information but in short way. You can switch your Bluetooth wifi on through that you can see pending notification in it or you can simply jump to your settings through that. Microsoft has done a few things in order to bring iOS and Android features on Windows phone platform. We will checkout that in more detail whether they have succeeded or not.


    Cortana is the central feature. A primary solution for those who need voice control assistant on their phone. After Siri came out, Apple has showed that how much voice control can help. Like managing very simple task of sending a sms or enabling alarm. After using Cortana I found that this application is new and it is like a toddler. It learn slowly but will be effective in future. It learn from your habit. Things you do daily on the phone will help Cortana to get more and more perfect. The best way you can use it is by training your voice. It gives you detail about your daily activities. It will give you instant suggestion about your nearest happening places. You need active internet connection on the same. Cortana will be handy when you are driving or when you are busy with some work. You have to bit understand how it really works. A small tutorial on start will guide you.

    The app works fast. You just have to hold the center key to start it. Cortana will save a lot time but I am not really sure how well it is capable of identify different accent. Cortana also maintains a notebook. This will keep a track of your interest and places you visit. It also maintain records of your music searches. This help Cortana to work more better and give you a effective output. This interest and targeted keyword will help you more exact information. This is one good thing that Microsoft did. The notebook is capable of keeping a database which will later will use to read your voice commands. So it is essential that if you want to effectively use Cortana you must use a static commands. It has a interest section that will give you instant information on most common things like Traffic, Weather, News, etc. You can checkout which movies is on or what is more happening moment around your place.

    You can also plan your trip and find the local attraction also. If you are busy with something and you do not want to get bothered then you can tell Cortana to enable do not disturb feature. When this thing is one you will not receive any notification and calls. One more option which is really effective is you can let your callers to call on a number at a given time frame. Like you can set a call time. For example morning only to receive office calls. This is one of the best feature I like and it will be really helpful for all professionals. You can just say do not disturb to Cortana and your phone goes silent. For contacts you can add people in a new future called a inner circle. This are some important contacts who can contact you anytime. It will be active even when your phone in on quiet mode.

    With regular voice command and phone usage you can also use Cortana to convert speech to text. It is not very effective but works well if your voice is cleaner. You can just turn on the Microphone and start talking to your device. Cortana will type messages and email for you. You can then instantly tap on send. It is another time saving feature. Cortana is not 100% effective. But it is good enough to do some tedious task very quick. There can be problem if you have too much noise in the background. It will not be able to understand you properly. Siri also has similar issues.
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  2. #2
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    Apr 2012

    Re: Windows Phone 8.1 Update Review

    Action Center:

    Action Center replaces the notification system of Windows Phone 8.1. Action Center bring more new things. It give you a bit clear but clumsy notification center. I like the old one which was more better. You can swipe down it instantly to checkout things. Action Center brings the iOS and Android feature on the Windows phone. You can wipe down and to access settings also. This thing is not limited to notification only.

    Through here you can enable Bluetooth or wifi or you can configure airplane mode similar to android. You can also access apps through this. For example if you have a facebook update you can tap on the notification center and the app will appear up on the screen. You can swipe to the right side to clear things. Action Center is accessible from all angle. You can also access it even when your phone is lock. Notification cannot give you option to change brightness which we see commonly in android device.

    Battery Saver App:

    Windows Phone 8.1 update also brings up new battery saving features. This is one of the major things which we cannot ignore. Battery Saver is required to boost the battery life when you are outside. When you are in office you have charging point. Battery saver increase the battery life and disable services which dry up the juice. You can add a battery indicator on the live tile that will give you quick glance on current battery. You can also monitor app and manage them who are using a high amount of power. This is the best way to control power usage.

    Wi-Fi Sense:

    Wifi Sense is not something new but it a useful feature. Many time we travel to places. And they have active internet connection. Wifi sense will help you to find that. So there is less to worry when your internet pack is expired. Through wifi sense you can simply connect to free wifi and remain always online. Once the wifi is configured you don't have to add information again and again. Wifi Sense will manage everything. It is convenient for many people who move from place to place and do not have to manually look for the wifi.

    Word Flow Keyboard:

    Windows Update 8.1 also being changes in the keyboard. Microsoft has tweaked the old keyboard by adding more new features and making it to work faster. You can type more faster now through the new Word Flow keyboard. It comes with various add-on features that you had see in iOS and Android. You can swipe to different alphabets instead of typing. The new keyboard also brings more accuracy in terms of word correction. It easily recognize what you are typing and fix if there is a typing mistake.


    Windows Phone 8.1 brings lots of new things in the phone. It is must to have a update that makes your device work faster and brings many additional features which are quite useful. Like Cortana. A new and smart voice control service. Battery saver feature is annoying add-on that will boost your battery.

    If you are not happy with the battery life right now just run the update and see new changes. Microsoft looks slowly bending towards Android and iOS common features. Smart Action Center, Good Action Center etc are huge changes that shows how effective a Windows Phone can be.
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