[sc:mobile-category ]Windows Phone 8.1 is coming “really soon now”® and it looks to get announced at the Microsoft Build conference.
We know quite a bit about what will be included in 8.1 and we would expect there to be even more that Microsoft has up its sleeve for the actual launch. Some thoughts on the features we do know about:
- The Action Center will be nice to finally have, if only to be able to see notification you missed while away from your phone (I know, it’s supposed to be glued to your head ;).
- The automatic update of application is going to be most welcome, hopefully it will hook in to the notification system so you will be able to see what was installed.
- Calendar WEEK VIEW! About time 🙂
- IE password storage. This has been missing for far too long. It really limits the usability of web apps to have to remember and type in passwords each time you load them.
- It looks like we’ll also lose the 6 tab limit for IE, which will be nice.
- VPN support will be interesting to see how they do, if it only supports DirectAccess then it won’t be much use.
- Back button no longer closes an app has been a nit pick of mind since WP7, nice to see it’s going away.
- Quiet Hours, which have had several third-party apps over the last month or so show up in the store, is going to be in the core OS. This will be nice to be able to get precise control. Hopefully they also add in GPS support so you can mute it based upon your location.
- Swipe keyboard. I’ve tried this kind of keyboard before and found it a terrible way to input text, but perhaps with time it would be better.
- Miracast is looking to become the standard to wireless display, so this will be a welcome addition.
- Trusted app list for NFC. When I got my Nokia 925, the NFC support for the accessories was cool, but having to “accept” the tag each time kind of defeated the purpose. This should get rid of that requirement.
Overall it looks like a great update and should cover off the remaining features that had been missing.
The other big part of the update will be to remove some of the hardware restrictions to make it easier for manufactures to re-use their Android designs for Windows Phone. Overall I’m ok with that, I have to admit I really liked the design of the HTC One and would have loved to see Windows Phone running on it.
Hopefully Microsoft will announce 8.1 will be available either the same day or within a few weeks to at least developers and early access users.
We’ll know more soon enough!