Subtle differences

by Volker Weber

keyboard keyboard

Windows Phone 8.1 is a developer preview, not a finished product. It's likely to burn through your battery and you will miss features, that have disappeared from the O/S and will reappear in apps. Facebook and Twitter are no longer part of people hub, but both companies have already provided the integration back through their latest app betas.

Cortana isn't done yet and it's only going to launch in US English, but I have already enabled it to gain a feature I have been missing: quiet hours. It will turn off alerts while I am sleeping. And pictured above is a minor change that has proven to be a life saver. The comma key is suppressed by default — it can be re-enabled through advanced keyboard settings — and gives me a bigger space bar. No more commas between words for me.

Which features do you like best?


Swipe is very nice in my opinion and I use this feature on a reglar basis.

Lukas Gerlich, 2014-04-18 15:08

For me it is:
- Notification center
- Better usage of space on phablet size devices (e.g. 1520)
- 'Wordflow' Keyboard

I could really list all new features here. The transparent tiles and Battery sense is great as well. And... ;)

Hubert Stettner, 2014-04-18 16:35

Notification center. Full stop.

Ingo Seifert, 2014-04-18 19:38

Weiß jemand wo man die Twitter-Beta herbekommt? Im Store steht inzwischen "This app is no longer published" :-(

Thomas Cloer, 2014-04-19 12:07

Gewartet hatte ich am meisten auf VPN (noch nicht eingerichtet). Sofort positiv überrascht bin ich vom Notification Center und der Wochenansicht im Kalender.
Allerdings ist eine deutliche Verschlechterung der Batterieprformance mitgeliefert worden. Das Feature, das ich meisten vermisse, fehlt nach wie vor, eine vernünftige Analyse des Batterieverbrauchs, runter gebrochen auf die Services, die den Verbrauch verursachen.
Und die Kommataste hätte ich gerne wieder, allerdings ist die Checkbox bei mir grau...

Kai Schmalenbach, 2014-04-19 14:07

Wenn man sich auf eine Tastatursprache beschränkt, erscheint das Komma an Stelle der Sprachauswahl.

Marcus Humann, 2014-04-19 14:59

After using it for a few days, I'm surprised by some features, either because I was not aware of them at all (display use & swipe) or I didn't think I would like or need them (transparent tiles).

1. Better use of diyplay size
2. Battery always on top of screen (one tile less on start screen)
3. Notification Center
4. Short cuts within notification center (two tiles less on main screen needed)
5. Swipe
6. Calendar week view
7. Transparent tiles

Timm Caspari, 2014-04-21 09:17

I just can agree Timm. Really enjoy the new features, also activated Cortana and using her quite often. However, the update brought not only improvements. For example I miss the old music (Xbox) app. I think Microsoft messed this up really up!

Other than that I also noticed that my battery drains ways faster than before, have you experienced the same?

Norman John, 2014-04-21 09:26

Yes, it does. And it was to be expected. Also lots of crashes. As I said above, a developer preview, not a consumer product yet.

Volker Weber, 2014-04-21 23:51

What kind of crashes? i hardly use the 920 so i can't tell about it, but the 1020 doesn't crash in any way.

Kai Schmalenbach, 2014-04-22 00:30

Completely locking up when shooting video. Facebook would not load until reboot.

Volker Weber, 2014-04-22 00:52

@vowe concerning facebook, it helped closing all other open apps - then facebook would load again

Samuel Orsenne, 2014-04-22 13:14

- I *LOVE* the Wordflow keyboard, and in fact find this to be better vs Swype on the Android
- Battery seems to last significantly longer if I disable Location services (i keep a tile on the home screen to quickly access Location settings); of course, I do have to enable Location when using Cortana / Waze / etc.
- Although only UI, I quite like the transparent tiles, allowing home screen image to show through
- I'm no longer using Facebook Beta; the regular FB app works quite nicely
- After experimenting with Spotify and some other music apps, I find I pretty much use only the Nokia Music app ("MixRadio"). MixRadio does everything I want, and quite nicely.
- Separate volume levels for 'regular phone' (levels 0 - 12) vs Media (0-30). And it remembers what volume I prefer when using ear buds with MixRadio; that was a pleasant surprise.
- as was my habit on the Android, I do regularly close any apps that I'm not using, rather than letting them just tombstone. I can't say if that helps; it's just a habit :)

Joe Litton, 2014-04-25 18:33

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Ceci n'est pas un blog is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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