But the elements weve covered are the bits you should be excited about, if anything. You can even access Action Center from the lock screen.1 features, and whether they are any good. Despite this niggle, Windows Phone 8. Note: This review is based on the developer preview.
1 alterations, but Cortana is probably the most politically important. Should I upgrade to Windows Phone 8. With anything but a dark, fairly plain background it spoils the legibility of any Live Tile text.4 KitKat.
But is it any good Its a mostly successful work-in-progress. It also ruins the high-contrast visual punctuation that is the systems calling card. Its a little less clean than the Google Now look, though.1.
Here are the old style and new style home screens for comparison:This background doesn’t fare too badly, but anything with plain white in it is a no-goFreedom is good, but we imagine many people will make their phone harder to use, and worse-looking, by taking advantage of this feature.Cortana is used not just to give Windows Phone more features, but also more personality. Less scrolling is a bonus, and there’s no usability issue once you’re used to your home screen layout.1: PodcastsNext up, the new Podcasts app is one way for Microsoft to mitigate the still-pretty-rubbish apps selection of Windows Phone.
A Show More Tiles mode squeezes three rows of normal-size Live Tiles onto your home screen rather than the normal two. Windows Phone 8.1 dont look all that great, the visuals of gesture typing could be better, though. Here’s the difference in action:Previously, this display option was only available on massive-screen phones like the Lumia 1320 and Lumia 1520.
Were hoping to see this improve by the time the full release comes to the UK later this year, because otherwise it wont be all that much more useful than Ask Jeeves. Quiet Hours is something youll find on some Android phones. It lets you silence your phone during certain hours of the day, or when you have a calendar event going on. While apps still often seem to take a bit longer to load here than with an iPhone or Android device, Windows Phone 8.
1 brings is that it lets you display more Live Tiles on your home screen than before. The system is still split into a scrolling page of Live Tiles that make up your home screen, and a separate apps menu where you can keep anything you dont use too often. Its a podcast client that lets you automatically download new episodes of your favourite podcasts, or just collate them for streaming. She’s a pervasive lass.
It’s handy, but nothing we haven’t seen before. Some new features make the phone quicker to use too.1: Action CenterAction Center whose name will hopefully be de-americanised by the time it reaches the UK is a drop-down notifications bar whose style has been robbed wholesale from Android.1 offers some significant changes that help the system gain parity with its major rivals iOS 7 and Android 4.
We also found that Cortana booted us out to a Bing search more often than not, even when dealing with questions that are really within its remit, such as travel advice. For the uninitiated, you draw a snaking line over the letters in a word in the right order, naturally and the phone works out what you were trying to type by cross-checking the places your thumb/finger slowed down or stopped with the internal dictionary. But its a real improvement for those used to Windows on a phone. Still, it works.
As-is, it feels a little less developed than either Siri or Google Now.1 mobile even smaller ones like the Lumia 520.1 is the first major update to Microsofts mobile OS since Windows Phone 8 launched in late 2012. Should you be excited Despite having some pretty serious changes, this does feel like a bit of a stop-gap between Windows Phone 8 and a more complete system refresh in hold your breath Windows Phone 9, or whatever Microsoft chooses to call it.
Its just as happy with typing.Flick upwards from the main Cortana screen and youll see the latest headlines, and then the local weather another screen down. It will be available to according to Microsoft just about any Windows Phone 8. It shows through certain Live Tiles, and developers can choose whether to make their icons opaque or transparent.
But the new bits are absolutely worth experiencing regardless. You could almost mistake it for a third-party addition to the system, something that Microsoft does not allow. In theory. Much like Action Center, the visual execution of Cortana could do with a tweak in parts.
Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 8.Windows Phone 8.1: CortanaThese core interfaces changes are the most obvious Windows Phone 8.
Microsoft calls it Word Flow.1.1s interface is improved by the additional Live Tile scope.1 is that you can now put an image behind your home screen.
VerdictWindows Phone 8.1: Quiet Hours and PodcastsThere are some other notable new bits in Windows Phone 8.1Windows Phone 8.Whats New in Windows Phone 8.
However, we can imagine using it more than for example Siri. It works well, and will seriously speed-up typing for most people.1 screenshot will tell you that Microsoft has not fundamentally changed how Windows looks on a phone. As an antidote to this, Windows Phone 8.
And Microsoft hasnt dropped the ball with performance. This latest update adds a treasure trove of features and tweaks. While its a voice assistant, theres no particular need to talk to the thing. Some parts have a little less spit n polish than were used to with Windows Phone, but they help to make the system feel more immediate and cohesive than before, if only structurally.
A humanised feature like Cortana makes it seem that little bit more friendly.Its handy, its quick, and it is something many people have been wanting to see in Windows Phone for an age. The most important interface change Windows Phone 8. Some are designed to please the everyday user, but plenty more are out to gain some of the geek approval Windows still lacks, compared to Android.
Its a neat visual idea, and maintains the slick Windows Phone look because it uses a parallax effect this background scrolls a little less quickly than the Live Tile page itself, giving an impression of depth.Its a neat extra if youre into internet radio, but very much a side attraction rather than a core part of Windows Phone 8. And in the Settings menu you can choose the feature toggles that go into the drop-down, and the apps that get access to Action Center. Without wanting to bang on about how parts of Windows Phone 8.
These people can get through at all times. Thats an aeon in mobile phone terms. However, it does feel like a first-stab effort that will be tweaked significantly in Windows Phone 9, or version 8. To an extent this undermines the scroll-happy style of Windows Phone.
For some reason, Microsoft has bunged these bits into Cortana in its Settings menu, although you can also specify Quiet Hours in the phones standard Settings menu too. You can tell Cortana about your hobbies, where you live, work and so on. However, in practice it needs to be used far too carefully.Cortana is a digital assistant in the vein of Apples Siri or Googles Google Now.
In this review well be looking at all the major new Windows 8.1 also offers an Inner Circle within your contacts.1 is as whizzy as ever.Cortana also brings elements of the Google Now style, in that it offers up digestible chunks of information based on your preferences, whether learned or programmed-in by you.
The voice recognition is solid, especially given its optimised for US accents at present, and you can interact with other parts to the phone to send messages, setup calendar events and so on. Next, read our best Windows Phones round-up.1: KeyboardFrom the showy to the low-key, we come to one of our favourite new bits of Windows Phone 8.It does emphasise the relatively low sharpness of PenTile screens like the Lumia 925 we used for this review, though, and may be a bit of a stretch on small-screen phones.
Windows Phone 8.1: Interface Changes: IconsA quick glance at a Windows Phone 8.1, but they are more periphery features. The immaculate visuals of Windows Phone 8 have been compromised a bit as not every new feature has been applied with the utmost attention to aesthetic detail.
Windows Phone 8.1Naturally, there are other parts of the system that have been optimised. Its look is much less directed than most other parts of Windows Phone right down to the justification of text and the placement of icons in the features toggles. The keyboard now supports gesture typing as well as normal tapping.
1: WallpapersThe next obvious interface change in Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 8. And like those assistants, Microsoft makes sure it is easy to access. Its accessible wherever you are in the phone and it shows you notifications, and gives you access to a few feature toggles.
A consequence of a slick but rigid look is that Windows Phone has one of the most severe design personalities in the mobile phone world. You just press the search button, as Cortana now presides over the Windows Phone universal search.2 if that comes to pass. You can customise what goes here a bit, but you’re limited to certain Bing-fuelled topics and can’t presently use a custom RSS or subscribe to certain sites. Finally hope you enjoy reading my article. Leave your comment if you have any.