Windows Phone 8.1 arrives along with new Lumias: here's all you need to know

Microsoft has taken the wraps off Windows Phone 8.1, one of the largest updates to the Windows Phone platform since its inception, introducing a brand new Bing-powered personal voice assistant called Cortana, a unified notifications hub called Action Center, and plentiful new customization options. 

Cortana, for instance, aims to be a truly personal assistant, tapping into your location and emails (if you allow it to), learning from your behavior over time to give you relevant information, and that’s great.

The Action Center is another hugely requested feature that finally brings all your notifications into a single place. Yes, it reminds of similar features on Android (and iOS), but it’s also slightly different, as you can customize it to the very tiny details.

In addition to that, Windows Phone 8.1 brings all new customization options with wallpapers appearing like a jig-saw puzzle on the home screen, with options to completely overhaul the lockscreen experience, as well as new options for Live Tiles.

Windows Phone 8.1: all you need to know




Nokia unveils first Windows Phone 8.1 Lumia phones


Microsoft, however, was not done with just the Windows Phone 8.1 announcement, and just as we thought the event was about to wrap up, Nokia chief executive (and future VP of Microsoft devices) Stephen Elop appeared on stage with two brand new Lumias in its pockets. 

The Nokia Lumia 930, a 5-inch 1080p device with an edgy design and a 20-megapixel PureView camera was the first to get unveiled, followed by the affordable, 4.5-inch Lumia 630 with a Snapdragon 400 chip (the exact same chip powering the Moto G, by the way!). Nokia also presented the Lumia 635, an identical device to the Lumia 630, except for one new feature - 4G connectivity.


Join the discussion: Do you like Windows Phone 8.1?


Finally, with so many news, we are wondering what you think about all the updates to the Windows Phone platform, and the brand new Lumia devices that just got unveiled. Do you like what you see from Microsoft and Nokia?

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29 Comments

1. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Big day for MS & Nokia! Can't wait for the update to arrive :D

15. icyrock1

Posts: 307; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

And maybe they'll decide to launch this on all carriers (The 930) instead of just AT&T. /bitter

27. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

The way it went in 2012 is that AT&T gets the original version (Lumia 920), T-Mobile gets the slight upgrade a few months later (Lumia 925), Verizon gets their own variant (Lumia 928), and Sprint doesn't get anything because they don't like WP. I would expect the same thing to happen this year. AT&T gets the 930, Verizon gets the Icon, T-Mobile will get a minor revision in a few months (935, maybe) , and Sprint still won't get anything.

2. yahiaM

Posts: 18; Member since: Apr 02, 2014

Please tell me when the update will be available for developers???

3. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

Next week.

4. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

The Lumia 930 sounds awesome. Only if Google would make apps for all their services then Windows Phone would actually be usable. But until then the only two options really are Android or iOS.

5. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

I'm not sure if Microsoft would let WP to run Google service app :P

8. wolfsaviorzx unregistered

Google Services is overated. I use android for the freedom not because of nsa-google

16. icyrock1

Posts: 307; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

Eh, those services seen to be what google's focusing on more than ASOP (the Nexus dialer isn't in ASOP, the move to chrome for the stock browser, etc). I expect them to make there services more and more indispensable to the Android experience.

18. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

Google doesnt wanna make apps that others(amazon,nokia) may use without their concern

9. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Thing is that Microsoft apps on Android just plain stink - look at their Halo Waypoint app, or even XBOX smartglass...both stopped working weeks ago...

14. papss unregistered

Hmm I'm using Microsoft music on my m8 and it works fine.. also using office and it's great.

6. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2350; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

That Nokia 1520 , looked damn sexy with that WP8.1 update!!! I might just reconsider, and buy it.. WP FTW!!!!

7. wolfsaviorzx unregistered

Almost but no cigar. Let me install apps without going through Windows Store and I'll switch. Won't give up my freedom.

11. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

No sideloading on WP? If thats the case....forget it. There are many good apps from devs on XDA or elsewhere they dont put on the Play Store. Or you can get faster updates to ones they have on there by getting it from their thread and side loading it.

17. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

It is called developer preview, allows unsigned apps to install. Then again the playstore is booming and not cause of side loading but because you are the 1%.

23. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Thank you for dismissing having options. Appreciate it.

10. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

I will have to admit that the changes that were made do sound intriguing....

12. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Notifications and smaller Live Tiles are nice.

13. CEMIII

Posts: 110; Member since: Jun 26, 2013

I can't wait bring it. MS definately brought their A game & Nokia's hardware is their vessle. I'm lovin my Icon which I got for free haha do to a shipping flub. But seriously I have the top devices the S4 for the wife 5s for the kid & Icon for me & all the hogwash about better apps for or on Android & IOS is just that hogwash. WP has some pretty soild apps. They are all the same good bad & indifferent. Android has XDA community & so what. They have one for all except Apple. I modded my HTC Arrive & previous android devices. Also those that say they refuse to go to the app store, Go to the app store. You are lying if you don't. Not every developer side loads. It seems that MS is driving that same experience from desktop to mobile device like Ubantu wants & the integration is getting more elegant & smoother. As I always said their integration is bad ass. Finally for me the ability to uninstall & get rid of any app (bloatware) anytime. Haha with that feature who needs to mod their device.

24. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I agree if anyone says they refuse to get apps from any app store..if so...where are you getting apps from.... My thing is I like having options for some things. One of those options is side loading with less hassles. There are times you may have to use the Android SDK to side load.....if you arent rooted and/or dont have a root enabled file manager installed. And using the SDK is as simple as installing it on your PC. Most times its as simple as checking a box in the settings on the phone.

19. Ikechukwu

Posts: 250; Member since: Oct 03, 2011

Boy O Boy, I don't think I can be able to resist this one. I'll hold on to see if a more powerful Lumia emerges from the depts of Finland... else? Lumia 1520(which should be much cheaper by then) :)

20. destiny110

Posts: 9; Member since: Jun 16, 2012

Guy you are forgetting something. We heard something about enhanced multitasking features...???

21. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

stupid samsung. they cant even get android4.4 on all 2013 galaxies

22. aksa123

Posts: 366; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

They're busy making new phones. New, overpriced, crappy phones.

25. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

they just eat everyone's money. they dont value our money via their phones we buy. " oh you want the latest update? go buy our new phones!"

26. Sire3008

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

Not to troll or anything but I don't in anyway see d option for A FILE MANAGER. Why leave this out MS!!!!!

28. mark_ray

Posts: 35; Member since: May 26, 2013

Great features and powerful specks, but still I would not personally let gomy Galaxy Note 3 and go for Windos Phone yet.

30. Chrismoor

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 15, 2014

AT&T needs to bring back integrated Qi charging. The add on for the 1520 was a completely irresponsible blunder to Nokia fans. I shipped my 1520 back because it nuetered the device terribly. Anyone with half a brain would have known it was a disrespectful move to go backward with the devices integrated technology.

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