Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone 8.1 teased in hands-on video

IE11 Hands-on

Windows Phone 8.1 is an upcoming update from Microsoft for the mobile platform. The release itself is billed as a major improvement for Windows Phone owners, also addressing many complaints from consumers who have yet to pick up a device. Internet Explorer 11 is the next step for Microsoft's popular web browser, introducing numerous new features.

A video has been published with some hands-on footage of IE11 in action.

One of the first things you'll notice in the footage is the inclusion of both the 'stop' and 'refresh' buttons within the address bar. If you're familiar with the reader mode in Safari for iOS, you'll welcome a similar addition to Internet Explorer for Windows Phone. This feature enables users to read through content on websites without additional clutter.

It's possible to configure the Reader settings and alter both text size and reading views - choices include bright, light, medium and dark.

Password management is something that's also absent from the current version of Internet Explorer for Windows Phone. According to UnleashThePhones, this will be included in IE11. A setting for websites to remember passwords can be viewed in both the video and screenshots below.

"It just seems faster."

We're familiar with the above saying when it comes to Windows Phone and app updates, but we're certain the IE11 upgrade will be a much improved experience over what consumers are currently enjoying. So far, everything looks like Microsoft is moving in the right direction.

IE11 WP 8.1

Here are some other highlights from what we know about IE11:

  • JavaScript and HTML for app development
  • Upload files through Internet Explorer 11
  • Tabs now show up individually in multi-task window
  • WebGL and Normal mapping support
  • YouTube Player including HTML5 video support

Are you excited for Internet Explorer 11 in Windows Phone 8.1, or do you feel as though the web browser still lacks some extra magic? Let us know your thoughts, as well as what you'd like Microsoft to add to IE.

Source: UnleashThePhones


Reader comments

Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone 8.1 teased in hands-on video



Have you tried both Asha and X? I admittedly can't muster all the facts, but I have feeling that Asha was struggling. I do not like the fact that X has Android but compared to Asha, it stands a better chance as a device.

Wish they could offer WP 8.1 for free to all X users later this year.

The best thing about the video is the speed at which IE11 makes recommendations as you type. Currently IE is slow as hell.

Maybe, but it's slow as hell on WiFi or LTE for me. The video looks much fatser than my 920. That's probably one of my biggest annoyances with IE. I was previously an iPhone user and the history or suggestions was pretty much instant.

Not true.  It depends on how large your browser history is.  If you clear the history it loads drastically faster.

The languages dictionaries are significantly larger and fuzzy search works on them drastically faster to suggest words against the keyboard hits.

Only if IE team decided to work closely with WP team. But first they need to acknowledge bugs on their issue tracker (MS Connect). More than 50% of reported bugs are closed with status; By Design or Won't Fix.

Also, WebGL is at 0.9 (or 0.9.2) in IE11 while other browsers are at 1.0.2 and experimenting with 1.0.3.

They need a new, extremely proactive, head for IE; to catch up with the pace of rapidly changing web technologies! Perhaps, someone like Herb Sutter from VC Team. 8-)

I hope it stays, it could be due to a small history. When I clear my history the recommendations are super fast, then it slows down over time.

I hope so. I don't want to have to clear my history too often. My gf never cleared her history on her iPhone and it's a lot faster. Idk why

Me too! 8.1 is very much needed....I'm hoping they really bring it with 8.1 if they do, then Windows may be my next daily driver device...right now I have a note 3 and really enjoy it, so I'll have to find something comparable and it's not about the size, but functions I can do with my note. I'm just getting bored with Android, iOS, and blackberry. I use a lot of Google products, but can manage some things differently if I have what I want in other areas too. I have a Nokia 520 and it's OK, but improvements are definitely welcomed and needed.

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You can do that in IE9 for WP, as long as they are supported.. More file support is somthing that WP8.1-0xxxx needs.

I really like the new page transitions and the transition when a picker page opens. Besides, I really like the cancel/reload button within the url field. Especially when the button on the left handsite is for opening the "tabs" page, the new cancel/reload button will save time :)

There is a Gameboy emulator in the Store, y'know. VBA8, VGBC comes to mind, even though those are the later generations of the GB.

I love to see these new features coming down to us. It really excites me about the platform. I do wish they could come quicker but I know there are loads of regression testing that need to be done for every small change that is introduced within the OS.

Good job MS, keep them coming! I would love to see WP hit the 10% market share mark.

Look at Opera Mobile. I don`t know for sure what opera is doing for android, but I`m speaking about Symbian version. It`s much more user friendly. Even firefox (mobile) looks better.

I don't know about ugly, but it is quite difficult.  Have you tried Firefox on Android?  Really blows IE away.

That ugliness is relative to any person. As for me, I call it simplicity, and for me, simplicity simply the best. Now, the difficult part... Well ... this also relative to any person. Since I can easily adapting to use any UI, I can't even see the difference Firefox (on Android), Opera (on symbian), Chrome (on Android), Safari (on iOS) and this IE in term of usage. They just work like I want to. That might just me though. Different people has different trait afterall :)

How can you prove its authenticity ?
I don't find that legitimate because they say Windows Phone 8.1 has some tweaked keyboard like swiftkey or swype and many more things which contradicts both videos that you've featured recently on Windows Phone 8.1

they just did not use that style while typing , trust me it doesnt get any real than this .... normal typing of letters is still supported ... go watch other videos of them you will see they are legit .  

The guy that made the video also has a video with the swiftkey or whatever it's called. You have to choose if you want to use swiftkey or not...I don't get what is being contradicted or maybe I'm missing the point of your comment

Just die already .... The Flash I mean ... Eh ... wait ... If Flash died, Justice League will lost one member. How sad :D

Yet it has no issues running on RT which is also ARM based. And if the kernals are so close between RT and WP, why is MS not able to make it work as well on WP. Outdated or not it still exist and not all players on sites have been switch to HTML5. Having the option available was something I always loved on Android and now enjoy on RT with certain sites.

I don't agree, Flash on my Surface 2 is awfull ... Sometimes it does work, sometimes it doesn't work at all, and the load times are really slow, and yes i have a fast internet connection ;-)

Its just not support anymore, period.
Don't believe me? Cool, I wouldn't either... but go to Adobe's website and they'll say the same thing.

I don't know much about the topic so I'd appreciate any insight in the matter.

Was Apple's idea of getting rid of Flash a way to "force" mobile content to be provided mostly by apps, hence creating this app market and making it really difficult for new competitors OSs to enter the smartphone game, because if there were good content with flash what most new OSs would have to do is support it and then they become a viable alternative, but as of now they have this lack of apps so they can't really compete.

That's what I belive.

No, the idea was to switch everything to HTML5. Originally, Steve Jobs didn't want apps. He thought everything should run on teh web. Obviously, HTML5 isn't ready for that yet. The other Apple employees had to convince him to implement an app store and the rest is history. I believe this was reported in the Steve Jobs biography book that was published after his death.

Oh that's interesting, I guess I'll have to read Jobs biography, but last time I saw there were a few books, do you kow which one is the original?

Flash takes up to many resources, making it a battery & processor hog. That is why most platforms have looked for alternatives, but why Adobe decided to no longer support mobile themselves... I have no idea.

I agree, flash should die. However there are times where I wish I had it because I can't watch a certain video (wimp.com).

Even though I agree flash needs to die there are some "video" sites that use flash, I know Youtube does on some videos and we are able to play them, I wish there was something that would make flash sites work....


www.liveleak.com comes to mind.... News leak sites with uncut footage in most cases.

But yeah we should have that option! I'm not at war with google, if I want chrome running on windows why shouldn't I have that?

I'm very excited for the reader mode.  I just wish you could have the option of displaying the content in a page mode, instead of a looooong list of text. 

I'm excited about uploading files from I.E! :) important feature to that we shouldn't have missed in the first place. Have my fingers crossed for a first class all-round Internet experience that the current version ain't really providing atm.

Hoping we'll get an option to set a default browser! In fact a default everything.

Well I'd like to think M.S has a better excuse for a basic feature being drop than that if I'm being honest... They've been in there industry for a while! To they burn down everything windows mobile..stuff include when they introduced its successor?

Not aware what the manage storage option does and delete browsing history should give more options including clearing cache, passwords,recent history with user selection....

Nope. It manages the space taken up by websites that store data on your phone. Usually ones like web apps and games that download and cache resources locally.

I thought that also was part of the other storage as well. I remember when people were complaining about it and mentioning internet browser storage being an issue with it.

But if we play a video that takes up space locally so that should be shown under manage storage... It doesn't and i have to delete entire browsing data to clear up space

Sorry but it doesn't "seem faster" to me. I'd like to see comparisons with IEMobile 10 on another same specked phone.

I hope the address bar will minimize off the screen and will only appear if you flick it up or turn it on in settings like windows 8.1

It only disappears when he's in Reading Mode.  I'd also like for it to disappear when scrolling normally too.

Had fun reading the comments on the video...people telling unleashthephones he/they should have showed this feature or that feature when he has already showed those features in other videos...

You missed a big highlight:  It's now possible to delete the browsing history without deleting passwords.

Go back and forward arrows are missing since the first version. I know i can go back with the back arrow on the phone , but what about going forward.

I think I'll keep waiting an Opera browser for wp, after all, Internet Explorer is just....well, Internet Explorer

Yeah, people outside of the "new Windows" fold still make fun of IE, and I can't see why anymore. It is really snappy actually. Granted, I want my browser to be simple, without all the extra add-ons.

Ditto. In fact as a web developer I see the inside and out of all the web browsers every day, and I see so many more bugs and inconsistencies in Firefox, Chrome and Safari (especially Chrome and Safari) than I ever have in IE9+.

Yeah I see this everywhere, its like a meme or something. Today IE is not really bad, I'm talking about the desktop version, and the RT version. When I'm on pc I use Firefox mostly because it supports some add-ons I use like greasemonkey, other times i use IE, it renders pages just as good as firefox and is overall safe. What don't use and hope never to, is Chrome, it was good before but now it constantly keeps crashing on site with java and/or flash content. I don't know if it has to do with my hardware but firefox and IE run just fine so I blame Chrome.

Can you stop saying 'YouTube' player? It gives people the wrong impression, like there's an app coming or something. It's 'HTML5 Video' player.

All excellent features, but I myself am more excited about the possibility of bookmark/history syncing with the Win 8.1 version, like I've been hearing about around the net lately. If they can get that going, then I can pretty much well and truly banish Chrome from my life.

They should add the option to enable an extra arrow for favorites on top of the adress bar, should be awesome if you could scroll easily from left to the right to fast switch between favorites ... Just my opinion, i think i would like that feature.

Readability mode is the greatest. I am so glad it will be for the phone now. It is such a no brainer, especially for a mobile browser.

Not entirely impressed with this change its like regressing back to ie7 id perfer the way it is just with a shorter address bar & maybe have all of that @ the top of the screen instead

We do get something that works like a file manager, and if with the improved file access I see no reason for third party file managers.... I.E needs a download manager too... I want to be able to download stuff that are not supported by the O.S...but seems to be taken care of if rumors of the other folder are true.

I just want it to be on par with the Win RT IE 11. Using a device like the 1520 with the current browser if very disappointing.

Yeah it was rock solid on my HTC Arrive and started that way on my 920. Now they've screwed something up royally!

Im curious if it improves on videos played via 11 where right now you cant wind forward and back to your liking on windows phone 8 where as on ios and android you can

They are getting there, they just need to keep listening to users.

Now I only wish someone leaks Cortana in video!!! ;)

Can this PLEASE sync my favorites and history across my PC/TABLET/PHONE? ...

Also in WP8.1 are we getting more MULTI-TASKING tab/app's to show up or is it still limited?

While we're atit, why not include the forward button too? I know someone is going to suggest you could just go to the 'Recent' section from settings and access the page but that is a long process. The forward button would be a minor addition, but a major convenience.

I absolutely agree. I can't believe no one in the v comments section has brought this issue up. It's ludicrous that Microsoft failed to incorporate something so simple. At the end of the day it's the entire user experience that matters. WP needs polish or it can't compete.

We need option for the user to allow or not allow pop up blocking. My bank uses a pop up to pay bills and I can't pay bills on my Lumia 920 because block pop ups are forced without an option to allow pop ups. Very annoying

It either needs gesture support like windows 8 or forward and back buttons. I hate the WP back button. Its so hard to figure out when I'm switching between apps

I hope they fix it so that some websites operate better. Sometimes I try and click on a menu item and it opens the menu but does not hold it open. So I cannot select the next option.

I want the ability to add a special meta tag to a web app that allows it to run like a full screen native app when accessed by IE11 on WP

Love the separate display of tabs for the task screen, saves an extra step :) also the ability to upload files, do we know if its just limited to images though?

-ffs, add a rotation lock plz already :S , im tired of disabling the rotation everytime i open IE(to protrait), and renabling it everytime i open the gallery/camera(add a permenant landescape option for the camera too, Nokia).

- no text alighment either, hmm, i've read somewhere(i think in the UC browser forum), that  its an OS issue, pretty slow in WP8... i hoped WP8.1 would ammend that, but alas, no news so far :(

- no forward button yet? (cant remember :D )


Why can't MS incorporate a simple feature of single tap to top of the page? I'm pretty sure its not rocket science. It takes freakin' forever to scroll all the way back to top if you're reading a long article. I totally love this feature in iOS...

I just wish Microsoft would get rid off all this black. The reader mode looks nice but its just black everywhere. Go into WP settings and its black, loads of apps, black. It needs to look bright and contemporary in my opinion.

It's crazy that after this long no one at Microsoft has said hey we're missing a dedicated back button for our browser lets throw that in there, it might be useful. Lol

Microsoft, when we are in the favorites page, please ensure we can see the website's favicon inside a small little tile!

It was always a mystery to me why IE was such a barebones browser in WP. It must have been a conscious decision to make it so. Glad it's fixed, either way.

As long as I can have more than six tabs at a time then I'll be very happy.

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I really really found the back/forward swipe gestures handy in Safari on iOS7, as well as the pages being there instantly when you swipe - no refreshing.

What about the back button and going forward once you close the browser and reopen it? One thing I still dislike about IE how if I reopen it and hit the back button it sends me to my home screen.

A very good (if incredibly long) read. Thanks for sharing ,and he brings up some good points. Cortana MUST be revolutionary, the biggest piece of smartphone innovation since the iPhone, if Microsoft is to truly reassert themselves in the mobile market place. If they fail, then Microsoft is doomed to remain a niche player, or worse, go the way of Blackberry.

C'mon Cortana, we're all counting on you!

No InPrivate? And what about support for Kid's Corner? I want both of these features so I can safely give my phone to someone, let them browse the web, yet not worry about them being able to log into my accounts, and not have their passwords saved to my phone either.

Still, looks awesome, and I can overlooked this: due to how awesome Windows Phone 8.1 is as a whole. :)

I'm hugely disappointed. I was expecting it to be like the (awesome) Metro IE on Windows 8.1. With favourites showing up when you tap the adress bar. With going forward / backward by swiping. With hiding the adress bar. Adding websites to Reading List, and let that sync with Windows 8.1. Syncing bookmarks, passwords, tabs, etc with Windows IE in general. What do we get? HTML5 support, a reload button and a reading mode. Really Microsoft? Thats all you can bring up after 2 years of development?!

Time to Microsoft give freedom to Windows Phone users choose their browser! I Love IE Mobile, but limiting the engine to Trident just destroys real competition and leaves certain issues to all customers which are locked to the same Browser, and that could be avoided in other options! And all have the right to use what they want, its not Microsoft fault if a Android user now in WP prefers Chrome. They got to listen to the user majority, not only to the fans and fanboys which Are not the market!

This is my first and only real disappointment with the leaks we've been hearing.  I get that this is a leaked build and might not always be representative of the finished product... the problem is that Windows Phone IE has an absolutely terrible UI.  I'm not sure who came up with the fact that you can only have a single button on the address bar, or that you can't easily go back or forward a page (and the capacitive back button doesn't count, because depending on where you are in a stack that can bring you to the previous app), but they should be fired immediately, and this interface needs to be trashed.  It's just really, really bad.


They already have the right interface framework to go with in Windows 8 / RT Metro IE.  Sure, some things would have to be tweaked for a phone-sized display, but it's a far better starting point than the current UI.  Keeping it the same as how it currently is in WP8 is just terrible for one of the most important stock apps in a modern smartphone.