What’s your one must have feature for Windows Phone 8.1?

With the light at the end of the tunnel becoming visible with Windows Phone 8.1 an interesting discussion is taking place in the WPCentral Forums.

We are expecting Windows Phone 8.1, codenamed “Blue” to be announced next week at Microsoft’s Build 2014 conference. New Windows Phones running Blue should arrive sometime this summer and current devices are expected to be upgradeable. Rumored features for Windows Phone 8.1 include Cortana, actionable notifications, dual-SIM support, a file picker, and micro-SD card support for apps.

But what if you could only have one of these features?

Windows Phone Central member Coolaaron88 asks that very question in this WPCentral Forums discussion.

 “If Windows Phone 8.1 only had one new feature, which one would you choose?”

So far, the responses to Coolaaron88’s question mirror the rumored features with Cortana and a notifications center being the popular choices. If I had to pick only just one feature it would likely be the notifications center. It would be nice to have a central spot where you can go and review all those toast notifications that disappear before you can read them.

But what say you? If you could only choose one feature for Windows Phone 8.1, what would it be? Ease on over to this Forums discussion and share your thoughts.


Reader comments

What’s your one must have feature for Windows Phone 8.1?



Technically with Preview for Developers Microsoft has that under control, now it's just up to Nokia to get their act together with the damn Black update still awaiting approval in some places.

Technically that doesn't count. People shouldn't have to sign up for a dev account to get updates without carrier interference

WPC (in the picture) is a PhotoShop edit zoom in the picture and you will see.
Busted George ponder

I have to agree on the updates with the carrier, because I am assuming the USB support, Action Center, and Cortana come with that one.

I wish Window Phone 8.1 ran in a split screen on Windows 8 (perhaps emulator style).

And remove those bloody X's.


Those miniture versions of the apps are little masterpieces and are destroyed with a big horrible X. So agree, if its swipe to close only.


Just saying

Hopefully MS pulls this one off after the deal goes through. Maybe sell the Flagship and cheapest devices from their stores unlocked too!

All the new bells and whistles are nice, but one of the main things I've wanted since switching to WP a while ago is the basic functionality of navigation buttons in the Browser. Give us navigation buttons! I can't believe I even have to ask for that. Its like having a freaking car that only turns left.

Bluetooth keyboard and mouse profiles for my 1520's. I can't fricken believe it's taken the WP team almost 4 years to "add" a feature that was standard on WM years ago! Absolutley ridiculous.

Play to from Xbox and PC without smartglass or anything. Just swipe and share from PC to phone if your PC and phone are on a same network

If I may add to that concept with true cross platform play. Start a game on your Xbox One, head out to a buddies place while playing on your Windows Phone, and start play on their Windows 8 rig. I know this is not an announced feature but I do hope this is one of the things they push Azure to do.

ive been wanting this feature since WP7 i dont understand what the big deal is, you have full control over Windows 8, xbox one and Windows Phone software, why not take advantage of that and build a full ecosystem! At least full screen mirroring for the xbox one needs to be there. and an updated smartglass experience for each individual app / game. 

For a start you need a consistent, fast and unlimited internet connection which not everyone has. Currently It would only work on the same wi fi network to make it seamless or if it had a pause function that saved the state and resumed when from that state when internet connection resumed or were able to play offline with cached data (Maybe with direct x 12?). But even then you will need plenty of storage to play offline.

I think it's the quick settings for me. Not even the notification centre itself. Just really the quick settings.

Yeah, I gotta agree on this. I mostly want the quick-access settings. But there are so many things packed into this update, that it's hard to pick just one. I admit I do want Cortana to be amazing just so I can laugh at Siri and Google Now fans.

Yeah it's hard to pick. Separate volume settings came to my mind close to the quick settings. And I can think of a bunch of other stuff too. In the end, I went with the thing that I use the most during the day. And that's the quick settings.

Yeah, I created shortcuts with Skinery Themes. Basically tiles that lead you directly to the desired settings page (not the general settings). It cuts one tap and the need to go through the endless list of settings. But I still have to leave whatever I'm doing to change the settings which is far from ideal.

Same here. I really hope that you can horizontally scroll the 4 quick settings you chose. So you can have more (just like Arthur's Battery app)

I don't understand why quick settings are so important.

I get that it would be nice to have a quick menu for these settings (Not everyone leaves Wi-Fi, BT, and NFC on all the time), but out of all the features rumored to be coming, I think the quick settings menu is far from the most important feature.

I can't remember that last time I had to go to the settings menu, so why would I need a faster way to do it?

What am I missing??

I use wifi and bluetooth settings every day. I use connectivity tiles for that, so not really an issue. I do also use the equaliser for playing music. Have not found a direct tile for that. So understand both sides of this.

I use them everyday to turn on data connection or wi-fi connection on the move. I use them to turn on battery saver. I use them to turn on and off the auto-rotation. So it's very important to me to have a quick way to access those things no matter what I'm doing.

I have to turn WiFi off everytime I go to the mall or I can't get online or download email, unless I want to pay to use their network. Then turn it back on when I leave the mall.

From my iPad experience, I'd still find it faster to swipe up and toggle wifi / bluetooth than pressing down the home button a few seconds to launch Siri, ask it (her?) to turn off bluetooth, wait a few seconds for the processing and confirmation.

Cortana cannot replace quick settings.

I had to give up trying to manage podcasts on my 521 because of the limited system storage. It is crazy that I can put a 32GB sd card in my phone and then have limited access to it.

If you can live with the "Xbox Music & Videos" implementation of Podcasts, it will save them on the SD Card. That's what I ended up doing. Plus, it automatically downloads all of the new episodes for you.


If Nokia's MixRadio stored downloaded playlists on the SD Card, I'd be in heaven :)

I really can't though. MS's implementation is so broken it makes me want to cry.

Unless something major changed there is a limited amount of content available, they don't let you manage which podcasts to download (so ones that have 300+ episodes try to download all of them and you have to mark them played one by one)... I'm sure there were other things that bothered me, but I just gave up and use my Nexus with pocketcasts instead.

This feature is being overlooked because many WP do not have a SD card slot.  But this is a huge feature for the entry level phones like the 8S, 520 series etc.  It will help break into new markets.

This. My wife's 8S has about 5 apps and 4 games, and is constantly running out of space. I have to delete everything and remove her accounts (e.g. Facebook) to get enough space to install OS updates.


I want this feature for my 2520! Tried doing the regedit thing twice and failed! Shouldn't have to go to such lengths to install apps on my 64gb micro SD... that's 3 times I had to refresh my rt...done now!

I don't know how some people say this bug has been squashed when I've deleted over 3 GB of games to make room for photos and video that I later upload to onedrive and delete from my phone only to be told I'm running out of storage again and I have 3.9 GB in other storage. Frustrating beyond belief.

Have you tried clearing out your temp files?  Also, how often do you clean out your History in internet explorer?  And don't forget if you receive emails if you delete those on your phone you should delete everything in the deleted folder.  Those simple tricks work for me in getting additional space.  However, I don't know if they ever fixed the bug in which when you upload photos and movies automatically to Onedrive it actually copies the files in the "other" storage area.  That's why I have never moved photos that way.  But those are just some suggestions.

We can control what's in other storage by connecting to computer with wp8.1 as revealed by Facebook group wp lovers.

Idk if you're being sarcastic or not, but ita just not practical. Cortana is fun and all but not practical always. In a quiet environment or library am I supposed to leave the building to check notifications? Sure in a car I don't mind speaking or while walking outside but action center over cortana BC rather have the ability to operate it always rather than only in special situations.

Like downloading zip files and extracting them. Most mixtapes (HipHop) are uploaded in zip files. I want to be able to download them from the website its hosted on directly to my phone. Can't do that now. It'll just play the songs but not locally save them.

I am not sure if it will be possible with 8.1 but I would LOVE being able to designate a different sound notification for each of my (5) email accounts.

Give it a couple of weeks, and I have a good feeling you'll get an option for this :) However, I am talking about a third-party app; I don't know anything about WP8.1.

No they don't. Making me go to my start screen and clicking another tile when I just want to turn off rotation lock for a video on reddit isn't "taken care of"

I think in most cases people prefer to do it themselves rather than speak to their phone. Ask an iPhone user how often they use Siri.

Action center has got to be the most important feature. As simple as it may be, its an extremely useful feature. Swipe based keyboard is my second biggest attraction as it sits.

What if Cortana could notify you or set wifi/data/bluetooth state?

"-Cortana, turn off rottation lock"

you won't even have to go to the homescreen! :)

When I was using android, I also thought that hardware toggles were very important but now on windows phone I think they are a waste of time and a gimmick. Not all of them are (like airplane mode, maybe mobile data, access to wifi networks, flashlight...) but toggles for bluetooth, location services or wifi are pretty much useless. It's a smartphone. It manages battery very well for its components. They don't need to be turned off. They are there to be used everytime they are required.

Action centre. Cortana sounds good but its more of a joke to play with instead of an actual useful feature.

Or she could do everything for you:

"-Cortana, read my new messages"

"-Cortana, who called me?"

"-Cortana, turn off rottation lock"

you won't even have to go to the action center screen! :)

I will have to completely disagree with you about Cortana being useless. I have an iPhone with Siri and it is cool. Cortana is WAY better and more useful. It's become a very vital part of the phone for me.

Nothing really, the notification centre is a part of the action centre. In the action centre you have actionable settings and notifications.

1 simple thing really when I press the speach button in my car I want my phone to start the speach prompt like it does with every other OS out there (obviously if that includes Cortana thats even better)

my car system is pretty standard the RNS 315 used in many cars but still this simple thing is an issue with WP

This I would love. The Windows symbol flashing when any notifications, emails, texts etc have been received.


The Windows symbol llights anyway...

Yep, that's what I meant. I don't know why, but it should not be that hard to implement somehow.

What do you mean?   I stream music (Xbox music, Nokia Music, Digitally Imported, etc) over bluetooth all the time.  Both to bluetooth headphones and through bluetooth in my car.

My must have WP 8.1 feature? A quality Nokia device available on Verizon.
Sure the Icon is a good device, but without double tap to wake, Glance or microSD, it's a hobbled device in my opinion. Besides I want Nokia device specifically designed for and released with WP 8.1... otherwise, I may reluctantly switch to AT&T.
As for actual 8.1 features, Action Center and Cortana have me most excited, but improvements to music syncing is a must - particularly playlists.

He literally said in his comment. No double tap to wake or glance screen. Which are just two of the many reasons to get a Nokia WP8

I love Glance and tap to wake, but a microSD slot is crucial to me.
The Icon is last year's device (if it wasn't delayed so long), what I'm really talking about wanting is a Nokia device designed for 8.1 and available on Verizon. However, I'd be shocked if Verizon releases/gets another Nokia within the next month or so.

It does to me... that's why I said "in my opinion", even more so when you consider the lack Nokia devices on Verizon. If they are going to offer only one choice, I'd prefer it to have all options available... otherwise, it's hobbled... in my opinion.
By the way, I may still purchase the Icon depending on what the 930 specs are. I'll sacrifice glance & double tap for an SD card, but switching to AT&T will be hard because I love Qi charging as well.

Eh I would trade my Lumia 1520 for an Icon right this instance due to it not having an SD card slot. Since Microsoft can't get around to supporting SD Card encryption the thing is worthless to me after buying it...

In 8.1 you'll be able to load apps to the SD card and there are apps in the WP Store that encrypt files, so wonder if that would work?

For me it's the file picker / file access for apps.  That covers so many things (whether it's emailing files, getting epubs into a reader without OneDrive as a go-between, or putting videos on the device without the Camera Roll workaround that Moliplayer uses) that it's the biggest priority for me.

Im not too excited about action center except for the quick settings. I love the way live tiles handle notifications

App2SD is great, but the fact the apps that need additional data will still store something on the internal memory. Apps will need to be updated in order to accommodate this.

Oct 2012 -> Apr 2014... not quite 2 years. And really it is the end of Oct and beginning of Apr, so that's what 14-15 months? Just over a year? And if you play on Nokia's side of the fence then there have been lots of other fun updates during that time.

There is nothing wrong with MS's rate of progress on WP, their rate of progress has been phenomenal. The issue is that MS is simply behind and is playing catch-up to Android an iOS. But look at iOS which is getting slower and buggier with each release in spite of phenomenally better hardware each and every year. Look at the continued fragmentation of Android in spite of Google attempting to pull the reigns in on it's OS. And both iOS and Android have stagnated in the last year or two, uncertain of what to pursue next and offering largely cosmetic changes with updates. WP may be behind, but it is behind with a roadmap and a goal in mind. I'd much rather stick with the platform that has a plan I can follow and predict rather than the inscrutable ways of Apple, or Google's Italian theory of features in throwing 100 of them at a wall, keeping what sticks, and slowly removing the features that you may like but are not deemed worthy of staying.

But first WPC has to tell us if you really have WP8.1 in your hands or if that is photoshopped...

For me, it would be VPN!!

Edited: just read the article and id like a notification center. :-/ and well a file manager if youre wsking out of whats mentioned :'( A file manager, for godssake MS please give us a file manager. I love WP 8, but please please a file manager would help.