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Windows Phone 8.1 gets Google Calendar back, may have Miracast, and uploads from the browser

Windows Phone 8.1 SDK beta leak reveals even more

As the leaked Windows Phone 8.1 SDK continues to get torn apart by packs of anonymous devs, a few other features about the forthcoming OS have come forward. Today, support for Miracast, uploading of files through Internet Explorer 11 and Google calendar have been found in the documentation.

Miracast is a peer-to-peer wireless screencasting technology that allows beaming of your display to another display, more often than not a large screen TV. Now, references to Miracast have been found in the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK documentation, specifically in the section detailing the ability to let devs connect their devices via USB to a PC to show the display’s contents.

The documentation clearly states that the feature will be there “if the required work is completed before the release”, meaning this is far from a slam dunk for an 8.1 feature. But, it does show that Microsoft is working to bring it to Windows Phone, if not for 8.1 then certainly in its first GDR update, due a few months later.

Having Miracast built in would be a really big consumer feature, as people could share the contents of their phone to their TV using the Miracast standard, one that is preferred my many over Microsoft’s Play To.

Windows Phone Central's own investigation into the SDK can also add that there looks to be cursory support for mouse and keyboard input (i.e. USB human interface devices) too, though we’re digging deeper to confirm at this time. Such a feature would allow you to extend your phone to a monitor, mouse and keyboard, giving you a larger screen for working or even gaming.

The second big find is in uploading of files through Internet Explorer 11. This was intuitively known due to our revealing of File Picker, which allows devs to insert a tool into their app to allow file selection. That tool precedes a full File Manager, but it does allow isolated access to files for the user. Presumably, such a tool could be put into IE11 so that users can upload contents from their libraries – e.g. Documents, Photos, Video, or Music – through the browser to another site.

Finally, WPHacker confirms that native Google Calendar support is back, and in fact, it now supports multiple calendars as well. While not everyone uses Google’s services, it’s great to see native support back after the earlier standards controversy.

All of these are significant additions, should they come to fruition. We say should because beta SDKs and their features do not always make it to the final release. That’s due to testing, feedback and whether or not the feature can be completed in time.

For more information about Windows Phone 8.1 including release dates:

Source: AngelWZR, WPHacker

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Reader comments

Windows Phone 8.1 gets Google Calendar back, may have Miracast, and uploads from the browser

139 Comments

I really hope these leaks don't screw up later betas. With that said, I'm not complaining that I get to find this stuff out haha

I agree but I think MS knew that this stuff would leak out.  It helps build anticipation and lots of internet activity about it.

And any revoluionary items have been withheld.  Cortana and the Action Center are not in the SDK but I think we all believe they are coming in 8.1  So they kept out anything that really gave away the surprise element.

It also helps to keep focus on MS as buzz about the S5 and Apple devices a swarming as well. If they didn't release it, the net buzz would be dominated by the "larger iPhone", iwatch, two iPhones, galaxy S5 or the next Moto or LG devices. Though those stories are definitely making thier rounds, MS 8.1 is ranking pretty high on the Buzz-o-Meter or Buzzarometer.(Which is cooler?) :-)

JLTechword.wordpress.com

Agreed; and Buzz-0-Meter sounds better.  Sounds like a game show term while Buzzaromter sounds like a new station term.

Everyone else probably quite a while, depends if it has to go through carriers or not (it probably will)

Well there is always the option of geting the developer preview. especially if you wait a little untill they iron out the issues. 

Yes, and I'm *really* thankful that Microsoft opened up that door, otherwise I would never have GDR3, let alone 8.1 when it comes out.

 

Still more than a little bitter about Black, though.  (Can't get the new firmware through the developer channel.)

Looking forward to this also. Hopefully they'll finish the "work required" before WP8.1. Not too much of an issue though, as they should have it done by WP8.1 update 1.

No, Miracast works over WiFi Direct. Not sure exactly what the USB thing is all about, but it's absolutely not Miracast. Maybe some alternate screen-mirroring tool for demos, etc.? I can imagine there are cases where you don't want extreme amounts of wireless congestion screwing up what you're projecting (e.g. a lecture in an auditorium full of people with laptops).

Miracast is a wifi standard. Newer TVs and BluRay players now come equipped with it. Other wise, you can purchase a Miracast adatper.

Miracast utilizes WiFi direct to connect device to Miracast adapter/TV. The adapter or TV doesn't have to connect to any type of wifi network. They will negotiate a private connection (hence peer-to-peer).

 

The USB thing is not Miracast. That's being with WP since day one but never was enabled out side of Microsoft dev devices.

No, Airplay is limited in what it can stream. Miracast looks (to Windows 8) like just another monitor attached to the system. So on Win8 you can do *anything* on that display, even extending the desktop onto it. Not sure how that will work on phone, but it would let you do a lot more than stream media (e.g. playing games on your TV, showing PowerPoint presentations, etc.)

I read that as being able to project my W8.1 desktop screen onto my WP8.1 screen?Would it work this way round?

According to Apple (and I am no fan of them but rather wanted to get the facts straight since WP has been pathetic in this realm), Airplay can:

1. Stream (like Play to or Chromecast)
2. Mirror (like Miracast but is a helluva lot more reliable than Miracast and their supposed list of devices that are compatibile)
3. and work with Dual Screen like Microsoft's SmartGlass

https://www.apple.com/airplay

FWIW, Windows 8.1 has Miracast support. So this isn't so much of a surprise that it's making its way into Windows Phone 8.1.

If only it were possible to get a Miracast receiver for a reasonable price :( £60 is the cheapest reliable one in the UK and isn't worth it just to see how well it works with Windows 8.1... :(

Thanks, good to see some information on the subject. The devices are still very expensive over here though. The $45 Netgear works out at more like $100 equivalent in the UK :( utter rip off considering....

Yep, love it using it on my Surface 2 (with a Netgear Push to TV 3000) Nice to hear it's coming in due time to Windows Phone too.

How well does the Netgear box work? Is it possible to use it as an extended monitor (different images on both) and stream video from the internet to the PTV3000 without the whole system collapsing under the strain of keeping the connections going?

No, no, no. That is such a blown out rumour. They're just changing the authentication method, as it's now managed via a connection to your Microsoft account on the web rather than a standalone account option in settings.

Yes, the fact that Microsoft accounts now integrate with Facebook accounts (didn't do this when WP8 was first released) as a whole. Why have two integrations when one will do all of the work?

No source except for the leaks, however that's also the same for this 'Facebook blue'. They're all rumours based on the SDK leaks, and 'Facebook blue' has a lot more speculation whereas mine is closely based on what is already done in Windows 8.1.

I think everything will remain as it is now, only thing will be different is you will be signed into the facebook chat in messages hub through your microsoft account assuming you have the two linked.

Once again, only based on my understanding of what i've seen/read so far, could be wrong, but logically it makes no sense for MS to take away facebook integration as it was a big feature, but then again its MS we're talking about, so you never know.

From what it looks (and seems) like is we will still have access to FB through the people hub, but it will be like it is on W8/8.1. Once you sign in with your MS account, you will automatically be signed into FB assuming you have the accounts linked in your Outlook/Live account.
Not sure how or if this will affect the way FB integrates with the Photo Hub though.

 

Again, this is all an assumption.

God, mouse and keyboard support would be awesome!!!
I can imagine using the phone snapped on my monitor and having my phone laying on the desk. You can whatsapp with keyboard then. Would be so awesome!!

Hey, that's a great use for it. If the USB receiver is a Modern app that would be great for snapping. Even better if mouse and keyboard from the host computer are passed back into the phone ...

Some apps are not on the computer. Most of my communication goes over Whatsapp. It would be great if I could Whatsapp on the PC this way.

Sure for things like internet browsing. But if you could text from your computer snapped to the side without taking your hands off the KB to pick up your phone, that's pretty tight

Agreed but surely, long term the future is that we dont have a pc we have a phone and a screen. When you look at how powerful phones are with multiple cores versus what PCs had even 5 years ago, can we expect that unless you need the full desktop experience you could well have a phone as you primary device in say 5 years? maybe sooner?

Especially if the phone only needs to be a Remote Desktop thin client to a RemoteFX server that's running your actual desktop. Businesses could stop issuing separate PCs and phones to a lot of their employees.

Has there been any info yet on the mail app? I'm hoping there's a way to choose the "From" address. A lot of these features are on the suggestions site, with the "From" one getting the second most votes in the Email category, so I'm remaining optimistic.

 

That functionality doesn't exist on Windows Phone.

 

Edit: I think you're referring to the linked inbox functionality where you can choose the email account when you compose. You can't choose in a reply. I'd like to move to Outlook from Gmail, not wanting to straddle both worlds so everything would be forwarded to Outlook. Like Windows 8 and the browser, it'd be nice to choose the From when replying.

I see what you mean. Well I believe you can achieve it with Outlook.com's aliases, though it's more of a set-and-forget thing.

Notice how that white-on-blue mail icon square and the black bar to its right is EXACTLY the same style as that Cortana video that showed up on youtube like 10 days ago and that was deemed fake... As somebody said - I forget who - the fact that it was fake doesn't imply that it wasn't a pretty good recreation of the design we'll see...

Very interesting.

No joke. I can't believe more people don't realize how inconvenient not having this feature is.

It is amazing how much shit Blackberry took for their web browsing just a few years ago, now it makes other platforms look dated.

Yeah I have it, but I think it's only for accounts connected before Google closed their Exchange service to new users.

It's not to do with the phone, it's to do with the Gmail account. If you first used ActiveSync before they shut it off, then you still get it. They only shut off ActiveSync for accounts that haven't used it yet.

No, it has nothing to do with ActivSync. PureView was right, it has to do with the CalDAV support that was baked into GDR2.

I keep wondering as well why everyone is saying that 8.1 brings back Google Calendar since it works just fine on my phone.

Ok cool, yeah that is puzzling. Not the first time though, like people saying GDR3 bought the ability to attach documents to emails ...

I managed to set up my Lumia 1520 with Gmail as an exchange account before the deadline of no more activesync, so my calendar works fine. But if I had to go without Google Calendar Syn, I doubt I'd even be able to use Windows Phone at all. I rely heavily on Google Calendar and, though I like Outlook.com a lot, switching isn't really an option for me right now.

I'm not sure how you guys have been getting by without Google Calendar sync. That sucks.

I was referring to people who actually use Google services on Outlook. A bunch of OMGGOOGLESUCKSLIVEMAILALLTHEWAYBBYFISHSTICKS!!!!11!one replies aren't really necessary. I already know that a lot of you are invested in Microsoft's ecosysem. For some of us who like Windows phone, that's not an option right now.

Yeah like Zulfigar said - never got involved then switching is nothing.

Unless you must have access to shared calendars and you can't get the other people to switch then you just make your old google calendar accessible and use outlook to subscribe to it, then you stop entering new appointments to G calendar and switch to using Outlook.  Done, migrated. 

To be honest I haven been using Google Calendar since I bought the 2520 that doesn't have access to it. Still have since on my 1520 I guess? I have slowly killed off Google other than Gmail. Stop being dependent on Google Voice and quite a few apps I been attached to.

With Miracast could it be possible to run Power point directly from the phone :) and with Miracast and keyboard could Word be more useful :D

From all these leak photos one thing keeps popping out to me is that they have decided to keep status bar icons visible 24x7 instead of just having clock. We will now have network icon visible constantly too?! I bet I have seen threads about that in our forums!

Also, it feels like devs are so busy freaking leaking stuff, they won't built a single decent app update using this! This was meant to help develop stuff early, no??

why windows phone's doesnt have wifi direct, its faster than bluetooth and why doesnt it has PAN i mean EDR its convinient than wifi hotspot and even saves battery

Can anyone with the SDK check if 8.1 will have word substitution like on Blackberry? I miss that feature the most.

This is probably the biggest and best update so far. We can probably finally say that we've caught up with the mobile world. I had faith in Windows Phone and I'm extremely happy I stuck around. (not like I was going anywhere in the first place lol, but y'know.)

the real ? here is how long it will take google to break the compatability. it. will only be a matter of time until they sabotage microsoft some more.

Ahhhh, the power of windows NT. So much more capable than the windows CE core that windows phone previously ran on. The future will be very bright for windows phone.

 

Don't know why no update happening on office and outlook?? Can't we still attach office files or PDF files to an existing conversation thread? Its annoying....

Awesome man!I am just waiting for it!Just waiting to play Ashphalt 8 with Xbox controller from my 520 on my Pc.Keep the goodies comin!

Here's the ISO:

 

magnet:?xt=urn:btih:b804fa1bad6e7440cf0abd0b175bbd0c0c1f916c&dn=+Windows+Phone+8.1+SDK+%5BLEAKED%5D+-+ISO+

 

Paste in your favourite bittorrent client :-)

 

I never knew when an alert pops up at the top of your screen you could actually slide it to the right to get rid of it. Amazing. Just notice that today

What I think is Nokia n Microsoft shud think about providing basic feature n application for accessing sd card data, just like we used to do in Symbian or android phns. Users shud be given freedom to install apps in sd card. Blue update must provide these othrwise win 8 os is not going too far..trust me

So few new features. Are they sleeping?

Why don't they take the best features from IOS and Android and improve from there?