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Windows Phone 8.1 SDK reveals burst photo mode, password management in IE 11 and more

Our continuing coverage of the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK leak

This past week we’ve seen a flurry of new surrounding Windows Phone 8.1, the upcoming update to your favorite mobile operating system. The information we’re getting comes from developers who are leaking screenshots, info and more onto the web. 

Today we’re looking at the latest information and screenshots to come out of surrounding Windows Phone 8.1. Want IE to remember your passwords? How about having your photos automatically deleted? Details below.

Burst camera mode and auto-delete of photos

Windows Phone 8.1 will bring a new burst photo mode in the default camera app (check it out in the lead image above). This will allow you to take a lot of photos at once for those awesome action shots. Of course that’s a quick way to fill up the storage on your phone. In the settings for the camera app you’ll be able to automatically delete unsaved burst photos after a selected time frame.

For example, have those unsaved photos deleted after 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, 14 days, or never. The more options to users the better. (Source)

WP81 SDK Leak

Messaging, passwords and more

Here are some more screenshots from the SDK. First up you see the ability to mute a thread in the messaging application. This can be particularly useful when you get looped into those group SMS’s that never seem to end (I’m looking at you grandmother).

Middle screenshot shows off the ability for IE 11 to save and remember your password for websites. A very useful tool and hopefully we’ll see it syncing with IE 11 on Windows 8. If not, we’ll stick to using a password manager. And the last screenshot shows off a new feature called storage sense. You can select the default save location for various media on your phone.

Have a microSD card in your Windows Phone? Have music and photos automatically saved to the micro SD card to save space on the actual phone for apps and games. A very handy feature.

WP81 Leak

Contact lists, weather in the calendar and filters

We’ve shared the screenshot of the calendar above before, but we might have glanced over a pretty cool feature – the ability to see at a glance what the weather is like. Check it out that week view and you’ll see weather implemented into it.

Too many Twitter and Facebook contacts littering up your contact list right now? In Windows Phone 8.1 you can filter out your contact list to only show people with phone numbers. Speed dial contacts? Coming in Windows Phone 8.1.

VPN Windows Phone

VPN support has been one thing many Windows Phone users in enterprise have wanted for a long, long time. It's finally coming in Windows Phone 8.1. The screenshots above show it off. (Source)

Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 collide this spring

Tiles in WP81

Windows Phone and Windows 8 are on a collision course. While they’ll crash and collide with the Blue update (aka Windows Phone 8.1), they won’t be one and the same just yet.

However we’re going to see a lot of overlap between the two when Windows Phone 8.1 launches in a few short months. One area we’ll see some overlap will be with the new Live tiles and notifications. In Windows Phone 8.1 Live tiles will be cross-platform with Windows 8.1. We won’t see those really large Live tiles on Windows Phone, but we’ll see the other sizes.

WP81 W81 Devs

Blue is just the first step to bringing the platforms together. We’ll see even more convergence with the Threshold update.

Windows Phone 8.1 will introduce a variety of benefits for developers who want to design once and deploy everyone. We’ll see things like a converged developer platform, converged app model, shared app identities & entitlement, and a unified push service for apps on Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1. 

Blue Shared App

In Windows Phone 8.1 sharing apps with Windows 8 will be a lot easier. Right now you build a Windows 8.1 app and a separate Windows Phone 8 app. However, going forward developers will be able to build a Universal App that works across platforms. 

Background images on Start screen?

Earlier this morning, Verge writer Tom Warren tweeted a few images showing the Windows Phone start screen with a custom background and a cheeky smiley face:

“Yeah would definitely be interesting if Windows Phone 8.1 had backgrounds :)

With all of this leak talk, you may think that this was just another leak of a beta SDK feature that some of you have asked for in the past. But no, custom backgrounds are not in this beta SDK. However, we can say in this case, don’t take Tom’s mockups literally. Take that as you will/insert winky nod.

Finally, despite everything coming out from the SDK, there are still numerous ‘user facing’ features that have not been revealed at all. Many of which you have not even heard about.  

Recap of leaks

There’s been a lot of new information about Windows Phone 8.1 this week thanks to the leak of the SDK beta. Here are some quick highlights of what we learned this week to bring you up to speed.

  • JavaScript and HTML for app development
  • Rebranding of SkyDrive to OneDrive
  • Support for Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
  • Swipe down to close apps in multitasking view
  • Back button no longer closes apps, instead it suspends them
  • Separate volume controls for ringtones/notifications and music/media
  • Navigation bar
  • Dedicated Bing app for podcasts
  • Mirror and project via wireless display or USB-out. Miracast support
  • New weekly calendar view
  • Battery Power Sense – app to monitor which apps draw the most power
  • Upload files through Internet Explorer 11
  • Mouse and keyboard support

That’s just a small sampling of what we’ve learned about Windows Phone 8.1. Don’t miss out on our previous coverage of the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK leak:

Source: @AngelWZR, Windows Phone Lovers, Windows Phone Hacker

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Reader comments

Windows Phone 8.1 SDK reveals burst photo mode, password management in IE 11 and more

226 Comments

I don't know about theme colors but Tom Worren was teasing the ability to have background images.

I don't think so. MSFT is too strict about its "solidity" in themes and "fluidity" in performance. Animated backgrounds would affect both.

I'm thinking (and by thinking I mean pure speculation)... They won't be custom backgrounds, instead they will be the graphic and sometimes animated backgrounds we can choose between present in windows 8.1 today. I think custom backgrounds would be ugly. And ugly in a MySpace circa 2004 kind of way. Having the ones from windows 8.1 however would be attractive

Yeah I'm thinking something like that too.
An animated background would be cool, but its not even on my list of wants.

...
Edit: or maybe it syncs your background from your W8 PC.

Custom Backgrounds wouldn't be ugly if it had a gradient or opacity setting with it.

That way the tiles are floating over the background intead of flat looking. 

It would be dope if the background and tiles interacted like the app FlipMag Beta....man that is sexxxxy!

Yah, I was thinking the same exact thing! Having the option of black or white, or being able to select from preselected backgrounds like in Windows 8.1. And maybe they'll open it up to custom ones or a portal of user made backgrounds that would still look good, hand selcted by Microsoft themselves. We shall see...

From the developer SDK, there's one additional theme color. An aquamarine of sorts.
As for background images, the developer behind the flurry of leaks said that there may be one in Windows Phone 8.1

ONE new colour? Surely not.

When you get far more colour options with some Apps, some of which look beautiful on the Phone, it's so frustrating being stuck with the same old 20 colours, some of which are pretty poor hue choices themselves.

 

 

 

 

To not give us more colors would be asinine. I'm not sure what they have against it, we should be able to have a color picker by now.

I installed a custom ROM on my HD7 back in the day, and it included a color picker. Some colors just flat out don't work with this platform. Because of the all-black or all-white backgrounds, certains colors are unreadable. I think that a lot more work goes into selecting the theme colors than a lot of people think.

Let us determine what color we want. A color picker or MANY more choices should be what we have. Not the lame select few we have

A colour-picker is needed. I think most Users can be trusted to choose colours which work with the Icons or not. If a combo doesn't work, they'll just change it.

I myself don't use the Yellow because it makes the White Icons washed out on my 820. The Blue is also unusable, even with the saturation turned right down. 

While i don't think full control over backgrounds is a good idea (given some of the god-awful photo/tile mockups seen)...i do think Users should be able to choose whatever Tile colour they want. 

 

 

Burst mode, finally caught up with Fruity Phone, FINALLY!

One thing I'm hoping they port over from Windows 8.1's IE11 is Reading View, especially with websites that don't recognize the mobile browser and convert to mobile-friendly.

Source: Me.

(Well seriously, I have reverse engineered the leaked WP8.1 SDK and have found strong indications towards these features even though they are not enabled on the SDK to not reveal them)

What about Tom Warren's start screen backgrounds tease. Not sure if its needed but at least it will appease some who want more customization options.

Soz Sam/Dan, i was i hurry to get that comment out before some else beat me to it(its happened to me a few times). Now i reading the article and i see the heading big and bold and all i can offer is my sincere apologies.

I am also noticing the absence of the switch button in Messaging. I suppose Messenger is being killed off as a feature, too? I prefered it to Skype on my phone. Skype takes forever to load on my 620. But I welcome the mute option! :)

Yes, but if the contact isn't linked then there are only three buttons. Fourth appears later. Now there's a new icon, "Contact". Maybe that one goes away if there's a Facebook or Messenger account. We shall see. :)

I was stumped on this one too. Not only do you need to have accounts linked, you also need to have chat status set from offline. Not sure if it works under anything other than online (haven't checked).

I hope the merging of tiles doesn't mean WinPhone will get Window 8's tile animations. Windows 8's animations are awful, I by far prefer flipping and peeking over scrolling up/down like Windows 8

Totally agree. Also the numeric tiles on W8 with the tiny number in the corner suck compared to WP8.  I also find the anti-aliasing really poor on W8's start screen so I hope that doesn't make its way to WP8.1.

I disagree, I would love to have W8.1 type live tiles. The flipping tiles take too long to flip, and can only show 2 things (front & back). The W8.1 tiles can show numerous pages of information and don't take forever to show it.

It'll be interesting to see just how much is still not in this build and coming later, build is going to be very interesting.

Please please please sync passwords and other settings like in Windows 8.1.  And not just IE11 passwords, but also WiFi.  My dad mantains the longest annoying password in the world and I hate having to type it into a new device when I visit.

They should allow companies like Last Pass to tap right into IE 11 so you can use password managers.

Also, apparently the "tabs" in IE are gone. They will be accessible through the multitasking screen apparently.

 

I'm curious to see what will come out that isn't in the dev SDK. And the background images are definitely a possibility (W8.1 does it. There's no reason why WP8.1 shouldn't do it)

Which is a pity because I could sell it for twice the price a WP is worth. Which means it could feed you for a year. Since it won't, it's back to work in the shoe factory for you.

Tabs are already accessible in the multi task screen. I think you're referring to the WinBeta video? I don't remember if he checked the 3 dot menu to see it its there or check the settings to see if he can change the button like you can now.

Yeah that one. He did check the 3 buttons video and that's when he noticed that it was missing. Then he pressed the back button and he saw they had been moved to the multitask screen.

 

You can access the tabs through the "tabs" menu and have it open in new windows etc yeah, but it's cumbersome. The new way seems much more pleasent.

Well it hasn't been 'moved' to the multitasking screen, because it's already there. Any time you switch a tab it opens a new instance in the multitasker.

Question is .. now they are converging .. will it be safe to buy surface 2 or winRT support is not a sure thing now?

All Microsoft devices are supported for the same amount of time no matter what happens to the platform. What exactly are you worries about?

"no matter what happens to the platform" thats what am saying.. Is windows RT gonna disappear in this convergence or will it be upgradeable and we'll see it on more devices, i don't want to buy for example a surface 2 now and face the same fate as windows phone 7..

Yes, but this time you won't have to disable an entire account, instead it will keep the contacts that have actual phone numbers (on FB). So it is a smarter filter.

Maybe I'm missing something, but there is one thing I don't get. From all the leaks, it looks like for unified app development between WP8 and Win8, Javascript and HTML needs to be used. However, Microsoft themselves have said recently that the vast majority of devs currently use C# and XAML. That was the only option on WP8 anyway, and then that carried on to Win8. Yet Microsoft is going completely against this, and requiring a reboot from devs yet again? I don't get it.

It isn't a replacement, it is an additional method to develop applications. It is for the web app devs to port or create applications and add to the ecosystem. The more options the more devs you can attract, the more apps that get made.

My point is: make the unified app development to also support C#/XAML, and you instantly give a big incentive to all the existing devs of WP to port their apps. Not to mention that after 2-3 years of practicing on working with those languages, devs will be able to develop faster and better. Both C#/XAML and Javascript/HTML have been there for Win8 dev since the beginning. Why not support both for the unified development effort?

As far as I remember, I read something from the "original" leaker on reddit where he clarified that C#/XAML is also supported from unified apps. I think it was in the dev manuals?

If that's the case, then please ignore my post! It just seems that every mention I've seen of this, it always says Javascript/HTML. Oh well.. we'll figure it out eventually :)

Yep, they are definitely not removing C# and Xaml, that would be crazy considering the massive number of programmers who specialise in it. C# and Xaml already have so many similarities between the platforms. It's just that they're also bringing the HTML/WinJS platforms from Windows to Phone as well.

I don't understand why the option to save pictures/music to SD card is included in this article. It's already included in WP8. Or am I misunderstanding something?

I love that it seems we can finally store apps on SD card though!

Yes, I noticed that.  He must not have a phone with a micro-SD.  You can already save photos/videos and music automatically to the micro-SD.  What is new is the ability to install apps/games onto the micro-SD.  Just wish more Windows Phones had micro-sd included.  I recently moved from a Lumia 822 to the 928.  The 928 is clearly a better phone, overall.  The 32GB storage is good, but would still be nice to have the micro-SD on top of that.  Certainly any phone with 16GB or less needs a micro-SD.  Apple sells an iPhone 4 with 8GB, which is a joke.  I had an iPhone 4, and my wife had an iPhone 4s both with 16GB.  We constantly ran out of space.  At least Windows Phones with 8GB have the micro-SD.  Anyway, my wife and I now both have 928s, so space is less of an issue.

What I was wondering about is what happens with those files/apps/etc. on the SD card when you put the card into a different, or new phone?

I was thinking the same thing. Hopefully game saves are done on the SD card too. There are alot of games I haven't bothered getting into because I change phones too frequently.

So it seems that SD card has to be wiped when placed into a new phone. But the good news is that we will be able to do a full backup with our app data to the cloud!

Having VPN isn't as important as allowing for 3rd party VPN apps. A small percentage of companies use Microsoft's VPN gateways.

Kik are pretty rubbish if they only target Webkit. That's such a poor excuse. Trident renders HTML and CSS much better than Webkit; I know, I work at a company who writes standards-compliant websites and I am usually the one fixing the browser-specific bugs. So far I have not had even one for IE 10-11, and very few for IE9. Whereas I get bugs for Chrome/Safari/iOS constantly, and they are always due to it not following standards.

Doubtful. Webkit is a different browser rendering engine. MS have their own rendering engine which is what IE uses.

Creates a secure tunnel across the internet between your device and another network. You could use VPN to connect to resources on your network (file shares, say) that are not externally-facing.

So to make that even easier to understand, it is a way of connecting to a private network and accessing the sites/resources in that network from outside. Without using extra software.

VPN means Virtual Private Network, naturally.

So with swipe down to close apps are they going to remove the ability to just press the X in the top corner of the multitask screen

In screenshots looking like a no. Although id prefer they changed that X to a PIN icon so we can make sure certain apps dont close

YES! This more important than having the ability to close apps. Apps eventually roll off and close themselves, its annoying to have to continue to open the same app.

I like the pin idea. They might be leaving the x as a transitioning cue until people are more aware of the ability to swipe down, then ditch the x. I came to wp7 from a palm pre plus and I was swiping at cards to close them for awhile, old habits are hard to break.

VPN or Virtual Private Networks are widely used in business scenarios. In essence you could connect securely to your business domain and share content between your phone and work. VPN can exist in more than just business settings but are more common there.

Uh, no. Try looking up VPN on Wikipedia before spouting incorrect information.

Yes, people in these countries often use VPN to access the full internet. No, that is not what VPN is or even its most common use.

You specified a specific (and minority) usage as a description of the item. That's like saying a car is just something people race in.

I don't know what bothers you in my explanation while it helps average users to understand, maybe it's because I mentioned China... And the truth is lot of people don't know the use of it because they never experienced a situation where some websites are blocked like China or some other few countries

I feel a little offended at that remark. Are you implying that I'm racist?
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a system designed to allow users to access a private network of computers as if you were currently connected to it on-premise. In its simplest form, it's like being able to access your home/work network while you're outside it as if it were still local. In a more advanced form, it's a way for companies to heavily lock down access to a set of services while still making them available to their employees from anywhere in the world.
Recently, because of the prolific blocking of popular websites in some countries, the VPN protocol has begun to be used as a way to get past blocking. Because all your transmissions are routed through one connection (into the VPN) as a side effect you get to access all the websites the VPN can access without any firewalls getting in the way. However this is not the intended, original or even most popular use of VPNs.
To continue my analogy, the Car was originally invented as a way to transport people without the inconvenience of horses. Much later, as they became faster, they began to be used for competitive racing. However this is not the intended, original or even most popular use of Cars.
So what I'm saying is, stating that a VPN is 'just' for accessing sites that are blocked is like saying a car is 'just' for competitive racing.

Sam, can you elaborate on your paragraph that seemingly glosses over the live tile sizes? Youre either being brief for a reason or I'm just having trouble understanding what you're getting at. Youre saying we're not getting the big tile (bummer for me, being a 1520 owner) but that we are getting other live tile sizes? What other ones are there?

Probably only the 3 existing sizes, but with new layouts like the ones in Win8.1. Too bad - it would have been the perfect excuse to get a new phone with 1080 resolution :( Hopefully they will add it later on.

Wow !!!! Put this link inside a feature suggestion on the uservoice website! I was thinking that it was not a great idea to select pictures as a background, but surprisingly this looks really awesome !! Let the end user decide what they want ! I'm loving it, +920!! 

Hey bro I love that concept you created and have been waiting on this in WP forever.. Nice if it was true. And it looks nothing like iPhone, better.

Sam, please please please try proofreading your posts! PLEASE!!!

"The information we’re getting the information from developers who are leaking information onto the web."

"Of course that’s a kick way to fill up the storage on your phone."

"Have music and photos automatically saved their to save up space on the actual phone for apps and games."

"While they’re crash and collide with the Blue update (aka Windows Phone 8.1), they won’t be one and the same just yet."

"Windows Phone 8.1 will introduce a variety of benefits for developers who want to design once and deploy everyone. We’ll see things a converge developer platform, converge app model..."

I see typos, missed words, misspelled words, and some strangely worded sentences... If you expect others to read your work, you should at least read it before they do!

I was gonna say this too but decided its valentines day, I'll be nice. But yes it was a little tough to read altho I got most of what you were saying. Consider it tough love Sam from your fans and audience here at wpcentral

I saw hahah, but I felt bad bringing it up a second time!! There are still other errors  besides the kick versus (I assume) quick still in there too, even ones I pointed out :(

Wow. That's a lot of new features, tbh I did not see it coming.
If everything proves true, WP8.1 will be THE version we've been waiting for...

That's because they just post anything. Wpcentral actually fact checks. I dont get super bummed when a rumor turns out false so, I tend to visit wmpoweruser too because they focus a lot on shock n awe. But I rely on wpcentral for real windows phone news that I don't have to double check. And also the community

Yeah, but they post immediately and don't check sources much - if they even have any reliable ones.
...And their site has been acting screwy ever since they updated the mobile layout.

Oh damn thats sad that we won't see the extra large live tile, i don't think it will look great on a 2 row Windows Phone start screen, but i'm sure i will love a extra large live tile ( Bing Weather ) on a Lumia 1520! But well see, i think Microsoft is adding the extra large one later. But still, this is the largest update i've ever seen! Love it ! 

Looks good to me. However I think we all know how long it will take for this stuff to become readily available. GDR3 was released months ago and my L925 on T mobile still has not gotten it yet. Then there is Black, and now this.

I have the T-Mobile L925 running the Developer Preview of GDR3. Very simple to get it. You should look into it.

Single app across platforms already? Wow, that was quick. Obviously there will still be some code that differs, but to get to the single-app state so quickly is very surprising.

Sounding more and more like Windows Phone 9 rather than 8.1. See people...you just have to be patient. You ask why it takes them so long to get feature...its because they want to do it well and in on huge very cool update!

Why has no one noticed that the "swap" button in the SMS thread has been replaced with a "contact" button. I think it's clear that the end of messaging services like Messenger/Skype and Facebook Chat being integrated into the Messaging Hub are over.

Yeah that would really stink. That is such a unique and handy feature. One that I have found very useful and showed off to others when promoting the platform.

hi...

does anyone knows if navigation bar will be a standard feature in 8.1 ??? My capacitive keys are dead and i desperately need it... Ativ s

:D i know that :P

but i have no idea how that would look like... just curious... ^^

are there any keyboards or mice with microusb cables? or will it only work with bluetooth mice and keyboards?

This is awesome. You know one feature that surprise me and that I think is awesome in the mouse and keyboard support. That's sweet.

Sweet !
Are they going on merge BLINK into the Camera app ? Because THAT would be cool ! Hi-Res Burst Shots & GIFs would be awesome

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