Here is what's new in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2

Microsoft has been hush-hush about Update 2 for Windows Phone 8.1, the second semi-major update for the operating system. The reasons should be obvious as the company is instead putting all resources on Windows 10 Mobile, which is the real future of the OS.

As a result of this priority shift Update 2 (aka GDR2) is only going to select phones as an upgrade. So far, the only Lumias confirmed as getting updated are the Lumia 735 and Lumia 830, while the Lumia 640, Lumia 640 XL and LG Lancet ship with the newer OS already installed. The HTC One on Verizon and BLU Win HD LTE also have been updated.

So what is in Update 2? Microsoft has now published the changelog on their support site. However, it is not the whole story, so we will add a few more things that have been found in using the upgraded operating system.

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 (Microsoft)

  • Settings. Find your phone settings more easily. Tap one of the new settings categories to jump to it, use Search to find a setting, or pan down to peruse in the traditional way. Additionally, phone settings can now be pinned to Start.
  • Calendar. Agenda view is back.
  • Name your phone. Give your phone a name without connecting to a PC. Just tap Settings > About > Edit name to name it.
  • VPN. Now you can use certificates to sign in for L2TP VPN connections. Always-on VPN profiles are now supported too, so you're automatically and always connected.
  • Bluetooth. Type with more than your thumbs. Use an external Bluetooth keyboard and watch the words fly on your phone. And now get your text messages straight from your car if it has a compatible Bluetooth system.
  • App privacy permissions. Now you control whether an app can access your contacts, calendar, camera, microphone and text messages. Just tap Settings > App permissions to get started.

As far as build numbers Update 2 starts at Build 15127 and so far goes up to Build 15148. These other additions have been observed by users as being a part of Update 2.

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 (Windows Central)

  • MKV support for video playback
  • Reset Protection feature
  • 'All Apps' arrow at the bottom of the Start screen
  • Devices with on-screen navigation bar can now 'double tap' on the bar to turn the display off

There are also likely under the hood fixes and adjustments as the performance. Even on devices like the Lumia 640 Windows Phone 8.1 seems to be very efficient when compared to Update 1.

Reset Protection in Windows Phone

When, where and why?

There's no word on when the Lumia 735 and Lumia 830 will get the updates, as some GB/UK and French versions are already receiving the new OS. Owners of those devices can check for updates under Settings > Phone Update or consult Microsoft's support page to see if their phone is getting build 15148 or later.

As to why Microsoft is not pushing this update for the Lumia 1520, Lumia 930 and other devices, our guess would be the company focusing resources again on Windows 10 Mobile. It is not clear why Preview for Developers is not being utilized either, although it now seems clear that that program is now retired in favor of Windows Insider.

Further information

Need more news? Bookmark our dedicated Update 2 page for all the latest news about that OS: or jump into our NEW Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 Forums for more discussion.

Are you using Update 2? Let us know if have found any other changes from Update 1 in comments.

Source: Microsoft

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.