Join in the Windows Phone 8.1 discussion over on our community forum!

We're all excited and buzzing to see exactly what will be included in the Windows Phone 8.1 update. If anything from today's reporting is to go by, we're in for a major update, which should address the complaints from both Windows Phone owners and the general public who have steered clear of the mobile platform.

Since the update isn't far off, we've set up a new forum for discussion to take place covering the Windows Phone 8.1 update.

Windows Phone 8.1

If you haven't already done so, be sure to vote in our Windows Phone 8.1 features poll. After you've done that, join in the Windows Phone 8.1 discussion over on our community forum.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Please Microsoft do some major improvements, its not possible you don't have good developers so please make a good update.
  • Sausage with cake.
  • Cookies with some apple juice.  Cookies with some apple juice.  I ain't mad at you cookies with some apple juice.
  • Cookies and apple juice? I had enough of them already, time for the main dishes ;)
  • So to close apps from the multitasker, it's swipe down not tap on the X? Am I getting this right?
  • Both I guess. Although personaly I would prefer if they created one experience for all Windows touch devices. Meaning you should be able to close by swiping down from both the appswitcher as well as from the top of the app itself.
  • from top of the app ? 
    what about the action center ?
  • Which is why I wasn't happy with the way they implemented the action centre either :P I mean Windows 8 also needs an notification centre. So the Windows team will work on a different solution. Not really merging the user experience for these two Windows platforms. Also not very 'One Microsoft'. I would have added the action centre to the left of the start screen on WP and on the top of the start screen in Windows. Just like the app menu is on the right in WP and on the bottom in Windows. In the long run they could make it so that when Windows is in portrait mode the interface looks identical to WP and vice versa. In a much longer run, it would be one OS all together. As for the immediate accessibilty of the notifications from within apps. They could let you access these through the charms/appbar. In Windows the charms actually already open the notification part of the old taskbar. All they needto add is the ability to press them and take you directly to the action centre.
  • A synced Action Centre and notifications between all Windows Devices (and/or Xbox) would be pretty cool. It would mean my phone would accompany my PC and vice versa.
  • In my opinion the action centre in Windows should be identical, whether the device you're using is a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. The way I see it when you have the Xbox Games app installed it acts as an active Xbox account. Meaning any messages and invites you receive should be available in it and therefore in the action centre as well.   But an Xbox is not a Windows device. At least not in the customer perception. So it doesnt need to show Windows notifications nor look and act similar to the action centre in Windows. Naturally it would be cool if Microsoft works toward further integration later on. But for now I fear they wont succesfully integrate Windows and WP either..
  • I mean it would be cool if any notifications that happened on my phone or PC would show up on a connected Xbox. I don't have an Xbox myself so I don't know how useful it would actually be with a phone which you could have next to you, but I would imagine that is would be pretty useful with a PC.
  • Notification Center for Windows 8?  Haven't you heard?  Nobody likes Windows 8, so it's going to die.  Everyone prefers booting to the desktop, so there's no need for a "Metro-y" notification center. I'm being sarcastic, of course.  Seriously, though, the notification center is useless to me, regardless of the platform.  That's why I have live tiles pinned to my Start screen (on both WP and Windows).  THOSE are my notification centers.  But, I wouldn't be surprised if all this comes together sooner rather than later.  I suspect we'll see how the NC pans out on Windows Phone and then with an update later this year we'll likely see the NC show up on the tablets & PCs.
  • Please add the multi-screen from W8.1 and RT to WP8.1, its very helpful
  • Agreed. And it's also weird that 6'' Windows devices have different features and look/function differently from 8'' Windows devices. Phones and tablets are merging and there shouldn't be such a sharp contrast between Windows Phones and Windows tablets. I hope WP8.1 is a huge step towards merging the two platforms. From a visual perspective first and hopefully with Windows 9 there won't be a need to keep both WP and RT around.
  • What about the action centre?
  • See my reply to Yousef Kawmi.
  • Why is it weird?  The 6" "Windows devices" are Windows PHONES, not a tablet or PC.  The 8" devices are traditional PCs/laptop/tablets.  While Microsoft is working to merge things, they aren't there yet.  Just realize that you are either dealing with a SMARTPHONE device or a PC (whether in tablet, laptop or traditional desktop form).  What you will see eventually is what has been known as Windows RT (as used on the Surface RT and Surface 2, NOT the Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2) will be completely merged with the Windows Phone operating system and your tablets and phones will essentially be the same---just different sizes.  Hybrids, laptops and desktops will be the Pro sku (I'm oversimplifying, but this is basically how it will break down).  
  • besides the fact that one of these devices can be used to call people they are rather similar and are used for similar purposes. These 6'' phones are called phablets for a reason. So how come Microsoft is using two different interfaces for the same purpose? A silly question perhaps but think about it. You want the best possible, most optimized interface for customers. Yet there are two differently functioning interfaces at the moment for the same purpose.   Of course this has to do with the history of these two systems but Microsoft has to consider what interface they want to continue with (and improve upon). At this point we have reviews criticizing WP's interface for not using the larger screens of the 1520 as well as criticizing Windows 8.1 for not being optimized for smaller tablets. Neither OS is perfect for the 'sweetspot' (small tablets, these are the most popular kind). Indeed I hope you are right and that WP and RT (the two ARM-based Windows) will eventually merge. When that happens there wont be an experience split between large phones and tiny tablets. There would be one interface that scales to the device it runs on, whether its a 3'' phone or a 30'' desktop. However for this to happen Microsoft needs to think ahead. Which is why its strange that a new WP8.1 feature (action centre) uses a gesture already used to close apps in Windows 8.1. If these two systems are too merge, like you said, than something has to give.
  • I hope they bring the notification bar soon
    They release a dev preview soon!
  • Stop telling me what to Rich. You're not my supervisor.
  • exactly.....stop
  • a little simple addition!! Why not adding a third circle when you hold press the live tile, and let it be for the colour accent of that specific tile. I don't want my Startscreen to look blueish! I would like to make it colourful!!!
  • That sounds hideous.
  • Maybe but that each person's choice.  Purple tiles and yellow backgrounds.  Paisley tiles and checkered background.. Rainbow tiles in response the Sochi Olympics drama. Theme packs. etc.
  • Cool that!
  • all d updates of wp 8.1 are very nice but i also want "flash transfer"(like android) this we can easily transfer large files in just few minutes,using WiFi, its really very useful
  • If they bring WIFI Direct to the phone your problems will be completely solved. Would actually LOVE to see if anyone with access to this so called leak could also look into that.. *EDIT -> Leak now shows it -> NEW Wi-Fi Direct, a Wi-Fi standard allowing direct peer-to-peer connections over Wi-Fi without an access point So your wish will be granted once its released either by myself or some other developer :)
  • I like the new name, Windows Pocket RT.
  • Sheesh! How can you people come up with things like that? There's NOTHING like Windows Pocket RT. Some misinformed people probably spread this nonsense.
    Let me tell you that even Windows Phone 8(.0)'s app runtime is called WinPRT which stands for Windows Phone Runtime. It is also NOT Windows Phone RT. Since 8, WinPRT has been the phone counterpart of WinRT and Windows Phone of Windows RT.
  • Just a joke. I know we're on mobile compact edition 8. Sheesh
  • Just a joke. You're more on like "lost my sense of humour". Sheesh
  • Can you help me find it?
  • Nty, that's an invitation to a circle jerk.
  • I am surprised at how much closer these two OS (RT/WP) are going to be in this update. The whole Threashold update is not until 2015. It is not realistic to expect these to be one OS, I do expect better integration from desktop to mobile, be it tablet or phone.   And separating out the Xbox Music and Video was (is) a great step as well. I am tired of updates coming only each year the tied to the carriers. And apps updating on the fly? Great news, but please give indication when it happens.
  • Currently waiting on: 1. The GDR3/Black update for my 928. 2. Verizon to release the 929/Icon. Considering how long consumers have had to wait for the aforementioned things, it'll probably be August-September before we get the 8.1 update (if we're lucky).
  • Nice to see the future has good improvement like pull down notification bar,action center,that's great rest of the features are small deficits that we previously used to have,so this update clear's some issues we faced in the past,but just look at the it different from IOS? Or is it just like ios..? completely restricted OS,this might hurt the Wp lovers but I am the one who liked the os than any other..I cannot organise the gallery without my Pc,I cannot share downloaded videos via Bluetooth,I cannot share videos from music hub via Bluetooth,my moliplayer which plays all the stuff beautifully cannot read the video folder on my 1020,My PC shows all the drives so that i can manage my storage in a good way,but my 1020 cannot read the drives,lack of file manager make my daily activities risky,i have to carry my pc and a cable to share my videos to my friends,even pdf files cannot be shared via Bluetooth,coming to background download doesn't support downloading in background,even IE doesn't load the new link in the new tab in the background..,I have no control over my storage without my pc,there is no Bluetooth share for high resolution pics
  • Things needed to be added/modified in Windows Phone 8/Microsoft services:
    1) More apps and games to be made free on the Store(Fruit Ninja, etc.).
    2) More apps on the Store(NFS Most Wanted, Google products, YouTube, etc.).
    3) Needed to add more features to Office Mobile(Create .ppt presentation, Outlook sync).
    4) Ability to download apps, games and maps to SD card to save phone memory.
    5) Store does not check for app updates automatically. We have to use third party apps for checking manually. Manual update check as in Windows 8 is required.
    6) Music needed to be stopped not paused and volume bar must be cleared. Option to clear history must also be added.
    7) SkyDrive needed to have more free space (around 10-15 GB).
    8) No option to save music and videos to SkyDrive.
    9) No other option than password protection for lock screen (patterns, etc.).
    10) Theme color must have a combination of two/more colors.
    11) Complete synchronization of settings, start menu settings, installed apps, app data, messages, photos, music and videos to the cloud required in one touch.
    12) Must show missed calls while the phone was off.
    13) Official YouTube app (which does not violate its terms and conditions) created by Microsoft/Google is what we are looking for.
    14) Ability to use flashlight as torch.
    15) No option to rename videos.
    16) Cannot edit playlists, change order and positions of music in a playlist and now playing.
    17) Xbox music and video services not available for India and many other countries.
    18) Internal search(contacts, apps, docs, etc.) support using Windows Phone search button required.
    19) Many applications and games do not run on 512mb RAM devices.
    20) Officially purchased music doesn't sync with PC and if somehow it syncs, the music metadata is lost.
    21) Can't change the default browser.
    22) Battery percentage left, a very small but useful icon missing on the taskbar.
  • Lost me at Google Products.
  • Please add an option to force 3G only..
  • Apps can be saved to SD cards in 8.1 too. I'm sold baby!!!
  • -Store checks for app updates and lists them clearly -Ability to clear the volume bar once pulled down. Also in music to clear the Now Playing area. -Internet favourites and history are accessible from the bing search page. At the moment one must look up something in the search engine and click on one of the suggestions before the bar is there. -editable music playlists. Easier to create a playlist and add to a playlist.
  • R u gettng updates for apps in stores regularly.... If yes guide me plsss...!!
  • Pls guide me how to get updates for apps im store....
  • That's incredible . Good Job WP