Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview Update is now live


As promised, Microsoft has initiated the Developer Preview program today, for its latest and greatest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8.1. Touting a new virtual assistant, tile backgrounds and a lot more, the update is now available for download as a part of the enthusiast program that officially started with the GDR3 update for Windows Phone 8. Microsoft had its grand reveal of the newest operating system at the Build developers conference, with them showing off all the new features in a lengthy keynote. The highlight was, of course, Cortana, the new virtual assistant that provides a combination of functionality from Apple’s Siri and Google’s own Voice and contextual assistant.

The best thing about the Developer Preview program is that enthusiasts can get their hands on it, right now, here’s how –

  • Get an app studio account
  • Download and install the “Preview for Developers app”
  • Install the update over the air

This might seem really simple, but it does take some effort to go through the process, if you haven’t already, for GDR3. So, here’s a lengthy “How To” article, taking you through each and every step of the process for the final destination – Windows Phone 8.1.

We are currently in the process of downloading the update over the air, but if you, like us, are waiting for it to get installed, here is a quick overview of what’s in store for you with the update –

Highlights of Windows Phone 8.1

  • Action center – Notifications center on Windows Phone, finally!
  • Cortana – Highly personal digital voice assistant
  • Start screen wallpapers – Parallax scrolling for the wallpapers
  • Lock screen themes – Make your own lock screen animations or use presets
  • Word Flow keyboard – Like Swype, but Microsoft claims it is faster
  • Skype integration to dialer
  • New default apps – Calendar, Xbox Music, Video and new Podcasts
  • People Hub can integrate with 3rd party apps
  • New type of e-mail accounts supported – including iCloud
  • New camera UI and gallery app
  • New utilities – WiFi sense, Storage sense and Battery saver
  • New enterprise features and a lot more

And here’s a hands on video of some of the features –


We intend to let you know all about this update real soon, but while we wait for the update to install on our phones, do let us know what you think. Excited for Windows Phone 8.1? Let us know in the comments section below.

Author: Bharadwaj Chandramouli

Bharadwaj is a content creator who has been obsessed with technology since the early days of smartphones. He loves talking about tech, is a fan of good design and photography. You can follow him on Twitter @gadgetbuff_ to know what he's upto!