Windows Phone 8.1 - Tips, Tricks and Troubleshooting

So I've got myself a Lumia. Which means I've switched to Windows Phone 8.1 (upgraded from 8) from Android.

This is the first WP8 device I'm using personally, I've used WP7 before but I'm happy to state that things are certainly improved quite a bit here.

Here I'll post any tips & tricks i discover to help others out.

If you're new to Windows Phone platform, then feel free to ask me any questions & I'll try to answer as best as i can.

Congratulations on getting Windows phone is it from latest X series?

^ No, The new X series is Android.

I've gotten a Lumia 822. It's an awesome phone. Maybe I'll write a brief review of it later.

Do the video review this time, it will be fun ;)

^ I know why you think that'll be fun. :P

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BTW, in order to get the Windows Phone 8.1 update, your phone must be running a flavor of Windows Phone 8.0. That means WIndows Phone 7 or 7.5 Mango users won't be getting this update. Not that it was likely anyway...

Also, Cortana is currently only available officially in the US, but you can modify your cell regional & language settings to use Cortana in any country. Personally I'm using it all fine. It's not quite as intelligent as Google Now yet, but it's getting there. Plus it has a more humane voice and can manage more of your phone settings than it's competitors. Chatting is rather limited though...

Is it faster than Android in responsiveness?

I would say so yes. It's butter smooth. Seems quite a bit more fluid than JellyBean. I haven't used KitKat personally so can't make a comparison to that yet.

It's no wonder though, the Windows Phone OS has many limitations compared to Android and the multi-tasking is limited as well, so it makes sense that it runs better than Android. Let's say it's more similar to iOS in that regard. The Windows Phone 8.1 OS is sleek and attractive though.

Lag in android is associated with low end devices using cheap hardware and limited quantity of RAM. A device with decent specs will fly through android. On KitKat, I haven't felt the need to flash a custom ROM even once on the Nexus 5. I've also tried the Android L preview, but its currently too buggy to be used as a daily driver.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

^ I get your point, but I never said Android is laggy. What I said was that Windows Phone 8.1 is noticeably more fluid than Android which is correct based on my extensive experience with various phones with various operating systems. Sent from my 4G calculator using Tapatalk

Tutorial:

How to Upgrade to Windows 8.1 Developer Preview

Requirements:

A Windows Phone with WP8 OS pre-installed.

A brain capable of understanding instructions.

Benefits:

System-wide improvements to the OS UI

Enhanced built-in apps

Support for new instructions and file-types

Risks:

Will lose warranty if any

Updating the phone under low battery could brick your phone

You cannot revert back to 8.0 unless if you're on a lumia device

Procedure:

Go here and register as a app developer. (It's quick and simple, just make sure to use your real email address)

Now, look for "Preview for Developers" app in your windows phone store & install it on your phone. (use the same email address as the one you used for registration)

Make sure to tick the "Enable Preview for Developers" checkbox.

Once you've done that, simply go to your windows phone settings > phone update & tap on the "check for updates" button. Your phone will start installing updates which didn't even appear before this procedure. There will be one or two updates, followed by restart then another few updates, followed by the actual windows phone 8.1 update, followed by restart and then another update. And then finally when it shows "Your phone is up to date", then you can be sure that the process is complete.

The whole procedure may take a few hours at most, so make sure to do it when you're free.

Tutorial:

How to enable Cortana (beta) in Pakistan or anywhere outside of the USA

Benefits:

It's a free personal assistant from Microsoft which works similarly to Siri. You can even use it offline for minor tasks like calling/texting a person or playing your favorite song, etc.

Procedure:

First go to Settings > Language & add English (United States). Delete any other languages to make it the default one.

Then go to Settings > Speech & change it to English (United States) as well.

Then go to Settings > Region & change it to United Stated.

Once you've done all that, you should restart your phone and when it has started up, you'll notice that Cortana now appears on the app list.

The search button on your phone will now work as a quick access key to Cortana, long pressing it will let you speak to Cortana directly.

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Please note, that if you had already selected these settings by default, then Cortana would already have appeared right after installing the Windows Phone 8.1 update.

Tutorial:

How to revert back to Windows Phone 8.0

Reasons:

The 8.1 dev preview has some minor bugs which might annoy some users. If you're on a Nokia phone then you can revert back to the more stable WP 8.0

Many users report decreased battery-life after upgrading to 8.1, so if you're one of them and want your battery life back, then reverting is a good solution for you.

Notes:

Reverting back to Windows Phone 8.0 will perform a factory reset on your phone, meaning you will lose all personal data except the contents of your SD card.

Procedure:

Backup any important data. You can use Skydrive backup feature for a certain type of data.

Goto Nokia's website and download their Nokia Software Update tool. (this link may not work in future, in which case just google around for the tool)

Run the tool and connect your phone. Make sure it's detected by the tool.

If your phone is legit, the tool will tell you that a software update is available.

The tool & your phone will guide you though the update procedure.

Once complete, you'll be back on Windows Phone 8.0.

Personally, i wouldn't recommend going back to Windows Phone 8.0 unless if you're facing many bugs with Windows Phone 8.1 on your specific phone. Personally it's been working like a charm for me. Hardly notice any bugs or issues. Plus Cortana is kinda cool. Yeah but i think my battery life has reduced slightly after upgrading to 8.1. Still, nothing drastic.

I upgraded my nephew's lumia 720 to 8.1 today, didn't feel much different to me, apart from the much needed quick toolbar menu at the top that has been staple of android phones since the beginning. Microsoft really needs to pick up the pace if they wanna catch up to the behemoths of android and iOS.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

There are quite a few improvements that Windows Phone users have been asking for. Those improvements may not seem appealing to other OS users, but they're well appreciated by the customers for whom they're intended.

Some of the common goodies here are:

*The action center (which is called notification bar in Android) has been added.

*The ability to set a wallpaper as metro background. You can now also add an additional row of live tiles if you need more apps on your main screen.

*Improved multi-tasking (apps are suspended instead of being terminated, and apps can be closed by sliding down similarly to Android)

*Keyboard now support Swiping (and it works really well)

*It now support File-Manager with full view, play & management options (it's not built-into the OS though, but you can download the official Microsoft File-Manager app from the Windows Phone Store)

*The Music and Video player now supports streaming content, so you can stream your content via them.

*All built-in apps have been upgraded with more features. Be it the browser, camera app or the music, video, store, etc.

*New built-in features have been added which give handy options. Such as a battery saver, wifi sense, storage sense, etc.

*Personal Assistant called Cortana has been added to the OS which works like Siri except it's functionality is currently limited due to it being in beta.

*Dual-SIM support has finally been added.
*Additional UI tweaks have been applied at certain areas which are minor but improve experience.

^ And that is not even the complete list, there are some more things added or improved in the OS. Read the official release notes for more info on that.

Also, Windows Phone is not trying to be like Android or iOS, if it was then that would kill the point of it's existence. It's sole reason of existence is to give users a different, fresh UI to mingle around with. The sole reason I've gotten a Windows Phone even though I'm a 'technical-user' who realizes the limitations of the platform is because i was sick of the Android UI. WP8 gives me something different to experience and something fresh to play around with.

So yeah, I'm happy that Microsoft is not trying to outright copy it's competitors and instead takes ideas from them and present them it's own way. Over time i believe it is going to become much more intuitive & flexible than it is now. I have hope in the OS.

While I agree with what you've posted about WP being a different OS, the features and apps are severely lacking on this platform. It seems developers aren't really interested on developing on a 3rd platform at all, and that's a big problem for Microsoft right there. Having used windows all my life, I'm beginning to detest the direction and their insistence on shoving the metro UI on pretty much everything, which honestly speaking, doesn't even look very elegant (at least to me, both on phone & desktop, more on the desktop front later, a big rant post is incoming).

How is browsing Web on win phone does it perform solid with better functionalities than Android?

And what about apps on store does it has all the basic needed apps?

[quote=“jDk, post:16, topic:21287”]

While I agree with what you've posted about WP being a different OS, the features and apps are severely lacking on this platform. It seems developers aren't really interested on developing on a 3rd platform at all, and that's a big problem for Microsoft right there. Having used windows all my life, I'm beginning to detest the direction and their insistence on shoving the metro UI on pretty much everything, which honestly speaking, doesn't even look very elegant (at least to me, both on phone & desktop, more on the desktop front later, a big rant post is incoming).

[/quote]

Yeah app catalog is small compared to iOS & Android, but there are still 200,000 apps available for it right now and they're adding hundreds everyday. Both Android and iOS have been around for quite a bit longer than Windows Phone OS, so the app gap is understandable, but still it getting narrower over time. All big developers have started setting foot into the platform as well. Most of the high budget games come out for Windows Phone OS as well. Things are improving, slowly but surely.

Metro UI on Windows Phones is well loved throughout. Infact that is one of the most liked features of the platform. So much in fact that there are plenty of Metro UI mimicking apps available for Android and many users are using them only to enjoy a half-assed version of Metro (because the real thing cannot be cloned). But in the end, it all comes down to personal preferance. Some people like Android UI, some prefer Windows Phone UI, some prefer iOS, and then there are some less mainstream ones, and yet some people are waiting for newer platforms to be introduced because human likes change, it's part of our nature.

[quote=“armada, post:17, topic:21287”]

How is browsing Web on win phone does it perform solid with better functionalities than Android?

And what about apps on store does it has all the basic needed apps?

[/quote]

It's not really better or worse, but there are a few things missing that may dissapoint some users.

Windows Phones come with Internet Explorer browsers (11.0 on WP8.1) which has better compatibility with some traditional websites while get some alignment issues with some flashier ones. Private browsing is missing (though deleting the history is quick & easy). Handy features like Night Mode, etc are also missing.

The browsing itself is fast and fluid. Websites like Dailymotion, Vimeo & Metacafe work totally fine.

If you don't wanna settle for IE, then there are a few decent options available to you such as Opera, UC Browser & Maxthon among others.

Google recently made an statement about the possibility of making Chrome for Windows Phone as well, although nobody knows how long that will take.

[quote=“armada, post:17, topic:21287”]

And what about apps on store does it has all the basic needed apps?

[/quote]

I missed to reply this part. Well, all the common apps are available. Be it your Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Viber, Skype, Tapatalk, Religious apps (virtual quran, etc), Tool apps (torch, etc), Website apps (IMDB, etc) and such. Some apps are not as advanced as their Android counterparts, but are improving over time.

Plenty of games are also available, including common ones like Angry Birds, Subway Surfers, Temple Run, Flappy Bird, Fruit Ninja, etc. Graphically intensive ones include GTA games, Asphalt 8, NOVA 3, The Dark Knight Rises, etc.

One thing to keep in mind is that Windows Phone platform is anti-piracy. You cannot pirate apps easily, and whenever a security flaw is found out which allows you to pirate apps, Microsoft is quick to patch it via an update. For example in the latest Windows Phone 8.1 release, it is currently impossible to pirate apps at all.

If you don't mind paying for your apps though, then you're totally good to go. Otherwise you still have all your common use apps available for free and the common games are free to play as well.

There you have the general insight on it.