Windows 8.1 features and improvements

Matt Hadden (Twitter, Google+)
30th May 2013, 5:53pm

We're going to take a first look at some of the improvements and features that will be coming to Windows 8.1


Windows 8.1 will give you the option to personalize your device even more. New features include things such as turning your lock screen into a picture frame with a slideshow, powered by your local device or pictures on SkyDrive. You can now also take pictures using the camera without having to leave the lock screen.

There will also be more options regarding the start screen, with more backgrounds (including ones with motion) and the ability to set your start-screen background to the same one as your desktop background. New tile sizes for large and small tiles will enable you to organize the start screen the way you want.

You can now select multiple apps at once to resize them, arrange them or uninstall them. The ability to move tiles around has now be assigned to pressing (and holding) the right mouse button.

As well as that, you can now view all apps by swiping up from the bottom and there are also some new filter options such as name, date installed, most used or categories.


A new and improved Search Charm will provide global search results from Bing in a simple to read aggregated view of many sources such as SkyDrive, web, apps and files.

Apps and Windows Store

All of the built-in Windows 8 apps will be improved for 8.1. For example, the Photos app now has some new editing features, the Music app has also been completely redesigned.

There will also be improvements to using multiple apps at once, with variable, continuous sized snap views, allowing you the ability to resize apps how you want, share a screen between two apps, or have up to three apps on each screen. For those of you with multiple monitors you can have different apps running on all displays at the same time, as well as being able to leave the start menu open on just one screen.

The improved Windows store is designed to more info than before, with detailed lists of top free apps, new releases and picks for you on the homepage.

Cloud Connectivity

You will now be able to save files directly to your SkyDrive, and the new app gives you access to files that are on your device or the cloud, with them still being accessible even when offline.

PC Settings

The new PC settings gives you access to all the settings for your device without having to go to the Control Panel. You will be able to do things such as changing resolution, power options, see the make and model of the computer, do Windows Updates and change your product key.

Internet Explorer 11

IE11 will also come with Windows 8.1, which builds on the advancements in IE10 with better touch performance, faster page load times and several other features.

Those are just some of the updates coming to Windows 8.1 when it launches, with more details to be made available at a later date. Don't forget, this will be a free update for anyone that owns Windows 8.

Source: Windows Blog

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