We previously highlighted a bunch of Windows Phone 8 leaked information, but as the days keep going by, more information keeps getting unvieled about the future of the platform, today we’ve quite a selection of leaks to detail, focusing on tiles and IE11.
The above image has leaked showing a select of string controls built in to Windows Phone 8.1, these string controls, of course, hint upon new features coming in Windows Phone 8.1, the version of Windows Phone that is expected to close in on the feature base of Windows 8.1.
So let’s review.
Tile Backgrounds Confirmed
Through the Settings string controls, you can see three relating to customising the look of the Start screen theme upon Windows Phone 8.1
Change your phones background and accent color to match your mood today
The ability to use Accent Colours as your Windows Phone background on the Start screen is something many people have been requesting, and by the looks of things is coming in Windows Phone 8.1. We’d love to see what they do on Windows 8.1 come to Windows Phone, including the selection of animated interactive wallpapers that are currently available with Accent Colour integration.
Use Photos as Start screen background
Whilst we feel Accent Colours could really work on Windows Phone 8.1, similar to as it does on Windows 8.1, using Photos as the Start screen background is something we kind of question the usability of. Whilst we wouldn’t recommend using general Camera photos, multiple awesome backgrounds could probably work.
Extra Tile Support (3 row?)
Change the amount of tiles shown on the Start Screen with ‘Show more tiles’
Another Setting carried over from Windows 8.1, ‘Show more tiles’. Show more tiles is really useful on devices like our Surface to show an extra down row of icons, although on Windows Phone this is really interesting. Currently, the Lumia 1520, 1320 and Icon are the only three devices running Windows Phone that have an extra row of middle-sized icons, where traditionally 2, although ‘Show more tiles’ on Windows Phone 8.1 could enable this as an option for devices other than these when 8.1 rolls out. Another interesting thought is, would this feature be available for devices already with 3-row tile layout, who knows.
Internet Explorer 11
As far as Internet Explorer 11 goes, three new features have been confirmed upon the string commands.
This is quite possibly the LAST feature I was hoping for in Windows Phone 8.1 after we went through the list of features found in the SDK leak, and it looks like it’s here! Reading View is essentially Reader for IE11, on Windows 8.1 when viewing a website with reading content, the user can usually tap a bookcase icon in the web bar opening a Reading View, this is perfect for mobile devices. The feature works more or less identically to how Reader does on OS X and iOS, we’d love this on Windows Phone as we always miss this from iOS.
“InPrivate” is the way that IE brands Private Browsing, in a similar way that Chrome brands it as ‘Incognito’, all work the same allowing the user to browse the web with no data saved upon each page loaded in it’s view. This is pretty much the last feature, except maybe Webkit support in IE *we can dream*, that IE has been lacking over Chrome and Safari on Android and iOS repeatedly, so nice to see it come in 8.1
Pick up where you left off ~ on current device/to other device
Another feature lacking, we say lacking but probably not in demand that much, in IE was synchronised tabs. This feature is currently available on Safari and Chrome to synchronise pages loaded within multiple device, this is now coming to Windows Phone 8.1. Something interesting that must be noted, this feature is currently not in Windows 8.1, so if this feature debuts on Windows Phone 8.1, it may also debut on Windows 8.1 Update 1 too. Microsoft also appear to have implemented the feature in a rather unique way, aside from being able to view websites upon different devices, likely through both the Modern UI IE11 and IE on Windows Phone, but an interesting addition is the ability to launch a website on another device from another linked device, it’ll be interesting just how that is integrated to how useful it is.
So, there’s another selection of Windows Phone 8.1 leaks, we’ll have to wait until Build 2014 in April to see just what gets announced, think it’s more than fair to say Windows Phone 8.1 is going to be a massive update.