Top tips for Windows Phone 8.1

The new Windows Phone 8.1 software boosts the mobile experience.
Top tips for Windows Phone 8.1

If you’ve just got a new smartphone and it’s running Microsoft’s Windows Phone software, you might be wondering how to get the most from it. If you are, take a look at these top tips, they’ll help you find your way around the new phone.


Do you often forget to pick up something from the shops, even when you leave a note? Or how about forgetting to thank someone for something even though you’ve just got off the phone to them?

Windows Phone has a special digital personal assistant called Cortana. It’s a bit like having your own PA. Cortana can remind you to buy some more ketchup as soon as you get to the supermarket. She’ll tell you to thank your mum as soon as you ring her. She’ll also answer questions, play music and even tell you jokes. Just tell Cortana what you want her to do, and she’ll help you out.

Windows Phone wallpaperPersonalise your homepage

You Windows Phone homepage is covered in apps, but that doesn’t mean you can’t personalise it. You can add your favourite picture from the Settings menu and it’ll shine through some of the tiles. You can also press and hold live tiles to resize them and rearrange your home screen.

OneDriveMicrosoft Office & OneDrive

Need to work on the go? Upload an Office document to the OneDrive cloud from your desktop and it’ll instantly appear in the app on your phone so you can edit it from anywhere. And because Windows Phone comes with free Microsoft Office, all your changes and formatting will stay put.

Action CenterFind all your notifications in Action Center

When you’re in a hurry, it’s really great to be able to find all your updates in one place. You can then see what’s important and what’s not in an instant. With the Windows Phone update, just pull down from the top of the screen and you’ll see all your notifications.

The keyboard

If you’re always sending texts or WhatsApps, the Windows Phone keyboard will be a godsend. On a normal keyboard you hit each letter you want to type with your finger, but Windows Phone has a faster method. It lets you glide your fingers over the keys, spelling words by sliding to each letter. Guinness World Records says it’s the fastest keyboard in the world.

Set data limits

If you don’t want to get a tariff with unlimited data, you’ll want a way of keeping track of your data use. Windows Phone 8.1 now gives you a way of checking exactly how much data you’ve used each month. Just open the app and the info you need is there. It even tells you which apps are using the most data so you can decide if you want to use them a little less.

If you love your apps though, just use Wi-Fi Sense. This app automatically finds Wi-Fi signals wherever you are. That way you’ll be using free Wi-Fi internet instead of your data allowance.

Make your battery last longer

Lots of phones have a special setting you can turn on to make the battery last longer. They do lots of things to the phone like slightly dim the screen and stop certain apps from using power. You won’t really notice the difference when they’re turned on. The new Battery Saver app means that 20% of battery charge will last for a whopping 24 hours!

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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