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Published: July 8, 2013 | Applies to:

This article will provide you the complete overview of new features In Windows 8.1 so far and various information regarding them.

About a week ago, Microsoft rolled out Windows 8.1 Preview to the end users. We’ve already posted few days back about list of new features introduced in this preview. So today in this article, I’ll would like to share the working of leading new features available. If you have been facing the issue in installing Windows 8.1 Preview update on your computer, check out this article.

What’s New : Reviewing New Features In Windows 8.1

If you’re new or missed the articles posted about Windows 8.1 back this week, here is the link to download Windows 8.1 and start from the scratch:

Download Links For Windows 8.1 Preview

Now without wasting your time anymore, lets review out the new features in Windows 8.1 Preview.

Snapping & Resizing Multiple Apps Simultaneously

In Windows 8.1, you’re able to use snap-in formats of Windows Apps at once. Have a look at that:

Now lets demonstrate the working of multiple snapping and resizing of Windows App. Here, I have my Mail app snapped to one side of the screen, the PC Settings app to the other side, and I am preparing to open the Weather App. Either click the side of the window you want the Weather App to open on, or click and hold the Weather App’s window until a third space opens:

Now you can drop the tile, or you can drag it over to a different part of the screen:

To resize an app’s part of the page, simply grab and drag the dividing line:

Thus snapping and resizing has made the multitasking very easy in Windows 8.1. Using multitasking, you’re ready to finish work on the go.

The Modern UI Calculator

Windows 8.1 comprises of Modern UI based version of calculator. The calculator now really looks awesome with big text on buttons, covering the whole screen, yet the functionality remains same. Here is the new look:

Now lets take a look over converter, here it is:

The converter has various options to convert data. The variety of options can be observed in following image:

If you want to copy the resulting value from a calculation from any of the calculator versions, just click the screen of the calculator and choose Copy. You can also paste into the calculator if you have a number in your clipboard.

In the convertor, there are two screens. The orange bar shows which screen you are in, to get to the other screen, just click it, then click again for the menu.

The Alarm App

This is the absolute new and pure feature in Windows 8.1. The Alarm App will be a handy and useful feature for those users having busy schedules. The Alarm App is intended to notify them with acoustic sound. Here is that:

The inner wheel sets the hour, and the outer wheel sets the minutes, use the bubbles to drag them around. You can have it repeat any days of the week you choose, or you can click once to just have it repeat once. To hear any of the different sound options, just click the play button to the side of that chime’s name. To rename the alarm, simply click the name, here the name is the default Alarm.

Unfortunately, there are only those four color sets, and you cannot choose which alarms have which colors.

The Alarm App is rehabilitated by Timer and Stop Watch functions. Here is the push notification experienced on Desktop from Alarm App:

Shut Down Options In Windows 8.1

Straight from the release of Windows 8, users are issued with the shutting down of this operating system. Microsoft has realized this problem and they have added the shut down option to Windows X menu also known as mini God mode in Windows 8. Here are the shutdown options located in Windows 8.1:

Simply open the Shut Down menu and click the item you want your computer to do. However, you can add Shut Down options to the Desktop right click context menu using the method of this article if you like.

Slide Show Feature For Lock Screen

The Lock Screen introduced in Windows 8 has become a popular feature so far. Windows 8.1 has provided some of the improvements and enhancement to this feature. You can now easily set up a slide show for Lock Screen, take a look:

You can now play slide shows on it with pictures from the folder of your choice. Simply set the Play a slide show on the lock screen switch to On. There is a separate switch for playing slide shows while running on battery power beneath that switch. Click the Add a folder button and choose the folder you want. To delete a folder, simply click it and choose Remove.

I do not yet know what the ‘Let Windows choose pictures for my slide show’ switch is for.

Integrated Search

In Windows 8.1, the search has been integrated with Bing web search, so you should not be much surprised to see Web Results while you search for Visual Studio on your PC:

When you scroll further over, you have a Related Searches section, an Images section, a Videos section, and more generic results. This has done every possibility to look up for a query to search. We really appreciate the efforts in enhancement of search feature.

Windows Updates Are Now Easy To Manage

There are two ways to check for and install Windows Updates, and you must check for Store updates regularly also. The first way to check for Windows Updates is through the PC Settings, which is found in the Settings Charm and can now be pinned to the Start Screen.

Second way is as usual the Control Panel. Here is how you can pick the important updates on the go and install them after making selection:

In case you’re facing any issue in installing Windows Updates, then try out the fixes mentioned here.

Boot To Desktop Directly : Most Wanted Option

Metro or Modern UI is the most controversial part of Windows 8. Most of the users complain that they don’t want to see Start Screen at the start up of Windows 8 and they want to boot directly to desktop. However, using the third party software, like Classic Shell, you can enable the directly boot to desktop feature. But now Microsoft has made this option available in Windows 8.1 officially. Just open the Taskbar and Navigation properties, and you’ll find the option:

Check the Show my desktop background on Start. Click Apply followed by OK. Add to this, you can also configure some sort options from the above shown window. Thus, you’re finally allowed to boot directly to the Desktop officially.

So that’s it for the new features introduced in Windows 8.1. Hope you enjoy them!

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  • yeah , this update is what Windows 8 should be in the beginig , but we all learn from mistakes , good work kapil .

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Agreed. Nothing can be done perfectly without committing mistakes :)

  • That was pretty funny and echoes many of my sentiments. I did, however, find a way to get around being forced to log in using an email account. During installation, don’t connect to your wireless network if you’re on one. If you’re on a wired network, unplug the cable until after installation is totally complete. If you do either of these you will eventually asked to create a local account and bypass the other crap.

    I have no plans to use Win 8 or 8.1, but maybe that will help someone else who does.

  • Great article man!

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