Microsoft recently sent out invitations to developers for initial testing of the new Windows Phone 8.1 update and its Software Development Kit (SDK). A few of the features have leaked through screenshots shared by developers.

Windows Phone 8.1
List of Windows Phone 8.1 features. Winsupersite

Now, developers Jeremy Sinclair and Jesse Leskinen have posted an extensive list of features which are expected in the next major update to Windows Phone 8, also known as Windows Phone Blue.

Considering the numerous changes listed below, which include features like Quiet Hours and Office Lens support, the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 will be a complete overhaul, but not just an increment update, notes WPCentral.

The listed features are being pulled from the MUI string of the emulator's file system. These are subject to change in the final release as the current SDK is just a preview.

Windows Phone 8.1 new features

  • Sharing secured Wi-Fi Networks with contacts if they have Wi-Fi Sense. They don't get to see the shared password though
  • Social notifications will now show up in Action Center by swiping from the top of the screen
  • Operators can now control Data Sense limits remotely
  • Operators can also install certain applications once a SIM card is detected
  • Along with normal updates, there are now "important" updates
  • Options to always download emails and pictures within them
  • Encrypted and signed e-mail support
  • Change default SMS app. You can also change which SMS app will show notifications
  • Enterprise enrolled phones can have their passwords changed and remotely locked
  • "Write, when I swipe through letters." That should be self-explanatory
  • Geofence monitoring support. Geofence is a boundary around a place of interest to you. Location services can monitor geofences to tell your apps when you are entering and leaving them. This would be really good for IFTTT
  • Office Lens support. Will scan in documents and screens
  • The phone will have to update to the latest version before you can restore it to factory settings
  • Option to update store apps automatically
  • Option to update store apps when only on Wi-Fi
  • App Suggestions by location
  • Manual Update checks
  • Password protected Office document support
  • Trusted app list for NFC that will remove the need for asking whether you want to open a particular app
  • In-call speech commands. You will be able to say 'Call XXXXXX'
  • Double-Tap to unlock your phone (Feature from Lumia devices on Amber Update and newer)
  • Quiet Hours
  • Double Tap to Power Off
  • Notification if charger is not of adequate power
  • Screenshot button combination is now Power + Volume Up
  • Chkdsk for SD Cards essentially
  • Apps on SD Cards are only allowed from ONE originating phone. If it detects that apps from another phone are installed on the SD Card, then it will ask to delete those first
  • Voice Narrator for Accessibility
  • The Search button will be the new way to open Speech instead of the Start button (Since the newer phones will have the start button on screen)
  • New Email sync options with accordance to usage patterns (i.e. If you get a lot of mail on particular days and if you don't check mail every day)
  • Change the size and amount of tiles on your start screen.
  • Wallet supports tickets and membership cards
  • App Syncing
  • Backups now include application data (ABOUT TIME)
  • Screen Reader functionality (May be Text-To-Speech for apps)
  • Screen Recording functionality
  • Inner Circle of contacts. Up to 40 contacts can be in the inner circle
  • You can favorite photos by tapping a heart icon
  • Virtual SmartCard support

Hopefully, users will get to see these features in the final release of Windows Phone 8.1, which is expected at Microsoft's BUILD developer conference scheduled to be held from 2-4 April.