As many expected after the Battery Saver update on Wednesday, Microsoft released Windows Phone 8.1.1. Build 14203 to Preview for Developers users yesterday. The update of Battery Saver mentioned a build 14203 which did not exist which led to the speculation. That, along with it being three weeks since the last update, and it being Thursday which is when these updates are traditionally released… yeah, there is a lot of tea leave reading.
Anyway, the update it out and it is mighty impressive. There seems to be a significant number of performance improvements and stability enhancements that make Build 14203 a worthwhile download. That said, as I’ve shared before, technically this is beta so if you aren’t keen on having an odd issue here or there, may want to avoid it.I have installed the new Build 14203 on both my Lumia 1320 and Lumia 520 and both have seen a significant improvement in performance. Overall speed has improved but app launch speeds and resume speeds are blindingly fast now. The improvement in
performance is very noticeable and not subtle, at least not on these two devices. For those of you who upgrade other devices, leave me a comment and let me know if you see the same significant performance improvements.
Secondly, there appear to be big stability improvements around WiFi and Bluetooth. On my Lumia 1320 in particular I had significant WiFi issues on the last build that often required me to reboot my device to get things working properly again. While the issues with Bluetooth weren’t quite as bad, it still had issues that stopped things like my Fitbit from syncing properly with my device. Both of those problems seemingly have been resolved. WiFi testing last night and this morning for me found that there were no issues with connectivity and my Fitbit has remained connected continually without any issues. It’s early (I’m writing this at 5:45 in the morning) but if I run into any issues I’ll post an update to this post.
There are a few new features and enhancements in Build 14203 that you should be aware of as well. First, you can now select when you want the update to be applied to your Phone which means no more SURPRISE! YOU HAVE A NEW UPDATE INSTALLED! wakeups in the morning.
The other big thing of course is the new Battery Saver app that is able to take advantage of Live Tiles now and give you real time status on your battery. This is pretty impressive as it isn’t an estimate but a proper view of just how much battery life you really have left on your device.
If you find something else new and exciting do let me know and I’ll update this post.
To get the update you have to have your phone registered as part of the Preview for Developers program. It is free but remember that it is beta code so you may run into an issue here and there (like I did on the last release).